Tag Archives: hire

The best job application ever?

Every once in a while someone comes along and really raises the bar.  Earlier this week I blogged on the brilliant “Employ Kyle” campaign conducted by Kyle Clarke.  Hot on his heels I came across this exceptional approach to the job search from self-confessed “PR propagandist, social media transmitter, digital brigadier” Graeme Anthony.

This just might be the best job application I have ever seen.  Creative, thought-provoking, passionate, engaging, different.

Would you employ this guy?  Judge for yourself.

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Filed under Careers, Hiring, Recruitment, Social Media

A great Recruiter can transform your life

A great Recruiter can transform your life.  That’s a real privilege, something that as Recruiters we should not overlook.

Think of it logically, you are de-motivated, disengaged, disenfranchised, disappointed in your current job.  You meet with a Recruiter who takes the time and trouble to really understand what makes you tick, your background, personality, talent, aspirations, skills, motivations.  They introduce you to a job that you love.  That changes your life.

The opposite is also true.  If the Recruiter fails in their responsibility to you, that can also change your life, albeit clearly in a negative way.

Think of the impact a great hire has on a business.  Transformation, growth, new opportunities, wealth and job creation, the list goes on.

Great Recruiters have a critical role to play in delivering the talent business needs to realise its ambitions.  Great Recruiters have great influence, they can unlock doors that can lead you to great opportunity.

Find out who they are.  You have a choice with whom you work.  If you don’t feel the Recruiter best represents you, don’t work with them.  Take your time and seek out the great Recruiter, instinctively you will know him or her when you meet them.

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Filed under Recruitment, Talent

The War for Talent – back on the agenda for 2010.

The number of people claiming jobless benefits in December dropped by 15200. According to the International Labour Organization, unemployment fell by 7000 in the three months to the end of November. Positive news at long last. At 7.8%, unemployment is clearly unacceptably high, but could we be starting to see a small chink of light in the long dark unemployment tunnel in the UK?

Data from the Association of Executive Search Consultants suggests “that the global executive search industry has returned to growth.  New mandates rose by 11% in the most recent quarters, and revenue per consultant rose by similar amounts across the industry”. More positive news, albeit clearly a global statistic, but senior management talent is increasingly mobile.

Research from the Interim Management Association tells us that the number of Interim opportunities are increasing. With so much Interim work project focused, unless projects have been considered business critical they have been shelved over the last 18 months. Slowly but surely clients tell me that having been in survival mode they are now starting to look forward and invest in the future. All this bodes well.

Anecdotally, HR Directors tell me recruitment is back on the agenda in 2010. However, budgets remain constrained. The challenge for HR Professionals is to look at ever more innovative and cost effective methods of attracting talent. However this may prove easier said than done. A popular mis – conception for the Executive Market is that if you are hiring there is a great deal of talent to choose from. I don’t agree. Talent is reluctant to move in this climate, preferring the perceived security of the devil you know versus a potential last in first out scenario.

Employers are going to have to ensure absolute clarity of the proposition as well as the efficiency and quality of process in order to maximise the potential to attract the best. Any sense that employers may have that the price to pay to attract the top talent has been reduced is not matched by the statistics. Surveys evidence that there hasn’t been the downward pressure on salaries that we have seen in previous downturns.

Some good news in the employment market is very much welcome for all. However the challenges organisations face to ensure they continue to attract the business critical talent they need to thrive are as prevalent now as ever they were. The very best companies will need to be innovative, creative and as focused on ever on developing an Employer Brand that attracts the very best people. The war for talent continues.

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Filed under Talent

Why is “attitude” to often overlooked in favour of experience when hiring?

We hire for experience and fire for attitude. Why not therefore make attitude the basis of our hiring decisions? Clearly experience is the one thing that we can give any candidate coming in to the business. Attitude is one thing that for sure we can’t give them.

All of us at some point are guilty of making experience the basis of our selection decisions. By this I refer typically to who the candidate has worked for or the sector they have been employed in. Whilst I understand the need for having easy ways of pre – screening CV’s I would go so far as to suggest this is lazy. Is it really risk averse to hire someone who understands our industry language, systems and processes, products or services and indeed customers without considering whether they truly fit with the values, culture, vision and strategy of the organisation? .

To make matters worse, us recruiters can be the worst exponents of putting job seekers in to convenient boxes, not least because of the increasingly key words search based recruitment environment in which many now live. This is exacerbated further with the increasing pressure on frontline recruiters in a tough climate to focus on the short term and generate fees based on perceptions of best fit and lowest risk in order that they keep their own jobs.

