Recruitment tips: which channel leads to the best candidate?

Your company website: easy, but effective?

The low-hanging fruit of recruiting: posting your vacancy on your company website. It is the most obvious and easiest choice to start. By doing so, you avoid extra costs that you do pay with external websites such as Jobat or VDAB.

However, chances are your job posting will generate less visibility among potential candidates. For instance, applicants must already know your organisation and spontaneously surf to the website themselves. As a result, you won’t reach a large pool of talent.

LinkedIn: battlefield or recruitment blessing?

LinkedIn is the Tinder for HR employees: you scroll through a database of millions of professionals looking for your match. And, let that be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. Like fruit flies on an overripe banana, prospective candidates are overwhelmed by personal messages. Of these, half of them are not looking for a new job, and three quarters are not blown away by the automatic message you only changed the name in.

Recruiting on LinkedIn can pay off when it is part of a broader strategy. Use it not only to share your vacancy, but also to introduce people to your organisation. This way you can let your employees speak or show your business expertise with an interesting blog. And, it doesn’t always have to be serious – a mix of information and entertainment is ideal. A team-building activity where everyone comes to work dressed up? Perfect to show the atmosphere within the company … go for it!

Your own employees: the power of word-of-mouth

Sometimes you have to make it with what you have – and in the context of recruitment this is a big win. Namely, 30% of the new employees coming in are provided by your very own staff members.

That’s why word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful communication channels. Because, let’s face it: you believe the words of a good friend rather than those of a company, don’t you? In addition, this recruitment strategy gives you three additional benefits:

1. Lower recruitment cost

You spend less money on advertisements or job sites. In addition, you spend less time looking for the right candidate. This gives you more free moments for other tasks, which benefits both the organisation and you.

2. Better quality of candidates

Because your employees promote the organisation, candidates get a clearer picture of the company. As a result, expectations are better aligned than when they apply directly through a job vacancy. Your employees will only recommend candidates whose potential they are convinced of. After all, they don’t want to risk their own reputation!

3. Higher involvement of your own employees

Involving your own employees makes them feel part of the larger company goals. They feel intrinsically committed to the organisation as they help build its continued growth and success.

And the winning channel is?

Each channel has its pros and cons. For example, posting a job vacancy on your company website is a small effort, but you reach fewer applicants. You can reach more prospective candidates in LinkedIn, but you will bump into thousands of other companies.

Ultimately, the classic word-of-mouth wins: your employees promoting the organisation. By activating your employees in your recruitment strategy, you attract new and high-quality talent faster.

Curious about how to activate your employees in this word-of-mouth strategy?

Discover the 5 crucial steps in the e-book “How to turn your employees into ambassadors and build your employer brand?”

Recruit via your own employees: 3 successful steps

Employee advocacy: the key to successful recruiting

90% of people trust an organisation more when it is recommended by friends or family. Because, honestly, wouldn’t you rather believe the words of a good friend than those of a company? That is precisely what employee advocacy is all about: getting your employees to talk about your organisation.

“The opinions of people in your professional and social network are still more influential than most marketing tools.”
– Patrick de Pauw, CEO Social Seeder

This form of labour market communication remains the most effective. But, like Rome, you don’t build employee advocacy – or employee engagement – overnight. Engaging employees is an ongoing process. We share 3 tips to successfully launch your employee advocacy programme.


3 tips for a successful employee advocacy programme

1. Make it fun & easy for your employees

To make your employees ambassadors, it is important to emphasise the added benefits for them. For example, they can look with pride at the number of likes and shares they receive, when they share company posts on social media.

Furthermore, it is important to remove all possible barriers from your employee. Therefore, make it easy for them to share social media posts about your company. Thanks to the Social Seeder platform, this can be done in just one click.

Finally, it is important that your employees feel appreciated. Treat your ambassadors to an exclusive breakfast, or involve them in your organisation’s content.

2. Share authentic content

Keep your communication authentic and not just commercial. Your employees don’t like only sharing job vacancies. Besides, distributing a vacancy has true impact if you communicate the company’s values and standards beforehand.

So, avoid just talking about yourself on your website or social media. But, also post a fun company activity or feature an employee. Moreover, they can add personal comments to the company message via the Social Seeder platform – that gives authenticity quite a boost.

3. Analyse to optimize

Measuring is knowing – which is why it is important to evaluate your programme after a few months. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a data geek to do this. At Social Seeder, we are happy to help you analyse the results.

Delve into the analytics and find out what content employees prefer to share, and what the optimal days are for sharing posts. That way, you can do more of what works, and keep your employees proud brand ambassadors.

Make it fun, authentic and measurable

In a nutshell, your employees are top recruiters! By launching an employee advocacy programme, you turn your employees into proud ambassadors – and they will be happy to share company content on their social media. As a result, you will generate greater reach and trust among potential applicants and customers.

Engaging your employees is a continuous process in which there should be space for fun, authentic communication and analyses for optimisation.

Curious about how this works in practice? Discover the Social Seeder platform in 2 minutes.

