Archive for the 'Economy' Category

How to work with your Recruiter!

It’s widely reported that the employment market on the whole is on the increase. The UK is now officially out of recession 6 months behind the French and German markets and also job opportunities are on the increase for the 6th month in a row across all of Europe.

In the Oracle market non critical projects and fresh implementations, upgrade and customisation projects will be on the rise and we also have the emerging markets rising rapidly to give an overall more competitive market place with greater opportunities across the globe.

So what has the last 12 months been like?

I personally know candidates who have not had one opportunity over the past 12 months and that is through no fault of their own but the conditions of the market they were looking for an opportunity in. I have also spoken to plenty of professionals who have told me they have sent CVs to 100’s of job advertisements that they had all the skills and previous implementation experience to do and have not even had the courtesy of a reply to their application let alone a telephone call. In addition when they have phoned the recruiter who advertised the job they could not get hold of them and never get their telephone calls returned.

So what can be done about this?

Firstly, I always state to job seekers and contractors that they first have to understand what a recruiter’s job is like. Let’s forget about the bad recruiters this relates to good recruiters. A recruiter has to spend the majority of his time identifying new opportunities to present to his candidates, he also has to meet his clients to be able best represent his clients to those candidates, a good recruiter is also likely to have a large number of contractors on their books and they have to manage all the issues that each contractor faces, then when they have an opportunity from their client, that recruiter will have to find a candidate for this opportunity before his competitors do, as most of the time recruiters work on a contingency basis. This creates a job which is very fast paced in order to work faster than your competitors and is highly pressurised as there is no second prize. A recruiter will also be doing this with multiple opportunities simultaneously and at the same time seeking new business for all the applicants that sent their CVs in for their previous position. A recruiter will then have to interview his candidates as a primary screen, reference check every candidate, then they will have to manage the negotiation process and on top of that get back to every single candidate that is not relevant to a role as well as meet corporate activity targets. The bottom line is though that a recruiters worth is valued on the business they bring in to their company not their customer service and consultant skills. This is why a lot of the time getting back to unsuitable candidates who are not relevant to a job comes very low down on their list of priorities.

Once you come to terms with the above you have to think to yourself how can I make the recruiters life easier and how can I be more relevant to their opportunities.

You have to think how can I make it easier for the recruiter in every stage in the process of finding a job?  I think every person who is actively looking for a job opportunity in the Oracle market or elsewhere should be thinking about the below questions.

How can I make it easier to work with me?

How can I make it easier for the recruiter to find me a job?

How can I make myself stand out from the other candidates with similar skills?

What do I want from my recruiter?

What does my recruiter want from me?

So what do you do?

1)      Make a fantastic CV – Skills clearly displayed, core module strengths easy to identify, secondary modules identified, Industry sectors easy to identify, types of projects explained, bullet points rather than long sentences, achievements, qualifications. We will go deeper into this in a separate topic.

2)      Find a recruiter that knows your market – a specialist recruiter is likely to offer more in terms of advice and knowledge then a generalist recruiter. They’ll also have similar opportunities on a regular basis.

3)      Know what you want – It is very easy to have an attitude that you will take anything just find me a job. But this can waste valuable time further down the line when your recruiter presents you with an opportunity which you do not want when previously you said you would do anything. As a minimum you should know what location(s) you are willing to work in, what salary (rate) you are looking for, what types of position(s) you are looking for. If you don’t know what you want, how can anyone help you?

4)      Be Honest – Don’t lie about your work history, salary, job search, previous interviews or personal background. Honesty is essential in building this relationship. If you have any perceived issues, please divulge them up front so the recruiter can assist in addressing diffusing them.

5)      Keep an Open Line of Communication – Recruiters typically see hundreds of CVs a day and speak to a multitude of candidates a day about multiple opportunities. Being patient, positive, and persistent will help you tremendously in your job search. Also when finishing a call make sure there is some sort of action plan or time for a return call otherwise you do not know where you stand. Also let your recruiter know what the best time is to get in touch with you and vice versa.

If you do all of the above then the minimum amount of time will be wasted and your recruiter will appreciate it. Furthermore it will give you the opportunity to build a relationship with your recruiter which is key and once you do this anytime a relevant opportunity arises your recruiter is likely to think of you first and work harder to get an opportunity for you.

