Nowadays, it’s not always enough to offer candidates a good benefits package. What candidates want is so much more than just money – money doesn’t make you happy in your job role. What makes a candidate happy in their job role is the people around them – the Employee Culture. And, with the rise of the Internet, candidates don’t need to come to an interview to know about the Employee Culture. This is where Glassdoor comes in.

If you’re not familiar with Glassdoor – here’s an Infographic, outlining 5 key reasons why you need to be using it as a recruitment tool.

Own your Glassdoor account – own your recruitment.


Contextualised Recruitment

What is contextualised recruitment?

Contextualised Recruitment is essentially the practice of equality in the recruitment process. Equal assessment is the theme if most recruitment processes anyway. However, the equality can always be questioned when it comes to deciding who to progress through these processes. Are they progressed through their actual talent or simply their credentials?

Contextualised Recruitment is the focus on the talent and potential of any applicant or candidate – their tangible skills outweigh their background. Think of it this way; if you received applications from two candidates, one with a first class degree and the other with a second class degree – who would you seek to hire?

Download our e-book for more tips on running a great recruitment campaign

How does contextualised recruitment work?

The implementation of Contextualised Recruitment seeks to stem away from the generalisations that the candidate with the better degree is the better choice.

Employers will tend to make an offer to the candidate with the first class degree, purely because of their background. Furthermore, this looks to delve deeper into the candidates’ actual abilities and their achievable potential.

    • Increased talent pool. Increasing the number of applicants, with a more accurate screening process, leans towards the assumption that at least one of them will have exactly what you want.


    • Wider skills base. This links hand-in-hand with the increased talent pool; no candidate is the same as the next, meaning there will be a greater variety of skills at your disposal.


    • Builds public profile. You begin to get noticed more by a wider group of people; there is not one type of person that will apply – you are seen to be making offers to different people with different skills.

contextualised recruitment

What are the downsides of Contextualised Recruitment?

Where there are positives, there are also negatives – Contextual Recruitment is no exception. Like most things, following the guidelines too strictly creates its own issues.

    • Following CR too strictly can lean back towards a sense of inequality in your recruitment process. It’s easy to fall back into the routine of hiring the same person every time.
      Taking the easy option of avoiding the repetitive, tedious work that comes with sifting through copious amounts of applications may seem the best thing to do, because it provides you with more time to focus on other things.
      The idea behind Contextualised Recruitment isn’t to say that Candidate B is always going to be the better option. The idea is simply in place to ensure that you can pick the most suitable candidate for the best reasons.
      The fear of not receiving fair assessment is enough to discourage candidates from applying.


  • Whilst CR can increase the talent pool, it can also create an adverse effect if followed too strictly. My advice? Create a screening process that is the result of a number of different recruitment theories and ideas. This will help you find the one most suited to the needs of your business.
The appropriateness of Contextualised Recruitment is in the eye of the beholder. Will you look to incorporate it into your future recruitment plans?

Are you thinking about running a recruitment campaign?  Click here to find out how Cohesion can help you. 


RPO provider – it’s a big decision, so you should know how to choose.

If you’ve decided that outsourcing recruitment is right for you and your business then you need to know how to go about choosing the right RPO provider. In this post we tackle some of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing your RPO partner.

“Choosing to work with an RPO business is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. As with any kind of outsourcing you have to ensure that your chosen partner is able to provide a service that properly aligns with your business and its needs.

Once you’ve identified that need it’s important that you are able to find a partner who will ask questions, listen and report on what works and what doesn’t. Choosing an RPO provider should never just be about time or cost saving- you should look for experts who can deliver an excellent experience to every stakeholder.”

Debbie Edmondson, Talent Director

Read on for our guide on ‘How to Choose an RPO Provider’:

1. Know what it is that you need 

Knowing exactly what your business needs is integral to understanding how to choose an RPO provider.

Think about the last 2 years:

  • How many roles have been recruited?
  • Are these roles specialist?
  • What kind of geographical area is being covered?
  • When are hires occurring ie. are there peaks and troughs?
  • What are the requirements of your Hiring Managers?

Answering these questions strategically will give you an idea of what you’re looking for.

Finding an RPO provider

2. Determine your fundamental requirements

Working with an RPO is largely about the relationship you have with them, they have to be a good fit for your business, or it won’t work.

Think about what’s critical to the success of your prospective partner:

Should they specialise/have experience in a particular industry?