Celebrating 25 years of excellence: How Undutchables became a pioneer for international recruitment

If we go back to 1996, CV’s were still arriving by mail or fax. The Internet had roughly 10 million active users — with only 110 or so website accessible via the Web… or your AOL account. Amidst all that nostalgia, two Dutch entrepreneurs decided it was time to start an international recruitment agency in the Netherlands. When Ilse Visser and Judith van der Klundert came together 25 years ago, in a small attic in a town near Amsterdam, it was the start of something excellent.

The start of globalisation

Armed with a catchy name and a catch product, Undutchables sought to help the influx of foreigners entering the Netherlands around that time. Often not speaking a single word of Dutch, they sought refuge in an agency that was able to set them up with companies looking for multi-lingual employees.

And though Undutchables’ origins lie in the town of Amstelveen, where its first headquarters were based, it slowly moved all over lowland region of Western Europe. After opening offices in all major Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and Eindhoven), it even opened its first international offices in Stockholm, Sweden. As Unswedenables didn’t sound too catchy, they too operate under the Undutchables brand.

Faxing with Tipp-Ex

Nick van der Dussen, appointed the company’s general manager two years ago, came aboard the Undutchables train in 2000. “When I started, a computer was on my desk”, Van der Dussen says. “But the computer was mainly used to type fax messages into Word. If I had a candidate’s CV on my desk, I’d use Tipp-Ex to cover certain information before faxing it to client. I think we came a long way…”

“The world literally became a smaller place thanks to the internet.”

And while the fax machine was eventually removed its offices, Undutchables had to adopt to the growing digitalisation around them. Now, their candidate matching is nearly fully automated — as their database, which continues to grow, is filled with useful candidate information. Moreover, they’re no longer just helping those who enter The Netherlands (or Sweden); Undutchables has gone fully global. “The world literally became a smaller place thanks to the internet”, Van der Dussen says.

Serving both sides

Aiming to facilitate internationals and connect business with the perfect candidate, Undutchables has always been a relationship-oriented business. “We put a lot of time and love in that personal touch”, Van der Dussen says. “While it may not be the obvious thing to visit a client that is located far away — we love doing it. We have our four core principles in place for a reason. Partner, enterprising, personal touch and expertise: those drive our strategies, decisions and relationships.”

Undutchables’ General Manager, Nick van der Dussen.

“We can’t afford to behave like cowboys. But at the same time — you wouldn’t be able to last 25 years if you did…”

The proof lies in the pudding for Undutchables, as they don’t only serve companies — they serve candidates too. “They’re clients in their own right”, Van der Dussen says. “We can’t afford to behave like cowboys; we need them to have any type of business success. Many international communities are tight-knit — they find each other in many of the online fora across the world. It ensures that we always try to maintain a sense of quality in our work. But at the same time — you wouldn’t be able to last 25 years if you did…”

… and not just one sector

Ranging from Nike’s headquarters in Hilversum to a local entrepreneur trying to build a business selling coffee to Italians — Undutchables serves all types of business. “When that entrepreneur quickly finds out that if he wants to sell coffee to Italy, he would need someone who speaks the language — that’s where we come in”, Van der Dussen adds. “We aren’t specialised in one sector — and that happens to help us in times of crisis. With not much happening in tourism and catering, we’re able to focus on e-commerce and logistics.”

Where it once started for Undutchables: out of an attic in the town of Amstelveen.

The elusive factor

With the rise of video-interviews and things like personality analyses based on micro-expressions on the rise, Van der Dussen sees people as the focal point for future business. “In the end, I think people will want to do business with people. You want to look people in the eye. You want to feel their energy. That’s the elusive factor you’ll never be able to entirely capture through software. That’s what was important 25 years ago — and it still holds true today, and likely 25 years from now.”

“In the end, I think people will want to do business with people. You want to look people in the eye. You want to feel their energy.


Why it is time to give “Hidden Workers” a shot in 2021

If the sports analogy doesn’t work for you — no worries at all. With COVID-19, we saw a glimpse of what the future may hold in terms of job worth. Suddenly, grocery store employees, health care aides and shipping professionals became essential workers, while other swaths of the economy were forced to shut down completely due to lockdown regulations. As a result, those low and middle-skills workers will be less likely to find stable work after a layoff.

80% of the jobs that are at risk due to automation and COVID-19 were held by people who do not have tertiary degree – it will subsequently result in an even larger workforce that just needs an opportunity.

But these problems aren’t ‘new’, per se. In many ways, the pandemic served as an accelerator for these jobs. With Europe’s declining workforce, companies are now faced with an interesting new truth: they have to find their way through a shrinking workforce. 80% of the jobs that are at risk due to automation and COVID-19 were held by people who do not have tertiary degree – it will subsequently result in an even larger workforce that just needs an opportunity.

Who are the hidden workers?

It could be veterans, who have many of the skills that are in high demand — but who aren’t hired in civilian jobs because they would lack the necessary licenses. Or caregivers — who are forced to drop out of full-time and part-time work because they are or were needed at home. Or immigrants — who may have all the required knowledge and experience, but are unable to work within their field, because they can’t speak the language, don’t have a European degree — and don’t have the means to attain either.

