Our boutique RPO brand, RPOne, are delighted to have been recognised as a finalist in the TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe for The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider! The TIARAs set a new standard of excellence for the RPO/MSP sector’s crowning achievements and recognise exemplary growth, innovation and leadership.
With 50 years’ experience helping clients with operations around the world to navigate their recruitment challenges, in 2021 we launched RPOne to the market. It’s a transformation of the traditional RPO model, offering a more agile, custom-fit solution to organisations of all sizes that wish to make their talent ambitions a reality and gain a competitive edge within their industry.
Over many years, we’ve developed a suite of products and services to complement the entire talent journey, whether that’s technology that tracks a candidate throughout their lifecycles; management information dashboards; accredited training schemes or HR consultancy that ensures our clients remain in line with changing legislation. RPOne brings all these things together, which we wrap around our customers. They’re not just equipped with our anecdotal expertise; they have a shopping list to adapt, expand and improve their service from us, on-demand.
Never before have talent teams been under such different extremes of pressure. Many have seen their industries transform around them, pivoting to become HR experts overnight in the face of redundancies and furlough. For others, the last 18 months has been a battle to identify adequate skillsets fast enough to meet the surge in demand for their service. This has left many looking for an outsourced talent solutions partner that can offer a high touch service that seamlessly drops into their organisation. But what COVID-19 demonstrated was that the traditional RPO model is no longer fit for purpose. Rigid in their makeup, most RPO solutions currently on the market have left many businesses exasperated. They seek to bolt on extra services in response to the pandemic but are forced to go through prolonged procurement processes.
The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to RPO now fits no-one. At the Morson Group, we can break down the blueprint for RPO into individual parts that customers can buy as and when needed, without challenge or pain. Offered as a boutique facility with 50 years of expertise behind it, our new RPO service, RPOne, is designed around the client and candidate needs we hear about today and every day. As well as providing our clients with a transformative talent solution, we’re using RPOne to turn around misconceptions that RPOs can never truly be fit for purpose. We’ve developed it just as we’ll deliver it – in partnership with our clients, all of whom have different needs. And it’s because of them that RPOne has flexibility at its root, with Grow RPO – a solution designed specifically for start-ups and tech businesses – a prime example of how our model wraps around the client, rather than restricting them. Our mission is simple: offer a flexible RPO solution that scales on-demand. We’re here to change the market, and we’re already well on our way.”
Adrian Adair – Morson Group COO
With packages available for start-ups through to enterprise organisations, RPOne has been developed in response to the changed and ever-evolving needs and expectations of businesses who want to attract the very best talent to their organisation. It’s designed to be more effective than anything else currently on the market and can be adapted to suit organisations of all sorts and sizes, scaling alongside a business at their pace, ensuring they’re prepared for the next phase in their journey.
Winners of the TIARA Talent Awards for The Best New Talent Solutions Provider will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 30th September, taking place at the stunning IET, Savoy Place, London.
Emma approached Morson back in November 2019 as she was made redundant from her position at Warwick University and looking for her next role. After a successful first and second stage interview, which included psychometric tests, Emma secured the position with Peel Ports in Liverpool as an Automation Technician. Starting on the 16th March, Emma will be joining their growing automation team and will be looking after all automation at Peels Liverpool dock.
Emma explains why she chose to become an engineer and her aspirations for the future:
“I never knew what I wanted to be when I was growing up; people would always suggest things but none of them ever appealed to me. When I was 15, I was at my friend’s house talking to her dad about what he had been doing in his engineering role and my friend started joking saying ‘if you are going to talk to my dad about his work, just go and work there so I don’t have to hear it’. That’s when I realised that she was right, and I should try engineering.
Before this point, I’d just never considered engineering as an option for a future career. After that, I started looking for apprenticeships. The main question I remember being asked was ‘would you be okay working with all males and being the only female’, at the time, I knew that I wanted to be an engineer and I was determined to not let this phase me.
I am currently studying my HNC in Controls and Instrumentation Engineering, so my plan for the next 5-10 years is to complete that, continue to my HND and hopefully obtain my degree to help me to further my career.”
