TALiNT International June 2022

Page 1

The CV

Is it time to scrap it?

The power of the possible

Look to the horizon

Future trends in the TA space

Optimising tech to transform recruitment



TALiNT International June 2022



TALiNT International June 2022


From the Editor For want of not sounding old (what’s old anyway?) time really does fly. We’re half through the year, the summer solstice has come and gone and before we know it, winter darkness will be upon us again. But let’s focus on the good, shall we? Because there is lots of that. At the time of writing, I’m sat on the train back to the country from magnificent London having attended the TALiNT Partners Talent Solutions Leaders Lunch. It was held at Sea Containers with views of Saint Paul’s across the Thames and The Shard. The sky wasn’t completely blue, but neither was the conversation and I’m reminded once again that TALiNT Partners really does have a knack of getting the best in the business around a table to talk about pertinent trends. Hot topics discussed were the spike in hiring numbers, a solid shift towards hiring for skills and how clients are now demanding a more agile approach to recruiting. Do have a look at TALiNT Scene on page 6. If you’d like to be part of these informative insight-sharing events, have a look here.

About TALiNT Partners TALiNT Partners brings together a global network of leading employers and solution providers to make better talent and technology decisions by providing intelligence, insight and peer-to-peer networking that drives quality, innovation and improves inclusion across the talent ecosystem.

In the spirit of positivity, at TALiNT Partners we’re in the throes of Awards Season and we are thrilled to announce the winners of the TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US, as well as the finalists for this year’s TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe. The entries across the board were of exceptional quality and it’s an absolute pleasure to celebrate the teams who are implementing incredible solutions in this dynamic industry. Our cover story this issue is based on a topic that has been raised at every single TALiNT Partners event that I’ve attended in the last few months – the Office Value Proposition. There seems to be another shift in the way we work with many employers wanting their workforce to return to in-person working. It’s sure to be a tough road to navigate with staff firmly entrenched in remote/ hybrid working models. So what are employers doing to entice their staff back to the office?

Published by Talent Intelligence Partners Ltd Casa Court Great George Street Godalming GU71DX www.talintpartners.com Editorial, news and features: debbie@talintpartners.com Advertising and sponsorship: andy@talintpartners.com Design: annabelle@talintpartners.com TALiNT International June 2022



Power of the possible

Contents 06 10

TALiNT Scene

14 20 30

Office Value Proposition

40 46 44 48 52 58 64

Power of the possible



See and be seen at TALiNT Partners in-person events

News analysis

10. FTSE100 overlook neurodiversity and disability 11. Hybrid working: The financial benefit 12. Unlimited leave days?

How are employers enticing staff back to the office?

Robert Newry

Anna Dick

Clair Bush

Louise Shaw

Liz Freedman

Alex Bates

Chris Kendrick

Darren Topping

Emma James

Eileen Moloney

Arctic Shores


formerly at Hiring Hub

Omni RMS

Who has the upper hand?

Contractual obligations & legal requirements in the return to office working

Look to the horizon

TA teams discuss future trends

Mercury TALiNT Virtual Workshop

Honest Conversations

Learning Technologies Group (LTG) plce




Liz Freedman interview

Time to dump the CV?

The Benchmark Report

The employer brand and candidate attraction

TIARA TS Awards Europe Finalists announced

The Solutionists

Winners of the TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US


Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners has the last word TALiNT International June 2022

JMW Solicitors LLP


20 Who has the upper hand?

Scrap the CV

TALiNT International June 2022


TALiNT Scene 24

We’d like to think we’re the ‘who’s who’ who grace the pages of Vogue, but we’re not… But our guests and sponsors are however the who’s who of the talent eco-system and we count ourselves lucky to sit with them round tables to discuss key industry trends and share insights…

24 June

On Friday 24th of June, TALiNT Partners and Cornerstone hosted a Talent Solutions Leaders Lunch at Sea Containers in London. The views were magnificent, the weather played along and the company was lively. The interactive panel discussion format before lunch was highly stimulating and the guests engaged in insightful and interesting conversation around key trends being seen in the market. The panellists were: Lindsay Harrison, Chief Customer Office at Rullion; Katrina Hutchinson O’Neill, CEO and joint founder of Join Talent; Simon Bradberry VP 6

TALiNT International June 2022

of Operations and BD, EMEA at Allegis Global Solutions and Andrew Brown, Director, RPO and Recruiting at Cornerstone. It is also worth noting that the companies represented in the room are responsible for hundreds of thousands of hires in the UK each year so when they talk about trends, it probably makes sense to pay attention. One of the key trends highlighted was the acceleration of organisations increasingly hiring for skills rather than experience. Guests agreed that this now has more

momentum than ever before and will have profound implications for how talent is acquired and not least for the traditional staffing/agency sector. Hiring volumes are still strong with no signs yet of slowing, with our panellists Lindsay and Katrina in total agreement. Lindsay also noted that clients increasingly expecting far more agile approach to recruitment. Simon’s view is that moves to a more holistic hiring process (i.e. versions of the Universal Workforce Model) are clearly happening and the key will be how quickly momentum towards this builds, not least given the complexities of the relationship between procurement and HR/hiring and outdated attitudes to internal mobility and the most important factor in making this happen is support at C-Suite level Another important point raised by our panel was the evolution of the key differentiators to help with retention of their own staff. Whilst salaries have clearly taken a big step upwards

recently, the most important factors now are around training and development and operational and tech support – essentially ways to make your employees better and ways to support them in doing a great job. Having said that, there is also a realisation that ‘employment without borders’ is, more often than not, not a realistic option for most organisations. There needs to be some degree of proximity to either an office or other colleagues. This is also supported by the surge in interest in wellbeing more generally with industry analyst Mervyn Dinner, referring to a 147% rise in this being mentioned in job adverts. Guests at the Talent Solutions Leaders Lunch included people from Reed Talent Solutions, Lorien, Guidant Global, Armstrong Craven, PeopleScout, Two Heads Consulting, Resource Solutions, Matrix, Horsefly, AMS, Geometric Results, Harvey Nash, Hudson RPO, Talent Point, The Big Search, Hays Talent Solutions, Sanderson PLC and Talent Solutions. TALiNT International June 2022


TALiNT Scene 25 May

TALiNT Partners and Retinue Talent Solutions were joined by a number of talent acquisition leaders at the AquaVit Restaurant just off Piccadilly Circus. London was as lively as the conversation that covered the return to in-person work, looking to the horizon in order to successfully plan your workforce and the ‘personalisation of one’ which means tailormaking an office value proposition that suits each individual employee. Food and wine were great, too!


TALiNT International June 2022

25 12


16 June

This dinner for TA leaders was hosted at the glorious wood-panelled Beaumont Hotel in central London. Hosted by TALiNT Partners and sponsored by PeopleScout, conversation certainly centred around skills shortages, the return to in-person working and whether or not high salaries are what drive candidates in their job searches. The quality of the debate matched the food – as in it was incredible!

TALiNT International June 2022



News Analysis FTSE100 overlook neurodiversity and disability A recent audit of the FTSE100 found that neurodiversity and disability are the areas of diversity most likely to be ignored when it comes to recruitment and employee support. The audit, conducted by Agility in Mind, looked at initiatives announced by FTSE100 companies over the last five years concerning age, disability, gender, mental health, neurodiversity, LGBTQ+, and race. The audit found that despite 99% of FTSE100 companies having an inclusive mission statement, only 37% have a substantial disability initiative, and only 4% offer a neurodiversity initiative. In partnership with research house, Censuswide, Agility in Mind then surveyed 250 UK business leaders to explore the 10

TALiNT International June 2022

disparity between support for diverse groups. The survey found that only 16% of business leaders describe their neurodiversity initiatives as ‘highly effective’, compared to 26% in both race and gender. Although 15% – 20% of the global population is thought to be neurodivergent, with conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or Tourette syndrome, only 21.7% of autistic people are currently working – making them the least likely to be employed of any disabled group.

Hybrid working: The financial benefit According to new research by IWG, hybrid working is now the most sought-after benefit for job seekers. The research showed large numbers of office workers out flexible working alongside other benefits such as health insurance and group income protection (88%), life insurance (84%), unlimited vacation (76%), and extended parental leave (71%) as important benefits in a new role. The survey was conducted among 2,000 office workers to understand better the key factors driving jobseekers’ decision-making. The jobs website Indeed revealed that ‘hybrid’ is one of the fastest-growing search terms, having increased by 6,531% in the last 12 months. In addition, according to IWG’s research, half of workers would immediately dismiss jobs that do not offer hybrid working. Job seekers also highly value the opportunity to work remotely. Searches for remote work have also risen by 666% and now account for 2.3% of all searches. Sixty percent of respondents stated they would like to work within 15 minutes of their home. Half of office workers (49%) said they would immediately rule out jobs that didn’t offer hybrid working. Sixty-seven percent said it improved work/life balance. A further 37% mentioned improved mental health and wellbeing as a benefit. Reduction in commuting load was another benefit (36%). 31 percent said it enhanced productivity.

