Recruitment: Accountability And Partnerships

Accountability counts

Accountability is the degree to which responsibility is taken or given. Partnership is a formal agreement between two or more parties.

They’re also two words that can almost always explain why your recruiter has not delivered what you required. Exclusivity goes a long way to explaining the difference between the dedicated and the undedicated when it comes to recruitment.

Before delving deeper it’s important to clear up what exclusivity means. Yes, a dictionary would define it as something restrictive or perhaps as exclusionary. Exclusivity means so much more than this and is also much more positive than that kind of description gives the impression of it as.

The simple fact is, in recruitment, exclusivity is freeing. Whilst you are engaging one recruiter for a set period of time with an agreement to pay portions of the agreed-upon amount when certain targets are hit, it does mean that more energy is committed to finding you candidates you need, within that time, and for those payments.

We all know the standard way things are done in this space: multiple contingency recruiters are set the task with no payment upfront, they all agree, they weigh up how much time they can dedicate to the task before they give up because it is costing them money to search and they look, sometimes successfully, most times unsuccessfully. Rinse and repeat.

In the system above, there is no real accountability. There is an illusion of accountability. It is an unspoken rule that recruiters will try, and if they fail, some other recruiters will be found to complete the task. The impetus is on the employer to organise waves of recruiters, none of whom can dedicate a lot of time to the search, and to keep going until the job is done. This leads to a lot of job board searches and communications with candidates who are actively seeking jobs, as going deeper to find prospects is a much more time consuming task.

Specialist recruitment partners work in a different way and they are not afraid of accountability. In fact, they thrive on it. But how do you select that recruiter?

It comes down to three things:


If there is no specialism, how can you differentiate one recruiter from another? Why go for a recruiter who does not have the time or inclination to really learn about your business? Knowing a partner has the knowledge already to operate on the same level as the candidates you are hoping to hire really gives great peace of mind.

Track Record

With specialism comes a strong track record. The hard lessons that a contingency recruiter may learn while working for you have already been learned, so they hit the ground running. They are also operating on a totally different playing field to the contingency recruiter, in that they have not ever been allowed to shy away from the challenge, so the experience they have is genuine and hard won.


The drive and enjoyment of seeing that job right through to the end. The love for the sector your company is in. These things cannot be forced or faked. The candidates you really want, can sense this.

 Add to this, the fact that specialist recruitment partners will work with you to perfect job specs and strategy including cooperatively reworking the plan if a course of action is not producing results, means that you will be getting a lot more for your money than you were previously.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Junior Talent Vs Senior Experts

Running an inquisitive eye over the two types of candidates…

With the power pendulum swinging back from employers to employees and candidates, the job market has caused many businesses to question just what it is they are doing and what they want from their team.

One of the major sticking points is the difference between junior talent and senior experts, and which ones will suit the needs of the company or fit into the company’s future business plans. Taking on someone with lots of potential yet little experience, or choosing a track record which is in serious demand, can be one of the hardest choices in recruitment.

Dwindling supplies of top tier candidates, who are snapped up almost instantly for well-paying roles has driven organisations to test the waters of seeking out the untested and the university leavers.

Whether they are straight out of Uni, an apprentice, someone from the workforce who has retrained or someone who is turning a hobby into a career, they should never be discounted from these niche roles. Aside from reasonable salary expectations and a willingness to develop, one of the main reasons to seriously consider these candidates is that they are usually extremely up-to-date in terms of the software they use. They may also be looking for some kind of guarantee of progression within the company.

On the flipside, the experienced candidate will be able to start working straight away, not needing much help. By this point in their careers, the experienced candidates will know what they do and don’t want. They will accept the offer or they will reject it. There will be very little hesitation or dawdling. If your retention rate is important to you, you may desire this type of candidate.

If you are looking for a quick impact, go with the experienced prospect. If you desire a individual who intends to have a deeper impact, then select a new talent. Where your business is, financially, can have an impact on who you choose. It is a delicate balancing act because experienced candidates will cost more in this climate, yet spending time on new blood can cost more in time, which in turn, costs more in money in the long run.

With most companies, a balance should usually be found between experience and junior talent. If you choose a new talent, you are choosing someone who knows about the newest innovations and has energy, ideas and passion. The experienced hand has been through this stage of their life and are seeking something more stable where they can use the skills they have gained to benefit your company.

