Let’s Talk Digital
November 30, 2018

On Wednesday 7th November 2018, we had the pleasure of hosting ‘Let’s Talk Digital’ event – in partnership with PPMA and South West Councils.

We saw a great turnout at Taunton Racecourse, as some of the best and brightest in the UK public sector came together to discuss how digital technology is shaping contemporary and future recruitment trends.

Our speakers on the day were:




As ever it was an inspiring day, with our expert speakers sparking some lively conversation which continued onto the roundtable discussions.

Here are some of the key topics that were raised:



Whilst employers in the South West face many of the same challenges as the rest of the country, the region presents its own unique obstacles. These organisations often feel cut off from the rest of the country and subsequently face a shorter candidate pool. This can make the sting of skills shortages much tougher for employers in the South West.

Despite these challenges, it’s clear that employers are doing everything they can to overcome them in positive and proactive ways. They recognise that a strong employer brand, streamlined processes and an attractive offer will all be key to attracting the right people.

If you are struggling here are our top tips:

  • Review your attraction strategy. Are you targeting both active and passive candidates?


  • Google your organisation. Are you properly selling the benefits to attract candidates?


  • Apply for one of your jobs. Have you streamlined your processes to ensure that everyone who starts an application finishes it?




One of the biggest pleasures of events like this one is learning more about the different ways that public sector organisations are approaching digitisation and the digital delivery of services. Public sector organisations are completely focused on providing their people with the best tools to do their jobs.

However, the scrutiny councils face from the media in regards to spending money means that they can’t shout about it. 

When possible, we’d recommend that you promote this when recruiting. The day to day equipment and digital support someone will get is an important factor to certain candidate groups. For example, if the technology you have implemented promotes flexible working then let candidates know.



A source of ongoing frustration for many is the obstacles faced in modernising application processes. The majority are painfully aware that the processes they have in place are outdated. However, budget limitations or logistical practicalities are preventing them from taking the necessary steps.

Those that have managed to embrace online application processes and applicant tracking systems that match their needs are reaping the rewards. They’ve seen their processes streamlined, application numbers rising and have saved time and money in the process. 

Whilst most are aware that a shift to a full applicant tracking system will significantly enhance their processes, it isn’t always feasible to make the full switch right away. What isn’t always clear is the other options that are available:

  • Campaign ATS – A Campaign ATS will allow you to take advantage of all the advantages of an ATS for a single recruitment campaign. This can be especially effective with roles that are more difficult to fill, ensuring that your processes are as streamlined as possible to secure maximum application numbers.


  • Talent Pools – A talent pool will allow candidates to register their interest in your organisation and provide you with a database of engaged candidates. This works particularly well when you have roles that you regularly recruit to or recruit to in large volumes.


  • Online application forms – If you aren’t able to implement a full ATS then an online application form should be the least you aim for. Studies show that candidates prefer to apply through an online form, rather than submitting a CV and cover letter. By providing candidates with their preferred application method, you immediately increase the likelihood of securing applications.



There is no doubt that the term ‘EVP’ is becoming increasingly commonplace in recruitment strategy rhetoric, and this is a great thing.

We’ve been doing a lot of work around EVP, having launched an in-depth candidate study with over 1,500 participants. Learn more about our findings here.

Employers are reacting to a tough candidate market and are starting to sell their organisation but there is still so much more organisations could do. 

Where to start:

  • Consider who you are targeting, are you appealing to them?


  • Do you know where your audience is looking for the information they want?


  • Use your people to develop, define and broadcast your EVP


  • Harness different forms of content, like video and podcasts

Listening to discussions, we expect to see a significant increase in EVP and employer brand initiatives taking place in 2019.


Thank you to everyone that attended and made it such a great event. Also, a huge thanks to our partners the PPMA and South West Councils. We’re in the process of planning our next one so stay tuned for details.

In the meantime, if you want to discuss any of the points above or any other challenges you’re facing then we’d love to hear from you.

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