Technology within Executive Search

For many in Executive Search, it may feel like the sector hasn’t changed much at all for years, but whilst the traditional aspects of sourcing top-level talent remain the same, the way in which Executive Search is performed in 2019 is massively changing.

It seems that each month, Executive Search firms are finding new and innovative ways of matching candidates to ideal positions and whilst technology has obviously played a major part in that development, areas such as coaching, board advisory, and succession planning help massively.

The disruption of the digital economy and the prevalence of advancing tech platforms has led to the creation of new and innovative leadership roles within various key sectors. However, as new and agile talent becomes the target of the executive search function, more recruiters are depending on their technology and historical data when fitting candidates with such intricate skillsets.

Many firms are bundling offerings as part of their recruitment process to ensure that they discover the best talent possible for senior leadership roles – with the aim of helping the client enhance its talent selection and aid in candidate development post-role acceptance.

Joe Chappell, Managing Director of Global Marketing and Communications at Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants recently told Forbes: “Technology has impacted every aspect of search especially in finding top talent and assessment. Current assessment techniques are more sophisticated with a suite of technology-based tools combined with in-depth interviewing, role-playing, case studies and situational responses evaluated by seasoned experts.”

He continues: “Clients are now looking to search firms as strategic advisors who provide counsel on a broader basis, including assessing leadership teams, advising boards on their effectiveness, succession planning, and culture shaping. The profession, just as the industries it serves, now requires much more agility. In a fast-paced, ever-shifting business climate accelerated by technology, we have to be at the forefront to best serve our clients with expert advice and insights.”

So, is technology the way forward? Should all executive search firms be adapting the new digital age?

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The benefits of encouraging our staff to walk or cycle to work

According to research by social enterprise organisation, Free2cycle, more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents believe that employers can make allowances to help encourage employees to have a more active commute.

The survey of 2,000 UK individuals highlighted initiatives such as introducing flexible start times, providing access to changing facilities and offering incentives for equipment, such as cycle to work schemes.

The research also found that of those surveyed:

22% do not walk or cycle on their commute to work, for reasons such as not having access to the appropriate facilities to get changed afterwards or feeling uncomfortable with their colleagues seeing them in their activewear or following exercise.

12% do not walk or cycle to work due to financial reasons, citing the expense of purchasing a bike to be too high for them.

26% who travel to work by car, motorbike or public transport feel stressed by their commute, compared to the 9% who walk or cycle.

Eric Craig, chief executive officer at Free2cycle, said: “Our research shows that those who choose a more active journey feel less stressed by their trip to work and, are more productive than other commuters. This is because employees are more productive when they are fitter. Employees are also better in themselves; which in turn reduces the likelihood of sick days. Making commuting part of a regular exercise routine can make staff happier, smarter and more energetic, while also being good for mental health.”

Based on this study, it is clear that having an active commute is a great way to improve employee’s health and wellbeing as well as benefiting the environment. However, in many circumstances, without the support of employers in regards to the provision of facilities and initiatives to switch to a more active commute, a large percentage of the nation is continuing to find their daily journey physically and mentally straining.

UK employers are responsible for leading a change in prioritising the health and wellbeing of their teams, and for this to be successful, they should include considering how they get to and from work.

With Spring upon us, what better time to encourage your staff to swap their stress-inducing commute for one that benefits both employee and employer …

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How much do employers rely on expensive temp solutions in the run-up to the new financial year?

As we move into the new financial year, employers throughout the UK have been busy preparing their budgets for the next 12 months. As we enter the final days of the current financial year, how have demands on recruitment changed? Have companies been scrambling to complete projects, therefore requiring additional staff? How lucrative is this time for recruitment and talent professionals?

One of the points made in an article by Agency Central centred around the financial element to recruiters. If employers out there need extra staff to ensure projects are completed, or budgets and targets are met before the start of the new financial year, the extra demand can push up costs.

Companies don’t necessarily need permanent staff to work on long-term projects. Instead, the need is for employees who can work in a temporary capacity for a short amount of time, in order to fulfil requirements before the end of the financial year.

We see the requirements within the contracting market soar, with recruiters working to make sure clients are satisfied and making sure that temporary candidates, in particular, are ready to work at short notice.

To avoid the inevitable costs next year, perhaps employers should begin looking at a proactive solution to ensure they can utilise the last of their budgets. For instance, building a network of reliable contractors or even putting some budget aside for what will be an inevitable cost come March.

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The power of Predictive Analytics in Hiring

In an ever-increasing corporate landscape, making quality hires is critically important for organisations looking to improve their bottom line.

To reduce the occurrence of bad hires, a growing number of businesses are turning to predictive analytics and big data. Using algorithms to analyse past and current data, these businesses more effectively can predict and adapt to future trends.

Predictive analytics in hiring is shifting the paradigm of hiring decisions away from resumes and traditional metrics and towards data-driven analysis and advanced simulations.

