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May 18, 2022 | 30 Mins Read

Reinventing Recruitment and Retention for Today’s Labor Market

May 18, 2022 | 30 Mins Read

Reinventing Recruitment and Retention for Today’s Labor Market


Sarah welcomes Arran Stewart, the Co-Founder and CVO of blockchain-powered recruitment platform, who has been featured in in Forbes, Inc., Reuters, Wired, Fortune, and Nasdaq, among others, to share his insights on hiring, recruitment, and job market trends.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to The Future of Field Service podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. Today we're going to talk about reinventing the recruitment and retention models for today's labor market. This is not our first podcast on this topic and it's something that we'll be talking about a lot this year as it is one of the biggest challenges that the folks that I speak with are up against. So I'm excited to welcome to the podcast today Arran Stewart, who is the co-founder and chief visionary officer of blockchain-powered recruitment platform, Arran's insights have been featured in the likes of Forbes, Inc, Wired, Fortune and many others. So Arran, very grateful to have you here with us today for a chat.

Arran Stewart: Thank you so much, Sarah. It's a pleasure to be on your podcast.

Sarah Nicastro: All right. Great. Okay, so before we get into the meat of it all, tell our listeners a bit more about yourself.

Arran Stewart: Well, so I'm originally from the UK, from London, and I live here in the United States in Austin, Texas. I've been in the what I describe as the recruitment technology or rec tech space for sort of the last 15 years. I have a very deep passion about utilizing technology to remove friction from hiring and has had sort of dedicated my career to looking at how do we make things better for the labor force, for employees? Specifically, my side is always about finding the best talent and putting them in great companies, but that often spills into some of the topics that we're going to talk about today where it's like what do companies need to do in order to attract and retain that talent? And how do we provide that consultancy to them that it's way more than a job description, it's way more than just the offer of a job these days.

Arran Stewart: Talent is scarce. Good talent is even more scarce and it requires a lot more thought process, but our mission at and what we tell everyone is that we're here to help as many people feed their families and pay their bills as possible. And I live by that and stick by that. So that's me just in a nutshell. I'm married, five beautiful children and very blessed with that too.

Sarah Nicastro: Now, how did you and your family enjoy the move from London to Austin?

Arran Stewart: Yeah, that's a fabulous question. So kudos to my wife because when we moved, we had a young family and actually at the time my wife fell pregnant shortly after moving to the United States. As you can imagine, culture change, mild culture shock left a lot of family support behind that sat around my wife. My life didn't change very much because I was so busy working, traveling, kind of growing the business that is We have 15 offices across the US. So she really was the trooper and kind of made it happen. So kudos to her. But it was challenging, but it certainly was worth it. And I'm delighted to report we're very happy here.

Sarah Nicastro: Good.

Arran Stewart: Which is good.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that's a big, big change.

Arran Stewart: Oh yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And of course a lot has happened in the last few years on top of it all. All right. So we're going to go through some specific questions that I have, Arran, but before we do that, can you just sort of give a synopsis of your view on what the current state of affairs is related to the labor market, what's happening with the great resignation and kind of just sort of a state of things if you will.

Arran Stewart: Yeah. So I've been quite active on this topic and also have written several articles on it because there's this big title of great resignation, or I think the pandemic provided an opportunity of great reflection for a lot of the labor force. And I think that time of reflection and challenge has meant that many of the talent pool that would normally be more accessible or were more accessible pre-COVID are now more difficult to find for a number of reasons. I think people are more conscious of potentially their financial worth, their compensation worth. I think they're more conscious of health and their loved one's health. And there's still a level of uncertainty there. As we know, a lot of financial assistance was inputted into the economy to help people during that time, which is great, but at the same time removes the level of urgency like they would normally be.

Arran Stewart: And also there was a realignment of talent as well. So especially in the sectors where you might be front-facing, like you might be out in the field, you might be in front of customers, or you might be in front of whether that's B2C customers or B2B customers, and that opportunity was taken away for some time because of the pandemic. You are skilled labor and in that time, you may have retaken your transferable skills into other markets, which has caused these pockets of shortages of talent across various markets and hiring requirements. And I think culminating all those things together has really impacted things.

