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Undoubtedly, deciding to make the leap into a new role is a huge personal decision.
Determining whether it is time to leave your current job can be an unsettling thought for many. Moreover, the impact of 2020 cannot be understated, with over a quarter of all jobs in the UK placed on furlough.
However, as many in the aviation industry swapped skies for supermarket shelves, the Tech industry boomed. The vast demand for online software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Social Media and Google Hangouts has resulted in huge growth forecasts. The market is set to leap from $131 billion dollars to $295 billion dollars within the next five years.
Whilst its bleak effects within retail and hospitality sectors continue to reverberate, 2020 has also paved the way for a huge expansion in personal development. A recent article by the BBC stated that “lockdown might have turbo-charged a phenomenon known as ‘The Michelangelo Effect’” - the idea that we are more likely to develop into the kind of person we want to be.
Director of the Personality Change Lab at the University of California Davis, Dr. Wiebke Bleidorn, also detailed that self exploration during lockdown “may lead to increases in ‘self-concept clarity’, people have coherent beliefs about themselves and their goals in life. Therefore, deciding if it is the right time to leave your job is a more prominent question than ever.
The general market has been reflected in recruitment, with a layer of emotion of ‘should I, shouldn't I’ move into a new recruitment role.
In the UK, recent insights from LinkedIn’s career experts showed that as a direct result of Covid-19, internal mobility has increased by 20%. Opportunities for growth within successful companies are extremely exciting as their focus turns towards Learning and Development - how they can help employees fill their qualification gaps.
This is where our approach towards Rec to Rec resourcing can be a vital asset to you. Our relationships with both clients and candidates are different from our competitors. We understand the value and impact of mental health in the workplace, and are constantly looking at how people are treated in their positions, pre and post covid,
We seek to introduce longevity into the staffing market. Without a doubt, the UK Recruitment Industry has a poor reputation with high rates of staff turnover. Our aim is to challenge and change this with a holistic approach to staffing. As fellow recruiters will agree, placing a candidate into a career is much more rewarding than filling vacancies.
To us, your happiness comes first. We want you to make the most of your career and will always advocate for you to be in the right position for you.
Many people have reassessed post the pandemic and are beginning to place a different set of values on themselves, including and not limited to their career choices.
Covid has brought a wave of revelation, with the loss of what we knew as normal, it is completely reasonable to want more from your current position. As COVID thaws, people are looking to move again.
When looking to move roles and weighing up your options, you should ask yourself the following…
“Are you good at what you do?”
If yes, then you’re in a great position to move. If you’re good at what you do then your skills are marketable, no matter what’s going on in the market, or even the world.
If you are in the top 10-20% of performers in your office and you are considering moving roles, then we would encourage you to go for it.
Employers of recruitment consultants will be looking for individuals who have a track record of success and thrive in an environment with minimal supervision. They are also aware that COVID has impacted results, with many people having not met targets set pre-pandemic. When you go to interview, showcase your last 3 years and don’t be afraid to speak about your results, a good employer will be more than aware and will take everything into consideration.
For example, in Canada, as the pandemic caused non-essential businesses to grind to a sudden halt, huge corporations are now desperately seeking Sales Executives, Recruitment Consultants and Account Managers to pull them out of recession. Salespeople who are able to strike the balance between sensitivity in a crisis and driving sales upwards are high in demand; so too are the recruitment specialists that source such individuals.
We are strong believers in self-reflection. What do you want to achieve in your career? What is your main motivation? From this, you should be able to highlight whether your desire is coming from short term or long term.
Could it be that you’re not enjoying a particular project? How long does this project last? Would you still job search if you were no longer working on this project? No? Maybe it isn't the right time to move jobs.
By contrast, perhaps you thought your role would be different, or that you would spend more time on a particular area that you enjoy. If so, this is a valid reason to seek development opportunities.
A really relevant topic to consider is how your employer reacted to COVID. The global pandemic lifted the lid on many employers, and when put under pressure, did they choose to look after themselves or their people?
It has provided an unexpected microscope to reassess employers and how they treat their employees. Did they offer you support and how did they deal with it as a whole?
If you were treated well, are you looking to stay in your role due to a feeling of loyalty or repayment? Had you felt frustrated in your role before the pandemic, but have chosen to stay still because it is comfortable?
Make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions and don’t be afraid of change.
A common red flag amongst job-debaters is boredom. According to a recent UDemy study, 43% of workers admitted to being bored at work. Indeed, this can cause members of staff to feel unchallenged or, that their skills and knowledge are not being utilised enough.
Why is this an issue? Many psychologists believe that feelings associated with boredom at work can often have knock-on effects towards a person's mental health, home life and overall well being. Certainly, boredom is a red flag you should not ignore.
Your value is what you bring into a company. When you progress in your role, and move up to management, the less you may be making.
Is your management working for you, or even are you managing others to your full potential?
It is not unusual for people who are good producers, to not necessarily be good managers. Progression doesn’t always have to be management of people. The skill sets don’t always match, and you may find you much prefer being an individual contributor and would rather be active as a recruitment consultant than as a team manager. There is no wrong path, but you may need to move recruitment firms to give yourself the opportunities you need to challenge yourself.
When looking to choose a Rec to Rec agency to work with, do your research.
In the UK there are lots of Rec to Rec agencies to choose from, some which are very good and some which give the industry a less than favourable reputation.
Referrals are a good starting point which will give you a non biased or clearer view. Ask people you may know, or reach out to contacts on networking platforms such as Linkedin and ask for their personal experience. How was their placement, how have they found their progression and are there many opportunities?
Glassdoor and google reviews will also help you build a picture of the firm and how they work. It may even hint towards their values and if it’s the right recruiter for you.
But also be careful not to judge a book by its cover. Use your intuition and form your own path. There is nothing stronger than gut instinct.
Numerous articles within the recruitment sector will detail 5 top tips to help you determine such a pivotal decision. Often, this can include a list of positives and negatives. Here at Raymond George, we advise that you delve deeper than that.
Take it further than your standard list of pros and cons. What do you want to achieve in your career? Will your current job help you to achieve that? We strongly suggest that you should ask any potential employer the following:
Professional development is no longer a back-burner for successful businesses. In order for prospective employers to attract the best talent, they must compete.
Many recruitment businesses are now investing huge amounts into spacious, ‘friendly’ workplaces, containing breakout rooms and game spaces for colleagues to strike that crucial balance between work and play.
You should also look at them as a business and how they have reacted to external influences. When you apply this line of thought to 2020 and the global pandemic, we would again suggest you ask the following:
You should feel encouraged and empowered to ask topical questions, and the hard questions. It is ok to ask, if anything it should be crucial to ask - and an employer who doesn't feel comfortable responding is an immediate red flag.
The market is definitely still moving. Businesses are hiring a lot of people to take advantage of the current market pre “final recovery”. Normality and balance is restoring and there is less uncertainty, giving rise to plenty of opportunities.
At RGC we’re not just concerned with filling vacancies or providing job offers. Instead, we focus our time and energy exploring whether moving jobs is the best option for you.
Have you seen the film? If not, it's the story of a social studies teacher who gives an assignment to his junior high school class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. When one young student creates a plan for "paying forward" favors, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, has blossomed into a profound national phenomenon.
Here are some ways how we as recruitment professionals can practice human kindness alongside running a business:
There are hundreds of ways we can impact lives around us when we communicate with so many on a daily basis.
If you haven't seen the film give it a go!
Having a personal brand is not solely for entrepreneurs or CEOs on keynote panels anymore - it’s for anyone working in recruitment that works in a vertical sector or indeed any professional industry thanks to a little thing we like to call the internet. Whether you meet someone at a client visit, networking event or even just through friends, likely the first thing they will do is look you up online to see what you’re about.
By curating your online brand with intent, it can distinguish you from the masses while ensuring that you are marketing yourself to the highest standard, which, will inevitably create MORE opportunities for yourself. This will in turn mean more opportunities for your candidates, more value to add to your clients and more opportunity to be recommended.
Consider Yourself As a Brand
If I were to say Apple or Coca Cola, it is very easy to conjure up adjectives on what these brands stand for. Apple has built its brand around counterculture, youthfulness and creativity and Coca Cola has become a household name with any number of positive attributes. What do you want your brand to say about you? If someone in your business network were to recommend you to another person, whether it was a potential candidate or client, how would you want them to describe you? Standing out as an expert on a particular topic can be beneficial to your personal brand so be sure to put yourself out there as a thought leader. Just be sure that whatever knowledge you are offering is coming from a place of authenticity and with the intent of helping other people. That alone will magnetize curiosity and industry respect.
Share With Purpose
With LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the many other social networks we keep up with there can be a pressure to get involved in conversations and share something for the sake of visibility online. It’s important to remember that quality reigns over quantity. When it comes to your online brand, you want to be aware that with every Like, Share and Retweet you are marketing your personal brand and endorsing others. Focus your content choices around a purpose instead of mindlessly sharing articles. Endorse others in your network if they share something great and build on their ideas to create a forum of discussion that is beyond the idle chatter on the internet. Aim for impact to both your network and your business.
Google your name. Do you like what you see? If you are buried within other results with people who share the same name, you need to get to work quickly. You can engage an SEO service or even add a middle name so that you are unique. Signing up for a Google+ account alone will increase your ranking, especially if it is filled out fully including links to other profiles and professionally relevant search words. You will also want to search for any feedback that has been posted online about you so that you are well aware of your online reputation and remedy / promote it accordingly. By showing that you rank highly in a Google search shows that you are savvy and competent which means good things for your personal brand online and offline.
By taking your personal brand into your own hands online you will feel more confident about your business, your reputation and it is our sincere hope that it attracts many new opportunities as well!
If you are thinking of a change of job and how to make that change, as recruiting professionals your instinct may be to conduct your own job hunt. However there are some great reasons to work with a recruitment to recruitment firm - after all we are specialised in the market and have a deep knowledge base that is invaluable to the recruitment industry. So your preconceptions might deserve a second look - and here are some thoughts to ponder on…..
Preconception: I know the places I should be applying
We all know the usual suspect firms that are perpetually hiring and it can be tempting to make this your first stop when hunting for a new workplace. They have a rolling list of vacancies and will reply expediently when they are interested in your profile. These are also the firms that will poach you directly; which means you don’t have to do much heavy lifting to get your foot in the door.
Reality: Equally desirable/if not more desirable boutique agencies often fly low on the radar
Big corporate firms aren’t always the answer. While the pay and large corporate benefits can be magnetizing there can be advantages to some of the smaller boutiques that you might not have considered. As specialist recruiters to recruiters, we will have a better understanding of the niches and nuances of the smaller firm. Hey, it’s not your fault that you haven’t heard of them! They often spend less on marketing so they can offer their employees optimal working conditions.
