Famous for 15 minutes

We care about technology-enhanced human systems. So we thought we would share regular thoughts and opinions about why we think they matter so much.

HARBOUR User Forum 2020

November 12th 2020, in a year of firsts, saw our first (and hopefully only ever entirely) virtual HARBOUR User Forum. All things considered we were pretty happy with how it went, and whilst we know a few clients struggled due to corporate firewalls and such like, it was lovely to see about 30 or so clients get the chance to re-engage with people as a group outside of their usual social or work cohorts, and for us to get a chance to update them on what we've been up to as well as where we're seeking to go.

Rather than just "zooming" it we'd been impressed with the platform that the guys n gals over at The Recruitment Events Company have been using as they led the way in pivoting from offline events to online events - with the massively succesful RecFest OneWorld and the like - and they very kindly faciltated the afternoon for us. It enables both presenting and group engagement, with breakout tables of 6 working as well as anything we've seen over the year - so a massive thanks again to them. 

But for those who couldn't "get in" or weren't able to make it on the day then we thought we'd give a taster of the agenda we presented with a little synopsis of sections - and we'd be only too happy to run anyone interested through any distinct aspects that you might be particularly interested in. 


• 37 people ( +1 from 2019) : 5 new starters

• Furlough 1/3rd of team in the depths of Lockdown

• Office closed to Partially re-opened

 - kinda summed up in our blog post about the HARBOUR hive

• RecFest OneWorld opportunity to promite ourselves – so we created this : 


Update from our front-line

• Overall enquiries are down by about a 1,000 YTD.
• The number of queries we're able to resolve through our support team (Frontline) continues to increase - which we see as a real success because it means faster resolutions all round.

• Hints & Tips to help with swift resolution of a query:

  • Example candidates (provide links to where the issue seems to have occured)
  • Actions taken (let us know, as best you can, what you were doing in the run up to the issue you're reporting)
  • Full page screen shots (the fuller the page we can see the more we can glean)
  • Check-in before further actioning (pressing on can sometime exacerbate an issue - so if you can give us the time to investigate it's better for all)

We then had a technical data quiz :

  • 42,000 jobs created across HBR facilities this year
  • Peak time of applying is 2pm
  • Peak day for our clients getting applications is Wednesday
  • most candidates come from Indeed, followed by LinkedIn
  • 1/4 of applicants apply within the first week of a job being posted
  • Last year HBR processes ice 955,000 CVs on behalf of our clients

The lost art of asking “why?”

This was a workshop session (with case studies) that we ran sucesfully at the recent Resourcing Leaders Virtual Summit (certainly the feedback was excellent from attendees) to position and explain the "WHY approach" and the "WHY framework" that we're increasingly looking to work with clients on, using your "why" as both a lens to evaluate success and the compass by which to navigate

What we’ve been up to and what we’re planning

• Diversity & Inclusion - really recommend looking at titles and terminology in forms
• Data accuracy & interpretation - we know our data is correct, so we're ready to help with interpretation where we can
• D&I follow up capture from PSL/Agency applicants and manually added - also allows you to be in control of whether you process with or without complete data

• CV anonymisation (as featured on the roadmap last year) - live & kicking


Road Map

•  New Back End Interface (looking for clients who would be interested in participating as a steering group on this execution)
•  Chatbot - https://harbourats.com/chat/ (looking for first client requirement to use this)
• Video Interview scheduling (proof of concept with Teams completed - now need a live requirement to execute)
• Quick Apply for Job Boards (using the same approach as the D&I follow up capture to ensure complete info if / where needed)

• Follow up outcome tracking of hires? Something we'd love to explore further as we think it's a real missing piece.

Volume Screening - a new solution to consider

We're pretty protective of our position as an agnostic platform when it comes to 3rd party solutions we can / do interface with, but where something really seems to have worked for a client or two then we're always happy to share that experience.  

  is one such instance. Their offer is essentially (in my words - not theirs) an AI underpinned evaluation capability that uses significant & employer validated background data to evaluate simple trust and truth of responses, measuring both what and how an applicant responds to really simple visual prompts. Proven within the Catering and Hospitality sectors they're looking for opportunities to leverage their platform in other sectors where volume response management is a pain point.


We liked what they had to say and the 'cut of their gib' and would be happy to discuss possible uses further / put potentially interested clients directly in touch.


Using recent personal experience of Volvo (full blog to follow) to highlight just how important the human touch is in communication - and why we believe it's important for our clients to understand : 

Which was one of our 4 key take-aways - the others being :

And ultimately : 

Like everyone, we can't wait for life to return to a place where we can all actually get together again and do such things in person. In person is where our Dare to Care is at its best, but for now we'll keep the bar super high for our support and virtual engaging, and if you do need anything further in regards to what was covered on the day or a thought you've had since or even just a passing "I wonder if..." then please don't hesitate in reaching out to us. We are, and always will be, very much about the H2H


Blog post by Alex

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