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  • Do you know the true cost of a bad hire?

    How much does a bad hire cost? The  Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) reported that more than a third of companies believe hiring mistakes cost their business nothing. However, a bad hire can severely impact a business; consider within monetary terms a mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs associated with the recruitment process, such as training, onboarding, equipment, software licenses, wasted salary and much more. The increase in redundancies over the past year has led to more jobseekers searching for roles, and has led to senior professionals considering positions more junior to mid-level, and an increased competitiveness for both mid-management and senior vacancies. 85% of HR decision makers admit their business has made a bad hire, as recruitment has become more challenging over the past year. More than half of the UK employers (52%) surveyed, responded that mismatched candidates were their biggest challenge to recruitment, followed by the time it takes to hire (43%) and expressing other concerns such as applicant volume and the tools and systems they used for recruitment. So what is a bad hire? A bad hire will look different for every business, from being a mild inconvenience to a major disaster. Typically it will be where an employee does not perform their job well or who is not a good fit for the company culture. This can manifest in several ways: They have the wrong skills or experience for the job They are not able to meet the expectations of their role They have a negative attitude or do not fit in with the company culture They are frequently late or absent They make a lot of mistakes They are not able to work independently or as part of a team They are disruptive or cause conflict in the workplace According to an Indeed study, 75% of UK SME businesses will make 3 unsuitable hire a year. How does a bad hire impact a business? Apart from the financial costs, a bad hire can negatively impact businesses in other ways; Losses from training costs: 53% of businesses stated training as their biggest cost to a bad hire and some businesses offered further training with the hopes that the “bad hire” could become a better fit, however it often perpetuated other issues. Lost productivity: A bad hire will often be less productive than other employees, which can lead to lost revenue for the business. Damage to morale: The wrong candidate can create a negative work environment, which can damage morale and productivity of the team/department. This could result in good staff members leaving. Damage to reputation: A bad hire can damage the company's reputation, making it more difficult to attract and retain customers and employees. How can Solis help you reduce your chances of making a bad hire? Solis is a boutique recruitment consultancy specialising in supporting businesses to hire across their Digital, Marketing and Comms teams across the UK, Europe and Middle East. At Solis we strive to deliver exceptional recruitment experiences to both Clients and Candidates and reducing bad hires can help with this. The way we’re helping businesses to reduce bad hires are: Helping designing recruitment processes that assess candidates on more than purely skills and experiences, but ensuring they align with the company’s values and team culture. Personality and soft skills are as integral to hiring a great, long lasting fit. Driving speed and efficiency, with a strategic methodology to source strong relevant applicants. We can facilitate video introductions as part of the screening and selection process, meaning urgent roles can be addressed more promptly. Increases chances of finding suitable candidates. As experienced Head Hunters, we can adapt our search to ensure businesses are hiring the right talent. We leverage different sourcing methodologies and routes to market to uncover hidden gems, often times finding candidates not actively searching for a new role. Screening and presenting candidates is essential to helping your internal hiring teams understand why we have selected our shortlist. We help take the guess work out of hiring by thoroughly evaluating why candidates would be suitable to the role and company. Managing the recruitment process. We help businesses throughout the hiring lifecycle, from helping to write job descriptions, sourcing & screening, helping with selection and interviews to managing the offering and onboarding process. The final stages have become the most challenging part of recruitment for most employer, which is where we help. Although we can’t promise every hire will work out, but we want to partner with businesses to reduce bad hires, and ensure they have long lasting hire who can add value to the organisation. Looking to hire? Get in touch with us here to share some details and we’ll be in touch soon.

  • How Traditional PR Agencies can harness the power of Digital PR and increase revenue

