• Greene King to create 3,000 jobs
    05 December 2011
    Greene King

    Kaonix customer Greene King is in the Christmas mood, celebrating "record results" by announcing it is to create 3,000 jobs.

    The brewer of ales such as Abbot, Old Speckled Hen and Old Bob said it would recruit for 1,000 positions a year for the next three years across its pubs, restaurants, hotels and breweries.

    The announcement of the new positions came as the Suffolk-based company announced a 9pc increase in revenue to £527.5m.

    However, after every party comes a hangover. The markets responded to the announcement by pushing the company's shares down 3.52pc to 465.7p.

    Pre-tax profit for the six-month period fell 5.5pc to £56.7m.

    Rooney Anand, chief executive, said: "We believe we can continue to grow the business through maintaining our market outperformance and our investment in our retail expansion strategy to deliver another record financial year."

    The company's preferred measure of profit, which strips out costs for exceptional items such as acquisitions and write-downs in certain assets, was up 5.6pc to £77.2m.

    Greene King bought 35 pubs during the period and created 800 apprenticeships in its retail division.

    Food sales were a strong area of growth, up 16pc against the same period last year.

    The Telegraph

    Return to top.

  • Happiness Index: UK population is 'generally happy'
    02 December 2011

    Happiness Index: UK population is 'generally happy' - but satisfaction scores drop when asked about work


    IThree quarters of adults in Great Britain rated their own life satisfaction with a score of seven or more out of 10, according to a research report published by the Office for National Statistics - and those in employment were found to be happier than the unemployed.

    But satisfaction with 'financial situation' (6.2 out of 10) had the lowest mean score, followed by 'work situation' (6.7 out of 10) and also 'with time to do the things you like doing' (6.8 out of 10).

    When asked specifically about satisfaction with the balance between 'time spent on paid work and on other aspects of life', even lower scores were given, with an average of 6.4 out of 10. But respondents people were most satisfied on average with their 'personal relationships' and 'mental well-being' which had the highest mean scores (both at 8.3 out of 10).

    The news comes a year after the prime minister David Cameron launched his 'happiness index' to ascertain the areas that matter most to people's overall wellbeing.

    In terms of how anxious people felt, more than half those asked rated their levels at below four out of 10 with a quarter reporting zero - 'not at all' anxious during the previous day.

    This report brings together initial experimental results looking at individuals' assessment of their own well-being.
    Four key questions to help assess people's own individual well-being were placed on ONS household surveys from April 2011 as part of the development to supplement traditional measures of economic progress to better understand and monitor the nation's well-being.

    When asked, 'Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?' the majority (76%) of people were estimated to have a rating of seven out 10 or more. But a minority (8%) were estimated to be below five out of 10. The mean score for this question was 7.4 out of 10.

    When asked, 'Overall, to what extent do you think the things you do in your life are worthwhile?' a slightly larger proportion (78%) of people rated this at seven or more out of 10. A lower proportion of adults gave lower ratings to this question, with 6% giving a rating below five out of 10.

    The mean score for the 'worthwhile' question was higher than the 'life satisfaction' question at 7.6 out of 10.

    When asked, 'Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?' again the majority (73%) of adults responded with seven or more out of 10. However, the spread of ratings was wider than for the 'life satisfaction' and 'worthwhile' questions. A higher proportion of people had higher ratings (36%) giving nine or 10 out of 10) to the 'happy yesterday' question as well as lower scores (12% below five out of 10). The mean score for the 'happiness yesterday' question was 7.4 out of 10.

    When asked, 'Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?' more than half (57%) had ratings of less than four out of 10, a sizeable proportion (27%) of people had ratings above five out of 10 (that is, closer to 10, feeling 'completely anxious' than 0, 'not at all anxious'). The mean score for this question was 3.4 out of 10.

    The estimates are based on 4,200 adults (aged 16 and over) who answered these questions in the ONS Opinions Survey, from across Great Britain between April and August 2011.