Arran Stewart: We also have seen that... And this is statistics, right? And I actually think this is a great shame, but where we saw families have to kind of huddle in together, we've seen 2.1 million women potentially not come back into the labor force because they learned to live on a single income family and they went and looked after the children and now have decided that they wish to stay looking after children. These are statistics and facts, which we need more women in the labor force. And these are just all factors that add together that now have created this hiring environment we're seeing now.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Now you mentioned that it was a time of reflection for a lot of folks. So I've heard the great resignation referred to as the great awakening. Do you think that is a good kind of descriptor of where some people's heads are at?

Arran Stewart: Yes, I do. And I also think that... And this isn't necessarily by any fault of any employers, but there was a huge knee jerk reaction that happened during the pandemic if we all remember like Q2 and Q3 of 2020, which was just barbaric in some respects, but companies weren't particularly loyal necessarily to all of their employees, especially those ones that may have been in positions that would suddenly not be in demand right now. And in order to protect the company, they may have shed large volumes of those loyal labor force. So that's given those markets at least 18 months to sit there and kind of reflect on their worth, how they've been treated, actually, how they're viewed upon by their employers because they were so disposable at a time of difficulty, and now I think in some respects, there's an element of backlash that may have come from that too in a positive and a negative way.

Arran Stewart: The positive way being people have had a chance to really think about their career prospects and what they want to do with their lives. And maybe they've realigned. Great because you want people to be happy, but at the same time, other people may just feel a little bit sour about the whole process and be like, well, I'm not just going to come running back to you because you were so quick to maybe ditch me. And I've certainly heard those sort of micro cases talking to job seekers and candidates in the job market as for, we do focus groups and we've heard that time and time again.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. So going back to... So you mentioned you do focus groups and I just have to assume based on the nature of the platform, you have a good amount of data. So when we look at the job seeking/recruiting end of things, what is it that you see today's candidates prioritizing in the job searches they're doing, at this point, their interviewing of the potential employers?

Arran Stewart: Yeah. So just for transparency, and I'm not sure necessarily always how relevant this is to every sector and field, but the biggest one is the opportunity for hybrid work conditions, et cetera, et cetera. That is always the biggest one or remote working. That's saying that's only applicable to some industries and some jobs. Outside of that, compensation is a big topic because there's so much press in the market and so much pressure from the hiring side. Job seekers aren't stupid. And so they're like, "I know you really want me. How much are you going to pay?" And rightly so. And there's been a lot of, I guess, reflection alignment on that because there is still concerns around healthcare and maybe the impact of what this sort of virus can have. I think it's starting to dwindle a little bit now, but it's certainly was a lot more a few months ago.

Arran Stewart: People want to know that they have a benefits package, a good benefits package. If I'm putting myself out there at risk potential role that might be front-facing, I want to know that if I fall sick that my bills are covered and that these medical bills are covered for my time. So the benefits side of things, and then there's just other competitive... I'll talk about it because it's worth talking about that everyone's now also jumping on this four-day working week concept as well. Like, hey, maybe I could work only four days a week and earn same amount of money if I'm just as productive. All of these areas and components. People are looking at a sort of like potential sort of attraction. The things that make them want to be attracted to a particular role outside of maybe a company, their culture, where the business is going, the leadership behind that company, which can also play massive factors into whether or not a business is interesting. And then just looking at normal the traditional stuff like what do other employees say about that particular company or like Glassdoor or stuff like that.

Arran Stewart: So that's sort of like a very holistic overview of some of the things I think that people are looking at as like their top strategies for maybe choosing a company or what they're going to do, who they're going to go work for.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. Now, if you look at the employer side of that equation, generally speaking, we have to generally speak because we're not digging into like a specific industry or that sort of thing, but how well do you feel companies have evolved or stepped up to the plate to adjust to these new and different expectations and/or what is the work that remains to be done?

Arran Stewart: Yeah. Great question. So I think there's a lot of talk about it. So an awful lot of talk like there always is. And I would pay kudos to some of like larger businesses, leading brands that are always expected to kind of lead from the front, especially in the competitive landscape for hiring, but I do think that when I look at just from our side as a business, maybe more small to medium size businesses, they're not necessarily always equipped to cope with such a drastic change in a sense of the costs, the realignment, the culture change, the strategy change, and also maybe they're not quite as in tune with the macroeconomic factors that are impacting them so much. Sometimes that can be the case. 

