Category: Opinion

Are sign-on bonuses for new employees here to stay

By Peter Morrow   September 6, 2021  

Sign-on bonuses may be a short-term evil worth using to fill vacant positions, but they could be here well into 2022. According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, there are over 1.5 million vacant positions in the UK. But employers are struggling to fill them, leading to staff shortages across the UK.

The reasons for this are many. Many employees are reluctant to re-enter the jobs market, especially in face-to-face industries, even as we look to a post-pandemic future. Those that have found work during the pandemic are also understandably reluctant to take a chance on a job change, mainly if their current working situation is stable and secure and they’ve found a comfortable remote working setup.
Impact of a smaller candidate pool in 2021
Brexit has also impacted available staff, with many European workers returning home to their native countries, which has, in turn, disrupted the supply chain, as customs and staff shortages combine for a perfect storm. 

Covid has also impacted the candidate pool with some reluctant to return to the workplace. Those suffering long covid are putting health before work, while a large proportion have found an improved work life balance while working from home. Lastly there are those that despite vaccinations, with underlying health conditions that were managable before 2020, cannot take the risk of being amongst others.
Sign-on bonuses
In this context, many employers are turning to lucrative offers to attract employees, particularly through the means of sign-on bonuses. Tesco offers £1000 to HGV drivers, whilst Amazon also provides the same amount for new workers. Some employers are offering as much as £10,000 for incoming employees.

As a way of attracting employees, a ‘golden hello’ is a tried-and-tested method, but of course, there are broader fears about how sustainable this is in the long term. For job seekers who are set on a remote or from-home working, in industries that don’t require face-to-face contact, sign-on bonuses won’t do much. And whilst these shortages are likely to last until 2022, they will likely subside eventually.

Sign-on bonuses might attract more candidates, but they won’t necessarily attract better candidates. Finding better candidates ultimately falls on the recruiter to dig deep into their personal skills to source the right talent. Accurate job descriptions, using appropriate keywords that are both SEO-ready and industry-focused, are a vital driver. So is clarity and transparency around salary, benefits and those very same sign-on bonuses (promising a sign-on reward only to reveal later it’s riddled with conditionals and exceptions is a surefire route to early disappointment). The phrase ‘competitive salary’ is also a turn-off for candidates — because competitive for you might not be competitive for them!

Improving your swiftness of hire is also a great way of proving to clients that they can rely on you in a pinch, but so is utilising your pool of ‘passive’ candidates. You may have a collection of CVs and candidates who aren’t currently active within your database — but would certainly be interested in hearing about the right offer.

Skills gaps and large-scale vacancies may be a headache for businesses and recruiters — but for those willing to take a chance, they’re also a great opportunity. Reverse Delta and our bespoke recruitment website platform FXRecruiter are on hand to help you grow. Call us on 08000 199737 or click here.