Traditionally, engineering has always been perceived as a male-dominated industry, Emma talked about why it’s important that more women take up engineering:
“I think that it is important for anyone looking into a career in engineering to feel like it’s an option for them. A lot of women – or even young girls – get put off when they’re told that it’s a ‘male-dominated’ industry.
I’m a strong believer in the idea that everyone should be allowed to follow their dreams and take a job that they want regardless of gender. The only way to change the stereotype would be for women to take up engineering and prove that it isn’t just a ‘man’s job’.”
She explains why campaigns encouraging women into STEM professions such as International Women’s Day and Women in Engineering is so important:
“Some of the challenges have come from people being surprised to see a female in a workshop. It makes you feel like you have to work twice as hard just to earn the confidence of your co-workers and prove that you can actually do the job you were hired to do.
I think the work being done to encourage women in engineering has helped a lot with that though. Another challenge was always when you join a group of males and they suddenly act like they can’t make jokes in case they offend you. It takes a while for them to become comfortable around you as a female if they have never worked with women in their field before.
Equality is still an issue within engineering. I sometimes feel as an anomaly as a female automation technician.
Gender equality is so important because you should be able to do what you love and what you’re good at and enjoy your job. It’s better to have a company of great engineers regardless of gender. There are so many amazing women in engineering and I would hate to think that these people wouldn’t be in the field if gender equality had never become important.”
What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
“I think the most important thing to say to women thinking about their careers would be to follow your hearts. If you want to go into engineering, then just ignore what anyone else says and do it because you won’t regret it. The only way to gain equality in engineering is to have women join the field and prove that it isn’t just a man’s job.”
We’re working with all candidates and clients to provide a truly accessible and inclusive recruitment journey, find out how we can support your organisation here.
Sian Whittaker joined EC Harris in 1999, prior to its merger with design and consultancy giant, Arcadis, in 2011. Having undertaken accountancy qualifications in her early years in business, Sian has since worked across several roles within Arcadis, and is now a senior leader and director. In this blog for our Women in Leadership campaign and as a Morson client, she shares her best advice for people wanting to progress in their careers; what we can all learn from one another; why equality must go beyond gender and how letting children make their own mistakes is the best thing we can do for them.
“There’s no ‘typical day’ in my role; every day is different and many days I’ll be asked to do something I’ve never done before. But primarily, I focus on making sure that people want to come to work, that they’re able to work on projects which can make a lasting difference in society, that they are safe while they’re with us and are safe when they go home, too. I’m responsible for ensuring consistency in attitudes, values and culture across all our people – perm staff and contingent labour – so I spend a lot of time understanding what our employees think about, and what they’re experiencing. This is very rewarding and helps me better determine how we can tailor our service for clients, ensuring they receive something different from our delivery compared to that of our competitors.
“I didn’t take the typical route to this role that people might expect. I didn’t go to university, I don’t have a degree, and my accountancy qualification was undertaken while I was working here in a junior role. I’ve experienced big challenges to get to where I am now but am lucky to have always been surrounded by people who wanted to help and support me, so I focus on paying that back to our team. It’s only when you’re able to look back that you can say ‘I’ve done really well before; I can do whatever is in front of me now’.
“A part of my role that many don’t know about is how much time I spend listening. I’m not just a director in a highly technical role; I’m also a confidant, a friend, a sounding board, and I’m really proud of that. I am an official mentor for our internal team, and have coaching duties outside of the business, too. It’s so important to invest your time in other people, because we all have something to learn. In my role as a mentor or coach I’m supposed to be the one sharing knowledge of guidance – and I make sure I do that to my best ability – but I’m also able to spot really insightful behaviour, tenacity and innovation, which I can learn from myself, but can also be channelled back into the business to help it grow.
“It’s always been a priority of mine to ensure we are welcoming placement year students from Manchester University into our team, which mentoring feeds into. The benefits of working with these eager young people are so invaluable – for us, but mainly for them. When I came into business, work experience wasn’t a thing, and I had no idea where to start but I knew I wanted to do my very best. Someone spotted something in me and I was able to climb the ladder. Only by bringing young people – our future leaders – in at a young age will we spot what the next 10 or 15 years might look like. We embed them into everything, only ever asking them to do tasks we’d be happy to do at director level, and we see so many stay on with us for the long term. They teach us what we need to know about how young people think today, and we’re able to add some serious talent to our ranks.