Preconception: I have heaps of connections that I can tap into on my own
We are in the business of networking with recruitment firms so our prized possession is our LinkedIn network or cloud-based rolodex kept handy for placing candidates. We often hear about opportunities that are not advertised and/or exclusive to us. In order to really have visibility of what the opportunities are, talk to us, to hear what could be on offer!
Reality: Matching ourselves to a client doesn’t always go as we planned
Having an in depth understanding of each clients business strategy gives a recruitment to recruitment firm the opportunity to plan with them for future hires. A strong client relationship will mean that a deep understanding is fostered and a partnership approach to achieve their hiring and growth goals. Some of the roles and strategies that we work together on include offering equity to candidates!
Engaging a recruiter means that they can qualify the potential fit using insightful systems that aren’t invasive or overly revealing. If you would still prefer to rely on your connection to a firm, you can often negotiate with your agent about any pre-existing relationships in advance.
Preconception: Recruiters aren’t trustworthy
Correction BAD recruiters aren’t trustworthy and only care about their fee. We’ve all come across a recruiter who gives the rest of us a bad rap. Maybe we should have pre-empted this blog with the distinction that who you select to represent your professional goals should be well regarded by peers and clients. Not all recruiters are created equally but don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.
Reality: Data has become a highly sensitive topic; one that most firms are taking very seriously to ensure your search is safe
The right recruiter can offer a professional service that is both valuable and well intentioned. With recent discussion and concern around candidate privacy and the ethics of sharing data, this could make this era one of the safest times to engage a third party firm.
Preconception: It’s a waste of time
We are busy people and we get that time is money, honey! Setting up a scheduled appointment with a person who can’t technically guarantee you anything, goes against recruiter instincts. We tend to prefer return on our investment and if we’re going to schmooze over brunch or a coffee, it can seem best with a candidate or client.
Reality: It can be a time saver when you’re trying to run your day-to-day desk
That same busyness can be the cause for slip-ups when you’re running a job search and a busy desk. By placing your search in the good and able hands of a professional recruitment recruiter that you trust, you ease this risk and gain more time to focus on filling roles at your current firm.
These points are simply a starting point meant to give you something to consider the next time you are presented with the opportunity to work with a recruiter. Even as a passive candidate, we hope that you will challenge any preconceived notions about the value of recruiters for recruiters.
In the business of recruitment to recruitment, we want the very best recruiters bar none. When procuring your next hire it can seem only logical to begin your search by eliminating candidates that don't have recruitment experience or those candidates that don’t have exposure to your sector. The idea being that a square peg would really fit best in a square hole, it’s practically science! Or is it…
Here are 5 reasons to reconsider that impulse to ditch the ‘alternative’ candidates in your pile:
Bringing on a new hire from an a different industry that has solid transferable skills OR a recruitment pro from an alternative sector means that the job or the different sector is all new to them. As an employer you might think that sounds like a bad thing, especially when it comes time to train them.
The truth is that being excited about a new role or sector and applying skills that you have already to a different type of job in recruitment means that in most cases candidates possess an open-minded nature that will create engagement on a totally different level. Having that open mind, adaptability and a zeal from “fresh” candidates is priceless.
Hiring a candidate that appears to be a blank slate may seem like an onerous undertaking when it comes to ramping them up. If you are able to get past this preconceived notion you can see this hire as a blank canvas - one which you can customise and design to your liking. Think of all of the companies that hire new grads for this reason! It is your opportunity to start from scratch. Candidates that come with the sector background OR have worked in the recruitment industry for years and years, often also can come with baggage.
We promised we wouldn’t say it unless absolutely necessary. Those words that makes us all cringe: ‘restrictive covenants.’ Hiring from within recruitment/your sector means you are likely and immediately blocking off access to this candidates network - possibly for up to a year.
So you might have a well-seasoned candidate but they still need a fresh list of prospects - kind of seems like more work in some ways, doesn’t it? Hiring a candidate from an entirely different background can mean unusual inroads at some of the most coveted clients without having to worry about legalities. It also means that they won’t come with the bad habits of another firm or bias of candidates within your sector and that alone, is worth its weight in gold.
A person doesn’t normally ditch years of specialised experience unless they are serious about making a change in career long-term. If you are lucky enough to hire a fully trainable, capable recruiter who wants to make the switch and be mentored, you will have loyalty and the long-term attitude to match. Their network will be built from ground zero and you as their new employer, will be their hero for giving them that chance.
New Direction, Fresh Perspective
Tips and tricks are quite transferable in recruitment - by hiring someone that doesn’t necessarily tick all the boxes when it comes to exposure may open the door to new ways of approaching recruitment riddles from a high level. Fresh eyes, fresh perspectives can mean fresh new and shiny business.
What’s the risk, really?
When considering all of these benefits to hiring outside of our industry or your sector the positives seem to outweigh the negatives. There is always the risk of a bad hire, even when you think you’ve uncovered that hidden gem that ticks all the boxes and presents like a dream.
By taking a leap of faith, you might just uncover your next rockstar leader, one that you can train from within and mould to your liking. If you hire for attitude and cross reference for reputation, it is our belief that the rest of the nuanced skills and success will follow.
When you’re working full-time, every moment of personal time is treasured so we can understand if the last thing on earth you feel like focusing on after work, is looking for work.
We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you integrate your search discretely so as to avoid compromising your integrity (or your sanity) while you job hunt proactively.
DO make sure LinkedIn is polished and updated regularly
In our business, LinkedIn is often the first stop for employers when scoping out potential candidates. If your LinkedIn is out of date, drab, or sparse looking it doesn’t send the best message. Nowadays you can customise with a vibrant header, publish blog pieces for free and link to your social outlets so that it acts as an all encompassing billboard of YOU, not just the places you ran a desk once. Be aware that while you are updating, that you aren’t notifying your network (read: boss) as it could raise a red flag. A simple change in the notification settings will prevent any unnecessary alerts.
DON’T be tempted to use your work computer or email
Be sure to use technology to your advantage by setting up email notifications for jobs that match your skill sets. You can set this up as a daily or weekly digest with websites like Indeed or LinkedIn. Avoid checking on your work computer as a best practice and don’t use your work email, even if it seems unlikely, big brother is (probably, maybe?) watching.
DO emphasize discretion in all of your discussions/applications
This seems like a no-brainer but is of the utmost importance. State from your very first point of contact that your application is confidential so there can be no mistake. When dealing with a recruiter, ensure you understand who the client is and always give your permission for your C.V. to be submitted prior to it happening! If you lose control on where your details are going, your confidential search very quickly loses all confidentiality. Don’t provide references of those whom you currently work with as it could backfire. Make sure everyone from your friends to your prospects are on the same page with the level of discretion required for your peace of mind and protection.
DON’T tell anyone at work that you are looking
It’s tempting to commiserate with your coworkers or let it slip to your best work pal when you have an exciting lead but it’s really not worth the risk. Take all that energy and instead spend it networking with people outside of your office. You can put feelers out and accept business cards in a savvy manner without overtly expressing your desire to leave your current position. A little allure is good.
DO keep interviews off hours and off-site
Potentially the most challenging part of job hunting while employed is coordinating interviews that don’t infringe on your productivity or privacy. Even if you have your own office, take any calls or interviews during off hours and away from the office. You may be distracted or nervous to take the call which could really hamper a good first impression. Choose an environment where you are most comfortable and give yourself plenty of time at the start and finish to prepare and process the call.
DON’T wait until you have completely checked out to start looking
Waiting too long in an unhappy work situation could tempt you to take liberties at work and/or come across less than dazzling (read: desperate) with new prospects. Jumping out of the frying pan from your current role into the fire of your next role, due to pressure of leaving often means a very ‘short term’ move. A good rule of thumb is to appear curious and open to new and all opportunities, even when you’re happily employed. You might be surprised at the opportunities that come your way just by keeping an open mind.
DO be prepared to answer your manager if confronted about your search
Even if you have done everything in your power to cover your tracks, you must always assume a margin for error. Be prepared to face the conversation head on with your Manager or Team Lead if they confront you about your job search. Remember, honesty is often the best policy but diplomacy can ensure you don’t alienate your former employer.
There is no downside to keeping your finger on the pulse and staying open to opportunities, in fact, our industry demands it! The important thing is to act with integrity as your professional reputation is worth its weight in gold.
We all have good and bad days in our jobs and thinking of a change or a move to a new role or company can be a daunting, however also an alluring option. The grass often seems greener and depending on just how regularly you have bad days will likely be the telling factor on whether you press “return” on that apply button.
Here are 6 things to consider when thinking about changing jobs:
Stress isn’t healthy. If you are struggling to keep it together at work and your health is suffering, a job switch may seem like the only remedy. However, think about what is causing your stress and ensure that you don’t replicate what you are leaving for an identical set of issues at a new organisation or job.
Finances and personal cash flow is a major consideration when thinking about changing jobs in recruitment. Such a significant part of our incomes are based on commissions or bonuses you need to consider planning your exit based on due commissions as well as your regular salary.
But before we even get to seeing what’s out there in terms of a new opportunity if it’s just about money and your desire or need to earn more, then talk to your boss before dipping your toe in to the job searching market. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain, by being upfront and honest about your salary requirements. They can only say yes, no or maybe :o)
When thinking about new opportunities or whether to take an offer, you must have a clear understanding of what a new bonus plan looks like and what the goals are in order to achieve a healthy increase in your overall package.
Carefully evaluate your finances and whether you can afford to take some time to ramp up in a new role, consider average time to fill stats that a new employer will be able to share along with notice periods and bonuses pay out dates after candidate start dates.
Be warned you should also ask about their credit policy and how any bonus may be clawed back from your pay cheque before you pull the plug on your bankroll and a scheme that you understand although may not be to your ultimate liking.
Company vs. Role
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! If you like your colleagues and believe in the company mission, it’s worth it to consider carving out a new opportunity for yourself at your current company. If you have been working for the company steadily for some time, you should know the business and therefore you are valuable. Come to the table with a role that solves a problem, generates revenue and any good boss will at least hear you out. This might take more effort than typing out your letter of resignation but could ultimately lead to your dream job.
Is It Burnout?
Are you experiencing physical and emotional exhaustion, detachment, apathy or feelings of ineffectiveness? These are symptoms of burnout and could be remedied by hiring a professional coach, taking up a professionally unrelated hobby or actually taking regular breaks and holidays. By having a more balanced approach to your work, you may be able to reclaim your love for the work that you are doing.
