The Giraffe Blog

Do you offer on-going training and development?: Benefits to the employer and individual

Posted Thursday 12th September 2019 under WBL Sector Info

Following on from the launch of our Salary & Benefits Survey last week, we are expanding on some of the key issues raised in a series of weekly blogs.

Firstly, a significant factor which can influence a candidate’s decision whether or not to stay with their current employer is the training and development opportunities offered. In the current candidate-driven market, the professional development opportunities that are on offer could be the make or break between accepting a role or deciding to stay put.

There are an array of benefits to offering training and development:

  • Ofsted looks for evidence of training opportunities on their inspections, so it's beneficial for the employer and its reputation as well as the individual.
  • With the nature of the industry meaning that a lot of trainers and assessors work remotely, training sessions can help to unify a workforce and ensure that everyone is working towards the same aims and objectives.
  • Personal development is key for an increasing number of candidates – as flexible working options and a healthy work-life balance become increasingly important, candidates are thinking about the benefits offered to them beyond the immediate job role.
  • Continuous training and development can help ensure that a workforce is kept up to date with company procedures and aims so that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

In order to implement an efficient training programme, a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) should be undertaken, looking at three tiers:

  • Corporate level – what is the company trying to achieve and what skill gaps exist to prevent it getting there?
  • Departmental level - what is the department trying to achieve and what skill gaps exist to prevent it getting there?
  • Individual level – what does the individual want to achieve? What gaps do they have in their level of skill which could prevent them from reaching their objectives? Where does the individual think they need to improve? Where does the manager feel they need to improve?

The training should be designed and delivered taking the above in mind. Off the peg training is often cheaper but doesn’t always meet the objectives. Training that has been designed specifically from a TNA will be more aligned to help your company meet corporate objectives and offer a feel-good factor to employees as they feel their needs have been catered too.

It’s easy to see why training is overlooked. One of the main reasons it doesn’t have a tangible effect is because it isn’t used back at desk. People return from a training session and put the training material back in a desk never to see the light of day again. This means that behaviours don’t change and skills may not improve.
Making sure that training programmes are tailored will ensure that any training delivered is utilised and therefore an investment, not a cost – leading to a more content workforce.

Blog Author - Helen Wilson

The digitalisation of the recruitment process

Posted Wednesday 14th August 2019 under UK Labour Market

As employers are increasingly looking to save time, money and resources, they are turning to more technological means of interviewing candidates. Here at GPRS Recruitment, we are finding that more and more first interviews are being conducted by telephone or Skype.

Video interviews are becoming increasingly popular, as they give employers the chance to assess a candidate's communication skills and way of presenting themselves without the resources needed for a face to face interview.

Online/telephone interviews also offer benefits to the candidate: rather than spending time and money travelling (often requiring more time to be booked off work), they can have the interview from the comfort of their own home, meaning it can be slotted into their weekly schedule far more easily.

On occasion, a job offer can even be made without the employer ever meeting the candidate in person, such is the drive to make everything as efficient and fast as possible, even recruitment.

There has also been a lot of discussion in the recruitment world recently about initial interview/screening processes becoming automated. Some companies already use a system which involves a question flashing up on the screen then the candidate’s answer being recorded, and the process will only get more computerised, with chatbots potentially replacing the interviewer in the near future.

As the video format is becoming increasingly popular in all areas of recruitment, this is a trend that will only continue to gather pace. There are concerns over the digitalisation of the interview process – it can be alienating to the job-seeker who may be out of touch with modern technology, and it can be argued that it can be hard to truly judge whether someone is the right fit for your company without meeting them in person.

Here at GPRS, we understand that Skype interviews and the like can be daunting, so we offer the opportunity for a test call to make sure that any technology-based worries are dealt with before the big day (see link below).

Candidates also tell us they like to visit the premises of the company. They like to see what the company looks like when they approach, how easy it is to find parking, how easy it is to get there because they are likely to have to visit for standardisation meetings etc. The other thing you can’t determine over the phone or the internet is what the rest of the team is like and candidates like to see what sort of people their potential colleagues are.

As telephone and online interviews become more and more common, it will be interesting to monitor the digitalisation of the recruitment process – check back here for more developments.

Blog Author - Rachel Harrison Skype for Beginners guide

Looking for a speedy hire? Here’s how to help us help you

Posted Wednesday 17th July 2019 under UK Labour Market

Although the tale goes that the tortoise beats the hare, in recruitment this is not the case. In the current candidate-driven market, speed is of the essence for employers to make sure that they don’t miss out on the best candidates.


In the last few weeks, we have seen employers offer a telephone interview, followed by one stage interview with the offer made at interview or the following day. This is to ensure that hard to find skill sets are retained for a waiting caseload. We have also seen companies take weeks to deliberate over CVs and interviews to lose candidates to a competitor!

In particular, employers need to make sure that they are responding promptly to applications/CVs. When recruiters send CVs for a vacancy, they shouldn’t still be chasing feedback weeks later – they should be receiving feedback within a couple of days so the process keeps moving and doesn’t stagnate. A recruiter will have told the candidate about the company and the opportunity and the candidate is keen to apply. The longer the candidate waits for something to happen, the more their level of interest wanes.