    HR Magazine

    Return to top.

  • Employers complain of jobless 'underclass'
    17 November 2011

    Three-quarters of UK employers believe that there is a permanent 'underclass' emerging of people who are unemployable, threatening the future skills landscape, research claims today.


    In a survey by recruitment firm Adecco, 73 per cent of employers identified such an underclass and 84 per cent of employees in a parallel survey agreed. The findings follow the official employment figures yesterday showing that 2.62 million people are now out of work and that youth unemployment has topped one million.

    Despite acknowledging the issue, most employers are taking little action to engage with disenfranchised sections of society, the study suggested. Over half (57 per cent) of employers do not have an apprenticeship programme in place to help young people into jobs, despite these schemes being seen as a key way of widening access and solving skills shortages.

    "Employers need to act now to stop the rot and expand their horizons to identify new, untapped pools of talent," said Chris Moore, managing director of Adecco Group Solutions. "Taking on young people from diverse backgrounds is not just good from a corporate responsibility perspective; it actually benefits the organisation in terms of innovation, culture and, ultimately, bottom line performance.

    "We need to move away from this out-dated notion that apprenticeships are only for blue collar jobs; there is unquestionable evidence to prove the value apprentices bring to all types of business. Similarly, businesses need to start recognising the potential benefits of offering work experience to young people and providing them with an inspirational introduction to the world of work; surely there can be no better, easier way to engage and attract new talent."

    The research is part of Adecco's 'Unlocking Britain's Potential' initiative, and included a survey of 500 employers and 1,000 employees, as well as qualitative interviews with leading business figures. The research will feed into a 10 Point "Unlocking Britain's Potential" action plan for businesses and government, to be released in February.

    People Management

    Return to top.

  • Disabled jobseekers continue to lose out
    04 November 2011

    Despite evidence of recruitment industry commitment to helping disabled candidates find work, it is the "attitude and knowledge" of recruiters that cause the greatest frustration for disabled job seekers.


    According to a report into the experience of disabled candidates seeking employment through recruitment agencies, by The Clear Company, 90% of recruiters believe they offer support to disabled candidates through the recruitment cycle, as compared to only 13% of candidates saying they receive such support when applying for positions.

    Only 52% of disabled candidates will declare their disability when dealing with a recruitment agency and 74% of disabled candidates are reluctant to tell recruiters about their disability because they fear this would prejudice their chance of being offered work.

    A quarter of all disabled candidates won't apply for a job through a recruitment agency because of a poor past experience and disabled candidates ranked recruitment agencies sixth as the route they choose to finding employment; behind internet job boards; company websites; newspaper advertisements; word of mouth; and Jobcentre Plus.

    Three quarters (75%) of disabled workers said they had encountered a lack of disability awareness among recruitment agency staff while 71% said they had encountered immediate negative assumptions when declaring a disability.

    Kate Headley, development director at The Clear Company, said: "It's encouraging to see leaders from the UK recruitment industry are stating their intent to include disabled people. But these findings tell us these good intentions are simply not good enough. The reality is that disabled people are experiencing unacceptable levels of poor treatment and discrimination resulting from a lack of recruiter knowledge, confidence and capability."

    "There are many myths about disability that lead to the subject becoming the 'elephant in the room'. Unfortunately, this is leading to avoidance of the issue rather than support for the individual."

    "But let's not point the finger too readily at those people at the front line of recruitment. Many recruiters simply don't know how to deal with disabled candidates because they have never been told. They lack knowledge and confidence, and they fear getting it wrong and causing offence and, sadly, many are just not aware what disability means."

    "Knowledge and skills are relatively easy to acquire and to implement. It is up to the leadership of the industry to do more than tick a box that says you're doing it right. They have to provide support for the people dealing with disabled candidates to improve this appalling situation."

    "We want agencies to start working more closely with their employer clients to give disabled candidates the same opportunities as other people."

