MRG White Paper on Senior Management Recruitment in 2020 – …

Senior Management Recruitment in 2020 and beyond - Looking at a new Normal White Paper June 2020

1. Employer Value and Security Proposition

2. The New Selection Process Case Study One Case Study Two Case Study Three

Case Study Four


3. Key Lessons Learned That Make Technology Work For You 4. Assessment and Analysis in 2020 5. Remote On-Boarding 6. Comments from the Authors 7. The 2020 Skillset 8. About MRG and the Authors tents

Recruiters and Employers need to rethink the process with a view to the next six months and then beyond. We should be considering what needs to change, how do we adapt and what should we not go back to doing? The Board of MRG look at the new normal and what is important and urgent for successful talent attraction going forward. Key issues to consider • Employer Value and Security Proposition • The New Selection Process • New Skills Matrices • New Collateral to be Produced

Employer Value and Security Proposition Good people have always been difficult to find, and this will not change when the new normal becomes reality. Candidates with the right balance of today’s skills matrix; vision, change and transformation management, technology op- timisation, emotional intelligence, stakeholder engagement, risk and business continuity, remain in demand and have options. To engage with these candidates, employer value propositions will need to be stand out. (We talk more about today’s most relevant skillset for senior managers at the end of the document). During the transition period from post lockdown to normal operations resuming, (we estimate this lasting from September 2020 to March 2021) in-demand candidates will be nervous about moving and if inclined to do so, more intense scrutiny will be applied to career moves. Employers will need to improve their employment value proposition and company career culture more than ever before, to convince candidates to take the leap to join. Post March 2021, some changes will be a part of the new fabric of working life. We believe a big change, long term, will be around flexible working expectations. Flexible working or WFH (Working from Home) options have always been a draw for senior candidates. The burden of travel and long days being offset by dynamic working practices has given some employers an added attraction factor. This has not always been the case for employees across all sen- iority levels.

Only 30% of UK employees worked from home during 2019, according to the latest research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The pandemic has levelled the playing field in this respect, as flexible working will be more of an expected feature now that so many employers have demonstrated their ability to support it. Employees have demonstrated their ability to adapt to a WFH environment, with some able to boost productivity and create a more harmonious work-life balance for themselves. Two different surveys both found that around two-thirds of employees say they are more productive when working from home.¹ As the new normal, employers who do not embrace this flexibility may risk looking dated, mistrusting of their key players and out of touch. The average daily commute in the UK is 59 minutes, the equivalent of 221 hours a year or just over 9 days, according to new research by the TUC. That amounts to a lot of potentially wasted time; stuck on tubes, trains at a standstill, gridlocked traffic. Commuters in the South East have seen the biggest rise, travelling an extra 31 hours a year, followed by the North West (up 26 hours) and the West Midlands (up 24 hours).²

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An additional change will be around the scrutiny that target candidates will place around the “security” of a career move. A company will need to demonstrate that they are a “safe” move in terms of a future career. This may involve the sharing of more financial information, funding and trading history and projections. Alternatively, positions will need to have pay and reward scales high enough that they trade off any risk. Good senior management candidates with today’s 2020 skillset will not consider a move without this scrutiny, and that will impact talent attraction strategies and success rates. We recommend including a statement of intent in the Candidate Pack. This does not need to include confidential or sensitive information but it should outline what will be shared and when with the successful candidate. This will allay any early concerns and prevent any obstacles early on. Just before offer stage this information can be shared, if appropriate with a suitable NDA (we will advise, prepare and co-ordinate) to smooth the final stage of the process. We recommend sharing this information before the offer is given, so at the end of the process, everyone’s full attention is on the offer. Candidate engagement will play a key part in any successful campaigns. Simply having a dialogue with candidates will prove trickier in this uncertain climate. Placing an advert will become even more hit and miss and assignments will fail because they do not successfully overcome the new hurdles that have been introduced.