Arran Stewart: So I think some companies are absolutely killing it and they're doing a great job and they're seeing that reflected in how they're getting good talent and retaining it, and then I'd say the tail end, the sort of 80% to 85% are still very much wanting in their strategy and are still yet to really, really now embrace those strategies for a competitive hiring strategy.

Sarah Nicastro: So for those companies that are doing a lot of talk but haven't yet taken a lot of concrete action for one reason or another, what's your best piece of advice on how to attract more talent?

Arran Stewart: Yeah. So I think that wherever they best can, whether they've got internal hired managers, HR, or if it's a smaller business and it's kind of owner manager hire kind of scenario, or if they're using third party agencies, part of your recruitment process should consist of try. You give feedback to candidates, but try and get feedback from candidates on maybe why they didn't accept the job because a lot of the time, you might get a great candidate to a point of like first interview, second interview, or they drop off and ghosting from candidates is a huge problem right now because they've got so much options in front of them, but where you can build a relationship and you can learn from your market that you're trying to hire, ask them what was it that made us not as appealing?

Arran Stewart: And try and use that from the bottom down to feedback to maybe more senior ranking members of the company to realign the strategy around benefits, packages, attraction methods, work conditions, work style, all these different components that might then readjust, realign the dials in your hiring and recruitment strategy that will make it work for you.

Arran Stewart: I think that's probably the best way. Listen to the candidate. That's the best. The source of truth is right in front of you. You can read as many articles as you like, you can look at as many bits of information as you like. Go talk to the source. They'll tell you. And if you see a trend, then you know that's what needs to change.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I think that's really good advice. I think it's interesting like... So I wanted to go back to your point about one of the biggest desires being flexibility, right? And hybrid work, et cetera. And obvious, for a lot of the roles that our audience would be thinking about or struggling most with, and I'm mainly talking about frontline field technicians and service workforce. That's difficult to do in the sense that a lot of these companies are providing service all the time, right? And so they can't have people just working from home. They can't have people that decide where they want to work and when, et cetera. And so acknowledging that that's a reality. I also just want to say that for those companies, it doesn't give you a free pass to not at least spend some time getting a bit creative-

Arran Stewart: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: About what the historical model is and are there any ways to evolve that that would meet some of those demands? Right? So you mentioned the four-day work week, and again, we're talking about in our audience, it's a variety of geographies, a variety of industries, a variety of sizes. So there's no way to say to whom that might be a fit, but maybe there are instances where if you did rotating schedules, a four-day work week is completely plausible, right? And that might be something important enough to some of these candidates that it makes a really big difference in the recruiting process.

Sarah Nicastro: So I think one of the calls to action I think for our audience is to think outside of the box a bit more and don't just stay so stuck in what worked five or 10 years ago as your norm that you're unwilling to reflect on what is possible, right? So I think that's important.

Sarah Nicastro: And the other thing is a lot of the... We're going to talk about company culture a bit later, but a lot of the organizations that I'm talking with because I do different focus groups as well, we've been talking a lot about how in both recruiting and probably even more importantly, retention, it's important to have a more human feel to all of this. And I think that's really a big effect of the pandemic, right? And so how you said, not only have employees recognized their worth or their value, but they want to be treated differently. And so there's programs that you can do to help with that, but you can't overlook the personal, one-on-one, human to human interactions. I think that's a big factor in how someone interviewing would feel about your company or how someone in role feels about their value as an employee. So, yeah. All right. So go ahead. [crosstalk 00:18:16].

Arran Stewart: No, I agree with you. I completely agree. And I love your statement about looking at the past five to 10 years ago and thinking that you can continue to operate like that. The labor market has moved. It has shifted, okay? The pandemic has had such a major impact across many different verticals and industries, but the labor market has moved and unless you move with it, you're going to... A company is only ever as good as the people it employs. Fact. And if you don't move, then you might find your business is not as competitive as it was five or 10 years ago for sure.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, it's a really important thing to get a handle on. And to your point, I feel for the 80% to 85% of companies that you said they know it's a problem, they're talking a lot about it, but they're just not making a lot of change and yes, it's challenging, but it's incredibly important, right? And so, again, on that line of thinking, I think you're better off trying some different things and seeing what works than just falling out in the discussion mode, right?

