With the UK facing widening skills gaps and the face of the workforce rapidly evolving, how can employers successfully source the talent they need into the future? This was the subject under consideration at ‘The Future of the Workplace’ in Manchester on the 8th November.

Broster Buchanan Talent Solutions are currently touring the UK with ‘The Future of the Workplace’; an event series which brings together the UKs leading employers to discuss their challenges in creating and nurturing a workplace fit for the future.

IBM, Shop Direct, Co-op, EDF Energy, Arlington Industries and Eurocamp were some of the businesses in attendance at the Manchester event. Lee Andrews, Head of Talent Acquisition for IBM Europe and co-host on the day talked about some of the key challenges they are facing with skills shortages globally, “We are predicting a developer shortfall in the hundreds of thousands by 2020, which is a serious concern for the business” he said. “IBM are currently working globally to bridge this gap and looking at creative ways of engaging and attracting technical skills into the business”. Hackathons and meet-ups, which give IBM a platform to showcase their innovation to technical candidates but also encourages candidates to engage with each other, are proving to be effective in engaging digital talent.

The technical skills shortage is an issue globally for many employers but the UK is lagging behind other countries in tackling the issue. For example, in the US, Google have developed a university course specifically to bring vital digital skills into the workplace and IBM Germany are currently working with universities to look to reshape their learning for the workplace. But should we be influencing children earlier in their education? Katie Jacob, Finance Director for Customers at EDF Energy thinks so, “As employers, we need to be influencing children at school age. When they reach university, it is too late.”

It’s hard to disagree when in countries such as China children are already learning coding from the age of 7, yet 67% of primary and secondary school teachers in the UK believe they cannot teach coding due to lack of ‘skills and teaching tools’ (YouGov). There just isn’t the investment in change; our national curriculum is still teaching many traditional subjects which are irrelevant to the workplace. And with the UK education system currently focused on training students to pass exams rather than preparing them for the world of work, this is having a major impact for employers. IBM who employ over 350,000 globally are feeling the pressure more than most. As a consequence, they are working with other UK employers to lobby the government in developing the curriculum more in line with skills shortages in the workplace. The question is whether employers wait for the government to respond to this or if industry needs to drive and fund the change.

Millennials (born around 1982 to 1997) will make up over 50% of the workforce by 2020 and their influence on the culture of the workforce now and into the future were a topic for much discussion. Having grown up with digital technology at their fingertips, Millennials are very different to attract and retain than previous generations. Driven by challenge, flexibility and progression; technology is now pivotal in attraction. Employer branded social media campaigns promoting career progression, innovation and diversity are key, and creating a connection with leaders in the business is fundamental. Traditional sourcing of candidates is being automated and video job specs and interviews are replacing traditional interviews.

Flexibility is also key for this generation who are driving a more agile working environment through advances in technology and zero hours contracts. With technology enabling employees to work anywhere, anytime and data tracking output, there are few reasons to reject a flexible working policy which will certainly be pivotal in attracting and retaining some of the hard to find talent. Interestingly, it was discussed that women are more likely to take up flexible working than men who are still adopting a more traditional 9-5 Monday to Friday working week. Employers are on varying scales of implementation of flexible working policies. IBM are at the forefront with flexibility now fully integrated into their working practices. They have also developed campaigns using male management to promote and encourage more flexible working internally to attempt to rid of the stigma which has historically been attached to it.

Onboarding and development have also never been more important for employers in retaining talent. With more businesses competing for a limited pool of skills and a generation of Millennials who are, by nature, more demanding in personal development expectations, IBM have completely overhauled their management culture, renaming and training their managers to become coaches; tasked with guiding and supporting their teams through their career journey.

But whilst employers are developing their policies in line with a more digitally capable workforce, they are finding basic interpersonal, leadership and critical thinking skills which are fundamental for employability are lacking. “Customer service skills are becoming harder to source” said Darren Marsh, Managing Director for Eurocamp. “We recruit customer facing roles for our campsites across Europe and these basic human skills which have historically been easy to find are becoming more difficult to source”. So why is this? “Millennials are growing up in a digital world of immediacy which is preventing face to face interaction. If we are talking less and communicating more online, this has a huge impact on our ability to be able to interact with other humans.” says Lenna Thompson, Director for Broster Buchanan Talent Solutions. “These basic communication skills evolve into the rudimentary interpersonal skills that are required in the workplace like creativity, leadership, problem solving and resilience”. These are the skills that cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence and automation; yet we are at risk of losing them.

