• Austin, Texas

    Government hand-picks Elevate Direct for SXSW panel

    Elevate Direct is attending the iconic South by SouthWest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas, at the invitation of the Department for International Trade (DfIT).

    Elevate CEO, Dan Collier, is joining a panel discussion hosted by the DfIT as part of its ‘Innovation is Great’ campaign, which showcases successful British tech companies. Elevate, the intelligent recruitment platform, is one of just five businesses selected by the DfIT and is the only representative from the staffing sector.

    The discussion is based around how digital innovation, disruptive technology and data is being used by public sector organisations. It will examine how traditionally bureaucratic institutions can shake off the red tape to compete with some of the most ambitious tech companies and attract the best talent. This aligns with Elevate’s extensive experience boosting government hiring efficiency – reducing one department’s staffing agency margin by 75% – and better utilising its existing workforce using technology.

    The talk will take place in the specially created Great Britain House and the Elevate team is offering to buy drinks afterwards for anyone who wants to chat.

    Running from 10-19 March, SXSW brings together creative people from all over the world, facilitating the development of professional relationships and the sharing of ideas. It comprises comedy, film, music and interactive festivals, parties and a prestigious conference which examines future innovation in the culture, technology and entertainment industries.

    SXSW is a global event which attracts massive international media interest – and not only for its celebrity attendees (last year’s keynote speakers included the Obamas).

    Speaking about the invitation, Dan says: “We’re honoured to have been selected by the DfIT to represent the UK. SXSW is a globally-renowned event and a fantastic chance to both get our brand in front of some international influencers and to help further enhance the UK’s reputation for building great tech businesses.”

    The panel discussion takes place at 3pm, March 12 at Great Britain House, Speakeasy, 412 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.

  • Contingent Worker Summit Day 2

    Will Your CW Programme Stand the Test of Time

    Reflections on day 2 of the Contingent Workforce Strategies Summit, Europe 2015.

    As day two progressed it was clear that the intensity from day one was still there but the pace had dropped a little. I did wonder how many delegates might be missing early sessions after attending late night sessions that closed the first night. Elevate was entertained by IQ Navigator on their canal boat cruise visiting a couple of very good restaurants including the Hotel Amstel for our main course. Amsterdam is a great City with some fantastic architecture which is well viewed from the water. Luckily we were back at the hotel (bar) at a reasonable hour, I’m not sure the same was true of those that attended Beeline’s after party!

    The themes in day two were similar to the first day but with a large dose of collaboration. Renowned speaker Rene Carayol kicked off the keynote on Wednesday morning stating that leadership in our modern world of business is driven by collaboration, without it you aren’t even talking to the right people let alone developing relationships that give your strategies more chance of success.

    This ran all the way through to the final session I attended with Bryan Pena supported by Jason Ezratty of Brightfield Strategies and Vince Lattimore from Microsoft on how to evolve CW programmes or How to solve the 3 year problem as they called it. Vince had some war tales from Microsoft’s various CW programmes spanning over 100 countries with a very high level of complexity but the short of it was talk to people, get in front of them and communicate. If your stakeholders ignore that email you sent notifying them of a change to something then they don’t know about it and your change management will falter. Engage with them from day 1 to year 3 and beyond. Bryan had said on day one that Procurement was a sales job, so go and sell your programme and it’s value to your clients and suppliers and reap the benefits. You will increase relevance and the chances of keeping your job in the process!

    The other major takeaway from this session, in fact from the whole conference, was about costs and saving money. A drive to measure success in terms of continued savings will eventually lead to failure and this was challenged with questions from the floor. Procurement is there to measure and save money right? With over 70% of attendees at CWS Summit 2015 coming from procurement this may be a hard pill to swallow but Jason, Vince and Bryan were consistent in that value isn’t just savings. If you squeeze suppliers to the point they make no money they go bust or their quality of service to you decreases and how is that useful? Measure quality, get suppliers to do a little more for the same fee and if they are doing a good job tell them so.

    So as a CWS virgin what would I say about the event? Engaged delegates, interesting sessions (for a relative novice), good venue and a buzz that as sponsors gave us a platform to drive conversations. My personal take on some of the content is that I am not so sure Procurement is ready to be told to measure value on different metrics than cost and they may not also be ready to wear a sales hat. Would we go back, ask that question in 6 months time……..

  • CWS Summit 2015 Day 1

    Where we are going we don’t need roads, or HR

    Reflections on day 1 of the Contingent workforce strategies summit, Europe 2015

    Bryan Pena from Staffing Industry Analysts kicked off CWS Summit 2015 in Amsterdam this week with a passionate keynote address to an expectant delegate and vendor audience. He massaged a few egos and complimented the industry at large but made it very clear that the war for talent and its impact on contingent worker programmes, new and mature, has just got a whole lot harder.

    Bryan conveyed a real opportunity that the work the industry puts in now will define the broader world of work for generations. The key to it being that as gen y, gen x, millennials and baby boomers move in and out of the total workforce, strategic planning has to be adapt to remain relevant. Younger generations of workers aren’t so motivated by cash and brand. They are interested in flexibility and skills that will secure their next assignment. From talent attraction to engagement and compliance, has a company taken the right strategy to make sure the right tech, partners and processes are in place to give the business what it needs?

    My other major take away from the keynote is that a fascination with saving money and driving costs down is only a short term measure of success. If companies continue to define strategy by saving money they will fail. This seemed a bold statement and does depend on what you’re measuring but given a few hours to reflect makes perfect sense. You can’t keep driving costs down forever but you can focus efforts on quality, engagement and utilisation to provide value within a cw programme.