I genuinely believe employers lose out by making previous experience the basis of the hiring decision. Experience is the one thing as employers we can give the candidate; attitude is the one thing we can’t give them. How often as employers do we hire for experience and fire for attitude? Make attitude, chemistry, fit, the intangibles in the recruitment process the basis for hiring and invest heavily in training, development and employee engagement in order that your key staff are entirely aligned and equipped to meet the key objectives of your business. If you can achieve this the impact on the attraction and retention of people who can transform your business will be greatly enhanced. You may well be losing out on a potential superstar but not opening your minds to those from outside your sector.

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Filed under Hiring

What now the future of recruitment?

Traditional recruitment is undeniably facing a huge number of significant challenges. With advances in technology and in particular the gathering pace of Social Media, the opportunities for employers and employees to engage with an ever widening pool of prospective candidates are enormous. Therefore we might argue that recruiters have an opportunity to continue to evidence value to clients with our ability to cut through the numbers and provide a well thought through, pre – screened shortlist to clients.

Does this happen? From the feedback I receive from customers, increasingly this isn’t the case. Technology has seen recruitment become an ever more transactional experience for customers and many recruiters as a result are relinquishing accountability in the process. The contents of a database are unleashed at a customer via email; they do the screening and are then sent a bill for the privilege of doing the work. They are right to question the value in this process.

From a candidate perspective the experience is in many cases equally as poor. Come in, fill out a form and we will find you a job. In principle, commendable and it is this service that we are here to provide. Ever more so in an environment of rapidly rising unemployment. However, shouldn’t our raison d’être be to find the right job for the candidate as opposed to attempting to shoe horn them in to a post just simply to generate a fee? I may be accused of looking at life through somewhat rose tinted specs, but too often the major impact a new job has on peoples lives or alternatively a new hire has on a business is overlooked and the need to generate fees takes priority over the needs of candidate and client.

I love the recruitment industry. I love the fact that as a recruiter we change people’s lives (and if not careful not always for the better). I love the fact that every candidate that I meet has a unique set of skills, aspirations, talents and personality traits, that every company we meet has a differing culture, vision, set of values and strategies. However unless we recognise as an industry the impact we have on so many through our behaviour the value we can generate for customers will continue to be questioned. We have an important role to play in ensuring the global economy rises out of recession fast through our inability to unearth and deliver talent to the workplace to enable people and businesses to thrive. That focus should be on engendering long term working partnerships based on ensuring best fit for all, not just any fit at all.


Filed under Recruitment

Stand out from the crowd in tough times – stick your hand up and volunteer

I gave a presentation recently to a group of Accounting Students. Just coming to the end of their studies, they were full of hope for their future careers and were keen to understand what the prospects might be for them to find the job of their dreams. Having given them what I considered to be an extremely honest assessment of the employment market, I wanted to give them at least something positive to take away in order that they might stand a greater chance than most of really standing out to the extent that employers feel compelled to take them on.

Despite the fact that so many organisations are reducing headcount or freezing hiring activity, I would argue that the principle barrier to any organisation realising its goals lies in its ability to attract and retain, engage with and develop great talent,. On many an occasion it has been said that people are a company’s greatest asset. Arguably it’s more specific than that. It is the right people and in the right seats that can mean the difference between business success and failure.

It strikes me that there are a number of potential subjects for a blog here, not least how should an organisation ensure it is at the forefront of attracting the best talent. However I want to focus on something that I passionately believe affords job seekers the opportunity to really stand out in a crowded space.

Volunteer – yes consider doing something for nothing! Revolutionary I know.

Increasingly I am struck by the entitlement culture that we live in, driven by the question “what’s in it for me” a view that roughly translated tends to mean what am I going to get paid for doing it? If I’m not going to be paid for it, frankly why should I bother to do it?

Life shouldn’t be about what you get, it should be about what you give. Get out there and make volunteering part of your job search. It may be as simple as writing to your local accounting firm and asking them if they would be prepared to let you work with them for nothing in order to gain some valuable work experience. It could be something as incredible (as I witnessed only this week) as volunteering to work in an orphanage in Bulgaria. Whatever it may be, it need not cost you anything other than your time, energy and commitment and it could prove an invaluable way of evidencing to a potential employer your desire to do that bit more.

Volunteer work should be shouted about loudly on your CV. It offers a great topic of discussion at interview and gives you the opportunity to talk passionately about something that you did. It creates a favourable impression with a prospective employer and affords you the opportunity to genuinely set yourself apart from all the other “self motivated, ambitious, hardworking team players” that just about every CV includes on personal profiles.

It also offers you the opportunity to broaden your skills, your network of contacts, increase your self confidence, and importantly helps someone else whilst you feel good about what you are doing. So go on, stick your hand up. Volunteer for something and use this as an opportunity to genuinely make yourself stand out in a crowded space.


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