    Setting the Scene How traditional agencies could increase revenue by understanding Digital PR Showing the true value of your work Looking at PR through another lens Help is at hand Intro In 2024 brands are demanding more. No longer can we have streams of work operating in silos, ever decreasing budgets require agencies to create strategies and work streams that drive metrics across multiple channels and adopt a more integrated approach. With experience creating and leading Traditional PR teams and working on the World's biggest brands, we caught up with James Roach to understand how he thinks Traditional PR agencies could evolve to be able to get a bigger slice of the Digital PR pie and earn more revenue as a result. Setting the scene Over the last 10 years I’ve worked and led Digital PR teams at some of the leading SEO marketing agencies in the UK. During this time I’ve seen the same issues occur time and time again. One of the biggest issues that raises its ugly head more often than most is the conversation with clients around results. In most cases clients see success as being how many placements and links we get for a story that we are outreaching to press. Which is why it is vital that two key components within the Digital PR process are always on point. The Idea - It’s got to be PR led, newsworthy and hooky as hell The Outreach Process - This needs to be expertly crafted and delivered (no spray and pray tactics here please). It’s safe to say that most SEO marketing agencies have it covered when it comes to understanding the ideas that work for Digital PR, and the technicalities involved with how getting links back to a story or asset page can benefit a client. Where they sometimes lack experience, is in the outreach and PR side of things. Knowing how to sell a story effectively, having a little black book of contacts, and being able to talk the lingo effectively in order to get a journalist's attention. It is in this area (the most important) where SEO marketing agencies tend to get patchy and inconsistent results for clients, leading to client unrest and wasted budgets on campaigns that are inconsistent in delivering value. This is where more Traditional PR agencies can excel. How traditional agencies could increase revenue by understanding Digital PR Having trained many Traditional PR agencies on what Digital PR is and how it differs, two things have become abundantly clear to me. Traditional PR agencies are delivering insanely consistent coverage that SEO Marketing agencies could only dream of. Some Traditional PR agencies lack the basic understanding of SEO to be able to join the dots between their good PR work and how it can benefit clients online. As a result, Traditional PR agencies are missing out on a lot of revenue from clients who are going elsewhere to fulfill their Digital PR needs. Showing the true value of your work One of the more frustrating elements of Traditional PR initiatives is that it can be very hard to track actual effectiveness in terms of revenue generated. But imagine a world where you could see a direct impact on the bottom line, on online growth, on traffic and on conversions from a campaign that you ran. That is what Digital PR can do, that is why it’s so powerful, and that is why you can charge more for it from your clients. Having a clear Digital PR strategy will allow you to speak to clients and forecast potential revenue uplifts from the work you’ll undertake, vitally important for getting C-suite level buy-in at a time where clients are conscious of every spend. Looking at PR through another lens The good news is that more Traditional PR agencies have already got the hard part sorted. They know exactly how to get coverage, no problems. In order to unlock the purse strings of brands who want to see success with Digital PR efforts that tie back into online growth, the path is simple. Traditional PR agencies need to get adept in being able to speak to the clients online pain points that can be solved with Digital PR and online coverage. An example of some of these are: Lack of site authority Low keyword SERP positioning Lack of traffic to key product pages Bridging the knowledge gap here and being able to speak about how online coverage can fix all these issues and more will put you ahead of most SEO marketing agencies and start to get you a piece of that Digital PR pie. Help is at hand Part of my work as a freelance Digital PR expert has been to run fun interactive workshops, training and consultancy sessions with Traditional PR agencies. In these sessions we cover all aspects of a Digital PR strategy, from defining KPI’s, right through to identifying strategic areas of their clients online offering that require assistance, defining client goals and more. This in turn allows for teams to navigate conversations confidently with new and existing clients in order to unlock new budgets and opportunities. Likewise the same can be done for internal PR teams at brands who already have a group of PR experts owning their brands story and output. To find out more about working together visit my LinkedIn or email me at ijamesroach@gmail.com.

  • What is an Employer Value Proposition and why is it important?

    An EVP is a combination of all the benefits and experiences someone gets from working at your company. This includes things like salary, benefits, work-life balance, and even your company culture and mission. A strong EVP is essential for attracting top talent in today's competitive job market. It helps your organisation stand out from the crowd and helps to show people that your company is the best place for them to work. Having a clear EVP also helps with retention - if employees feel like they're getting a good deal, they're more likely to stay with your organisation. A strong EVP is not just about fancy perks or a high salary. While those things can be important, a truly effective EVP goes beyond that. It's about creating a genuine connection with potential employees and showing them why your company is a special place to work. It’s a way of saying "Here's what we offer you, and why you should choose us." It's a critical tool for building a strong employer brand and attracting the best people to your team. Creating and defining your Employer Value Proposition Creating a compelling employer value proposition involves understanding what your company offers and what top talent is looking for. There are a few ways to go about this, but generally this will include research, benchmarking and data analysis. Internal Research: Gathering employee insights is an important first step when it comes to creating an EVP. This can include conducting surveys, putting together focus groups, or even one-on-one interviews, to understand what employees value most about working at your company. This includes tangible benefits like compensation and healthcare, but also intangible aspects like culture, work-life balance, and development opportunities. Identifying your company’s strengths will help you to analyse your current employer brand. Another element to consider, is your mission statement, or your core values. What are they, and how clearly are they communicated? How do these translate into concrete actions and experiences for employees? What sets you apart from competitors in terms of culture, opportunities, or impact? External Benchmarking: Research your key competitors; analyze their EVPs and their employer branding strategies. Look at their job postings, career pages, and social media presence. This will help you identify areas where you can differentiate yourself. Staying updated on industry trends is also vital. What are top talent searching for in today's job market? What are emerging trends in employee engagement and retention? In order to stay competitive, you need to understand what is in demand and what the values and priorities of the talent pool that you're targeting are. Data Analysis and Crafting your EVP: Based on your internal and external findings, what are the key themes that define your EVP. These could be things like innovation, collaboration, purpose-driven work, or work-life balance. Your EVP should be clear and memorable. A statement that summarizes what makes your company unique and attractive to potential employees, focusing not just on the benefits, but on the value they offer. Authenticity is also key – highlight what sets you apart, but don’t make promises you can’t keep. Your EVP should be a true reflection of your company culture and values. How can my EVP support our Diversity and Inclusion efforts? An EVP can be a powerful tool to attract a diverse talent pool and create a more inclusive workplace. The first step is communicating your commitment: be upfront about your commitment to D&I. Showcase what you are doing, highlight concrete initiatives and progress being made towards your goals. Show potential employees that your workplace promotes a culture of respect and belonging for everyone. Highlight opportunities or growth and development, regardless of background; allow candidates from all walks of life to be able to visualise themselves thriving in your organisation. When crafting your EVP, use inclusive language and imagery. Avoid using gendered language or stereotypical imagery in your materials, use visuals that represent a variety of backgrounds, ages and abilities. And of course – authenticity is key. Ensure your message is genuine and actually representative of your organisation’s efforts. Now What? Once you have created your EVP, it needs to be communicated - integrate it into your career page, job postings, and social media. Make sure your EVP is visible to potential candidates throughout the recruitment process. Remember, your EVP is a living document that should evolve over time as your company and the job market change. Keep these tips in mind and you'll be well on your way to defining an EVP that resonates with top talent and helps you build a strong employer brand.