So, whilst businesses are reaping the benefits of automation in the workplace to drive efficiencies and cost savings, we need to be mindful of the future. Whilst on one hand, we need to go back to school to drive changes to the education system to see more relevant digital skills coming into the workplace; on the other hand, we need to remember the basics. We are humans, and the skills that are unique to us must not be lost. After all, we weren’t built to be robots.

‘The Future of the Workplace’ will be visiting Birmingham, Peterborough, Nottingham, Leeds and Newcastle in 2019 with additional events ‘Bridge the Gap’ to support a better partnership with schools and the workplace and ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ to further investigate some of the hot topics facing the UK’s employers.

To get involved please contact Lenna Thompson at Broster Buchanan Talent Solutions on 07377 625413.

CEO, Andrew Broster has hosted the final of the annual Broster Buchanan Charity Golf Tournament in the prestigious grounds of the Dukes Course at Woburn Golf Club.

Four four-ball teams participated in the event with Nick achieving the winning individual score, followed closely with Mark and Paul at joint second place.  The ‘longest drive’ contest was won by Paul and the ‘nearest the pin’ prize was won by Broster Buchanan’s very own Chris Batters.

On the day each of the finalists were presented with a personalised Callaway golf shirt, and although it was felt that perhaps Kevin should have sized up slightly, he appeared pleased with the athletic benefits of his ‘compression vest’!

This year’s event has raised close to £3,000 for three very worthy regional charities; the Lily Mae Foundation, Addenbrookes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Papyrus. Across the three years that Broster Buchanan has run this event, over £10,000 has been raised for charity; the team are immensely proud that as a young business they have been able to find the time and resources to put charitable support high up on the agenda.

This year’s charity fund will be further increased by a silent auction, with a selection of high-end prizes on offer.  Please see the details below – this auction is open to all, so if you would like to place a bid and help Broster Buchanan break past the £3,000 target, please don’t hesitate to email Gemma Ingram at gemmaingram@brosterbuchanan.com

Thank you to all who attended and also to Woburn Golf Club for their hospitality.

Broster Buchanan will be hosting their next charity golf tournament at venues around the UK in 2019.  If you would like to participate please get in touch.


Silent Auction Listing 2018

Reserve Price

  1. Four Ball – Woburn – List price £205 pp
  2. Four Ball – Edgbaston – List price £65 pp
  3. Four Ball – Dunham Forest – List price £68pp
  4. 1966 Empire Stadium World Cup tribute – Real Back rest – Reserve £300
  5. Monty Panesar signed framed shirt – Reserve £150
  6. Ronaldinho signed UNICEF framed shirt – Reserve £150
  7. Jack Nicklaus tribute retirement –  Reserve £100
  8. Ashley Giles signed tie from Ashes victory – Reserve £125
  9. Gladston Small Warwickshire 501 tribute (1 of 200) – Reserve £125
  10. Michael Schumacher copy signed photo frame  – Reserve £40
  11. Paul Newman Indy 500 Signed Cap – Reserve £300
  12. Gold Disc Beatles Abbey Road – Reserve £125
  13. Gold Disc Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers – Reserve £125


All proceeds will be presented to our three chosen charities for 2018 – The Lily Mae Foundation, Addenbrookes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Papyrus.

If you would like to place a bid please email gemmaingram@brosterbuchanan.com. Thank you for your support!

Vincere, the disruptive SaaS for recruitment businesses, today announced that Broster Buchanan, UK’s fast-growing specialist recruitment and talent solutions consultancy, has chosen the Cloud-based CRM/ATS to help scale operations and bolster revenue growth.

Founded in 2015 and with 8 offices across the UK, Broster Buchanan was in search of a Tech Partner that had the capabilities to support their ambitious expansion plans, to hit their goal of doubling headcount by 2020. After a comprehensive, multi-stage evaluation of several recruitment systems on the market, Broster Buchanan has chosen to leverage Vincere’s unified recruitment platform to support and deliver mid-market recruitment services nationwide.

Andrew Broster, CEO & Founder at Broster Buchanan remarked, “We want to partner with a technology vendor that shares the Broster Buchanan vision of being creative, consultative and collaborative. Recruitment is evolving, shifting markets demand an agile approach. I deliberately wanted to move away the business away from traditional, legacy technology platforms that are overly complex and stuck in the past.  After a thorough review of all technology vendors on the market, we eventually shortlisted down to the 6 strongest contenders. Vincere stood out for a few reasons: they are clearly committed to investing in innovation and their platform puts user adoption first. It helps that the platform looks fresh, is easy to use and offers tremendous value to growing businesses like Broster Buchanan”.

