Tag Archives: recruiting

Want to get ahead in your career? Some examples of what not to do!

Looking for a job is a serious business.  If you are out of work it’s no laughing matter, finding employment can be an incredibly stressful experience.  From time to time to shed a little humour,  to offer a little light entertainment can help.

A survey published by career site www.careerbuilder.co.uk offers fascinating ( and indeed entertaining ) insight in to what not to do on your job application.  Some of the highlights include ;

The job seeker who cited God as his referee!

One job seeker who boasted that he was a direct descendant of the vikings!

An Applicant who gave only a name and number and the phrase ” I want a job ”

A CV written in rhyme!

An application sent from the email address ” loves beer”!

Standing out from the crowd is incredibly difficult.  However there are some basics that you should apply that will greatly enhance your chances of success.  Like all good advice, there is little by way of startling revelation.  The simple consistent application of best practice gets results.

Want to know what employers want to see?  Careerbuilder.co.uk surveyed 700 employers.  The following link will take you to the newspaper article highlighting the key findings of the report.  There is some great advice to be found here.



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Filed under Careers

Never knowingly underdressed

A couple of articles over the weekend focused on the decline of the business suit.  One such article on the BBC website highlighted a recent poll of 2,000 British workers by online bank First Direct that “found that only one in 10 employees wears a suit every day, more than a third of staff opt for jeans and only 18% regularly wear a tie”


This got me to thinking as to the impact of the ever-changing face of workplace attire on the interview process.  Knowing your audience is crucial to interview success.  Doing your homework as to the culture, the people, the environment in to which you are heading is a crucial part of your interview preparation.  So, what to wear?

A simple rule of thumb applies.  You are unlikely to be criticised, to lose out on a job opportunity, for being overdressed.  You are however very likely to be ruled out for being under – dressed ( in every sense of the phrase ).  So don’t hedge your bets.  Once your through the door you have earned the right to sit alongside your colleagues in board shorts and flip-flops if that’s de rigueur.  Until that happens, step up, smarten up, sharpen up.


Filed under Interviews

The best bit of recruiting advice I ever had.

Its Monday morning.  Everything in your world is going great.  You’ve had a great weekend, you are back at your desk, you love your job and your team is performing miracles.  Your Boss loves you.  You walk on water.  Everything in the garden is rosy.

In walks your star performer.  You know the one, we all have them.  The one you can’t do without.  They utter the immortal line

“Can I have a word”.  We all know what comes next.  They are going to resign and you didn’t see it coming.

Are you calm, collected and considered?  Do you over –  react, are you angry?  Do you panic?

If someone has gotten to the point whereby they have decided to resign you have lost them.   You may be able to paper over the cracks, to buy them back temporarily with the promise of riches now and tomorrow but it’s never just about the money.  The reason why they have made the decision in the first place to resign will simply re – appear at some point in the future.

Buying you more time may well make business sense in the short term, but the psychological contract between employer and employee has been broken.  The trust that made you bond so successfully as a team has gone.  So what do you do?

The natural reaction is to get someone in to replace them quick.  After all, you couldn’t possibly do without them.

It will take time to identify the right hire for your organisation.  And so it should.  After all, the right people are an organisations greatest asset.  You should take your time to get it right.

The average cost of hire is 25% of salary.  Research evidences that the cost of getting it wrong will cost up to 40 times salary, depending on the level of hire.  You simply cannot afford to get it wrong.

There is simply no other business process that would be left to chance in the same way that hiring is.  Yet getting it wrong can ruin a business.

One piece of advice has stuck with me since the very first time I was tasked with hiring.  Its simple.

Hire slow, fire fast.

Remember that next time someone asks to “have a word”.  It’s the best piece of recruitment advice I have ever had.

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Filed under Hiring, Recruitment

McDegrees – are you loving it?

McDonalds has launched a two-year foundation degree in managing business as part of a wider initiative to offer employees a more attractive career path.  McDonalds is also offering employees the opportunity to go on to study a full Bachelor of Arts Degree and has been offering GCSE‘s and A – Levels to employees in – house since 2008.  Indeed 3000 English and Maths GCSE’s and 3000 A levels have been awarded each year since inception.

The foundation degree is accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University and begins this year with 53 students.  It is free for McDonalds staff.

McDonalds Chief People Officer, David Fairhurst, is reported to have said

“We view ourselves as much Educator as Employer“.

I think this is a great PR piece by McDonalds.  It ticks the investing in your people box, it is a novel yet practical way of attracting and retaining talent with clear benefits to employer and employee.  The psychological contract between both parties is strengthened and at a time when tuition fees are rising and traditional University places harder to come by it is a neat way of allowing people to achieve degrees whilst contributing to the strengthening of the organisations talent pool.

So what is the downside?

There is a huge amount of snobbery around (still) about the validity and strength of your degree.  Even now having a degree is not enough, where you got it from still counts with (some) employers.  This may change as those who are making the hiring decisions increasingly come from a more diverse educational background, but for now the problem exists for candidates in an incredibly fierce market.

In times of economic austerity and in particular the impact on education, McDonalds has struck on an innovative and interesting model from which they cannot lose.  Leave however and as the employee you’ll have a tough task with how your degree is perceived by a prospective employer.  I am concerned as to the value attributed to the McDonalds foundation degree and indeed BA program.  If you leave McDonalds, will your degree be taken seriously by future employers?

McDegrees to go?  Are you loving it?


Filed under Careers, Recruitment