Understanding each other is fundamental.

Understand what a recruiter can do for you – Offer advice interview technique, tips on tailoring your CV, knowledge on current market conditions, who you competition for positions are etc.

Understand what a recruiter cannot do for you – Find a position out of thin air

Remember the bottom line is if a recruiter can find you a job he will because that’s when he gets paid, so you’re both on the same team.

Wish you the best of luck looking for your next opportunity and if you’re an Oracle professional looking or thinking about looking for an opportunity don’t forget to send in your CV to: origin@originforward.com

Recruitment in 2010 – The Statistics on 2009 – Origin Analysis

Happy New Year Everyone!! We enter a new decade…

2009 on the whole would probably be a year for most companies and people to forget. The implications of the credit crunch which began in 2008 were fully felt within 2009 across the world. End-Clients deferred projects which had no immediate return this resulted in consultancies reducing their head count due to having less concurrent projects and increasing consultant numbers on the bench not working. End-Clients reduced their permanent recruitment strategies and all companies looked at ways of cutting costs which resulted in a contracting global employment market.

However it wasn’t all doom and gloom the internal and external pressures that the credit crunch put upon organisations forced companies to reduce costs and streamline services and this resulted in companies developing more intelligent and effective ways of carrying out their business activities.

2009 saw trends such companies increasing their internal resourcing teams to reduce recruitment costs, reducing the number of contractors on their payroll to reduce operating capital and become much more diligent when it came to hiring new members of staff, there’s stories of people going through 6 interviews to get a development job.

The changes which happened in 2009 will have an everlasting effect on the employment market with the landscape changed forever and how things will play out over the next 12 – 36 months no one can fully predict.

They say following a credit crunch there is always one significant change in the employment market and how it operates.

It’s probably a fair analysis to say that the biggest change in 2009 is the rise of Social Media, people are now able to find, get in touch and keep in touch with one another with increased ease and this change will really challenge the need for recruitment companies in the future if they do not continue or in some cases begin to add value in other parts of the recruitment cycle.

So where does that leave the market for 2010?

Well, despite the snow storms which have brought England almost to a standstill in the first 2 weeks of January it is fair to say that the market looks remarkably brighter already. We have had an abnormal amount of enquiries about profiles in the first week of January alone so we are fully confident that this year will be better than last year.
The majority of industry professionals have apparently earmarked Summer2010 as the date when they expect the employment market to be back in full swing and be back to something near pre 2008 levels.

However, it’s all nice us saying the markets going to pick up, I’m sure every candidate who regularly keeps in touch with a recruiter is hearing the same thing, but I’ll let you in a secret most recruiters don’t know what’s going to be happening next week on their own desk, god knows how they could give you a valued prediction of when they think the whole market is going to pick up.

So what I have you is some concrete evidence. Centaur Media Plc is one of the UK’s leading specialist and business publishing information companies. Their major brands include Marketing Week, Money Marketing, The Lawyer, Creative Review, The Engineer, Homebuilding & Renovating and Perfect Information.

Mid-last year they approached us to take part in a survey with 500 other consultants and recruitment directors from leading recruitment businesses and 100 In House HR professionals from leading blue-chip organisations. The results were split with a seperate survery for internal HR and external recruiters.

If you would like a copy of the results of the survey then feel free to e-mail us here at Origin. However key questions and results to those questions are.

Consultants & Recruitment Directors Feedback from survey

When do you expect to see a significant improvement in your recruitment business?
53.6% expected the market to be back in full swing in Spring 2010, followed by 14.7% who felt the Summer 2010 was more realistic.

When we emerge from the recession how do you think the recruitment industry will have changed?
Most people expected the biggest difference post recession will be that there are fewer recruitment companies, 75.6% thought this. This is probably good news as there is the feeling the market is getting saturated with sub-standard recruitment operations. The second biggest expectation post recession from recruitment companies is that Employers’ own recruitment teams will be doing more in house recruitment (59.6%), Third was the increased pressure on fees with 55.6%.

