Talentful Blog

Words from Us

  • Event

    Tech Rec

    On Tuesday 13th November, Talentful hosted the first Technical Recruitment (‘Tech Rec’) meetup focussing on creative sourcing. Over 70 people turned up to hear from our wonderful panel of experts: Charlie Lower and Chris Murphy from Talentful, Alex Jones from Contino and Hannah Mansour from Hostmaker. For those of you who couldn’t be with us, here is what we learnt...

    Tech Rec

    Sourcing on Github:

    Charlie opened with a talk on how to use the open-source sharing platform, ‘Github’ as a way to find untouched talent. Through a comprehensive explanation of a particularly good profile (of a candidate named Bruno), Charlie quickly convinced us that there were certainly some hidden gems to be found. With only 10% (taken from a sample of 120 recruiters) accessing the 31 million devs that can be found on Github, you can imagine how this revelation went down!

    Niche Tech Hiring

    Alex spoke next, presenting on the enormous challenge in which Contino specialises: hiring Enterprise DevOps and Cloud specialists into their consultancy. In order for him to succeed, as an in-house tech recruiter, the team has developed some unique selling points and techniques.

    1. All teams within Contino use the agile methodology; a practice used by many tech that enables them to be reactive and, therefore, efficient. Alex finds this ‘practice what you preach’ approach builds his credibility and understanding of those he hires.  
    2. Youtube campaigns have been created showing ‘a day in the life’ to encourage direct applicants.
    3. They drive referrals through a generous referral bonus and a flawless candidate experience.

    Candidate experience is so important. Contino achieve this through standardising their Interview processes and ensuring candidates are made to feel special throughout throughout.

    X-Ray Searching:

    Chris Murphy began his discussion on X-Ray searching with a warning that this method can be time-consuming, but a reminder that it’s useful when the Linkedin river runs dry. It is also worth remembering that this sourcing method will only work when searching publicly available directories.

    As any recruiter knows, a good boolean search is an art form and sometimes the standard AND, OR, NOT is insufficient. Chris talked us through some additional weapons to help ensure our search is as effective as possible:

    1. To specify which website from which you would like your profiles to come use ‘site:’ e.g. site: uk.linkedin.com/in
    2. To specify something in the URL of a website use ‘inurl:’ e.g. ‘inurl: (CV OR Resume)’  
    3. To specify something in the title of a document use ‘intitle:’
    4. To specify something to appear in the text of a webpage use ‘intext:’ - particularly useful if looking for a certain skill!
    5. You can also use NOT, AND and OR in conjunction with these e.g. ‘inurl: (CV OR Resume) NOT intext: (CV OR Resume)’ (Hint: This can be particularly helpful when filtering out job ads)

    Charlie recommended recruitin.net for those just starting out, before you really get the hang of a good boolean.

    Linkedin and Google plugins

    To conclude the evening, Hannah acknowledged how time consuming and frustrating sourcing can be. She highlighted the importance of sourcing well so you can move on to hiring as soon as possible and avoid damaging your personal brand by reaching the wrong people.

    Hannah recommended a few tips and tricks to help write an effective message:  

    Be concise. Most candidates look at messages on a mobile on the go so it’s important that your message is engaging and short. LinkedIn recommends no more than 500 words… challenge accepted!

    Use Crystal; a fun plug-in tool that claims to reveal the personality behind a candidate profile, allowing you to personalise your outreach effectively.

    Follow up: after a few days, send another message reminding your candidate of your offer.

    And most importantly, use your time efficiently. Manage the expectations of your stakeholders and re-evaluate the hiring process if it takes to long!

    There was far too much fantastic advice to fit into an hour - and even less I could fit into this blog - so I understand if you’re hungry for more! Watch out for the next Tech Rec again and come along for free pizza, wine and wisdom....


  • Tips

    Jem's Top Tips for Achieving Employee Empowerment

    The evening of Wednesday 17th October saw another successful HRClub meet-up, hosted by Talentful. The dreary weather certainly didn’t affect the spirits of the attendees who enjoyed the welcoming wine, pizza and celebrations whilst exchanging stories and business cards!

    Jem's Top Tips for Achieving Employee Empowerment

    Shortly, we were to hear from Hannah Keal; People and Culture Partner at Unleashed.Company and all round HR Goddess! As well as Tej Singh; Talent Acquisition Lead at Babylon Health and Host of Tej Talks; check out his website https://tejtalks.ca/ and invest 5-10 minutes into yourself (I promise future you will be grateful)!

    The evening kicked off with an agreement that, in an ideal world, boss-pleasing and employee empowerment should be one and the same. However sadly, the ideal is rarely the reality! What followed was an insightful discussion that explored the hurdles faced when trying to promote a culture of empowerment, the biggest being that of trust.

    Employees, it seems, can be shown trust through allowing benefits such as a work from home policy, or be felt through having your voice heard (or both!). Seems simple enough...

    However, what about the perspective of a business owner? Can they really be blamed if the 2 hours they have spent with a candidate before offering a position falls woefully short of engendering confidence, no matter how skilful or charming the candidate may be? And, with all business owners and managers having experience of employees who have been unreliable and untrustworthy, should employees really expect trust if it has not yet been earned? This is particularly difficult when money is involved.

    And what about that all important compensation? It is worth noting that the experience within the room was heavily weighted on Start-up’s rather than big corporations. With (typically) less resources, less structure and less manpower available the perceived necessity for putting in uncompensated overtime is often trumped by opportunities to have impact. The potential that start-ups possess for empowerment and, indeed, for disheartenment was discussed; suggestions were raised that despite their foundations being in recent years, the heavily hierarchical structure and misplaced ideas that those working at the bottom should be happy to do so for little monetary reward, was actually a step back into the past. Perhaps so. But I think this has more to do with feeling valued by a company and for me, money alone would not be convincing. Trust, transparency and opportunity would and, fortunately this is something both big companies and small start-ups can achieve.

    So, how can we go from a culture of boss-pleasing to employee empowerment? It seems it works both ways:

    As employees, we can:

    1. Find a company that aligns with your values. If your company currently doesn’t, and there seems to be no wiggle room, consider a move!
    2. Build rapport with those senior to you; give them a reason to trust you.
    3. Approach your managers/ stakeholders with solutions, not problems.
    4. Have courage to establish your boundaries and speak up. Remember; you can never change someone else’s behaviour, but you can change your own.

    And managers: Take the time to really hear your employees; welcome criticism and embrace change.  Trust that they want to do a good job, and, most of the time, they will.

    What do you think? Did we come up with a good list?

    If yes, come along to our next event so you can benefit first hand from the amazing advice given!

    If not, come along to our next event to help guide our discussions!

    Jem Pauley