It’s no secret that the UK Recruitment Industry is booming. Piggy backing on a strong UK economy, a recent study concluded that sales for the top 100 recruitment companies were up by more than 10% compared to the previous year.
Whilst business is booming, so is the demand for a solid Online Recruitment Software. The market is flooded with options when it comes to choosing the right software, so with this article we aim to provide an insight into some of the most desirable features.
We’re excited to announce that out very own Les Warburton (Director) and Andrew Chesworth (Sales Manager) will be attending The Business Show 2015.
Labelled as “The Fastest Growing Business Exhibition in Europe”, The two-day event is set to attract more than 25,000 businesses who attend with the primary agenda of improving and expanding their business. Click here for more information and to find out more about our stand number.
As one of the UK’s leading Online Recruitment providers, we’d love to meet you to see how we can help you recruit the best candidates using our industry leading Flat Fee Recruitment offering.
If you or any of your colleagues will be attending The Business Show 2015, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can arrange to meet up.
Everyone claims to listen to others; indeed, many people make such a statement and truly believe it. But how often are the complaints you hear about one person from another about their perceived inability to listen? Or, it may simply be an attitude problem. Equally, a lack of skills may be a cause; it’s amazing that we spend so much time teaching kids to speak, yet never to listen!
You might be wondering whether this recruitment blog post is aimed at those being interviewed or the people conducting such interviews. The answer is both. Let’s look first at some of the barriers to effective listening.
What gets in the way of serious listening?
There are two keys areas here: environment and attitude. The first should be dealt with quite easily. When effective online recruitment processes deliver candidates for a face-to-face interview, it should be held in a private place – sight and sound – with no interruptions. Sight is included here because a location where the outside can be seen, and can be seen into, easily distracts as much as any noise factors.
Moving on to attitude, the question could easily be: ‘Where do we begin?’ From the interviewer who doesn’t really want to be undertaking the role, to the individual who is simply seeking answers that confirm their beliefs, feelings or even prejudices, it’s an extremely large ball-park! For the interviewee, often nerves play a part, or an eagerness to be heard making what they consider to be the ‘right’ noises.
Each party to a recruitment interview should have a positive attitude to it, they should appreciate exactly what they want to achieve from it. A joint intent, if you like, is to achieve ‘matching’ – where a candidate for a position fits the bill, and that person sees the organisation as one they are keen to work for. Such an intent places clear responsibilities on both sets of shoulders.
Let’s sweat the small stuff
So far, we have focused on the bigger interview picture, its objectives and processes. Yet, as it progresses, interview listening is equally about recognising the smaller signals that are offered. It’s also worth remembering here that you should listen with your eyes just as much as your ears. Matching the attitude and behaviour to the actual words allows signals to be identified and acted upon.
Using these skills, you can start to identify ‘sort of’ answers – ones that obviously don’t tell the full picture. Here are some examples of phrases that highlight this: ‘I don’t usually…’ ‘Most times I would…’ ‘Well, it’s not normal for us to…’ and even ‘Well, I prefer to…’ If you were a police officer interviewing a suspect, these answers would be the dodgy alibi that needs to be fully checked! In interview situations, this doesn’t mean that people are being obtuse or deliberately misleading; it simply means that there is more of a story still to be told about this area or subject.
A complete post about listening skills in recruitment interview situations could probably be of Old Testament length. This one should help you to set an effective environment to enable listening, and also to be that little bit more aware of what is said – and may not be.
Don’t tell anyone that we told you, but recruitment is pretty scary. And we aren’t talking about your candidates’ sweaty palms before an interview. Whether it’s the responsibility of HR, in-house recruitment teams or your partner agency, the whole process is challenging from start to finish. Because it is important to get it right.
And, when it goes wrong, it can go spectacularly wrong.
We have been looking at the biggest factors that can send your recruitment campaign spiralling out of control, and how you can manage them. Because, when it comes to getting it right, we know how to keep those recruitment demons at bay…
1. Too few candidates.
Here’s one that’s bound to get your heart racing. Is it me? Is it us? Was it something I said?
You put your job ad out with all the confidence in the world but nobody is ‘swiping right’ on your company. Gutted. Here’s where your arsenal of online recruitment tools come in. One of the biggest factors in recruiting the wrong person is that there simply wasn’t enough choice in the first place. So, cast your net wide but still set your campaign out in a targeted way from the start. Use our Campaign Builder to make sure you are communicating the right message to the right person at the right time. And then you can feel safe in the knowledge that your decision is an informed one, and not about picking the best of a bad bunch. That kind of relationship is never going to last.