At MRG we work closely with our clients to showcase opportunities to candidate pools, promoting them across wide ranging social media channels. Our in-house design team have created over 500 market leading Candidate Packs since 2017 using Flipping Books technology. We can give a cross market perspective and expert advice on Value and Security Propositions and how to showcase individual assignments to target audiences. Our online candidate packs have been invaluable from a candidate engagement perspective especially when trying to attract prospective candidates from both within and outside a given sector. They target passive and active candidates within a specific candidate pool. This means your vacancy is being seen and considered by the exact audience you are targeting.

Some recent examples include:

This format is also ideal when looking to undertake multiple campaigns and convey the ambition of your organisation.

• Estates Executive at the Hurlingham Club (1700 views) Click here to view • Head of 22 at 22 Bishopsgate (2200 views) Click here to view • Head of Property at Cambridgeshire County Council (3400 views) Click here to view There is also the opportunity to insert videos, architectural schemes and snapshots of portfolios, which can be ascetically very attractive. A good example of this can be found on pages 13, 15 and 17 of the Director of Estates & Facilities candidate pack at Canterbury Christchurch University. Click here to view

Recent examples include:

• University of Sussex

(3000 views) Click here to view

• Plymouth University

(1400 views) Click here to view

Security Propositions should include some or all of the following: funding/liquidity, strategy and market-testing, market research and intelligence, recent and forecasted organisational or business performance.

The New Selection Process

We are supporting decision-making using the latest testing tools and more intense investigation. Feedback from our clients and candidates is positive. One of the upsides of good, well-planned competency interviews conducted via Zoom or MS Teams is the focus on the quality and relevance of the answers, free from any distractions or pre-judgements. It eliminates particular aspects of unconscious bias that can be gained from body language and first impressions. We work with our clients advising on the structure, content and collateral used to make sure this stage is seamless and a positive not a put off. During lockdown, we have undertaken over 250 Zoom/ MS Teams selection interviews, we have hosted over 20 panel selection interviews (We introduce the people, process and act as host) and we have advised many clients on effective competency questioning and testing.

We have an opportunity for widespread change that we are advising our clients and candidates to embrace. During the Transition Period, companies need to adopt and demonstrate safe recruitment and selection strategies. This should include the use of technology, facilities that are fit for purpose, clear evidence of risk assessment and practical social distancing. It is also important to consider the impact of the current climate on the Employee Recruitment Experience, maybe more so than ever. It can win or lose you the best talent at the first stage. Propose a process that potential candidates feel uncomfortable with and they will decline at stage one. Propose a slick process, with easy engagement, that is safe and practical with someone on hand to help and guide and candidates will embrace it. We recommend that wherever possible preliminary discussions be conducted using Zoom or MS Teams. It is more practical, and the technology is capable. It will make the interviewer and the interviewee feel safe, speeds up the early selection stage and if it is well planned and constructed, it is as effective as meeting face to face.

the Online Process – GSTT NHS 1

Case Study One – Structuring and Hosting

We were appointed by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to run a three phased recruitment campaign for a number of leadership roles within its Capital Development, Estates & Facilities division, Essentia. What was initially a planned to be a traditional in-person assessment process quickly had to be adapted as the COVID pandemic situation escalated in March of this year. Ben Duffill – Director at MRG and an expert managing recruitment campaigns for healthcare, education and public sector property and estates leadership roles, said “We had to take the decision to cancel the group discussion sessions and move forward with panel interviews arranged online within a very short period. The process was new to everyone, so it was not as seamless as it could have been at the beginning, but we were really impressed with how quickly everyone adapted to this new approach. All interviews went ahead successfully. We learned lessons from phase 1. This round of interviews, for three senior roles, were delivered via video and were undertaken seamlessly. We had more time to think and plan and learnt that if meticulous planning is deployed, the process can work well for both panel members and applicants. Hosting and facilitating the interviews the second time round, we made some major differences to the format, pre-empting solutions and preventing issues.