  • How does employer branding help to attract top talent?

    Employer branding plays a crucial role in attracting top talent in today's competitive job market. It's no longer just about showcasing open positions; it's about building a narrative around your company as a desirable place to work. This narrative should resonate with the values, aspirations, and career goals of the talent you want to attract. But what are the actual benefits of building or having a strong employer brand? Well the reality is that there are a few! A strong brand will attract high quality applicants and help to reduce your recruitment costs. It will position you as an employer of choice, over competitors, and therefore attract a larger pool of qualified candidates, which in turn means you will spend less time and resources on screening and interviewing irrelevant applicants. (Even less if you work with an experienced recruitment partner like Solis!) As a recruiter, we see time and time again, that a well-respected brand with a good reputation as an employer in the market, results in better candidates and higher offer acceptance rates. The best candidates, the top talent, will have options – they are in demand. A positive brand image can make a real difference when it comes to competing offers. And while a lot of these points are focused on attraction and recruitment of new talent, let’s not forget that employee retention is just as important. A strong and authentic brand fosters employee pride and satisfaction, leading to a more stable workforce and lower turnover. Understanding the benefits of a strong employer brand is only half of the conversation – the other part is how a strong employer brand is built. There are several elements for consideration when it comes to a compelling employer brand, but we think these are some of the big ones: Authenticity: Be genuine and transparent about your company culture, values, and work environment. Don't try to be something you're not. Differentiation: Highlight what sets you apart from competitors. What unique benefits or opportunities do you offer? How is the company evolving? Employee voice: Amplify the voices of your current employees through testimonials, social media, and internal videos. Their enthusiasm is contagious and can add value to the recruitment process. Positive online presence: Manage your online reputation across job boards, company review sites, and social media. Address negative feedback constructively. Seamless candidate experience: Create a smooth and positive application process that reflects your brand values, and provide candidates with meaningful feedback. These translate into tangible strategies very simply. Defining your employer value proposition is a great way to build a strong employer brand – this is an opportunity to illustrate what makes your company unique and how it differentiates itself from it’s competitors. It’s a chance to highlight your company culture and core values, and (if you’ve done your research!) it’s a chance for you to really address the key areas that prospective employees want to know about. Other strategies include developing a content strategy and a social media strategy – using these tools and platforms to share your culture, employee experiences, career development opportunities and success stories. It’s a great way to allow candidates to get to know you and what you’re about. This can include employee testimonials, sharing positive feedback or reviews, sharing the launches of exciting new initiatives etc. And of course – the classic and effective strategy of investing in employee branding initiatives. This includes encouraging employee advocacy, referral programmes, essentially supporting and encouraging your employees to be your biggest advocates! A happy workforce is a huge strength, for any organisation. Remember, employer branding is an ongoing process. Regularly evaluate your brand message and adapt it to reflect changes in your company and the job market. By investing in building a strong employer brand, you'll be well-positioned to attract and retain the top talent you need to succeed.

  • The rise of TikTok SEO: Is TikTok a Search Engine or Social Media Platform?