    "Recruiters and employers need to understand the potential impact on the employer's brand of getting this wrong. They also need education and support, along with access to expertise on disability matters like assistive technology, specific conditions and how to deal appropriately with people who are affected by them."

    "It's not quantum physics, the tools are readily available. All that's needed is a genuine shift in attitude away from the tick the box approach we are seeing toward a genuinely inclusive one."

    Emma Harvey, employment partner and head of the recruitment group at law firm DWF, added: " It frustrates me when people say there isn't a business case for accommodating inclusive practices into the recruitment process. There are 10 million people in the UK with a disability. Together they are a voice with the power to positively influence the perceptions of some of the biggest global brands."

    "Although over 50% of recruiters believe they have a defined business case for adopting an inclusive approach to disabled candidates, the survey results indicate that sadly, despite good intentions, that isn't always reflected in practice."

    "In the longer term, with the number of disabled people in the UK constantly growing, there is no question that recruitment agencies which fail to recognise the size of this challenge will lose out to their more enlightened competitors.

    "We can already see that disabled people do not always think of agencies as their natural choice to find a job, preferring instead to respond directly to employer advertisements to avoid the perceived barriers in the recruitment process. This must change."

    HR Magazine

    Return to top.

  • Six in ten European firms 'have no talent plan'
    03 October 2011

    Talent management and leadership development remain the biggest challenges for European HR professionals, according to new research just released.

    Six in ten companies have no "systematic or strategic approach" to recruiting, developing and retaining talent to meet future business needs, found the survey, which questioned more than 2,000 executives across 35 European countries about trends in HR.

    The report, Creating People Advantage 201 - Time to Act: HR Certainties in Uncertain Times, has been published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in collaboration with the European Association for People Management (EAPM), with input from the CIPD.

    The study revealed that 53 percent of top-performing organisations - measured by revenue and growth over the past three years - had already established an integrated talent management strategy. By contrast, only 27 percent of the less successful companies had done so.

    The survey found that overall, most talent programmes focused primarily on experienced executives, with only 35 percent of companies systematically developing younger talent.

    "Talent development takes time. Companies need to take a long-term perspective and plan the size and composition of their talent pool in accordance with their corporate strategy," said Dr Rainer Strack, senior partner and global topic co-leader for People Advantage and HR at BCG.

    The analysis also discovered that CEOs spent a maximum of nine days a year on talent management. BCG explained that CEOs had a "strong influence" on the value placed on talent management within their organisations, and "improvements are needed to better secure the buy-in and involvement of top management".

    "Internal development and promotion options do more to retain talent in the company over the long-term than monthly salaries or bonuses do," added Pieter Haen, president of EAPM and report co-author.

    The research also examined the effect of the rapid growth of social media on the people management landscape.

    The survey found that three-quarters of managers believed the chance to present their companies as attractive employers was the greatest opportunity offered by social networks. Half of those surveyed cited the recruitment of new employees as the most important prospect, while one-third placed most value on the transfer of knowledge enabled by such networks.

    The greatest risks identified by respondents were the disclosure of confidential company information, the limited corporate influence on published entries about firms, and the fear that new technologies would make it easier for competitors to poach employees.

    "Social media are here to stay. HR departments must embrace the Web 2.0 advances as an opportunity and not see them as a threat," advised Stephanie Bird, director of HR capability at the CIPD and co-author of the report.

    The study added that employers' use of social media must always be "credible and aligned with general business strategy", as any discrepancies between corporate policy and the reality at a company would be quickly detected and criticised by the online community.

    People Management

    Return to top.

  • How businesses use social media to find talent
    05 September 2011

    Savvy job seekers have turned to digital and social media tools to help them in their job searches, and now recruiters are on board with the power of social media as a recruiting tool.

    LinkedIn isn't the only social network that helps in the job search process - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ have all been used by people to land jobs in innovative ways.

