Recruitment agencies as data collection hubs?

August 7th, 2018 | Industry News

In a major new development, MPs are thinking of asking recruitment agencies to take responsibility for collecting data about the exclusion of older people from the UK workforce. This is the result of a report from the Women and Equalities Committee which says that over a million fifty-plus people are unemployed and willing to work. Members of Parliament are hoping that using recruitment software UK wide, will show them were there are gaps in recruitment that could be addressed.

Not all recruiting software will be equal to the task, and the idea of ‘reporting age profiles for the work force’ would have to be handled sensitively. There are three areas of concern: prejudice, unconscious bias and ‘casual ageism’, all of which are not only unlawful but can limit the candidate pool for vacancies, depriving the employer of the most diverse range of candidates.

Several recruitment consultancies have expressed concern that their online recruitment software could be misused to ‘profile’ employers who have a lower than usual rate of employment of older people. On the other hand, it’s suggested that employers who don’t make changes to incorporate older workers throughout the workforce could be left behind, especially as younger workers will be expecting to work for longer than their parents did, meaning the workforce is automatically going to become ‘older’.

Careers at sea

The Norwegian Seafarers Union (NSU) has also suggested that data collection may be crucial to the future of the cruise line industry. New ships require skilled crew members who can master technological advances with ease, but seafaring is a demanding career and one that has traditionally been largely reserved for men. The NSU believes that the largest pool of talent available to the cruise lines is women – who are substantially underrepresented at sea.

The Catch 22 for women is that while they may have the technical qualifications but not the requisite sea time to obtain and maintain the maritime licences essential to make progress in the industry and at the same time the industry is struggling to recruit for senior technical roles in those areas.

Recruitment agency software can help struggling sectors to find the balance between hiring younger and less experienced people and training them up, and applying recruitment CRM software to recognise and bridge career gaps like raising children or caring for older relatives through using continuing personal development as women have to take ‘sea breaks’ that leave them ashore but still available as an industry resource.