    Introduction "It starts with TikTok" Campaign JR's Thoughts Rejoice's Thoughts Dhanya's Thoughts Conculsion Introduction We're only in January 2024 and already the biggest question in SEO has become “Is TikTok a Search Engine?” Over the past week TikTok launched a OOH advertisement featuring a search bar which captured many people’s attention, but the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms growing influence Is TikTok a Search Engine or Social Media Platform? 1 month in to 2024 and the biggest question in SEO has quickly become “Is TikTok a Search Engine?” Over the past week TikTok launched a OOH advertisement featuring a search bar which captured many people’s in attention, but the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms growing influence in this space actually began a couple of years ago. Back in 2022, Senior Vice President of Google, Prabhakar Raghavan, stated 40% of young people (Gen Z) were turning to TikTok or Instagram ahead of Google Maps or Google Search. HerCampus expanded on this with a survey in the US stating 73% of Gen Z were turning to TikTok as a search engine. TikTok also recently launched it’s “It starts with TikTok”, with the campaign appearing on some of the UK’s biggest billboards, across radio, podcasts, social and in-app, and on TV screens which shows how the impact searching on TikTok can bring. This shows how TikTok sees itself as bigger than just a Social Media platform and will continue to grow in the Search space. During the past week I was served an advert on YouTube as part of their expansion. We’ve also seen Google shift to incorporating TikTok videos in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). This means businesses can optimise a social strategy which will impact their SEO. As this is an area that’s quickly evolving, we asked some industry professional for their thoughts on TikTok and SEO for 2024: Do Search and Social Media need a more integrated approach in 2024? Should businesses prioritise TikTok over YouTube? How does TikTok impact discoverability? And who should be responsible for formulating the TikTok strategy (Social Media, SEO, Branding, Content, all of them etc...)? JR at Seen Connects shared his thoughts below: Do Search and Social Media need a more integrated approach in 2024? Absolutely, we’ve seen over the last 2 years how platforms are becoming more and more aware of how consumers are utilising apps like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest as search engines. These platforms have continued to increase their search functionality to meet that demand. Also, with the changes we’ve seen in the SEO industry and social content even being served in the SERPs on Google, its important now more than ever to integrate search and social strategies. Should businesses prioritise TikTok over YouTube? It really depends on the business, target audience and content styles. My advice would be to do a deep dive into your target demographic and understand where they’re showing up. TikTok does over index across multiple audiences but if you’re trying to reach an older demographic YouTube might still be king for your business. How does TikTok impact discoverability? TikTok’s algorithm rewards content that is deemed entertaining, rather than most other platforms that built their algorithms on a social graph of engagement. This changed the game for discoverability on social, what was once reserved for the “social elite” has become available for everyone through the FYP. On top of this over the last 12 months, TikTok have pioneered social search with their new search functionalities and even released analytics on search. Google have even recognised the value of TikTok content by adding short form video content from the platform in search results – if discoverability is your goal, TikTok is the platform for you. And who should be responsible for formulating the TikTok strategy (Social Media, SEO, Branding, Content, all of them etc...)? In my opinion, it’s a joint effort – for too long all of these teams have worked in silo of each other but for brands to win they all need to work together. Social teams can learn a lot from SEO teams and visa-versa. Aligning on wider brand strategies across each business entity will definitely become more commonplace. Rejoice Ojiaku, an SEO professional, industry speaker and Co-Founder of B-DigitalUK shared her thoughts below: ·      Do Search and Social Media need a more integrated approach in 2024? Absolutely. The integration of search and social media is crucial in 2024. With platforms like TikTok influencing search behaviour, especially among Gen Z, businesses need to understand how social media content can enhance their search visibility. An integrated approach ensures that content strategies are synergistic, leveraging social media trends and search insights to create a cohesive online presence. It's not just about being found anymore; it's about being relevant and engaging where your audience is spending their time. ·      Should businesses prioritise TikTok over YouTube? This depends on the target audience and content style of the business. TikTok, with its short-form, highly engaging content, is a goldmine for capturing Gen Z's attention. However, YouTube's long-form content appeals to a broader demographic and is excellent for in-depth storytelling and brand building. It's not about choosing one over the other; rather, it's about leveraging each platform's strengths. For immediate engagement and trend-setting, TikTok is key. For comprehensive content and broader reach, YouTube remains essential. ·      How does TikTok impact discoverability? TikTok significantly boosts discoverability through its algorithm, which favours user engagement over follower count. This means even new or small brands can achieve wide visibility if their content resonates with the audience. Additionally, TikTok's content often ranks in Google SERPs, offering a dual benefit – visibility on both TikTok and Google. The key is creating content that is not only engaging but also optimized with trending hashtags, relevant keywords, and engaging narratives. ·      Who should be responsible for formulating the TikTok strategy (Social Media, SEO, Branding, Content, all of them, etc...) The TikTok strategy should be a collaborative effort. Social Media teams bring expertise in platform-specific trends and audience engagement. SEO teams can integrate search insights and keyword strategies. Branding teams ensure content alignment with the overall brand voice and image. Content teams contribute to creative storytelling and quality content production. A unified approach, where all these teams work together, results in a TikTok strategy that is not only engaging and trend-savvy but also aligned with broader marketing objectives. SEO Consultant Dhanya Nair shared her thoughts on the matter: Of late (on LinkedIn), the SEO community is up in arms about whether TikTok is a search engine. As a marketer and user, I use TikTok as a search engine, especially during the initial discovery stage of any search. This does not mean I only use TikTok. Search is not a linear process and rather than debating whether TikTok is a search engine or not, as marketers we need to have an integrated approach. As mentioned above, TikTok is great for discovery. As a consumer, I have discovered several upcoming brands, publications and even different hot takes on TikTok. The personalised algorithm is one of the main reasons why I keep going back to TikTok. That being said, my search ends up in Google. Because with Google you can understand a brand’s expertise and authority in the field. One of the main drawbacks of TikTok is there is no EEAT element (at least not yet) and it is difficult to establish the veracity of content. Especially for more serious topics, be it health, finance or even politics, searches still get completed in Google. The other drawback is there are still no tools out there that give organic search volume information. So, sometimes it can feel like you are throwing darts in darkness. So should you use TikTok or not? Gone are the days of siloed SEO work. Integrated teams and SEOs should already be using TikTok in their Search strategy. as I said search journey is rarely linear and to improve your brand visibility, your reach, and your bottomline have a cross-channel strategy. Our thoughts Businesses should utilise TikTok marketing as both an SEO and Social Media channel, which will require an integrated approach. If audiences are beginning to utilise TikTok as there go to Search Engine, then businesses will need to priorities this as a channel for their customers. Also with TikTok videos showing on Google SERPs this means content must be optimised to both channels, which can be challenging. TikTok is a way to signal “experience” by showcasing how actual users incorporate a businesses products and services in their daily lives. It’s an opportunity to help building brands. Also audiences sharing content (UGC) on different platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest will indirectly increase brand visibility, help build trustworthiness and develop authenticity, which can support a businesses SEO activities. Anyone arguing TikTok isn't a search engine should keep in mind YouTube SEO only searches within YouTube, Amazon SEO within Amazon and ASO on within a certain app store. Tiktok has quickly become a search engine, because users are using it like one, and because of this businesses will need greater integration between their Social Media and SEO teams, to find a new way of formulating a broader organic digital marketing strategy to reach audiences. Visit our services page for more information about how we can help your hiring needs. Or visit our Digital Marketing page for some of the areas we recruit across.

  • New Year, New....Talent Acquisition Practices?

