Richard Hutchinson: “Develop a content strategy that nurtures candidates through the pipeline”

Richard Hutchinson is the talent generation and innovation director at Capita Resourcing, one of te biggest UK staffing firms. April 18th, he will be talking at Talent Acquisition Live about nurture marketing and data analysis. We had the pleasure of talking to him beforehand and asking him his vision on innovation in Talent Acquisition.

Richard, you are responsible for resourcing at one of the biggest UK staffing firms. Can you give us some numbers?

“Capita Resourcing has around 750 employees, Capita Group around 75.000. In terms of recruitment I’m responsible for recruiting circa 16.000 hires annually. Approximately 2.000 contractors managed at one time. The key sectors I’m recruiting for are:

• Transport
• Utilities
• Energy
• Defence and Security
• Public Sector.”

You used to be head of sourcing at Capita. Now you are talking about nurture marketing. What made you change?

“Fundamentally my role is about talent generation – generating and engaging candidates across both attraction and sourcing channels. In order to develop an “attract in advance” capability we need to shift towards developing nurtured pipelines of talent that are relevant to the future hiring needs of our business. Whether it be through candidate marketing activity or through pro-active sourcing our intention is to build a database of relevant and engaged communities. In order for us to move away from having a database of candidates to talent pipelines it is essential for us to develop a content strategy that nurtures candidates through the pipeline.”

Is it one or the other in sourcing and recruitment marketing or do you think they complement each other?

“I think they absolutely complement each other. Our approach to building our engaged talent communities is a combination of candidate marketing activity via channels such as social media, programmatic, PPC and so on and pro-active sourcing/networking. In both scenarios our focus is on building valued relationships with candidates.”

You are currently also the innovation director at Capita. What innovation in TA are you most excited about?

“There are lot’s of innovative solutions that excite me at the moment – looking at the recruitment process there is an abundance of different SAAS providers across most stages of the process. I am particularly interested in sourcing automation using products like Pocket Recruiter and candidate nurture tools, such as candidate.ID, that help us to automate our content distribution and also track engagement levels.”

Do words have power?

How much power do words have? Via linguistic analyses, based on your choice of words, it’s possible to build a personality profile that’s pretty accurate. In order to prove it, TA-Live Partner TalentSwot is willing to let you test run their application for free here.

Have a chat with Debra, in Dutch or English, and ‘fake-apply’ to the position of HR manager at TalentSwot. Answer their questions, and do so as if you are really applying to the position. Because you can collect your personality profile at the TalentSwot booth at TA-Live. Remember, your profile is only accurate if you answer the questions honestly, like you would in a real application for a real job. TDuring the breakout session with Marco van Damme, TalentSwot will give you your profile and discuss the profiles and technology.

So chat with Debra and collect your profile at TalentSwot’s booth at TA-live.

Who is Recruit Robin?

Recruit Robin was one of the winners of the TA-Live start-up competitions and they will be interviewed on stage april 18th by Anna Ott. Since they are new, we’d thought we’d give them a chance to introduce themselves.

The elevator pitch: What do you do?

“Recruit Robin automates sourcing for recruiters by using A.I. that performs sourcing and pre-screening for them.”

What separates you from your competitors. What makes you unique?

“Since our automated tool only requires a job description, users do not require any sourcing knowledge such as boolean search or X-ray searching techniques to find relevant candidates.”

What is your ambition? Where do you see Recruit Robin in five years time?

“At Recruit Robin, we’re a big fan of Verne Harnish’s Rockefeller Habits 2.0. It states that everything between the next 90 days and your ultimate end goal is a wild guess. So, we find it hard to say where we want to be in five years.

Our end goal is to make “Robin” the first thing that comes to mind when you think about finding suitable candidates, just as Google is the first thing you think about when you’re thinking about finding answers on questions. In our terms, that means that 10.000.000 professionals should know us and we have a minimum of 200.000 active users.”