    Interesting takes on the digital resume are increasingly popular, with job seekers creating infographic resumes, video resumes and other visual resumes that set them apart from other job applicants.

    Employers are taking note of the importance of social media in the recruiting process, and the majority of businesses are turning to social media to find and evaluate job candidates, according to this infographic compiled by Career Enlightenment, a resource for online job seekers.



    Return to top.

  • Kaonix helps save G4S £1m in first year
    18 August 2011

    International security solutions firm G4S is tracking savings of more than £1m on UK recruitment since launching its Global Career Centre in November last year.


    Head of resourcing Colin Minto told Recruiter that the aim was to move to a direct resourcing model in the "truest" sense of the word. "That is empowering our frontline supervisors, managers and HR teams to directly recruit themselves," he says.

    "Technology is the driving force of the modern resourcing strategy and the most important element is the corporate career centre."

    Following the launch of the Global Career Centre, G4S is rolling out local versions to its UK operating businesses, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, Africa and the Netherlands.

    "The idea is to capture local traffic, local Google and local web content and aggregate all of it back to the Global Career Centre", said Minto. The centre includes a multi-lingual job board in 30 languages and a single global searchable database for all G4S hiring managers. G4S has more than 635,000 employees and is one of the world's biggest private-sector employers, operating in 125 countries.

    The system integrates multiple applicant tracking systems (ATS) and an online corporate career centre that provides all of the facilities necessary to take a candidate from attraction through to appointment. The backbone of the system is the talent management platform TribePad, developed by technology company Talent On View, which sits between an ATS and a corporate website.

    It allows organisations to build their own social networks and talent communities and allows a range of apps to be run from it, including job posting to all available channels including social media, semantic searching to help match candidates with jobs, and CV parsing to create candidate profiles. It also features a community jobseeker area in which candidates can access video, learning content, resources and forums.

    Minto also worked with specialist online recruitment providers Kaonix, Monster TMS and RecruitActive in developing the career centre.

    Talent on View CEO Lisa Scales says the company is in talks with global businesses from the pharmaceutical, FMCG, retail and media industries regarding TribePad.

    "They are all looking to consolidate their social recruiting activities while underpinning their direct hiring strategy and making cost efficiencies," she said.

    HR Magazine

    Return to top.

  • Spurned job candidates 'damage employer brand'
    09 August 2011

    Something we have been saying for years at Kaonix has today been echoed in research published in People Management.

    Job candidates who have a bad experience in the recruitment process are increasingly willing to let out their frustration in ways that damage the employer's brand, research has shown.

    More than half (58 per cent) of UK respondents to a survey by Alexander Mann Solutions say that they would be likely to stop buying a company's products if they did not like the way they were treated in a job application.

    And 87 per cent would tell their friends or professional contacts about the bad experience - many through social networks and the internet - spreading the reputational damage.

    The research, which also surveyed respondents in the US and China, found that UK workers were more likely than those elsewhere to talk to their network about employers and to let their experiences affect their buying decisions.

    "Companies need to give people a consistent brand experience to ensure they don't put off potential customers by failing them in the recruitment process," said Rosaleen Blair, chief executive of Alexander Mann Solutions. "Customers are potential candidates and candidates are potential customers and as the saying goes; the customer is king."

    "Companies invest millions of pounds in their brand, making it one of their biggest assets. However, many businesses overlook the importance of putting equal time and financial investment into their employer brand, which ultimately weakens the overall brand. To protect their investment, businesses must clearly define their brand values and ensure that they are consistently applied across all locations, channels and stages of the recruitment process. Otherwise they risk losing out both on potential talent and revenue - neither of which is an option in the current economic environment."

    But while poor communication of decisions and unpleasant job interviews are always likely to alienate candidates, snooping at candidates' online profiles is not considered by most to be bad employer behaviour, the survey revealed. Only 16 per cent of people say this would give them a negative Impression of a company, compared to 20 per cent who would view it positively and 64 per cent who say it would not make any difference.