Workers’ top five considerations when applying for a new role are:

43 32 30 27 27 43%

Hybrid working


New colleagues




Potential for progression

Company culture

Equity and bonuses

TALiNT International June 2022


Unlimited leave days? Is this perk the answer to stress and burnout? Doubtful. Investment bank Goldman Sachs announced in April that they were moving their senior employees onto a ‘flexible vacation’ policy, allowing for time off when needed instead of fixed maximum days per annum. Junior staff will still receive the statutory leave requirements. The new policy requires all employees to take at least 15 days off, this in an attempt to change a culture that has previously left bankers depleted and exhausted. This move can be a powerful recruiting tool. A recent Fortune and Harris Poll survey showed that half of employees preferred the idea of having unlimited paid time off to a higher salary.


TALiNT International June 2022

For the most part, this move is applauded by employees and observers, especially in light of an increasingly burnt-out workforce. The question is whether this is the great benefit everyone expects it to be and whether it will change the culture in a competitive environment such as Goldman Sachs? It’s unlikely, because if there isn’t anyone else to do your job while you’re away, you’ll be working at the beach!

Upcoming events 2022 Jul Event Name




TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards


HR Tech leaders

The Emerging Talent Summit


In-house talent leaders

The Kings Fund, London

Lunch & Learn: New drivers of profitable growth with MyDigital & iCIMS


Staffing and talent solutions leaders

Haymarket Hotel, London

TA challenges Dinner & Debate with Giant Group and Eightfold.ai


In-house talent leaders

Aquavit, London

Roundtable discussion: How to be the best recruitment company


APAC Staffing and talent solutions leaders


The RIBA, London

Sep Event Name




How can recruiters & RPOs access new talent pools?


Staffing and talent solutions leaders


Challenges facing the recruitment industry


Staffing and talent solutions leaders

The Beaumont Hotel, London

Engaging with Early Talent roundtable


APAC In-house talent leaders


TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe 2022


Talent solutions leaders

The Sheraton Ground, London

TA challenges discussion with Eightfold.ai


In-house talent leaders





The Office Value Proposition It’s the next phase of the ‘new normal’ and employers are now looking for ways to entice their workforce back into the office and in-person working. Everyone has an Employer Value Proposition, but what is your Office Value Proposition?

Debbie Walton Editor, TALiNT Partners


n 2020 workforces around the globe were told to stay home. For almost an entire year the world came to a grinding halt while this new way of working quickly became the norm. Rapid digital transformations became essential to set up shop in employees’ kitchens and dining rooms and everyone settled into this “new normal”. Fast forward to halfway through 2021 and the next trend arrived: Hybrid working. Staff were experiencing Zoom-fatigue and new starts in businesses had never met 14

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their colleagues face-toface. It was time for another change as mental health was suffering and attrition increased as staff had little to no emotional connection to their employer or team. After all, how do you form a relationship with tiny squares on a screen?


mployers and employees again quickly adjusted to splitting time between the office and home; management strategies had to change and adapt to accommodate staff both

on- and off-site. “This way of working is here to stay” everyone said, with large London consultancies the first to say that they will never return to full-time, office-based working styles while one not-to-be-named investment bank went completely against the grain and stated that in-person work will return, full time as soon as humanly possible. The most recent high-profile employer to say similar was Elon Musk, who posted on Twitter that Tesla staff will return

If employees are now using this time productively instead of travelling and also finding time to invest in themselves, then that’s a win for us as an employer. - Olly Harris, Global Managing Director, Page Outsourcing

to the office permanently. The tweet was deleted after much backlash. Similarly, Apple has also been in the news because they said their staff must return to the office three days a week – a notion that pre-pandemic would have been completely unheard of!


hatever the reason employers are wanting to return to more in-person working, be it a large property rental fee, promoting a more collaborative working

environment, or simply because it’s in line with the company culture prepandemic, employers are having to put together their Office Value Proposition (OVP).


Page Outsourcing currently employs over 7,000 people globally across the enterprise with the vast majority of the staff component working in a hybrid model. But as with most businesses (around 70% of the global workforce is “deskless”),

there will always be instances where some employees need to go into the office. For example, if tech isn’t working or if a home work set-up is not conducive to work, or because an employee simply needs a break for their mental health, Page Outsourcing has kept their offices open as they have an understanding that there are extenuating circumstances.

TALiNT International June 2022



Olly Harris, Global Managing Director, Page Outsourcing said: “When you look at the working week, there are some tasks better performed at home. As someone with a global role I appreciate being able to switch off and be at home with my family immediately after a late call. Looking back, commuting five days a week could be perceived as a waste of people’s time. If employees are now using this time productively instead of travelling and also finding time to invest in themselves, then that’s a win for us as an employer.” Louise Shaw FCIPD, Director Resourcing Transformation at Omni Resource Management Solutions stated that they have a similar approach to the way they work. At Omni, they consider themselves a “remote first” business and give their staff the option of going into the office when they want to.

“Our only ask is that each person gets together with someone at least once a month. Where people do choose to use the office, we offer flexible hours – so people come and go as they like. Office time tends to be for collaboration, development and team building,” said Louise.


It’s been reported that those most affected by the isolation of the pandemic were those first starting out in the workforce. Having never met their co-workers, it was incredibly difficult to feel part of a team. Furthermore, learning on the job just never took place and employees missed out on the watercooler chats, smoke breaks and benefits of presenteeism. Not forming that connection with their team also made it very easy for them to leave… Olly agrees that there are cons to the hybrid/ remote

Our only ask is that each person gets together with someone at least once a month. - Louise Shaw FCIPD, Director Resourcing Transformation at Omni Resource Management Solutions 16 TALiNT International June 2022

working model. “On the flip side, we could see hybrid working affecting culture and engagement. Where teams are spread across virtual and in person environments, it may make team meetings tricky logistically. We also know that for junior employees or new joiners, learning and being able to collaborate with colleagues is critical to their development,” he said.


Giving staff the opportunity to control their own working patterns is very empowering and is far better than a one-size-fitsall approach. This is why at Sova they have fully embraced a hybrid way of work as well. “During the pandemic, whilst people were comfortable and set up to work effectively from home, we recognised that it wasn’t just a case of ‘working from home’, they

were working from in the context of a pandemic, wrestling with pressures and challenges every day. We worked hard – and still do – to build collaboration and think about the technology and processes to do so. Our regional offices act as hubs, and we use the space to come together to build connection, work on cross-team projects or be available for people who just want to come and work” said Claire Rahmatallah, Director of Marketing at Sova. Claire added that she personally thinks you need to look at it more holistically. “We’re not just going back to the way things were, people have different needs for how and where they work, so to build the OVP it needs to add value. Clearly not all jobs can be done in a hybrid or remote way, but at Sova we actively spend time talking to employees and thinking about how we use our office space and virtual spaces, and we co-create what that should look like. You have to work at it. I think we’ve all valued the social connection over the last 6 months, and recognise how valuable

time is in -person, the challenge I think is keep it evolving, keep it inclusive and keep it productive.” Odro has taken a similar approach with their OVP and they embrace a “work from anywhere” policy. “We adopted this way of work to offer complete flexibility. Pre lockdown, we were fully office-based and would likely not have chosen to change things had we not been forced to. We very quickly updated our policy thereafter though, and have not looked back!” said Ryan McCabe, CEO at Odro. They do have occasional obligatory days where team members must come into the office. “We encourage quarterly in-person, all-hands meetings for team building purposes. We also have regular socials for birthdays, office lunches and nights in (we have an office bar). But those are attended by choice, nobody is pressured to be there. Our view is that genuine flexibility with no strings attached offers employees the best worklife balance, suited to their individual needs,” commented Ryan.

WIDENING THE NET For obvious reasons, especially now when the workforce is faced with increasing transport prices and rising cost of living, remote work greatly appeals to staff – and potential new recruits. Remote working policies also greatly expand on a geographical hiring footprint in the current skills scare market. Giant has adopted a working policy that takes into account these points.

Daniel Haslam, Group Sales Director at Giant said: “We are currently fully remote. The majority (95%) of our employees favour working from home due to reduced travel costs and fit with home routine, kids etc. We also find that our ability to recruit nationwide has helped to broaden the talent pool we can recruit from which is key in the current candidate-short market we operate in. For those whose home situation is not suitable for home working , they can use our offices, however this is a minority.” When asked if the fully remote working policy would remain at Giant, Daniel said: “We will

TALiNT International June 2022



continue to monitor the situation. Our external sales staff now have the ability to work in their local Regus/Spaces offices if they wish as they are now increasingly visiting clients face-to-face again. The remainder of our employees continue to prefer home working, so we aren’t proposing to change currently. While there have been reports of companies in the talent ecosystem navigating a full return to in-person working, it seems the vast majority of employers are sticking with the hybrid approach. Adway is one of them and it suits their global office footprint.

“We’re a full hybrid! This means we’re a mix of office and remote working, with those who have office access having the flexibility and freedom to work remotely on any given day. We have offices in Stockholm and Gothenburg, where 80% of our team are based, although not 100% of the team will be in the office at any one time. Ten per cent of the team are located around London, and where necessary we meet in shared workspaces, spending most of our time remote. The additional 10% of the team are located throughout Europe and we ensure that as a business we come together

at least once a year in person, but that’s for fun rather than work,” said Clair Bush, VP of Marketing at Adway. As they continue to scale the business, Adway has said that they will maintain the flow it has now. Their recruitment strategy is to support growth through the UK and globally into the US and they therefore may decide that they need a central office location. “We will always consider the roles and the need for an office but it will be aligned with the teams’ needs,” added Clair.