    “New Year New Me” is a phrase we often hear. We approach many aspects of our lives with a new sense of purpose and perspective in the new year, feeling refreshed and reinvigorated, and when we think about this in the context of careers and work we often jump to new roles and career changes. But for those of us in recruitment, this is an ideal time to take this energy and direct it to reinvigorating and reassessing our approach to talent acquisition. As businesses take the time to review and refocus their strategies and goals, we are afforded an opportunity to ensure that our talent acquisition practices are also updated and in line with the current market and hiring trends. Job Descriptions Transparency is a key theme here: be upfront about salary ranges, benefits, and company culture to attract candidates who align with your values and expectations. This also includes transparency with flexible working policies; the post-pandemic landscape includes a host of options on offer, from hybrid or remote working to four day weeks. To remain competitive, be transparent about what you offer and be prepared to say why. If you offer hybrid, how many days in the office vs from home? If you don’t offer any remote working options, explain why and showcase any alternative benefits that offer work-life balance, like flexible hours or compressed workweeks. There is also a renewed emphasis on skills and outcomes, on highlighting the skills and abilities needed for a role and viewing through the lens of skills based hiring, rather than a laundry list of years of experience. Focusing on the outcomes and the impact that a candidate can have, and their role’s contribution to the organisation’s goals, will appeal to the candidates who value purpose and making a difference. Employer branding A strong employer brand is important, now more than ever. In this digital age candidates are well versed in doing their research on prospective employers, whether checking social media, testimonials or other platforms like Glassdoor.com. Employer reviews are researched in the same way you might scan through reviews on Trustpilot.com or Amazon.co.uk, before making a purchase. If you’re looking to attract top talent. this means ensuring that your organisation has a great reputation online, and the chatter is positive! Interview processes Taking a candidate-centric approach remains a top way to attract excellent candidates, including interview processes that focus on providing positive candidate experiences. This also includes offering virtual or hybrid interview formats, utilising video conferencing tools for initial screenings and interviews, implementing skills based assessments to evaluate candidates’ practical abilities without bias, and providing diversity and inclusion training to interviewers to ensure a fair and positive interview experience. Transparency is again an important element here – transparency with interview timelines, with feedback and with deadlines for decisions being made. Culture Company culture has become an important element for candidates, when assessing prospective employers, and it’s important for employers to understand this when trying to attract top talent. This means clearly defining and communicating your organisation’s values, mission and desired workplace culture. This means ensuring job descriptions, employer branding and recruitment messaging all align with the organisation’s culture to attract candidates with shared values. This means a commitment to diversity and inclusion, expressly communicating a commitment to the same and creating inclusive recruitment processes that welcome individuals from all backgrounds. Other strategies to highlight workplace culture include featuring employee success stories and testimonials in recruiting materials, sharing policies that support work-life balance and a healthy work environment, showcasing benefits such as wellness programs and mental health support, and outlining development opportunities for professional growth and continuous learning on the job, training programs, mentorship initiatives, leadership development programs and recognition mechanisms within the organisation. Whilst there are many more elements to consider, in addition to the above-mentioned, by staying attuned to these hiring trends and incorporating them into talent acquisition practices, organizations can better attract, engage, and retain top talent in an ever-evolving job market.

  • The rise of "Wellbeing Washing"

    Wellbeing, diversity and inclusion are all hot topics, and something companies are often seen to advertise and promote. But amidst a lot of positive and thoughtful changes, there has also been a rise in “wellbeing washing”. What is “wellbeing washing”? "Wellbeing washing" is a term used to describe when companies claim to prioritize employee or customer well-being without actually implementing substantial changes or improvements in that area. It's similar to the concept of "greenwashing," where companies claim to be environmentally friendly without actually taking concrete steps to reduce their environmental impact. “Wellbeing washing” can involve making surface-level changes, such as offering wellness programs or creating marketing campaigns that emphasize well-being without addressing the underlying issues that impact employee or customer well-being. For example, a company might offer a meditation program for employees to reduce stress levels, but at the same time, they could be overworking employees, creating a toxic work environment, or offering inadequate compensation and benefits. The term "wellbeing washing" highlights the need for companies to be genuine in their efforts to promote well-being and to back up their claims with concrete actions. Companies that engage in wellbeing washing risk damaging their reputation and losing the trust of their employees and customers. But why would companies and businesses do this? Companies engage in "wellbeing washing" for a variety of reasons, including their public perception and their recruitment efforts. They may be concerned about their public image and believe that emphasizing their commitment to employee or customer well-being will improve their reputation. By promoting their well-being initiatives, companies may hope to be viewed as socially responsible and caring. Companies may also use wellbeing initiatives as a way to attract and retain talented employees. In a competitive job market, companies may see wellness programs and other well-being initiatives as a way to differentiate themselves from other employers and create a more desirable work environment. However, it's important to note that engaging in "wellbeing washing" can ultimately be counterproductive for companies if they don't follow through on their promises and take real action to improve employee and customer well-being. In the long run, genuine commitment to well-being is more likely to lead to positive outcomes for both the company and its stakeholders. So how can candidates avoid “wellbeing washing”? Do your research! You can research the company's reputation and track record regarding employee well-being, and check online reviews and ratings from current and former employees. Have a look for news articles or other sources of information that may shed light on the company's culture and practices. We also advise candidates to ask questions – interviews should be a two way process. As much as interviews are an opportunity for employers to assess whether a candidate is right for their organisation, they are also an opportunity for candidates to assess whether an employer or organisation is the right environment for them. During the interview process, try to ask specific questions about the company's well-being initiatives, such as what programs are offered, how they are implemented, and how success is measured. Asking for examples of how the company has improved employee well-being in the past can also be helpful. Transparency is a also a great indicator of intentions - genuine well-being initiatives are typically transparent and clearly communicated to employees. Candidates can look for evidence that the company values employee feedback and involves employees in the development and implementation of well-being initiatives. And last but not least – trust your gut! Trust their instincts and pay attention to any red flags or warning signs that a company may not be genuinely committed to employee well-being. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!