Our host Anna Ott will be interviewing you. She is involved with a HR tech investment fund and she’s one of the most knowledgeable people on HR Technology start-ups in Europe. If you could only ask her one question, what would that be?

“What is in your opion the biggest challenge to realize global adoption of Recruit Robin?”

And what is the question you are afraid she will ask you on stage?

“What is your retention rate? And how do you finance growth?”

Want to know if that question is going to be asked? You can find out on the 18th of April at Talent Acquisition Live.

Lights Cameras Interaction – Taking candidate interaction to a new level


Taking candidate interaction to a new level

The way we interact with relationships, strangers and products have evolved more over the last decade than arguably anytime in human history – with the advancement of our lives becoming digitized. Chris Raw, Client Services Lead & Product Strategist at jobpal, will tell you all about it. 

Interaction counts

In my last company, we defined interaction quality as a key driver for improving NPS. It helps candidates know that they are being dealt with on a basic level and delivers on a promise you invested in when you apply for a new role. Candidate experience is like trying on the clothes giving an insight into the type of employer experience you can expect. It’s all one journey right?!

When we communicate with a candidate we want to get them to a place where they can make a decision or commit. A call to action.

Most HR tech software allows a narrow line of communication. Some have better user experiences than others but the line of communication remains (for most employers) the same. Email. And there is nothing wrong with email, but with the rise of spam filters and GDPR, is it still a channel we solely rely on?

Can Conversational Interfaces (CI) fill in the blanks?

I believe they can. Especially after reading a great article on Social Media Today. stating that “messages sent via bots have much higher open and click-through rates than email. Conversational Interfaces (CI) can have click-through rates ranging from 15%-60%, and even the lower end of that spectrum well surpasses the average email marketing CTR (which is only about 4%)(Original source: Chatbot Magazine / Smart Insights).

I’m not here stating that chat platforms are the only way forward, quite the contrary. Conversational Interfaces and Email can work in harmony for the candidate. One catches the ball where the other channel did not. Surely when you put both together you enable that connection even further from employer to candidate.

If we are truly designing experiences around the star of our story (that’s the candidate by the way), we should bear in mind that not everyone is responsive to email or let alone using it as frequently as we can assume. After all, its usually a non-interaction from an ATS. A mere update sent from an autoresponder based on an action. Conversational Interface allows you to add another channel to take the burden of some of the tasks you would normally associate with email. What’s more, you extend the choice of the candidate to interact where they want. Choice in any experience is a key component. This is no truer than catering for candidates with a customer-centric mindset.

The bottom line, it’s not about your process – it’s enabling a journey that fits the diverse needs of the candidate.

Automating Interaction

We are already at the stage where we can automate parts of a hiring journey. Not only to please the candidate with seamless experience, but also take some of the burdens from the recruiter. When you can do this, you really focus on value add tasks like building better relations with the business and consulting / coaching candidates to be at the top of their game. Give your stakeholder what they actually want and need to make more commitment. Better relationships and more air-time.

Microtasks like the little bitty tasks that take average to high touch service. They are part of every recruiting step or touchpoint, the moments between the moments some might say. But often they are labelled as non-value add tasks? I’m not sure why. When I did my last Candidate Experience Journey Mapping Workshop for one of Europe’s largest eCommerce businesses, it was clear that candidates still expect excellence and execution in these steps. Seamless with no unintended gaps. Get these wrong and they quickly become a problem. It will completely kill the buzz of the experience your creating, leaving candidates to wander into other hiring avenues of companies who haven’t left them hanging on Stage HOLD.

Explore your use cases

Spending time figuring out where you might want to create more interaction could be areas like FAQs, opt-in, chat application, interview logistics or even pulse surveys. These use cases along with other microtasks are becoming more frequently explored by employers looking to engage candidates throughout the hiring process.  

Frequency & Recency  = Candidate Value

  • RecencyHow recently did the candidate interact?
  • FrequencyHow often do they interact?