It is paramount to evaluate your future prospects before making any moves. Make a list of those in your network who would be willing to help you or introduce you to new opportunities and get the ball rolling well in advance. Be honest with yourself about your value in the marketplace, get some advice from professionals and make sure you have your personal billings ready to hand as it’s one of the first questions a new recruitment organisation will want to know. Clarity here and a yardstick on what is considered good, bad or great in the market place will help you negotiate your salary and other elements of a new role that might be important to you.
Can I Live with the Worst Case Scenario?
Paint the picture of the worst case scenario for both staying at your current position and leaving. Whatever it is for you, think it through and decide which side of the coin seems less daunting.
Without a crystal ball it can be quite difficult to know what to do when feeling stunted at work. It’s a good practice to consider these key factors before a major move and it is our hope that it leads you to the best possible path.
Is your office location limiting the expansion of your team of recruiters?
Run out of desk space and still need to increase heads?
These are some of the challenges recruitment agencies I have been working with have come up against and so have decided to recruit a Work From Home (WFH), remote team of billers. Raymond George Consultancy employ 7 staff who all WFH, we have a 'virtual office' so to speak. This puts us in a unique position to be comfortable discussing how it works for us to our clients and also, with potential candidates, offering advice where we can. This model won't suit everyone, but could be a positive solution for many.
So the decision might seem like a bold one to many who have not considered the full implications of this change but for those recruitment agency owners who are brave enough to peek outside of the norm, then there are lots of benefits to be had.
Increased staff productivity being the most obvious one; a lack of commute means there is a better use of time and with limited interruptions from co-workers, lots more work can be done. But this model will not suit everyone, even though lots of people want to work from home. Unfortunately, for some, self discipline is not everyone's strength, so as always, make sure you chose your WFH staff well.
But before we go any further, the big question you will need to ask yourself is: Am I going to be able to TRUST my staff? Managing a workforce who work from home is very different to offering your staff FLEXIBLE WORKING options. WFH is a permanent set up whereby your Recruiters are working from their homes, using a laptop, shredder (don't forget the GDPR implications!) and mobile phone which you have supplied.
Considerations need to me made regarding your existing team of office workers (if you have them) and the implications of having a new team forming part of the company who are all working from home and not visible. How will these WFH staff be line-managed? How often are you planning on catching up and will this be over the phone, Skype or face to face once a week/month/quarter? How do you ensure they still get the 'team' feel and interaction?
Technology is a key factor to consider before making the move to a WFH team. Are you using cloud based technology already? What are the costs in setting this up? Are their added technology security concerns? Is your business mainly UK-based or overseas? Do you need to implement new phone lines?
The WFH model will only work if you employ well matched candidates. As an employer you will need to explore the reasons a candidate wants to work from home and whether these are the right reasons for you. The pool of recruiters you will be able to draw from will of course increase. It's likely that you will want to hire an experienced recruiter (as a trainee will need to be amongst others certainly to begin with in order to learn) and if you hire a senior, the model you offer may differ from the one you have in place for your existing office based workers. Experienced staff want to be self-managed, are not KPI-driven and more than likely are not looking for weekly reviews and bucket loads of coaching and development. How do you, as their employer feel about loosening the reigns? What are you going to do with all that extra time?
In summary, the WFH model will not suit every business or employee and lots of questions will need be answered before you explore this option in full. I continually speak to candidates and clients who are considering making the change but it all comes down really to one thing: TRUST.
We are delighted to see the growth that some of our clients have made by implementing this model. We are also thrilled to see how our successful candidates are progressing in their new roles. Like everything in life, it's not for everyone, but if it gives you access to that potential experienced recruiter who is currently geographically outside of your usual hiring location, then it's a great time to investigate if this may work for you.
In the world of recruitment and staffing we are constantly discussing money, whether it be our fees, our commission or a candidates salary or total compensation.
When it comes to our salary, is bigger always better?
Our jobs as recruiters mean that we are paid for both our time (salary) as well as for performance (commission or bonus) so it's important that we consider the whole package when we are thinking about a move or what we are currently earning. These days employers are offering so many different benefits to attract talent that salary isn't always the primary focus. One size doesn't fit all and even though a candidate may request a certain package, you can be sure there are other motivators tucked away which will retain them in the business for longer.
When interviewing candidates it's often an opportunity to discuss other aspects of the job such as their individual motivators. Did they really stay with that employer for 10 years because they received a new Breitling watch once a year? Probably not. Many employees have left jobs due to incompetent leadership and lack of recognition in the workplace so delving into previous reasons for leaving are a high priority.
When speaking to your clients, discuss their leadership teams management techniques, flexible working options, progression plans, staff turnover and annual leave entitlement as well as the hard cash being offered with the opportunity. If you are lucky enough to meet the line managers interviewing for the vacancy, then welcome this with open arms as ultimately their personality will impact whether or not their employees are engaged at work, or not.
This is one of the most common soft skills we are asked for from a client looking to recruit an additional hire. Love it or hate it, we are all negotiators in life, sometimes without realising we are even doing it. I am constantly negotiating with my 8 year old son, offering the 'either, or' scenario most commonly and as for negotiating with my husband, well that takes a whole new approach! Negotiation is basically about communicating and interacting with another human being and the strength of the relationship will affect whether the outcome is a positive or negative one.
Working in recruitment is one HUGE negotiation! Here are some tips we have learnt along the way which might help you to understand better the art of negotiation, whether it's a pay rise, guaranteed commission scheme or finders fee you are discussing.
Establish a firm relationship:
Integrity is a quality which can help you to establish a strong, mutually respectable relationship with the other party. Respect the other party as a human being and this will take you far. There must be a positive rapport between both parties before negotiations can begin.
Preparation is key! Make sure you have researched into the person or people you are negotiating with beforehand. Analysing what you think the opposing party will be asking for and considering the benefits to them will stand you in good stead, as well as considering your ideal outcome and what you would settle for.
You are more likely to have a positive experience if you are negotiating face to face so make sure you maintain strong eye contact (without staring!) using appropriate levels of nodding and smiling. Avoid crossing your arms or shaking your head - sometimes we do this with without realising! If you are negotiating over the phone then standing up is helpful when you need to bring some inner power to the surface and remember to smile!
Try not to rush what you are saying and never interrupt the other party. Use silent pauses to slow down the conversation and enable you to think rationally about your objectives and reach a suitable win-win conclusion. Additionally don't feel that you need to finish negotiations that same hour/day/week. Think about the relationship you have with this person/people and the long term reputation you want to maintain.
Finally, both parties need to feel as if they have won. If you can't reach an amicable conclusion that day then it's often good to walk away and leave the door open for future negotiations.
Well we might all wish we were on the beach sipping a piña colada, but some of us are back at the ranch trying to hit our weekly activity goals and write some business over the summer months.
The questions I pose for our profession are simple:
Is it reasonable to expect our teams to produce the same levels of recruitment productivity and business over these core "holiday season" months as you do during the rest of the year?
As a manager or a business owner are you flexible about your expectations and make sure you let your teams know that you "get it?"
Certainly in management positions I have held in the past I will admit I have been one of the cheerleaders that has encouraged my teams to "keep dialing" as SOMEONE has got to be in the office still? haven't they? I'll also admit that it has seemed a bit like asking them to complete a task that resembles hitting your head against a brick wall......
Could we/should we be doing other parts of our jobs that could foster similar results, just perhaps deviate from the weekly KPI's that we are managed to which in some recruitment organiastions are very regimented?
What are your views and tactics on how we can generate business without totally frustrating those around us, knowing that there are key times during the year where it all gets a bit tougher. Watch out, here comes August!
Back to work and still hunting high and low for those great candidates! Spending time writing great job postings is time well spent, especially for tough to fill roles that have been left idle for too long. With these tips, you should have no problem sprucing up any job description to get you THE candidate for the job!
No one wants to apply to work at a company with a job description that reads like it’s come out of a textbook that was written by a robot. Needling through the minutiae of the job isn’t going to do much for your candidate pool, even if it’s for a data management role. When it comes to job descriptions less is always more. You don’t have to be ‘zany’ or force the use of slang words like ‘fleek’ to get the attention of top talent, instead use a voice that personifies the culture and mission for the client you are hiring for.
Counselling clients on their expectations is part of our job and often what ensures that they will find the right person for the job. When job descriptions pile on ‘nice to haves’ or mix unlikely pairings of ‘must have’ skill sets into one job description, it signals a red flag to potential candidates. Keeping the list to the required credentials and software skills is more than enough. Anything bonus or preferred can be discussed throughout the interview process. You don’t want to scare off solid applicants with a scroll of unrealistic expectations.
There are many ways to make a job description appealing not least of all is eliminating useless text or neverending bullet points. Make certain the company logo appears in the header and that the structure of content that follows has a sense of purpose and flow. Use similar fonts to those that you use in your marketing pieces to bring the company identity to life.
Simplified, Friendly Language
If a candidate can’t understand a line item or word on your job description, 9 times out of 10 they aren’t going to ask about it. Instead, they will avoid it and that is a missed opportunity for learning about your candidates in the screening process. Using overly academic or complex language can isolate good candidates and come across as pompous. Accessibility is key.
You can write the best job description in the universe of job descriptions but if you haven’t included an easy way for interested candidates to reach you, the recruiting process will be lackluster. Including your name and email address is a good start. Any additional steps should be outlined in a list. The easier, more user-friendly the application process is, the more likely you are to increase applicant interest. Try to combine your need for organisation without exceeding your requests beyond 5 steps.
Adding honesty and a subtle sense of humour about the less desirable tasks associated with the job can show an earnestness that is appreciated by most anyone in the position of hunting for a job. Including subtitles like ‘This Job is for You If:’ or ‘You Probably Won’t Like This Job If:’ can save everyone some time. Does the job require a lot of time spent answering emails? Mention it. Is frequent travel part of the role? That may not appeal to a new parent or someone who is afraid of flying. May as well craft a realistic job description to save you the agony of weeding through a mountain of unsuitable candidates.
Potentially the best thing that you can do when luring candidates is to brag about the perks! Extended health coverage, subsidised transportation, expense accounts and bonuses are all worth mentioning from the get-go and can truly mean a leg up on the competitor. There is no real disadvantage to listing them all.