“Lots of students who join us will ask for my key pieces of advice to do well – how they can thrive, impress and forge a long-lasting career. I start with asking them what it is they enjoy doing and if they’d like to make this part of their job role. If they do, we look at the stepping stones we can put in place to adapt their existing role around that, as soon as possible, so they begin gaining experience straight away rather than having to wait for a promotion.
“Then I tell them to get rid of any timeframes they might have in mind for their life and certain milestones. Everyone seems to want to do something by a certain point and if they don’t achieve it when they think they should, they beat themselves up about it. I say if you want to get somewhere, whatever route you take, we will get there together, but only when it’s meant to be.
“I advise them to remain authentic and true to themselves. Not everyone has the support in their role that I’ve been lucky to have but you’re more likely to get it if you’re always honest about who you are, what you want to achieve and how you intend to get there. This doesn’t have to come across as arrogant – stay grounded and real. It’ll help you get to where you want to be.
“Equally, everyone should analyse the difference between their own perceived weaknesses, and the perceptions of those around them. People are their own worst enemy and often think they’re terrible at things that other people think they are brilliant at. Understanding how other people look at you helps develop your strengths, means you can learn more about yourself and instils great self-belief.
“I am also a big believer in failure. You have to get things wrong to get things right. That’s one of the most important messages we can tell our children – it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to find your own solution when you do – we’ll be there to catch them when or if they fall. I’ve always felt in a safe place to make mistakes; Arcadis provide a comfort zone for learning and making those errors in your role, you’re supported to use your decision making skills to forge a path out of it, and resolve the situation.
“That, to me, is an essential part of leadership – being so approachable in your nature that people can tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. Listening to people, showing you have time for them – irrelevant of what’s going on in your own world – is one of the best gifts you can give. But you must be conscious in your listening; pay attention, listen to what’s not being said as much as what is. You should never act on your first or second thought or response to what someone is saying; think about what is it they need from you before you react. Because your reaction is what builds up the trust that person clearly is reaching out for.
“In a previous life, there were occasions when in meetings, I was trying to speak up and people would physically stand in front of me so I couldn’t be heard, or so they could get their point across first. It took time for me to build up the courage to speak to someone about what was happening, and I was coached to react differently. Someone listened to my challenge and taught me how to create a different outcome, but it was those coaching sessions which encouraged me to think I could eventually become a leader within this business.
“Everyone has a right to be in the role they want to be and at Arcadis we are good at promoting that. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from – if you have the technical competency, and are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything. And yes, we work in a predominately male sector but as a business we have made great advancements in our gender balance and inclusion agenda. Our senior leadership team is now a 50/50 split between males and females. And women aren’t in their roles because they’re women; it’s because they’re fantastic at what they do.
“And that’s a great position to be in but, of course, complete diversity across the board is a much better achievement to head towards. We must strive for diversity in ability, race, sexuality and more if we want our business to be representative of the world we live in, and if we want the best talent in the industry. And Morson, as our talent partner, has become key in this process. Their own ED&I ambitions match our own, and they can envisage with us how a diverse scope of talent today will help us create a more resilient business in the future. But that also requires working with all the people who influence young people now, ensuring they share our message that you can be whatever you want to be.
“If I could achieve one thing moving forwards, it would be to become the person that other people look to and think ‘if she can do it, I can too’. Because there is nothing more rewarding than spotting the potential in someone when they’ve come to you for leadership and then, years down the line, knowing they’ve achieved their ambitions and are now in a position of leadership themselves.”
Do you know the true extent of your contractor workforce? Have you struggled to identify and audit your contractors during the national lockdowns? Is your recruitment process overcomplicated? And are you concerned about the financial and regulatory implications associated with ‘hidden’ contractors?
Operations Support Manager Mark Goodwin and Head of Client Engagement Samantha Price discuss the benefits of undergoing a contractor audit to help streamline your business.
Businesses with expansive teams spread across multiple locations can find it a struggle to keep on top of the ins and outs of every single contractor on their books.