2. Too many cooks.
Having everyone involved in every stage of the recruitment process may feel like the right way to go about things. And it would be, if everyone could agree about everyone they met. But too many subjective opinions too early on can confuse matters and send your tightly planned campaign way off track. Our advice? Ask yourself some precise questions and stick to them: who really counts in this process and at what stage? As specialists in the online recruitment process we can guide you through the entire process, vetting and filtering candidates as we go, so your team can work on a far more productive ‘need to know’ basis, saving everyone a lot of potential arguments. For us, it starts with getting under the skin of your existing company structure, so we ask the important questions first, saving you time and money in the long run.
3. References? What references?
The best of the best recruiters do not see references as a final ‘sign off’, they uncover and use information they get from referees to inform their decision. Too often recruitment processes play ‘tick box’ with this most useful and informative part of the process. That’s why we spend time investigating references and, crucially, asking the right questions. Because, if anyone knows, it’s the previous employers. And it’s not just about finding out whether your candidate was forthcoming on the brew round (although, obviously, that’s going to be part of it…)
4. Say what you want…
It might be crystal clear to you, but is that job description really worded correctly for the type of people you want to attract? Whether it is a new or existing role, taking the time to get all the information down in a structured and thought out way could be the difference between your dream candidate picking up the phone, or not. And, trust us, there’s a skill to it. Start by being as open as possible. The recruitment process should not be the test, leave that to the interview. Lay it all on the line and be transparent. The right candidates will thank you for it.
5. Past experience vs. future potential
How you analyse applicants based on their experience or what they could bring to your business can feel like a bit of a tightrope. Pay more for the old dog who may be reluctant to learn new tricks or invest in the young pup who hasn’t been tried and tested? This comes down to the person and there can be no hard and fast rules. Just go in with your eyes open and remember, if it feels right, it probably is.
For every job role, every business and every candidate the recruitment process can feel like a minefield. And mistakes can be costly. At Net Recruit our approach is built upon understanding your business and the potential pitfalls from the start. Then we create a campaign that helps you minimise the scary bits to ensure you arrive at the best results. So, stop hiding under the duvet. Let’s beat the recruitment monsters together.
Find out more by following us on twitter or checking out our easy to use Campaign Builder.
There’s no getting around it, meetings are a necessary evil.
At one point or another we are all going to have to sit down around a table with our colleagues and talk shop. But the meeting for meeting’s sake has got to be one of the biggest drains on a business’ productivity. Far from information sharing, decision making, ideas development or planning, all too often meetings can become drawn out and unproductive. Not only is this frustrating, it can cost your business money.
So, if you look at your schedule on a Monday morning and wonder how on earth you’re ever going to get any actual work done, check out our top tips for making your meetings more productive.
1. Set an agenda
Make sure you know exactly what you need to achieve, and that everyone is briefed well in advance. If one person takes responsibility for the agenda, keeps it on track and stops the tangential rambling you are far more likely to realise the meeting objectives. Set a limit for each section, leaving time for questions. And be strict. Skipping an item on the agenda is fine, adding to it is not.
2. Implement the ‘two pizza’ rule.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos developed the ‘two pizza’ strategy for successful meetings. If you can’t feed a meeting on two pizzas you have too many people in the room. Unless you have one particularly greedy person, in which case you might need to order dough balls.
3. Abolish the Monday meeting
If the reason for the meeting is little more than ‘it’s Monday!’ the meeting itself makes little sense. The problem with most small businesses is that it is these ‘posting’ meetings that become ingrained into a company’s culture, adding little tangible value. Especially against a backdrop of the post-weekend inflated inbox. Get rid of the meeting. And get on with some work.
4. Stand and deliver
Stand-up meetings tend to be quicker and more productive. Melissa Dahl of New York Magazine recently found that stand-ups can reduce meeting times by 34%. Standing up tends to eliminate distractions, but can also work to empower each speaker. When standing you naturally command more attention and can be more expressive. Also, you just want to sit down. So it’s over quicker. You lazy bunch.
5. Enjoy a change of scene.
Richard Branson likes to hold his meetings in “innovative spaces”. Unless your business has its own version of Necker Island this may not always be possible. But you could leave your desk and head to a local park. See also Nilofer Merchant’s TED talk on walking meetings. As Branson says: “a change of scenery and a bit of fun does wonders for getting people thinking differently and loosening up!” And he’s done alright for himself.