Arran Stewart: Yeah, that's it. So we've had these conversations with clients, right? So the feedback is, well, I'm not entirely sure what to do and I'm not sure what exactly will work. And I'm like, but we are confident what you're currently doing right now isn't working. Okay? So you can't really be any, any worse off. Like you are not getting a talent you need, you've got huge supply chain shortages. You've got to think about how you change what you're doing in order to continue to get the labor that you need. Otherwise, if you don't, you'll be kind of, I don't mean to be nasty, but you're going to be out of business. And that's a fact. So yeah, no, again, I agree with you.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Okay. So let's talk a little bit about retention. Okay? So that's kind of the other side of this coin, right? So I would surmise that a lot of things that are important to new hires are also important to existing talent. However, there are kind of some different layers of complexity here. Like you mentioned the compensation conversation and people interviewing knowing that these organizations need talent and the competitive advantage that gives them. But then you have companies who are bringing in new talent at a rate that far exceeds what they're paying their existing talent, which creates a whole nother challenge of how do you handle that? Right? So that being said, when you look at retention, could you give any insight on what some of the biggest factors you see are that are impacting employee turnover?

Arran Stewart: Yeah. So it does depend a lot as well on seniority and salary level as well. Like you will see in more of the hourly work labor that if they're offered even a very small marginal difference on an hourly basis at another company, that they will just go. Okay? They'll just shift because they're trying to maximize, and understandably, they're trying to maximize their time. Companies need to have very, very clear strategies behind reviews, reward, providing recognition for success and achievement, not just like, well, that's your job. Get on with it. People look for recognition and they look for it frequently. I think the days of like, well, we'll do an annual review. It's like, they'll be gone well before.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Arran Stewart: Okay? Like, well, no people don't put up with rubbish for a year now. Okay? They don't. You need a quarterly review. You need to go in so that they immediately set these micro goals of, hey, great to have you. Fantastic. Great to have you in the business and you kind of start climbing them up this ladder. So you try and offer them the best opportunity, the best package, the best flexibility that you can in the beginning based on that level, based on them as a human, but you should constantly be able to add to that, add more, okay, small pay increase, slightly better benefits, and you can have some more flexibility in your work style, or you might be able to choose some other benefits or pay for a gym membership, you name it, right? All the things under the sun that can be done to make someone feel valued.

Arran Stewart: And then I think the one that is personally I believe is the biggest and I try it myself as one of the owners of is culture. Culture keeps people. It does, right? Even if they're not getting paid as much as maybe they would at another company, but if they're at a place that they just love working at, they love the values it stands for, they love the way they're made to feel at their job, maybe they have that feeling where they're not constantly on a life S edge, but you know what, it's family first at this company and just little things that make you feel like, God, I really believe in the values of this business.

Arran Stewart: I maybe could earn a little bit more somewhere else, but I'd be miserable. And I think culture is a huge retainer. If you've got leadership in the company leading from the front, I think it really helps create a culture of loyalty, determination, et cetera. So I think of all of that list, I would probably choose culture as actually one of the biggest things outside of maybe compensation and benefits. So that's for sure.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. So I want to come back to culture because I think there's a couple things to talk about there, but going back to a couple of the points you made. So I think one that's really important, particularly for our audience is these companies that I talk to everyday, they have field technicians in their existing workforce that have been there for 20 or 30 years, and they are the generation, the personality type, whatever it is that they just show up, they do their work, they work hard, they go home and they do it again and again and again. That is not the norm anymore. Okay?

Arran Stewart: No, it's not.

Sarah Nicastro: And so the expectation though of these companies that that's even remotely feasible, it has to get wiped out because to your point, I think one of the biggest focus areas for our audience needs to be the development of these career paths, right?

Sarah Nicastro: Because otherwise, you are constantly playing catch up with yourself because you might get to the point where you learn what works recruiting wise and you can offer a high enough wage or whatever it is to get people in the door, but if today's talent doesn't know where they can go, they'll go elsewhere, right?

Arran Stewart: Oh yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And so I've seen companies that have done some really cool things even with visualization of that career path. Like literally helping talent visualize where they can go and what it takes to get to this point and this point. You know what I mean? And different choices or whatever that looks like for the business. Like the more you can start communicating that upfront, the better off you are keeping this pool that you're hopefully learning how to create. So I think that's really, really important.