10 tips on creating a recruitment website in 2019

By Peter Morrow   January 29, 2019  
You’ve decided to go it alone and start your own recruitment business. Among the many things on your business plan is to have a website built. This opens up a number of questions, such as how much will it cost or will it integrate with social media, or can I manage my candidates through to placement? Below are 10 tips of what to look for when creating a recruitment website in 2019: Avoid web designers who will build you a good looking website, but won’t give you specialist functionality. Look for an experienced recruitment web design business instead, who really understands the market and the functionality you need.Choose a business that has an in-house brand designer that can help with your brand. How your branding looks is something you should be passionate about getting right. It helps to have access to a professional rather than a relying on a developer interpreting what you want.Functionality should allow you to create job descriptions, and work with styles, images and video in a simple CMS. Additional options of having client sites or micro-sites is useful when you have preferred partners. You should expect that your jobs are posted to Indeed and other free-to-post job boards, as well as posting on your new website, and being visible in Google for Jobs. Integration with social media is to be expected.  Attracting prospective candidates to your website is only half the journey. A candidate will expect the website to work on any device, the ability to upload a CV quickly, speedy sign-in using their social account. You should expect the candidate portal to be able to capture personal details as well as job experience and skills, but not be too onerous to discourage quick sign-up.  With smartphone use on the up, make sure your website works well on mobiles too. Often candidates will not have a CV to hand so make it easy for them to apply, using Dropbox, iCloud or LinkedIn; or make the CV optional on mobile -- you can always get it from them later, but they may not come back if you don't let them apply when they are 'in the moment'.Your website should give your recruiters the functionality to review prospective candidates details & CVs and make contact either by email or social media. The candidate database may need additional fields for recruiters to capture relevant details that will help maintain your talent pool for future reference.Security should be taken seriously, it’s your reputation at risk. Things to look for include uptime monitoring, virus protection, timely security patches of operating systems & apps, penetration & security testing, use of secure connections, encryption of your database, best practice password storage and authentication.Look for businesses that offer a dedicated support team as part of your contract. You want them to be there in a month, a year long as you need them.The domain name is yours. Make sure you own the account, by having it registered to you or your business name and having a strong and safe password.Think about future expansion - the ability to be able to run multiple sites from your website and multiple language sites if required.Lastly, experience counts for delivery of your website! Avoid those that offer fast solutions in a few days, as you may spend a lot of time solving problems post go-live or even worse have website that doesn’t do what you wanted it to. Look upon time as a friend, it will allow you to think and discuss important decisions. Depending on the size of the solution, expect 4 weeks to 4 months timewise to create your new website! Get in touch with your aspirations for 2019! Contact Peter Morrow on 08000 199 737 or email

Light up your recruitment website

By Steve Riley   July 6, 2017  
So you've got a shiny new website, you love the fresh new design and you're hearing good things from candidates and clients alike. All good. So now you can get on with making introductions, placing candidates, talking to clients and generally running the business right? Well, almost. The best of our client websites are constantly being nurtured and made to earn their keep. Rather than being left to simply tick over, they are fed and watered, digitally health checked and kept on a program of continuous improvement. So what makes a website thrive? Our mantra for success: attract, engage, convert, retain. Let's break it down. Attract For this you need to be found. You need good SEO – something that's built into our FXRecruiter product. You need to farm out your jobs on the job boards and share them on social media. But you also need to keep the search engines interested long term. And funnily enough the way to do this isn't about gaming the system with technical fudges, it's about being interesting to your audience. Google respects that, it's actually pretty good at recognising what makes a site interesting and therefore worthy of a place on the first few pages of results. Engage Keep a steady stream of keyword-rich new jobs trickling through to the site, have opinions, be human, keep your blog updated (yes I know, guilty as charged on our own blog!). Put yourself out there. Make it easy for candidates to register. Get them signed up to email alerts, deliver regular opinion pieces on things that matter to them. Build landing pages for your key sectors and offer some insights. Convert Keep the jobs coming! This is key to your business of course but you have to make them easy to find. Make sure you write great job descriptions that are good search engine fodder, but really sell the job to job seekers. The temptation is a quick cut and paste of the brief, a quick once over and then get the job on the website as quickly as you can. But don't sacrifice quality for speed. These might help: How do you write a great job ad title? How do you write a great job description? Retain Keep people coming back. Looking for a job is a tiring business. Candidates spray bullets and cast their search far and wide. How can you make an impression and keep them coming back? How do you stand stand out from the crowd? Be different. Whether that's occupying a particular niche, a specific geography or by simply being the very best you can at what you do. Make it easy for candidates to manage their own email alert dashboards. Use social media to share jobs and insights. If you can position yourself as an expert in your sector with astute comment on current issues and interesting blog posts, they're more likely to stay in touch after they've got the job. If we had a pound for every time a client said: "We're not like other recruitment agencies", we wouldn't be millionaires but we could treat ourselves to some good lunches. But how can you mean it? Does your site truly reflect your brand on the web, or is it just a convenient place that lists jobs? This is about brand, energy and commitment. Easy to say, but a lively site is hard to do and takes time. Put an entry in your calendar at least monthly — "What have I done with the website? What can I do better?" Good luck! And if there's anything we can help with let us know. [Photo by Diz Play on Unsplash]

