I’m watching Richard Bunkham deliver a keynote about how the university of Oxford are turning line managers in to virtual recruiters. The university recruitment environment has 163 different depts who each have a responsibility for recruiting. They are adopting a candidate centered pproach that helps the candidate to find only the jobs and places that are right.
Richard talks more about jobs, and job distribution rather than content, and this concerns me a bit, but I like the way they are making line managers responsible for their own hiring.
As a University, they make evidence based decisions, and track everything. they are also not afraid of experimentation and research, and that some candidates will want to work in a specific dept, whilst others are interested in the university as a whole. They track where their candidates and employees spend most time on-line and what they are doing. The Zoology dept for example spend most of their time on Facebook, and this was something of a surprise.
The most successful source of hired applicants is the university website, followed by referrals. Word of mouth and social media is responsible for 14% of hires, where as their biggest spend has been on press advertising, this has been one of the least effective sources, and is changing. They are now using the social channels, particularly linkedin, as well as specialist forums like Researchgate and other niche forums.
The Universities approach now is promoting recruitment marketing, rather than press advertising, which is what they have always done. write a dated ad, sit back and wait. Richard uses evidence to prove where the best hires came from, and is slowly changing a machine. They are opening things up and encouraging peer to peer recruiting, plugging in to the competitive nature of academics. All staff had mandatory training in the change in recruiting culture, and their was a big pushback from academics who felt they already knew the best way to do things, the way they had done it for 400 years. come to the end of the year then push publish at the end of term. The budget is zero, which means a bit of creative funding, and pushing hardest for using free channels. The learning points are:

> Hiring managers have the best understanding of what they want. They should be hiring.
> Employees have the most relevant connections. for hire.
> to prove an argument you need data and evidence.
> A supertanker can turn around.

It’s an interesting approach. if the University of Oxford is thinking this way, shouldn’t we all?

Bill