What is the difference between an EVP and an OVP?


TALiNT International June 2022


“We’re still fully EVP focused. Simply put, whatever works best for our employees!” commented Clair. Louise said similar: “We very much know, that like most of the world, we are on a journey. We are very conscious the world of work has seen a seismic shift in a very fast period and we need time to observe, reflect and reconsider what is right. To us at Omni, we are now remote first. And this has given us huge benefits from a talent attraction perspective. Our main considerations now

are employee wellbeing, development and maintaining a culture – and we are working through how we do that with a remote-first business. Our OVP therefore is centred around these considerations, and we are using events and development for the reason for people to get together.”

people tend towards longer working hours due to reduced travelling time.” Let’s ask the question then: What is the difference between an EVP and an OVP? It seems for both strategies, the well-being of the employee is at the heart of it and that really is what successful people management is all about.

Daniel says that at Giant they aren’t pushing an OVP or putting pressure on their employees: “If anything, we are focussed on monitoring activity levels to ensure people aren’t over working and are taking regular breaks and annual leave as we find

TALiNT International June 2022


Emma James Senior Associate in the employment team at JMW Solicitors LLP


TALiNT International June 2022

Back to work or not?

Employers have begun to sound the call for employers to return to in-person working… This latest shift towards the expectation that employees must be in the office more than they are at home will certainly bring with it some complications.


he COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been testing for both employees and employers. In this unprecedented time, we’ve seen furloughing, company closures, short-time working and more businesses than ever facilitating working from home (following government guidance requiring this during the pandemic). As we now see slow steps back to normality, many employers will be considering their work arrangements and future plans, including whether to continue to permit homeworking or not. So, what can be done by employers who wish to change working arrangements and who has the upper hand in this regard?

TALiNT International June 2022




Increased homeworking has generally been popular with employees – for reasons including the lack of time commuting, the comfy clothes, avoiding small talk (not everyone wants a chat at 9am), cost savings and more. This means that, for those of you wanting to get employees back into your work premises, this may not be as straight forward as you would like. However, the employees’ desire to work from home has to be weighed up against other important factors including your business needs, productivity levels, staff wellbeing and ensuring the appropriate supervision of staff in the workplace. In addition, for recruitment businesses, consultants who have worked from home may have gained more autonomy and decide to leave and set up their own business as a result so having appropriate protections in place and post-termination restrictions are also important.


TALiNT International June 2022

In addition, the health of your employees should be considered, including the mental health impact of any changes you wish to implement. It’s undoubtedly a tricky balance for employers – some employees will want to work from the office and some won’t. You may wish to consider using anonymised staff surveys to give you a better idea of what your employees want and when deciding on your business strategy.


ifferent approaches will no doubt be taken when it comes to allowing continued homeworking and company culture will play an important part. Some employers will be content to allow full-time homeworking to continue, others won’t and some will wish to adopt a hybrid approach. Whichever way you go, once the desired strategy for your business has been decided, then the legal position need to be considered carefully.

Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees’ THE LEGAL ISSUES

In legal terms, the starting point is to look at your current contracts with employees. Many employers amended contractual terms during the pandemic to accommodate homeworking, as a result of government guidance, so you will need to check what you have agreed in the contractual terms already and whether any changes were implemented on a permanent or temporary basis. Under UK employment law, employers typically seek to make changes in three ways: 1. Voluntary mutual agreement (i.e. both the employee and employer agree the change together or a collective agreement is reached); 2. Changes are made in accordance with the contractual terms: some contracts contain variation or flexibility clauses allowing the employer to make unilateral changes in certain circumstances; and 3. Where voluntary agreement has not been secured, termination of the employee’s employment and offering re-engagement under revised terms and conditions.


hen deciding on the approach to adopt, there are different legal risks attached to each option.

Option 1 above is the least risky approach from a legal perspective. This is also a good option for protecting staff morale and productivity in the business. However, there is a risk that not all employees may agree the changes. Option 2 sounds attractive but if your contracts of employment do contain a variation clause and you wish to rely on this, then care should be taken here. Whilst it is possible to rely on such clauses in theory in limited circumstances, these types of clauses are difficult to enforce in practice and employees may challenge your reliance on such clauses and assert there has been a breach of trust and confidence under the contractual terms. With regard to option 3, if you have a sound business reason for dismissing an employee who refuses to accept a change to their terms of employment and follow a fair procedure (including consulting and meeting certain other prescribed legal requirements) then employers can TALiNT International June 2022



normally change contractual terms in this way. There will normally be no breach of contract in these circumstances, assuming you give proper notice under the contract to terminate. However, this approach involves you dismissing the employee and certain employees could seek to claim unfair dismissal or assert that consultation obligations have not been properly met and pursue claims int his regard. Depending on the number of employees involved, it can also amount to a ‘redundancy’ situation in certain circumstances and trigger collective consultation requirements which mean other steps have to be taken. There is another option as well whereby employers could seek to just impose the changes, even if the contractual terms do not permit this, and leave it to the employees to decide how to respond. However, as you will appreciate, that is a high risk approach and employees may resign in response asserting breach of contract and that they have been constructively dismissed. As you can see, there is a lot to consider but business owners can of course seek legal advice to help implement the desired strategy and ensure you meet your obligations. Once the contractual position has been considered and you have decided how to proceed, there are other legal and

practical considerations to take into account where homeworking is in place. These are discussed in the next section.


From a UK employment law perspective, employers have a legal duty to protect their employees’ health and safety and this continues to apply with regard to employees working from home. Steps will need to be taken as a result, including conducting an appropriate risk assessment for homeworkers. In addition, you may need to make additional adjustments for disabled members of staff who work from home and this should be considered as well: consult with those employees and seek occupational health adviser input where required. Practical tips and considerations for employers implementing or using homeworking are: • Taking extra measures to protect confidential information and personal data through contractual terms and revised business procedures • Looking at the contractual terms and amending standard employment contract clauses to encompass homeworking or hybrid working as required

Who has the upper hand? 24

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• Reviewing the health and safety implications of the arrangements, including carrying out a risk assessment as mentioned earlier • Considering whether any special insurance arrangements are required • Identifying the tax consequences of homeworking and hybrid working and taking tax advice if required • Updating existing staff policies and procedures to take into account homeworking – in addition, consider introducing a homeworking policy so that it is clear what the expectations are for those staff members who work from home • Specific arrangements for management and supervision of homeworkers (particularly with junior staff) – how will this be done effectively in your business and • Any special equipment / software which should be provided.


Ultimately, the employer determines the working arrangements for its business and it does not have to permit homeworking as a general rule (save for example where a request for homeworking is linked to a

disability or family arrangements, then homeworking may be required in specific cases). However, at a time when retaining good recruitment consultants can be very difficult for recruitment businesses, then the approach you adopt here is likely to impact on staff morale and retention. Some employers are using homeworking and flexible working arrangements to retain talent and attract new employees. In contrast, an unhappy employee can seek redress either through finding another role and employer or they may look to pursue claims that otherwise could have been avoided or simply not perform as well for the business. Following the pandemic, we have seen a shift towards businesses offering more flexible working and home working to current staff and those that they wish to employ. Whilst salaries and commission continue to be important, some employees will value their homeworking arrangements more highly than this and look to work for businesses that can accommodate this (at least on a part-time basis). This means that whilst the decision regarding homeworking is still ultimately one for employers, employees will still retain some power in the current market conditions.

TALiNT International June 2022




A return to work is now firmly in play and employers are having to use innovative ways to entice their staff back to in-person working. TI spoke to Stefanie Sebald, Head of Design at Kitt, the end-to-end office management company about how to make your offices more inviting to staff. It’s not as simple as you think…


hile most generations are keen to continue to work from home, research is telling us that it’s Gen Z who are leading the charge when it comes to a hybrid set up ¬– with most wanting to return to working in the office from two to three days a week. But what they seek from an office space is a reflection of their generation… and according to recent data collected from managed office platform Kitt, a quarter of Gen Z workers want a more “instagrammable” office and as the workforce of future and the demographic best championing the return to in-person work, businesses should be looking for ways to entice their workforce back in – regardless of generation.


• Make sure you have flattering lighting • Light temperature: Don’t go for the 8,000K lights but try 4,000K light temperature instead • Invest in a few designer pendants or floor lights to elevate the space to a new level “Lighting underpins everything when it comes to how a space looks, especially on Instagram. To make sure your office space looks its best on and off camera, there are really only two things you should focus on: temperature and coverage. S: “By light temperature, I’m referring to the Kelvin rating. A higher number means the light includes a higher content of blue which makes it feel colder, with 10,000K at the top and 1,000K at the bottom of the spectrum. The entire range has their use in different environments. Offices typically use very white light as it provides the required lux level (i.e. level of brightness 26

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required to work comfortably) with fewer light fittings. However, often those lights feel unpleasant and don’t make us look great in photos. Choosing a light fitting in the midrange such as 4,000K feels both bright enough while feeling comfortable and creating a flattering environment for pictures.” “You may also want to consider wall lights, floor lamps, and ceiling pendants as they do a really good job of creating not only flattering lighting conditions where we have more than a single light source, but also add a lot of personality and interesting backdrops.”


