Talent acquisition, assessment and management

Whilst hiring volumes were down considerably on last year (reduced by 46% year-on-year for business as usual hiring activity) in part due to broader macroeconomic pressures noted earlier and reduced attrition levels in the business (17.4% (FY23) vs 21.3% (FY22)), the labour markets in several key markets still remained tight, presenting ongoing recruitment challenges.

To address these market challenges, RWS continued our successful strategy of:

  • Promoting our progressive hybrid and/or remote work policy to support colleague expectations
  • Focusing on internal mobility to enable colleagues to develop their careers within RWS
  • Continuing to invest in tangible actions to build a culture of inclusion and belonging
  • Developing a more flexible geographical hiring approach to significantly expand candidate ‘reach’

Our central Talent Acquisition Centre of Excellence continues to work very efficiently with direct hiring (internal and external hires combined) through this team running at 95% and agency usage around 5%. Gender diversity remains a focus with 51% of hires being female.

Referral hires continue at a good level with 15% of external hires recommended by colleagues which is slightly up on FY22. We believe that hiring directly is important to RWS from a recruitment brand standpoint, and in tandem this year we have been working to improve how we promote different business units under the RWS umbrella working on the basis that some of the business unit brands are better known, and therefore potentially more attractive, to candidates in the market than RWS on its own.

Running most recruitment through our Centre of Excellence also enables us to manage and monitor our diverse talent attraction efforts more accurately and we continue to explore new recruitment channels to help reach underrepresented groups. We have built an RWS presence on many sites directly targeting underrepresented groups, for example, Diversity Jobs myGworks and Pink Jobs (focused on LGBTQ+ and underrepresented communities globally) and are active on multiple smaller channels targeting individuals with disabilities (DiversityJobs) as well as veterans.

In FY23 we published our RWS Candidate Charter laying out the high standards of care that every candidate can expect from us during the recruitment process, and we prepared the ground for implementing our new end-to end candidate applicant tracking system, iCIMS, alongside our new global HRIS. iCIMS will go live at the end of 2023, delivering a more integrated candidate experience from first contact through to their onboarding once hired.

Despite hiring generally being more focused on particular skill areas we are delighted to have been able to fill 19% of our vacancies with internal candidates this year. This is the same level as last year and internal mobility remains a focus.

FY23 has been another busy year for the linguistic recruitment team in our LXD organisation with c300 closed roles. Direct hiring and internships remain key priorities, with FY23 experiencing significant success – 52% of roles were filled through direct hiring and 41% of roles filled through internships and intern conversions to permanent roles. Gender diversity has been a focus with 3% of hires being female.

Campus recruitment for linguist interns remains a focus for us and this year we are pleased to have developed relationships with 22 universities in Africa whereby RWS supports the under-graduate curriculum on their linguistic degrees, and thereby improve professional linguistic training.

Our focus in FY24 remains on diversity and increasing referral hiring activity towards 10%.

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