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Executive HR Recruitment – Looking Back on 2014
There is no doubt that there has been large scale change across the UK in 2014, with a variety of economic challenges affecting certain industries and businesses. Having partnered with a number of leading organisations and senior leadership teams who are at the forefront of these changes, Page Executive’s HR practice has witnessed these changes at close quarters over the course of 2014.
As our HR practice has strengthened and responded to the increasing volume of businesses looking to source exceptional talent, we have identified a number of trends and areas of growth in the market.
Reward was not surprisingly at the top of everyone’s agenda in 2014. As businesses changed in size and shape, with many organisations employing a wholly different workforce, the need to understand how to reward and incentivise employees to attract and retain top talent has become more critical than ever.
Diversity, in particular gender diversity, has been a growing hot topic this year. With many businesses looking to balance the boardroom, we have seen an increase in senior female talent coming to the market. Page Executive has been a champion of the 30% club and will continue to be so during 2015.
PageGroup’s continuing focus on improving workplace and management diversity was recognised in 2014 at the CIPD People Management Awards, where we won the award for the best Global Diversity initiative.
There has been a lot of focus on talent development over 2014. This could be due to the need to demonstrate a quicker commercial return against business needs. Internal talent teams continue to ensure businesses are able to develop and promote from within while:
- Training and developing leaders and managers to increase and improve performance and capability
- Ensuring that front line employees feel they not only have the tools to do their job, but also the confidence in their business to develop them through the bad times as well as the good
- Benchmarking and developing commercially focused talent programmes
The ability to be able to identify internal talent through measured and consistent processes is key to ensuring a more experienced and rounded future leadership team. The focus on talent development will continue well into 2015, with businesses continuing to evolve their approach to developing (and importantly retaining) talent.
Over the course of 2014, when discussing business talent programmes, Page Executive HR Practice was able to identify the following key approaches businesses should be taking:
- Provide clear and achievable career path options (options being important)
- Develop a consistent and creative approach to talent, leadership and management development
- Be able to provide an honest and measured appraisal of performance and capability
- Provide forums where employees can discuss talent, learning and leadership development across not only their peer groups but also with people in the wider industry
Employee relations and engagement
Over the course of 2014, Page Executive has partnered with a number of organisations looking to invest in senior employee relations and engagement strategies and agendas. All of these businesses have faced the same challenge:
How do we engage with our employees to drive positive action which will increase key commercial initiatives?
These commercial initiatives have ranged from increasing business reputation and building an employer brand to increasing productivity and efficiency. A more engaged workforce with well managed employee relations can have a hugely positive effect on a business.
Page Executive has identified the following areas of focus on business leaders’ agenda’s in 2014.
Operational management can be one of the hardest and most critical jobs within any business. The need to deliver your growth objectives, generate the sales and revenue required, coupled with the requirement to build and grow a team. All whilst ensuring you motivate, engage, develop and importantly take your team on the required journey.
Set personal and business goals with clear expectations
Be clear with your employees on what is expected and work with them to ensure both personal and business goals are achieved. Be sure to be consistent and follow through when objectives are put in place.
Empower your people
Empower your employees to push themselves. If they feel they are learning and developing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, you will be able to harness a greater level of output and capability, driving better team results.
For many organisations, 2014 was the first time in over three years that they came to market in the search for talent. As a result, many HR leaders have had to re-review and update their approach to acquiring talent by answering the following questions:
- Where do they now identify external talent from?
- How do they identify it?
- How do they ensure its right for their business?
- Once identified, how do they attract it?
- How do they up skill their talent acquisition teams to manage buy backs and multiple offers?
- And importantly, once they attract it, how do they incentivise and reward it? Whilst critically ensuring they retain, engage and develop it?
What to expect in 2015
The outlook for 2015 looks bright but to ensure success it will be critical you have a plan for talent.
Businesses focused on increasing capability in specialist areas will continue, with a number of organisations already looking to sign off and enter the market for key talent in the New Year.
With specialist roles remaining constant, businesses will also be looking to attract true generalist leaders, to ensure both the people and business strategies are developed and delivered.
There will be an increase in organisations adopting a flexible working culture. As many businesses look to become more efficient, we will see more remote working and hot desking. This is already popular in start up technology businesses, now we will see this spread into larger FTSE organisations.
We are likely to also see an increase in more creative and varied flexible benefits. With a more diverse workforce, the need to cater to all will be critical. How do you engage, incentivise and reward generation X, Y and now Z?
To provide as much insight into how to ensure success in 2015, we spoke to a number of industry leading business and senior HR professionals, coupled with our own HR Practice. Below are our top 3 client and candidate recommendations for success in 2015.
- Developing a clear and transparent long term vision will be critical when looking to attract and retain the talent. Think five to eight years, not one to two
- Be honest about your business proposition. Many candidates desire to move is now driven by opportunity, development and challenge, not necessarily brand and salary
- Use your search partner more effectively; integrate them into your business to truly understand your requirements. They are your eyes and ears within the market and can provide real insight and value, not just a pile of CVs.
- If you are thinking about a move in 2015, build relationships with search partners now. The ideal role may not present itself immediately and building a trusted relationship with your search partner will be critical to the success of your search
- When compiling your CV, ensure that it truly represents you and the level at which you operate. Promoting your commercial achievements will be critical to positioning yourself as the CEO/MD’s next HR leader
- Build your network and utilise your search partner’s ability to support this. Whether it’s a breakfast seminar, industry forum, or agreeing to a chat over coffee with a new business, sharing insight and best practice will only help to support both your own development and job prospects.
To find an HR specialist in your region, please use the find a consultant tool. For more information on what we do, and how we can help your executive HR recruitment search, please visit our HR practice page.