• Choose wall colours that complement your brand – all images will create great social media content • Colours are great for liven up a space and moods. Don’t choose really bold colour schemes with red tones for

working and conference spaces, but reserve those for breakout spaces and other areas people don’t spend the majority of their time in • Get inspired by hospitality design and also consider bolder designs with great lighting in restrooms for that mirror selfie. “Colour is something people spend a lot of time thinking about, but can often have the opposite of its desired effect in office spaces. It can make such a difference to the mood, so it’s important to get it right.” “There is an opportunity to make the office a unique home to your business by using your brand colour palette to complement the interior design. This doesn’t mean you need to blast blue or orange, for example all over your boardroom’s walls. Done right,

in a subtle way, it can add smooth uniformity to the entire office.” “If your branding involves bold colours, perhaps give them more presence in breakout spaces, bathrooms, and welcome areas to wow visitors without distracting or reducing productivity of employees doing focus work. Those places will also offer better opportunities for selfies and group photos.”


• Most offices have things scattered on all surfaces. Make sure you have adequate storage for personal belongings as well as stationary to make sure there’s no clutter lying around • Get matching desk organisers and laptops / accessories to make the desktop look neat • Use separate containers for pen stationery • Get beautiful accessories and books for your shelves.

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“Your office’s storage capacity and convenience thereof could make a serious difference to its appearance. Work surfaces with random belongings scattered across the top look cluttered in real life and on photos! “That said, neatly organised items on a desk can improve both productivity as well as the style of a place. Matching desk organisers, stationery containers, and accessories will all liven the space up and make it look ‘lived in’.”


• Real plants elevate air quality, mental wellbeing, and instantly elevate a photo. Choose a mix of larger and smaller plants with pots that complement the office decor for maximum effect • Extra tip: don’t buy plants but lease them as this comes with watering and maintenance service. “Plants in the office have a huge positive effect on air quality and mental wellbeing. Something about the natural aesthetic really elevates a space.” “When choosing plants, try to go for a mix of large and small potted plants that complement the office’s interior decor. And as an extra tip, it’s really worth trying out a plant leasing service. Watering and maintenance is usually included and lets you focus on your business without worrying about when they need the next water.”


Create a branded welcome area with a wow effect to give visitors a chance to share a first impression of your brand. We’ve heard time and again that candidates align themselves to employers’ who’s brand resonates with them and aligns with their values. Make sure this is the first thing they notice when they come back to the office – a place they’re proud to call their workplace! 28

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Natural aesthetic really elevates a space

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Look to the horizon Looking to the horizon when feeling unsteady restores a sense of balance. Horizon scanning also enables TA teams to anticipate changes and challenges that are certainly coming their way, and by doing so, gives them the opportunity to plan ahead. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that from now on, it’s a good idea to be prepared for everything…


n Wednesday 25 May, TALiNT Partners and Retinue Talent Solutions hosted a roundtable dinner for a group of TA leaders at the marvellous Aquavit restaurant just off Piccadilly Circus. The service was great, the conversation exceptional as the delegates discussed the various challenges TA teams are faced with in the current talent market.

‘growing your own’, not only from an early talent perspective, but also from an older worker perspective, is a strategy that could very well ensure a long-serving talent pipeline can help mitigate skills shortages.


We tried not to discuss the dreaded “R” word too much but with the cost-of-living crisis an all to prevalent consideration for many people right now, sticking one’s head in the sand won’t help. While some attendees felt the recession was still on its way, some said that it’s already here. So how does the threat (or reality) of a recession change the way TA teams are hiring?

There has definitely been a shift from hiring for experience, to hiring for skills and by doing so, TA teams are able to ensure that they have the skills needed to deal with the challenging and tumultuous market we’re currently seeing. Hiring for character and intangible soft skills like resilience and agility as well as character, is something many TA teams are now prioritising. The ability to adjust and pivot quickly in volatile markets is key for any organisations’ success. Skills can be learned but character is who they are and 30

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“It’s of paramount importance that you remain calm in the chaos and stay firm in your hiring strategy,” said Marcelle Foxcroft, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Trustpilot.

“Solving the problems we are faced with today won’t fix tomorrow so it’s important we keep a view of the horizon to anticipate trends in the face of a challenging and constantly changing market that has never been seen before,” commented Tom Baker, Head of Talent and Resourcing at M&G Plc, “and hire accordingly.”


TA teams may have a much louder voice in Boardrooms than ever before but many still struggle to convince the CFO that they need the financial investment to deliver the high demand. “Finance holds the purse strings and when there is need to flex, we don’t have the money to do so. There is a fundamental lack of understanding from CFOs that we need the money to do what they ask us to,” said a global TA leader at an international global bank. “Getting the C-suite to understand that even though there may not be massive hiring going on, it doesn’t mean we don’t

need the money to do our jobs. You’ll always be hiring so why not invest in it?”


alk moved to candidates and salaries and the dinner guests acknowledged that over the last 18 months, employees have been jumping ship for exorbitant increases in salaries – some even double what they were earning in their previous role. Debbie Walton, Editor at TALiNT Partners then asked: “For months and months I’ve been reading news articles and magazine features that have said that money isn’t top of the list of the things candidates are looking for. Candidates and employees want to feel a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging…” Jane Harley, Head of Strategic Hires EMEA at FTC Consulting disagreed. “In potentially a tougher market, candidates are all about the money. We’re seeing candidates wanting the highest salaries, saying they’re not interested in the bonus but merely want to earn big salaries!” TALiNT International June 2022



Sharron Marsh, Group Head of Talent at The Doyle Collection said: “Money just doesn’t buy loyalty anymore.” Tom Baker agreed: “The rules of engagement we used to know just don’t apply anymore.”


An interesting feature of employee behaviour is that they can often leave a role or environment that seems challenging or even chaotic, only to opt for a similar role of environment elsewhere. Whilst on the face of it, this seems to be illogical, the amateur psychologists amongst us seem to think that it’s do with feeling as if they are in in control. “What is so unique in this market is the current push and pull between candidates and TA teams. What is different postpandemic is that people actually want


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change. I’ve never known happy people to leave a company or role, but happy people are leaving!” said Jane Harley.


arcelle Foxcroft weighed in with a very valid point: “Psychological contracts! Employees don’t have relationships with those little blocks on the screen. People leave because there is no emotional connection and no loyalty to the people they’ve only met via Zoom or Teams.”


Nick Greenston, CEO at Retinue Talent Solutions made some key points: “The goal posts in the current market keep changing. Post-pandemic, hiring went up by a factor of two, now organisations can’t find the right people and there are skills shortages. What we may well see see soon is mass redundancies across certain sectors. It as if the world is righting itself after an anomaly.”

The opposite is true in the hospitality industry where hiring more people directly and positively affects profits. In an industry that was obliterated by COVID-19 it was incredibly refreshing to hear that hotel chains like Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts are taking great strides to increase hires and move towards a more flexible way of working. Derek Rostel, Regional Director of People and Culture at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts explained: “We’re not TA specialists, but we are people and relationship specialists and we had to build a TA team during the most challenging times to adapt to the changes to the industry. The hospitality industry is losing millions of pounds by not servicing 100% of the capacity, it’s a no brainer to hire more people!”


During 2020, those who were able to, had to work from home. The massive shift from office-based working to home working resulted in some of the quickest and largest digital transformations our economy had ever seen. But in 2021, people slowly started to venture back into the office one or two days a week and talk of hybrid/ flexible working hit the airwaves. Fast forward a year, with the pandemic all but over, big employers have been in the news for wanting to their workforce to spend more time in the office than they do working at home. Elon Musk Tweeted that Tesla employees will be back in the office full-time – the Tweet was swiftly deleted a few hours later. Similarly, Apple and other big tech companies have said that they’re

The rules of engagement we used to know just don’t apply anymore.

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going to trial a three-day a week, inoffice work policy which has been met with much resistance from their employees and has been touted as unreasonable. But had this idea been floated three years ago, employees would have jumped at the chance! As with everything in life, it’s all about balance. But how are employers balancing their desire to get workers back to the office, and is the hybrid work model going to stick around?


hile Debra Sparshott, TALiNT Partners’ Director of Research and Insights observes there is no one-size-fits- all, Ken Brotherston’s view is that over time employers will give their staff the opportunity to work from home for more days but for less money if they decide they don’t want to work from the office. Derek said that the hospitality industry is doing their best to accommodate their workforce who have historically never had the opportunity to experience flexible working environment. “We’re moving towards to a 40-hour week over four days so that our staff are able to have a more flexible way of working.”