Which of the following types of employment do you expect to see more or less of as a proportion of your clients’ future workforce?
The Answers to this question were split Permanent is expected to stay the same, however 50% of recruiters think there will be an increased demand for contractors in the next 12 months.

Other interesting things to come out of this survey were that 33% of recruitment directors are planning to expand their geographical region of recruitment. This could probably be down to the fact that it is now easy to carry out recruitment activities for roles far away from your base location especially with the reductions of telecoms and the increased ROI of social media.

Everyone who took part in the survey recognised the need to add value in other ways post recession. Also an important fact is 70% of recruitment companies will be expanding their operations over the next 12 months meaning that recruitment directors are expecting an increase in recruitment and it’s not just a line recruiters are spinning to contractors to keep them happy.

In House HR Professionals feedback

Over the next 12 months, do you expect to spend more, less or the same on recruitment overall?
Top Answer: 47.9% to spend less

Do you think your organisation’s business performance will improve over the next 12 months?
Top Answer: 71.3% expected an increase in their businesses fortunes

Will your organisation’s recruitment/resourcing team expand, contract, or stay the same over the next 12 months?
Top Answer: 60% Said stay the same

Do you expect increased pressure to recruit absolutely the right person for the job?
Top Answer: 65.1% expect increased pressure to hire the right person

Do you expect to place increased emphasis on developing your employer brand in the near future (12 to 18 months)?
Top Answer: 80.5% said yes and of those 80.5%, 75.6% planned to do this through increased recruitment training for line managers.

What we took back from the feedback from the answers of the HR professionals is that they planned to recruit more in the next 12 months and were under more pressure now than ever to make sure they find the right person for the job however they planned to spend less on recruitment.

The underlying factor throughout all of this is that everyone perceives 2010 to be a better 12 months than 2009. Recruitment companies are hiring to deal with the expected demand and companies are doing more business and are planning to hire.

However with HR planning to cut recruitment spend recruiters fears that pressure on fees post recession will be a key issue are founded but fears that HR will continue to increase their internal recruitment teams are not.

So 2010 looks set for increased hiring, a lot of candidates have had itchy feet over the past 12 months the news now would be to get your CV ready as I predict there’s going to be quite a bit of movement.

Predictions for 2010:

Premier League to Arsenal, we’re Arsenal fans and our hearts rule our heads

World Cup to Brazil, Europeans have never won the world cup when it’s not been in Europe

Nottingham Forest to get in their Premier League

Andy Murray to win a Grand Slam

Lewis Hamilton to out-do his world champion team mate Jenson Button

Enjoy 2010. Good buy Naughties. Hello Oneties, Teenies?

Oracle Mergers and Re-Positioning Creates Lay-offs & Redundancies

As a niche sector Recruitment Company that specialises in recruiting Oracle Professionals globally anything that happens with Oracle can dramatically affect the fortunes of our own company. When Oracle does well inadvertently we will do well and vice versa. So the news that Oracle may be planning another round of redundancies is not something we enjoy reading.

So apparently last weekend the guys at ZDNet got whiff that Oracle could be passing through another round of redundancies which could be amount to as much as 20% or 3000 staff from its consulting arm. There’s a wide array of speculation as to how many people will be or could be made redundant but the truth is nobody knows and when the guys at ZDNet tried to get some answers they got a nice “no comment” from the guys at Oracle.

What I would say is at Origin Forward we speak to Oracle Consultants around world all day every day because that’s what Oracle recruitment specialists do speak to Oracle Delivery Managers, Project Managers, Engagement Directors, Subject Matter Experts to Internal Recruiters etc. and a few of the Oracle guys we speak to have been letting off murmurings that Oracle as well as downsizing their consulting practice may be moving out of the Primary Systems Integration field all together and instead will now only work as a Secondary Contingency Integrator and parachute consultants in when the Primary Integrators cannot find the consultants in the said areas to implement.

This rumour and it is a rumour or speculation coincides with another point the guys at ZDNet mentioned which is about the pressure or the influence Wall Street has over Oracle. The repercussions of this is that Oracle are keeping a close eye on their P&L account and also a strategy which is primary concerned with maximising and maintaining margin. It’s not unusual to hear Oracle charging over £1,000 a day for some of their consultants and in todays market this probably is not sustainable especially as end-clients are getting clued up and the internet and changes in global communication makes finding alternative integrators that much easier.

