Category Archives: Hiring

Strike a pose with your CV

Standing out from the crowd with your CV is incredibly difficult to do.  As I have said on many occasions in this blog the best way to put your CV together divides opinion.  There are lots of them.  Today’s Google count on “CV” numbered 301 million!

A little inspiration goes a long way.  I like therefore to showcase people who are doing things differently in their attempt to secure the job they want.  I have seen some great examples, hugely innovative, creative, striking even.  First up was the Employ Kyle campaign.  Brilliant.

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/kyle-clarke-job-search-genius/

And there was the exceptional video resume campaign from Greame Anthony

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/the-best-job-application-ever/

The latest to stand out is this campaign from Celine Cavaillero who is looking for a job in Fashion.

http://www.celineislookingforafashionjob.com/

I loved it.  It’s relevant for her target audience.  It showcases her creative skills and talents, qualifications and experience, likes, passions and hobbies.  It’s smart, clever, innovative.  On the premise that your CV is simply a catalyst for conversation it leaves me wanting to meet her, to know more, to ask questions.  It does the job.

From the perspective of a potential employer, this strikes me as someone who has gone to great lengths, time and effort to get the career of her choosing.  She is committed.  I want that on my team.  Who doesn’t?

So what do you think?  I for one congratulate Celine.  I am sure on the strength of this evidence she will enjoy much success.  Thank you for the inspiration.

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The EU, Quotas and an apology

A health warning on today’s post, for two reasons.  First, expect a rant.  This morning two of my favourite subjects caught my eye, the European Union and the subject of quotas.  Second, be prepared for an admission that I might have been wrong.

Shocked?  You should be.  I suspect this may be my first public admission of my own fallibility since 1987 ( I lost an argument over which one of the Farris Brothers played lead Guitar in INXS , it was Tim, not Andrew ).

Back to matters at hand.  Namely the EU and Quotas.  So here we go.  Ready, aim…….

Wait a minute.  Here comes the admission.  It looks as though for once I owe our good neighbours ( in that enormous waste of our hard-earned cash, I had to get it in somewhere ) in Brussels an apology.  It seems that for once they might actually be needed to do some good.

The subject of quotas is on the Agenda again and I am not talking about Fish Stocks.  This time it is back to the issue of diversity in the workplace, in particular in the boardroom.

3% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are Women.  In Europe, only 12% of Board posts are occupied by Women.  In the UK, the picture is a little better.  In the FTSE 100 the number of women in Board Posts is up in the last 10 years from 6.9% to 12.5%.  A step in the right direction, but there are still only 79 female Executives on the Board of Britain’s largest companies.

It makes no sense.  This is not 1811, this is 2011.  Organisations the world over are ignoring 50% of the population when it comes to picking top talent.  The debate rages on and yet little changes.  It’s a nonsense.

A 2010 report by McKinsey stated

“Operating results of companies which have greater gender diversification are 56% higher”

In 2007, A Goldman Sachs report evidenced

“closing the gender gap could boost U.S. gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic growth, by as much as 9%, and up to 13% in the euro zone”.

Based on the stats, business doesn’t seem to be getting the message that Talent is not defined by gender, race, sexual orientation or religious belief.  It is not defined by geography or culture, by nationality or heritage.  Get the message, pick the very best you can afford to deliver the very best value to shareholders, customers, employees, the wider world.

I don’t want to be told who to hire.  I don’t believe in quotas, it encourages all sorts of problems when it comes to hiring, but if the message doesn’t get through, politicians will step in and a quota is what we will get.  Politicians and Business don’t mix (with any degree of success).  Quota’s and Business don’t work.  If Business Leaders don’t wake up, then a quota is what we will get and we have only ourselves to blame.  For once, the politicians might just be right.

I’ll leave you with a sense of just what we are up against in the battle to get this message through.  Recently Josef Ackerman, CEO of Deutsche Bank, was reported to have commented that having more Women in the Board Room would make board meetings “prettier and colourful”.  I’ll leave you to make your own judgement.