TALiNT International June 2022

So how are employers going to entice their workforce back to the office for in-person time? Marcelle believes that the focus should be on the “personalisation of one “which means a tailored approach to the individual… An interesting idea to be sure. And while most believe that employees should be given the choice to work how they choose to work, if it goes too far it could create an organisation that is essentially unmanageable. This certainly adds another layer to the TA function that keeps growing and growing. Ken Brotherston, CEO of TALiNT Partners added that the TA function as a corporate function is relatively new. “TA has a very strong service mentality but the role itself has become so much more, so much bigger than it’s ever been, that it’s time to learn to say no,” he said. Regardless of what the future holds, there are things that will remain certain: TA teams have a bigger seat at the table and are designing and driving business agendas. It’s an amazing opportunity in a very exciting time.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing More Value Than You Think With the pressure on internal talent teams consistently increasing, Recruitment Process Outsourcing is the ideal solution for businesses looking for support with recruitment, whilst also providing measurable value. Outsourcing to Omni will enable you to: • Scale quickly and efficiently, in line with ongoing hiring requirements • Access talent sourcing experts to securce candidates in high-demand sectors • Reduce the burden on internal teams, improving your productivity • Reduce agency spend by enhancing your ability to hire directly at a lower value cost • Reduce advertising cost by utilising recruitment experts who have access to a highly sough after talent pool The benefits of RPO go beyond passing responsibility to specialists in your sector. RPO enables businesses to move quickly and add value immediately, whilst solving problems and saving costs. Get in touch with Omni to discover how RPO can work specifically for your organisation.

TALiNT International June 2022



Honest conversations

Liz Freedman Chief People Officer Learning Technologies Group (LTG) plc

Diversity, equity and inclusion can sometimes be a difficult topic to discuss for fear of saying the wrong thing. But keeping open lines of honest communication is key if we want to see meaningful change.

Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive at TALiNT Partners, initiated a frank conversation with Human Resources Executive Liz Freedman about progress toward diversity, equity and inclusion. They discussed some of the sensitive issues that could slow progression and how she regards the future.


reedman’s experience as Global Human Resources Leader building individual, team and organizational performance across functions, cultures, and industries puts her in a unique position to speak about one of today’s most complex challenges. Top Findings • Progress in the last 20 years on this highly emotional topic has been slow in corporations. • External societal influences and belief systems are entrenched though there have been shifts in perspective with time. • Organization change must start at the top to create an atmosphere where individuals feel safe to share their life and workplace experiences. • The death of George Floyd had a profound impact, and re-focused attention on diversity, equity and inclusion even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. • The continued violence, hate and racism experienced in the U.S. and around the world require us to act responsibly - to do our part for the rights of others.


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Q. Brotherston: How and why did you make the transition from marketing to HR?

A. Freedman: I’ve always had a calling to make an impact on people’s lives. I was fortunate to have leaders who encouraged me. After leading a sales region for a US business, I had an opportunity to lead sales training. This contribution to others’ development felt right and from there, I built breadth across various HR disciplines, including leadership and management development, diversity & inclusion, employee engagement & culture, and talent acquisition. I spent almost three

years in the diversity space early in my career – the work resonates deeply with my values and threads through all people and organisation practices my team designs and implements today.

Q. Brotherston: How much progress do you think has been made in the last 20 or so years? A. Freedman: Unfortunately, most companies have not moved forward in a consistent, sustainable way. While we’ve made some progress with women in leadership, studies show that women’s pay still falls behind. For employees of colour, LGBTQIA and other under-represented communities, data and insights tell us that workplace behaviours, practices and representation are improving somewhat but significant gaps still exist relative to equity and inclusion.

Q. Brotherston: What stops organisations from moving forward consistently?

A. Freedman: Changes in senior leadership can disrupt DE&I momentum. Progress is slowed with potential for new vision, strategies and priorities along with organisational changes. While many leaders are committed to doing ‘the right thing’, having a strong DE&I business case with proof points in areas such as innovation,

talent retention, brand reputation and new sources of revenue, can be useful to reinforce continuation of the agenda. Mid-level leaders are key to the DE&I equation. We can lose traction with this leadership group for a number of reasons messages from the top do not get cascaded, education and modelling are limited and/or inclusive leadership behaviours and expectations are not reinforced. Our belief systems are embedded at an early age, and we tend to look for ‘data’ that reinforces our perspective throughout our lives. These mindsets, attitudes and beliefs are at the core of who we are, making change more challenging. We all carry bias.

Q. Brotherston: Behaviours may have changed from – say the mid-80s. But how different are the beliefs? A. Freedman: In the 80-90s, major companies launched training, but I’m not so sure behaviours changed that much. Training alone does not change behaviours. Some companies made changes to their talent acquisition practices and measured leadership representation. While what gets measured, gets done – the journey is much more complex and requires a holistic, sustainable approach.

Have courage. Be curious about others’ life experiences – ask questions. It may feel risky or taboo but the benefits can last a lifetime.” Liz Freedman TALiNT International June 2022



Ideally, mindsets and beliefs shift first, then the right behaviours will follow. Our beliefs have changed only as much as the progress of society around us has moved forward. When George Floyd was killed, the real reckoning started. People saw with their own eyes the horrific murder and injustice, and were able to formulate a new perspective. Still, we have work to do on the combination of mindsets, beliefs and behaviours, and DE&I strategies should be designed to address these.

Q. Brotherston: What are the key elements you need to create or embed in a D&I Structure?

A. Freedman: The goal is to design a culture that is equitable and inclusive. This requires leaders to be on board. For all the grass roots efforts, it must start at the top with senior leadership. Their role is to model the right behaviours, demonstrate fair talent practices and decision-making and hold their leaders’ accountable. Our aim is an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. But we know we’re up against systemic barriers and learned bias - we see this in the public forum and it exists in organisations.

Demographics and social trends are changing. The hunt for talent will not change. 38

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Q. Brotherston: We hear anecdotes about how openness to new markets can result in products that have more potential than expected, but maybe they don’t add up to a compelling business case. What is your take?

A. Freedman: Studies, such as McKinsey’s1 demonstrate a business case for diversity, equity and inclusion. We need to integrate inclusion strategies into our commercial business objectives and make an investment to build that out. Demographics are changing, the social contract between employer/ employee and brand/ consumer is changing – companies need to be future-fit ready.

Q. Brotherston: How do you get the balance right? A. Freedman: It’s challenging. Employees can only absorb so much given business demands, workplace change and their own personal and family needs. Learning about and embracing DE&I principles can be a part of our daily experience. Equitable and inclusive practices can be weaved into our everyday – in our collaboration sessions, talent conversations, business planning. In this way, we are likely to gain a deeper understanding of the value and repeatable skills while putting them into practice.

Related to developing inclusive leaders – an experienced external coach can give leaders a safe space to explore their own beliefs, behaviours and issues that they may not feel comfortable exposing in the workplace. Let’s reward our leaders with strong EQ (emotional quotient). Vulnerability, empathy and creating psychological safety are must-have leadership capabilities in today’s workplace.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Q. Brotherston: I know that I avoid certain conversations because I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing.

When we have created an atmosphere where the majority of employees can talk about their experiences, share differing perspectives and feel that decisions are arrived at fairly, we’ll know we’re making progress.

Maya Angelou

A. Freedman: Even fantastic leaders who want to make a difference can still feel uncomfortable around certain conversations. There are any number of topics we’re taught to consider as taboo. There is no silver easy bullet. Vulnerability is a strength.

Q. Brotherston: How do you measure and recognise when progress is being made?

Employees are speaking their truth, more often and definitively. If they are uncomfortable, they will leave.

A. Freedman: The voice of our employees – gaining insights from our majority and minority colleague communities. Having conversations, listening sessions at all levels of the organisation. Also, through employee surveys. I’ve implemented inclusion and well-being indices where we can dig into different demographic groups to identify areas where we need more work. There are a host of other metrics that can be tracked, and I encourage companies to create the right meaningful targets and dashboards to measure progress, share results and course correct – similar to how we run the business.

The hunt for talent will not change. We’ll have a talent shortage for years and years. If companies are not forward-thinking, they’ll struggle in finding and retaining talent and being able to deliver for their customer base.

Q. Brotherston: What impact did the death of George Floyd have on this situation?

A. Freedman: The COVID-19 pandemic took some of the attention off diversity, equity and inclusion issues initially, but the death of George Floyd re-ignited the DE&I mission. The increase in hate and violence over the last few years has driven greater DE&I urgency and investment. We’re also a global community now, where social media brings the news of injustice to our screens. The proof will be in consistent, sustainable actions and measurable change.