Sarah Nicastro: The other thing is most of the roles we're talking about, they aren't roles that have historically been very recognized and rewarded, and that has to change as well. Everyone wants to feel that they're playing a part in something, right? And so if you are taking your top salespeople on this trip every year and then you treat your frontline service people like they can come and go, then that's what they'll do, right?

Arran Stewart: Yeah. Of course. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: So I think that's really important as well. Now, company culture, I feel like this is... I agree with you that it's very important. I also feel like it's very hard to bolt down what makes it good? Okay? Because-

Arran Stewart: Well, it's subjective, isn't it? It's a subjective thing for people.

Sarah Nicastro: And it's another area where companies know it's important. So they say that all the right things regardless of whether or not it's real.

Arran Stewart: They'll do it.

Sarah Nicastro: Right?

Arran Stewart: Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And so that's a challenge. Okay. Because you're going to be hard pressed to find a company that says company culture, we don't give a shit. They know they have to care. So how would you say, like what are some of the specifics that you think make for a strong company culture?

Arran Stewart: Well, so culture can help define the sort of talent that you're looking for, right? So it actually acts as a filter. So in some respects, people come there like, "Yeah, nice company. It's just not really me. This isn't who I am." So that actually does help as a filter, but I think what I'm seeing, and I don't know like... I think one of the best examples, I don't know if you ever see him on LinkedIn. And sometimes I agree with him, sometimes I definitely don't agree with him, but that's Dan Price. Do you ever see him on LinkedIn? He's very pro like how he drastically reduced his salaries of the CEO of his business to then provide a minimum salary level of $70,000 in the company. And out of that, he found that statistically, more people had children, had families, et cetera, et cetera, and then they provided like this better maternity and paternity leave, et cetera, et cetera.

Arran Stewart: He's built this kind of culture of almost a cooperative culture within his business even though it's not a cooperative business. It's a traditional one. I think that that can provide... It is very difficult because trying to get everybody to swim in the same lane on viewpoints, et cetera, can be very difficult, but I think you can pick almost holistic culture points that I think we'd all adhere to like people matter. You just said something there about taking the salespeople on these trips every year and then the frontline people, they're just like they're just the frontline people. It's like you've got to treat people the same the whole way through the chain of the business, all levels, from the most junior to the most senior because otherwise, oh, it doesn't matter. They're not as important.

Arran Stewart: Well, they're the foundation to the company. You know that, right? So if they fall away, it doesn't matter how senior you are. You haven't got the talent underneath you to do it so to speak in hierarchical senses. So yeah, I actually think that it's a great question, right? I actually struggle a little bit to answer that with any major conviction with like a that's a rock solid answer. This is the answer to your question. It's still a little bit woolly, which is kind of reflective of culture. It's very woolly.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Arran Stewart: It is.

Sarah Nicastro: Do you want to know why I think that is though? I think it's because it's so incredibly dependent upon leadership.

Arran Stewart: Yes.

Sarah Nicastro: Like I think in so many ways, the leader or the top leaders of a company really define the culture, not what HR will say on paper or whatever, but like what it actually feels like. On the flip side though, I think that going back to a point you made about reviews, I agree with you that people don't like ambiguity, okay? People actually thrive on information and knowing what's expected of them to achieve and being able to deliver that, right?

Sarah Nicastro: But I do also think that the idea of 360s and the idea of the employees being able to provide feedback to management is so, so important because I think one problem can be the top level leadership. It can just kill a culture. You can have put out some good PR saying whatever you want to say, but that will make it not a reality.

Sarah Nicastro: The other thing I've seen happen though is where you have senior leaders who have really good intentions and then middle management that kills it because they're between the leaders that want to have this impact and want that frontline worker to feel important and empowered, but if those middle managers aren't bought into that, aren't capable of that, aren't committed to that, it doesn't translate, right? And so that's where I think that... We did a podcast last year with a gentleman from BD, Eduardo Bonefont, and he talked about how they have implemented employee NPS within the company and a lot of the efforts they do around just really listening to their employees and making sure their employees understand that they care what they have to say. But the reality is in doing that, you have to be willing to get rid of leaders that aren't sitting with the type of culture you want to have.