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Filed under Corporate Governance, Employee Engagement, Hiring

Permanent Recruitment rising at its highest rate in 6 months

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation / KPMG Labour Market survey is published today.  It evidences the number of people securing permanent employment rising at its fastest rate in 6 months.  Permanent hiring grew to 57.4 on January’s index (anything above 50 represents growth), up from 54.9 in December (no surprises here, December has always been a slow month for permanent hires).  The previous high had been 56.3 in August 2010.

The number of people securing permanent employment has been rising for 18 months.  What this report doesn’t tell us is what percentage of these hires are full-time versus part-time.  However the number is growing.  Sure, if you are out of work it is not growing fast enough, but it is growing.  Sure we have yet to feel the impact of the Governments Austerity measures on public sector employment, but the number of people gaining permanent jobs is growing and has been for 18 months.

So who is hiring?  IT, Accounting, Engineering and Construction were highlighted as those sectors growing permanent hires at the fastest rate and in the highest numbers.  Boardroom Hiring was also evidenced as on the increase.  So business is hiring.

The more we hear about a jobless recovery, the more we are likely to have one.  The more people hear the economy is weak, the less confidence they have to hire.  I am not suggesting that the media should lie ( heaven forbid! ) I just think more attention, column inches and air time needs to be given to the positives when they appear.

On the strength of this survey, there is good news to be found in the employment market.  Lets not hide our light under a bushel.  We don’t know for how long it may last but for now, shout it loud, permanent employment is rising at its fastest rate in 6 months.  Long may this trend continue.

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Where do you go to get things done?

What is this place we call work?  We get in the car, get on the bus, get on the train, join the commute and descend upon this great bricks and mortar building where we all are required to do great work.  This is 2011.  We are all connected.  Is this best use of our time, our skills, our talents?

Jason Fried is the Co – Founder and President of 37 Signals.  Here he asks a great question, very simply “Where do you go to get things done”?

So what’s the answer?  When you really need to get something done, where do you go?  Is the answer really work?  So why do we go to the same place every day?  Do we need to anymore?

Working practices are changing at the fastest rate in economic history.  Change is scary, change is exciting, change creates opportunity.  What do you think?  Do we really need to go to the same place each day to achieve great things or even just get things done?

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Filed under Careers, Employee Engagement, Hiring

Diversity delivers.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers is the worlds second largest professional services firm, employing 161,000 people in 757 cities across 154 countries.  Despite its global reach, only 14% of its Partners are women.

They want to change this to better represent the diverse nature of customers they represent and people they employ.  Chairman Ian Powell is reported as wanting to set an “aspirational goal” of 40% to 50% of partners “being women or from other under – represented groups, such as ethnic minorities.  Good for him.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/supportservices/8290793/PricewaterhouseCoopers-targets-women.html

What encourages me most about the way this is being reported is the fact that reference is made to this not being about “quotas”.  This isn’t about political correctness, this is about recognising that talent is not defined by gender or ethnicity.  Talent is always in demand and always in short supply, regardless of the economic cycle.  If you want the very best for your organisation, why restrict that which from you select to half the population?

I don’t want quotas, or for that matter positive discrimination.  I want to able to judge everyone purely on merit.  I want to hire the very best talent I can attract within the budget that is available to me.  That should be the case for all hiring, if you want your organisation to flourish.

All the research I’ve ever read on the subject of hiring evidences the more diverse your board, your leadership group, your managers, the better performing, more productive, profitable, sustainable, successful your business will be.  This is about applying best practice in your hiring.  I applaud PwC for taking these steps, I look forward to seeing them deliver.  Not only great news for their employers, but frankly their customers.

Lord Davies take note, quotas are not the way to encourage behaviour along these lines.   Education is the answer.  Keep getting the message across that you can greatly impact your bottom line by attracting a diverse range of talent to your business.  Give business the evidence, the case studies, the facts and keep giving it.  Diversity delivers.  It is a positive message we would all be well served to heed.

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Employers Charter – A step in the right direction.

Yesterday saw David Cameron announce The Employers Charter, measures announced to give businesses added confidence to grow and create jobs.

Something had to be done to stem the flood of applications to Employment Tribunals witnessed in 2010, which increased 56% on 2009 to 236,000.  The average cost to employers to defend themselves was £4000.

it is absolutely right that legislation exists to protect hardworking, dedicated employees from those less scrupulous employers.  However the balance had been lost, the power placed squarely in the hands of the employee.  Employers of all shapes and sizes had become nervous, fearful even, of dismissing an under – performing employee for fear of the repercussions.