  • How to change career path into Product Management

    Are you looking to change career path to Product Management? So you want to get into Product Management, but the pre-requisite is anywhere from 1 – 3 years of experience… Experience that you don’t have right now, because the roles that you need in order to build the experience, all want someone with experience. Sound familiar? We often hear this kind of frustration from candidates, and it’s a common theme. But how does one break through this cycle? We reached out to our network, and asked some Senior Product Management professionals what their experience has been like, and how they approach hiring for their own teams. Which roles can evolve into Product Management? There are a number of sectors that involve transferable skills that lend themselves to Product Management, including Marketing, Operations, E-commerce, Data and Analytics, to name a few. Nick Falkowski, Product Director at Trustpilot shared that “someone with practically any career path can successfully move into Product Management. It is really more about the individual, what motivates and excites them, and the impact they want to have in their professional life…before I worked in Product I worked in a variety of different roles, including things such as sponsorship sales, project management, and as an editor for a technical book publisher. Another great head of product I worked with was previously a solicitor”. Joe Tarragano, Chief Product Officer at Evri answered that very few people begin their careers within Product Management, but the behaviours, mindset and an ability to learn will help someone transition. He said “Product folks have a broad remit and a wide perspective and set of skills, so if someone comes with some background in any of ‘desirability, viability or feasibility’ that can help, but it’s much more about how they approach the role.” Another Senior Product Manager we spoke with had a background in data and analytics, UX, marketing and ecommerce. They said it can be difficult to find an entry point, but highlighting where your current role overlaps with the product function and demonstrates that you have transferable skills should make it easier. So moving from another industry isn’t the issue, but core characteristics does someone need to begin their Product Manager career? Skills, Behaviours and Experience Coming from a pathway overlapping with Product Management, would make it easier for hiring manager’s to consider your application, but there are also certain Skills and Behaviours that can really make your application stand out. Nick states the mindset is key to moving into product management with 4 key traits: 1. Having a genuine interest in customer perspectives and experiences 2. Understanding how businesses make money from addressing their customer’s needs 3. How the business improves addressing these needs 4. Exploring initiatives and approaches that drive excellence Adapting to an environment of constant learning, validation, and iteration means the job is never done and there is always room for further growth and development. A Product Manager should have a natural curiosity and willingness to learn, as every business has different requirement and problems to resolve. However one of the obstacles that needs to be overcome is changing your mindset. Working within an Agile environment and focussing on “outcomes over outputs” is what some professionals struggle to adapt to. Joe elaborates further on this point further stating, “It’s harder if they’ve spent years working in a waterfall way, in a risk averse, hierarchical environment”. People moving in to Product Management careers should be open to failing, know they don’t hold the answers, and are curious & experimental. Hiring managers are looking for intelligence, energy and curiosity as Product Management can be a demanding career path, but working within a challenging and constantly evolving career path is usually what has attracted someone to explore this career path. Entry Point When moving career into Product Management, it can sometimes mean taking a lateral move, or even starting within a more junior position. Senior will be expected to jump straight into the deep end, with little time to adapt. Before looking to move into the Product Management career path, all the professionals we spoke with recommended, building your knowledge and understanding of Product Management. Nick recommends doing research and reading to build an understanding of what Product Management involves. He suggests starting with Sprint by Jake Knapp to understand the ideation process and how product approaches can help solve key customer and business problems. The second book he recommends is Agile Product Management with SCRUM by Roman Pichler for a better understanding of the technical process, key roles, and ceremonies involved in Product development. Another Product Manager completed a Product Management course with General Assembly. Joe mentioned courses such as “MindTheProduct”, “Product Talk” and “Product That Counts”. He recommends people to read books about Product Management and listen to podcasts, but not to get hung up on theory. He says many professionals struggle to marry the “theory with the practical realities of how to get things done. So don’t be too evangelical & dogmatic and always stay pragmatic”. Summary There is a high demand for Product professionals now across all levels in the UK as businesses look to drive digital innovation, but it is a competitive career path to enter. Before embarking on this career journey, we would recommend looking at building a deep understanding of what Product Management is through reading books, listening to podcast and undertaking a qualification. Employers are looking for traits such as curiosity, adaptability, a continuous improvement mindset and more. It is easier moving in a more junior product position and work your way up, as the role (and mindset) are different from other business units that approach projects with a simple Success or Failure. Looking to start or progress further within your Product Management career? You can register with us here and speak with one of our Recruitment Consultants who can offer free advice on how to improve your CV and help in your job search. Looking to hire for your Product Team? You can contact us here.

