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  • Contractor Signup

    Elevate & HiredByMe – What Our Partnership Means for Clients

    Hiring… is a pain

    Don’t get me wrong – I love people. I love working with them. I love the process of personal development. I love working in teams and seeing all the different skills and personalities come together to deliver a fantastic end result.

    But the process of hiring is really painful. Writing a job spec. Reviewing CVs. Weeding out those who are a poor fit. Interviewing. Interviewing. More interviewing. The interminable wait to onboard someone after you’ve selected them. And then finding that after all that you’ve often still not picked the right person.

    It’s even more painful when hiring contingent staff (contractors, freelancers and interims) because the hiring process goes faster and the problems are magnified.

    I’ve worked in banking, technology and consulting for 25 years, and experienced all these problems. We decided that there had to be a better way.

    HiredByMe solves two problems in the contingent labour recruitment process – Selection and Onboarding. Or to put it another way, picking the right candidate, quickly, first time; and getting them on a desk and working fast.

    On Selection

    We start from the premise that the best guide to future performance is past performance. So we collect rigorous, honest feedback on contingent staff from previous colleagues, and make it available to recruiters and new clients to view (crucially we give legal protection to assessors, which enables them to be candid).

    This rich dataset provides a powerful insight into what the worker is good at – and what they’re not. And this delivers three key benefits for organisations: Faster hiring (because you can prioritise the best candidates); reduced effort (because you waste less time with unsuitable candidates); and better hiring (because you are using actual, observed on-job performance, not just interview or test results).

    On Onboarding

    We shorten the cycle by removing the time taken to do pre-employment screening. Instead of screening candidates when they sign a contract, we allow candidates to go through employment screening when they start looking for work and not when they find it.

    As a result, by the time they sign a contract their screening is complete, and candidates can onboard immediately, rather than the usual 2-4 week delay. Not only that, but because we keep the data from role to role (and allow candidates to just “top it up” rather than fully screen each time) the candidate experience goes from “painful” to “easy” – providing a strong incentive for the best candidates to sign with you.

    On Integrating with Elevate

    Our partnership with Elevate is a win-win for both sides. What we don’t do is source candidates – we provide data on a candidate once they’ve been identified for review or interview. Elevate’s sophisticated algorithms can take the place of a traditional recruiter, seeking out candidates and providing a best fit based on published data. Adding the HiredByMe piece allows organisations to access a rich dataset to help final interview and selection of elevate’s top-ranked candidates; and to onboard those selected in the blink of an eye.

    Development of our integration is underway, and we look forward to rolling it out in the Summer.

    Simon Bichara, Founder HiredByMe

  • 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.

  • Contractor Signup

    Elevate partners with ‘HiredByMe’ to enhance contingent hiring

    London, April 15th 2015 – Elevate, the UK based recruiting platform, designed to streamline companies hiring of contingent talent, is today pleased to announce a partnership with another London based start-up; HiredByMe.

    HiredByMe is a complementary service to the Elevate platform, allowing organisations looking for both career skills validation and Pre-Employment Screening (PES) to gain this insight from within the Elevate application.

    Pre-employment screening softare

    Simon Bichara, founder and CEO of HiredByMe, says “We think the Elevate platform is a great opportunity for both organisations and contractors, and we’re proud to be associated with them”

    Dan Collier, CEO of Elevate says “HiredByMe is a logical partner for us. Our focus is purely on optimising the sourcing part of the hiring process, using data to ensure firms can make decisions fast and with HiredByMe we can re-enforce the validity of individual applicants. Bringing PES into the sourcing stage, is a big change and should allow firms, especially in the Banking/Financial Services space to drastically reduce the on-boarding time”

    This latest partnership for Elevate show’s how we are committed to creating a seamless experience for Contingent talent hirers, from VMS to On-Boarding, we are aiming to join up what’s currently a set of disparate processes for most organisations, into a single integrated eco-system.

  • Hire programmer

    Does London have the best programming talent in the world?

    ‘If you had to name the best place in the world to find top programmer talent, you’d probably say California, right?’ That’s the quetion akef at the beginning of this great piece of research from Venturebeat.  It provides an analysis of a popular coding Q&A platform to determine which countries possess the best programming talent.  To read the full analysis click the link below.


  • 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

  • iqn-intergration

    IQNavigator Integration – What Does it Mean?