Because these individuals don’t fit the profile of “the perfect candidate,” they struggle to make the cut for even an interview — let alone getting steady jobs.”

They’re what the Harvard Business School, who joined forces with Accenture in the Project on Managing the Future of Work, call hidden workers. “We call them “hidden workers” because they are a talent pool in plain sight with the potential to be hired, but for one reason or another are unable to make the transition into the workforce. Because these individuals don’t fit the profile of “the perfect candidate,” they struggle to make the cut for even an interview — let alone getting steady jobs.”

A neglected workforce

HBS and Accenture began their research in three different countries — the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. Though unemployment rates were largely historically low in each country — they quickly found that there were millions of hidden workers to be found. As they surveyed a combined total of around 9,000 workers, they found marginalised, discouraged and struggling people who have been long-neglected and unsupported by employers and social safety nets.

There may be hundreds of reasons why a hidden worker is not the ideal hire. And as COVID-19 struck, this mindset was widely adopted by those who are considered hidden workers. “When asked if they felt represented by the leaders making decisions on the pandemic, a majority (75%) either responded with a flat “no” or said that they were not sure”, HBS’ and Accenture’s joint-article over at HBR reads.

Start looking behind enemy lines

It’s wrong to think that comes down purely to governments and policymakers — it is a clear sign of a failing economy in the sense that business leaders aren’t really attacking the closing skill gap, or boosting productivity. While many organisations may think they are at a common war for talent — no one is actually looking behind enemy lines to look for the talent they so deeply desire.

While many organisations may think they are at a common war for talent — no one is actually looking behind enemy lines to look for the talent they so deeply desire.

Take CVS Health, a company we wrote about in May, found that Americans with disabilities make up nearly one-fifth of the total population. As a result, the company created a program to systematically identify the barriers it had inadvertently created in its hiring practices. As a result, they restructured their training programs to make them more accessible to those with disabilities.

If anything, rather than sitting, waiting and wishing for the ideal candidate to come bursting through the door — why not actively search for and integrate workers who may simply need an opportunity to come off the bench. And what do you know, it just might be worth it…

Why you should take a look at ATAP Global

Founders Ben Gotkin and Gerry Crispin noticed in 2012 that the Talent Acquisition profession lagged an organisation which representated the interests of those in TA. In 2016 the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) was brought to life, supported by a community of inspired and engaged volunteers.

Inspiring community 

Finding, hiring and retaining employees around the globe is now a career for many people and it affects millions of lives. The mission of ATAP is to cultivate a community that sparks innovation, engagement and knowledge sharing.

Above all it’s a place for networking and education.

The organisation wants to build a body of knowledge and ethics for talent acquisition, establish standards and advocate for its members. But above all it’s a place for networking and education.

Open to all

ATAP is a community open to all professionals in talent acquisition. If you become a member for $95 USD per year you can get access to the exclusive online community. You can also learn from online webinars, whitepapers and research, get access to a TA database, as well as a discount on events, merchandise and development opportunities. Technology and product partners who provide solutions and tools can also become a sponsor. Companies like Scout, Saba and Greenhouse already jumped on board.

ATAP Global


Current president of ATAP, Jim D’Amico, shared what he learned at the celebration event ‘Global TA Day’ last September. His key learning from Anna Stenbeck’s presentation was that not all hiring managers show up to intakes engaged. ‘It’s wrong to assume that because we are excited or see value in something, that others automatically do as well.’

‘It’s wrong to assume that because we are excited or see value in something, that others automatically do as well’

Part of what we do every day is to find the keys to excite, and it’s no different with a hiring manager. D’Amico thinks that he found the key to unlock the ‘why’ with them. Most of the time we focus on the ‘what’: ‘what will the person do?’, ‘what keywords should we use for our search?’. We often omit the critical ‘why’ questions. He thinks we should ask things like: ‘why does the role exist?’, ‘why would someone want this role?’ and ‘why do you value this position?’.

ATAP Global

5 reasons why you need employee referrals post-pandemic

One of ToTalent’s first partners, Real Links, is certain that referral recruitment is a great help if your company is affected by the pandemic. Real Links is an employee referral and internal mobility technology platform from the UK. They support Talent Acquisition, HR and Recruitment professionals with modernizing and automating the process in an easy way.

Best strategy

We are still unsure about the impact from Covid-19 on local economies and the global landscape. But what we do know is that businesses are relying heavily on technology now, and recruitment is set on hold. Of course, referral recruitment is not the first thing you think about when your company is in an unstable position at the moment. But employee referrals have always been a cost effective and impactful tactic for recruiting high quality candidates with high engagement.

Employee referrals are the best talent acquisition strategy during economic uncertainty.

A study conducted during the 2008 financial crisis even pointed out that employee referrals are the best talent acquisition strategy during economic uncertainty. Real Links will share 5 reasons why referrals are so critical in supporting business recovery after Covid-19.

