In a week where a budget U-turn created a lot of heat in the recruitment industry, we thought it would be a good time to bring some light to the Chancellor’s budget decisions, and how they affect recruitment, both permanent and temporary.
The U-turn was on NICs, of course and was welcomed by many lobbyists for the self-employed, but increasing National Insurance wasn’t the only impact that the 2017 budget had on recruitment, and a couple of less headline-worthy issues may definitely change the way the UK recruitment industry operates.
The Chancellor announced that the dividend tax allowance of £5,000 per annum will be cut to £2,000 from April 2018 and this applies to every taxpayer, not just single directors of shareholder companies. This was the only firm conclusion from the government’s announcement that the 2017 budget would include consultations on employee expenses and the taxation of benefits in kind. While these consultations are still up in the air, it’s certain that recruitment agency software will need to demonstrate high transparency to ensure that problems do not arise with HMRC in future.
Even more important, employment software will need to distinguish clearly between employees and self-employed workers from the applicant tracking system stage, right through the recruitment system, to avoid attracting HMRC attention. This has been highlighted by the fact that while there were no IR35 announcements, there is still the possibility that government will choose to extend the new provisions relating to off-payroll employees in the public sector which take effect on 6 April 2017. This would lead to a substantial demand for recruitment software to be transparent about the employment status of all employees within an organisation.
In a week when the British Hospitality Association claimed that businesses like restaurants and hotels could close if government ministers don’t allow staff from EU companies to remain in the jobs, the construction industry has also highlighted concerns about a hard Brexit and labour. Of 2,000 firms surveyed, 84% said EU construction workers should have free movement when the deal was struck. Construction industry recruitment platforms are highlighting how few British people wish to work in construction with 9% of parents saying they would actively discourage their child from taking a job in the building industry.
Whatever the Brexit negotiations produce, online recruitment software will need to be flexible and scaleable to ensure that those using it are able to clearly differentiate many streams within their staffing software. This is a requirement not merely for taxation purposes, or to ensure that Brexit provisions are met, but to allow rapid employment decisions to be made with a complete picture of the candidate, their skills and experience and how they will fit into the hiring organisation, whether temporarily or permanently. Without such adaptability, British firms are likely to find they are hit by a double whammy – slow recruitment processes may cost them the best candidates while non-transparent recruitment systems could draw unwelcome attention from HMRC.
Technology is projected to be the big trend in recruitment in 2017 and recruiting volumes in this area are predicted to rise. In 2017 the UK alone is looking at a 58% increase in hiring.
Wireless technology markets are experiencing a degree of change – while industry regulation in the USA is still allowing operators to charge higher prices that permit capital to be raised for network upgrades and innovation, in other markets commodification is well advanced, changing the nature of the offering and requiring a different approach to basic delivery. Increased pressure as telecoms operators fight for subscribers means that focus is moving steadily from brand identity to delivery metrics with broadband speeds, customer service responses and reliability changing the nature of recruitment in the industry and reducing out top end positions such as marketing and strategy whilst increasing demand for temp and fixed contract professionals working in the infrastructure, engineering and customer service areas.
Financial industry recruiting is also going through a turbulent period, with uncertainty over Brexit impacting not just British-based financial organisations but extending into European markets. Shanghai and Hong Kong, both major international finance markets, are also expected to have high recruitment needs, with short term contracts becoming attractive both to recruiters seeking the right skills in a rapidly changing environment and applicants wanting a limited commitment while they assess industry developments.
Nearly 80% of jobseekers are choosing social media for their job search, with over 45% of them using their mobile to look for work every day. Recruitment software needs to keep pace with social media activity, particularly when it comes to applicant tracking systems – as a fluid workforce with a gig economy mentality looks for work that is not only financially rewarding but fulfilling, rapid response recruitment systems will win favour with applicants and employers alike.
Staffing software that stays on top of industry changes will be a vital contribution both inside recruitment agencies and for HR departments where staffing requirements can easily slip from effective management to firefighting if their recruiting platform doesn’t keep pace with demand.
Cloud based recruitment software is having a big impact where industry demand changes rapidly, and wireless telecoms is a perfect example of how the right recruitment system can balance in-house expertise, short term contract employees for strictly defined projects and temporary staff when demand surges or external conditions make quick hiring a necessity.
As businesses, large and small, ride a wave of uncertainty about the short term future, their recruitment needs will best be met by opting for flexible recruitment software that can be scaled to business need. Key requirements include:
To start the year off with a bang, we’ve released the following improvements to Recruit So Simple:
As usual, all of these improvements came from user feedback. Our development team has already started working on the next lot of improvements to our online recruitment software. Let’s see how many recruitment agencies we can help in 2017 by making it easier for them to get business done!
Our development team has just launched another update which includes these improvements:
Feedback so far has been amazing, all of these improvements had been requested by our customers. We always listen and base our development of the recruitment system around what you need to make your job easier.
Our team is now busy working on the next improvements to our recruitment software which will be released shortly.
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes on improvements to Recruit So Simple which have now been released to users, they include:
Our development team has already begun on the next lot of improvements to the system which are due to be released in the next few weeks. Changes to our recruitment software are driven entirely by user feedback, which is so important in helping us make Recruit So Simple even more feature-packed and easier to use.
When we sell applicant tracking software (ATS) to customers we spend a lot of time making sure they get exactly what they need – our combined decades in software development give us a lot of insight into what clients need from applicant tracking.
They always have questions about how our applicant tracking software will speed things up and the answer is twofold – first it’s an efficient system for finding evaluating and interviewing talent, second it improves the experience for candidates, making you a popular company to apply to. In the long term, ATS gives you a better profile as an organisation as well as a better chance of sourcing and bringing on board the best talent.