Q. Brotherston: Any final words of wisdom?

A. Freedman: Have courage. Be curious about others’ life experiences – ask questions. It may feel risky or taboo but the benefits can last a lifetime. The vulnerability practiced will grow you – personally and professionally. TALiNT International June 2022



POWER OF THE POSSIBLE How can recruiters optimise tech and data to transform the recruitment process and achieve higher margins as professional service providers?


efying the Tube and Train strikes with a virtual ‘Brunch & Learn’, TALiNT Partners co-hosted a tech workshop with Mercury on 21st June for 20 senior execs from market leading staffing and RPO firms including ManpowerGroup, Claremont Consulting, Venquis, Randstad UK, Austin Lee Resourcing, Harvey Nash, Sanderson, Brightwater, Spencer Ogden and PageGroup. Mercury founder and CEO Chris Kendrick set the scene for a session looking at how tech and data is transforming recruitment with his perspective on AI and automation. “It’s the difference between being efficient and being effective,” he explained. “If we are being efficient then we are being as productive as we can possibly be, but if we are being effective then we are getting the very best outcomes of that. “What we do with the Power of the Possible is understand what the opportunity costs are. What are the things 40

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Alex Evans MD TALiNT Partners

in theory you could be doing, how can we enable those, and what differentiator does that give you over your competition? For example, how can predictive AI help you identify and engage future candidates?” Alex Bates, Group Data Insights and Activation Director at PageGroup, agreed that automation has been a buzzword for a long time but it’s what you do and don’t do with it that counts. “For me it’s about driving efficiency where it’s best to drive efficiency,” he explained. “Ultimately you want a rich, engaged database. That’s the real question, how do you get that updated more regularly? How do you engage with candidates when they are not necessarily looking for roles, so we stay front of mind for their next career move?” This impressive group of leaders shared some of the ambitions for their businesses and the part played by technology, from talent pooling, demand planning,

Darren presented some insights from a client project to show how a micro site designed by Volcanic had helped to boost brand awareness and a candidate assessment solution from Arctic Shores had not only gamified the process but improved D&I. “Being able to deploy solutions like these based on knowledge of the market and our client’s needs helped us to differentiate our service and build better long-term relationships,” Darren explained.


skills-mapping and creating more selfservice options for freelancers to making better use of their CRMs and candidate data. “Less than 10% of placements come from our CRM,” shared one leader. “It’s a constant challenge for us to be less reliant on jobs boards and LinkedIn and make the best use of the talent data we have. We’ve been looking into AI solutions but it’s a minefield. We have to work out what’s going to be best for us, how we can embed best practice, and streamline the number of processes.” Darren Topping, Head of Solutions and Insights at Lorien, empathised: “Automation can seem like such a daunting topic. We’ve found it much easier to break it down to specific user cases and do it as and where appropriate.” Lorien won a TIARA Talent Solutions Award last year for Best Client Service, with judges praising it for delivering value as a tech partner – deploying a range of different solutions to meet each individual client’s needs.

nother aspect of being a good partner is helping clients to manage what they already have. “When we get a new client, or a new project, we often have to untangle what they have already got and help them decide if they need a new system, or start again,” added Darren. Marina Rogers, Head of Systems at Claremont Consulting, echoed this point by adding that it’s just as challenging for recruiters to get an ROI on tech with so many solutions. “It’s a juggling act trying to get the right stack, making sure you get ROI on it and that you’re getting buy in from your consultants. It must be beneficial to them and the wider recruitment process.”

Adoption and integration are key challenges for most staffing and talent solutions businesses who need to make the most of their technology and the people who use it. “Change always makes people nervous but if you make best use of tech mandatory in the process it’s better for everyone in the long run,” said Dan Briggs, Head of Digital Marketing at Randstad UK. Eileen Moloney, Director of Marketing at Brightwater, agreed adding that it’s important to explain the value and impact to the wider business. TALiNT International June 2022



“It’s important to manage expectations with everyone in your team and explain the problem solved by each solution,” added Rob Foster, Head of IT at Spencer Ogden.


sing tech tools properly is one thing but what about best use of data? “We are seeing more and more opportunity to talent pool and direct source in an MSP environment,” said Justin Somerville – Cotton, Head of Workforce Solutions at Nash Squared. “It’s about curation of data, keeping it fresh and almost bringing in a bit of self-help for freelancers to engage directly with us and the platform”. At this point, Anna Dick, the former CTO at Hiring Hub, shared some insights from her four-year tech transformation project to create a recruitment marketplace linking recruiters and employers to create a more streamlined and joined up candidate experience. “We looked at the different data and metrics that would help recruiters improve their service and realised that end to end accountability was needed for everyone involved in the process – including employers,” she explained. “Candidate reviews helped to drive improvement in experience but also helped recruiters to identify the kinds of employers they should work with, and vice versa.”

Anna agreed with Chris that AI and automation should free up consultant time for more important tasks, like candidate relationships and understanding cultural fit. “There are key words that can help the matching up, but that is only as good as the data that’s put in,” she added. “Fully connected data streams and better metrics could help to design better matching algorithms, help to remove bias, or identify barriers to diversity with recruiters or employers.” This latter point was picked up by Mercury’s marketing manager Daniel Fox. “Where are your data streams flowing and where does data get stuck, or not make it into the stream at all? If your data is in siloes, you can’t see a full history, so it’s hindering Machine Learning and new AI applications brought in to do things like reducing bias or identifying future candidates.” Concluding the session, Chris Kendrick added that better use of a range of tools that recruiters already use in Microsoft – and better integration of data and automation – can open up a world of possibilities; not just improving efficiency and effectiveness but transforming recruitment from a reactive process to a pro-active one.

creating a more streamlined experience. should free up consultant time


TALiNT International June 2022

Give your consultants the power of an award-winning suite of constantly connected applications built on a single data platform, with tons of unrivalled capabilities and limitless scalability. Use already familiar Microsoft tools to collaborate easily and bring your team closer to candidates, clients & each other. Go beyond standard automation with game-changing workflows that make you more efficient AND more effective.


Find out more at TALiNT International June 2022 43 www.wearemercury.com


Is it really time to scrap the CV? Robert Newry CEO, Arctic Shores

At first glance, it would seem that the employment market is healthier than ever. According to recent ONS data, there are more job vacancies than there are people officially classified as out of work and firms are paying signing-on bonuses to attract staff.


ut dig beneath the surface and it’s not quite as rosy. We’re being told a recession is imminent while the same ONS report also confirmed 500,000 older workers have disappeared from the UK workforce since the start of the pandemic. All of which happened as businesses were being forced through an extreme period of digital acceleration due to the pandemic, resulting in a need for workers with digital skills.

Staring a talent mismatch in the face

What we’re experiencing is a major shift when it comes to jobs, skills and talent. New technologies are transforming how, where and why people work at an alarming rate. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) there’ll be 97m new digitalfirst jobs by 2025. What’s more, 85m existing jobs will disappear entirely. Furthermore, the WEF advises that 50% of all employees will need to reskill by 2025. In the UK, the figure is even starker. 44

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McKinsey analysis reveals that if workers are to realise the full benefits of reskilling over the next decade, more than 90% of the UK workforce will need to be retrained. We haven’t seen a talent mismatch like this since the first Industrial Revolution but there is certainly no shortage of talent in the UK. We have a thriving technology and startup ecosystem while our education programme and universities are the envy of the world. No, talent isn’t the issue. How businesses recruit for it, is.

Placing unnecessary shackles on the talent pool

So, what’s the solution? Much like other issues associated with talent acquisition and identification, change begins at the hiring stage. Businesses must be bold and embrace new ways of doing things to unlock future potential. In a rapidly changing world, what individuals have done before is becoming less and less useful as a gauge for the future. In fact,

In a rapidly changing world, what individuals have done before is becoming less and less useful. defaulting to past experience alone is placing unnecessary shackles on the talent pool. The CV remains the method of choice but it is over 100 years old now. By relying on this method as a crutch, we’re creating a problem where the skills and experience necessary for tomorrow are being overlooked by employers intent on recruiting for today. Unless something changes, it’s a problem that is only going to exacerbate.

Scrap the CV

This is why we’re calling on employers to scrap the CV. It’s increasingly becoming a blunt and analog instrument in a sharp and digital world. By design, it looks back and not ahead and the world we are moving to will bear little to no resemblance to what has come before. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not suggesting recruiters and HR teams totally disregard candidate history employment, education or personal. All of

which remain a credible part of selection. But moving forward, this should be a secondary element of screening - not primary (or only), which it is today. Businesses need to see beyond the CV and that means using alternative methods to find candidates. One such way is a new type of assessment that uses behaviours to understand potential and deliver a string of benefits to the process. The assessment helps employers sift large volumes of applications efficiently and accurately, and bypasses the issues created by candidates giving the answer they think the organisation wants to hear. This lets organisations establish a more complete and transparent picture of every candidate’s unique qualities. The ability to create diverse teams based on potential and the positive impact they can have in the future.

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Place potential at the top of hiring agendas

The pandemic showed both businesses and individuals the art of the possible when it came to the adoption of new ways of working. And now is the time to go further and faster to build a workplace fit for the future. It’s time to scrap the CV and look deeper at candidates, the transferable skills they have now, and the potential that can be unlocked in the future. Post-pandemic, we have have a chance to rethink the existing hiring equation. Where skills plus experience no longer equals a job. To realise this, hiring managers need to be equipped with the right tools, such as behaviour-based assessment methods, which will allow them to unlock potential and see more in people.

Unnecessarily falling behind

Scrapping the CV in favour of technology might seem like a maverick move, but if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. The longer current hiring methods continue, the further businesses that fail to embrace a new way of selecting talent will fall behind. And there’s no need. The UK is awash with talented, brilliant and ambitious young workers, with more joining the pool daily. By hiring for potential, businesses can ensure they’re selecting the best talent today in order to create a brilliant workforce suited to tomorrow.

create a brilliant workforce suited to tomorrow. 46

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The employer brand and candidate attraction What’s become increasingly apparent is that

candidates are not only looking for a job and/ or a place to work, but also a sense of purpose and belonging. Candidates are attracted to employers’ whose brand and values are aligned with their own and it’s important that, in order to attract top talent in a talent-scarce market, that employers fly their value flags high. The wholesale realignment of employer brand to meet the candidates on the subjects which are most important to them provides a simple but clear picture of how the employeremployee relationship has been transformed.