Real Links

#1. Reducing the cost of recruitment

Employee referral is one of the most cost-effective recruitment methods. Especially when a lot of businesses find that large rewards aren’t as motivating for employees as smaller, less expensive rewards. We’ve seen much higher engagement with referral through £50-£250 Amazon vouchers distributed at different stages, than a £5000 reward at the end of the process.

#2. Keeping employees engaged and connected

Employee engagement has been a significant challenge for most organizations during COVID-19. Therefore it’s important to keep employees connected with eachother. And at the same time keeping talent acquisition teams connected to the business. This can be enabled through the use of automated employee referral systems; internal competitions and social sharing.

#3. Fundamental shift to online

Businesses who didn’t implement flexible and remote working practices yet, have now been forced to stimulate working from home. Relying on technology to communicate and get things done has rapidly become the new norm.

Relying on technology to communicate and get things done has rapidly become the new norm.

Reliance on digital technology is now far more widespread and accepted by employers and employees. It’s likely that investing in new technology like automated employee referral will be a lot more effective than pre-COVID.

#4. Talent overflow

There’s no two ways about it. There’s going to be a significant spike in unemployment as life begins to return to normal.  This will mean a huge amount of talent come into the market all at once. A higher volume of applicants for every role advertised, is far more time consuming for TA teams. Using employee referral may reduce the volume and increase the quality of applications.

#5. High levels of competition

Some organizations are fortunate enough to operate in one of the few sectors that will either thrive or be relatively unaffected by Coronavirus. Then the competition for great talent remains high. Sometimes it will even increase as demand for the product or service continues to grow.

Adding employee referral to your recruitment can set you apart from the competition.

Within your market place, it’s likely you’ve always faced a competitive hiring environment. But if demand for those skills spikes, adding employee referral to your recruitment can set you apart from the competition.

The Savage Way: how Greg Savage became one of recruitment’s real influencers

Often times celebrities will write biography-type books in which they make a half-hearted attempt to be an authority on a different subject matter. We won’t go into specifics, but let’s just say it doesn’t always work. When it comes to Greg Savage, however, it’s an entirely different story. Savage has the portfolio to back up at least a 12-part series about everything he has accomplished in the world of recruiting. Luckily for us, his name is not JK Rowling. 


After managing the London office of the United Kingdom’s largest accounting recruiter for two years in the early 1980s, Savage returned home to Australia to run the Sydney office of what is now known as the Hays Group. In the late 1980s, still based in Australia, Savage’s career really took off when he founded Recruitment Solutions. In rapid fashion the start-up grew into having eight offices, a workforce of 200 and annual sales that topped $60 million. 

Savage is currently the founder and shareholder of people2people, one of Australia’s leading recruitment companies, while also investing in businesses such as VideoMyJob and JobAdder.

With great business acumen, Savage later founded and subsequently sold several other businesses, including Firebrand Talent Search, which has now merged into Aquent. Savage never stopped investing and founding, however. He is currently the founder and shareholder of people2people, one of Australia’s leading recruitment companies, while also investing in businesses such as VideoMyJob and JobAdder. 

The Savage Truth

Now, Savage has combined all similar wisdoms that he learned in 40 years of being in recruiting into a new book, aptly-titled The Savage Truth. Widely regarded as a ‘must-read’ for next-generation leaders and lovers of business biographies, the book is split in two parts. The first half gives an honest and open account of Savage’s world — with a healthy amount of Aussie humour, while the second half consists of guidance and advice for his successors. 

Bouncebackability: the key to a successful recruiter

When you go to Greg Savage’s website, you’ll see video’s listed on pretty much every page you come across. I guarantee that when you click one of those video’s, you’ll be hooked within 20 seconds. The Sixty Savage Seconds, where Savage takes you through an observation, or a random thought in, well, 60 seconds, prove that like none other. Let’s take the one posted earlier this year, in the pre-pandemic era, in June of 2019. 

In roughly 67 seconds (we’ll excuse the additional 7 seconds), Savage talked about something that is now a requirement for most sectors in the post-pandemic era: resilience. “It’s highly-prized to be tough and show rigour in our business”, he said. “But it’s misunderstood. Being resilient isn’t about being macho and hiding our emotions. In fact, I’m all in favour of people kicking tables. It’s natural, it’s a tough job. But resilience isn’t about hiding your emotions; resilience is the ability to bounce back quickly.”

“It’s OK to feel bad for a moment, but in the next communication you have with a client, candidate or colleague, you can’t show your disappointment.”

Disappointments are inevitable in all walks of life, but that statement holds true particularly for recruiters who lost an awful lot of business in the past few months. Resilience, bouncebackability, is vital perhaps more than ever before. “We have massive disappointments. Three offers turned down in a day is tough for anyone to take. But it’s OK to feel bad for a moment, but in the next communication you have with a client, candidate or colleague, you can’t show your disappointment. You can’t carry it forward; woe is me for days one end. You’ve got to bounce back fast.”

A real influencer

From a sociology standpoint, the 21st century will go into the history books for a number of reasons. Forget about pandemics for a second; 22nd century anthropologists will likely have a field day when it comes to influencers in the 21st century. Studies will be based solely on the fact that some people were famous just because they were famous. With that long introduction out of the way, Greg Savage is anything but that. 