Broster added, “The team at Vincere delivered a seamless data migration, on time and well within budget. We pride ourselves on building long term relationships with customers and look forward to doing the same with Vincere”.

Commenting on the new partnership, Eloise Sutton-Kirkby, Director of Growth at Vincere said, “Broster Buchanan are one of the most exciting recruitment firms in the UK right now, having made an extraordinary mark since their inception in 2015. When you combine the industry expertise and pedigree of the team at Broster Buchanan with leading-edge technology, you get a recipe for growth. It is our job here at Vincere to ensure that we support Broster Buchanan in the background, giving them the tech platform, BI insights and innovation that they need to maximise profitability and growth.”

Sutton-Kirkby continued, “Andrew has assembled a team of seasoned industry veterans to steer Broster Buchanan towards growth. They want to provide their consultants with the best tech available and arm them for success, that’s why they’ve invested in Vincere. We look forward to being part of their success journey”.

Founded in 2011, Vincere works with ambitious recruitment businesses like Broster Buchanan worldwide that rely on their Cloud-based CRM platform to grow their recruitment business.  Vincere was recently awarded High Performer Summer ‘18 on G2 Crowd, the leading business solution review platform.


About Vincere

Vincere is the CRM/ATS for ambitious recruitment firms of all sizes. Founded in 2011, Vincere is designed specifically for recruitment companies covering Direct hire, Contract & Executive search, with built-in front, middle and back office capabilities.

More activity = more placements…everyone in the recruitment world knows the power of this equation. Vincere’s action-driven interface prompts, prods and pushes recruiters towards the one thing that truly matters: Placements.  If you’re looking for a tech partner that will accelerate growth for your recruitment business, speak to Vincere today: https://vincere.io/


About Broster Buchanan

Broster Buchanan is a specialist recruitment and talent solutions consultancy delivering on assignments nationwide through their network of offices. Core areas of expertise include Finance, Professional Services, IT, Change & Transformation, Marketing, Sales and Energy.


In our latest ‘Five Minutes with…’ series Alistair Illstone sits down with Richard Coward, Head of Audit at National Grid, to find out more about his team and the super charged careers on offer.


What is your background?

I have come through a fairly traditional route; I qualified with Deloitte and also worked for EY before moving in to industry. Although I have predominately worked in assurance roles, I have also had experience of working in operational finance and I feel this gives me good insight as I have been a receiver of audits.


Why are you passionate about working in Risk Assurance?

To put it quite simply we are here to help support, improve and help the business achieve its strategic objectives. We are in a unique position where we have a global view of the organisation, our understanding of the strategy, our risk profile and the controls we need to have in place to mitigate this. Audit is not about delivering an audit plan and writing lots of reports; it’s about been an assurance partner, working collaboratively across the business and lines of defence to deliver insightful, value added assurance work.

Why did you join National Grid ?

For me National Grid is the most important business in the UK; without us nothing operates. We work in a highly challenging environment; delivering gas and electric to millions of people; reducing CO2 emissions; use of renewable energy sources and operating in a highly-regulated market with political scrutiny.


What does your role consist of on a daily basis?

Delivery of our work programme; stakeholder management; people development and recruitment; strategy development and delivery.


Can you give us an idea of the typical upcoming projects for the risk assurance team?

We have a really varied audit programme that includes financial (P2P, Balance Sheet etc); operational (outage planning, circuit breaker replacement programme); people (succession planning, talent management and gender pay); and strategic (ERP delivery, legal separation).


How would you describe the team at National Grid?



What are your plans for the team over the coming 12 months?

To continue the journey that we are on. We are delivering some insightful work, building good relationships with stakeholders across the business and developing as a team together. What we must do is continue this, deliver our internal strategy (talent and capability, better technology, reporting and insight and improved coordination across the lines of defence) and be agile in the way we work with our stakeholders and the changing risk profile faced by the business.


What about the longer-term strategy?

Over the next 5 years, we will see exponential changes in technology. Internal audit (in general) needs to embrace and utilise this opportunity whilst having the talent and capability to support. If we don’t grasp this opportunity, we will lose our relevance in the organisation.


Why are you hiring ?

One of National Grid strengths is the opportunities we provide for our employees. Corporate Audit is no different and we have had great success in people moving out of the team in to business roles. This creates gaps that we need to fill so we need a flexible resourcing model to support.

What does the role of a risk assurance professional look like at National Grid?

 I take technical skills as a given so softer skills are important. Building effective relationships across all levels of the business; being a “critical friend” rather than an auditor; some one that people in the business feel that they can reach out to; open-minded with a view on the external environment; being able to challenge in the right way; delivering insightful work in a context that understands the business and risks that we face; a team player with an inquisitive mind.