There are a broad range of applications of predictive analytics for hiring and staffing. In addition to helping identify the best talent, analytics can be used for talent pipeline planning. By leveraging macroeconomic data, organisations can better allocate resources. For example, a business might use such insights to identify the best geographical locations to invest into recruitment campaigns looking to attract candidates with a specific skill.

Additionally, data-driven recruiting and hiring help overcome bias, one of the biggest flaws in the human element of hiring. Though the vast majority of businesses and recruiters have no intention of exhibiting bias in their decision-making processes, many forms of bias can sub-consciously affect the hiring process nonetheless.

The impact of hiring decisions is extremely significant. Bad hires can result in legal risks, are very costly, and can damage overall morale. By contrast, good hires enhance productivity and are a cornerstone or an organisational growth strategy. Leveraging the power of predictive analytics empowers today’s leading businesses to hire with greater confidence and achieve better results.

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HorrexCole sponsor “Best Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment Strategy” award at The FIRM Awards 2019.

Thursday 21st March 2019 marks The FIRM’s Awards 2019 and HorrexCole have the pleasure of being a sponsor of the Best Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment Strategy award.

The FIRM Awards were established in 2013 to celebrate the very best of in-house recruitment excellence, innovation and best practice. They act as an inspiration to fellow members of The FIRM, setting the standard for in-house recruiters and provide an opportunity for their members to recognise the achievements of their peers in a prestigious and inspiring environment.

“For our members The FIRM Awards are a fantastic way to recognise and celebrate the pioneers in our industry. They are also a great way for a recruitment leader to recognise the hard work of their team and look back and celebrate together” Emma Mirrington, The FIRM, Director.

So, who’s nominated within our sponsored category?

The Best Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment Strategy Award Finalists are…

  • BD
  • Capgemini (supported by Pink Squid)
  • Expedia Group
  • Heathrow Airport (supported by Amberjack)
  • Sodexo UK & Ireland – (supported by TribePad)

To find out more about this event and to see the other finalists please visit –

Work-life balance, what’s the secret?

Work-life balance, it’s something we all aim to achieve for ourselves. Finding that perfect blend of career development and ensuring we pay enough time and attention to our personal lives. It’s easy to give in to the temptation of checking our emails whilst relaxing at home or finishing up some administration that you just didn’t have time to do last thing on a Friday. However, it is important that our work life doesn’t encroach on the time set out to focus on ourselves.

Almost half of UK workers (47%) spend the majority of their time feeling overwhelmed by their workloads, while 85% say that work is causing them stress, according to research from employee experience company Qualtrics. The Qualtrics Employee Pulse – a quarterly survey of more than 4,000 employees – highlights the impact of burgeoning workloads on today’s workforce and reveals better support from businesses is needed to ensure the mental wellbeing of staff.

So how do we achieve the perfect balance of both?

  1. Prioritise your work tasks – ensure tasks that will be on your mind over the weekend are completed first and that any other tasks you may not have time to do, can wait until you are back in.
  2. Structure time at work – create a “to-do” list each evening for the next day and cross each task off as you go.
  3. Take breaks during the day – it’s really easy to sit and eat lunch at your desk, however it’s proven that short spells away from your work station throughout the day, can really revitalise your mind.
  4. Make the most of annual leave – take the holiday, even if you aren’t planning an exotic trip! A day of doing the things you love outside of work can make the world of difference.
  5. Finally, leveraging technology to work smarter – Use technology to work smarter and increase productivity.

Some employers are trialling a 4-day week to monitor productivity, absenteeism and many employers taking a vested interest in their employee’s wellbeing (this is early days but it will be interesting to see the results at the end of 2019).

One thing is for sure stepping away from your desk, taking all of your allocated annual leave and mirror the focus you place on your career development into your own personal objectives will have an overall positive impact on your wellbeing.

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LGBT History Month

February marks the beginning of LGBT history month (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans). A month since 2005 where we celebrate and acknowledge the contribution made by the LGBT community in the UK and reflect on their history and culture.

Discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation has been illegal since 2003, and was aligned with protection for some Trans individuals, religious identity and other protected characteristics in the 2010 Equality Act.

Much research has taken place over the years but  Stonewall in 2018 found that:

  • Almost one in five LGBT staff (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they’re LGBT.
  • One in eight trans people (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans.
  • One in ten black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT staff (10 per cent) have similarly been physically attacked because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, compared to three per cent of white LGBT staff.
  • Almost one in five LGBT people (18 per cent) who were looking for work said they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity while trying to get a job in the last year.
  • One in eight black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees (12 per cent) have lost a job in the last year because of being LGBT, compared to four per cent of white LGBT staff.
  • Almost two in five bi people (38 per cent) aren’t out to anyone at work about their sexual orientation.
  • More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination.
  • One in eight lesbian, gay and bi people (12 per cent) wouldn’t feel confident reporting any homophobic or biphobic bullying to their employer. One in five trans people (21 per cent) wouldn’t report transphobic bullying in the workplace.
  • Almost a third of non-binary people (31 per cent) and one in five trans people (18 per cent) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.