Six things that let your recruitment website down

By Steve Riley   June 21, 2016  
You have a great website, but there’s always room for improvement right? Are there any clunky areas that are easily fixable? The days of “my son in law can build us a website” are thankfully long gone and we all recognise the importance of specialist expertise. But even the professionals have been known to make errors of judgment or let style triumph over usability. Recruitment can be a fickle business and trust is harder to gain than it is to lose. Your website is absolutely key to your reputation – we all overwhelmingly start our job searches digitally these days. Take a look at your own website and see if you recognise any of these: 1. No social links, follows and shares. “You’ve got a job that sounds quite cool, but not quite right for me. Is there a simple way to fire it off to my old colleague Jenn? I owe her a favour.” Can your web visitors easily share your jobs with their own social network? Can they tweet, share on Facebook, send links via email? It’s a secondary stream of traffic you may be completely ignoring. 2. Compulsory CV upload. Or sites that don’t work well on mobile. “Your website looks beautiful, it really does. The trouble is I’m out on site most of the time and mostly just snatching a quick look on my phone. I can’t even apply for jobs properly.” Does your site recognise that your user is on a mobile and become more forgiving of compulsory CV upload? Or better yet, let candidates upload from cloud storage, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. 3. Lazy image choices. “Please, no more carefully choreographed collections of good looking people with impossible teeth. People are shy, we get that. They don’t want to feature on their own site, but at least choose real people doing real work. I’ll trust you then.” You’ve seen them all: office staff jumping in air, woman wearing telephone headset, suited men shaking hands, hardhats and London skylines. You switch off and skip over them …a little bit more trust in the brand is eroded. 4. More about you than them. “X and Y saw a gap in market to do Z, because we recognised our unique ability to…” Subtext: aren’t we great? It’s important to tell a good story and present yourself as engaging people to do business with. But the real story is about candidates and clients, not you. As my first boss used to say (and this pre-dates David Brent) – “Are you broadcasting on WII-FM?”…or “What’s In It For Me?” 5. No email alerts. “You’ve got some nice jobs but I’m not ready to move. Is there a way to keep a weather eye on you for that killer job I might want to apply for?” See above. Your agency covers my niche well but there’s nothing that takes my fancy right now. I don’t want to call you and waste both our times. Can you push out job alerts to me so I can keep an eye on what you have coming up? 6. Load time. “Your site looks beautiful, it really does …when it finally arrives.” You seriously expect me to hang around for the FOUR WHOLE SECONDS it takes to load properly? On the web,first impressions are formed in the blink of an eyelid (and we know you do the same with candidates). The numbers don’t lie: the longer your site takes to load, the more people lose interest. Let us know if we can help.  

The death of ‘below the fold’