Taking a snippet from Dennis Howlett from ZDNet, he says “…You can’t keep chasing margin at the expense of the two most important communities (customers and implementation consultants) and expect the business will go on producing stellar results forever and a day. It’s neither logical nor possible without something blowing up along the way.

While this layoff may be significant, it is too early to tell how customers will be impacted. My guess is there will be short term disruption that Oracle will paper over by parachuting Oracle Aces in where needed…”

Couldn’t have put it better and when you combine these issues with the fact that Oracle have recently had one of the most aggressive acquisition strategies ever seen in the IT market it is easy to see how there could be duplication of roles and skills throughout the organisation and redundancies and layoffs are a fact of life and were always going to happen.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the future and how the post recession Systems Integration delivery market will look. In the Oracle Retail market in particular there has already been some notable casualties and also a number of new delivery organisations arising from the ashes.

The bottom line is the market will look remarkably different post recession and if the market becomes more fragmented which it looks like it will do, the need for specialist recruitment intermediaries will be greater in the future.

David Howlett ZD Net Article: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Howlett/?p=1527

Other articles and blogs on the same subject:

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE5615EX20090702

http://layoffblog.com/2008/12/18/rumor-oracle-major-layoffs-are-to-come-in-january-2009/

http://fscavo.blogspot.com/search?q=oracle+layoffs

Global War for Talent in a Recession!

There’s a war going on right but do you know which side you are on? It’s not your ordinary war either so you can forget about sergeants, missiles and choppers and climb out your bunkers. This war is a global corporate and region war. The War for Talent!

According to a yearlong study conducted by McKinsey Co., the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years will be talent. It’s also the resource in shortest supply.

Now it may seem strange to be talking about the War for Talent in the midst of a recession but this recession in the grander scheme of things is likely to be a short term phenomenon and in the long-term in the Oracle IT sector there is still going to be the need for professionals on a large scale.

37% of IT professionals have admitted that once the recession is over they will be seeking a move, so what are current employers doing to make sure that when the recession is over that they will be able to keep hold of their staff?

War for Talent

In an attempt to deal with this problem before it arises, the European Union recently approved the Blue Card program, which is basically the same as the US Green Card System. The Blue Card (named for the colour of the EU’s flag) will allow skilled foreign workers to work and live anywhere in the EU’s 27 member countries.

55% of highly skilled immigrants head for the United States and only 5% to Europe. With the Blue Card, the EU hopes to dramatically change this imbalance.

So the European market is set for increased worker competition and when you combine the Blue Card system with the Intra-company transfer system which allows workers into the country without going through the same checks under immigration rules you can see how the competition for jobs and for talent in the future is going to be critical.

Unfortunately, the Intra-company transfer system has had the side effect of generating a number of dodgy companies from abroad claiming that they are consultancies but in effect are supplying workers in an agency format and paying those workers about 50% of what the standard rate of pay is for the type of work that they are doing. Also these companies will then hold on to a workers work permit restricting their ability to work elsewhere.

In the long-term this piece of legislation would have been beneficial to business as they would’ve still been able to find, “difficult to find”, talent to deliver their projects however with the unforeseen recession upon us the short-term effect is now over competition for jobs which is artificially driving down contractor rates.

This is probably what free trade and free movement of labour is all about and I am sure most Oracle IT professionals know it’s fair game if there’s someone out there who can do the job better then they can for cheaper. But with these companies masquerading as consultancies now supplying Oracle IT workers at stupidly low prices for consultants who only got into the country because of a loop hole in legislation I expect for some professionals this is a bitter pill to swallow.

This is in effect a similar scenario to where you are trying to sell your own car and a thief steals a car that is exactly the same model as your own car and puts their car on the market at half the price of your car. Leaving you with a choice of either to drop the asking price for your car or do not sell your car. This is the exact situation that certain contractors are experiencing here in Europe and especially within the UK.