Yes, I’ve borrowed that phrase and manipulated it somewhat from our friends in Direct Marketing, but knowing who is interacting with you, your content and at scale is a useful timesaver for your recruiting team.

With the gains on CTR mentioned above, perhaps conversational interfaces have an advantage on creating this candidate value based on frequency and recency of interaction? What’s more, we are now firmly in a phase where personalised experiences are even more possible than before. We can tailor the experience with chat on a personal level all based on unique interactions based on user query. That’s a real step up from Hi {FIRST NAME} ATS emails. And that’s if you were lucky enough to get one of those.

Efficiency is experience

The potential efficiency gains are real. Not only for your recruiter grey hair count, but also for the candidate experience. Gartner’s recent CHRO quarterly report said we are entering the age of the casual candidate. Automation of these microtasks with a sprinkle of relevant content can still create the commitment you need to fill your pipeline with great talent. Email is still going to be used for a long time yet, and chat might not replace that channel, but like any good partnership – one can help the other be more effective by giving choice to the candidate rather than a one size fits all approach.

Automating parts of your hiring experience will ultimately benefit not only the candidate but the way you have more impact where it matters.

In the end, everyone has a candidate experience – but we do have the power to decide whether it’s good, bad or ugly.


TA Managers in Germany: the vision of Judith Nguyen

As a Talent Acquisition manager you are responsible for the recruitment strategy. The nature of this process depends on the country or region you are located. In this series we will showcase this. Last time we talked about the Netherlands, but what does it look like in Germany? Judith Nguyen (IDAGIO) will tell you.

What do you want as a TA manager?

“My mission in life is to connect and inspire people, because so many great things can happen if the right synergies are created. In my role, it is my biggest passion to place the right people in the right company, creating the highest possible value for the business and the candidates. I love to learn about people, who they are, what they’re good at and what they don’t like.  So when someone tells me about themselves, I immediately think about who would benefit from knowing them and in which way I connect them with someone in order to bring them forward. Having something great come from a connection that I have established is a huge driver in my life.”

What do you miss?

“In life? In Talent Acquisition? I can tell you what I wish I had – a teleporting machine that could take me to all the great TA events all over the world.”

Which technology/tools do you use and what could or would you want to use?

“We’re currently using a great ATS, but all the interview coordination, for example, is still done manually. Often it’s a question of budget as well as being able to take the time to evaluate weather a new tool or a new technology makes sense, or not.”

What is your tip for other TA managers?

“Stay open, stay humble, stay hungry. If you’re tired, take a break. I stay humble by putting myself in the shoes of applicants and empathising with their experience. We’ve all been on the other side, so as long as we stay human, open-minded and friendly things should be ok.”

What does TA look like in your country?

“Working in Talent Acquisition in Berlin is super exciting! The city is buzzing with opportunities and it has been for a while now. There are meet ups about everything TA almost every evening. People care a lot about diversity and inclusion and simply really enjoy their work and want to learn more, even in their free time, after working hours. There is a lot of cooperation and support and great networks that you can become a part of, like the TA labs, organised by the people at Zalando and the amazing Matthias Schmeißer, or the Purple Squirrel Society, a HR association through which I have met so many fantastic people.”

Background of TA Managers in Germany

Based on data of The European Recruitment Dashboard we give an insight in the background of TA managers in Germany. We looked at the ratio men/women, age, work experience and experience abroad.

The 4 most common questions about recruitment analytics

OnRecruit is a recruitment analytics company like no other. Their platform helps organisations recruit much better by actually looking at the results of campaigns and helping them improve based on data. We asked Dirk Meeuws, their CTO & COO, what the 4 most common questions are asked by clients on the topic of data analytics and what his answers are.

1. I have the data, now what do I need to be successful with the data?

You need the right people to understand the data. Someone able to create meaningful and actionable insights from the data and who is able to make the connection between the data, the business and how they influence each other. You also need the right processes in place, to be able to gather the data and use it to improve your business. Last but not least, you need the right platforms to tie all the data together and have good overview of what is going on.