    "Interacting with candidates on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets gives recruiters and employers the chance to provide candidates with a more profound, engaging experience," Blair added. "It also gives candidates the opportunity to show off their potential beyond their CV. Many brands have been slow to embrace these channels but these findings should open the doors for them to be confident in their online interactions and take the candidate experience beyond a one-off interview to a longer, more rewarding relationship."

    People Management

    Return to top.

  • Most employers poised to recruit as confidence grows
    22 July 2011

    Business confidence is on the rise again with nearly three-quarters of employers - 74% - expecting to increase their workforce over the next three months, according to the REC's July Jobs Outlook.


    A further 66% are looking to increase their permanent workforce in the next 12 months. The latest Jobs-Outlook data, based on a monthly online survey of 600 employers, shows headcount freezes, redundancies and reduced hours are all "significantly" down while increases in staffing have risen for the third consecutive month to 19%, up 7% on last month.

    The outlook for temporary placements is also positive with 76% of businesses looking to either increase or maintain temporary staffing levels in the short term. This upward trend is also reflected in the longer-term outlook with 79% looking to increase or maintain their use of agency staff over the coming 12 months.

    Roger Tweedy, the REC's director of research, said: "Employers are more positive about their hiring intentions, which reflects an improvement in overall business confidence. However, it is too early to predict whether this will translate into significant jobs growth by the end of the year but we remain confident that the private sector can absorb the fall-out from public sector cuts."

    "Some of the media reactions to this month's official employment figures have been overly negative and we must avoid systematically talking our jobs market down. Employers are recognising the need to ramp up their recruitment activity in order to attract high-potential candidates and move their business forward. This month's Jobs Outlook indicates that employer caution is starting to lift, we can afford to be more upbeat about the gradual recovery of the UK labour market."

    HR Magazine

    Return to top.

  • DWP told to speed up cost-cutting plans
    24 June 2011

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) must accelerate and improve plans to slash its costs by £19.6 billion or risk missing its 2015 target, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

    Department for Work and Pensions

    As the Whitehall department with the largest expenditure, progress on cost cutting is key to government plans to reduce the budget deficit.

    Under government spending cuts, the DWP must make £2.7 billion in permanent savings by reducing running costs, while implementing major welfare reforms and reducing the spend on public pensions and benefits by £17 billion.

    But the NAO report warned that the department's tactic of basing its plans on budget restrictions rather than "robust" running costs data was flawed.

    "Securing value for money from cost reductions involves more than just implementing planned cuts. Uniform top slicing of budgets or indiscriminate cost-cutting can leave an organisation at risk of building up higher costs in future," it said.

    It said that future plans must incorporate detailed data to enable decision makers to see how costs relate to the value of services. Without this information the department "cannot make rational choices about what it should stop doing, what it should change and what it should continue".

    National Audit Office

    The NAO report said that the current plans would mean senior managers will struggle to prioritise changes and explain to staff what their role will be. This would also hinder any fundamental reform of working practices that would enable sustainable savings.

    Existing plans specify the respective budgets available for 2011-12 but only the Jobcentre Plus plan specifies what structural changes are needed and the steps involved in achieving them up to 2014-15.

    The report acknowledged that the DWP is "only at the start of its new cost reduction challenge" and highlighted that running costs had been reduced by £2 billion since 2007. It also recognised that early results show that targets from the June 2010 Budget to slash costs by £535million in 2010-11 had been met.

    However, it concluded that the DWP must make "rapid" progress to show that it can secure sustained cost reductions in a structured and strategic way. With the challenges of large-scale welfare reforms, the department cannot rely on uncoordinated annual savings plans.

    Amyas Morse, comptroller and auditor general at the National Audit Office, said: "The department's big challenge is to cut costs by £20 billion in four years, while achieving substantial reform of the welfare system."

    "It will not succeed without a good understanding of its expenditure, a clear vision, and a coherent, well-informed plan. There are signs of progress, but the department will have to improve in all three areas if its March 2015 targets are to be realistic."