6. Tweet to meet
In ‘Drinking From the Fire Hose’ Christopher Frank, Vice President of American Express, suggests a twitter-hack for defining business objectives. If every person cannot define their meeting objectives in 140 characters then they simply don’t know why they are there. And that should raise some alarm bells.
It is tough to implement any kind of internal or cultural change in a business. But redefining your meeting rules and protocols can have a real impact on productivity and morale. So, consider the next time you are sat around the boardroom whether you need to be there and what you are really going to achieve out of it. And make sure you order that pizza.
Got to go. Got a meeting.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could read the mind of your interviewer?
Until we learn how to do that, being prepared with some of the most commonly asked questions can really set you up for a killer interview. Whilst we don’t recommend a ‘canned’ response to questioning, knowing what could be asked and what you will say will help you feel more confident, and stop you being caught off guard.
These are some of the topics you are more than likely to be quizzed on in job interviews, and how you could respond.
1. What do you know about the company?
This is not an opportunity to demonstrate how good you are at memorising the ‘About’ page on their website. Instead, demonstrate an understanding of the company goals, and how they align with your own. By showing that you understand and appreciate the vision of the business you are already fitting in with their culture, ambition and values. Hiring you should be a no-brainer.
2. Why should we hire you?
Don’t be shy! If you are asked this question you are in luck. It gives you the ultimate springboard to sell yourself, and that is exactly what an interview is all about. You can do the job, you can deliver great results and you can be part of the fabric of the business. This is your chance, don’t waste it.
3. What is your greatest weakness?
Aaaah! The dreaded question! Do you reel of a list of personal afflictions and remain humble or say you’re perfect and high five them on the way out? Finding the middle ground with this question is key. Be prepared with something you are working on. Like: “I have found public speaking challenging in the past but my recent role requires team management and I am finding new ways to develop this skill.” Hired.
4. What are you looking for in a new job?
Read the job specification. And then read it back to them.
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
Bit of advice: get a life. Telling them you like to go out and get pissed every Saturday night is not going to cut it. Think about what makes you tick, and do your research. If you’re fortunate enough to know who is interviewing you before you walk in the room you might find you have something in common. Love camping or languages or maybe you studied art in college? Consider this a first date and be interesting. It’s not just your work ethic they are interested in.
Most of all, have faith in your abilities. They want to meet you so you’re already in the game. It’s up to you to close it down.
Plus, you probably have never been in situation as bad as some of these terrible interviews, check them out here or contact us to find out how to nail the perfect interview.
When an interview goes badly you just know it.
From cringey to awkward to downright hostile we’ve all been locked in a room before that we just can’t wait to escape from. Hopefully you’ve never been in a situation as bad as some of these though. Take comfort in the fact that there is always someone who has messed it up worse than you.
Here are 5 things you should never do in an interview. And yes, they all actually happened. Get ready to hide behind the sofa.
1. Taking a call.
We don’t care if your mum needs you to pick up milk on the way home or if your wife is going into labour. Interviewers see nothing ruder than you picking up the phone halfway through a question. Turn it off and focus on the task in hand. If you’ve got somewhere more important to be then be there instead.
2. Nicknames aren’t cool.
“Hi, I’m Dave but my friends call me Dave The Rave”. Having a personality is cool, having a nickname is not. You are not there to make friends. You may get some smiles in the room but you won’t get the job. Be professional and wait until you’re hired to show your true colours. I’m sure they will give you a new nickname in no time, you party animal you…
3. Don’t cry about it.
If you’re asked a tough question or feel under pressure, for god’s sake, hold it together. Your interviewee is not your therapist. Take a deep breath and open a bottle of wine when you get home. If you break in the interview you’ll never cope in the office. And no matter how nice they are about it, if you start to cry you’ve lost the job. Be strong. It’s not going as badly as you think.
4. Know what you want.
If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. Cheesy but true. Don’t get the business confused with the competitors you’re interviewing with tomorrow. Don’t act like this meeting has come around unannounced and seriously, don’t forget your interviewer’s name. Being able to demonstrate your planning skills also shows you have passion for the role. Be clear that you are entering this meeting with one objective, to win that dream job.
