This is a project with the Guardian and the REC exploring the future of the recruitment industry.
From EU legislation to people’s personal identies and changing expectations of work, we aim to analyse the trends that will shape the context in which recruitment happens in the future.
We will be exploring how, in the light of these trends, the industry can respond to a series of key challenges, such as maximising its contribution to business success, improving people's experience of work, and playing a role in supporting diversity in the workplace.
We'll be bookmarking things that we read here.
The final report for the project is due to published and launched in April 2007.
If you are interested in getting involved with the project, just email Duncan O'Leary or Niamh Gallagher.
Intermediaries have become hugely important to us. They mediate many of our personal and professional relationships, providing us with new opportunities, guiding and shaping our choices. Advisers, experts and brokers tell us where to shop, who to do business with – and who to hire.
Robert Taylor argues that skills alone aren't enough: regulation is required to move to a high skills/wage economy. Suggests a higher minimum wage, more empowered unions, tax incentives and and the creative use of public-sector purchasing. Argues that there are many people overqualified/underused in their jobs, who consequently are are unsatisfied with work and feel no affinity/loyalty to their employers.
'COMPANIES that bid for multimillion-pound Government contracts will be rejected if they do not employ enough black and Asian workers, under new proposals seen by The Times. Three pilot schemes have been authorised with the support of Downing Street — the first time that “positive vetting” in procurement has been approved by a British Government. It follows the release of figures showing that people from ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be unemployed as the white majority.'
Identifies the 'employment penalty' for different groups in society. Highlights 'the discovery of new ways to differentiate human beings, such as genetic mapping, which hold out the prospect of new forms of discriminatory treatment and inequality' employers will increasingly need to turn to groups of potential workers hitherto less likely to be selected for jobs – women, those over 50, or people with a disability, for example.
Harvard Business School’s Rakesh Khurana argues that “we’re at a hinge point of American capitalism” - with new rules governing success. Number 5: OLD RULE: RANK YOUR PLAYERS; GO WITH THE A’S. NEW RULE: HIRE PASSIONATE PEOPLE. He argiues that the Jack Welch philosophy of "We want only A players. Don’t spend time trying to get C’s to be B’s. Move them out early" is outmoded. Cites Steve Jobs who emphasises that Apple hires only people who are passionate about what they do.
'First Direct, judged to be the number one bank in terms of customer service, explicitly hires ‘empathetic people’ – and interestingly, many former nurses and teachers can be found on the payroll. John Lewis Partnership speaks of the importance of recruiting partners who are experts – but as Patrick Lewis, their supply chain manager pointed out, ‘we need to be careful that people are experts in customers not products’. They recruit predominantly on attitude rather than experience'
Survey showing that that '77 per cent of [recruitment] agencies have seen identity papers and work permits they suspect to be false. Around three in 10 agencies found the Immigration Service’s reporting system unhelpful and nearly half (47%) felt that decisive action was not taken on the matter'
Focusses mainly on over 50s and women in the workforce - finding that there is an overall decline in job satisfaction for both both groups. Also argues that working practices in SMEs should be more of a concern for policymakers.
Employers are placing much more emphasis on the soft skills of school leavers, such as communication skills and work ethic, than on literacy and numeracy, according to new research. The latest CIPD/KPMG quarterly Labour Market Outlook, a survey of more than 1,400 UK employers, shows that the attributes that top employers' wish lists are communication skills, work ethic - the basic desire to do a good job - and personality.
Argues that the ubiquity of poor jobs is leading to low aspirations in education: 'As the labour market offers more and more low-paid, low-skilled and insecure employment, there seems to be a corresponding tit-for-tat between employer and employee about who can offer the other the least. "It's only a temporary position I'm afraid, with no hope of advancement." "Great. Sounds perfect for me, because I'm surly and I can't read."'
Perri 6 on the importance of networks in either offering/denying opportunity to individuals.
Demos collection on the hidden power of networks. Includes an article by Helen McCarthy which argues that 'Women’s networks represent a force for change and social agency with the potential to tackle persistent workplace inequalities . . .'