Typically, information on contractors isn’t captured within organisational charts or on central HR streams but, particularly in the wake of Covid-19, and with the upcoming IR35 legislation in mind, businesses have faced increased pressure to identify contractors within their workforce – and they’ve struggled.
It’s easier for HR and finance teams to track the job titles, salary bandings, working hours, geographical locations and specific needs of permanent staff – not only is it their responsibility but they hold that data in-house. But for businesses with flexible workforces – a mixture of contractors and full-time employees – there can be a lack of strategy, meaning not all recruitment processes are followed compliantly.
Plus, for those who liaise with multiple recruitment agencies to manage labour, the process can become overwhelming and noisy. It presents further risk – financially and legislatively, but also in terms of broader company processes and the candidate experience which, if poor, can both damage a brand’s reputation, visibility, approach to ED&I and commercial benefits.
To support businesses in any of these situations, we’ve launched an audit service that we are rolling out to make the recruitment experience more positive for both the candidate and the client. It’s designed to assess attitudes to recruitment, how processes are currently set up, internal and external frustrations and more. We walk ourselves through our clients’ and their candidates’ journeys, using data and qualitative learnings to draw up ways the experiences can be improved, but also assess how cost savings and time efficiencies can be made.
What we present back to the client is a report of outcomes which, if amended with some small changes, can create a new, tangible roadmap of success. Typically, an audit will reveal where efficiencies can be made in the following areas:
An audit is a deep dive into a company’s recruitment spend. We look at their entire population to find out various salaries, if consultants are being hidden as contractors but being paid a higher margin, and more.
Then we look at the commercial impact of working with multiple agencies at once. Usually, this means a company is working to varying sets of terms and mark ups, and paying different commissions, so are simply not realising best value.
Recruiting the right type of talent can also become a cost drain. Long term, a contractor will cost a business more than a full time employee, but for specialist or short-term projects contractors or even statements of work prove to deliver best value. An audit will show if a company is making the best use of talent and therefore, if the commercial benefits of an existing recruitment model are being achieved.
In partnership with our clients, we explore the numerous routes which can be taken to reduce costs, suggesting various recruitment models – a supplier rationalisation, MSP, RPO, hiring manager training or EVP overhaul or consolidation of their recruiter pool being just two options – which could be implemented to save the client what could be hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
Contractors in highly technical industries are subject to certain regulations, while the introduction of IR35 for the private sector will put extra responsibility on businesses to take account of their contractor workforce, assessing whether they fall in or out of scope.
Auditing can make this a more transparent element, firstly in terms of assessing who is supplying your talent; if you do not know this, you cannot be sure of compliance across your supply chain. And secondly, in terms of the candidates themselves; with responsibility falling on employers to know which of their team members are subject to IR35, an audit can help to identify those which might currently fall under the radar but who, without a change to working practices, could lead to costly fines and penalties.
As part of the audit process, we work with hiring managers to understand how much they know about legislation, detailing parts of our trail which shows the wider business is failing in its compliance. We can then feedback to clients on the ways they can upskill their team to ensure this becomes a priority, meaning that the business is futureproofed from regulatory risk.
An immediate benefit to a company of an audit is that it acts as an independent review of their wider processes, and how they perform in reality, rather than on paper.
For example, are communications processes sophisticated enough to ensure every potential contractor is informed they have not been successful in their application? This can often span to more than 12 contractors – is each receiving a timely update with enough clarity on why they did not get the role?
Additionally, is there hidden bias in the hiring process? Are the people undertaking interviews sufficiently trained to do so?
Also, are there any rogue practices hindering the efficacy of recruitment? Are managers favouring one agency over another? Is more money being paid to a single agency than another without evidence as to why?
Auditing can flag all these elements and more. And with some simple changes, the efficiency of an entire business can be improved.
Another objective of an audit might be to identify the reasons why a business is struggling to recruit either permanent staff, or contractors with niche talent sets.
Data will prove if there is a bias in a technical talent pool for contract roles, which will really hinder a recruitment campaign for a permanent role. Similarly, data will also show how simple changes – such as contributing remuneration, developing cross-sector skills insights and improving work-life balance – can transform a role from being difficult to hire to easier to fill. For example, are you paying below the average industry rate for this role compared to your competitors? Something as simple as a higher salary band for the role might attract better talent and result in a longer-term saving, as you will be able to relinquish several contractors charging a higher day rate.