2. What is the technological landscape I need in order to be successful?

First, you need an ATS which heavily invests in a partner ecosystem. We see that these ATS-es understand that by making it easy for partners to partner with them, they can make their own ATS stronger. They also are the ones that are easier to integrate with. Second, you need a great website, which entails and empowers (potential) candidates to stay connected. Third, you need a great business intelligence dashboard to be able to report on your data and understand what is going on. And fourth, you need a great e-mailmarketing or chatbot platform, so you can stay in touch with your candidates in the database.

3. How do I create a data driven culture?

Make sure to balance detail with generics; really follow 80-20 methodology and be pragmatic. Make sure to have at least one data champion internally. Make one person per team responsible for the data for that team:
– Helping him/her understand the data within his/her dashboard
– Helping him/her change/create his/her dashboard
– Test & optimize new initiatives based on the gathered data

4. How do I improve the quality of my data?

It starts by making data quality an issue to begin with. Once you prioritized data quality, you need to have dedicated resources sanitizing and looking at your data. Constantly checking some key metrics to understand whether they really make sense. Understand and question both the input as well as the output. If the output isn’t what you expected it might be your expectations are wrong, but it could also be a mistake in the data model or the input data.

Want to know more? Go to the breakout of Dirk Meeuws at TA-Live, 18 april 2019 in Amsterdam.

Christoph Fellinger: “Stay close to your candidates emotions!’

Christoph Fellinger is head of strategic Talent Acquisition and early careers programs at Beiersdorf, probably best known for its NIVEA brand. He shares his role as the lead of the early careers eam with a parttime colleague in what the Dutch would call a duojob. The Early Careers team is covering the talent acquisition for our Headquarters in Hamburg, Germany for apprentices, dual students, interns, working students and the international graduate trainee program “BEYOND BORDERS”. The other 50% of his time he is the head of strategic Talent Acquisition. In Germany he’s known as one of the most tech savvy in house TA managers and he will be speaking at TA-Live in Amsterdam, April 18th.

Doing so many things, tell us, what does your average day look like?

“Having two jobs within the company means I am dealing with a broad range of topics on a daily basis: from discussing digital campaigning to driving applications for the programs to reworking our selection criteria and processes, coaching graduate trainees on an individual basis, advising TA colleagues worldwide on how to make best use of LinkedIn for their own recruitment and Employer Branding and yes – being there for the team of six wonderfully gifted colleagues, for their questions or proposals. Thankfully no day is the same, it feels more like changing wagons on a high-speed train every day.”

Beiersdorf is a big company with a very big brands, like Nivea that pretty much every Dutchmen will know, yet as a corporate brand it’s not that well known. Since you have an employer branding background, how do you use the strengths of your individual brands for the corporate employer brand?

“To be honest: this discrepancy between the high awareness of the brands and the very low awareness of the company is both a dream and my biggest nightmare. A nightmare as the name does ring a bell with only very, very few people. Seeing the logo or the name written in for example a result list of a job search has not the impact we’d like it to have. We are being confused with pharma companies, mistaken for medical supply firms or associated with some dull boring company. Which means that we HAVE to leverage the power of the brands to enter that stage of consideration in the candidate journey. Having said that we make sure to include brands in any visual we are using and brand names as close to the company name as possible. Let me give you an example: for us the job title “Business Controller” at Beiersdorf doesn’t do it – we list the job as “Business Controller NIVEA” even if this will never appear on the person’s business card. Same for InMailing candidates: it’s always “Would you like to work for NIVEA or Eucerin?” and not “…for Beiersdorf”. Thanks to the strength of our brands we have an almost 98% awareness (at least for NIVEA) and people generally are very sympathetic towards the brands. This is the dream I am incorporating in our Employer Branding.”

You don’t come from an HR background, you studied media management and worked at Universal music before moving to Beiersdorf. What lessons from the music industry do you still apply in Talent Acquisition?