  • #EmbraceEquity - International Womens Day 2023

    International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8th to commemorate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and to call for gender equality. The theme of International Women's Day varies from year to year, but the overarching goal is to promote women's rights and empowerment globally. The history of International Women's Day dates back to 1908 when a group of women in New York City organized a demonstration to demand better working conditions, voting rights, and equal pay for women. The idea quickly spread, and by 1911, International Women's Day was celebrated in several European countries. So why is this day so important? International Women's Day is important because it provides a platform to highlight the ongoing struggle for gender equality and to raise awareness of the challenges that women face globally. It serves as a reminder of the progress that has been made in women's rights and the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality. International Women's Day is an important occasion to promote gender equality, celebrate the achievements of women, and call for continued progress towards a more just and equitable world for all. Which brings us on to the IWD 2023 campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity. According to www.internationalwomensday.com, “the campaign aims to encourage important conversations on Why equal opportunities aren't enough and Why equal isn't always fair. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action”. What does “equality versus equity” mean? The terms "equality" and "equity" are often used in discussions about social justice and fairness, but they have different meanings. Equality refers to treating everyone the same regardless of their differences. In other words, equality assumes that everyone has the same starting point and the same needs, so everyone should be treated identically. Equity, on the other hand, recognizes that different people have different needs and circumstances, and therefore require different treatment to achieve fairness. Equity is about providing people with the resources and support they need to achieve equal outcomes. To illustrate the difference between equality and equity, imagine a scenario where three people of different heights are trying to watch a baseball game over a fence. If they are all given the same size box to stand on, the tallest person can see over the fence, the middle-height person can barely see, and the shortest person can't see at all. This is equality, but it doesn't result in fair outcomes. In contrast, if the shortest person is given a taller box than the other two, everyone can see the game equally well. This is equity, where each person has been given what they need to have the same experience. In short, equality means treating everyone the same, while equity means giving everyone what they need to be successful. The distinction is important because not everyone starts from the same place or faces the same barriers, and treating everyone equally may not lead to fair outcomes. By recognizing and addressing those differences, equity can help level the playing field and ensure that everyone has a fair shot at success. So what does “equality versus equity” mean, in the workplace? In the context of the workplace, "equality versus equity" means the difference between treating all employees the same versus recognizing and addressing the different needs and circumstances of individual employees to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and outcomes. Treating all employees equally means giving everyone the same opportunities, resources, and benefits regardless of their individual differences or circumstances. However, this approach may not lead to fair outcomes, as some employees may face systemic or individual barriers that prevent them from accessing those opportunities. Equity in the workplace involves recognizing and addressing those barriers and providing additional support or resources to those who need it. For example, it may involve providing accommodations for employees with disabilities, offering flexible work arrangements for employees with caregiving responsibilities, or implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives to address systemic biases. The bottom line is: while equality in the workplace aims to treat everyone the same, equity recognizes that not everyone starts from the same place and may require different support and resources to achieve the same outcomes. By promoting equity in the workplace, employers can create a more inclusive and fair environment where all employees can thrive. But how do we improve gender equity in the workplace? Improving gender equity in the workplace requires a concerted effort by employers to address systemic biases, discrimination, and unequal access to opportunities and resources. Some strategies to improve gender equity in the workplace include: Address unconscious bias: Employers can provide training to help employees recognize and address their unconscious biases. This can help ensure that all employees are evaluated based on their skills, experience, and qualifications, rather than their gender or other personal characteristics Promote diversity and inclusion: Employers can actively recruit and retain women and other underrepresented groups in the workplace, and create a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture. This can help ensure that everyone feels valued and respected, and has the opportunity to succeed. Provide equal pay and benefits: Employers can ensure that their pay and benefits structures are fair and equitable for all employees, regardless of their gender. This may involve conducting a pay equity analysis and providing equal access to benefits such as healthcare, retirement, and time off. Offer flexible work arrangements: Employers can offer flexible work arrangements such as remote work, flexible schedules, or job sharing to accommodate the diverse needs and circumstances of their employees. This can help reduce barriers to employment and ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities. Create mentorship and sponsorship programs: Employers can create mentorship and sponsorship programs to support the professional development and advancement of women and other underrepresented groups. This can help provide opportunities for career growth and increase diversity in leadership positions. Provide adjustments and accessibility: Employers can ensure that their workplace is accessible and provides adjustments for employees with disabilities. This may include providing assistive technologies, accessible facilities, and training for managers and coworkers on how to support employees with disabilities. By implementing these strategies, employers can create a more equitable workplace where all employees, regardless of their gender, have the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Ultimately, creating gender equity in the workplace benefits everyone by promoting fairness, diversity, and inclusion. By promoting equity in the workplace and society at large, we can create a more just and inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their gender or other personal characteristics. Looking for new opportunities? You can register with us here and speak with one of our Recruitment Consultants who can offer free advice on how to improve your CV and help in your job search. Looking to diversify hiring for your team? You can contact us here and we can discuss our approach to help businesses improve their D&I Recruitment.

  • How does a Hybrid Working Model affect D&I Recruitment?