Real influence only occurs out of real, genuine passion for something.

Perhaps, as the aforementioned anthropologists will find, real influence only occurs out of real, genuine passion for something. Then when you combine that with years of experience working within that field, you’ve got yourself a real influencer. Then you still need someone who can actually convey a message; someone who can inspire you, who can relay a sense of empowerment for you to take away and use in your own career, and in your own life. 

And that’s exactly what Greg Savage is. 

Emerging Initiatives at the Forefront of Creating a Skills-based Labour Market (Part 2)

12. Starbucks and Arizona State University’s EdPlus partner to scale up blended online learning

In 2014 Starbucks launched the Starbucks Global Academy Plan in partnership with Arizona State University’s EdPlus, offering online bachelor’s degrees to eligible employees. The online curriculum gives employees the flexibility to integrate learning into a buzy schedule. Approximately 70% of their employees are students or aspiring students; however, only 50% of Americans who begin college typically complete their education, largely due to financial and work-life barriers.

To tackle the common issue of low retention and completion rates of online courses, learners are equipped with individualised guidance including enrolment counsellors, financial aid advisors, academic advisors and success coaches.

13. MIT Digital Certifications Projects pilots new approaches to storing and verifying certificates.

The current system of issuing, storing and verifying certification is not efficient-it can be slow, complicated and unreliable. To tackle these limitations, in 2016. MIT media lab released the first version of a set of tools to issue, display and verify digital credentials using distributed ledger technology and Open Badges specifications. However, there are certain limitations to these approaches, such as privacy, curation of one’s experience and lack of markers for the actual value of accrued certificates. The project seeks to work with corporations and enterprises to address many of these obstacles to enhance portability and mobility.

14. JD: Embraces technological advances and adopts changing job requirements and skills.

JD is a Chinese retailer with significant e-commerce logistics. JD has designed a program, Project Z, which has set in place a practice of categorizing technological advances that are set to be adopted across JD’s operations, according to their speed of arrival and potential impact on work. In this initiative the impact of technological adoption on jobs is mapped and work responsibilities are reclassified. In some cases, new roles are created while in others jobs are re-invented with a new set of required skills. At the same time, employees are provided with upskilling pathways coordinated to those new roles.

15. AT&T: Reskills its workforce with the focus on emerging jobs and interchangeable skills

AT&T with its program entitled Workforce 2020 (WF 2020) sets out to reskill the workforce for newly created roles with a focus on instituting a culture of lifelong learning, enhancing job mobility and developing skills which are interchangeable. A new career profile tool showcases relevant insights about potential career development trajectories for workers, highlighting new job requirements and relevant reskilling opportunities. In addition this program compliments those insights with relevant reskilling opportunities, online courses comprised of both short-cycle duration (nano) degrees, as well as longer-cycle reskilling opportunities (online Masters Program).

16. SkillsFuture, Singapore transforms delivery of services and collaboration between the public and private sector to ensure sustainable workforce development.

At the end of 2015, Singapore set up the Committee on the Future Economy to investigate future areas of growth and job creation, as well as support companies’ workforce planning efforts. It is committed to keeping the labour market flexible, tight and responsive to change. A statutory board governed by the Ministry of Education – SkillsFuture Singapore – drives and coordinates the implementation of the National SkillsFuture Movement, promotes a culture and holistic system of lifelong learning through the pursuit of skills mastery and works to strengthen the ecosystem of quality, education and training throughout the country.

17. Data at Work develops a consistent language around skills and framework to improve the skills data ecosystem in the US.

Data at Work, a University of Chicago – led initiative, aims to enhance labour market information. The approach promotes collaboration with major stake holders, transparency, simplicity and web orientation. By offering open data and open-source tools, Data at Work hopes to inject fluidity and consistency into getting, sharing and validating labour market information so that the labour market stake holders can benefit from the wealth of data and services available on skills, jobs and training. At the heart of Data at Work is the Open Skills Project, which includes a national taxonomy of skills and jobs in the US developed through private-public collaboration.

18. ESCOs creates a common language between European countries.

The European Commission has developed a new framework, European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) – a multilingual digital tool to connect people with jobs across Europe. It is a classification language designed to enhance transparency, mobility and the collection and exchange of data between stake holder groups in the European labour market.

19. Nesta builds a data-driven skills taxonomy for the UK.

Nesta developed a data-driven skills taxonomy which signals real-time jobs and skills information to stake holders across the labour market, to address the need to have a more concrete and consistent method of measuring skill shortages in the UK. Nesta partnered with Labour Market Information firm Burning Glass Technologies to identify 10.500 unique skills and used machine learning to group those skills into hierchical clusters on the bases of the frequency with which two skills appeared together. The resulting skills taxonomy will enable a coordinated approach to measure skills supply and demand.

20. General Assembly’s Standards Boards aim to inject more transparency into the skills content of jobs by mapping skills and career pathways.

