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Takeaways on candidate experience and internal mobility from INSPIRE European Summit

November 1, 2021
iCIMS Staff
6 min read

That’s a wrap! Our first INSPIRE European Summit is in the books. After tuning into the sessions and discussions from leaders across Europe (and the world), we’re feeling more INSPIRED than ever about the future of HR and recruitment.

The conference began with a dynamic keynote and welcome from Steve Lucas, CEO of iCIMS. Check out the recording to hear his perspective on moving forward together and his vision for the future of work and talent transformation.

During Steve’s keynote and throughout the event, two clear themes emerged – improving the candidate experience and developing better internal mobility programs. As the entire world, and especially Europe, deals with an unprecedented labor shortage, this event offered talent, technology, and business leaders’ advice to empower them to build winning workforces.

Following the theme of candidate experience, we also recently released a new Candidate Experience Report, which evaluates the career sites, application processes, and experiences of Europe’s largest employers. Download the report now to see how your candidate experience stacks up.

While we can’t cover all the incredible insights we learned (you truly had to be there), here are some highlights.

Takeaways from spotlight sessions with iCIMS customers

B&Q and Screwfix give more control to store hiring managers to build stronger teams and deliver a better customer experience


During an engaging fireside chat, leaders from home improvement companies B&Q and Screwfix – two brands under the Kingfisher parent company – shared how they are experiencing accelerated growth and hiring rapidly for retail positions, warehouses, drivers, and more. B&Q is hiring at a rate of 10,000 employees per year, while Screwfix is opening 600 new jobs this year alone. Throughout the past year and a half, many consumers looked to renovate their homes and complete home improvement projects, and many of these home goods purchases happened online – transforming the way the two brands operate and staff their workforces.

To accommodate consumer needs, B&Q and Screwfix are leveraging the iCIMS Talent Cloud to attract, engage, hire, and advance the talent they need to succeed as a business.

“Part of our iCIMS journey was to give back control to our hiring managers,” said Russell Parsons, Head of Talent Resourcing and Attraction at B&Q. “iCIMS is user-friendly, slick, easy to use, and easy for retail store managers to provide a good candidate experience.”

Now, hiring managers have more accountability, autonomy, and power to hire the right people for their stores’ needs. Parsons and Martin Fahy, Talent Acquisition Manager at Screwfix, challenged attendees to rethink their hiring processes and consider investing in technology that gives hiring managers more control. Making this change was a big cultural shift for B&Q and Screwfix and it has helped them to hire the right people for the rights teams and stores. This decision has had a positive impact on their business and the connections their team members make with their customers who buy goods to make their houses feel more like homes.

Watch the session recording here.

Uber turns to internal mobility to complement traditional hiring


Mark Eckert, Director of Talent Mobility and Advancement at Uber, kicked off his session with an overview of the labor market, sharing data from the iCIMS platform on job openings, hiring, and job applications, noting that the growing gap between openings and applications is not just a challenge for Uber, but for employers worldwide.

Uber is growing globally and expanding services to reimagine the way the world moves. As a result, its talent team is hiring for immediate needs and future roles. Amidst the labor shortage, Eckert described how traditional external hiring alone wasn’t enough to meet its demands. The company relies on its robust internal mobility program to foster employee advancement and increase retention, while filling necessary job roles that are typically difficult to fill with external candidates alone.

“I believe internal mobility is the future of work… we want employees to have an experiences-based career and we want them to do it on their own timeline,” said Eckert. “When I looked at employee expectations, it was how do we solve business challenges differently and how do we unlock the power of our employees. We found three things that employees want – they want us to know them, focus on them, and value them.”

Eckert encouraged attendees to evaluate their existing internal mobility program – is there friction in the process? Is there an easy way for employees to explore open roles, projects, and gigs internally? Is it easy for employees to have visibility into their own career path and self-identify roles they may be interested in? Are resources available to support mobility moves?

His team has transformed their internal talent mobility program with the support of Uber’s leaders, innovative technology, and modern engagement tools like iCIMS Video Studio. Through employee-generated content, the company can tell impactful stories of real employees and mobility moves. As a result, Uber makes 30-40% of its hires from internal mobility moves. Because of the robust and ever-evolving program, plus a culture that encourages internal moves, Uber also often sees lateral and unconventional moves.

Employee video testimonials used to boost internal mobility can be worthwhile: after employees move into a new role at Uber, they stay twice as long with the company as peers who don’t move.

Learn more about how leading companies like NASA, Spotify, Finastra, and KPMG promote internal mobility.

The Analyst’s View: Takeaways from David Wilson, Founder & CEO of Fosway Group and Dr. Thomas Otter, Founder of Otter Advisory


Analysts agree that we’re seeing greater investment in recruiting tech over the past nine months than ever before. Coming out of the immediate impact of the pandemic, hiring and skills are top of mind. We rediscovered who our key workers are – truck drivers and retail workers, not just top executives. Now, we must deal with a fundamentally remote, hybrid way of working.

As an industry, a critical learning from the labor shortage has been how to reimagine and repurpose people’s roles. Internal mobility certainly existed but wasn’t a headline before the pandemic. Now we are seeing an opportunity for innovation coming into that space with talent and opportunity marketplaces getting a lot of attention. Internal mobility and reskilling initiatives help both the employer and the employees. HR teams that are struggling to attract external talent can tap their existing talent resources, while also helping the current workforce maintain relevance as corporate skills and business needs evolve.

HR leaders and recruiters can’t do it alone, though. They rely on AI-powered tools, like digital assistants and job matching, to support candidate experiences and build strong internal mobility programs.

It can be daunting to wade through the sea of solutions and cut through the hype to evaluate new software. The analysts in this session advise HR and technology decision-makers to maintain curiosity about what vendors are doing and track how those things work in your organization.

Regardless of industry or location, it’s people that drive business success. Critical talent really matters, whether it’s entry-level or the C-suite. Investing in thoughtful recruitment strategies and innovative talent acquisition solutions will help businesses not only survive, but thrive, during the ongoing labor shortage and beyond.


Looking to continue the conversation and learn about talent transformation strategies that work? It’s not too late to register for the iCIMS INSPIRE Virtual Conference, a free event taking place Nov. 16 and 17, featuring Emmy® and Golden Globe winning writer, actor, director and producer Dan Levy, U.S. track and field Olympic legend Allyson Felix, and more.

All session recordings from INSPIRE European Summit can be viewed here.

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