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the music industry it’s being close to consumer’s emotions. People don’t join a company for purely rational reasons. At least not the ones that are going to be really engaged, which in the end are the ones we really want. Thus you have to build up an emotional bond even early on in the Talent Acquisition process and follow through. And I’d say that this is easier in Employer Branding and recruitment marketing than it is in the actual recruiting process with all the efficiency it also takes to run a recruiting team in a big company.”

Last but not least, you’ve been at Beiersdorf for over 15 years now. What makes it so unique?

“You get to play with the big ones even though you come from a small player. Our competition is way bigger than us, yet we are on eye level – sometimes even ahead of them. And this goes both for our brands and for our talent acquisition. You can only achieve this by having a highly collaborative attitude in the company and a high identification with its culture and brands. This spirit has carried me over the past years – and the fact that I have always been able to come forth with new, unprecedented ideas in my jobs.”

TA Managers in the Netherlands: the vision of Veronne van der Meijs

As a Talent Acquisition manager you are responsible for the recruitment strategy. The nature of this process depends on the country or region you are located. In this series we will showcase this. Last time we talked about Belgium, but what does it look like in the Netherlands? Veronne van der Meijs (Randstad Groep Nederland) will tell you.

What does Talent Acquisition look like in the Netherlands?

“Talent Acquisition is in the Netherlands an important extension of HR in which she takes her own role as business partner. In the last years it has become clear that recruitment and talent acquisisition, in the whole area, has been described as a specialism to meet the demands of the candidates and to make sure that you get talent. Organisations with an Angelsaksian culture have not always made this step. Here you risk recruitment being seen as ‘cv shifter’ instead of the first important step in the employee journey and as advisor and partner of the business.”

What do you want as TA manager?

“I want to support the people and my organisatie in realising their true potential. Talent Acquisition is the first step to happiness at work. Like offering the optimal candidate experience, recruiting a new colleague and friend, everything is important for happiness at work. That what makes you happy, you don’t want to lose.

As manager of the department Talent Acquisition I am responsible, together with my team, for attracting new talent, to connect talent and cherish them by letting them grow. Our team consists of passionate Talent Acquisition, recruitment marketeers and employer branding specialists. They are the faces and experts in their field, online and offline, and because of that they are a steady business partner for managers and ceo’s of our strong brands Randstad, Tempo-Team en Yacht. They are marketeer and ambassador of our wonderful brands and with our top vacancies we know how to get the best talents. We’re also looking at the potential of current employees and how we can help them take the next step in their carreer.

We strive everyday to get happy candidates and hiring managers to get a sustainable match for both parties. We need to make a lasting impact because of the technological changes and the candidate market which can change everyday. We see these changes as opportunities. The question is: how do we deal with change? How can digital innovation help us do our job better? Because if you want it, you can do everything tomorrow, right?”

Which technology do you use and what do you want to use?

“Data about the labour market, assessments, good websites. In short: everything that has to do with finding and connecting candidates, external as well as internal. Everything I want as a TA manager is there. My biggest wish: a tool that can 3D print real goal getters, top talent and other impossible wishes of hiring managers with one press on the button. Just because it’s easy.”

About which subject would you like to know more?

“How is technology going to support us in the future? We believe that tech makes it possible to enrich and increase the human touch, certainly in a world that gets digital more and more. That’s is why we’re thinking about questions like: how can VR and AR help us to give that warm handshake at a distance? How can technology helps us show what will happen on the labour market? What is really going to change in the different jobs in job placement service? In brief: I would like to get a crystal ball. Do you have one?”

We’re afraid not, but who knows… What is your tip for other TA managers?

“Make the goal less important now and then. Look at the purpose of your department and organisation. Think about how this purpose suits the people who work on the department and look what the purpose of your organisation brings the candidate. Don’t focus on data only, but connect the most important elements with each other and always stay connected with the wishes of your candidates, your own team and the hiring managers.”

Background of TA Managers in the Netherlands

Based on data of  The European Recruitment Dashboard we give an insight in the background of TA managers in the Netherlands. We looked at the ratio men/women, age, work experience and experience abroad.

