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Technology innovation focus on RLCon’s Autumn Innovation conference

On Thursday 18th October, Recruitment Leaders Connect held its Autumn Innovation conference. Attended by almost 100 recruitment CEOs and directors, the event focused on the latest innovations in technology and how these can support the recruitment industry. A select number of suppliers to the industry were on hand during the day to provide advice and insight into how their technology can support recruiters. Attendees were also able to learn more about this during innovation spotlight sessions, masterclass discussions and the numerous networking opportunities during the day.


The morning began with a presentation from Zain Wadee, chief commercial officer at Lorien, who discussed building a compelling proposition in a crowded resourcing solutions market. The company has focused on using partnerships and collaboration to drive growth and part of this has involved embracing HR tech. Bullhorn’s account director for enterprise solutions, Stuart Johnson, followed this by talking about focusing on the customer and how recruitment businesses can create a customer-centric strategy with the support of technology.


Following innovation spotlights and the day’s first masterclass discussion, David Jonas, head of innovation at SThree, spoke about disruption in the recruitment industry. He emphasised that despite the rise of technology in the sector, humans still have the competitive advantage against robots. Trust is also vital; it is a valuable commodity that can’t be built overnight. Tracey Barrett, managing director of BlueSky PR, followed this by revealing how to make money from PR. She highlighted the importance of differentiation and a strong brand. She added that recruitment leaders need to be sharing what they know, not what they do in their PR. The two presentations were followed by the second masterclass discussion and lunch.


Winston B Clements, founder and CEO of Positive Spin UK, opened presentations after lunch by discussing resilience with the audience. He questioned whether resilience is something we’re born with or something we can learn. In his experience, it can be learnt, and he says a vital part of this is taking ownership in life, in order to be an owner instead of a victim. Mark Kieve, CEO of PIXID UK, shared his thoughts on the rise of the contingent workforce, revealing that there are currently 8.5m people in part-time employment in the UK. He stressed the benefits automation can bring to business and emphasised that SMEs are in a strong position as they have the flexibility to be successful. Richard Turner, CEO of Innovantage, discussed his company’s problem with retaining talent. After around two years, many of the graduates they hire tend to leave the company, which can disrupt workstreams. This is a big problem with Generation Z, but he feels this change can be managed by making simple steps such as giving out gratitude and praise, using tech as a motivator and being location and time flexible.


After the afternoon networking break, James Payne, director at erecruit, started by stressing that people are a company’s biggest asset, even more so than brand. He highlighted the impact staff turnover can have on a business, and also revealed that the typical onboarding process can take anything up to 28 weeks. Technology can help with this, by reinforcing the relationship staff have with the company. The final speakers of the day were James Whitelock and Dr Rob Farrow, managing partner and director at VIR Learning. They discussed the learning landscape and the difference between learning and training. Farrow highlighted that technology has a lifecycle and stressed that automation may take away jobs, but it will also create them. As the world changes, it’s important to focus on lifelong learning with a particular emphasis on soft skills.


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