Efficiency can only be achieved with the right mix and if your company has little experience of onboarding junior talent or of creating something like Data Team, you will need to bring in experience consultants or dedicated specialist recruitment partners, who can utilise their years of experience to help you get that mix right.

 If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that investment in the future has been neglected in favour of the hunger for short term gains. Now that organisations are waking up to that fact, one of the ways they are making up for it is by dedicating resources towards junior talent. Hiring them, yes, but also investing in their future in order to retain the talent. They will come to the business trained in a certain discipline with an aptitude with certain programs, but their skillset must be developed so that their soft skills are on point for the company’s future.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Responsive Employers = Respected Employees

It really adds up to treat your team like human beings

A business which conducts itself with purpose and professionalism naturally elevates itself above the competition. A relentless drive to increase in size in order to satisfy shareholders can serve to reduce the people who work there to figures, robots even.

Whether a company chooses to take this route or not, will define its future. Thankfully, more companies are adopting the path towards a mission that is not just based on money, but on treating employees with respect, acknowledging that they hold the keys to the future of the business.

Seeking meaning through actions is what humans do, and work is no different. Yes, we all want to be sufficiently recompensed for our time, and perks are nice to have too, but the realising of potential and a sense of contributing meaningfully are major factors in the long-term mental well-being of employees. Allowing workers to learn and grow means the good of the company goes beyond fulfilling the goals of the business but can emerge out into the society around it, benefitting those who may be outside of the immediate area of influence.

When it comes to recruitment, it is easy to spot employers who are engaged. It can be as simple as hiring managers replying to emails or responding to candidate resumes in a timely fashion. For all the sound and fury surrounding the search for new prospects to fill job roles, if what follows the flurry of activity is the metaphorical sound of crickets, a specialist recruitment partner starts to begin to understand why the hiring has been a long drawn out process so far.

But just because an employer isn’t engaged with these issues doesn’t mean they don’t want to be. It can be difficult asking for help when you don’t really know what kind of help you need or how to go about starting the process.

Finding support throughout this can be hard, if you are starting from scratch, as an organisation has either made steps towards being responsive and responsible, or it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, then it can feel like an uphill struggle. All companies make noises about listening to their employees but the difference between intending to do something and actually going through with it, is huge.

Processes and systems need to be in place, and putting them there takes time. Companies can and do change but change is often slow-paced. Relationships can be complex and there may be a lot to unpack.

Having an experienced specialist recruitment expert onside can help greatly. They will have experience of sorting the strategy for onboarding new candidates within your sector, will possess knowledge of the values shared by all of the different generations you may be recruiting and they can promote your new way of doing things to the candidates as if they are an external observer.

Within Data, AI and Cloud, it is important to view new technology as a way to enhance the potential of your workforce rather than a way of enslaving them to an omnipresent company presence. There will always be doubters who misunderstand the aims, or those who are old-school who attempt to mould what is happening to fit their standard worldview. Specialist recruitment partners are outside and have a better overview of how things are going and where things may be going wrong.

Responsive businesses will treat all the people in and around the business with dignity, pays fairly, challenges and reassesses its values in the face of criticism, develops an environment of accountability and nurturing where people can thrive and will help the company thrive, in return.

Companies must adapt during these times. Showing appreciation, encouragement and consideration is not a weakness. Getting fully involved in the recruitment should not draw you away from your current responsibilities. If you have the right help on your side, these problems will not even be a concern anymore.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

What Will Happen In Recruitment In 2022?

Will all the pieces fit together for you in 2022?

With recruiting budgets increasing and priorities shifting, 2022 looks set to be another wild ride.

Will the talent shortage continue? Will the demand continue unabated? We thought we would look into the predicted trends for the year ahead.

The drive to hire the very best during a time when all of the obvious quality candidates have been snapped up, means that there is a reassessment of what makes a prospect suitable. Qualifications that are relevant but not necessarily degree level are now causing recruiters to reprioritise what is really important. This may include years of experience and the requisite soft skills, the latter being regarded as unimportant by most recruiters in exchange for hard skills.

Diversity is also coming into focus as it has been found that those who are underrepresented usually have great soft skills and the diversity happens naturally when this is taken into account, so it is a win-win for everyone to view recruiting like this. Add to that, the fact that those without a degree are likely to remain with a company for a third longer than those who do.

