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Ep 466: UNLEASH World


One of the best things about 2022 is that face-to-face events are back. It’s been a pleasure to connect with people in person again for the first time in a long time, and great to see such enthusiasm for face-to-face conferences and events after everything that has been happening in the last few years.

Last week I was at UNLEASH World in Paris, and as well as hosting some fantastic speakers on the Talent and Recruiting stage, I did a lot of podcast recording. Thank you to Kate Graham, Marc Coleman and Jon Kennard at UNLEASH for organising a dedicated podcasting booth, which Recruiting Future shared with The Chad & Cheese Show and the Tech Talks podcast.

I recorded long-form interviews with three speakers; Lisa Scales from Nestle, Charu Malhotra from PA Consulting and Samantha Ramsay from Ernst & Young. I’ll be publishing these over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you a taste of the event, so here are four short interviews to provide a flavour of the topics that are top of mind in the industry at the moment.

First up, you’ll hear me sharing my thoughts on the event in a recording made for The Chad and Cheese Show. Next is a conversation with my co-author and collaborator, Mervyn Dinnen, followed by fellow podcaster David Savage from Tech Talks. Finally, as a bit of a bonus, I’ve got a quick-fire discussion with Bas van de Hatred about the recently published 2022 edition of his annual research into the state of corporate careers sites.

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Matt Alder (0s):
Just before we start the show, a quick message to say that I need your help. Whether you are a long-term listener or you literally just found us, I would be incredibly grateful if you could go to and fill out a very short survey about this podcast. It won’t take longer than two minutes of your time and will be incredibly helpful to me as I develop Recruiting Future into 2023. Just to recap, the website address is, and it will take just two minutes of your time to complete the survey.

Matt Alder (40s):
Go on, press pause and do it right now. Hi there, this is Matt Alder. Welcome to episode 466 of the Recruiting Future Podcast. One of the best things about 2022 is that face-to- face events are back. It’s been a pleasure to connect with people in person again for the first time in a long time, and great to see such enthusiasm for face-to-face conferences and events after everything that’s been happening in the last few years.

Matt Alder (1m 32s):
Last week, I was at UNLEASH World in Paris and as well as hosting some fantastic speakers on the talent and recruiting stage, I did a lot of podcast recording. Thank you to Kate Graham, Marc Coleman, and Jon Kennard at UNLEASH for organizing a dedicated podcasting booth, which Recruiting Futures shared with the Chad and Cheese Show and the Tech Talks podcasts. I recorded long-form interviews with three speakers, Lisa Scales from Nestle, Charu Malholtra from PA Consulting, and Samantha Ramsay from Ernst and Young. I’ll be publishing these over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you a taste of the event.

Matt Alder (2m 14s):
So here are four short interviews to provide a flavor of the topics that are top of mind in the industry at the moment. First up, you’ll hear me sharing my thoughts on the event in a recording made for the Chad and Cheese Show. Next is a conversation with my co-author and collaborator, Mervin Dinnen, followed by fellow podcaster, David Savage from Tech Talks. Finally, as a bit of a bonus, I’ve got a quickfire discussion with Bas van de Hatred about the recently published 2022 edition of his annual research into the state of corporate career sites. It’s a really great event. I mean there’s lots of interesting companies exhibiting.

Matt Alder (2m 55s):
I was hosting the recruitment stage yesterday. There’s some great content.

Chad (2m 59s):
Yes. Tell the listeners what that is. What kind of content were you overseeing? What were they?

Matt Alder (3m 4s):
So it was a string of very senior TA people talking about their various challenges. We had a great panel on first up talking about all the things that are affecting talent acquisition at the moment and how large companies are dealing with them. We heard from Deloittes, we heard from Deutsche Bank, all kinds of other large European or large multinational companies looking at all kinds of different areas.

Chad (3m 32s):
So they all did all say we’re in a hiring freeze for the next 12 months?

Matt Alder (3m 35s):
No, not at all.

Chad (3m 36s):
There was still actually activity A Lot of Americans think it’s doom and gloom over here in Europe and Not so much.