    As a vendor delegate I have been lucky enough to drop into a couple of really interesting sessions on the first day. Kieran Brady from IQNavigator alongside Matt Jessop from Brightfield Strategies and Jeroen Droppers from Heinz painted a compelling argument for why the VMS is the obvious hub from where to build an Eco system to service cw programmes.

    Ok so there maybe other logical places to integrate systems but with VMS providing control of spend, workflow and tracking of applicants, strong MI and now direct sourcing and other value ad through existing partner integrations the reasoning makes sense. I wonder what HR would have to say on that????

    Bruce Morton from Allegis gave us his take on potential impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on the broader world of work. According to the 1985 movie ‘Back to the Future’ 2015 is the future and we are lucky enough to be living it. We have seen the mobile phones and now the hover boards from the movie come to reality but what of our expectation of work in the future?

    Automation of jobs is a real threat to the middle layer of knowledge based workers and is being seen in a lot of industries already. Unlikely areas such as journalism are under threat. Forbes and other media companies have already implemented Narrative Science to provide computer generated stories, we saw boiler plate examples of financial service reports and a sports result both of which a human had been nowhere near.  Driverless cars and self-service checkouts are here but surely not journalism, if an AI writes the back page story on my football teams famous victory it will be rubbish right? Time will tell.

    Back to the keynote. Bryan had data telling us that only 10% of delegates were from HR this year. So we don’t need drivers or journalists but I would have expected we need HR at a contingent worker conference. This is my biggest surprise from day one. If you’re wondering how day 2 panned out, check out our blog shortley.

  • cws-summit-europe-2014

    CWS Summit 2015, and the Future of Recruitment

    Contingent Workforce Summit Europe 2015

    Elevate is sponsoring the Contingent Workforce Summit 2015 in Amsterdam and it is a big deal. It’s a big deal to us, but we will come back to that later, it’s also a very big deal to the contingent staffing industry as a whole. Buyers, sellers, planners and vendors all together under one roof for what looks like an intense two days of networking coupled with an engaging conference agenda delivered by some real thought leaders and experts.

    Why is it such a big deal?

    As the demand for contingent workers continues to increase year after year to a forecast of 25% of the global workforce by 2024 conferences like CWS 2015 provide major opportunities for organisations to ensure that their contingent workforce programmes and planning are bomb proof, bullet proof and going to be able to withstand what their business, industries, governments and economies are going to throw at them.

    Elevate are huge champions of the contingent worker. Whether temp, IC, SOW or otherwise we believe this workforce sector has become fundamental in more and more ways to the world economy. This advancement of a critical workforce should be celebrated and CWS 2015 gives us a chance to do that.

    However, as Spring potentially arrives in London it is clear to see that it’s not all rosy in the garden. Basic economic laws of demand and supply could dictate that buyers might be in store for a tougher time sourcing and securing talent as the economies continue to improve across different global regions. In the UK demand for Independent Contractors and other contingent workers is increasing across most sectors. There is already data from those clever people at Innovantage, Broadbean and SIA showing a year on year trend that contingent placements in Jan 2015 were down compared with Jan 2014 but vacancies were up, a strong sign of under supply of workers.

    Sourcing and recruitment is really only one of the areas where contingent workforce planning will be under pressure, it just happens to be the area we are experts in. Other challenges lay ahead in the staffing industry as a whole. From changing landscapes in tax as well as legal considerations and increased compliance, there is no shortage of areas to be addressed and questions to answer.

    So what’s the deal and what has it got to do with CWS?

    CWS provides the platform for these real world issues to be aired, shared and understood. The conference agenda steers us towards some of these key drivers and provides various opportunities for us all to further what we know and how we might approach some aspects. My personal anticipated highlights are both on Tuesday with the Cutting Edge of CW Tech track with Shelley Williams and Kieran Brady as well the Artificial Intelligence piece from Bruce Morton and John Nurthen.

    As Client Services & Operations Director at Elevate it gives me a sense of real excitement attending CWS this year. We will be introducing Elevate as an FMS to some people for the very first time and I am intrigued to listen to learn how our scientific approach to some of these challenges can make a real impact.

    For a overview of the key issues and topics being discussed at the Summit visit: CWS Summit 2015 Amsterdam

  • Specsavers contract recruitment

    Specsavers Wins Award for Best Contract Recruitment Strategy

    Specsavers contract recruitment

    Specsavers the well known Global optical services retail chain, took home the award for ‘Best Contract Recruitment Strategy’ at last nights 2014 In-House Recruitment Awards, held in London.  

    Beating off competition from Radley Yeldar. the creative comms company, and ECS, the IT infrastructure consultancy the judges cited that “In a tough category, our winner was able to demonstrate how their strategy has been able to significantly reduce costs and increase placements.”

    Dan Collier, CEO of Elevate Direct, the sponsor of the ‘Best Contract Recruitment Strategy Category’, said “It was great to be involved in the awards, especially as they recognise the global trend in the rise of the contingent/freelance worker.  I’d expect that over the next year we’ll begin seeing more and more in-house recruitment teams looking for ways to recruit more of their contract workforce directly, in the same way they do for perm hires”.

    “On behalf of the Elevate Direct team, I’d like to congratulate Specsavers on their  award, and Radley Yeldar and ECS for also making it as a finalist”.