Recruitment is one of the most thrilling industries to be in. You are head to head with your competitors daily and see immediate impacts of your effort on both the candidate and client side. You feel like you are a part of every success and every challenge for your candidates and clients which can make you an incredibly aware and empathic individual. Of all the many reasons to want to pursue a career in recruitment, we’ve distilled it down to the 8 most important reasons below:
1. You Help People
Helping people find work is incredibly rewarding. In many cases, candidates show gratitude to you for helping them along in their career and that, in itself, is a rarity to most positions these days. Even if you can’t help everyone get hired, it is your professional insight and time given that empowers your candidates to move forward on the hunt. Watching a candidate develop in their role and industry over years while knowing you had a hand in carving that path with them, is incredibly satisfying and fulfilling.
2. You See How Businesses Really Work
Very few people get the backstage pass to how an organisation really operates and if you are doing your job thoroughly you are seeing the good, the bad and the ugly in each of your clients. Not only does it give you a more informed understanding of different sectors and industries, but it can also help you to learn about hiring trends and where the job market is headed. When job postings are touting the same, if not identical, language about their culture, it can be really unique to have actual first hand experience about what that translates to onsite.
3. You Are Your Own Brand
Everyone works for someone and you will be expected to represent a general code of conduct. Yet, the best part of recruitment is the entrepreneurial edge that you have in conducting your business because we all know at the end of the day, it’s about the results. The personal touch that you put into showing your clients and candidates that you care is what sets you aside from the competition and emphasizes why they are trusting YOU with their career and/or business.
4. Recruiting is at the Forefront for Business Impact
Recruiting has been proven to have the number one impact on revenue and profit of any talent management function. When you put the best person in the seat, it shows in the numbers. It is noticeable to everyone on the team when high quality work is done on time. A single great hire could mean greater innovation and productivity for an entire organisation.
5. Never A Dull Moment
People often complain about the monotony of their 9-5 position. These people are not working in recruitment. When you are working with a portfolio of diverse clients and candidates, no two days are the same and that is one of the most thrilling aspects of the job. You may get to travel to different markets or break into a totally different sector that’s become ‘hot’ overnight, it’s your ability to solve problems new and old that keep things interesting every day.
6. You Are Always Learning and Improving
With the emergence of new technologies and best practices, recruitment is a culture of learning and process improvement. Often you attend conferences or even give presentations to a room full of thought leaders on topics affecting the industry. It’s inevitable that you will make mistakes and from that you will learn how to fail well, accept rejection and the art of compromise which are invaluable skills that not all industries embrace as openly as recruitment does.
Aside from the obvious monetary gains and benefits that come with working in a lucrative industry, by developing your skills in recruitment it guarantees that you are highly employable. The skills that you carry with you as a result of working in recruitment are highly transferable and could lead to positions in Public Relations, Account Management, Events Planner, Career Counselor, HR Manager or Life Coach. The reality is, in your role as a recruiter, you have put on many of these hats (usually simultaneously) throughout your work week.
8. The Thrill of Winning
Perhaps we were a bit brazen when we said that everyone should want to work in recruitment. The truth is, it’s a highly competitive environment so those who have an internal drive to achieve will come out on top because as we all know if you snooze, you will lose. You must pursue your business with a level 10 fervour that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The good thing is that because your impact is very much based on your desire and ability to thrive in a high pressure environment, it will quickly become obvious if a career in recruitment was the right move for you. The industry itself is a tightly knit network where clients become candidates and vice versa meaning that it’s a reputation economy and your credibility is worth its weight in gold. If you do well by a candidate today, that candidate could be your biggest client tomorrow and by holding yourself to a higher standard, you double your rewards.
Interviewing recruitment consultants can sometimes feel like you have won the lottery. In the best of scenarios the candidate understands the responsibilities that come with a recruitment role, has excelled in a similar function from a competing firm, has a good understanding of your business, your clients and would be a good fit with your workplace culture.
Can you say that the impressions you leave on each candidate that you bring to interview are equally positive?
In a candidate driven market, it is crucial to make the right first impression with each and every candidate walking through your door. Whether they come to work for you now or are in the position of recommending you to another stellar candidate now or in the future, your firms reputation is at stake throughout the interview process and there can be no sloppy errors. Here are some key points to help you remember what matters most:
Read the CV
We are all super busy, but if you do only one thing to prepare, it’s this. Reading the CV and making sure it’s fresh in your mind prior to their interview shows an investment that is both professional and engaging at the interview. Remember that you are interviewing recruiters, so they will be the first to smell a rat if you haven’t, and frankly, it’s unimpressive. Can you imagine if a candidate showed up having zero clues about your firm aside from its name? What kind of impression would that leave you with? It says a lot about you as an interviewer by whether you choose to make this minimal investment from the get-go.
Sell Yourself - it’s a two way street
Those interviewers and employers that understand the need to sell themselves and present their company in the best possible light during the interview will be the ones that get accepted offers and great new hires starting with them time and time again.
Do your part to ensure every candidate leaves the interview having no hesitations and is chomping at the bit for an offer.
Don’t forget candidates are getting multiple offer choices - do what you can to make sure you are their number 1.
This word should be underlined and caps locked (it’s already bolded) because it can be the most impactful on the candidate impression. Ask yourself is the appropriate person conducting the interview? Are all other appropriate decision makers privy to the candidate and/or attending the interview also? These choices matter because they can enhance the flow of the candidate experience and also ensure that your candidate is meaningfully engaged during and after interview. Be intentional and appropriate when setting up the attendance invites. Speed to hire must also be considered in this market, so do your best to make sure the people that can make the decision are there and the decision can be made fast.
Some manners are arguably subjective while others are not. Here are some important points that are basic etiquette as an interviewer:
Be on time
Time is money so show your candidates respect for their business and appreciation for the fact that they have put it on pause to meet with you. If you are running late, be sure to acknowledge it right away and ask them how the delay affects the amount of time left to chat. Don’t assume that lost time can be tacked on at the end.
Whether this is the candidate of your dreams or someone you are on the fence about, you have started a rapport with them the moment you invite them in. Be mindful of any unconscious tendency to prolong communication or fluff them off if they aren’t your number 1 choice. Make sure they know your intentions around providing feedback before concluding the interview.
Many candidates whom you might be considering are coming from competing firms. By being flexible and willing to meet candidates at their preferred location or outside office hours shows you understand that you value their time and are prepared to go that extra mile to meet them.
Ding! Beep! Buzz! Our technology has the power to call our attention instantly at any given moment so it’s best to put all devices on silent. Better still leave your phone on your desk.
Have a respectful and considerate decline process
This bit is crucial when it comes to managing your firms reputation. If you were to visit Glassdoor you would be amazed at how many negative comments stem from candidates feeling they were left in the dark about their advancement or nonchalantly rejected without feedback or consideration. Don’t be those companies. Provide timely feedback for every declined candidate and if you want to appear truly progressive, welcome theirs too!
We hope that these guidelines will ring through your head when you’re on a hiring spree and can help guide your process to fantastic results.
In this day and age of the candidate run market where competition is stiff and great recruiters reign supreme, it can be difficult to know how to keep your star talent engaged and happy. We often hear that our clients want to treat their staff like adults, but what does that really mean?
We have compiled 5 ways that could appeal to and offer more flexibility in your workplace which could make your environment more attractive to your key players on your team.
Work From Wherever Works Best
Modern telecommunication software/tools coupled with a bit of infrastructural planning means it can be entirely possible to manage remote workers who prefer to interview, hunt, and gather from the comfort of their home or their bustling local coffee shop. Showing your employees that you respect their choice of conditions and environments that they feel make them most productive shows a level of flexibility that may be very attractive to some.
Treating your employees like an adult starts with trust. There is no greater compliment to a high performer or new employee than giving them free range to conduct their business as they see fit. By trusting that they will perform without holding a magnifying glass up to their KPIs fosters an environment of goodwill not always found in the highly competitive world of recruitment. You can stand out as an employer by laying a foundation of trust and transparency on your expectations without drilling it into their heads at every given stage of the day. By eliminating this need for control you can observe more objectively your recruiters strengths/weaknesses and reward them/train them accordingly. Offering unlimited holiday for top performers who show good judgement can be a great work perk that ties good use of autonomy to reward.
This really is such a simple thing that you can offer no matter your business size and/or structure. It costs nothing to make a small change to your dress code policy and it is really an act of accomodation. Don’t get us wrong, you don’t have to tolerate anything that you deem unprofessional like ripped jeans, flip flops, or poor hygiene but by revisiting your policy to be more relaxed and inclusive of those who prefer to dress down when they are not at a client visit, shows that you are moving with the times by adapting a more flexible environment.
Tangible and Intangible Thank You Perks
A trend that is as old as time in the world of recruitment, rewarding performance is a great way to keep employees happy. If you have the budget for it, this might include a fabulously posh dinner, offsite retreat and/or cash bonus for a job well done. If you’re a small business that is getting your footing and cannot afford lavish gifts, worry not! You can still offer your gratitude with a thank you card containing a gift card for a massage, an extra day of paid time off, a better desk with a view, or even a feature on the company blog. Both tangible and intangible thank you perks are an investment you make in your talent whether it’s money, attention, or time that keeps them feeling valued and working hard.
Last but not least of all, is the investment you make in your employees desire for growth that shows a forward thinking, modern, and humane approach to recruitment. Offering a set yearly budget that can be applied to work-related training or other activities or reading materials that help them to learn or maintain focus and productivity is an excellent way to show your team that you understand how difficult the job is and want to support them. It doesn’t have to be a huge budget, even a couple of hundred pounds can communicate this.
All in all, the best thing you can do for your business is stay current and discuss regularly with your staff what a meaningful work perk looks like to them, their lifestyle, and happiness at work. A candid conversation about what motivates your top performers promotes retention which means less money spent on rehiring and training. It might take some time to make the transition to a fully flexible workplace, but we guarantee that if your intention is to keep your staff happy, every little step will be noticed and appreciated along the way.
You've felt unhappy at work for a while, you've spoken to your Manager but not reached a resolution to your work frustrations so you are seeking a better balance elsewhere. You secure that dream job which addresses your reasons for leaving your old job and you resign.
What you didn't expect was to be counter offered...
Even if you think this will never happen to you, it is best to prepare in advance so that you are comfortable with your own response, which should be in most cases
'No, thank you.'
Amazed that I am telling you to decline your manager's counter offer?
Counter offers usually mean a pay rise - sound great? sure it does.
However, whatever the reasons were that meant you started to look for a new job are very likely still there. It wasn't only money that drove you to start the interviewing process, in fact that wasn't the main reason at all.
The big question you need to ask yourself is - why would you suddenly want to stay in your job purely because your Manager offered you more money?
Let's remind you of the stats:
50% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their current employer are usually actively looking again within 2 months.