Argues that growing complexity means that a new model of regulation will be needed in the years to come. As governments seek to create public value through regulation (which is not restricted to market efficiency) in complex environments they should shift towards 'regulated self-regulation'.
Finds that the single largest method through which people secture employment in London is word of mouth.
England's education watchdog is looking to recruit more inspectors from ethnic minority groups. Currently 9% of Ofsted's staff are from ethnic minorities, compared with 8% for the civil service as a whole. The Racial equality scheme has been revised and published following a review and assessment of Ofsted’s functions and their relevance to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Summary of the new legislation
Really good summary of the list of tools + tactics created by Web 2.0...
Around 60% of employees are actively looking for new positions according to research by online learning provider SkillSoft. It found 59% of employees confess to checking job listings and job websites while at work and 19% have their details registered with a recruitment agency, headhunter or online job service. It found 41% already have an up-to-date CV ready to go.
Promotion and moving up the career ladder are the most important factors when searching for a job, according to a survey by recruitment agency Brook Street. Pay and benefits, the people you work with and location, also scored highly. However, surprisingly few said the company profile was an important aspect when job seeking.
"'The main constraint on the market's ability to increase the supply of corporate virtue is the market itself. There is a business case for CSR, but it is much less important or influential than many proponents of civil regulation believe', Vogel Writes. "If companies are serious about responsibility, as Vogel says, they need to do more than go 'beyond compliance' themselves; they need to push governments to raise compliance standards, level up the playing field and eliminate the free riders"
Tracks the CSR contributions (as a proportion of profits) of the
Google-stalking: Thanks to Google, it's not only easy, but perfectly acceptable to rummage around in the lives of ex-boyfriends, upcoming blind dates, long-lost acquaintances and perfect strangers.
'Something big changed over the past decade as a long trend of diminished privacy suddenly flipped to radical transparency...Today, that diary has become a MySpace page and the secret crush is the guy draped over the keg on her Facebook gallery'
"anonymity does not actually seem to interest many of the Web's most devoted users. They are the ones who start their own sites, or sign up for MySpace, or submit videos to YouTube. Quite the opposite: The most successful Web sites seem to be those where people can abandon anonymity and use the Internet to stake their claims as unique individuals."
"Call them The Transparent Generation. They're the first true children of the hyperconnected information age, and they were using the Internet before they could write cursive. Now they're starting to graduate college, ready to launch their careers as responsible, tax-paying young adults. And many of them are waking up to a nagging concern about their online trail... all created way they ever thought they might be Googled by a potential boss."
Interesting take on the privacy/transparency question around the internet and people's pasts. This one suggests that companies may make a virtue of this - giving individuals opportunities to create a 'google-trail' of positive achievements link to company brands.
More than three-fourths of executive recruiters surveyed said that they routinely use search engines like Google and Yahoo! to learn more about candidates. "Even more significant, 35 percent said they have eliminated a candidate from consideration based on information discovered online."
Writes: 'wouldn't we prefer that at least some law schools try to select good lawyers instead of good law students? This search for good lawyers, furthermore, is necessarily going to be subjective, because things like passion and engagement can't be measured as precisely as academic proficiency. Subjectivity in the admissions process is not just an occasion for discrimination; it is also, in better times, the only means available for giving us the social outcome we want'
Cites new study on 'workplace happiness index'. Lists factors that make us happy at work. Argues graduates are becoming more value-driven in their choices of where to work. Some good anecdotes too.
New report from the Tories' policy review. Floats the idea of 'responsibility deals', which reward/incentivise socially responsible businesses with lighter regulatory burdens.
Good bank of stats on recruitment from ONS.
Chris Anderson argues that if you break the economic and physical bottlenecks of distribution you can reach a huge, previously neglected market. 'Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream' Anderson says this is made possible when demand is unfiltered by the economics of scarcity - allowing lots niche hits rather than just the mainstream blockbusters.
good cipd resource on the psychological contract.