On Wednesday 20 November 2019, jobs.ac.uk hosted the annual HE Recruitment Conference at Scarman, the University of Warwick. Tailored exclusively to recruitment in universities, we invited special guest speakers to address sector challenges, share new ideas and provide inspiration for our delegates’ next recruitment strategy. The programme filled with engaging and informative content gave delegates the opportunity to attend presentations, participate in workshops and network with peers. Attendees gained insights from the Government’s recruitment service, the British Army, Regent’s University London and many more organisations.
Andy Dolby, Market Director at Capita People Solutions, opened the conference with findings from an extensive piece of research on the shift towards a hybrid human – AI workforce. Many business leaders see the ‘human to hybrid’ transition as their most important strategic challenge in the next five years. With this in mind, Andy advised HR and recruitment leaders to focus on three strategic levers to address this concern; the digital opportunity, insight edge and human difference.
The second session was delivered by Mark Holleran, Director of SearchHigher. Mark discussed professional services recruitment and the key challenges we face when recruiting for these roles in higher education. His presentation included valuable advice on overcoming these challenges and the importance of making candidates aware of the benefits associated with working in higher education. Emma Johnson, Head of Marketing at Warwick Employment Group joined Mark at the end of his session to share an exclusive preview of the new jobs.ac.uk professional services campaign. Delegates were also provided with an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences of recruiting for professional services vacancies.
Jack Richardson, Deputy Director of the Government’s recruitment service shared his experience of developing a forward thinking and cost-effective recruitment function for over 200 government departments and agencies. Jack discussed his tips for finding the right candidates using success profiles, which help hiring managers to explore candidates’ suitability for each role by measuring; experience, strengths, ability to perform, technical knowledge and behaviour. Jack also mentioned the importance of driving performance and improving diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
After the three course buffet lunch, delegates had the opportunity to choose which breakout session they would like to attend.
The first of the breakout sessions was delivered by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Assistant HR Director, Julie Griggs, and Head of Resourcing, Matt Forrest, who shared the story behind their institution’s employer brand transformation. The team emphasised the importance of putting candidates at the centre of everything, communicating key messages with clarity and engaging with current and prospective employees. Neil Harrison, Consultant and Owner of NH237 Consulting, joined the session to share his experience of collaborating with the University and highlighted the significance of developing a robust Employer Value Proposition.
Emma Fulton, Head of Marketing Planning for the British Army, led a breakout session on the British Army’s latest recruitment marketing campaign, which targeted ‘selfie addicts’, ‘snowflakes’ and ‘me me millennials.’ The campaign sparked a strong reaction from the media, but proposed that candidates should ‘Belong in a team where everyone can do something that really matters.’ Emma discussed the results and lessons learned from this high profile campaign.
To conclude this year’s conference, Sue Shutter, Pro Vice Chancellor and HR Director at Regent’s University London delivered an engaging session, which reflected on a number of her experiences at Regent’s, including their approach to appointing a new Vice Chancellor. Sue shared the five values Regent’s consider when recruiting; collaboration, caring, integrity, excellence and internationalisation, and delved into her selection process, tips for addressing gender parity in higher education before opening the floor to questions.
To ensure the resources from the event are easily accessible, we have created a dedicated landing page where you can find all of the presentation slides from the conference sessions.