By Steve Riley   March 2, 2015  
We're big fans of responsive websites here at Reverse Delta. All our recent sites have been responsive-friendly and more of our clients now expect this from any potential developers. ‘Responsive’ has now found its way onto clients’ requirements lists and risen above ‘mobile-friendly’ in the league table. Also on that list we often see the concept of ‘above the fold’. It’s right that the key information on any website should be towards the top of the screen. That’s plain to everyone and the point doesn't need labouring. But alongside this demand is the unease some clients feel that ‘below the fold’ – the stuff that doesn’t appear on first viewing the site – is a kind of content wasteland. They worry that if you can't squeeze something onto the top of the screen it’s a digital hinterland, quickly abandoned by visitors – the only thing missing from the image being tumbleweed and a light coating of dust. We're here to tell you to stop worrying about that. It was accepted wisdom a few years ago that USERS DON'T LIKE SCROLLING. But if that was true in 1999 (at least a couple of generations ago in website terms) it most certainly isn't in 2015. Think for a moment about how you view a site on a mobile or iPad. Swipe, swipe, swipe. People are doing the same thing on a desktop with their mouse-wheel or on a laptop trackpad. Usability studies show visitors linger for a short while on the top of the home page (forming a first impression in less than 1/10 of a second). They quickly go on to hunt down the screen for something interesting to land on. You're in good company Let’s look at two examples from big name organisations that spend millions on their digital content and whose designs are carefully backed by research and prototyping: - The Guardian launched a new site in January 2015, making heavy use of vertical scrolling, even on a big screen. The key navigation is of course at the top of the screen, but users are so accustomed to vertical scrolling, it simply isn't a design constraint any more. The websites for the Times, Telegraph and Independent are all exactly the same. – the Beeb is in the process of shifting away from a ‘tablet-centric’ homepage (headline stories at the top of the screen, horizontal scrolling to move between sections). The BBC is going back to a more tiled look with oodles of vertical scrolling. Tested and prototyped, bringing the UX into line for mobile and desktop viewing. Scroll on As an aside, some sites are even starting to adopt the concept of ‘infinite scrolling’ used by the likes of tumblr. Look at the following link, not for the story itself, but for the way new ‘latest news’ keeps being added to the bottom the longer you scroll.   Conclusion Plan for a responsive website. Put the important stuff at the top. Stop worrying about forcing your users to scroll down too far. It simply isn't an issue.   More from the Reverse Delta blog: responsive layouts, responsive vs mobile, what kind of website are you?  

What does success look like?

By Dave Haygarth   January 9, 2015  
Make a New Year's Resolution you can actually keep!  As we saw in the last blog update, your website is never truly finished. You need to keep on top of your website and keep feeding it interesting new content, both for your readers and for the search engines. Broadcasting on many channels If you’ve embraced social media, you can create a virtuous circle by reusing or linking the same content in different ways — your core website, your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, email marketing, etc, etc. So what can you do? Work at keeping your content fresh Search engine optimisation is not about gaming the system with clever tricks, it’s about a steady drip of interesting content. If you’re interesting to people, you’re more interesting to the spiders. Adding regular point of view content to your site — eg blog updates — helps position you as useful experts in your field and distinguishes you from the competition.   Use a tool Use one of the growing number of tools that measure how you’re doing and how that changes over time. Some examples: Woorank ( This tool gives you a snapshot of how well your site is doing for SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, social and traffic. Clarity Grader ( This tool focuses on the language and clarity of the words on you site — overuse of passive language, complex sentences and other measures. You need to register but there’s a free trial. WordPress users can use a plug-in to do a very similar thing. W3C Validator ( The W3 are the guardians of web standards. This tool focuses on the validity of your code markup.   No site is ever truly perfect (we learned some useful things about ourselves reviewing these tools). You can spend a lot of time and go slightly mad trying to optimise for every single metric, but a combination of tools can give you a good idea of how you’re doing. If you’re really interested in these, we can point you at several more resources.   Ask an expert to review your site Reverse Delta is one such resource. Others are available of course.   Take-away messages: Content. Focus on your readers — what’s in it for them? Think about how well your site is doing six, twelve and eighteen months down the line after going live. You might use a tool to help with this. Keep at it.  

Dedicated mobile websites vs. responsive recruitment websites — which is best?