This statistic re-emphasises just how short term the solution of accepting a monetary only counter offer can be. There is often a multitude of reasons why candidates are looking for a new role and, for the majority of cases, the novelty of an increased salary wears off very quickly.
9 out of 10 employees who accept a counter offer leave their employer within 12 months.
Just to put the nail in the coffin, this statistic shows just how fragile your future at your existing company is, if you accept. A counter offer is beneficial to the current employer because it also buys them sufficient time to look for a long term replacement, with the knowledge that your are almost certain to leave within 12 months. The power is in their hands.
It can cost an employer as much as 213% of an annual salary to replace a senior level position.
Financially speaking, counter offers make complete sense to employers, particularly for senior positions when you factor in the recruitment process, time lost on work and training costs.
When you consider this, counter offering with a salary rise of £5-10k (or equivalent) doesn’t seem like such an extravagant risk for an employer. In fact, employers can temporarily satisfy the requirements of a key employee in the knowledge that they can prepare themselves for their departure. Once again, the power is in the employers hands.
Once you consider even a few of these stats, it's clear what is happening. Your employer has been and perhaps is still taking advantage of you.
Reasons for Not Accepting Counter Offers
Your next 12 months
Do not let an unexpected counter offer stop you in your tracks. Thank your employer for the opportunity and reaffirm your intention to leave. Stand your ground. However, should you decide not to leave for pastures new, be aware that your resignation will not be forgotten. Most employers will feel a sense of betrayal that you were about to leave them.
You are going to have to work extremely hard to win back your employers trust. You might have to strive harder than your colleagues to prove your loyalty and worthiness over the next 12 months and beyond. Your new post-resignation life with your old company is not going to be a walk in the park.
As we repeat to ourselves (almost compulsively) that winter is ending, it can be hard to know how to handle days when it feels impossible, unproductive, or dangerous to make it into the office. Luckily for you, we have put together some tips on how to handle particularly challenging weather days so that you don’t tick off your colleagues or lose your productive hours trapped in traffic.
Scenario 1: Going into Work
If you have used your judgement and decided that it would be best to go into work be sure you prepare yourself and others accordingly. Since driving in risky conditions can require extra energy and attention, alleviate yourself from the burden of checking emails in between lights. Instead, turn off your notifications and set an out of office that lets your colleagues and clients know that you are predisposed until further notice but that their messages will be answered later in the day. No matter what the work ‘emergency’ is, it’s important to prioritise your safety first.
Scenario 2: Work From Home
Since most of our work as recruiters is done by way of a computer, it can be a logical way to resolve the troubles of a brutal commute. If you have access to Skype or other webinar software you can complete interviews, meetings and client calls virtually from the comforts of your home. That being said, it is important to notify all parties involved especially those who are expecting you in-person. Give all candidates and clients the heads up as soon as you know that you will be working from home and let them know how/if it will affect that format of your discussion.
Other things to Consider:
Before putting extra logs on the fireplace and brewing an extra pot of tea, be sure that you aren’t copping out. The size of the storm could leave room for scrutiny from your colleagues if they are able to commute into work and you are waving the white flag as a default. Be sure that you have considered the implications of staying home if the storm is less of a storm and more of a snowy nuisance. While it can be tempting to take advantage of a snow day, consider that you will eventually have to return to work and face your team.
If schools are closed it will be important to factor this into your plans. If you are a single parent it might mean a snow day by default, and most companies will understand. If you or your partner works remotely and/or has a more flexible schedule, it might mean planning and preparing together activities and /or snacks in advance so that work isn’t disrupted. Getting up an hour earlier to do this can mean a more productive day with less frustrations during it..
Even if your company policy is more lenient and even if you are entitled to a paid snow day in Britain, you don’t want to leave your boss in an overwhelmed state. It is best to communicate with them directly on your situation and agree upon what is and what is not feasible due to the inclement weather. This can avoid resentments later and foster a more comfortable return to work when the storm blows over.
All in all, it goes without saying to act considerately when there is a storm/snow warning not only for your team but your family, and for yourself! Some of the A type personalities (read: majority of us in recruitment) may try to push through and make it to work at any cost but you should consider all angles before doing so. You may gain a few extra hours of productivity by learning to hang back and work from home for one day not to mention preserving your personal safety.
You are probably sat there wondering to yourself what the 6 Qs are and how you can master them. By the time you have finished this article, you will have the answer to this golden question.
The 6 Qs are known as:
IQ or intelligence quotient EQ or emotional intelligence quotient PQ or passion quotient CQ or cultural quotient CRQ or courage quotient IMQ or improvisation quotient
Together when these 6 Qs are in balance, it can mean you are thriving professionally with your clients, candidates and colleagues. In fairness, they are the things we look for too when screening our candidates.
Let’s distill what the 6 Qs really mean and why they are so important:
IQ or Smarts, Intelligence, Critical Thinking Quotient
Problem solving is potentially the single most important part of being a great recruiter. There are so many balls in the air every day and with new information constantly emerging, you have to be able to think through solutions to find the best one. Having the ability to stay ahead of ‘surprises’ by asking the right questions and premeditating outcomes critically can help you and save time and your clients money. While it is important to have the intelligence, it isn’t enough as a stand alone skill because so much of our job is reliant on our social ability as well.
EQ or Emotional Intelligence Quotient
Our ability to read others is likely what led you to a career in recruitment to begin with. By connecting, reading body language and having superb listening skills you uncover clues about motivation and goals that lead you to making a successful placement. Having the ability to empathise with someone who is considering a career change or clients whose business is in flux can create a bond that sets you aside from other fasttalking account managers.
PQ or Passion Quotient
There are people who claim to be a ‘people person’ and then there are recruiters. We are passionate about people because we spend a great deal of our time uncovering what makes them tick and hunting for the best roles to help them achieve their goals. You must certainly exhibit passion to continue with a big smile after a long day full of stressful negotiations. Passion also manifests itself when you show you care about the big picture such as loyalty to the greater mission of the company, volunteering for tasks that help others and staying late when needed. These forms of employee engagement make you a standout member of the team.
CQ or Cultural Quotient
In these times, cultural sensitivity is crucial to succeeding in any large scale operation. Understanding candidates with diverse backgrounds can help you collaborate with branches of the company or clients in other parts of the world. Perhaps you might communicate more assertively with a client from London than you would with a candidate from a less metropolitan area. Understanding traditions and holidays observed in different parts of the world can also make you stand out with international clients and candidates as well.
CRQ or Courage Quotient
As a recruiter, this can mean having the courage to go beyond what is expected of you during the work day. It can mean surprise and delighting a candidate when you rallied with your client to get them a better salary than they were expecting or it can simply mean challenging what seems normal to most people, in light of a better way. It is thought that this openness and vulnerability inspires trust and commitment and can foster better connections.
IMQ or Improvisation Quotient
Do more with less, demonstrate your curiosity and adaptability and be ready for anything. This should be the mantra of any recruiter because managing when things don’t go to plan is part of the lifestyle. A great way to sharpen this skill is to network more. The conversations and the people that you meet are less predictable than those of your office or immediate circle. Any small step outside your comfort zone can boost your improvisation quotient and ultimately contribute to some of the other 5 Qs as well!
When all is said and done, it’s easy to see why these 6 Qs make for a superstar recruiter and how strengthening them can lead to greater success that sets you aside from the competition. It isn’t necessary to be perfect but instead it’s about the effort you put in to consistently improve upon these skills that makes you a clear winner.
It’s fair to say that empathy has become a major theme in the workplace going into 2018 and in order to be considered a truly credible recruiter, it can help you to consider how candidates want to be recruited. Assuming that most candidates are not looking to change careers, it can be quite a challenge to creatively and respectfully engage passive candidates.
Here are some of our top suggestions:
Paint the Picture
Think about the bigger picture of the job deliverable and describe it in an engaging manner rather than listing off the requirements. What is the benefit to being a part of this company and team? Most highly qualified candidates will derive the satisfaction from knowing how their work is going to make an impact.
It can be tempting to click, copy, paste a message to prospective candidates to save time but your lack of effort comes with the risk that the candidate will sense it, and potentially disregard you as just another recruiter. By taking the time to read into their experience, viewing any available links to websites, even their Twitter can give you an in by helping to understand their motivations. Touching on a topic or point of interest that is threaded throughout their profiles will at the very least capture their attention and illicit an initial reply.
Reduce The Steps
Likely a candidate is passive because they already have a job. In order to entice their application, offer to complete as many of the steps on their behalf as possible which may include revising their CV, completing required forms or profiles and minimizing any hoops for them to jump through. If the process is easy and their time investment is little, they will likely put their name in the hat out of curiosity.
Prolong Revealing the Juiciest Detail (money)
Also known as dangling the carrot, in order to control the conversation, it is important to withhold what you perceive to be the most important detail to your passive candidate which is more often than not, money. Simply expressing that compensation is flexible within reason and will be determined based on a few factors that are yet to be determined, can allow you to capture the interest of a passive candidates. Another example of this would be if the candidate expresses interest in meeting the founder or CEO of the company, maintaining that this is the final stage of the process can help influence them to participate in the full process.
Don’t Rule Out the Weekend
To avoid becoming a nuisance to their work day, it can be in your best interest to contact highly desirable candidates after hours or on the weekend when chances are better that they have the time and patience for a message from a stranger. Avoiding peak times can make a really big difference to candidates. If you can imagine being on the receiving end of a message during your busiest time at work from someone whom you have no prior relationship, that message can bottom out your list of competing priorities in a jiffy.
Engage Hiring Managers Regularly
Interview processes are similar to a good party, the more that relevant people actively participate with enthusiasm, the better the experience generally is for those attending. Having Hiring Managers privy to the type of candidate and your proposed method of recruiting can mean in the best case more support and quicker turnaround times and in the worst case you can’t be pegged for lack of effort if the candidate decides to flake after their curiosity period has passed. Regular communication with your hiring managers also signals to the candidate that you have a strong working relationship with your clients which bodes well for your professional image as a recruiter.
Talk to Your Companies Top Hires
On the back end of your recruiting efforts, start your research where it’s most accessible! Talk to your company’s top candidates or the most recent hires and ask them what it was about the process, company, or recruiter that incentivised them to leave their former position. This type of empathic research will provide fresh insight to help you with making the unknown alluring to candidates who are currently enjoying the comfort of a familiar position.