Firstly, we ensured that all clients and candidates had more than one method of accessing the meeting – e.g. providing a hyperlink to the meeting as well as a diary invite. Secondly , we introduced a lobby system. All panel members were admitted through from the lobby to the meeting, then once ready and assembled, we introduced the candidate – much like a real-life interview.” Any issues participants had about not being familiar around the technology were eliminated by the second round. The feedback we had from the panel interviews was that they were highly successful, and appointments have been successfully made. Historically many companies would have not considered it possible to hire a senior executive without a face to face process – now, everything has changed. Undoubtedly, there are benefits to meeting candidates in person - but the power of facilitating via an online channel should not be underestimated, as it has allowed us to make key appointments in one of the most important NHS trusts – and incredibly, without any wasted time on programme despite disruptions.

Interview Process Online 2

Case Study Two – Diocese of London – Head of Housing – Facilitating the

We have successfully concluded a recent appointment for a Head of Housing position which was completed without any face to face meetings between client and candidate. Stephanie Howe – Business Sector Director – Expert in Public Sector Estates at MRG said “Our process started in person with a briefing from the client but following lockdown everything was moved online. All of the candidate interviews were held by Zoom, Facetime or Microsoft Teams (circa 10). This was shortlisted down to seven. The shortlist meeting with the client was held using MS Teams and allowed me to present to the three panel members from their different locations. Four candidates were taken through to first stage interview stage, held via MS Teams. Our candidate prep calls were undertaken using MS Teams and acted as a test call also, to ensure everyone was comfortable using it. On the day MRG hosted the interviews via MS Teams, we made introductions and then exited. I had a review call with the client on- line and we decided on one to take through to the final interview. The final interview was held in the same way as the first, with MRG hosting and then exiting. A presentation was shown via the share screen option. We also hosted a “meet the team” session separately on the day too. We had a final review with the client via MS Teams and moved forward to an offer.

The client was understandably concerned that candidates may be apprehensive about making a career move during an uncertain time, however the candidate feedback was on the process was positive and they were keen to move forward. I found that I had more valuable face time with the client, as we replaced all catch up phone calls with MS Teams calls. Overall, the process worked well. The Diocese of London were keen innovate and adapt their process for the appointment to be made, they also were mindful of the candidate experience throughout. Similarly, candidates were flexible and understanding of the altered interview process. For many of the candidates, this was their first time interviewing online and the feedback was encouraging. The biggest positive for me is that I have had more face time with both the client and candidates throughout the process, as our ordinary review phone calls have been replaced with MS Teams meetings. I can certainly see online first stage interviews becoming the new normal.”

Castleoak are a leading Care Home Developer based in Cardiff, who we have been facilitating first stage interviews remotely. Director - Castleoak 3

Case Study Three – Utilising technology to appoint a new Managing

with business stakeholders who were not involved in the panel interviews, but whose insight must be considered to make a final decision. From a hiring perspective we have found the process far more efficient and time saving because travel is taken out of the equation. We have moved forward faster, and the interview process is quite intense, but we have overcome this by preparing well in advance. The process has also improved because as a panel we did not have the opportunity to meet beforehand and risk groupthink influencing any decisions. One thing we are considering for the future is remote working dress code and etiquette, and consistent/appropriate webcam backgrounds, an area which we believe is still developing for all companies. We are currently writing guidelines for external meetings held remotely, to ensure professionalism is at a high standard and brand image is consistent. As to the new normal – we envisage our office rental overheads being reduced by up to 75%, with the money reinvested in technology and flexible working abilities.

Client perspective of the new normal

“Before the pandemic, the business had the technological capabilities for remote working, we just favoured meeting face to face. Covid-19 has normalised remote working and accelerated what was already on the agenda for us, which was to utilise technology, and this has been a massive culture shift. We are immensely confident with the tools we have and have acquired additional tools in the process to give more functionality to what we do. We have been primarily using MS Teams for interviews, and Microsoft Forms to collect the scoring for the interview panel. We were able to use this to collaborate the teams’ findings seamlessly. Even in the near future when our current restrictions are lifted, we do not see the need to stop using MS Teams for at least the first 2 rounds of interviews. It is interesting to see how candidates deal with the use of technology and how they adapt. We have only had 1 instance of connectivity issues, which we overcame by reducing video in favour of audio. Another benefit of using MS Teams for video interviews is the ability to record. We record candidate presentations in order to share

An important factor we must consider is an individual’s ability to work from home effectively and peacefully. Many people have struggled with working from home due to cramped conditions and distractions and not everyone is fortunate to have that functional working space. We believe the future of good places to work will involve a small, centralised office, the technology and tools to work remotely, and also a third functional space which can be utilised by employees when their home is not a practical option.”