By Dave Haygarth   March 7, 2014  
I’ve been asked this quite a lot lately, so felt it a good time to blog about it. At Reverse Delta, we specialise in recruitment websites, and provide both dedicated mobile recruitment websites as well as responsive recruitment sites. About Responsive Web Design A ‘responsive’ website resizes and re-orders itself to fit best on the screen it is being displayed upon. For example, our own website when viewed on desktop (or tablet) compared to smartphone: On a smartphone, the top menu becomes a single dropdown and the right hand sidebar appears below the main content. We actually also hide some content from mobile. About Our Mobile Recruitment Sites Our mobile recruitment sites ‘feel’ similar to using a native iPhone app, but without the need to be listed in, and require users to download from an ever-growing App store. They use the latest mobile technology and are optimised, both in screen-size and page ‘weight’ for smartphones. When somebody visits your site using a smartphone, the website ‘knows’ and automatically displays the mobile site. There is also a link to display the ‘desktop’ (i.e. full size) version of the site. On tablets we display the full site, but there is coding in place to allow candidates to apply without uploading a CV as this is not typically possible on a tablet or smartphone. As an example, our client Aldelia have a desktop job site as well as a dedicated mobile job site (incidentally they also decided to have a separate client-focused, responsive website) So Which is “Best”? I’m not sure there is a right answer really – it depends on your situation. Instead, I’ll highlight some pros and cons that will hopefully help you decide. The Case for a Dedicated Mobile Website Our mobile ‘web app’ runs in a browser so does not need to be downloaded from the app store, and is cross-platform so it works as well on Android (and Windows and Blackberry) as it does on iPhone. Like all good apps, it is focused on one thing specifically, and it does it well: that is searching and applying to jobs. You can make it easy to navigate by just including the most important content for those ‘on the go’. So, this is very much a candidate-focused experience, although there is also the opportunity to add other pages of content to your mobile site. We provide a separate content management system (CMS) for our mobile sites, as we find our clients prefer to put cut-down ‘bite size’ chunks of information on their mobile sites, and not to have as much imagery (e.g. slideshows) as these can slow the site down.  We are not yet in a 4G world (in fact many of us still struggle to get a decent 3G connection). Video can also work well on mobile, but does need a decent connection. If you have a website already, adding a dedicated mobile site will usually be the cheaper option, rather than re-building your existing site to be responsive. The Case Against a Dedicated Mobile Website You have two sites to manage (although this is fairly straightforward given you can copy, paste and edit as necessary). If your developers are making changes, they may need to be made on two code bases. Your users get a different experience on smartphones than they do on tablets and desktops. The focus is on ‘actions’ (searching and applying) and typically has less information for those looking for more details about your services. People visiting pages that only exist on your ‘full’ site from a smartphone will see the desktop sites page, which may not be well optimised for the smaller screen. The Case for a Responsive Website You have a single website to manage.   Changes to your website can be seen on all devices. Your users get a similar experience regardless of the device they are using. You can target both clients and candidates as the content is the same regardless of the device. Google recommends responsive web design, possibly because it makes it easier for Google to only index a single site, so for Google-based SEO this may be the better option.  Also you do not have to run separate SEO campaigns for your mobile and desktop sites. (Do note that SEO is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive in crowded markets such as recruitment, so is only one part of a holistic digital marketing strategy. See my previous post "Is SEO Dead".) If you are having a new website designed, then responsive should certainly be a consideration, for future-proofing, but good user interface design is important to ensure ease of navigation. The Case Against a Responsive Website As previously mentioned, bandwidth can be an issue if your site is heavy on use of imagery. If you have a lot of pages on your site, it can be tricky to navigate it on a smartphone.  (Our own experience of scores of clients’ web analytics also tells us that these ‘about / info’ pages are rarely, if ever, visited, anyway – but that’s another story.) Budgetary constraints should also be considered; currently doing responsive websites well is hard work:  the tools are less widely available, and effort in design, development and especially in testing increases because the site has to be designed to work on a myriad of different screen sizes and platforms. In short: it is more costly. It is also difficult to ‘retro-fit’ responsive into an existing website, as responsiveness has to be considered at design time. Conclusion For a candidate focused experience while we still do not have prevalent 4G networks, the mobile web app may be the better route. If you already have a website, adding a dedicated mobile site will be the cheaper and quicker option. If you are having a new website designed, responsive should be considered, depending on your target audience. If Google-based SEO is paramount, then responsive will be the better option, but bear in mind the additional set up costs. If you are unsure which route to take, you can of course have both, with the mobile website allowing the visitor to view the full site by simply clicking a button or link.