What are the opportunities for people at this level in the long term?

National Grid offers great career opportunities; it is up to the individual to take them and have a passion for the organisation. Our Chief Executive joined the business as a graduate…….that says it all.


What would you say to anyone who has a slight intrigue or interest about these positions?

 Look up National Grid to understand what we do – it is far more complex and wide ranging that you realise. If that interests you and you have a passion for the role, let me know and we can have a chat over a coffee to discuss.


To find out more call Alistair Illstone on 07376 128768 who will put you in touch with Richard directly.



Lenna Thompson, Associate Director for Broster Buchanan Talent Solutions, explains why the future of the workplace depends on our ability to engage with school children.

With younger generational values clashing with aspects of the current workplace, severe skill shortages in STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] careers and a rapid transition to a more automated workplace, relevant education and learning for school-age children is increasingly becoming a major concern for businesses.

It is crucial that schools are properly preparing children for the future workplace through curriculum alignment to fundamental skills and jobs. However, there are fears from strategic leaders from some of the UK’s leading employers – including IBM, Weetabix and GroupM – that the curriculum is more aligned to school exam results and this is having a major impact on nurturing and developing future talent in the workplace.

A pioneering project called ‘The Future of the Workplace’, which is being led by talent solutions firm Broster Buchanan Talent Solutions, looks at the key challenges facing UK businesses today and their impact on future world of work. Advertising media firm GroupM, one of the employers involved in the project, which employs over 32,000 employees worldwide, is currently spearheading a scheme working with 12 and 13-year-old school children to introduce them to the workplace.

Small groups of schoolchildren from disadvantaged areas of London are invited to GroupM and asked to take part in challenges that aim to broaden their business knowledge – the objective being to open their minds to a world outside of their borough and encourage more informed decisions at school, which in turn will help on their career journey. The project has been extremely successful in leading to numerous work experience placements and internships.

Employers believe targeting children between the ages of 11 and 14 is key to influence, encourage and excite about potential career options, and also enable informed decision making when choosing between school subject and work experience options.

It is fundamentally clear that more needs to be done to link school learning with needs of the modern day workplace. By 2020 there will be five generations working together, which will be a juggling act for employers. Back-to-work schemes, apprenticeships and agile working are all under the spotlight, alongside alternative approaches to personal development. Younger generations are creating a culture of immediacy through use of multiple devices and agile technology, and this is leaking into the workplace.

Even traditional appraisal processes are being modernised. For example, technology giant IBM has a learning model that works in a similar way to Netflix, which the company is now rolling back into the onboarding process. This is in response to the needs of its employees; where consumer standards have shifted, employee expectations have also changed and the business is reacting to this.

It is crucial that UK businesses are continually learning, investing and adapting their methods of attracting new talent or there will be a serious risk to the growth of their business. Fifty per cent of the UK workforce are now millennials (with up to 70% in emerging markets), so many businesses are already behind the curve with this generation and are quickly needing to develop retention strategies in light of a rapidly evolving workforce where roles can become redundant through automation.

Upskilling and retraining the existing workforce is absolutely necessary and there is no doubt that employers will need to start earlier with influencing and nurturing home-grown talent. And to do this, they will need to go back to school.

Lenna Thompson is associate director, Broster Buchanan Talent Solutions. Broster Buchanan is holding a series of ‘The Future of the Workplace’ events. Click here for more information


This article was published on the Recruiter website on 4th July 2018. Click here to view the original article.

Managing Director, Dominic Cassidy hosted the first day of the annual Broster Buchanan Charity Golf Tournament on Friday 6th July, set in the stunning grounds of Dunham Forest Golf Club. The weather was excellent for a third year running, and all participants enjoyed the golf on what was a very parched course!

Three teams participated in the event; Paul won the day with a very commendable 38 points, with Mark and James a close joint second on 36 points, all of whom will qualify for the overall final at Woburn in September. The ‘Nearest the Pin’ contest was won by Richard and the ‘Longest Drive’ was awarded to Dominic.

The day raised over £700 for Papyrus, the national UK charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. The tournament’s overall charity fund will also be presenting donations to the Addenbrookes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Lily Mae Foundation.

The charity fund will be further increased by a silent auction, with a selection of high-end prizes up for grabs. Details are to be announced and this auction is open to all, so if you are interested to find out more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you to all who attended and also to the golf club for their hospitality and flexible arrangements.


Broster Buchanan will be hosting the Midlands Qualifier at Edgbaston Golf Club this week. The South Qualifier is being held in stages across the summer, with the Final being played at Woburn Golf Club in September.