Matthew Evans, director at MRG commented, “When undertaking a national search campaign with an unlimited geographical remit, candidates based up and down the country, the acceptance of technology has allowed me to see more candidates and ensure a more intensive interview experience, in a shorter period of time, so I could compare and contrast candidates effectively. I was able to see candidates from Edinburgh down to Exeter in a day. Candidates who were not as committed to exploring new opportunities, proactively approaching candidates directly, historically meetings would need to happen more than once. The process did not take less time but I was able to meet a wider range of candidates as a result. Castleoak have been exceptionally forward thinking and were able to interview people from the process.”

of Law 4

Case Study Four – a complex multiple hire campaign across the UK – University

Since December 2019, our professional services team University People has been undertaking a number of campaigns for the University of Law which has included senior leadership roles across Student Services, Admissions, International Recruitment, Conversion Liaison, Visa Compliance and Campus Operations. Headed up by our University People lead Sian Gardiner, the recruitment process had been drama free until Covid-19 struck. Michael Hewlett, Public Services Director, was incredibly impressed at how the team at University of Law adapted. “Immediately following lockdown, the HR team and hiring managers at University of Law quickly contacted all candidates to provide reassurance. They provided structured on-line training and all new starters were inducted from home. This included their new International Student Recruitment Officer undertaking her on boarding from her family home in mainland Europe! The feedback from all new staff members has been exceptional. Of the 19 scheduled starters, there were no drop outs from the trials of Covid-19. The university were always steps ahead when planning for remote working, mobilising IT equipment and delivering it to the candidates’ homes in advance of start dates. They also showed an immense flexibility towards new starters with childcare commitments, with one candidate allowed to start part time until her children

return to school. All senior candidates received phone calls from either the VC and the COO to welcome them to the team which was a nice touch.” It has shown once again that those institutions who are flexible and innovative, adapt and thrive during periods of rapid change Keith Houghton was one of the candidates who has been successfully appointed as Head of Student Support Services at University of Law. “My experience, from the initial conversation with Sian through to interview and offer, was all done remotely. When I applied for the role back in March, we all assumed lockdown would last for 3 weeks so there were talks of physical interviews later on – but the way that things panned out, this did not materialise so the decision was made to continue remotely. It was a surprisingly smooth process. So many technical things could have gone wrong but I was really fortunate. There was one instance of Wi-Fi going down half way through an interview but we just picked up the phone instead.

(Continued) I have had a lot of experience of interviewing people myself via Skype so I was used to the tech and knew what to expect. It felt strange that I was interviewing in my living room – but it was good. There is a lot of potential in having first interviews online because it allows candidates to be comfortable in their own environment without the anxiety of transport issues. On boarding process was a bit of a challenge at times because of hardware issues, but we were able to overcome these fairly quickly. For example, uploading right to work documents were a bit tricky due to printer issues. A couple of days before my start date, the university arranged a call with the IT support to ensure that I was all set up and ready to work from home, which really helped. Day one in the new job went as smooth as it could have gone… I had no troubleshooting issues and I was able to access everything I needed across all plat- forms and systems. Usually the opposite happens when you have your first day in a new office. The induction process was really good – a selection of e-learning modules to complete – which I would have had to do anyway. Not having to do building orientation was odd – in fact, I have never stepped foot in the building - but I was taken through the key contacts in and outside of the department, ensuring I was able to meet everyone remotely. Following these team Skype meetings, I then arranged 1-1s with the individuals I will be working with directly, to put a face to a name. Feedback from the team has been really positive, that I have taken the time to meet everyone like this. Face to face time with colleagues would be helpful, I would have preferred to meet everyone in person rather than doing everything via Skype. However, my role is

