Our next interview with a major figure from the world of recruitment, Simon Drake of Penna

Name: Simon Drake

Job Title and company: Director, Executive Recruitment Solutions, Penna Plc.

What’s your view of the recruitment market just now – where are the real challenges? 

The general market is growing well, as we would expect with the economy improving. The real larger scale challenges are centred around skill shortages across many sectors but particularly the STEM skills based industries where the talent supply chain has suffered lack of encouragement and investment in our education system and from early years and graduate employers through the recession.

Many have been forecasting a potential gap in the supply of experienced management and leadership capability, which will continue to create challenges to hire the right leaders with the best capability to develop future managers and tomorrow leaders. Therefore resourcing strategies that select leaders who are able to develop people is key to longer term success, along with talent strategies that truly embed development quickly in their early career hires.

Resourcing models have developed through recession to be focused on favouring cost propositions as hiring plans were less challenging. Now skills are in such demand many low cost models will be challenged unless more sophisticated approaches are applied such as we are seeing a greater appreciation  in RPOs now for specialist areas such as interim management, needing a different process and commercials to work.

How important are social media to your company’s recruitment efforts?

Social media is increasingly becoming more mainstream as part of a resourcing strategy but clients understanding of their employer brand and EVP is critical before, if their social media sourcing strategies are to be successful.

If you were Chancellor of the Exchequer, what is the one thing you’d do to create more business growth and jobs?

Reduce employers NI on small and younger businesses.

What use, if any, are you making of Big Data in your searches for talent?

Through the use of tagging and campaign management we deliver precise searches through to volume campaigns. We strategically manage our attraction and candidates in real time delivering instant results and constantly review successes and calibrate our campaigns to deliver the highest return on investments.

If you could change one thing in the recruitment industry what would it be?  

That more companies in the industry invest more in talent, like we do at Penna, to help our industry continue to professionalise and improve staff retention and service provision.

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