Matt Alder (3m 41s):
I mean, it is, but that doesn’t, doesn’t translate. It doesn’t stop us. We’re still hiring. The sense was that there’s lots of economic pressure recession in quite a few countries, recession coming in the ones that aren’t there yet. However, still very difficult to attract and retain talent. So companies may not be hiring in the numbers that they were hiring before, but they’ve still got all the same problems they had a year ago, and so interesting to see people linking TA also and employer branding with retention. So retaining people still big issue. How’d you build upskilling cultures? How do you upskill people all kind of thrown into the same pot in the same presentation, which we didn’t see before.

Matt Alder (4m 27s):
That would be three different presentations like two or three years ago. So that’s been, that was really interesting yesterday to see that. Hi, Mervin, How’s Unleashed been for you?

Mervin (4m 38s):
It’s been good. It’s been tiring. The energy expended by people getting together for the first time for three years is actually quite kind of inspiring but it’s also quite tiring because everybody’s so happy to be interacting again and seeing each other. So it’s been good, interesting conversations, lots happening, some thought-provoking stuff, which is what you want from a great conference and expo.

Matt Alder (5m 6s):
You have spent most of the time here hosting a couple of the stages. Talk us through some, have you seen anything, any interesting content that, that really stood out for you?

Mervin (5m 18s):
Yes, I was hosting stages, It was the talent and recruitment stage, so it was an interesting mix. There was quite a bit of talent acquisition stuff, how people are using kind of data, how they’re using kind of analytics to hire, to identify, to bring people into the business. Also had quite a few, I suppose, HR type sessions. So we had a panel on remote working. There’s quite a bit about learning, quite a bit about internal mobility. It seems to be over the last couple of years alongside wellbeing. It seems to be the topic that keeps cropping up and the kind of, you and I worked on a research report a couple of years ago about this and it’s funny, most of our findings are still what people are talking about, the barriers and stuff being cultural managers not wanting to let go of their best people, but the appetite is clearly there.

Mervin (6m 16s):
If you wanna retain people in your business, you’ve got to give them the opportunity to kind of move around and when people join, that’s what they want to know. What are their opportunities.

Matt Adler (6m 26s):
So I’ve had a lot of questions about what the market is like in Europe and how it is different to the US? What do you think? What are the similarities? What’s different in Europe? Than people might be experiencing in North America?

Mervin (6m 41s):
So, that’s an interesting question. I think that, if I go back one step, I think the slight difference that I’ve noticed in Europe, because I’ve been to two events in Europe in the last couple of weeks, is that there is a feeling permeating through a lot of the conversations around impending problems, cost of living crisis, needing to support people, needing to keep people engaged. So I suppose there’s a bit of that, which being in the US four or five weeks ago I didn’t really hear as much of. So I think there is a definite feel if I walk around the expo hall, experience is obviously a big thing, experience and engagement.

Mervin (7m 27s):
There’s a lot of experience players now, whether it’s during the recruitment process, whether it’s employee experience, they seem to be the platforms that everybody is talking about.

Matt Alder (7m 38s):
Final Question, tell us about your new podcast.

Mervin (7m 42s):
It’s called HR Means Business and it will be on the HR happy hour network, and I’m gonna be talking to HR people. I wouldn’t be talking to talent people because you do that so well. It’s probably dominantly gonna be HR people and I think most of the topics that I will be covering around things like well-being, engagement, productivity, the stuff that’s kind of top of mind at the moment. Certainly wellbeing is everywhere I turn people are talking about it. So those kind of areas and how we support our people and stuff. So yes, I’m looking forward to it.

Matt Alder (8m 21s):
I’m here Unleash day two and I’m talking to a fellow podcaster who I am sharing the stand with. Would you like to introduce yourself and tell everyone who you are?

David Savage (8m 30s):
Yes, sure. I I feel like I’m gonna be the fraud on your show because I’m not an HR specialist. My name’s David Savage. I run Tech Talks which are a series of interviews with leaders within businesses where tech is an enabler. So it could be anything from an MP who sits on the cross parliamentary party for science and technology through to an ex premiership footballer who is using technology to improve the supply chain behind vegan running shoes. So it’s fairly broad and that’s been going for eight years, about 600 episodes. So yes, that’s my podcast.

