4 things we learned from The FIRM Conference 2016

In late November, our Brand and Insight team attended the FIRM London Winter Conference to present their Gen Up project: a research programme investigating the new complexities of a multi-generational workplace. And while we were busy sharing our knowledge with all the attendees, we also learned a thing or two along the way:

Employer brands need authenticity

Creed Communications gave some great advice about the “need for authenticity” in every employer brand. This is something we’ve been preaching for a while, but the idea of treating potential employees in the same way as your customers was a really valuable lesson. Essentially, “people are shopping for a career and they want the best deal”, and so offering something authentic and unique will mean they pick you over the competition.

Who wins in the robot vs human interaction debate?

Powermeeter led a fascinating group debate asking: could robots could do a recruiter’s job? After much discussion, the general consensus was that no, robots aren’t going to replace recruiters in the future. Even if technology could simplify certain aspects of the recruitment process (pre-screening as a prime example), human interaction and relationship building really are key in creating the unforgettable candidate experience. A definite win for us!

Investing in your people is the way forward

Glassdoor taught a valuable lesson: invest in your people and they’ll invest in you. Employees want to be recognised and rewarded but beneath it all, we’re all simple beings, a pat on the back or a few kind words from a supervisor will often do the job. Two-way communication also shows you trust and respect your employees – by soliciting and listening to feedback, but also by providing clear and transparent communication employees feel they have an impact on the strategy and vision of the business. Guess what? Investing in your people boosts productivity so it’s a win-win situation, and we couldn’t agree more.

Is diversity important in the workplace?

More and more businesses are beginning to recognise that diversity in the workplace has a direct impact on the bottom line if done right. Capita and Launchpad both talked about the importance on not just narrowing focus on to one strand of diversity. It’s something we’ve begun to discuss too in our Gen Up research, moving away from the idea of diversity and inclusion as something physical and viewing it in much broader terms. It’s about the diversity of people and ideas. That’s what’s important.