1. Employer brand rethink

If there is a question mark over the importance of getting the brand right for your target talent, the 2021 results make it absolutely clear. The authentic representation of the company and it’s values saw low scores fall away to 0 and moderate ratings rose from 29% to 54%. Employers are considering the employee perspective in building their brand, but results are mixed. Low scores fell from 48

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21% to 0 and moderate ratings rose from 21% to 54%, yet high ratings fell from 43% to 15%. Nonetheless confidence has risen in the role of brand to attract candidate interest, with 54% rating the link as moderate and 38% as high. In terms of brand driving speculative applications, moderate ratings rose from 29% to 46% and high ratings from 14% to 46%.

Rate your organisation’s effectiveness at communicating its distinctive values and characteristics through the following: 80%





A. Recruitment agencies Low

B. RPO providers



C. Job advertisements

D. Social media channels

E. Employee advocacy


Overall, rate your organisation’s employer brand in terms of the following: A. It authentically represents the organisation and its values B. It reflects existing employee perception C. It reflects feedback from employee exit interviews D. It can be easily articulated by job applicants E. It has been validated as a major factor in candidates’ decision to apply for a vacancy F. It has been validated as a major factor in speculative candidate applications 20%

0% Low


Against last years’ report, participants have increased the ability of others to articulate their values to support candidate appeal. This includes recruitment agencies with low ratings falling from 23% to 0, RPO providers with

40% High





moderate ratings rising from 8% to 15% and high ratings up from 8% to 23%, and employee advocates seeing high ratings rise from 23% to 31%.

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2. Building a better brand

In 2020 we reported a reluctance by TA Teams to collaborate with their marketing teams in either building or aligning their employer brand with customer branding or internal communications messaging.

Effectiveness of TA Team’s collaboration with the marketing department to create your employer brand 25


Results 12 months on suggest increased partnership between marketing and TA with low ratings falling from 46% to 25%, moderate ratings rising from 23% to 50%, and with high ratings falling slightly from 31% to 25% creating, overall, a more positive view of the collaborative relationship.



Low Moderate High


Whilst results indicate there has been little testing of employer brand perception during 2021, there has been a rise in data capture with increased tracking of referrals and direct applications (the latter up from 15% to 50% of participants). There has been a rise in monitoring of offer acceptances and unfilled vacancies both rising from 59% to 83% in the current climate, in which both are challenging. There was a fall from 69% to 17% in tracking of early attrition (<3 months) but a rise from 54% to 67% for attrition between 3 and 12 months.

Which do you measure? Applications from competitors Employee referrals (applications) Employee referrals (hires) Direct applications/candidate pool Offers accepted Vacancies unfilled Niche/high skill roles filled Early attrition < 3 months Attrition < 1 year 0%

20% No


TALiNT International June 2022






3. Essential candidate alignment

Closer inspection of the 2020 and 2021 results side by side shows how much has changed. Each element shows a reduction in low ratings (teal) and significant increase in either moderate (purple) or high ratings (dark blue), or both. From the many discussions with TA Leaders this year, this is an accurate picture of talent attraction in 2021.

The wholesale realignment of employer brand to meet candidates on the subjects, which are most important to them, provides a simple but clear picture of how the employer-employee relationship has been transformed during the months of pandemic, remote working and rising social conscience.

Effectiveness of your employer brand in reflecting the values of applicants 100%








2021 Diversity and inclusion

2020 Diversity and inclusion

2021 Corporate social responsibility

2020 Corporate social responsibility

2021 Spirit of teamwork and cooperation

2020 Spirit of teamwork and cooperation

2021 Ownership and responsibility

2020 Ownership and responsibility

2021 Learning and growth

2020 Learning and growth

2021 Developing a career portfolio

2020 Developing a career portfolio

2021 Flexible working practices

2020 Flexible working practices



TALiNT International June 2022



TOP OF THE CROP The TIARA Talent Solutions Europe Finalists It’s Awards season and we are delighted to announce the finalists of this year’s TIARA Talent Solutions Awards. TALiNT Partners is proud that the TIARAs are now the largest global Awards series across the talent ecosystem, attracting industry experts and leading organisations, making a TIARA Award a powerful endorsement and a perfect platform to showcase excellence in the sector. Celebrating the best RPO, MSP and Talent Solutions providers in Europe, the TIARAs set a new standard of excellence for the RPO/MSP and Talent Solution sector’s crowning achievements. There are 10 categories to enter including a new Environmental, Social and Governance Award, highlighting the importance that ESG programmes have in differentiating organisations and creating a positive impact both internally and for clients. All of our TIARA award campaigns are synonymous for the quality, rigour and independence brought by our judging panel of industry experts and Talent Leaders and all finalists receive detailed, confidential feedback from our judging panel. “With our Talent Solutions awards now in their third year, I am delighted to see many of our 2021 finalists entering again, as well 52

TALiNT International June 2022

as a number of new entrants entering for the first time: a clear demonstration of the ongoing growth and dynamism of the sector. The 2022 Awards are a true celebration across the market, from the global majors, regional leaders, fast growing scale ups and niche providers, all demonstrating excellence in their impact for employers and their own employees,” commented Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive of TALiNT Partners. All finalist entries will now go forward to the next stage of judging. Our judges will convene at the end of July to determine a winner in each category as well as the overall Talent Solutions Provider of the Year, which is voted for by the judges. The winners will be revealed at our black-tie event, TIARA Talent Solutions Awards ceremony and dinner on Friday 23rd September 2022.


• Jim Richardson, Chair of Judges and Director, Megella • Alison Westwood, Head of Talent Acquisition, Zenith Vehicles • Jane Upton, Talent Acquisition Lead, Natwest • Adrienne Faessler, Head of Global Accounts, LinkedIn • Daniel Haslam, Group Sales Director, Giant Group • Victoria Fernandez, RPO Engagement, iCIMS • Adam Gibson, Director – People Advisory Services, EY • Neil Griffiths, Director, Ceriph • Andrew Brown, Director – RPO and Recruiting, Cornerstone • Greetje Brosens, Chief Sales Officer, Parasol • Jack Newman, UK&I Sales & Partnership Manager, Netive • Richard Lester, Head of UK Sales, Sonovate • Lopa Patel, Director of Global Talent Acquisition & Future Talent, Tetra Pak The 2022 awards campaign is supported by our headline partner Cornerstone, and sponsored by Giant Group, iCIMS, Netive, Parasol and Sonovate.

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Allegis Global Solutions •

The Parasol Candidate Experience Award


The Cornerstone Client Service Award

Instant Impact • •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider

AMS • • • • • •

The Best Early Career Initiative The Parasol Candidate Experience Award The Netive Best Use of Technology Award The Cornerstone Client Service Award The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award The Environmental, Social and Governance Award

GTI Recruiting Solutions • •

The Best Early Career Initiative The Diversity & Inclusion Award

iXceed Solutions •

Join Talent •

Guidant Global •

The Sonovate Best Talent Solutions Firm to Work For

The Employer Brand Award

Bright Network •

The Netive Best Use of Technology Award

The Best Early Career Initiative

Lorien •

The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award

Harvey Nash •

Cielo •

The Netive Best Use of Technology Award

The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award

ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions •

Hays Talent Solutions •

Claremont Consulting •

The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider


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• •

The Netive Best Use of Technology Award The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award The Environmental, Social and Governance Award

The Environmental, Social and Governance Award

Matrix •

The Netive Best Use of Technology Award

MatcHR •

The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider

Morson Group • • •

The Employer Brand Award The Cornerstone Client Service Award The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider

Omni Resource Management Solutions • •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award The Cornerstone Client Service Award

Quarsh •

The Sonovate Best Talent Solutions Firm to Work For

Reed Talent Solutions • • • •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award The Cornerstone Client Service Award The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award The Environmental, Social and Governance Award

RTM • •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award

WilsonHCG • •

The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award The Sonovate Best Talent Solutions Firm to Work For

Resource Solutions & GSK •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award

Omni Resource Management Solutions • •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award The Environmental, Social and Governance Award

PeopleScout • • •

The Employer Brand Award & Essex County Council The Employer Brand Award & Maersk The Parasol Candidate Experience Award

Retinue Talent Solutions •

The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider

Templeton and Partners • • •

The Diversity & Inclusion Award The Cornerstone Client Service Award The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award

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This Award recognises success in engaging with emerging talent, whether through graduate, apprenticeship or other programmes.

The Employer Brand Award

This Award celebrates distinction in elevating a client’s employer brand to have a measurable impact on their talent strategy.

The Diversity & Inclusion Award This Award recognises companies who demonstrate a clear impact against a progressive D&I agenda, whether helping an employer take their first steps or reach new levels of inclusion.

The Parasol Candidate Experience Award

This Award recognises companies that show clear evidence of delivering a consistently good experience at every stage of the candidate journey.

The Netive Best Use of Technology Award

This Award recognises companies that solve a business issue through the implementation of a unique, new tech solution or using existing tech in an innovative way.


TALiNT International June 2022

The Cornerstone Client Service Award

This Award celebrates those winning support and recognition across the whole client community for dependable, timely results.

The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider

This award is open to both new divisions of larger corporates or stand-alone midmarket providers who have entered the market within the last 5 years.