Narrowing down this issue even more I know of one particular consultancy that is delivering a project to a central government operation in the UK. Now in attempt to drive costs down and maximise their profit margin, they have outsourced the Oracle Financials part of this implementation to another so called consultancy. This so called consultancy has no history of delivering projects but can get their hands on resources and transfer them internally to the UK and will then supply Oracle Financials Functional Consultants for an all inclusive rate of £210 per day. This is at a time when your average Oracle Financials Functional Consultant would normally expect around £500 per day. Even if the current consultants wanted to drop their rate by £200 per day to say £300 per day which many of them wouldn’t. They would still cost £90 per day more and that is even before the agency has included it’s margin. I can assure you this is horrible and has led to many uncomfortable conversations.

Hopefully this gets resolved and the government does something to cover up these loop holes. There are plenty of excellent Oracle professionals all over the world and if things are done right the global war for talent can be a win-win situation for everyone.

Oracle Retail Market Recovery

Most contractors will tell you that in the past 12 months the contract market has taken a battering. As end clients have down-sized their teams or delayed projects this has recently led to a temporary excess in talent in the market which has had the knock-on effect of driving down rates for contractors by as much as 33%.

Well the good news is that the worst days seem to be behind us. That is if we are to believe this recession is a “V” type recession and not a “W” type recession.

According to Apsco, Association of Professional Staffing Companies, The US staffing market will resume growth by 2010, following an unprecedented 26% fall in turnover in a single year (from a turnover of $126 billion in 2008 to $93 billion in 2009). However, the long term outlook for the US staffing industry is highly positive, APSCo delegates were told, with growth of 18.9% forecast from 2006-16, significantly above the average growth rate of 10.4% for all sectors of the economy.

Combine the above press release with the research in the UK from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) whom found “marginal increases” in appointments in August. Things are looking positive for professional jobseekers across the globe. However, before contractors go and add 50% to your current daily rate and jump back into the job market pleading your worth. The research also added that it was too early to say whether the encouraging figures signalled an end to the recession.

The good news is that with France, Germany and Japan recently officially announcing the end to their recessions. There is a definite feeling that employers are beginning to have more confidence in their hiring plans and committing to their recruitment and growth plans. In the UK for example, Britain’s employers are reporting improved recruitment plans for the first time in three years, offering a “glimmer of hope” to jobseekers that next year promises to be a good year for contractors.

Also at Origin Forward our recruitment team has seen a 33% increase in job orders in the past month alone in the Oracle Retail global market. With opportunities arising in both the permanent and contract markets in countries across the globe from the UAE, United States, Netherlands, South Africa, India, Australia, China as well as the UK and Ireland.

The global recession has effected the Oracle Retail market hugely in the past 12 months. The Oracle Retail product is such a niche product with a limited amount of professionals and it is quite common for professionals in this market to work and bounce between continents from one project to the next.

However the past 12 months(2008/2009) have been slow in comparison to 2006 and we have seen a number of seasoned professionals move from the contract market after failing to secure a new contract to permanent roles for the security of permanent work in these uncertain times.

Also 2009 has also seen key system integrators who were or have been key players in the Oracle Retail market over the past 5 or so years, who were capable of delivering a complete Oracle Retail solution, completly downsizing their Oracle Retail practice and personnel. This has paved the way in the past year for smaller boutique consultancies offering specialisms in specific modules only and new larger consultancies entering the market who have not previously delivered Oracle Retail projects. It will definately be an interesting Oracle Retail climate next year and I envisage alot more partnerships between Primary System Integrators and smaller boutique consultancies who have the expertise and experience.

The bottom line is with the economy looking odds on for a recovery projects can go ahead, employers can begin to recruit with confidence and contractors who are not in the niche areas of Oracle Retail and Oracle eBusiness in general can also look forward to a return to post recession rates.

Also employers who converted contractors to permanent staff may face a battle to keep on to their staff as more opportunities arise in the market and their staff begin to get itchy feet knowing they could be earning twice as much in a contract role.

Lets hope 2010 is a good year.


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Origin Forward Solutions is leading Oracle recruitment company. We resource Oracle ERP and Oracle Business Intelligence professionals for projects across the world. This blog is to give an insight into the recruitment world, the oracle market and any other factor that impacts the prior. Enjoy reading the blog and don't be shy to leave comments

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