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Wired Sussex Breakfast Session: Finding, Developing and Retaining Talent

Last week I chaired our Breakfast Session ‘Finding, developing and retaining talent ’  with a marvellous panel of experts - Andy Budd CEO at ClearleftTerry Swann Global Recruitment Manager at Brandwatch and Alex McGregor Stewart the Director of Lighthouse Learning – who shared their knowledge & experience and answered questions from members.

In case you couldn't make it, we want to share as much of the conversation as possible. Below are the key points from the session (SketchNote courtesy of M.I.SCRIBE.)

Wired Sussex Sketchnotes - Finding Talent(Complete Revised)

Andy Budd

  • Salary is just one part of the deal for employees - Purpose, Meaning and Place are what makes an employee choose you and stay with you
  • Professional development is a right, we give each member of staff £1000 training budget a year
  • You need to give employees access to great work and support to their best
  • Hiring juniors is getting harder as it's so expensive to live in Brighton which is making junior talent move to London for work and to Bristol.

Terry Swann

  • Brandwatch has grown from 150 to nearly 400 staff in the last 2 years with 230 employees in its home town of Brighton
  • They use Wired Sussex and LinkedIn Job Boards
  • Create a strong Online presence:
  • Networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Glassdoor and Talent Rocket are all very effective tools in finding new talent
  • However it’s important to obtain the right audience, which you build over time by pushing interesting, engaging content that demonstrate the company’s personality and culture
  • Create cool content
  • Invite followers to Open Days
  • They have two internal recruiters plus Terry
  • Referrals - smart people know smart people
  • At interview stage give them to carry out a task that is something like what they would do in their job to see how they manage it

Alex McGregor Stewart

Alex shared her recruiting mistakes and how they overcame them:

Terrible Jobs ads:

  • Good copy takes time
  • Keep it punchy
  • Be imaginative about benefits
  • Tell everyone you're hiring
  • Remove half the requirements - women won't apply if they don't meet 100% of requirements
  • Edit copy to be welcoming and unbiased
  • Asked Kelly Dibbert for tips!

Getting the Recruitment Process just right:

  • Carefully designed activities
  • Have a panel of interviewees, maybe three people, with one person who isn't a direct link to the role for a different perspective
  • Squeeze out as much as you can from the recruitment process
  • Include informal 1-1 time
  • Score them in interview
  • Introduce them to the team - see how they get on with everyone

Hiring the wrong candidate:

  • Don't let bias cloud decision - you maye have common interests but can they do the job?
  • Don't ignore red flags
  • Never skip steps

Overlooking team problems:

  • If ignored undermines the good work done
  • Not talking - people fill in their own blanks - be open with your team
  • The worst times are opportunities to build honesty and trust

Firing badly:

  • Be clear and honest about why you are doing it with your team
  • Don't let it linger
  • Plan a really fair process

Don't be too busy for good stuff:

  • Don't postpone reviews/appraisals
  • Focus on BOG milestones
  • Don't forget to organise some fun stuff for your team!

Kelly Dibbert

  • Employers shared how they developed their Strategy & Culture in 10 minute long lightening talks at our Skills Summit in 2015. You can view them here for some great hints and tips:

Caroline Collyer & Martin Wilson – Bright-Interactive
Sophie Davies-Patrick – Clearleft
Mark Harrison – City & Guilds Kineo
Juliet Tzabar – Plug-In Media
Stefan Hull – Propellernet

  • Hanna Smith HR Director at Madgex presented Becoming an Employer of Choice at our HR Round Table last year, you can download her presentation from Dropbox here.
  • Don't forget you can take part in the Wired Sussex CDIT Open Studios in September 2016 to showcase what you do, invite prospective employees and customers into your space.  You can register your interest with our Events Manager here.

Feel free to share your thoughts, feedback or other tips by tweeting us @WiredSussex using #WiredBrekkie.

You can check out upcoming Breakfast Sessions here.

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