Mees van Velzen: ‘We live in the golden age of recruitment’

Finding and connecting with the right candidates in these times of shortage is hard. Mees van Velzen (MrWork) thinks that we, on the contrary, live in the golden age of recruitment. He will tell more about this on TA-Live, but we wanted to see a glimpse of his presentation.

What are you gonna talk about at TA-Live?

“Our mission is: we make recruitment social. We believe that we live in the golden age of recruitment. This means that when companies recruit the right way they don’t suffer from shortage on the job market. But how do you do this? Nowadays you have a direct line with your target group via social media. Imagine that I told you 20 years ago: you can send everyone who works at the competitor a message. As a recruiter you would have gone mad of disbelief, but this is reality. The important thing is how you utilize this line the right way. If you have the right focus you can build a talent pool of people who really feel a connection with your company. Then you don’t have to depend on recruitment agencies and people will work longer for you, because they are intrinsically motivated.”

What is talent management for you?

“It’s a big concept. I think that companies should realise that they are actually naked and everyone can look inside. This means that you can form the dialogue with your target group the way you want and if you do it the right way, you will enter the golden age of recruitment. The recruitment process should be more social with the acknowledgement that we live in a new era.’

MrWork has offices in the Netherlands and the UK. Do you have plans to expand?

“Yes, the markt of Germany with a physical office is high on the agenda. Of course there a differences between countries. The Netherlands has a lot of startups and technology and we are ahead when it’s about employer brand. In the UK for example, this is different, because the traditional recruitment agencies have more power. They need to take more steps when it comes to thinking about how employer branding can be efficient for their recruitment strategy.

We are people that embrace new technologies quickly. When you look at LinkedIn, you will see that the Dutch are the most active community in the world. There is a lot of innovation here, but companies start abroad. We went to the UK, because their market is really interesting. We have the ambition to make sure that companies never experience shortage again, preferably worldwide.”

You say we are in the golden age of recruitment. What follows after?

“You have to know for each job who the next 3 to 10 candidates are who would be suitable. You have contact with them, even before the person who has the job now has left the company. This means you can be more strategically with your staff planning, which creates more flexibility on the job market. It is important that when we come in an economic downturn again you don’t have to build up your recruitment from scratch.”

What is your biggest challenge?

“We try to change the market in a way that companies realise that we live in a new age and adjust there recruitment strategy. That is a challenge on its own, because you’re dealing with traditional companies who have been doing the same for decades. It’s about a mindset that’s needs to change. We do this by having conversations and to achieve success, so the rest of the market will think: this is the way to go.”

Can you tell something about yourself that most people don’t know?

“What a lot of people don’t know is that – apart from the chance I saw in the market of consumers because of the rise of social media –  I founded MrWork, because I hate to apply for a job the traditional way. It’s hard to decide on an interview of half an hour if I want to spend a lot of my time at a company. That’s the advantage of founding your own company: you don’t have to deal with that anymore!”

The winners of the Startup Competition: the Disruptors and Recruit Robin

It was an exciting race, but the winners of the Startup Competition are known. The Disruptors and Recruit Robin are the winners of this years competition and will join us the 18th of April at Talent Acquisition Live.

The Disruptors

The Disruptors believe in disruption. Not to disturb but to get better, to grow. They think differently, they do differently. They challenge you and the organization. They put our fingers on the sore spots, on painful problems and assume simplicity instead of complexity. They offer a powerful approach that is necessary to be and remain relevant.

Recruit Robin

Let A.I. source for you. With Robin, you find qualified candidates fully automated, from multiple platforms and for multiple vacancies at the same time. Using Robin, anybody can find the best candidates everywhere while doing other activities in the meantime.

Partner package

The winners won a partner package worth €2000,- and will give a presentation during TA-Live. Go see them on the 18th of April and register here.

Copyright 2018-2019 - Digitaal-Werven & Werf& - All rights reserved