5. Don’t go over the top.
Have an understanding of the expectations of the interview. You might be able to pull off a killer musical theatre act, but now is not the time to showcase those skills. And yes, we have heard of candidates putting on a performance for their interviewers. Cringe.
The best advice we can give you is to be prepared. You can check out our top tips for planning question responses here. In the meantime, remember the more prepped you are the less likely you are to find yourself in one of these awkward situations.
If you would like to have a chat with your recruitment team on interviews planning, get in touch. Although the musical theatre thing, that was one of ours. Just a warning.
Why A Great Cover Letter Is As Important As A Great CV.
You’ve spent ages on your CV, poring over it again and again to make sure that it contains all of the information vital for your perfect job, so why ruin your chances of taking the position you dream of by making the Cover Letter nothing more than an afterthought?
If you think that the CV is there to do the hard work and the Cover Letter will act as a simple, polite, introduction then you couldn’t be more wrong.
In today’s extremely competitive job market, employers don’t have to waste time on those who are just going to state the obvious and not use an opportunity to highlight their skills and strengths.
It is imperative that your Cover Letter and CV should work in tandem and complement each other, the Cover Letter drawing attention to the skills which are relevant to the job and the CV expanding on them. Writing the two in isolation will mean they have little bearing on each other which will give a disjointed feel to the recruiter reading them.
Your Cover Letter shouldn’t be so long that you repeat the contents of your CV, thus making it redundant, but it should at least set out the basics in order for your CV to detail your key attributes and your suitability for the vacancy.
From your covering letter, the employer wants to know:
Who you are and what job you want
Begin with a clear indication of the job you’re applying for and where you heard about it. If you have the name of a direct contact or referral, this is the place to mention it. Dropping a familiar name is going to be an effective way of catching someone’s eye.
What relevant skills you have and how you’ll apply them
In paragraph two you should outline key aspects of the job and make direct comparisons with skills and experience you have.
That you really understand what’s required of you
Ensure you focus on the most important aspects of the role and make sure you relate them directly to recent and relevant experience. Remember, though this is your individual application for the job, do not attempt to write an application letter directly from the job advert.
If you have any additional skills over and above the job advert
In the next paragraph add any supporting information you feel is necessary, such as applied aspects of the role or what additional skills you can bring over and above the job specification.
Have a positive and professional attitude
Ensure your tone is confident and positive but don’t overdo it otherwise you may come across as arrogant or pushy. Remember you’re trying to get an interview, so you want to come across as a personable individual.
Have taken time to get to know their business
Try to find out the name of the person responsible for recruiting the role and some key company information can also show that you’ve done your homework.
Are concise, business like and to the point
Make sure your cover letter does not exceed one page. It should really only be about four or five paragraphs. It should also be in the same font and the same point size as your CV.
That you really, really want this job
Finally, you should sum up. Reaffirm you interest in the role, the company and the challenges ahead. Thank the recruiter for taking the time to consider your application.
Remember then to sign off “yours sincerely” opposed to “yours faithfully”.
There has been a recent trend in recruiters harnessing the power of video interviews to assess future candidates.
The benefits of video interviewing are obvious, that said it’s important that both recruiters and candidates understand how their body language, tone of voice and word choice effect their overall perception. You may have the gleaming C.V. but you may be sabotaging your video interview without even realising it.
Fear not though, as the kind folks at PGi/iMeet have compiled a great infographic which aims to assist both sides of the interview table get to grips with the rising importance of video interviews and how to make sure you utilise them.
Heres a quick summary of the most common body language traits
- Head nodding
- Maintaining eye contact
- Genuine smiling
- Leaning forward
- A furrowed brow
- Lack of eye contact
- Leaning back
Have you booked your FREE ticket for the Recruitment Agency Expo at the NEC in Birmingham yet?
The event is a great opportunity for you to attend 14 free Recruiter Training Sessions and 28 free seminars from leading experts in the recruitment industry. If you are in the recruitment business, this is the place to be!
Meet with top industry suppliers, discover new innovate products and services, whilst getting the chance to meet with your industry colleagues.
- Over 100 exhibitors
- FREE Seminars covering the hottest topics in the industry
- Host of exhibitor presentations & demonstrations
- Learn about the latest developments in the sector
- Stay ahead of your competition; learn about the latest innovations in the recruitment industry and new technology to help your business to become more profitable
- 2nd October 2013: 10:00 – 17:30
- 3rd October 2013: 10:00 – 16:30
National Exhibition Centre
Find out more about the event