    Elevate IQN Partnership

    Our original vision for Elevate; to connect Contractors with Jobs directly, cutting out the middleman is beginning to become a reality. Up to now, the majority of our customers have been small agile companies, with very little barrier to entry for us. They’d happily come along, sign up, and more often than not, have success, make a hire or two, in some cases a lot more, and generally quickly get to grips with the system. These smaller companies typically could afford to invest that little bit more time and effort into the selection and recruiting process. Through a lengthy feedback loop exercise we’ve begun to understand just what functionality we’d need to appeal to larger firms.

    One of our main projects this past year has been applying a Machine Learning approach to all the Data we have.  We worked out we could quickly build organisational level hiring patterns to give us a Cultural fit score, showing us definitively where companies tended to hire Contingent workers from, what skills they tend to have, and thus what “good” looks like for that organisation. Large brands are attractive to Contingent workers; they tend to offer stability, lengthy contract’s, the work tends to be interesting and they look good on the CV, plus crucially they tend to pay good market rates. We understood therefore that when a large branded advert went out to attract job-seekers it attracts a LOT of response. You might think this is great for those brands that want to Direct Source, but it actually creates a big issue – thousands of direct applicants that need to be filtered, reviewed and either engaged or rejected – All the while keeping an eye on Brand engagement.

    So, we built a ranking engine.

    This system understands and reads the CV’s. It understands where people worked and what they did, what skills they’ve been using and for how long. It allows us then to rank applicants as they come in on scale based on previous hiring patterns. So, those thousands of direct applicants all of a sudden become ranked by suggested best fit, cultural match, skills and more.

    Corporate customers of IQNavigator can now take advantage of using their own brand to attract and filter candidates on scale, bypassing the need for Vendor suppliers to source and filter. This means we can cut out the majority of the vendor spend % which all comes from sourcing activities. Firms using an onsite MSP can retain their services for administration and payroll of activities, or take advantage of the Elevate eco-system, which include Pre-Employment Screening, Vetting, Payroll and more.

    It’s still early days for the emerging FMS (Freelancer Management Systems) technology companies, but at Elevate we firmly believe the technology is now here to allow this type of complex transaction to be made easier and give larger enterprises control back of their brand and drive direct applicants, thereby reducing spend on vendors and gaining far more insight, through intelligent data into their contingent workforces.

    Dan Collier, CEO & Co-Founder, Elevate

  • Contractor Signup

    Elevate New Release – Improved Integrations, Interfaces & Candidate Matching

    Elevate new release

    London, 12th January 2015, Elevate is pleased to announce our most recent major technology release on to the Elevate contractor recruitment platform.

    In line with our vision to empower independent workers, and aid employers to maximise their contingent workforces, the recent improvements focused heavily on improving the candidate & employer experience in addition to introducing the next evolution of our candidate matching & ranking algorithm.

    Better Integration

    The first of the major improvements in this release was to provide more advanced jobboard integration leading to improved candidate attraction and experience.  Candidate applications are now accurately parsed directly from jobboards into the system leading to improved application conversion rates for employers, as high as 80% and we’re still working on the other 20%.

    Better User Experience

    The second major improvement is to the user interfaces, for both contractors and employers. We have focused on ease of use for both sets of users resulting in easier navigation with a fresher more vibrant look and feel.

    Better Candidates (and quicker!)

    We saved the best improvement till last though.  After months beavering away in the Elevate Labs, our data scientists have refined our candidate matching technology further by incorporating employers’ previous recruitment trends into the process.  We look at a lot of data to do this and the results allow for more accurate matching between a job and suggested candidates, making the job of searching through contractors far less time consuming. Plus we now rank your applicants based on these recruitment trends so you don’t have to review long lists of candidates, the best ones are always at the top.

    What’s on the Horizon for 2015?

    Another big year of technology developments and service improvements beckons…….

    Better Recruiter Experience

    In the early part of 2015 we’ll be releasing a complete redesign of the employer side of the app. This will include redesigns of the candidate review and recruitment workflow screens allowing you to analyse and compare more relevant candidate info, quicker and more intuitively.

    Even Better Candidate Matching

    Our upcoming Q1 release will include further improvements to our candidate ranking algorithm providing enhanced filtering and more in-depth understanding between job titles, skills, and employer jobs.

    Better Communications

    Messaging between employers and candidates will be improved ensuring the best possible experience and response times for all users.

    Better Insight

    We’ll be providing tools for employers to enable them to view in real time what skills are in most demand. You can then scope and plan accordingly and work out, for example, if are you paying too much or too little for a certain skill.