    People Management

    Return to top.

  • Kaonix exhibiting at Welfare to Work Convention 2011
    06 June 2011
    Welfare to Work Convention 2011

    Following on from the success of the Welfare to Work Convention in Liverpool last year, Kaonix is delighted to be exhibiting again at this year's Welfare to Work Convention 2011 in Manchester on the 30th June and 1st July 2011.

    If you are in the vicinity of the Manchester Central Convention Complex on either of those dates, why not come and see us on Stand 27 and say hello.

    Return to top.

  • Recruitment success on the menu for Tragus and Kaonix
    07 April 2011

    Kaonix Solutions has announced a major new deal to provide a top restaurant group with its state of the art recruitment management system.

    Tragus Group

    Kaonix - the UK's leading recruitment technology experts - confirmed that the Tragus Group have committed to using the highly innovative web-cruit system for the next three years.

    The system, which was developed by Kaonix at its headquarters in Meriden, near Coventry, leads the way for online recruitment solutions.

    Bella Italia

    Tragus is the owner and operator of well-known High Street restaurant brands such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Strada. Formed in 2002, it is one of the UK's largest independently owned restaurant operators with over 290 sites serving over 21 million meals every year.

    Café Rouge

    Claire Clarke, head of recruitment and policy at Tragus, confirmed that the company had signed a new three year agreement with Kaonix, extending their existing relationship. It is the first hospitality operator to use the web-cruit system and the two companies have worked together to pioneer and develop the tool.


    She said: "Web and internet recruitment has been at the forefront of our recruitment strategy since Tragus began and with Kaonix we intend to stay one step ahead of the market. Since changing our supplier to Kaonix and upgrading to their web-cruit system we have never looked back."

    "Consistently over the past three years we have reduced our average cost per placement by almost 70%. In the same period the proportion of hires being made through recruitment agencies has been reduced from 15% to 5%, representing a further significant saving. Coupled with the excellent relationship we enjoy with Kaonix, the decision to renew was a simple one."

    Mark Keane, product manager at Kaonix, said: "Tragus have embraced online recruitment and social media wholeheartedly and have not been afraid to challenge their established recruitment processes. Kaonix enjoys a true partnership relationship with Tragus and they are clearly reaping the benefits of their approach."


    "It is no coincidence that in addition to the significant savings Tragus have achieved, their group career site - www.traguscareers.co.uk - was recently awarded recruitment website of the year at the prestigious Catersearch awards."

    Mark added: "Businesses today are looking for efficient, scalable, cost-effective ways of improving their online recruitment processes. For many, doing so has become mission critical; without better, quicker, simpler processes they know they will lose out on the best talent and fall behind their competitors.

    web-cruit sits at the core of our Talent Management Solutions, providing customers with a way of attracting the best talent and managing applications - from automated filtering and tracking to individual scoring - that delivers an outstanding return on investment. web-cruit is remarkably easy to use. It can be quickly configured to our customers' exact requirements and can handle any number of applications perfectly."

    "It also comes with a suite of reports that quickly and clearly analyse performance to show exactly where recruitment activity works best. web-cruit enables customers to enhance their employer brand, streamline and simplify their online recruitment processes, and pinpoint where their recruitment activity is working best.

    As a highly efficient, scalable and easy-to-use vacancy management and applicant tracking system, web-cruit puts an array of useful functions at customers' fingertips.

    With web-cruit you can:

  • Enhance your employer brand.
  • Advertise vacancies quickly and easily.
  • Manage your recruitment agency suppliers.
  • Channel applications from all sources into one place and speed up time to hire.
  • Identify issues in advance.
  • Reduce advertising and agency costs.
  • The system is flexible and vacancies can appear in social media and other websites within minutes. Applicants also have immediate access to job opportunities across the 285 sites operated by Tragus.

    Tragus Careers

    Return to top.