For this reason, it is important that equality and diversity work is not seen as an ‘add-on’ to the HR function but seen as a fundamental part of it to develop safe, supportive and productive workplaces. We won’t be surprised to learn that 82% of LGBT employees that work for a supportive organisation are committed to the company values and an enhanced length of service.

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Poor mental health affects half of all employees, according to a survey of 44,000 people carried out by the mental health charity Mind

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed at certain times, being under pressure is a normal part of life.  However, becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

The day to day demands and pressures of work should not be a barrier to good mental health.  There are lots of things we experience at work that can trigger stress, for example, long hours, uncontrollable workloads and difficult interpersonal relationships to name a few.

Organisations need to put as much importance to mental health of their workforce as they would to physical health.  This means ensuring that good practice spreads through every layer of their organisation.  Whether a larger or smaller organisation mental health should be seen not as a drain on resources but as a positive investment on the wellbeing of their staff.

A survey of 2,000 people for Investors in People has found three in five believed their mental health had been negatively affected by their work, while only a third said their mental wellbeing was supported by their employer.

Some tips include:

  • Supportive Culture – Fostering a culture where praise and feedback is regularly given and where there is always room to allow for areas of development.
  • Regular checks – Regularly assess the wellbeing of your staff, recognising the factors affecting staff mental wellbeing and encouraging communication to establish positive morale and increase in productivity.
  • Clear roles – Supporting staff to have a clear understanding of objectives and providing opportunities for learning and development.
  • Train in Mental Health – Build confidence in dealing with mental health by attending relevant courses so we get familiarised with mental health support options and how to best deal with their staff.
  • Regular Feedback – Remembering that we are all individuals and require different levels of support, therefore, communication and a better understanding of the needs of individual team members is imperative.

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What makes your staff tick?

With so many rapidly growing and fast-paced businesses across the globe it is easy to miss your employee’s hard work and commitment. Over 60-70% of the population on average spend more than 37 hours a week at work and 51% of employees are not satisfied with the recognition that they receive.

Employers providing praise and recognition of their employee’s can have a real positive impact on an employees performance, engagement and overall attitude towards business.

Here’s why!

  • Increased individual productivity – the act of recognising the desired behaviour increases the repetition of the desired behaviour, and therefore productivity.
  • Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
  • Teamwork between employees is enhanced.
  • Retention of quality employees increases – lower employee turnover.
  • Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.

Do company benefits and recognition, come under the same category? The answer is no!

Company benefits are offered to every employee not as an individual. Company benefits are recognised as “work perks” such as; gym memberships, car allowances, healthcare policies, social outings, free beverages etc. These are great to keep employees on board and certainly, a way to win over if you are recruiting, however, recognition is an individual reward to appreciate one person’s hard work that they bring to your the business daily.

Whether it be an individual contribution for achieving a career milestone, exceeding a performance goal, or saying “thank you” for a job well-done let’s speak up and recognise the commitment of your workforce.

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3 Simple Ways to Encourage Stress Awareness

Stress is part and parcel with being human.

When we experience stress, it is our body’s natural fight or flight response which is triggered in order to respond to the stimulus causing us unease. It is an automatic response which is innate, but as we have evolved, we have learnt to adapt the ways we respond to stress. Though experiencing raised levels of stress over long repeated periods of time is something as humans we have yet to adapt to. Elevated levels of cortisol caused by stress can have devastating long-term effects, leading to:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Lower immunity
  • Poorer cognitive functions
  • Reduced bone density
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack

Work is one of the top causes of stress in our adult lives, and it is estimated that where 595,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2017/18 with 15.4 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety, this figure set to rise exponentially over the coming years.

Working environments are met with a myriad of stress causing stimuli such as tight deadlines, multiple demands from numerous stakeholders, lack of managerial support, the list really does go on.

As managers, leaders, directors, employers, we have a duty to our teams to reduce the impact of stress, and below is listed 3 simple methods we can all employ to support stress reduction:

1. Mental Health Ally’s

Within teams’ train points of contact on mental health first aid. That way there is always an ally for those who may be suffering the ill effects of stress. By promoting mental health ally’s, you are forming a network of support internally.

2. Encourage and Embrace

Encourage a working culture that understands stress, and embraces solutions offered by staff to support the combating of stress. Never belittle someone else’s experiences, we are all different and cope in situations very subjectively. Embrace that difference and offer your support.

Through opening dialogue and awareness about mental health, in turn, you will create a more inclusive culture of understanding.

3. Listen up and Support!

Seems simple but listen – Unfortunately, we are often not always mindful of others’ experiences. Therefore, we must be aware in the ways we respond to individuals who confide in us and always engage better language etiquette.

Phrases such as “Just pull yourself together” “Just stay calm” offer no solution to what that person is going through. Ask how you can be of help or how you can support.