Follow Up / Let It Breathe
There is a fine line between being diligent and communicating to the point of discomfort and distaste. To be a recruiter, it requires a passion for expediency and a zest that not everyone shares when it comes to work. It’s great to be enthusiastic and to follow up with your candidate to keep them informed but when waiting on an acceptance email or references from your candidate, sometimes an over zealous approach can be overbearing. As professional ‘people people’, recruiters have an internal barometer that alerts us when maybe we can hold off for an extra day on the reminder email or when it’s time to push for the good of the candidate so tune in to it wisely.
In our line of work, meeting a client for the first time can feel like a blind date. If it wasn’t for their secretary, we might need our clients to carry a rose in their hat just so we know exactly who they are. It can also feel like a performance! You want to showcase your competence, professionalism and then sprinkle in a bit of mindreading for the ultimate wow factor. The more prepared you are for your meeting, the more naturally these things will come! Here are 5 keys for WOWing new clients:
1. Look at The Jobs Section on Their Website Beforehand
It’s not necessary to mention that you have done this bit of sleuthing but by eyeballing their latest postings you will learn which departments are growing and in need of your services. From there you can research who these department heads are on LinkedIn and ask some leading questions (nonchalantly, of course) around how these teams work with your clients team. Bonus: The easiest, least abrasive way of mushrooming an account while in a client meeting is to simply ask for a tour. At worst it shows you are a considerate recruiter; at best it gives the opportunity to match any LinkedIn profiles you uncovered prior with a handshake along the way.
2. Set the Agenda
We are living in a society that struggles to keep focus. As I write this I am also checking my email and changing songs on Spotify. The best way to counteract a wandering eye or glares at the clock is to start the meeting by setting an agenda. Letting the client know your intentions for topics of discussion and when you plan to wrap up can mean a more engaged meeting especially for any stragglers who have been brought in to join the meeting unexpectedly and likely don’t know as much as you do about the circumstances. The most important aspect of setting the agenda is sticking to it. If you see time is running tight, best to call attention to it and give anyone who needs to leave the opportunity to do so.
3. Be A Body Language Master
You can tell a lot about a person from a handshake. You can also tell something about a person’s professional ranking by their chair position at the boardroom table and whether a person is confused or following along by the movements of their head. If you can pick up on the subtleties of body language it can give you an advantage and provide clues on how to make the meeting the most impressive and enjoyable for your client. Since body language is subconscious, in a lot of cases you will seem like a mind reader by simply paying attention.
4. Take Notes on Actual Paper
Taking notes is great because no matter how hard we try to retain information, our memory can often fail us when recalling after the fact. When given a choice, taking notes on paper is preferable. It communicates a diligent, professional appearance that a laptop or phone just can’t compete with. Most times when people are typing during meetings, they begin with a preamble about how they’re not being rude but taking notes and that’s because it generally comes across poorly. Writing with a pen and paper is less distracting to others and gives you an opportunity to continue to make eye contact versus having a big glowing square in front of your face.
5. Ask Questions and Reemphasize Next Steps at The Close of The Meeting
After you have spent the majority of the meeting attentively listening to your clients express their plans, questions and concerns, it can be useful to wrap up by clarifying any questions that you have about what was mentioned while you have a captive audience. Following that, it’s always best to reemphasize the next steps and with whom they are assigned so that everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises when it comes time to move forward. It may seem like overkill but by taking this extra 5-10 minutes at the end of the meeting versus saving it for a follow up email, you are saving everyone some time (and reducing their email!) which is often greatly appreciated.
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of Santa’s sleigh AND your day to day business operations slowly screeching to a halt. The holidays are great for many reasons, but easily connecting with clients is not usually one of them. Some are preoccupied with their Christmas party or too busy planning their annual family trip to Aruba to give you what you need. Others simply shut down the office early which can make it challenging to predict accurate billings. That said, whether you have been naughty or nice, these tips are sure to help keep you in good cheer into the New Year:
1. Create A Limited Time Holiday Promotion
Sense of urgency can be a powerful motivator and there is nothing like slapping an expiry date on potential savings to encourage buyers. A great idea is to target any on-the-fence clients first. Saving an extra buck at Christmas might just push them over the edge and earn you some brand new business.
2. Be Persistent in Your Marketing
A satisfied buyer who has used your business before will be happy to clear the remnants of their budget with your services. Since budgets often get ‘reallocated’ if they aren’t used by year end, it’s a win-win! Start your marketing early on in the season and be politely persistent in reminding them that you are around to help them hold onto their Yuletide bounty.
3. Send Shareable Items to ‘Big Fish’ Prospects
There is nothing like a big basket of mystery snacks to get any office’s attention. Even for those who have not bought from you yet, targeting your hot prospect list with a thoughtful gesture like a canteen of hot chocolate for sharing office-wide will make you memorable. Don’t forget to include a Christmas card so they know where it came from and why you sent it! The idea here is thoughtfulness so don’t overdo it with flash or salespeak.
4. Build Yourself into New Year Planning
In every client meeting or call, book a meeting in the new year around business planning. With so much happening over the holidays it can be tricky to get their attention so by pushing your discussion into the new year, it guarantees a start to the conversation and demonstrates a keen forward thinkingness. It also demonstrates that you are considerate of their holiday schedule.
5. Create A Goal with Promise of a Bo-ho-ho-nus (< too much? :o)
Whether it’s an individual goal or a team goal - a little friendly competition can keep motivation high over the holidays and drive sales into the New Year. It doesn’t have to be solely about money either! You can tier prizes and tie in donations for the local food bank in addition to a first place position for the most consistent and/or impactful sales activity targets by year end. Announce the winners over eggnog and peppermint creams!
5. Let Your Clients Know You’re Busy AND that You Love It!
Regardless of the internal climate in the office, it is always better to air on the side of hustle and bustle when asked by clients. A slow period can signal a red flag where a frenzy can signal to them to get in on the action! Droning on about a busy time can make you seem ungrateful and close off an opportunity for referrals. Repeat after me: we’re busy and we love it!
6. Year End Review
A great excuse to get in front of your client and sniff around for opportunities coming down the pipe is to suggest a year-end review where you give them the opportunity to rant and/or rave about their experience working with you. Often times their rants will have to do with everything BUT your deliverables. Even so, that can be a powerful bonding moment for you - who doesn’t love a good vent? Expressing curiosity about upcoming projects will also help you to sniff out potential contracts and make recommendations based on the market (and their competitors).
7. Ramp Up and Spruce Up Your Social Strategy
Whenever there is a true lull it is the perfect time to pay special attention to some of the crucial projects that fall to the wayside the minute the phone rings or our PC dings. Use the time to revisit your content strategy and plan delivery of topics for the new year. You can even do some light market research with your clients and include it in your end of year review/discussion so that your Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn articles are going to strike a chord with them and deliver you with viewership.
Tis the season to feel warm and fuzzy inside and out! It is also the BEST possible time to let your clients know that you appreciate their business but before you dial up your local edible arrangements - remember that a personal touch can go an extra long way. We’ve come up with a few creative ideas to get you started:
Post a Handwritten Christmas Card
In this day and age it can be tempting to shoot off a slew of e-cards with the dancing elves to the lyricless royalty free christmas music but you know what’s even better? A handwritten note! It’s more personable, thoughtful, and let’s be honest, less tacky. Rather than an electronic greeting card that gets buried in emails, a handwritten card is a physical reminder that will live on their desk until after holidays and, once they return, will make them think of you!
Gift Them an E-book
There is something about sharing books that bonds people together. Perhaps it’s a book that you had mentioned in passing one time or a book that speaks to their company’s core values. By personally recommending a book, you are showing an investment in their business and attention to detail which is appreciated by most every client. Not to mention, it gives you a great reason to get in touch come Jan 1 for the official review (and let’s be honest, praise).
Make a Donation in Their Name
Skip the cliche bottle of booze or box of chocolates - the number one thing people complain about at the holidays is weight gain. Give them a gift that they can feel good about by spreading feelings of altruism. You can easily uncover hints about causes your clients champion by skimming their LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages. If you choose a lesser known charity, share some information about how the donation is helping and why you chose to support on their behalf and it is sure to put a smile on their face!
Host a Christmas Mixer
The holidays are a busy time for most people so planning in advance for this one will be key but bringing clients together to mix and mingle for some board games and peppermint Schnapps can be a really nice way to say thank you. With a captive and jolly audience, you can also use this time to announce any exciting developments planned for the new year, offer pre-wrapped mystery gifts for referrals and swap drink tickets for non perishable food items for the local food bank. Pin the nose on Rudolph, anyone?
Do a Social Spotlight
Bust out the 12 days of Twitter for the 12 days of Christmas! By using your social outlets to spotlight one or more clients of yours that you admire, it can generate a very merry buzz. People love to be acknowledged for their hard work and by profiling them with consideration, it emphasises that your understand their mission and thereby their needs. It also gifts them the most important (internet) gift of all new followers (which can later mean new business). It’s a very strong move for anyone looking to take their client relationship(s) to the next level.
By taking the extra time to show clients that you appreciate their business it reflects an intentional approach to doing business that most anyone can appreciate. Going the extra mile to show this appreciation in ways that are meaningful and with a positive impact just might win you some gifts in the form of new business come 2018.
Gone are the days when being a recruiter meant posting an advertisement in the newspaper and waiting for days to receive a stack of CV's of the interested candidates. Flash forward 30 years and we are doing things faster with a broader accessibility from the comfort of our homes and offices. There has been a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence technology replacing the role of the recruiter, but we happen to think that technology is here to make our jobs easier so that we can focus on what really matters: building the relationships.
Making Candidates More Accessible
More candidates are applying for roles from their mobile phones, tablets, and the like. With technology, websites can create job match reminders to prompt candidates to apply for our jobs at the click of a button at virtually any time. The use of technology ensures we can cast a wider net and also provides tools for us to use to screen productively without getting bogged down or wasting budget on the wrong candidates. Services like Skype and Google Hangouts can provide a first meeting where we can gather the majority of the clues that we would otherwise get from an in-person interview. These technologies can help coordinate meetings with difficult to reach candidates who reside in other countries and/or have full time employment while keeping costs low. It’s a win, win!
Help to Eliminate Process Related Administrative Tasks
Automating technologies are a recruiters best friend. Sending an email to thank a candidate for their application, using automated scheduling technologies to arrange and confirm interview times and even scheduling future check-ins can shave off quite a bit of time which can be used more productively. Be mindful that your automation can be perceived as lacking human touch so it’s important to balance and keep the robots at bay. After all we still want to convey the message that we are present and engaged in their success, so think of automated technologies as a time saver to supplement versus a means to completely replace regular communication with candidates.