    Hybrid working policies have continued to be a hot topic post-pandemic. There has been a clear shift from the pre-pandemic ‘nine to five’ paradigm, to an expectation of a hybrid working policy being offered, as a minimum. Solis Recruitment ran a poll with 374 respondents, asking what their preferred working pattern is (whether hybrid, remote or in the office). We found that 68% voted for a hybrid working pattern, 30% voted for fully remote, and only 2% voted for full time in the office. But where does Diversity and Inclusion come into the conversation? Attracting diverse talent requires the provision of accessibility, which is where the hybrid working model can make a real difference. We hear ‘work-life balance’ mentioned a lot, but there is more to it than that. There are many obstacles which can be somewhat alleviated with the flexibility that hybrid working offers, enabling employers to access talent and support workplace diversity, equality and inclusion. Commuting There is a lot of talk about ‘the rise of the super-commuter’ but what this can mean is that geographical limitations are less of a factor (within reason) when commuting less often. There is an increase in commuters travelling further than ever, because hybrid working patterns allow them to; they are willing to travel further afield because they only need to do it maybe 2 -3 times a week. We should also consider the continued ‘cost of living crisis’, and ever increasing travel costs. The costs of fuel and/or public transport can make a huge impact on the workforce. In theory hybrid working offers a reduction of these costs, which may make a notable difference to household incomes when you tally up the annual costs of travel, particularly in the current climate. Health Conditions For anyone with a physical or mental health condition, accessibility or practical barriers can be an issue when travelling into the workplace. The need for flexible working and hybrid working policies, has long been a topic of debate here. The flexibility of hybrid working, giving the option not to have to face a commute every day, can make a real difference. Having the flexibility to work around managing a condition, medical appointments, or any of the other factors involved, can mean the difference between being able to work at all on any given day. Having options and flexibility can alleviate the pressure or stress, and support the overall wellbeing of employees. Childcare, or any Carer Responsibilities The flexibility offered by a hybrid working model can make all the difference to those that have caring responsibilities. Most often childcare and school runs are the first thing to come to mind here, and it’s easy to see how hybrid working helps. Removing the commute time from a morning and evening routine allows time and space to drop off / collect children to / from school or other childcare facilities. The costs and logistics of this alone can be deal breakers when considering employment opportunities, whether it’s the additional cost of childcare before and after school, or the distance between home, school and the workplace. The assumption is that the group responsible for childcare is mainly, though not exclusively, comprised of women. Which means that flexibility in this area has a direct impact on gender diversity and inclusion. What do Employers gain? Offering flexible, hybrid working patterns, contributes to reducing barriers to entering the workplace and promoting inclusion. This in turn, means that employers have access to a larger and more diverse talent pool. And as we already know, there are countless benefits to increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. There are tangible benefits to a diverse and inclusive workforce, including new/different perspectives, a wider talent pool, increased innovation and creativity, improved performance, increased employee engagement, lower attrition, strengthening workplace culture and of course, supporting your brand as an employer. “Hybrid working is here to stay” – World Economic Forum Here at Solis Recruitment, we understand and support the need for diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace. We provide D&I recruitment solutions to support and promote diversity, equality and inclusion when hiring, and would love to hear from you! If how to recruit for D&I professionals is something you are passionate about and would like support in, please do get in touch!

  • What makes a 'good' CV?

    What is a CV A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document that summarises your education, skills, and employment experience. This has been the predominant method used to apply for a new job. Although some have the opinion that social media profiles, online applications or networking will replace CV’s, many companies still require a CV submission as part of their recruitment process. A CV traditionally consists of a few key points: · Personal & Contact Information · Personal Statement · Career summary (chronologically ordered from latest down) · Education · Hobbies The CV highlights what you have done in the past and why your experiences make you suitable for the role you’re applying for. What makes a ‘good’ CV? We see a large number of CVs on a daily basis, and there are a number of things that equate to a ‘good’ CV. What makes a CV ‘good’ is subjective to an extent, in as much as there are a number of factors to be assessed in relation to the role. Is there an appropriate level of experience? Are the required qualifications held by the applicant? Has the applicant had the desired work experience or demonstrated the relevant skillset? Some of these conditions are final – you meet the requirements, or you don’t. But there are ways to make the best of your CV and ensure that you are giving yourself the best possible chance to make a good first impression. 1. Formatting and Layout A well laid out CV can make a real difference. A hiring manager or a recruiter is likely sifting through a fair few CVs, so the easier you can make it for them to find the information that they want, the better chance you have at having your talents spotted. This includes clear headings for the above mentioned sections, bullet points for your work experience or career history rather than long paragraphs, qualifications clearly laid out with the grades or results. 2. Data or evidence Providing data or examples of how you have achieved what you say you have, can be very helpful. It acts as a demonstration of your skillset. Are there KPI’s you can share? How many team members do you supervise? Have you worked with any big clients, and can you name them? How have you measured success? Are there any growth statistics you can share? 3. Context and Relevance Context and relevance is hugely important; there is little point in highlighting lots of achievements if they are not aligned to the roles you’re applying for. Take a considered approach, and ensure that your CV is adjusted to the role you are applying for. Consider your achievements and successes through the lens of the hiring manager and think about how to frame your experience in such a way that you can illustrate it’s relevant to the role you are applying for. Consider your transferable skills, and how best to highlight them. What tools have you used? Did you obtain any additional qualifications to be more effective in your role? 4. Professionalism Remember that this is a professional document and should read as such. Ensure that your CV reads well, avoiding slang or abbreviations. Remember that your email address should also be professional, it can even be a good idea to create a separate email specifically for professional purposes. In essence, you should aim to make your CV as user friendly as possible. Showcase your experience and skillset in a way that is easy for the reader to see. Make it as easy as possible, for a hiring manager or recruiter to find what they’re looking for in your CV, so that you can get into the interview process. Here at Solis Recruitment we do offer a free CV review service for all candidates that we represent. You can register with us here and we can offer free advice on how to improve your CV.

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