Not all changes should centre on financials, though. Consider this – are you working with the right agencies to secure niche skills? If you are hiring for a specialist campaign and aren’t hitting your recruitment milestones, could the problem be a case of the agencies not having the right talent on their books? As part of your audit, we’ll examine your supply chain as well as your business, to ensure you’re working with the best.
There are two ways to work with Morson on a contractor audit; either directly through us – which is preferential for those looking to move to an MSP model with us – or via an external, Morson-approved, independent contractor. We understand how recruitment works in a way that you may not which means we’re best placed to undertake this task, but we work around you, your technology and systems, and in-line with your processes. We will anonymise all data to protect individual parties within your form and utilise your branded communications channels to fully embed within your business. That way, the resulting outcomes benefits you, and only you.
Getting your audit right can be a turning point for your business, empowering you to transform processes that make you a more attractive option for candidates, and more accountable at every level of regulation.
Get in touch today if you’d like our help to achieve it.
Roma Das knew from a young age that she wanted a career that involved problem-solving. Now aged 54, she’s more than 30 years’ experience in programming and software engineering, with jobs in industries such as aerospace, telecoms, housing and, most recently, for ITV.
She puts her successful software engineering career down to an early love of maths, and a dedication to stick to her passion – even if it wasn’t a stereotypical path for a young girl.
“I’m very good at maths – it’s logical and involves problem-solving and that’s what I excel at. I knew I wanted to take it further and move into software and programming, but it wasn’t a huge area at the time. I found an O-Level in computing and decided to go for it because I thought it would be similar to maths. It turned out to be very different but still tapped into my love of puzzles and trying to find solutions to challenges. I continued my studies, doing courses in maths and computer science and did a module on Oracle SQL. It taught me the basics in programming, and I learnt even more at the University of Salford where I studied for three years, which enabled me to start a career in IT.”
Living with dwarfism, Roma had reservations about how she would be treated in the workplace – not just as someone with a disability, but as a female in her field. However, every team she’s worked in has given her the support she needed to thrive.
“When I started applying for software engineering jobs in IT, I was worried that my dwarfism would be a problem. My view was that, as I’m not customer facing, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I absolutely love talking to customers and I wanted to do more of it.
Thankfully, I’ve been lucky enough to work with employers who don’t see my disability – or me being a female – as an issue and who have given me the opportunity to be public facing as and when I want to be. What I’ve learnt is that often, the issue is more of a personal one, and it centres on your own apprehension about how you might be perceived. Whereas, in reality, people are accepting and treat you fairly.
That’s not to say that other women don’t face challenges or barriers in this industry – they absolutely do. I’ve not experienced it myself, but I have witnessed it, especially for women aiming for senior positions. It’s troubling that it still happens in this day and age when there has been so much progression.”
Roma has experience working for companies such as Cable & Wireless, Akcros Chemicals and CSC where she supported such clients as BAE Systems, BNFL to name just two. She has also worked with some of the world’s most innovating software platforms.
“I enjoy being given a problem to solve, and either helping to build a new system from scratch or improving an existing system by making it work better, harder or faster. I’ve been integral to some amazing projects for software that’s used around the world, such as a bespoke screening system for flight information that’s used currently in Panama. There’s no satisfaction like seeing your own invention work in the way you wanted it to and making a difference to the way a place functions.
“I recently joined ITV where I am currently supporting existing applications and databases that hold a variety of information about ITV programmes – it’s extremely interesting as I can relate my work to the programmes I watch. I’ll also be involved in any future application or database development too.”
“Don’t think that because a sector is traditionally male-orientated, that you can’t be part of it. And when you make yourself part of it, stay true to yourself. Many women start thinking like a man in order to become part of the team, but we have such fantastic qualities just as we are, there is no need to change.
“I’m a softly spoken person, but I don’t sit back; I approach people as my equal, just as I would expect them to treat me. It’s not a man’s world – it’s anyone’s world, so be yourself and simply by excelling in your job, you’ll play your part to create change for future women who come along after you.”