Recruitment software as we know it far extends beyond email, phone, and an excel candidate matrix. Cutting edge CRMs are now loaded with heaps of helpful tools that do most of the heavy lifting when it comes time to do a search. The reporting is increasingly sophisticated making it easier to measure our performance and tweak processes where needed. Social media sites like LinkedIn and their complimentary mobile apps have made it possible to fill a role from virtually anywhere that a mobile phone can receive a signal making technology paramount to a fast fill. As a result, your desk doesn’t suffer on holidays or when you get a last minute client request. The extra agility and flexibility means we can get back to clients with candidates FASTER which means happy clients and often times, repeat business.
Even the most PC recruiters have biases. Unconscious bias simply means we are more likely to choose candidates that appeal to us because they are like us which can hinder the diversity in our recruitment efforts. The use of technology to do preliminary screening ensures that the screening process is entirely based on skill level and less about where they grew up or their favourite sports team.
Improved Candidate Experience
A common complaint of candidates is that they invest considerable time in the process up front and sometimes without an immediate return in the form of employment. As we know, we can’t guarantee everyone a job but what we can do is use technology to our advantage to make the process is slick and painless. Allowing candidates to create and update an online profile and keeping track of them digitally means that they can apply from the comfort of their home and avoids them completing piles of messy paperwork that has the potential to get lost or become out dated before they are placed. A beautifully designed user interface can ensure instructions are clear and that receipt of their application is confirmed. With add ons that can connect your website and email to your CRM, it ensures that you are updating candidates on the status of the position and that extra step (which can all too easily slip through the cracks of a busy desk) can be essential in retaining quality candidates.
2 years! WoW and how it's flown by!
And now operating in CANADA!
The last two years have literally flown by, and how things have changed for our Recruitment business that places staffing/recruitment professionals in to other staffing/recruitment firms.
How crazy is the concept in itself?
Well maybe it is crazy as you might imagine that staffing organisations are in a great place to recruit their own people as their teams interview all week, every week however... finding people that are great in our industry isn't as easy as you might imagine.
We've grown from two owner/operators - that's Julie Robinson and Jenny Finch to four other team members placing in both in the South of UK and now in GTA - Canada.
Odd locations? Well not necessarily - we believe that being local and meeting both candidates and clients is necessary to make a great match and as we have one of our directors living in Toronto and one in Hove, UK that makes perfect sense. It also offers candidates the opportunity of a move between Countries as some of our clients offer sponsorship if your skill sets are of interest.
The services of a Rec2Rec which is an expression given to our niche is common place in the UK, but in Canada less so. Whether it's an expression you know of or not, there are distinct benefits in utilising an organisation that can help you with your job search which ever industry you are in and we wrote a blog about it too!
We look forward to many more years placing talented people that literally change other peoples lives and if you know of someone that would like some help navigating the landscape of staffing and recruitment we offer great referral fees too.
Happy 2nd Birthday Raymond George Consultancy
In the role of recruitment consultant we have oodles of technological and social media tools available to us every day to take advantage of to help us with our trade.
Actually it can be sort of overwhelming how much time you can spend tweeting, writing posts, building your LinkedIn network, reading articles, posting on facebook, etc, all marketing tactics to build your presence and personal brand that can set you apart and give you credibility in your market place. All good stuff and beneficial for lots of reasons.
These are all the fancy ways of connecting with your target audience, however call us old fashioned, but the most impactful and long lasting way actually is one that you don't need to remember a login or password for, you don't need to figure out how to Like or Share.
It's very simple, YOU.
Top reasons why you should Meet your Clients:
Top reasons why you should Meet your Candidates:
In today's market it's not always possible as many firms work internationally however wherever there is an opportunity you, your client and your candidate will reap the benefits and they'll remember - they really will.
Now, back to those tweets :o)
As recruiters it takes us on average about 25 seconds of glancing at a CV to decide whether it’s a yes or a no. Seemingly when it comes to our own CV, we tend to have more difficulty parsing out the bits that make us a stand out candidate to other recruiters. We tend to overthink it until we are cross-eyed. It's a strange paradox that occurs often among recruiters so we've put together a list of 7 question you can ask yourself to keep you on track when evaluating your own CV:
Is It An Easy, Well Thought Out, and Appropriate Format?
Keep it simple! In order to make the most of the 25 seconds (max!) it will take a hiring manager to scan your CV, make it clearly organised with appropriate margins, spacing and alignment. Aligning left is easiest on the eyes and using bolded fonts can draw attention to important details. Use one colour to make it pop and using a colour in line with the brand, can be a nice touch that takes no time at all to modify.
Have I Listed Quantifiable Achievements?
Generic lists of achievements have a way of sounding irrelevant and boring. If you boosted NFI by 35% for the last three years that’s much more attractive to a hiring manager than “achieved top sales company-wide”. Be specific about what you achieved in your past roles. Your CV is not the place for modesty - brag away!
Does A Boring ‘Objective’ Monopolise the Header?
Gone are the days where you must include Career Objective at the top of your CV. As recruiters, can you honestly say that you read them on the CVs that you see daily? And if by accident, you happened to skim it, did it have any bearing over the candidates suitability for the role? It’s usually quite fluffy and inconsequential, don’t let it suck up valuable space on your CV. Instead use this space to create a clean profile by ranking your skills including and soft skills you champion.
Have I Removed Unnecessary Personal Details?
Putting your address on your CV can seem routine but if your potential employer thinks that you could get tired of the journey, it can mean losing out. In addition to this unintentional effect, it can also be unsafe if your CV is floating around the web. Unless you can think of a really excellent reason to include on your CV, take it off. Also take out any ‘fun facts’ about you, your cat, your children or any other nonsense that is intended to be cute.
Did I Put Your Best Stuff Above the Fold?
Above the fold is an old timey newspaper term (you know, those physical stacks of paper we used to get our news from before the internet). It means that the best news remained above the literal fold of the paper so it was seen first. In this case, it means putting the most attractive bits of your experience within the top third of the first page of your CV. This is the most prized space of your CV, use it wisely!
Have I Saved it as a PDF and Previewed?
Always submit your CV in PDF format versus .docx or anything editable. This ensures the formatting will remain as you intended. Since you will not be sure what software will be used to view, try opening the PDF in Google Docs and Word and previewing before sending it off.
Have I Kept It Up To Date?
Ensuring that your CV is up to date is crucial. Both your content and look and feel should reflect the current period. Keeping your CV aligned with the dates on your Linkedin profile is also something you should ensure align, as hiring managers will double check and question if there are differences. Looking over your CV routinely (even when you're not looking to change jobs) means you can modify and include achievements as they happen. Naturally as you go on,what you choose to include will change based on what is most remarkable and it's best to do this while they are fresh in your mind versus trying to recount all the great things you did 6-12 months ago.
All in all these tips should help you view your CV with more objectivity and remind you of the things that matter most to other recruiters and hiring managers. Generally it comes down to keeping things easy and accurately reflecting all the things that make you a great find.
Hiring trends among clients spread like wildfire, some will be extinguished in a short period but others continue to spread from client to client, job ad to job ad until we are physically cringing at the mention of it. We are talking about the elusive and vague ‘culture fit’.
Put your hand up if you’ve heard your clients use the words culture and fit as a top ranked priority when assessing your candidates. Put your other hand up if they have a hard time articulating (in an original way) what exactly their culture is! Now shake them all about if you want some helpful suggestions on how to present candidates based on this mysterious culture fit that everyone seems to be talking about…
What is a Workplace Culture?
Every organisation has their own workplace culture, and their differences do not make them better or worse from each other - it is rather a matter of chemistry. Culture can manifest itself in an organisations language, decision making structure and daily work practices.
For example one employee might benefit from unstructured work hours because they have small children or prefer to work from home where another candidate may find the loose structure distracting or difficult to manage.
Assess it for Yourself
Don’t take your clients word for it, get involved and visit your clients office space to observe for yourself and consider some or all of the following to get a feel and flavour of the environment and culture that exists.
How is the space allocated? Lots of offices with closed doors? or open concept? Where are the managers or senior folks relative to the team? What kind of art or messages cover the walls? Are there common areas? What kind of things do people do on their break? What do you hear? Furious computer tapping and sales chatter or is it so quiet you could hear a pin drop? Is there an office dog or is the radio playing? Dress code - casual or suited and booted?
These are a few simple ways to dig for clues about the type of environment you are hiring for and therefore what kind of questions to ask candidates who wish to apply.
If you can’t visit your clients, then you’ll need to get a sense of the culture through your client contact, so it’s totally ok and you should ask the all the questions you will need to try to figure out the best fit.
Assessing Candidate Responses
Culture fit is usually observed in the interview process through face to face meet and greets as well as scenario-based interview questions. Asking questions that reveal how a candidate responds to what your client values most will help you weed out any potential misfits. A great line of questioning could be around, which organisations have they been most successful at in the past and what was the culture like there. Replicating what’s worked well and a culture that no doubt has contributed to their success is surely something that should be replicated or at least considered in their next role.
Gauge by Their Questions
What kind of questions do the candidates have about the company or job they are applying for? If they are a bit desperate for a job, they may ask none at all and seem really keen to take on the position without knowing more information about culture and that is a red flag.
In a lot of cases the best culture fit tends to happen when candidates are well-informed of the company and there is an openness about the conditions that they thrive in. Whether they have given this any consideration is quite telling in itself as there is a level of self-awareness that is necessary to succeed in most any team environments or workplace.
It’s funny how we spend all of our time as recruiters coaching our candidates how to put their best foot forward at interview, however when it comes to us “apparent” interviewee experts actually going to interview ourselves, it can still be a truly nerve-racking experience.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled 10 foolproof tips that will take us all back to basics and allow us to brush off the interview cobwebs and will provide a refresher and will make you a winning candidate in any interview situation.
1. Research the person who is interviewing you
Most people will suggest that you research the company but that is pretty well a no-brainer if you’ve made it this far in the process. What can be more beneficial to you at this stage of your application is to know your audience aka your interviewer. LinkedIn, Google Images, Twitter, even Facebook can all lead you to hints on both personal and professional preferences that can set you up for success. Look for a common interest or contact and subtly mention it in your interview to create a rapport and connection that is guaranteed to set you aside from the competition.
2. Lay out your outfit the night before - including shoes!
The more prepared you are on the day of your interview, the more relaxed you will be and therefore the more confident you will appear! Be sure to dress appropriately for the work environment - don’t wear a suit to a start-up and don’t wear ripped jeans to well, anywhere you hope to find employment. Make sure your outfit is above all, clean but also comfortable. If you think an outfit looks great but the wool is making you itch or you’re constantly shifting your focus down to make sure that pesky button hasn’t come undone, it will be noticed. Go with something that you have worn before or that you feel super confident in. Don’t forget to consider appropriate footwear for the weather, you can always take a pair of different shoes to change into, if you don’t fancy trecking far in high heels.
