Archive for the 'Recruitment Industry' Category



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.

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The Recruitment Unconference – Future of Recruitment

Yesterday Origins management attended the first unconference event ever to happen in the UK called the Recruitment unconference. Set-up and organised by social media guru Bill Boorman this event was populated with a who’s who list of social media and recruitment.

If you’re not familiar with an unconference it’s basically an event that is the total opposite to what we would associate with a standard conference. Basically there are no slide shows, presentations, set agendas or anything of the sort. Principally what happens are speakers hold sessions in areas where they are perceived to be experts and rather than just feeding you information and the listeners becoming disinterested they encourage debate and interaction and any particular session can go in a number of directions and realistically it is up to you to get what you want out of the session.

First of all the venue for the event was the Barclays Tower in Canary Wharf, if Carlsberg made buildings they probably would have made this, probably the best building in the UK. It was an excellent venue for an unconference with the pod areas being perfect for what an unconference is all about.

So what did we learn? The 3 areas we went to were:

  • Sourceology – Finding the Impossible with Katharine Robinson and Geoff Webb
  • Blogging for business with Andy Headworth
  • Making recruitment technology work for you with Alastair Cartwright & Alex Strang

The only session we didn’t get to go to that we were interested in was:

  • Building a desk in a niche market with Jacqui Steadman – I just couldn’t find this track anywhere.

I don’t want to go in to touch much detail as firstly what we learnt is what is going to give us our competitive advantage over our competitors and secondly I learnt so much that to tell you everything I’d have to write a novel. But if I had to take once thing back from each track it would be.

  • Sourceology – The UK is way behind the US in actual sourcing, we have resourcers in the UK, in the US they have Sourcers whom are experts in finding information by any means necessary. They specialise in getting information and could easily obtain or create an organisation chart for any company in world and I mean any company or generate niche sector candidate lists and the techniques that they use for this are unbelievable.
  • Blogging for Business – When the top 100 recruitment blogs in the world were ranked only one blog made it there from the UK, Andy Headworths, Sirona Says . His knowledge and understanding of what makes a blog work is unbelievable. His 3 main tips for a blog of any sort corporate or personal was simple know your audience, know what the purpose of your blog is for and lastly know what you aim to achieve.
  • Making Recruitment Technology work for you – Where will recruitment go from here? Everyone agreed that following a recession there is always a change in the recruitment market. We just couldn’t agree on what changes. We now have the next generation of CRM/ATS recruitment systems, SEO specialists, Job Aggregators with tools at a fraction of the cost of job boards we even discussed the death of the job board as we know it. Some of the ideas getting thrown around could really shake up the recruitment market in the next few years so it will be interesting to see what happens. Not forgetting to mention the rise of internal recruiters and HR and the fall of generalist recruitment.

I could go on all day about the conference and all the topics covered, the networking opportunities were excellent and people who are subject matter experts in their fields were at hand to give information which on another day could’ve cost you £100 an hour. The only disappointment was not finding Jacqui Steadman. Maybe next time.

Bring the next event on Bill

Recruitment Cartels

Recruitment Cartels

The story which caught the eye of the Origin office last week was that of the Office of Fair Trading fining 6 recruitment companies a combined total of £39.27 million for price-fixing. With leading recruitment organisation Hays being fined a staggering amount of £30,359,129 for its part in the cartel.

The companies had formed a group called “The Construction Recruitment Forum” after  Parc UK, who were operating a managed service on behalf of a client, had placed downward pressure on the allied recruiters’ margins.

To think the result is a fine in this region, serves as a warning for other recruitment companies who are looking to artificially keep prices high.

However, we can’t help thinking that this fine seems a little over excessive and the fact that 2 of the 8 recruitment companies got off completely scott free for giving information against their own cartel beggars disbelief especially when you take in to account the recruitment companies that revealed the activities of the cartel were actually the worst offenders in the cartel and would’ve been fined more than the £30 million Hays were fined.

The crazy world we live in. To be honest we cannot see why Parc needed the other recruitment companies in the first place, if those companies chose not to work with Parc then Parc should have filled their vacancies without them.

A recruitment company has the choice to work with the clients they want to work with and not work with the companies they do not want to work with. If a particular client does not want to pay for the service you are delivering then you both have the option of walking away or doing business.

What surprises me is that Parc can offer a managed service solution but not have the manpower or expertise to deliver on their solution and needed the help of external parties. We are however commenting with the limited facts we have available  so as is often the case the information released is not the full picture.

Price-Fixing however is an unforgivable business act, which distorts competition and always results in the end customer losing out. The outcome of this episode is a lose lose situation for all parties involved, the recruitment companies, the managed service provider, the end client and the candidates who didn’t get the opportunity which isn’t exactly what our industry needs now or ever.

Which brings us to our last point, even though this all happened in the construction industry, don’t you wonder if something similar could be going on in the IT industry?

We’re under the same pricing pressures and providing a similar service. Lets hope not and if there were after the fines seen in last weeks incident they probably broke up their cartels rather quickly.

Lastly, a note to the accountant at Hays who has got the unenviable take of balancing their books.


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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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