Sarah Nicastro: And so, I don't know, it is a really tough thing to bolt down, but I agree it's also one of the most important, which just makes it very, very complex to tackle. I feel like culture just has more to do with the people than the policy. Do you know what I mean? Like you can check boxes or say what you want to say, but at the end of the day, I feel like it's your leaders from the top to the rest of the way down that are really either expressing that or not and making it somewhere people want to be or not. So, yeah.

Arran Stewart: No, no, no, again I think everything you're saying is correct. And culture should be from the leadership, right? People buy into leadership. It's part of our culture as human beings. We always look to... Hence why we have government sense why we have public figures and we have people that are famous because we look to them as for inspiration. We look to them because we value the way that they live their lives, the way they operate, the way they conduct themselves, the way they communicate, which also could be like a massive impact.

Arran Stewart: Yes, I know firsthand that middle management can pose a problem when it comes to cascading culture down all the way through the hierarchy because let's say not necessarily they don't always believe in it, but maybe that's just not their culture because you do. You hire people... I mean, it's so difficult to like, I know there's all these assessments and psychometric assessments, et cetera, et cetera, but when you hire people, every human is pretty much a one-off. You find people similar to you, but most of the time we're all completely unique one way or the other. And that means that makes it kind of difficult to find a completely uniformed team of people who will all adhere to a certain culture, live the culture, breathe the culture, install it throughout everyone within the business.

Arran Stewart: Also, one other thing that happens is external life factors. So I've seen this firsthand as well with other people in the past, like companies that have been a part of certain boards of if one of the personal life circumstances changes for one of the leadership and you have to like... Someone falls sick, someone has an issue at home, someone's going through a divorce, someone's going through something, it actually cascades through the business and can destroy the culture of a company. And that's unavoidable. It's unavoidable to kind of predict that there'll be no external tragedies or any issues that go on in this human's life. So there'll maintain a perfect culture forever more. It's as fragile as the human itself. So yeah, it's other things to sort of take into account.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Yeah. It's all very, very interesting. All right. So that being said, what would you say your number one piece of retention advice is?

Arran Stewart: I truly believe that you should do regular reviews and always look to recognition and reward. You should build a recognition and reward culture. Celebrate small wins and define what those small wins are and make it publicly known that that human being achieved that throughout the company so they feel like they have been recognized. We all crave a level of status no matter what it is. A status amongst our peers, recognition amongst our peers. And when that is recognized by leadership and now I'm kind of ordained as a human being that has some value within this organization, look here, this is what they've said about me, I think that's so powerful to self-actualization and making me want to be part... I love this company. They make me feel great when I'm at my job because it's like how many clients did you manage to visit this week? Oh, we have targets, but I've got one-off target. Outstanding effort. Brilliant effort this week.

Arran Stewart: And I know companies try and do it with things like employee of the week, employee of the month. I think you can be a lot more creative than that. And I also think that rewarding people can be very simple in a sense like, hey, did you know that you're being taken out for lunch today by the boss? And you're like, "What? I'm just a such and such job title." "Boss is taking you out specifically for lunch today because you've reached your sick month marker, your nine month marker, your 18th month marker." You're like, "Oh my God, that's outstanding." And they'd love to hear about what your views are at the frontline so you can learn more about what they need to do to improve. That makes people feel great. It does.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. And it doesn't have to happen all the time.

Arran Stewart: No.

Sarah Nicastro: Like one of those interactions goes a long way.

Arran Stewart: You are bought in. You're like, "I've been heard. I've been heard." Because sometimes it's like you are not doing my job, you don't know really what it's like. You're staying some ivory tower somewhere. So that's the feeling sometimes, right? And understandably so. And it doesn't have to like these sorts of things, I'm pretty certain that leaders of companies eat lunch every day. Why not use your lunch to eat with one of your lower in the hierarchy, employees, reward them and learn more about what your business is doing from the top up? It will make them feel empowered and special. And that costs you nothing because you can have lunch anyway. So that's just, I think, the sort of things that you can do to kind of really install that.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I think that's a good point. The other thing that came up in a conversation I was having the other day, you mentioned earlier on that the pandemic really had a lot of people reflecting. And so some people decided that for whatever reason, they wanted to do something different and to take a different path. And one of the things that came up in a focus group I was doing on some of these topics was some frustration around that, but also just I guess a need to just accept that some people are going to want to go in a different direction.