A good provider will work with you to understand your industry, but how important is this to you? If your sector is very specialist then you need to find evidence from prospective partners. It’s a good idea to ask them questions and request case studies that showcase the work they’ve done with businesses similar to yours.

Do they need to be able to cover a wide geographic area? 

Understanding and experience of certain locations can be a significant element of recruitment. Consider how important this is to you.

There may be locations that are particularly difficult to recruit in, should your RPO partner have experience of working in this area? If they have experience of recruiting in certain areas then they may have already built strategic relationships or operate an effective PSL in those locations.

It may also be useful to look at their current client base and figure out what kind of areas your prospective provider already covers.

RPO provider - geographic coverage?

What should they be able to offer you?

Are you looking for a someone who’s offerings are diverse and wide ranging? Do you want to partner with a business who can assist with talent acquisition services, advertising, sourcing, screening, interview scheduling, management of the offer process and more?

Or do you need a partner to take some of the pressure off when it comes to handling queries and screening?

Look for evidence of how your prospective provider has delivered these kind of services previously and ask how they would work to fulfill your requirements if successful.

What are they able to provide in terms of resource?

If there are peaks and troughs in your recruitment needs then consider whether or not a provider will be able to cater for these needs.

Ask whether or not your prospective partner has access to a bigger team should they need to adapt to your requirements.

Should they be low cost?

RPO - low cost provider?

Are you looking specifically for a low-cost provider? If this is your main priority then ensure that you understand how your RPO partner costs things.

Whilst this is some people’s number 1 priority, it’s important to ensure you understand what you’re paying for– quality is very important and shouldn’t be compromised for cost.

Are they a good fit? 

Your RPO provider needs to understand your business, do you get a sense that their values align with yours? This is a great basis for your future relationship and being able to work together as a team.

They should be approachable and trustworthy so that if there are any challenges, you feel that you are facing them together and willing to work in partnership to overcome them.

3. Weigh up your options and choose a provider 

RPO - choose a provider

Choose the right fit for you

By truly understanding your needs and ensuring that you find a great fit for your business, you should have a good idea of which organisation will work best with you and your team.

When looking at how to choose an RPO provider it’s important that you don’t compromise on any of your core criteria and that you always ask plenty of questions. This should ensure that you choose a great partner who delivers what your business needs.


“Social mobility opens you up to a far deeper talent pool, and brings you into contact with driven, ambitious people with talents you would otherwise miss out on.” AGR

Graduate recruitment often presents a number of challenges, and, no matter what industry you’re in, if you’re recruiting graduates, you’ve likely asked yourself a number of questions: “How can I win the war for talent?” “How do I beat my competitors?” “How do I get candidate engagement right?” in short, you probably want to know more when it comes to hiring graduates.

The early 2000’s saw a fall in birth-rate numbers, so it’s true that we will likely experience a shortage of graduates as 2020 approaches and need to use new techniques to future-proof graduate recruitment. Attracting top talent is an ongoing challenge, and it may be about to get harder, but have you considered that you may have narrowed your search for talent before you’ve even begun?

It’s usually unintentional, but a number of employers use recruitment and selection methods that act as a wall when it comes to candidates from less privileged backgrounds. For example, are you asking that your graduates achieved at least a 2.1?

According to 26.5% of students achieve a 2.2, the majority of these individuals either studied part-time or do not originate from the UK. There is a huge and diverse pool of talent here that you are likely missing out on if you have a minimum expectation of your graduates achieving a 2.1.

Social mobility means working together to knock these walls down.

Embracing social mobility should matter to you- not only will it create solutions for some of the questions above, it will widen your talent pool, increase diversity in your workplace and demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility.

This then poses the question “how do I increase social mobility?”

social mobility

Embrace social mobility to grow your talent pool and business


Stipulating degree classification- or even using UCAS points, is this a fair way of deciding whether someone will be a good fit for your business? Yes, you have high expectations of your future talent and academic ability may be important, but lower academic achievement doesn’t necessarily reflect an individual’s ability to do a great job.

Pay your interns- if an individual is from a less privileged background, they probably can’t afford an unpaid internship.

Be flexible- take the wider needs of your graduates in to consideration, could they have care responsibilities at home? Bringing this to the table will make your recruitment proposition far more attractive.

Reimbursement- less privileged graduates may not be able to afford travel or clothes for an interview. Helping them out here could make a big difference.

So, when social mobility gives you the ability to make your business better, why wouldn’t you embrace it?