This is just as important for the employer as for the recruiter and candidate. If an employer neglects to provide prompt feedback, it presents them in a bad light to the candidate and their network, and will more often than not deter the recruiter from working with them again. Research has shown that candidates now view the recruitment process as an indication of what a company is like to work for. If you applied for a role and had a request for an interview within 24 hours, which was to be held within a week and after the interview, feedback was within 24 hours and if an offer was made it was supported by a formal offer letter within another 24 hours, you’d think that the company was well organised and efficient.

This also applies later in the process when a candidate has had an interview. As there are so many jobs available at the moment, it is more than likely that candidates will be juggling multiple job applications at the same time – GPRS recently spoke to a candidate who had over five interviews in one week. Interview feedback therefore needs to be timely, especially if an employer wants to make an offer – it may be that there is another company also wanting that candidate working for them.

The quicker the turnaround, the more satisfactory the process for everyone involved. If both the employer and recruiter keep things moving at a fast pace, the employer has their role filled quicker (meaning no more time has to be spent on the recruitment process) and the candidate lands a new job quicker. For a candidate who has been made redundant, this is even more important.

A delayed response from clients is something that we as a recruitment agency have really picked up on recently, so we know from first-hand experience that this can hinder the process; this is definitely something for employers to bear in mind the next time they start recruiting for a role.

So, if you would like to secure the best available candidates, the early bird gets the worm as the saying goes.

Blog Author - Helen Wilson

‘Ghosting’: Not Just Limited to Dating

Posted Friday 28th June 2019 under UK Labour Market

Following our last blog post on candidates getting cold feet, we’re taking a look at another challenge currently facing the recruitment industry. ‘Ghosting’ is a term that’s familiar to many of us in 2019 – it refers to the practice of bluntly ending a personal or romantic relationship without any explanation, and ceasing all communication without warning.

However, it seems that this disheartening phenomenon has now entered the recruitment world. Research conducted by staffing firm Robert Half has shown that an increasing number of employers are being ‘ghosted’ by candidates after attending an interview, or even accepting a job offer. This can be in the form of not responding to calls or emails, or just not turning up on their first day.

Some candidates may see ‘ghosting’ as an easy way out if they have cold feet about accepting a job offer, without realising the extra work and stress they’re causing. That’s why it’s important for both employers and recruiters to be as transparent as possible throughout the whole process, to ensure that candidates know exactly what they’re getting into before accepting a job offer.

The other issue is if the candidate wishes to apply to the company again in the future, the company are likely to remember and this could have an impact on their application. It is better to be upfront and tell the potential employer the reasons why the offer has been declined. It may be that the candidate feels the salary is too low or the cohort too widely spread, but if the employer is given constructive feedback, at least they can do something about it in the future. It also maintains good relationships and paints the candidate as honest and upfront in their dealings.

It’s crucial that if you’re involved in the recruitment process, you ensure that you maintain consistent communication with candidates so that you’re upholding your side of the deal – candidates will be more likely to keep in touch if they are already invested in dialogue with a recruiter or employer.

It’s unclear what the immediate solution to the ‘ghosting’ problem is, but candidates need to be aware of the potential impact of not going through the proper process when leaving a job/changing their mind about a job offer – ‘ghosting’ an employer or recruiter could put a permanent black mark next to their name and hinder future job prospects.

Blog Author - Helen Wilson

The ‘Cold Feet’ Epidemic Sweeping Recruitment

Posted Wednesday 29th May 2019 under UK Labour Market

Research by staffing firm Robert Half has found that ‘more than a quarter of workers have backed out of an offer after initially saying yes’. After days or even weeks of building up to this point – probably encompassing multiple interviews – it’s a disheartening and frustrating experience for the employer and the recruiter when a candidate changes their mind about accepting a job offer.

This is a problem because of the current candidate-driven nature of the market – with a large volume of job vacancies out there, candidates can afford to be picky and pass up on opportunities. That being said, there are steps employers can take to make sure that they hire the right candidate who isn’t going to change their mind at the last minute:

Be transparent

Promising things that are above and beyond what you can offer e.g. implying that the salary or holiday allowance can be increased, will only end in the candidate being disillusioned and potentially getting cold feet.

Move the process on swiftly

With so many jobs out there for candidates to apply to, you need to make sure that their application for your role doesn’t get forgotten – aim for a quick turnaround between receiving the application, interviewing the candidate and making an offer.

See what the competition is offering

Make sure that you’re offering a package that’s equally as attractive as what’s being offered by your competitors – if you’re offering a lower salary for the same position, you won’t find the same calibre of candidate. Even if you do find an ideal candidate, they may change their mind if they find the same role for more money.

Remember that candidates hold the power

Ultimately if you find the ideal candidate you need to entice them to accept your offer rather than another employer’s. Remember that there are a lot of roles out there, so the candidate’s experience of the selection process needs to convince them that you’re the employer they want to work for.

Blog Author - Helen Wilson
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