national, and I would be distance communicating with many of my colleagues anyway. There are other benefits to meeting people face to face but over Skype, I find that I get the most out of the meeting, there are less potential distractions from having other people around. I am still in the on-boarding process, meeting people, getting to know the role – but straight away I have been able to get stuck into projects within my remit. Given the opportunity, I think the on boarding process will go back to face to face. Not actually seeing the physical environment I will be working in, or meeting the individuals I will be working with, is a negative. But until social distancing is lifted, this is the way we have adapted and will continue to work. And for a lot of companies, this will certainly test their business continuity plans. I see value in doing an interview in person; you get a sense of the person and as a candidate you have the experience of visiting the location. Equally, you can get a lot out of a remote interview, you can still get the answers you need. I think the interview process will become a mixture of remote and in-person meetings as a result.”

Key Lessons Learned That Make Technology Work For You Use the Mute button when you are not talking. Feedback noise can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your meetings. It can lead to miscommunication and frustration. Ask all the participants to use the mute button when not speaking and raise their hand when they intend to interject, ask a question or add detail. This flags the action to the speaker and prevents talking over each other. Better sound quality can also be achieved by asking participants to use headphones, reducing the feedback noise emitting from external speakers. You can also install third-party apps which improve the sound quality by reducing feedback, such as Krisp.³ Provide a clear objective for the call in advance. Include an agenda in the body of the invitation outlining the purpose and structure of the meeting, so participants are able to prepare. If you are sharing any documents, it might be a good idea to attach to the invitation so people can read and digest ahead of the meeting.

Keep the meeting short, sharp and precise, allowing for time to ask questions and chat at the end. People are naturally social beings, but a maximum one-hour meeting should be our goal at this stage. Allowing for free discussion at the beginning will settle the participants and at the end builds rapport. Consider your software recording capabilities. You can send the video of the meeting to anyone unable to attend or can be re-watched again later to pick up on any important details that were missed. Do not forget to get the consent of attendees before recording. Consider your background carefully and consider setting the scene. Try to look straight into the camera by elevating your screen. It is much more flattering than meeting someone looking down at their keyboard.


3. Travel and Carbon Footprint Research by the jobs site found that increased remote working would drastically cut CO2 emissions - London would save 420kg of CO2 equivalent per person per year.⁴ Online interviews mean that travelling is taken completely out of the equation. The cost of public transport rises steadily every year. For people that are struggling to pay the bills, the elimination of this cost at interview stage will be a welcome change. For a typical active candidate who may be travelling to 3-4 interviews in a week, this amounts to a substantial amount of time and money saved. 4. Image and the Employee Engagement Journey An employer in 2020 who is not open to the concept of remote interviews and flexible working, risks looking out of touch. As many of us look to adapt our working practices, those who are slow to change will damage their employer brand. Companies that tackle the obstacles head on will capture the interest of their potential hires early on, thus attracting the best talent.

The Benefits of Technology for First round selection 1. Safety In an environment where health has taken the forefront of people’s concerns, using conferencing software for interviews negates the risks associated with travelling to and from locations. 2. Efficiency and Time to Hire Being able to interview face to face at the touch of a button is revolutionary. Eliminating the time, it takes to get to locations means that candidates and clients alike are reporting better flexibility and productivity around their diaries. For national campaigns, such as the Castleoak role, the ability to arrange a large number of first stage interviews remotely has meant that a 2-week interview process has been reduced to one – with no reschedules or cancellations


Assessment and Analysis in 2020

Consequently, we will need more than just a job description when filling a role. It will be necessary to look at attributes such as behaviours, structure, role setup and on boarding process – more thought should go into this process to ensure we are attracting the right candidates and shining a light on the right skills. Organisations who are able to adapt and run with these assessments-based hiring processes will do well in the new normal, as will companies with strong cultures and identities. People will need to be accepting of the new format and embrace the tools in order to make informed and educated recruitment decisions.