Matt Alder (9m 7s):
Ah, fantastic. You you have more episodes than me. I’m on about 470 something. As we’re as record as we’re recording this, tell us what you think of the event? What you’ve been talking to lots of people on your podcast? I know that you were hosting, was it the employee experience stage?

David Savage (9m 22s):
Yes, Totally. Employee experience.

Matt Alder (9m 24s):
So tell us what’s your experience been like?

David Savage (9m 27s):
It’s always interesting because when I come to an event like Unleash, I feel like I’m going back to my roots because I was a contract recruiter for eight nine years and I come here with kind of my Nash squared hat on and, and Mel Hayes, who is probably well known to some of your listeners is our chief people officer. So it’s kind of everything is through that lens of being an ex recruiter, but it has been very much about retention this time as opposed to attraction, the employee experience recognition, looking at how technology can help organizations make sense of that landscape and making sure that they’re not having to spend on necessary money going out and hiring people.

Matt Alder (10m 11s):
And are there any sort of standout technologies, anything that you’ve seen, you thought, you know what, that really addresses this problem?

David Savage (10m 18s):
I don’t know about Standout Technologies. I mean it’s always interesting because you go on one of these stages and you listen to someone talk and they give a lot of partner talks. So for example we had a talk this afternoon around recognition that was version one talking and it was a talk in partnership with Work Human and what they were talking about sounded fantastic. I’m always slightly dubious, and this is nothing against any of these companies, especially not Work Human who do have a fantastic product that obviously there’s an element of they’re working together so they’re going to give you the bells and whistles and maybe a small part of you slightly cynical, but I think a lot of the technologies are really helping enable these organizations.

David Savage (11m 5s):
The first talk, Zoom again, in partnership with a tool. What’s interesting I think is how adoption is being managed and evolved because a lot of the talks talked about 98, 90, 97, 90 8% acquisition of these, of these tools within the employee user base. But how well are they being adopted? How sticky are they? What kind of long lasting impacts will they make on those organizations? I look at our own business, we get a tool, we get a piece of technology, we get very excited about it. Some of them five weeks later, they’re kind of dusting and being in the corner and, and slightly forgotten about

Matt Alder (11m 47s):
It’s interesting because on the stage that I was hosting the recruitment stage, there was a lot of talk about adoption and how’d you get recruiters to adopt the technology, how’s it fit with everything else that’s going on within the organization? And the one thing that’s really struck me from the people who are talking, the TA people, the HR people, is just how much they’ve got on their plate at the moment in terms of where their focus is going. Is that an impression that, that you got as well?

David Savage (12m 16s):
Yes, I think it’s incredibly noisy right now. There’s a huge amount of tools, first of all, that people could buy into. I think that there are challenges for organizations right now, like they’ve never had before. I think when you look at kind of the World Economic Forum and you look at the way that they talk about the world’s never been less stable. You think about the UK you think of cost a living crisis, the government’s in turmoil right now, more broadly there’s the energy crisis globally, sustainability is obviously right up the agenda for a lot of organizations because of the climate crisis. I think it’s very difficult for organizations to know where to put their energy and effort and I don’t think that makes the world easy for an HR leader.

David Savage (13m 0s):
So I think it’s a very challenging environment to be operating in, and I think you need real clarity and real purpose around your actions. One of the things that really comes through in the conversations that I’ve been having is you need purpose in all of your actions to make sure that actually what you are doing is delivering value for your organization and is delivering change

Matt Alder (13m 25s):
What does the future looks like? If they ask us to podcast this event again in the future and we are sitting down sort of chatting in two or three years time. What do you think we’ll be talking about?