The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award

This Award looks for evidence of genuine partnership over a period of at least five years. It will look at both sustained success and continuous improvement but can also include major improvement and/or turnaround scenarios.

The Sonovate Best Talent Solutions Firm to Work For

This Award recognises employers of choice who can demonstrate innovation and impact in the attraction, induction, development and retention of their own talent.

The Environmental, Social and Governance Award

This Award recognises organisations who demonstrate a clear commitment to an ESG program, creating a positive impact both through their own organisation, as well as through their impact on their clients.

TALiNT International June 2022






JUDGING PANEL Kerri Arman Richemont

Wen Stenger Omni Inclusive

Sachin Jain Pepsico

Russell Griffiths Coleman Research

Saleem Khaja WorkLlama

Fitzgerald Ventura 1099Policy

Gregg Schneider Accenture

Justin Brown Gallagher

Chris Farmer Salesforce

Andrew Brown Cornerstone

Michael Wilczak iCIMS

Mary Kristynik Akraya Inc


TALiNT International June 2022

The Solutionists Winners of the second TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US show how agility, boldness and a relentless focus on client service is helping employers adapt to the challenges faced now that we’re post-pandemic.


alent Solutions teams are solutionists... the ones who make a practice or occupation of solving puzzles and the pace at which talent solutions teams have had to adapt and evolve post-pandemic has not slowed down. As we emerge from a locked down world where, by and large people were told to work from home, the new world of work brings with it new challenges and the agility of Talent Solutions teams is being put to the test. In this light, it was an honor for TALiNT Partners to host the second annual TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US virtually this month. This Awards program recognized and celebrated the work done across the sector and we’re thrilled to announce the winners. The talent shortages we are currently experiencing don’t seem to be abating, so agility, responsiveness and innovation will be every bit as important as value for money in defining great partnerships. We believe the TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US offer a powerful endorsement to differentiate solutions and reassure buyers on the capabilities that matter most.


The judging process is designed to be independent and rigorous, built around an

expectation of demanding and often highly complex employer requirements, and based on key performance metrics, case studies and testimonials. The talent solutions sector has evolved hugely over the last 30 years. While outsourcing providers being able to fulfill open requisitions quickly and cost-effectively remains as important as ever, as TA has become more strategic they have had to respond by developing best-in-class services not just in fulfillment but in broader areas such as, branding, onboarding and strategic workforce planning. A program for their services to be assessed, judged and recognized by an independent panel of judges is long overdue. This will play a key role in helping firms to constantly improve, as well as guiding those organizations considering outsourcing some, or all, of their TA activities. I would like to offer my thanks to our esteemed panel of judges for their time and commitment in choosing this year’s winners and in providing the feedback that will help both winners and finalists improve their solutions and grow their businesses. Thank you also to all our sponsors, and in particular our headline sponsor Cornerstone, for their support of the creation and launch of the very first US TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US program. TALiNT International June 2022




Head of Strategy, Allegis Global Solutions

The lifetime achievement award recognises someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry over a long period of time. It must also be said that Bruce is one of the most affable, engaging, and thoughtful executives who have dedicated their career to advancing the role of recruitment outsourcing and he’s clearly not finished yet. Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive, TALiNT Partners

THE BEST NEW TALENT SOLUTIONS PROVIDER AWARD This Award is open to both new divisions of larger corporates or stand-alone mid-market providers who have entered the market within the last five years.

Finalists • • • •

BPS World

BPS (Winner) Engtal Evaluent Retinue Talent Solutions (Highly Commended)

Accepted by Jason Pike “BPS showed a range of innovative approaches to tackle numerous operational issues and demonstrated exceptional customer service to their growing customer base.”

THE CORNERSTONE BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY AWARD This Award recognises companies that solve a business issue through the implementation of a unique, new tech solution or using existing tech in an innovative way.



• • • • •

Accepted by Luke Kohlrieser

AMS (Winner) Guidant Global High5 PeopleScout Sevenstep (Highly Commended)

“Judges especially praised AMS for how they delivered a successful transformational project by precisely deploying technology to the clients’ critical area of need and supporting their entry with great metrics.”


TALiNT International June 2022

THE OMNI INCLUSIVE ESG AWARD This Award recognises organisations who demonstrate a clear commitment to an ESG program, creating a positive impact through their own organisation as well as the impact on their clients.

Finalists • •


Airswift (Winner) Harvery Nash

“The judges felt this entry had real impact, supported by a mature approach to a relatively new area, in turn driving credible results across practical activities such as recycling drives, tree planting, and more strategic activities such as better governance, and employee education.”

Accapted by Maegan Toups

THE 1099POLICY LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP AWARD This Award looked for evidence of genuine partnership over a period of at least five years. It will look at both sustained success and continuous improvement but can also include major improvement and/or turnaround scenarios.


Allegis Global Solutions

• •

Accepted by Lenevieve Pfizenmaier • •

Airswift Allegis Global Solutions (Winner) AMS Harvey Nash

• • • •

PeopleScout Sevenstep Volt (Highly Commended) WilsonHCG

“The judges were impressed with their significant growth and how they showed value to the end client.”

THE WORKLLAMA CLIENT SERVICE AWARD This Award celebrates those winning support and recognition across the whole client community for dependable, timely results.

Finalists •


Accepted by Gary Norris

• • • •

AMS (Highly Commended) iPlace Noon Dalton Pierpoint Sevenstep (Winner)

“Judges praised Sevenstep for showing innovation and thinking outside the box to show impactful changes, and clearly articulating how they added value in every aspect.”

TALiNT International June 2022



THE WOMEN BACK TO WORK DE&I AWARD This Award recognises companies who demonstrate a clear impact against a progressive DE&I agenda, whether helping an employer take their first steps or reach new levels of inclusion


Resource Solutions Accepted by Sarah Keady

• • •

Acro Airswift AMS

• •

Guidant Global Resource Solutions (Winner)

“Judges praised this entry for being a genuine game-changer. Their Recruitment Inclusivity Audit, is an important tool in helping employers drive more effective DE&I.”

THE ICIMS BEST TALENT SOLUTIONS FIRM TO WORK FOR This Award recognises employers of choice who can demonstrate innovation and impact in the attraction, induction, development and retention of their own talent.



• • • •

Accepted by Natalie Scheiman

Acro High5 Oscar PageOutsourcing (Highly Commended)

• • • •

PeopleScout Sevenstep (Winner) Volt Consulting Group WilsonHCG (Highly Commended)

“The judges felt that Sevenstep showed high retention in a competitive market and a genuine employee driven culture.”


TALiNT International June 2022

THE BEST TALENT ATTRACTION STRATEGY AWARD This Award celebrates the most impactful talent attraction strategy, whether engaging early career talent, elevating a client’s employer brand or providing a positive candidate experience.

Finalists •


Accepted by Laura Polan

• • •

Allegis Global Solutions (Highly Commended) AMS (Winner) High5 Talent Works

“Judges praised them for their compelling story, showing a methodical approach and capitalising on their use of data.”

THE BEST NEW TALENT SOLUTIONS PROVIDER AWARD The Overall winner was selected from the winners and the highly commended in each award category and voted for by our panel of judges.


Accepted by Nicky Hancock “Judges felt AMS had delivered innovation, engagement and clarity of message consistently where it mattered most.”

TALiNT International June 2022



We encourage diversity of thought but don’t say anything we don’t like! Ken Brotherston CEO, TALiNT Partners


he recent case of Stuart Kirk, the now ex-Head of Responsible Investment at HSBC is something of a salutary lesson for anyone who might be thinking about expressing opinions that don’t fit within an accepted orthodoxy. Mr Kirk’s crime was to deliver a talk at a recent conference “Moral Money European Summit, Turning Talk into Action to hit ESG targets”, where he suggested that some of the reactions to the climate crisis may be overblown, specifically from an investment standpoint. 64

TALiNT International June 2022

It’s an interesting talk – about 15 minutes long, the link is here – and it makes the perfectly reasonable point that humanity has a pretty good track record of finding solutions to complex problems albeit with a couple of slightly provocative examples. So far, so straightforward. Apparently not. Even though the speech would almost certainly have been signed off internally it transpires that it was a bit too controversial for Mr Kirk’s bosses and off he’s gone.

Like many people, I am keen to understand the impact of how we respond to the impact of climate change on our societies and economies so different perspectives are important. But not Mr Kirk’s apparently.


hat does this have to do with the talent agenda? On the face of it perhaps not much but, in fact, I think episodes like this have a profound impact on how organisations find and keep the people they need, especially at a senior level.

The message delivered by this example seems to say “if you have an intelligent, informed opinion but it turns out we don’t like it – even after we have told you we do – then we may dispense with your services”. Who wants to stay in an organisation like that, never mind join one? The concern in organisations like this is that there is likely to be many more examples where

opinions that may not fit the “house view” never see the light of day. This is the opposite of diversity.


r Kirk’s crime was not to deny climate change but to suggest a different way of how we might respond to it – adaption rather than mitigation – and what this means for investors.

It’s a shame because in recent years there has been amazing progress in highlighting and discussing many other issues that affect people’s working lives – mental health, menopause, disability, racial equality, the gender pay gap – to name a few but if organisations create environments where different perspectives aren’t allowed, we all suffer.

TALiNT International June 2022


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