As we move towards a future where remote interview processes become the new norm, it can be difficult to get a “feel” for a candidate. Masking (the process in which an individual changes or “masks” their natural personality to conform) will become prevalent in remote interviews, as you are limited in what you can see of them. The person could have notes they are reading from, for example, and you are not making eye contact, so you might not necessarily pick up on all their behavioural cues. So therefore, we will need to support interview processes with relevant assessments to get a full 360o picture of the candidate and their ability to not only do the job, but to fit into the company culture. We should also consider practical, “on the job” assessments, in order to ascertain if the individual is capable of fulfilling the role. Behaviours, intelligence and competencies are vitally important factors when considering a new hire. As we face an uncertain future where we envisage many businesses struggling in the aftermath of Covid-19, it is vitally important for employers to reduce the risk of making bad recruitment decisions. Therefore, there will be a much larger emphasis on analysis and assessments of candidates’ capabilities. It is finding the right balance between candidate attraction, candidate experience and choosing the right people for the job. Best practice is using the right assessments for the right roles, but knowing which assessments are the most relevant to the role you are looking to fill – there is a real risk of information overload, and overwhelming candidates with an assessment heavy process.

Remote On-Boarding We are also advising and helping with remote on boarding plans where necessary. We have been having conversations around how to get the best out of employees who work remotely once they take up their appointment with various assessments. Thomas International have a wealth of tools that we have utilised regularly to get the best out of employees, both within our own company and to guide clients. The Managing Remote Workers report is a new PPA report which identifies a person’s potential challenges when working remotely and how you can best support them in a remote working environment.⁵ Leading from the front As standard, MRG will now be adopting the use of Zoom/MS Teams for all our preliminary discussions with candidates. We will then only undertake face to face meetings with shortlisted candidates (and only when it is safe and practical to do so). All de-brief discussions and post offer negotiations will be done using technology. Regardless of whether Covid-19 is eradicated soon, we believe this is the future of candidate interaction for a number of reasons.

One of the benefits of remote working reported among our colleagues and candidates has been the elimination of travelling. Often time consuming and subject to delays and cancellations, we have become much more flexible with our working practices when time travelling between locations is removed from the equation. As a company we have been able to reinvest our time in search, testing, skill investigation and candidate engagement and will further enhance our success rates on behalf of our clients and our brand reputation. 62% of remote workers want employers to provide better technology that helps them stay connected with their colleagues. ⁶

We envision that employers will need to invest in technology such as MS Teams, Skype and Zoom in order to keep their teams engaged and connected.

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New Skills Matrices

At MRG we have a unique Matching Matrix Selection System, designed by us and used successfully on over 2000 assignments in the last 10 years. We advise clients on the design of the Matrix, the weighting system and scoring process and the interpretation and relevant testing for each area. We then advise on interview and selection questions and the use or request of supporting documentation.

Key events and times change the skillset requirements for senior management teams. We believe that for 2020 senior management appointees will need to demonstrate the usual practical skillsets, but certain skills will be particularly revered. Vision, change and transformation management, technology optimisation, emotional intelligence, stakeholder engagement, risk and business continuity – will be more important than ever before.

Example for illustrative purposes

The 2020 Skillset Skillsets change with the times. New rapid periods of change impact on the skillsets required of today’s leaders. From many discussions with our clients about the impact of the pandemic, the forward models of remote working, the need to do things differently, we believe that the most “in demand” skills for 2020 and beyond will be: Vision Senior candidates in 2020 need to be able to see the bigger picture in order to provide motivation to their teams in times of difficulty, keeping the end result in mind. Change and Transformation Businesses have had to implement fundamental changes to their operations, and this requires an individual with the right skillset to lead. This requires constant analysis, understanding, leadership, risk and the continuous evolution of new capacities. Technology optimisation Candidates who struggle with, and getting the most out of technological solutions will not fare well as we move towards a modern way of working. 35% of the current workforce is the millennial generation, who embrace technology as second nature – this will only continue to rise. Technology optimisation therefore has become a must- have, in order to utilise the best out of staff.⁷

Emotional Intelligence It is more imperative than ever to make intelligent hiring decisions, that ensure the overall symbiosis of a company. Candidates with high emotional intelligence are able to motivate themselves and others more effectively.