That is not healthy.  It certainly does nothing to encourage employers to hire.  Quite the opposite.  It costs nothing for the under-performing employee to launch a claim.  That in itself encouraged a whole host of “chancers” to pursue a payout, having been advised by the no – win no fee brigade that they had nothing to lose to pursue a claim.  The wasted management time was enormous, the legislative cost vast, nobody wins.

The answer to this has been to introduce the prospect of a fee for employees to fight an unfair dismissal claim.  A great idea, certain to prevent any such chancers from trying their luck.  Those that know or can be advised that they have a genuine case for unfair dismissal will pursue such a claim and have every chance of winning, rightly so.  Employers are afforded a greater degree of protection and will as a consequence feel more confident about the prospect of hiring.

To add to that confidence is the proposal that companies would have greater freedom to dismiss under – performing workers, extending the current period from one to two years.  I am not convinced this measure is necessary.  If someone is not performing in your business, you know early enough.  If they have been performing and after a period of say 12 months that performance starts to tail off, it is managements responsibility to look at the reasons behind that decline and to performance manage that employee back to “health”.

After all, you have invested enough time, money and resource getting them through the door, getting them trained and in to the DNA of your business that it is absolutely right to support them.  Still the principle behind the move strikes me as a positive one, business friendly, jobs friendly.

If you are a committed, motivated, hardworking employee you have nothing to fear in the new legislation.  I for one applaud these steps.  We have allowed an entitlement culture to develop.  If something goes wrong, who can I blame?  How much can I get?

A nonsense.  If you are a responsible, hardworking, decent, honest person then you have nothing to fear in this change.  If you are the kind of person who thinks life owes them a living, then I am afraid you are wrong and you will get what’s coming to you.

I am all for the Employers Charter.  The reaction from business and employers groups would appear to be broadly supportive.  A step in the right direction.  Next step, tackle the cost of employing someone and reduce the cost of Employers NIC’s.  Now there’s a thought!

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Davos 2011 – Fondue, Cheese, Chocolate and Jobs.

This week sees the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Amongst the fondue, cheese and chocolate, their is important work to be done by the great and the good in Business and Government to take advantage of rising business confidence as evidenced by the Business Confidence Survey from Global Accounting Firm PWC.

PWC interviewed 1,201 CEO’s from 69 countries over the last three months of 2010.  The headline finding from the survey evidence that business confidence has returned to levels not seen since before the economic crisis that started to engulf the world in 2007.  48% of those surveyed are “very confident” their business will grow in 2011, an increase of 30% on the same period in 2009.  Such confidence levels have not been seen since January 2007 (when they sat at 52%).

Yet more encouraging is the fact that this confidence is not driven by any specific region.  Confidence levels are up across the globe.  Unsurprisingly, the most bullish of those polled were to be found in India and China followed by the perhaps less obvious Thailand, Columbia and Paraguay. The least confident were found to be business leaders in Western Europe.

The exception to this rule came from Austria and in particular Germany, where a staggering 80% of CEO’s polled were “very confident”as to the performance of their business.  What is clear from the survey is that this confidence is driven by a belief in the growth of the global economy as opposed to more localised markets.  A presence in emerging markets is essential for sustained success.

So what does all this mean for jobs?  More good news in so much as just over half of those polled plan to hire new staff in 2011, with just 16% expecting to cut headcount.  This is up from 39% on the prior year.

Just where those jobs will be created is the big shift and it keeps shifting.  Increased skill levels globally mean that global business can select talent in the region that best meets its customer need.  The war for talent is truly global.  Those countries that offer high standards of education and develop rich pools of talent, that create the conditions to encourage inward investment, that retain flexibility of labour and offer working terms and conditions that protect employees and give them the freedom to flourish will win.

Employers know this.  At no other time in history has business been so mobile, so global.  Governments that are experiencing rising unemployment must get out from behind the fondue at Davos and listen to those Business Leaders, engage with them, debate with them.  Those that don’t will lose out, those that do will enjoy economic prosperity for years to come.

So much of business and economic growth is about confidence.  That confidence is there.  Time to seize it.

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