General Assembly, a global education technology company, recently acquired by the Adecco Group, offers a variety of skill development opportunities–online, full-time and part-time. General Assembly provides tools that can support faster recruitment in roles with shifting skills requirements. These tools provide greater transparency into the skills required for a range of roles and into career progression pathways in changing professions. As a result, employers pinpoint the level of candidates and skills needed without relying on resumes and individuals are empowered with a clear understanding of potential career paths and a map which defines skills requirements. A key instrument for those efforts are Standards Boards, which bring together experts who are able to define and validate skills requirements across a set of in-demand roles and identify career progression opportunities.

21. MIT: Skillscape explores skills transferability 

The MIT Media Lab constructed the Skillscape portal to house an analysis of the connections between jobs on the basis of skills requirements in the US labour market. The analysis shows the relevance of different skills across occupations, as well as the likelihood that skills are typically required together-identifying skill connection and therefore “bundles of skills”.  The analysis highlights two general categories of skills: sensory-physical and socio-cognitive. These skills are more likely to be respectively employed in jobs that are associated with lower and higher income households, as well as with lower and higher educational outcomes. The analysis found that the bipolar nature of the current skills landscape suggests significant challenges in the transition from low paying jobs to higher paying jobs.

22. Infosys promotes a culture of lifelong learning to adopt business strategy to changing market needs and fuel growth.

Infosys is an IT consulting firm headquartered in India which has focused on developing an agile workforce through a culture of lifelong learning. Infosys has made a financial investment in continuing education to fill both the short- and long -term skills need, co-developed learning programs with both Purdue University and Cornell University and taken advantage of the benefits of the MOOCs and its learning center Mysore. In order to shift from process-oriented skills requirements to a complex mix of both cognitive and “soft” skills, Infosys has trained half of its 200,000-strong employee population on design thinking- which is now its core capability around improved problem-solving.



How can you improve Total Talent Management in your company?

Same treatment 

The aim of Total Talent Management is treating your permanent employees the same as your flexible or temporary employees, and everything in the middle. It is key to recognize that external staff brings more to the company than ‘costing money’. It can even give you actual advantages over your competitors.

Now is the perfect time to look at Total Talent Management in your organisation.

A lot of companies have different career or job pages for flex workers, or no job pages at all, because they hire them through another job agency. The thing is, if they get treated differently in the application process, they most likely get treated differently when they are working at the company. Especially in the ongoing situation at the moment, where a lot of people desire flexibility in their jobs, in their working times or want to be able to work remotely. It is almost impossible to only have permanent staff members. So now is the perfect time to look at Total Talent Management in your organisation.

Royal Bam Group 

The example used to demonstrate the struggle with Total Talent Management, is Royal BAM Group. This is a construction company who is also active in property, infrastructure and public-private partnerships. With ten companies in five European and niche markets worldwide, they have around 20.000 employees. BAM Group is clearly committed to their employees and create a safe and inspiring environment for them. So much is clear.

Different routes

But now let’s examine the steps to take when searching for a job. Looking at their website, ‘working with BAM’ is listed as one of the tabs. If you click on this, you get redirected to the career page. But let’s say I want to find a flexible job, then the search is a bit harder. But, under the tab ‘purchase’ (on the Dutch website), there is a separate option for flex working. On the English website, however, that option isn’t even available; no separate tab for freelancers and flex workers.

Therein lies a simple problem is: they have two completely different routes for job seekers.

Therein lies a simple problem is: they have two completely different routes for job seekers. The option for flexible work is not even on the career page, but under a different tab on the main page which doesn’t have anything to do with it. That means it’s very hard to find, and not connected to each other in any way.

Merging together

Now what could be improved? The first and most important thing: if you have a career page, use it for every type of work you offer in the company. Whether it be permanent, part time, flexible or temporary. Of course, you can make an extra tab for flex work on the career page to make it easier to find, as long as it is intergraded within the page. It should also be able to be viewed in English.

Make sure that the candidate experience is worthwhile for everyone.

Secondly, make sure that the flex working pages include as much information as the pages for permanent work. It is important that everyone in the company knows where it stands for, what they can bring in, and feel like they are actually connected to the company and the other employees as well. So, make sure that the candidate experience is worthwhile for everyone.

And lastly: Total Talent Management only works If you actually change your mindset and see the potential and talent that flexible or temporary workers can bring to the table.

Why you should change the way you hire engineers

Suppose a company produces computers today. In that case, the next product launch is expected to get improved by 10x, and if it will not, someone else will achieve that. Companies will need to innovate and move faster than their competitors. The engineering teams’ primary focus is to learn, build new tools to try things quickly. It will be extremely challenging if you don’t have the talents that share your values & purpose, you will be out of business.

Values-match increases productivity

The quality of the services delivered by a company is as good as those providing it. The company is a lot of individual talents working together, creating a collective intelligence. When each of them leaves, the company will cease to exist. So rather than looking for just that excellent programmer that can write many codes, you should try to see if he/she resonates with the company and team values. When you find engineers going in the same direction and value what you value, it is easier to tell them what goals they have to achieve. You also get each of the team members encouraging one another to be the best version of themselves. 

