Schools ‘wasting’ £100m a year on recruitment costs – surely it hasn’t taken this long for Gershon to be proved right?

eteach, the UK’s leading education recruitment specialist, has hired a PR agency to inform its stakeholders that schools are wasting as much as £100m every year on recruitment costs – costs that could be drastically cut if employers streamlined their existing recruitment practices by migrating it online. While I agree that eteach is right to highlight this it astounds me is that schools are continuing to disregard the recommendations that were outlined in the Gershon Review in 2004.

Sir Peter Gershon was asked by the Government to identify ways in which public sector organisations could increase efficiency and make savings of £21bn over four years. And the streamlining of recruitment was one of the main areas highlighted.

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Employees at risk of burn-out

Yesterday I was talking about how a growing number of employers are biding their time and waiting for the ideal candidate to show up at their door before making a hire. Today the findings of a new survey suggest that employees are working harder that they did pre-recession to help get their organisations through these testing times. But there are obvious consequences of this.

The survey conducted by the Hay Group management consultancy found that 65% of UK workers are working unpaid overtime while 30% of all workers report that their organisation is a worse place to work than it was a year ago. And a further 36% claim they are ‘unhappy’ in their work. What these figures illustrate is the perilous state in which we now find ourselves.

Let me explain what I mean.

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Cherry-picking employers will pay the price for being too choosy

Competition for jobs is at a 14-year high and employers have never had it so good. So good in fact that they can afford to be selective and cherry-pick their ideal candidate based on competency, enthusiasm and experience, according to a new report published today. But in their bid to recruit the best talent available in the market it seems that employers are being overtly-selective to the extent that their indecision to make an appointment is costing their organisations in the long term.

The cost and time-to-hire has been a major consideration for all recruiters since time and memorial. Yet despite a wealth of talent at their disposal only 23% of recruiters claim that it is easier to find suitable candidates. Yes there are more applicants per job and of course this means more time being spent sifting through applications.

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Official figures confirmed that the UK is experiencing its worst recession in over half a century. And with more job losses expected over the coming months the pain of recession will continue for many people. But employees can take matters into their own hands and safeguard their jobs from the threat of redundancy, says Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, one of the UK’s most well-known career advice and guidance experts.

He says: “This time last year the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned that 2008 would be the worst year for jobs in a decade in the UK. It was. But it now seems that 2008 was simply a prelude to what has since become the worst year for jobs in two decades, 2009. With 600,000 jobs lost since the start of the recession and many more yet to come it is no wonder that many of us are concerned about our own future prospects.

So if your company is faced with the unenviable task of short-listing those people who are up for redundancy, how can you ensure that the red pen doesn’t strike through your name?

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Britons work longer hours than our European neighbours and we are told that looking for a new job is a full-time job in itself. But when do you have the time to look when you are spending over 40 hours a week at work, running errands and fulfilling family and social commitments in addition to stealing some time to sleep? The answer is: you do it at work. 

However, you don’t want your current employer to know that you are looking elsewhere because if they find out, you could jeopardise both your current position and future references.

Here is our advice on keeping your job search a secret from your employer. 

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Racism still rife in recruitment process

A new study by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has revealed that racial discimination continues to persist throughout the entire recruitment process. It found that for every 9 applications made by a white applicant, sixteen had to be sent by a person with an ethnic minority name so as to receive a positive response i.e. invitation to interview.

The DWP’s report casts aside any pre-conceptions we many have had that the UK has become a more politically correct and tolerant society. Indeed, viewers of Panaroma last night will have seen how apparent the problem of racial discrimintion is in this country despite the UK being given a clean bill of health by the Commissioner for Racial Equality, Trevor Philips. Take James Caan of Dragon’s Den fame as an example.

Cann is one of the UK’s most successful businessmen having made his fortune in the recruitment industry when he started Alexander Mann in 1985. Only last month his holding company, Hamilton Bradshaw Holding Company, launched a new addition to the executive and interim management sector, attenti. But despite his obvious business acumen and proven success, Caan admits that he may not have achieved what he has if he’d kept with his birth name – Nazim Kahn. 

So what are the causes for this discrimination and how can this be addressed and rectified?

Unemployed hits 2.47m yet job seekers lack know-how to ‘sell’ themselves to employers

Yesterday’s figures reveal that the jobless total in the UK has now reached 2.57m – some 88,000 more than last month. Yet many employers report the lack of understanding and application needed to secure a new job among job seekers. Why is that?

With the number of applications grossly outnumbering the number of available jobs, candidates need to pull out all the stops and positions themselves as the employee of choice. Take the Wookey Hole Witch as an example. Back in the summer some 3,124 people applied for the £50k per annum job of Witch of Wookey Hole. But, how did the recruiters determine who was the right person for the job?

OK, admittedly this is an extreme example. However, competition for vacancies is fierce and job seekers must work hard to stand out from the crowd and make an employer see what they will get for their investment if they take a person on. Graduates are also finding it difficult, with just 1 job per 47 applicants. 

Although the odds may be stacked against them, job seekers can drastically reduce these odds by focusing on what really makes them different to everyone else applying for the same job. But first, they need to get the basics right.

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