Diversity should always be an integral business strategy component. DEI is important to job seekers and they expect to read about it on job specs or hear about it during preliminary chats. Businesses should expect to answer tough questions from candidates who are no longer accepting a little bit of ill-thought out corporate text regarding this issue. They want to know where the investment is going.

Of course, remote work or hybrid work are still going to be a reality for a lot of workers in 2022. Amongst those seeking jobs, flexibility is the emerging priority. More and more job ads are including the amount of flexibility. With hybridity came fatigue, with workers struggling to adapt and adaptation is now becoming a major focus. It has been a steep learning curve and it will level off in the near future.

Data, AI, Cloud and IT demand will continue to be very much in demand. Job vacancies are still rising and going unfilled. UK tech investment was at £18bn during the middle of 2021 and that will remain. Companies will, however, be ready for the uncertainty as opposed to the way things were in 2020 and 2021. Long term planning is the name of the game now and, as ever, it will be interesting to see where we are at the end of the year.

Reskilling was something that was on few organisations’ radar before the pandemic but it is now important due to factors such as power swinging to the employees rather than the employers when it comes to the job market, the need for more skills especially within IT, Data and digital realms and the ethos of the new generations who want to stay with companies and make a difference, seeing a focus on professional development as a step in the right direction.

Companies benefit from lower turnover of staff, with those who are committed and mobile within a company staying twice as long as those who are not. This is a job for recruiters, whether internal or external recruitment partners, and also HR, who need to find ways that make sense for internal mobility.

Companies being genuine is something a lot of candidates are looking for. In response to the pandemic, candidates have reprioritised and are now no longer tolerating being seen as robots. In the past, businesses have been able to push this to the limit of acceptability and now there is pushback. Looking after an employees mental well-being was a hot button issue during the lockdowns and now we are out of lockdown, those employees are asking why they have tolerated this. Genuine care, attention and support show them that they are not just a number in a company.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

New Approaches To Data Team Building

Open up to a bright new way of doing things this year

In this new year, it is important to remember that we can only move forward if we are willing to think differently, question and even reject the old ways of doing things. Change is a hard challenge but if the past two years have taught us anything, it is that things left to chance will not get you to the point you need to be at quickly enough.

The need to separate past, present and future is paramount if a company has any ambition for the future. As the old L.P. Hartley quote goes: the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. When you look at how you used to do business or you used to do recruitment maybe five, ten, twenty years ago, you wouldn’t recognise the organisation.

Things move on, sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally and sometimes forced by external pressure, but always necessarily. If your company is striving to be in control of its destiny, everything it should be doing should be on purpose, or at least in anticipation of market forces.

Whilst it is not always possible to tell what shape your team will be in the future based on where it is in the present, strategy is key. It has been known for some organisations to hire double the amount of workers within a role, under the misbegotten expectation that the role’s workload will double in the near future.

This is usually based on the misunderstanding of what is required and how these data teams work. This can be based on panic from management who wish to make sure they have enough support and not wishing to show their lack of knowledge of that specific field. It can also happen due to a misguided idea that resources will be saved if there is a double hire during interviewing. Either way, it usually isn’t necessary and necessitates a need for deeper understanding of teams. Resources may be better spent on an external expert or a specialist recruitment consultant used to building data teams.

Starting a team small makes it more manoeuvrable.With ever-shifting priorities, more agile teams are required within businesses, especially start-ups. The hiring should also be agile. Scaling-up, one expert team member at a time, is the way to go for smaller teams.

However you feel about data teams, or whatever your beliefs, one thing is crystal clear: the old ways don’t work for data teams. The idea, which can be prevalent amongst management, that a one-size-fits-all multi-disciplinarian in data science will solve all your problems, is wrong.

Firstly, someone like that who is a genius is as rare as hen’s teeth and, thus, totally in-demand and earning the big bucks. Secondly, if they are not a genius, they are a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.

Doing the opposite and just hiring a large team can result in an unwieldy process. The natural instinct to cover all bases is understandable but can waste time and money, and create bigger problems further on down the road. There can be no more burying of heads in the sand.

The prime plan should involve a younger, diverse and, most importantly to start off with, small team. The team’s skills should all complement each other and there can always be external help brought in. Skill development should be baked into the plan as these young prospects will be looking to stay with a company that values them, and the company will reap the value in the long term.

Information on their oft skills and passion should be sought after during their interviews and it all boils down to slotting them into the team you are building. There are experts out there who are adept at building data teams and if you need help, just ask for it.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.