Then there are the questions we need to ask them:
Funnily enough, there are a few questions that we would love our clients to ask, but they rarely do. Maybe they think such questions would be silly, or that they aren’t important, but neither of those things are true – here are the three questions we wish everybody would ask of their provider before investing in an applicant tracking system for their business:
Complicated software should be a contradiction in terms, but it’s not. Far too many software designers think that complicated = good. We don’t. We think simple = good, and we work hard to ensure our software is simple, intuitive, straightforward and easy. Isn’t recruitment complicated enough, without increasing the hard work with a layer of demanding, difficult software?
Okay, it won’t take inches off your hips or deal with a beer belly, but Recruit So Simple has always believed that software should look good as well as do a good job. We make sure that the design is intuitive and the layout stunning, so that from the moment you sit down at the screen, you instinctively know how to use our system. From there it’s just a step to falling in love with our software and we’re sure you will … because you’re going to get on so well together!
This is the question that separates us from our competition. Because we have a one word answer. None. Or, if you prefer, a two word answer, absolutely none! Every feature is included in the price and we don’t expect you to pay for any additional features or upgrades. Not now, not ever.
We spend a lot of time designing software for recruitment agencies – and as a result, we know a lot about why some recruitment consultancies thrive and others barely make a living, or even fail, and that’s why we design our software to ensure that we’re contributing to the success of our clients.
Recruitment is a challenging industry and the demand to multi-task is one of the most complex challenges of all. Moving from candidate to candidate, handling phone calls and social media, getting out on the road to understand what your clients want, billing, checking contracts, searching resumes, managing payroll … when you write it down, it’s pretty daunting! Software should make this kind of challenge easy, by being available on the move, on mobiles and online, so that your consultants can find the right balance between candidates and clients, billing and interviewing, responding and initiating. We’re proud to say we’ve got a handle on multitasking that rival recruitment agency software systems can’t begin to match.
Whilst dealing with clients often gets priority (and we’re coming to that) candidate experience is vital to success in the recruitment industry. In a hirer’s market, the best candidates can easily pick and choose what agencies to work with, and they always choose the ones that treat them well and provide good opportunities. That means your recruitment agency software has to offer CV parsing that’s second to none, because sending candidates for interviews where they don’t match the job spec is a sure-fire way to lose their loyalty. It also means keeping in touch with them regularly, so they know they are important to you – a social media component to your recruiting software is vital for this. At Recruit So Simple we build all our software with engagement at the heart, not off to the side, so nothing could be simpler than connecting with your candidates where they are most likely to be found – on social media.
Whilst candidate handling is pretty touchy-feely, let’s be honest about the cold hard facts of the recruitment industry. There is only so much candidate talent to go around – and every agency is competing to get the talent to the client. An effective Applicant Tracking System and a state of the art Customer Relationship Management function will combine to ensure that you can prove when you sent a CV to a client and when you contacted a candidate to tell them about a vacancy – it means the results of your hard work don’t end up in the pockets of some opportunistic agency that’s poached into your territory. We know it’s the agencies that stay on top of their ATS and CRM that get the fees … and we make it easy for them to be the winners.
Nobody ever doubts that clients are the life blood of a recruitment consultancy. Every recruitment agency needs clients that come back over and over again. What makes them do that? They need to have a superb client experience – the best candidates for each position, presented as comprehensively as possible, in a timely fashion, and with simple billing is just the beginning. Beyond that, managing the client relationship is crucial to success, and staying in touch and monitoring social media are also essential. Keeping in touch with clients using an inbuilt calendar means you can offer them the support they need before they even think they need it – so that you’re not the agency of choice, but the agency that does the choosing.
Part 2 of the Spring Update has finally arrived. This update contains various small improvements to the system, but the main purpose is to roll out huge backend changes to support the new reporting system.
Some of the highlights include:
We’re currently in the process of developing the third and final part of the spring update. We’re committed to maintaining Recruit So Simple as the UK’s leading online recruitment software product.
Here’s a question we get asked a lot. ‘Why does my agency/my department need specialist recruitment software?’ There are a dozen different answers, and these are just the top three:
But there’s an additional consideration, which has just been reported on by Cambridge University’s Psychometrics research centre. Computers may actually be better at predicting personality than individuals. Yes, this study claims that Facebook likes can be used by specialist software programmes to create a more accurate picture of an individual’s personality than friends can produce!
So, what does this mean for recruitment? Well a couple of things:
The ability of software to predict candidate matches is undoubted – the speed with which it can do so is impressive – so why do we need recruitment consultants/HR personnel?
That’s easy to answer – there’s one thing that no software, no matter how sophisticated, can yet do. It can’t assess the intuitive nature of what makes two individuals click together. That requires something that no computer yet possesses, and may never possess, the amazing ability to know that despite all evidence to the contrary, an individual is just right for a position. The human capacity to form these intuitive judgements is based on knowledge – of the client or company, of the individuals involved, and of the broad nature of the industry, region and competitiveness of the position.
Providing this perfect blend of sophisticated and responsive software to support intuitive broad judgements is our job – we focus on ensuring our clients get the best software to allow them to recruit the best people … it’s that simple!
We’re really excited to launch quite a big update to Recruit So Simple today. Some of the highlights include:
The full list of improvements can be viewed by logging into the system.
So far the feedback has been amazing, and we’re already hard at work on the next set of updates to the recruitment system. We’re committed to maintaining Recruit So Simple as the UK’s leading online recruitment software product.Next Page »