Rather than looking for just that excellent programmer that can write many codes, you should try to see if he/she resonates with the company and team values.

New world, new requirements

Studies show that the younger generation has higher requirements for employers regarding values and contribution to society from Sweden and other countries. The survey shows that today’s young people want the employer to offer a sense of deeper belonging with colleagues and that their values align with one’s own. It’s now up to you as an employer to communicate effectively about your company and team values with the talents you want to attract. 

Putting engineers in a group does not make them a team. A team begins to be built when there is a clear common mission to achieve with shared values ​​and goals

Covid-19 has pushed many people to reflect on their values. People ask themselves the questions: What do I contribute? I’m happy with my job today? For companies hiring engineers should turn the hiring process upside down. Putting engineers in a group does not make them a team. A team begins to be built when there is a clear common mission to achieve with shared values ​​and goals. So, if you only do objective assessments on subjective beings, you are probably biased. Engineers can quickly learn a new skill, but they cannot learn to love a company when there is a values mismatch.

Values to consider

Different workplaces prioritize different values. The benefits a company chooses must always be in line with the company culture. If a company wants to create innovative teams and attract super, total talent, consider the values below:

Inclusion & belonging:

The leaders are committed to building a diverse, equal, and inclusive workplace. From recruiting to training and advancement, the emphasis is on providing a supportive environment for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, disability, or ethnicity.

Questions to ask
  1. What is the existing makeup of your workforce? What is the distribution of women and underrepresented groups across levels and functions
  2. How do you measure and evaluate the impact of diversity and Inclusion on business performance
  3. How are the inclusion and belonging strategy supported in your organization? (e.g., accountability, percentage of the overall budget allocated)
  4. How do top leaders and managers set the tone?

Fosters psychological safety:

A strong belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, taking risks, concerns, or mistakes. Amy Edmondson, professor at Harvard Business School, was first to identify the concept of psychological safety in work teams.

Questions to ask
  1. During weekly check-ins, do you set aside time for engineers to share their experiences, challenges, and concerns?
  2. How do you promote healthy conflict where ideas are debated rather than judged, and engineers don’t hesitate to bring even their whacky ideas?
  3. Do managers hold conversations asking team members their preferred work, communication, and feedback styles?
  4. Is there any forum where engineers share how they are doing and feeling, mostly related to the distress experienced due to the current coronavirus pandemic?

Working on these questions can help differentiate you from other companies when hiring. It will give you a real advantage to attract superstar engineers to take your company to the next level. With so many value-driven engineers in the workforce now, companies cannot miss out on how to most effectively reach them.

Modern employers offer work to any available talent

The flexible core

The traditional model of employment contracts from the last century has long been outdated in practice. It was assumed that your organization consists of 80 to 90% of a permanent core of employees and that this is supplemented by a flexible shell with 10 to 20% temporary contracts and temporary workers for “peak and sick”.

In 2020, organizations have become “Fuzzy Firms”. In his book with the same title, Prof. Arjan van den Born already described in 2013 how the core of an organization itself has become increasingly flexible. The edges of the organization are “fuzzy”: unclear, vague and undefined, because there is collaboration on a project basis with external parties in all kinds of temporary constellations. Nowadays we also speak of network organisations and ecosystems.

Universities, pharma and chemical companies have far-reaching flexibility in their research and science teams with temporary appointments for a number of years.

You can already see examples of this in many sectors. Interim managers have been helping companies and government organizations through turbulent times since the end of the last century. Universities, pharma and chemical companies have far-reaching flexibility in their research and science teams with temporary appointments for a number of years. In IT, the percentage of people with a fixed versus flexible contract has meanwhile been levelled. And for many change projects, organizations hire external experts, from freelancers to the large consultancy firms.

Labour market trends accelerate flexibilisation

The number of self-employed people in the Netherlands has passed 1 million for a while out of a total workforce of more than 9 million. In Belgium the percentage of self-employed persons is slightly lower than in the Netherlands, in the neighbouring German regions considerably lower.

The labour market has been changing considerably for a number of years. A number of trends are accelerating the shifts in the labour market:

  • The corona pandemic has shown that remote work can become the new standard
  • Remote work makes talents from all over the world accessible to organisations
  • Technology makes remote collaboration much more efficient
  • The digital transformation makes work disappear and other work appear
  • Online work platforms make outsourcing small jobs to experts accessible to everyone

These trends all fuel the further flexibilisation of the labour market. This flexibility can take shape within a permanent job, but also increasingly lead to more flexible employment contracts for temporary projects.

Work on the move

The permanent job for life in which the career ladder is climbed is rapidly disappearing. Yet many organizations are not yet aware of the opportunities and risks that this new reality of work entails. As a result, they lack talent, which means that innovation lags behind in those organisations.

“Work changes, the world changes and organisations change. Manoeuvrability and adaptability are crucial here.”