Is SEO Dead?

By Dave Haygarth   January 21, 2014  
This article on led me to put down my own thoughts regarding the death of SEO. We regularly get asked about our SEO services and my feeling is we take a very different approach to many of our competitors.  Most still believe in charging a monthly fee for “SEO services”.  I know for a fact that one of our prospects went with a competitor because we did not supply these magical SEO services. They came back after a year of little progress with their traffic levels. Continue reading "Is SEO Dead?"

Employers asking candidates for Social Media passwords during recruitment process

By Dave Haygarth   May 22, 2012  
It seems that employers in the US are being rather invasive with regards to vetting candidates during recruitment and interview processes. We all know that prospective employers will potentially look at candidates facebook pages or twitter accounts to attempt to get a better insight to their prospective employees. However, recently stories indicate that there is now an increasing number of companies who actually want to have the passwords for candidate social media accounts so they can login and "have a look round" at information not normally available on public profiles. This is being done through direct questions on an application form or during the interview process, with some interviewers asking the candidates to login to their accounts there and then.  Other methods involve employers asking the candidates to "friend" a member of the the HR team so that they can see the information normally reserved for people considered as a friend. Is this invasion of privacy or legitimate screening of a candidate?  Probably both depending on the circumstances and position being applied for. One thing for sure is that people are bound to have very strong views on this topic and this debate will surely be another 'battle' over privacy on the internet. You can read the full story here.    

Go fishing with Social Media

By Dave Haygarth   December 8, 2011  
One for the recruiters but appropriate to a number of industries I guess. One of the greatest things about Twitter and Facebook is that you can get to places (and people) you couldn't get to before. Fancy getting to know your competitors' candidates and clients? Well... you're one step nearer now. Harnessing the incredible power that social media runs on can take some time to get used to. People talk about good content, interesting angles, good stories... they're all fundamental - yes - but recruiters can leverage social media channels to engage in a little more underhand a way than you might think. I don't even think this is 'naughty' either... just being creative with 'out there' information. It's all based around the follow  or like concepts.  (I'll illustrate with Twitter but there's a similar approach on Facebook) Let's say you work in a certain niche or geographic area. You will have some direct competitors. Have you seen who they are following?  Some of those people will be their candidates and clients.   Follow them.  It's one click. Done.   The nature of us humans and our curiosity means that when we see someone following us on social media, we tend to be flattered. We follow them back. Job done.. in that case.   From that point onwards, you just need to be interesting (I can't really help you do that too much but can provide the tools).  Once you have those prospects on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, you just need to inspire, flatter, draw them in with the kind of content that they want. It’s so important that recruiters provide unique, easy to share content - adding value to your target group, as well as promoting you as outstanding people. Good content includes writing good job descriptions and titles too - don't assume you need to be sitting down blogging every hour God sends. Write good content, get good followers, and you will reap the rewards.

2mbps – are we supposed to laugh or cry?

By Dave Haygarth   April 24, 2009  
The government's budget commitments are good material for making people cross - usually more so than they make people happy (but it does happen!). The UK government has signalled its commitment in Tuesday's budget to ensuring everyone in the country has access to broadband speeds of two megabits per second by 2012. Earlier this year Lord Carter set out his interim recommendations for Digital Britain, in which he proposed a Universal Service for broadband. See the latest news on it here... The news articles from 1999 talking about the expectations of 2Mbps are here. It looked realistic then; before youtube, iplayer, and the likes.  What's round the corners waiting to make 2mbps look ridiculous?  Oh hang on.. by 2012, it already will be.  Good inside the box thinking.