Sarah Nicastro: And so there was two points that came out of that. I think one is as the companies within our audience evolve and transform, there are more and more new and different roles that are needing to be filled. So how can you maybe allow people for change within your own organization? And that goes back to sort of that career path type thing. The more you can kind of structure and communicate what the different opportunities are, perhaps you could keep some of those folks if you instead of being resistant to them leaving the position they've been in, welcome them to try something different within the company.

Sarah Nicastro: But the other point that came up was if there really is someone that wants to move on, don't feel the need to keep that quiet or have a negative overtone. Celebrate them and keep that door open because perhaps they'll want to come back or refer someone else in or whatever. So don't be bitter about it. Be supportive. And that goes to your point of people are important and treat them like a human, not like a resource that you're upset that is leaving. So I thought those were two interesting points as well.

Arran Stewart: Yeah, for sure. You should always try to have everyone leave well from your company because that's when the most damage happens because one, if they don't leave well, they most certainly have friends and colleagues in that company who they will then instinctively kind of in some circumstances almost poison because they're just like, "Oh, I can't... This is the problems. This is why this place has gone to the dogs. It's so good." And that can have a real negative connotation.

Arran Stewart: The other part to it as well is that they tell other people and they also might leave reviews on platforms like new Glassdoors. Yeah, they had five amazing years. The last few years went to... Sorry, last few months weren't too good. I've left and now I'm going to make it seem like I never liked working there in the first place. And it's like, well, why were you there so long then? So that definitely should always try and have people leave well. That's for sure. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Now, Arran, what do you think the next 12 to 18 months hold? What do you think people should be preparing for?

Arran Stewart: Well, that's a great question. I think that... Well, it is very subjective, very much someone's opinion, but I think we have some level of economic correction potentially coming. Everyone's talking about this. We also have a lot of uncertainty as well because I feel like we went out of the oven into the frying pan from pandemic to now worries about Russia and what they're doing to Ukraine, but also that kind of unrest between East versus West, which I think actually also really impacts people's thought processes, consumer confidence, which then relates down to confidence in work, confidence in consuming, confidence in spending money.

Arran Stewart: So I think the challenges are here to stay. I think they're here to stay for a good couple more years until we kind of get through a few of these issues until we can start to see more of a heyday toward tiring again, maybe a realignment of salaries expectations and the norm. And then suddenly it feels like we're all back to normal again. And yeah, I'm not having too much time, so much hassle hiring people again. It seems to have of kind of balanced itself out, but I still think the next 12 to 18 months are going to be a challenge for sure. A significant challenge. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Any other comments or closing thoughts for folks?

Arran Stewart: No, I think, one, it's been a fantastic podcast. So thank you for having me on. I think we've covered some really, really important topics here. And then honestly, yeah, I feel like I've kind of covered everything that we've sort of talked about that I could give with a level of confident knowledge about. So now I appreciate you and appreciate the time and the questions.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Now is there information people should have on how to use

Arran Stewart: Yeah, sure. So the immediate reaction when you hear the URL is you think we're a job board. We're actually a staffing agency, a recruitment agency. We do the full end-to-end hiring process, but we describe ourselves as a data-driven digital staffing agency. Everything's used through tech process automation. What does that mean to you if you are hiring? It means we can get you talent quicker because we remove a lot of the low value tasks that recruiters have to do. And lots of our clients, they really take the benefit of all the things that we offer in a technology stack that augments humans, not displaces them.

Arran Stewart: We believe in people, but we believe people can be better with technology if they're paired together very well and they provide a better hiring experience for the people you're looking for because one of the most... From the moment someone applies for your job, they're also judging you as a company. And if they suddenly feel like they've been in some ridiculously long, poor communicated hiring cycle that's taken a long time, they kind of enter in bad and they kind of enter in already a little bit burnt on the journey. So you need to be very thoughtful about how is your hiring process? And who you use your hiring process reflects on your business and your brand. And we always try and tell our clients that, and that's maybe one of the risk. That's why you might want to use

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. That's a very good point. Okay. Well, Arran, thank you so much for being here.

Arran Stewart: Thank you.

Sarah Nicastro: I enjoyed our conversation and I'm happy to have you.

Arran Stewart: Thank you so much. Real pleasure.

Sarah Nicastro: You can find more by visiting us at You can also find us on LinkedIn as well as Twitter at @thefutureofff. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at As always, thanks for listening.