Stakeholder Engagement The successful completion of a project usually depends on how the stakeholders view it. Therefore, candidates need to have the ability to work well with stakeholders in a business, being able to communicate well and negate concerns effectively, in order to drive business strategy forward. Risk and Business Continuity Perhaps one of the most important skills in this current climate, the ability to manage risk and put contingency plans in place should the worst case scenario happen – both imperative attributes for senior candidates in 2020.


Comments from the Authors - Looking to the Future Matthew Evans “I do not think the centralised office will ever go. The issue at the moment is due to the logistics of transport rather than the office itself. People still want to go to a place of work. Whether they want 5 days a week is changing. People want to be able to work remotely and flexibly. We envisage team/client meetings in our office, utilising safe working practices, less people in the office but ultimately the office will be a place to meet rather than a place to work. Because we have the technology and are self-sufficient, we will use the office to share ideas and collaborate rather than being chained to the desk. We can reconfigure our space to contain more facilities such as meeting room and tech capabilities – used as a destination or venue rather than to work from in a traditional sense. The ultimate goal is improving productivity and well-being whilst also helping the environment and sustainability.”

Ben Duffill “In recent weeks we have proven that video technology can replace and supplement various parts of a recruitment campaign process, including elements of the interview process. If, in the future, we are able to adopt a positive attitude towards this, which ensures a culture of utilising digital technology as a significant part of a recruitment campaign process, there promises to be numerous advantages relating to process efficiency, promotion of diversity, sustainability and increased successful outcomes. That said, clearly one of the most important factors in recruitment is personal interaction and the chemistry between a prospective candidate and the stakeholders within a recruiting organisation and it could be argued that you do lose some of this ‘feeling’ by running a fully digital process. I therefore believe that looking to the future the most effective recruitment campaigns will comprise of a marriage between digital processes that give the numerous advantages that I have described earlier coupled with sessions that enable face to face personal interaction at the later stages of a recruitment campaign before a final decision on an appointment is made.”

Michael Hewlett “We envisage there will be intense debate over the coming years on how technology could potentially replace ‘physical’ options around work locations. We are already seeing this heated discussion in higher education with the University of Cambridge moving all lectures online for the upcoming academic year. Others such as the University of Bolton are operating business as usual with stringent social distancing in place. The crux of the argument here is similar to those raging in office environments. Can institutions and employers provide adequate pastoral and well-being support remotely? Can a video call ever effectively replace a face to face meeting for students or staff? Behavioural scientists are suggesting that video calls could replace ad hoc business meetings which could have a dramatic impact on sustainability and our efforts towards climate change. Why jump on a train from London to Manchester (or spend 3-4 hours on the motorway) when a video call could suffice. This will undoubtedly contribute to a better work/life balance for employees.

Technology in CAFM for facilities management could arguably see more FM staff working remotely away from a traditional 9-5 office environment and it will be interesting to see how training and induction programmes can evolve to cope with this change. Service providers who embrace new technologies and new ways of working will flourish in the post lockdown world. The debate will evolve as the issues change after lockdown; a solution in one area inevitably raises questions in others. The organisations who innovate and put their staff at the centre of the decisions will grow and will provide the best services for their customers. It might not seem it now in the eye of the storm, but this change could make the workplace a happier place to be.”

About the Authors

Ben Duffill has been a member of the MRG Management Team since 2011, and was appointed Deputy Managing Director from 2017. He has developed a strong track record over the last decade of working with organisations from higher education, scientific research, local and central government, NHS, public landmark attractions, charity and social housing sectors.

Matthew Evans joined MRG in 2013 as business sector director, and personally specialises in Real Estate Advisory, Asset and Development Management, working with a number of organisations to make key strategic hires across the property industry. Matthew has successfully grown our international presence by leading the global expansion of MRG, and is responsible for launching the MRG People Asia brand. Matthew has been a Board Director since 2017 and is our resident expert in the use of Thomas International, and their Psychometric Assessment Tools. Michael Hewlett joined MRG in January 2008 to launch our higher education division specialising in non- academic appointments across estates and facilities management, student accommodation and professional services. He has spent his entire career representing public sector organisations and is passionate about attracting professionals from outside the public sector who bring a fresh perspective and approach. He has been a Board Director at MRG since 2017.

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