At a time when someone barely stays in their job for less than five years at a time, it’s rare to find someone with as much company and industry experience as Jenny Bicknell, Client Success Manager of TheTalentPeople’s talent management system TheTalentPortal. We got TheTalentPeople’s own CEO and Co-founder David Allison to quiz Jenny on a few topics close to our hearts – all under the umbrella of candidate-centric approaches to recruitment.
Jenny started out her Early Talent career in the education sector, teaching young people across Cheshire and North Wales. “I really enjoyed being in the classroom and teaching my lesson plans to learners of different levels and making sure my lesson plans engaged with each and every one of them,” she says. The challenges faced by most teachers in this sector were enough for Jenny to consider a change of career too.
Assisting young people with finding their ‘futures’ remained her passion as she chose to move into Apprenticeships. “What drew me to working within the Apprenticeships industry and helping people recruiting candidates for an Apprenticeship was the idea that we’d still be able to help people and help candidates in the best way of engaging them.”
Jenny spent the next 10 years working in various roles for GetMyFirstJob (now TheTalentPeople) and saw a number of updates to the industry in that time. “Massive changes have happened and there will always be changes. That’s the nature of the beast. The biggest one for me was coming back off of maternity leave and experiencing the changes as a result of the levy. Employers are finding it harder than ever to hire and have identified more hard-to-fill vacancies in the past 12 months than ever before.”
We were keen to understand what the industry changes meant for the modern recruitment process. “The candidate is the main focus of the recruitment process, and so whatever path you’re taking when you’re recruiting, the candidate is the most important piece,” Jenny says “You need to make sure all your processes fit that for finding out what they need, to give them a better experience. You’ll get the better choice of candidate at the end of it.”
David attests to the idea of even a clear business rationale for putting the candidate first. Jenny continues: “At the end of the day the Apprenticeship market is a business and employers are wanting to get the best candidate for the roles. In order to do that we need to make sure the experience we are offering candidates in recruitment is a top quality one.”
As such an important part of the recruitment process, Jenny agrees that the candidate experience is likely to define the outcome of a recruiter’s efforts. “…candidates don’t really like a long application process, especially if they are going to be applying for more than one role. I would say flexibility is a massive one when we’ve been speaking to candidates, not pestering them so much and using text and email to start of the relationship.”
In order to keep things short and sweet here, we’ve decided to offer the full interview as a download – Consider it some light bedtime reading!
In the rest of the chat, David and Jenny go on to talk about:
– How the CV might be a false way of determining what experience a candidate has.
– Sifting through CV’s isn’t the best use of your time in finding the right candidate.
– An application might not be as valuable to a recruiter as understand the candidate’s interests.
– How do you place a candidate into a role within an hour of vacancy upload?
– Supporting a candidate’s desire for belonging but communicating a company’s mission more effectively.
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Download the full interview here…