David Savage (13m 40s):
Probably largely the same stuff. I’ve been running my podcast for eight years and that sounds like a horrible cop out to say this, but the conversations evolve, they change technology I think improves. I think a lot of the tools that might have felt like they were a luxury or excessive or slightly expensive or not being taken seriously as enablers to deliver that change the organizations need. So I imagine that there will be an expansion in that tool set. I think this marketplace will probably become busier, more crowded, noisier, but as a consequence probably cheaper.

David Savage (14m 21s):
It’s that natural evolution and I think that’s not a bad thing for organizations. More choice, probably more affordable. I think the overarching themes will stay largely the same because I don’t think that the challenges that we’re facing as a society, as a global society are going to be solved in the next two or three years.

Matt Alder (14m 41s):
Hi Bas and welcome back to the podcast.

Bas van de Haterd (14m 43s):
Awesome to be back again, Matt.

Matt Alder (14m 44s):
Probably a record breaking fifth or sixth time, I think

Bas van de Haterd (14m 47s):
It could very well be, but that’s what you get when you do awesome research, right?

Matt Alder (14m 53s):
Absolutely. So speaking about about awesome research, you have just published your latest set of research into the state of career sites. I could talk to you for hours and hours and hours, but very quickly give us some of the highlights in terms of what you found, perhaps some things that might surprise some of the people listening.

Bas van de Haterd (15m 15s):
I researched the 500 biggest Dutch corporates companies, governments, agencies, their corporate career sites over a hundred data points. I was surprised to see that only 2.7% of all of them have a previous job scene on their website. So if you return to Amazon, you will see the product on your feed that you didn’t buy yet. We know that most candidates come back three to four times on Dutch average is 2.7. We know that it increases with experience, yet we don’t help the candidate find the job they’re looking for in the first time. I’m actually also very surprised about the fact that most job ads are still text.

Bas van de Haterd (15m 57s):
When did you ever buy a product of Amazon without photos If you look at a lot of those information that’s not on the site, it’s how many people actually show the team you’re going in photos. Only 6.5% Offer photos of future colleagues next to job ad only 3.8% have any photo or video of your future workplace. I mean your office. It’s interesting things. 24% offer related jobs of which 14% are relevant and 10% not so relevant.

Bas van de Haterd (16m 41s):
For the people with visual disability only 1.3% offer street chance to be able to read the job out loud. Just a few of those things. Now, one of the most surprising factors is that actually the number of people with a diversity background on the corporate career site as a whole dropped this share, which is amazingly surprising because I hear all these agencies saying we’ve updated the photos because we are now aware that it needs to represent the entire company and yet the number of companies that had more than three photos of basically non-white people on their website dropped from 55 to 46%.

Bas van de Haterd (17m 28s):
I was Amazed.

Matt Alder (17m 29s):
I suppose the question that comes from that, just to finish off, you’ve been doing this for a long time. Are career sites getting better or are career sites getting worse?

Bas van de Haterd (17m 42s):
They are getting better, no question. But things that candidates demand from them is also increasing and that’s why the research actually does take that into account. So it’s a living research. We add new questions for the first time. We research TikTok for example, this year, but they are on average getting better in the Netherlands also in sometimes because of this research. I know because people are looking at the very best and saying like, Oh that’s kind of cool. Let’s do that.

Matt Alder (18m 12s):
If people want know more, where can they find, where can they access their findings?

Bas van de Haterd (18m 17s):
Well, they can follow me on LinkedIn and I’ll share the research there. They can of course listen to the Talent Savvy podcast and they can download it at , which is a Dutch website. But probably if you’re an English speaker, contact me on LinkedIn and I’ll just send you the research. That’s the easiest.

Matt Alder (18m 38s):
My thanks to Mervin, David, Bass, the Chad and Cheese show, and everyone at Unleash. You can subscribe to this podcast in Apple podcasts on Spotify or via your podcasting app of choice. Please also follow the show on Instagram. You can find us by searching for Recruiting Future. You can search all the past episodes at On that site, you can also subscribe to the mailing list to get the inside track about everything that’s coming up on the show.

Matt Alder (19m 13s):
Thanks very much for listening. I’ll be back next time and I hope you’ll join me.

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