A number of frontrunners to this movement in the financial sector have united in the Werkbeweging. There Elly Ploumen and Sander van Ekeren of Achmea for example say: “We must accept contingent work as something that is here to stay and not try to restore work to its old state. Work changes, the world changes and organizations change. Manoeuvrability and adaptability are crucial here.”

You have to break through internal silos

These words are a great first step in a culture change compared to workers in an organization. In practice, many organizations are still internally divided into silos for organizing work. Recruiters and recruitment systems have only looked outside the organization for recruiting for permanent jobs. Career advisors are involved in internal mobility and the purchasing department uses purchasing systems to recruit contingent workers.

Total Talent Management is a strategic instrument for organisations to recruit, select, engage, develop and deploy all available talent that is required to perform the work in a holistic manner.

To be ready for modern workers, a lot has to be done in organizations themselves. Those internal silos must be broken in order to be open to any talent that adds value to your organization. We call this Total Talent Management (TTM): a strategic instrument for organizations to recruit, select, engage, develop and deploy all available talent that is required to perform the work in a holistic manner. Holistic means that it is about finding and binding the right competencies, not about the contract form.

Due to complex regulations, most HR professionals and lawyers dive away for the integrated deployment of contingent workers.

For example, we were involved in the TTM implementation at the VRT, the Flemish Radio and Television broadcaster. We broke through the silos there, made HR responsible for all forms of talent and built an mobility and development model where everyone has equal opportunities. For all types of talent you can go to one jobsite, with recruitment marketing for all candidates via the social media channels of the organisation. Companies all have their own ostrich policy regarding flexibility. Due to complex regulations, most HR professionals and lawyers dive away for the integrated deployment of contingent workers.

Modern employers

A diversity and inclusion policy is not only about gender, age and nationality, but also about contract types. An unequal treatment of external talent, such as temporary workers and freelancers, creates misunderstanding within many organizations. By turning this around, you create opportunities to attract the best talent with a mindset and culture where everyone is equally valued and trusted. A modern employer employs anyone who contributes with their knowledge and experience to the strategy and future of the organization.

About the authors

Marleen Deleu has more than 30 years of experience in advising organizations to optimize the hiring of external talents and bring them to a strategic level in the organization. Marleen is also co-owner and editor of NextConomy, the online knowledge platform about new forms of work and organizing work.

Mark van Assema has been an HR project leader for over 20 years and connects parties for a successful change in the field of talent management. The organizations he works for want to work with innovative technology on integral Talent Management. Mark is the founder and community manager at #HRTech Review.

The top 10 job boards in France

Top 10 job boards most used by employers and intermediaries in France

Whereas Pôle Emploi was at the top last year, this year the majority of French employers and intermediaries are looking for future employees via Meteojob. However, Pôle Emploi is still in second place. Compared to last year, CarriereOnline has become a lot more popular among employers and intermediaries and has risen from the eleventh to the third place. This year there is also a newcomer among the top 10: 1001intérims has been able to obtain the 9th place.

An important side note is that LinkedIn and Indeed are not included in the current analysis, as for these job boards the number of vacancies cannot be calculated.

Ranking Last year (2018-2019) Job board Number of vacancies
1. (2) 2.158.784
2. (1) 2.069.428
3. (11) 1.372.990
4. (6) 1.321.608
5. (4) 1.213.193
6. (3) 1.130.038
7. (8) 1.069.445
8. (9) 946.057
9.  – 792.358
10. (7) 750.130

Source: Jobfeed by Textkernel (01-06-2019 to 31-05-2020)

When we disregard vacancies of intermediaries from the data analysis and and only look at the most frequently used job boards by employers, we see that Pôle Emploi is number one. Meteojob ranks fifth in this top 10. This shows that Meteojob is mainly used for placing vacancies by intermediaries. Keljob and 1001interíms are also used more by intermediaries than by employers. These two job boards are therefore not to be found in the top 10 most frequently used job boards by employers.

Ranking Last year  (2018-2019) Job board Number of vacancies
1. (1) 1.525.694
2. (8) 959.443
3. (3) 883.923
4. (2) 788.590
5. (9) 664.846
6. (11) 626.953
7. (6) 533.255
8. (5) 401.758
9. (4) 273.818
10.  – 203.535

Source: Jobfeed by Textkernel (01-06-2019 to 31-05-2020)

Differences between education levels 

When a distinction is made between levels of education, there are clear differences between the top 10 job boards. Whereas Meteojob is at the top for vacancies aimed at low and intermediate educated people, for vacancies aimed at highly educated people Meteojob is in third place. Apec is at the top for highly educated people. However, this job board does not appear in the top 10 for vacancies aimed at low and intermediate educated people. Glassdoor, Handicap-job, L’Agefiph, Cadreo, and Cadremploi also feature in the top 10 job boards for vacancies aimed at highly educated people. This shows that the level of education requested has a major influence on which job boards are used to post the vacancy.

Ranking Job board (educational level: low and intermediate) Ranking Job board (educational level: high)
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.
6. 6.
7. 7.
8. 8.
9. 9.
10. 10.

Source: Textkernel’s Jobfeed (01-06-2019 t/m 31-05-2020)