    New Working Model

    Already rolled out across a couple of clients, Elevate will soon be announcing a new working model. This involves utilising an onsite resource to ensure clients maximise the benefits of Elevate as part of their contractor recruitment strategy

    And last but not least!………..Some BIG Integrations

    We’ll be updating the market on these exciting major integrations soon! They are a bit hush, hush for now.

  • 1772041

    7 In-Demand IT Contractor Skills For 2015

    In-demand IT skills

    2014 has been an incredible year for the IT sector, with growth and demand of IT skills skyrocketing further than it has in the past fifteen years. This demand is more than anyone could have anticipated, and it is a genuinely exciting time for IT professionals as well as for the world of business, who are well aware of how important technology is to the success of their organisations.

    At the same time, the IT industry is experiencing a time of transition, with new technologies coming to the forefront. Although there are still a great number of skills which have been around for years that are unlikely to be forgotten, which IT contractor skills will pose a challenge to recruitment teams in 2015.

    1)    Microsoft SharePoint

    This web application framework has rapidly grown in popularity over the past year. One study carried out lists SharePoint as the most profitable IT skill, and that possession of it will add 12% to an IT professional’s overall salary. The high demand for SharePoint is likely related to the release of SharePoint 2013, which prioritised simplicity and usability and is particularly popular within the legal industry. SharePoint is known as being a safe, powerful and reliable server platform with an efficient and fast search engine. It also makes handling corporate risk simpler by allowing easy management of relevant documents and records. Professionals who decide to go through the development route within SharePoint will require further skills such as XML, HTML and .Net.

    2)    .Net and C#

    .Net has continued to see growth in this year, and is very likely to do so in 2015. It’s advantages with regards to simplicity, speed and reliability, has led to a great number of companies using it to create their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems from scratch. C# is the most popular programming language used to develop .Net programs. C# and .Net have both been listed by many sources as being amongst the most in-demand IT skills of 2014.

    3)    HTML5

    This remains, as ever, a highly desirable skill for IT professionals. This is reflected by the fact that the average salary offered to those who are proficient with HTML5 is £40,000. Financial institutions have been turning to HTML5 as the favoured programming language for trading applications and it has recently been described as the ‘Future of Gaming’. It is also the fastest growing keyword that is found in job listings online. It is supported by almost all mobile platforms and HTML5 is known to provide fantastic support to rich media.  Front End Developers in demand as a result of the surge in web apps development, will also be highly proficient in CSS and javascript.

    4)    Python

    Whether it’s a Big Data project, machine learning, research, or data science, Python is increasingly being used by rapidly growing enterprise applications. The last 12-18 months has seen the demand for Python Developer rocket, with some job boards reporting a 10% increase in python related ads. Demand from the banking sector alone leading to salary increases of up to £40K.  Its worth noting employers are often looking for a combination of Linux, C++, Pearl & Java in addition to Python.

    5)    DevOps

    We’ve seen a real increase in the number of companies looking for DevOps contractors in 2014, and we expect to see this continue into 2015. The combination of coding/scripting, deployment, network operations and testing is a powerful set of skills in a developers arsenal. Good employers appreciate that strong DevOps candidates can improve the speed production code is delivered, whilst simultaneously improving reliability and reducing downtimes.

    6)    Office 365

    Software powered by Cloud is rapidly increasing in popularity, which means that there is a huge demand for those skilled in administering and transitioning to cloud-hosted applications. This demand can be seen in studies that suggest that by 2017, 33% of office software users will be using cloud-based systems, with the number growing to 60% by 2022. Companies using Office 365 have claimed to have seen significant reductions in their IT expenditure. It is ideal for big-data analytics, file storage and archiving.

    7)    Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

    This latest version of the Internet Protocol has grown incredibly in popularity and demand over the past few years, and this doesn’t seem set to change. The benefits of IPv6 for businesses are clear by observing its features. It allows for easier management of networks, it possesses integrated interoperability and mobility and it has improved security features when compared to IPv4.

    But Don’t Forget:

    There are other skills which are worth a mention, including the growing need for SQL BI developers, PHP developers, Business analysts, BA, PM contractors and JavaScript developers.  These are just some of the skills we expect Employers to demand more of, both on the market as a whole and within the Elevate Direct Contractor platform.  It’s an exciting time to be an IT contractor right now!