Cohesion encourages employers to take this approach to their recruitment and selection methods. Whilst many businesses won’t budge on degree classification, we help our clients to knock down the barriers of social mobility and access a wider talent pool. Having filled 98% of our client’s graduate roles this quarter, we know that this is a solution that really works.

To find out more about our graduate recruitment campaigns click here or call Adam Baldry on 0121 713 6956

Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive


exit and retention questions

Why conduct exit and retention interviews?

Properly conducted Exit and Retention Interviews can be extremely beneficial for any organisation. They help to collect important information regarding the turnover and retention of employees.

What can you do with exit and retention information?

The outcome will help to shape future decisions across all areas of your business. These include: selection, training and employee engagement and satisfaction.

Even though often gathered under the same title, exit and retention interviews differ slightly, however work towards the same goal of attempting to rectify any problems or to improve and make changes within an organisation.

Download our e-book for more tips on conducting the best retention interviews!

The difference between an exit interview and a retention interview

From one perspective Exit Interviews are designed to focus on the exiting employee, try and think of it more like environmental scanning in HR; to provide feedback on various elements about the organisation.

A Retention Interview would be a formal discussion between the employer/HR and the exiting employee. This discussion would mainly focus on retaining an employee who has resigned or is in the mind to. This could include offering additional pay package, perks etc…

A detailed look at exit and retention interviews:

Exit Interviews

Retention Interviews

To identify what your organisation is doing wellHelp to retain talent who are either in training and starting with the organisation or existing members who may be considering leaving
Pinpoint areas where you can improve in your organisationAssists employees to understand how they can contribute to the business and their importance and role
Confirm the skill sets, experience, and attributes needed for the jobMaintains performance and productivity and creates stimulation for key employees
Capture useful knowledge, contacts, tips, etc. from the exiting employeeIncrease company and employee morale
Understand why the employee is leaving and to say good-bye on good termsLowers turnover to create a Return on Investment (ROI)

Getting the most out of your exit and retention interviews

To gain the most out of your exit and retention interviews, timing is everything. Soon after an employee resigns, ideally, Exit Interviews should be conducted.

New employees are more likely to remain with the business, if Retention Interviews are completed during training time. Or, as soon as an existing employee expresses signs of leaving.

Would you like to know what makes your employees more likely to stay at your business, or why they may feel inclined to leave?
Click here to find out what Cohesion can do for you.




Are your recruitment processes personalised? Are your candidates engaged? It is time to get personal:

In a candidate driven market, if you can’t confidently answer either of these questions with a ‘yes’, then you could be chasing an ever decreasing talent pool.

Cohesion doesn’t only build relationships with clients- candidate engagement is also at the heart of what we do and we can work alongside you to ensure your recruitment strategy really speaks to potential talent.

It is often said that two heads are better than one. A second party can bring new ideas, different approaches to problem solving and a new perspective on tackling your biggest challenges. Partnerships have proven to provide the capacity to achieve the unexpected, and accomplish goals that may not have been possible. Working together in this way provides unique resources and benefits and allows theory, practice and research to be linked creating a solid solution

Our partnerships yield great results for all of our clients because our core idea is understanding:

Understanding your market place
Understanding your needs, requirements and expectations
Understanding your people and your candidates

We are your people business, and from the moment our partnership begins, we want to gain a personal perception of your business. Our team will work with yours- and we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty! Our recruiters have experienced a number of a numbers roles and environments, ranging from days out with repairs officers to early morning starts on construction sites.

Our experts work alongside yours so we can better understand your values, vision and culture. This means that when it comes to recruiting your people, we know exactly who you’re looking for and how to effectively engage with them.

This is why gaining a partnership with Cohesion can be invaluable for your organisation, it’s time to add the personality back in to recruitment and focus on what’s important; to reach, engage and retain candidates. A recent survey of 39 global organisations by Osney HR, showed that 82% of the organisations think employee engagement is a key priority, and 97% of them are investing in improving employee engagement in the next year and a half.

Engagement starts with the first point of contact that an individual has with your organisation and continues throughout the relationship as it develops. Strong communication is key to gaining a solid connection with candidates, with the digital era at the forefront, focusing on your company’s website, online forums and social media accounts can help to build up a strong brand presence, which candidates will remember from the outset. Showing that you care is a key success element in achieving greater candidate engagement.


Written by Josephine Lester, Marketing Executive