Job Board Summit 2014: Colin Minto – The recruiting frontline at G4S

HR Strikes Back 12 Head
Colin Minto

Colin Minto is Group Head Resourcing Strategy and HR Systems at G4S, the world’s third largest private employer with 630,000+ employees. Colin has operated in the Recruiting, Job Board and HR Technology world for 17 years, including a spell at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. Over the last five years Colin has transformed the way G4S recruits globally. He has been instrumental in developing new tools to support these changes and has built a true “social approach” to recruiting and candidate engagement.

Colin kindly allowed me to interview him and his answers are insightful;

Q – What are the key changes you made to the way G4S recruits?

G4S recruits in excess of 200,000 people per year and five years ago didn’t have a representative and consistent web footprint in terms of candidate attraction. The first thing I did was address this. We created a career centre which in essence was and still is a Job Board. The global platform is an aggregation of the 13 global variants we now have of it, serving all four corners of the globe in local language with local content. It sits in front of all of our ATS’s globally, is highly optimised and includes parsing and semantic matching technology to ensure every candidate in the database is matched to every role and alerted when a suitable role is posted, whilst simultaneously alerting the poster highlighting which existing candidates are suitable for their roles. It also includes a vibrant resources section to help equip job seekers to secure a role with G4S, a CV builder and a whole suite of community solutions.

In addition G4S has the world’s No.1 career related Facebook page, a bespoke freelance executive recruitment solution which operates to an equivalent 4% agency placement fee and a core focus on becoming a proactive rather than reactive corporate recruiter. The unique segmented resourcing model I created for G4S is the template for our resourcing globalisation workstream as G4S continues on its journey to globalise its core business functions and activities.

This approach saves G4S millions on print and third party intermediaries year on year.

Q – You are an advocate of “active sourcing” albeit via external supplies. What does this mean and does it exclude Job Boards as a channel?

Let’s treat recruiting different types of workers as a problem in need of a best of breed solution for each type. That way you can formulate a range of best practice approaches involving the very best methodologies, processes, technologies and channels to achieve your goals. So Job Boards are not and must not be excluded from this because to my knowledge Job Boards are still the No.1 driver of online candidates to employers and intermediaries. That said, some of them perform better in different sectors, geographies and job levels. Equally some are more cost effective than others. So when building each solution if you can achieve your objectives more cost effectively without the use of Job Boards it’s up to the Job Boards to compete in a smart way. If Job Boards are the answer then my advice is to build strong partnerships to safeguard the longevity of the solution. It’s worth reiterating that internal and outsourced recruitment teams naturally need candidates so even if an employer doesn’t have a Job Board strategy, it’s intermediaries will.

Q – Each year G4S use 100’s of Job Boards around the world. Can you share any data points or  insights? For example, aggregators v Job Boards or trends in South America v North America

G4S has in excess of 750 business units in 125+ countries so my job is to support my global colleagues to formulate the very best solutions to their resourcing and HR technology needs. At Group Resourcing we create globally accessible class leading resourcing and HR technology strategies and solutions and consult on global best practice, so I could give you quite literally hundreds of successful solutions and data comparisons because we operate across such a large and diverse environment with a myriad of local nuances. So that’s a very hard question. What I can say is we do use Job Boards and continue using those that drive the most value in terms of applications. Traffic is one thing but applications are the core measure behind hires, which of course is much harder to track and manage in a very decentralised business. We watch and measure the stats and those that perform continue to support us. Those that don’t unfortunately don’t.

Q – If you ran a Job Board today, what would you see as the key threats?

I think most will say social media, however I don’t think social media platforms are the biggest threat to Job Boards because these too are attraction channels along with the aggregators. Job Boards have always relished a bit of competition so whilst social media is a threat, the biggest threats in my opinion are the reduction in performance of Job Boards in terms of driving applications and hires, lack of innovation to bring new and exciting ways to stimulate job seekers to want to work for Job Board clients and complacency. As well as looking forward, Job Boards and all businesses must look behind and to the sides to identify threats and challenges which could affect their performance. Most importantly they need to consult rather than sell. Understand what makes us tick and what our objectives are rather than sell similar inventory off a rate card.

Q – A clean slate; how would your Job Board of 2020 look?

Amazing question! So if anyone launches these I want a major shareholding! I would like to give you two answers to this one with a caveat that I am basing these answers on Job Boards and the industry not being superseded by an innovation that the world hasn’t seen yet!

1. Perhaps the most simple in terms of job seeker interaction, but complex in terms of back-end functionality would be two simple text boxes in a blank screen with a note saying; “Start your job search by adding your email, twitter name, Facebook/LinkedIn/other social profile URL etc. here along with the account password”. As soon as a these are authenticated a candidate’s entire social footprint would be spidered and aggregated, creating a social and professional matchable profile of the job seeker for them to authorise. This would then be matched to every job advertised on the site to continually alert the job seeker to roles they are suitably matched to. In addition the source owner of the job would be alerted of all matched candidates. The success of this solution obviously depends on the quality of the data mining and matching solutions.

2. Employers ideally want a one stop shop of potential talent, which is where LinkedIn has excelled by aggregating professionals! Therefore, my second suggestion is that all Job Boards aggregate their candidate databases into one and enable employers and recruiters to search it manually or automatically leveraging matching technology embedded in their recruiting technology. Yes, there will be legal and profile structure issues, plus the whole debate as to who gets the credit for serving the result if the profile resides on multiple Job Board databases, but this was a blue sky thinking question right, so the challenge is to solve those problems. Imagine a site where every active and passive job seeker on the planet resides. Hang on! It’s called the Job Board industry and I have said this many times in the past dating back to when I worked at the REC advising its members!

Q _ Other than supporting a non performing football team!! What keeps you awake at night?

Ho Ho and brilliant question which I almost answered above! I have worked recruitment from every angle; agency, digital, recruitment trade/professional association, technology vendor, online recruitment consultant and now client side, so for the last 13 years or so my imagination has run riot in terms of innovations in the resourcing and HR technology space. Currently, ideas about solving the challenges my department, colleagues and employer faces and the next big thing regularly keep me awake. I actually enjoy this, because it enables me to push the boundaries of what is possible and has given me a well rounded, pragmatic view of the wonderful world of resourcing strategy and HR technology. I offset the lack of sleep by running 5 miles a day in the morning, Monday to Friday, and I use this time to refine my thinking and dream about the Mighty Spurs winning some silverware soon!

Colin Minto will be appearing as a panelist at The Job Board Summit 2014 – Europe, debating what our customers expect from us today and tomorrow.


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