3. Review your CV and prepare your financial billing successes as well as intelligent answers for the red flags
Above all else on your CV make sure that you have accurate statistics about your billings. If you are a TC, make sure you understand the GP and revenues that you have generated as well as the profit margins and bill rates. If you are a perms recruiter, then make sure you have the last few years GP to talk about, and if there is growth, hallelujah! If there is not, make sure you are able to talk about the reason behind static numbers or any drops. Have confidence in how you talk about your billings.
That thing you’re hoping they won’t ask you about? Prepare to answer it. There is nothing worse than wishful thinking when it comes to interviewing. Pull out your inner Publicist and find a way to highlight something that might seem unflattering on paper, in a positive way. Hopping from job to job? Word of mouth gets around quickly and you’ve been referred to so many great places to work, it’s hard to keep track! Gap on the CV? You took time to travel / be a more present parent / pursue a new business idea / do further education, etc. The possibilities are endless when you reframe a situation in a positive light, just whatever you do - don’t lie.
4. Put your non-verbal communication under review
Spend a considerable amount of time before your interview monitoring your body language. Are you slumped over your newspaper on the tube or at your desk? Sit up straight! Practice making eye contact with people in conversation even if it’s uncomfortable, it shows sincerity and emulates connection. A study was done by Researchers at Cornell University who manipulated the cartoon rabbit logo on many Trix cereal boxes- the majority of adults chose the cereal box where the rabbit was looking directly at them versus the rabbit that looked to the side. Eye contact will engage your interviewer, who you can bet has had a number of hum drum conversations before you.
5. Ditch the perfume / cigarettes / coffee / gum altogether
Smells are personal but I’ve yet to meet someone who was impressed by a candidate that came in smelling like a poet. Coffee and/or cigarettes are two of the most repulsive second hand smells there are. Masking it with an overbearing amount of perfume is a first class ticket to nausea central. If you are nervous before your interview, opt for a tea or lemon water and pick a mint over gum so you’re not chomping nervously while you wait.
6. Time out your route
This is a key to-do the night or even the week before. Make sure you adjust the settings on Google maps so it reflects the actual time you will be commuting to your interview, this is especially important with public transportation. Pick a route that you are most familiar with and if you are unfamiliar, test it on a separate day. This will help you to know what to expect the day of your interview and alleviate unnecessary delays or stress.
7. Read the job description thoroughly (if there is one!) pick it apart and prepare questions
If you’re anything like me, you’ve gotten used to skimming as an acceptable form of reading things online. It has become almost second nature to the point where sometimes I find myself re-reading the same paragraph four times. Do yourself a favour and go through the job description with a fine tooth comb and if you spot a red flag, mention it. Most interviewers will appreciate your attention to detail, direct communication, and ability to clarify your expectations.
What if there isn’t a job description? Well don’t panic, it’s most common actually these days for there not to be a job description in our world as we all know what we do. However it’s good practice to ask for one up front but go with the flow if whomever your asking, just smiles and says, “well not really, but….”
8. Eat something
Even grabbing a simple piece of toast is better than going into an interview with a gurgly belly. It can be really distracting, not to mention embarrassing! Something light, like a handful of almonds or a banana can also help stave off the belly monster. If you’re meeting over lunch, make sure you order something that you are comfortable eating while engaging in conversation. If you are distracted by your food, it can be hard to stay engaged in the conversation and make that eye contact we talked about earlier. Hold the garlic please!
We’ve all heard it before (and probably rolled our eyes a bit); the well meaning advice of an acquaintance or colleague ‘smile and you’ll start to feel better.’ In fact, it’s scientifically proven that stimulating the smile muscles with botox can send signals to the brain, manipulating our brain’s circuitry of emotion and activating feelings of happiness! Having a positive attitude shows confidence that things are going your way and it is definitely something that stands out as far as candidates go. Since smiles are known to be contagious, if you walk in dawning a big bright smile, you can bet that you have left that interview room better than you found it. People remember the feelings they have about you and if you’ve left a smile on their face, it bodes well for your future on their team and that is definitely something to smile about.
10. Write a handwritten thank you note
A dying art, the handwritten thank you note is thoughtful and classy. Handwritten being the operative word here. People don’t often enjoy the act of opening more e-mails but boy do they ever enjoy opening a lovely little envelope addressed to them! Keep it short and sweet, and if appropriate call back to a positive point of conversation that you had or something that you learned from them. Most of all, be genuinely thankful that this person took the time to consider your application, as we know, hiring is an exhaustive process which is often piled on top of an existing workload. A little gratitude can go a long way.
Let’s hope after all this preparation you really nail the first interview, and you’ll be asked back for a second shortly after. Second interviews can be just as daunting if not more so as first interviews, so actually it would be good practise to go back to point 1, and review how well you covered each of these points. Think about how you can answer any questions you stumbled on better or provide clearer information for the second time around.
Don’t be blasé, you haven’t got that offer yet, and let’s face it, that’s the goal so that you have a decision to make and a strong negotiation basis.
Good luck !!!
People managing is tough and often isolating work in our industry but it comes with a few perks that can make it seem attractive, even momentarily, like money and status. The truth is that people managing isn’t for everyone but the good news is, there are other ways to achieve new levels in your recruitment career without locking yourself into a job you don’t enjoy. We have outlined some food for thought to help you identify and carve your best path at work:
1. Attempt Clarity from The Start
Ask about career trajectory in your interview and what other possible paths your role can extend into. If the role eventually leads to management without exception, you may want to consider whether the role is right for you. It can be hard to stay motivated if the end position you are striving for isn’t in alignment with your strengths and/or career goals. It’s better to find out early on and adjust your plans accordingly.
2. Communicate Regularly
Be upfront that management isn’t one of your current career goals in every performance review possible. The truth is, your boss may see potential in you and may be grooming you for a management position behind the scenes. By being deliberate and vocal about the types of roles that appeal to you (and those that don’t) when a promotion is eventually offered, you won’t have to hide your disappointment or reluctantly accept out of obligation. Instead, you will have an important leg to stand on should you decide to decline.
3. Decipher what’s most important: promotion, raise, or flexibility
Sure a promotion to Management can give you an elevated status but there can be alternative ways to feel a boost at work. Some of you may prefer to keep a less glitzy title and continue to receive regular raises for work well done within that role, even if that means that you’re an Account Manager for 10+ years. Others may be drawn to additional flexibility perks that are offered to part-time consultants like the ability to set your own hours or work from home. Only you can determine what will bring you lasting happiness in your role. Over time needs may change, and that’s okay too. The key is to be routinely aware of what motivates you and to communicate before you’re checked out.
4. Consider What’s On The Other Side
Even if you have always felt opposed to a role in management, there is no real disadvantage to trying it on for size. Like most roles, it offers the ability to grow and the skills are mostly transferable. It can provide you with a sense of security and push you outside of your comfort zone both professionally and interpersonally which can be quite energising if you’ve gotten comfortable or worse, complacent in your current role. It’s okay to voice your vulnerabilities and concerns around the role you’re being offered if it’s something you haven’t done before. Doing so may allow for the opportunity to take on additional training or courses or set a trial period to test the fit.
5. Blaze A New Trail
If you are looking for new avenues to pursue outside the corporate hierarchy, explore boutique firms. Often times they are more modern and offer a flat leadership style compared to the standard pecking order offered at larger organisations. Seek out companies that emulate your workplace values and where you can see an immediate future. Don’t feel obligated or trapped by the need to fit into what seems like a progressive move with a company consumed by the status quo. By mustering up a bit of courage and taking a risk, you are likely to find the type of position that syncs up nicely with your core values and lifestyle which can pay off in triplicate down the line.
When all is said and done it can be quite useful to explore personality tests like Myers Briggs to see where your greatest strengths lie on a team. If you are highly competitive, motivated by results, you are in control of and feel the most productive as independent producer - managing may not be for you. To avoid feeling lured by the the opportunity even when we know it isn’t suited to our skill-set, it can be valuable and productive to spend the time examining your contributions and assets in advance and to then carve your path accordingly.
Bad hires happen from time to time and they are costly, disruptive, and ultimately disastrous when it comes to a teams productivity. While you might be scratching your head and thinking that as a business owner, manager or hiring recruiter you have first hand experience on sussing out winning talent, it is not always so cut and dry. We have created a list of things to watch for when hiring other recruiters:
Blasé Job Descriptions
This should be a no brainer and it is the perfect place to impart your empathy as a recruiter. What kinds of things drew you to your current position? What kind of language can you use to engage the best of the best? First of all, ditch the formal ‘this candidate will possess’ talk. We all know that recruiters thrive on being personable. Your job description should emulate this. Also leave off obvious buzzwords like “innovative, problem solver, excellent communicator and self-starter” because these things go without saying for any recruiter worth their weight. Instead focus on what you bring to the table and be direct about what you’re NOT looking for “this job isn’t for you if...” If you are putting blasé job descriptions out into the world, you will get blasé candidates!
Avoiding Your Immediate Network of Recruiters
It’s a small world and if you have been in the industry for as little as a year, you have likely met a decent amount of competitors or know colleagues-turned-competitors. We are in a competitive business but we are also in the business of helping people. Give your peers the benefit of the doubt and allow them to help you. Not only does it show a sense of humility but it can be healthy for your business to keep the competition close. Of course, nothing is for nothing so offering a reciprocal arrangement to the contact or recruiter who helps you place is a great incentive and a great way to scratch backs.
Only Hiring People Less Qualified Than You
Sometimes we can let our ego take control of a situation and discredit a candidate that we may be threatened by and instead select a candidate that you feel you have a higher authority over. Since you won’t be working directly with this recruiter, it isn’t logical as much as it is an unconscious impulse that feeds your ego. Be aware of it. Showing that you aren’t afraid to recognise someone that impresses and inspires you as a recruiter to your clients shows business maturity.
Rushing The Hire v Speed to Hire
Hiring is a deadline driven world but that doesn’t mean you should rush the process. There is a fine balance however between not rushing a hire and reacting quickly to a great candidate that’s put before you. If they are “hot” on the market, sometimes speed will win the day and secure the hire, however if your gut isn’t giving you the green light on a candidate when they look perfect on paper, it can be tempting to push them through. The reality is you could be saving yourself hours of paperwork and headaches later if you take a bit more time on screening up front. You never know who might appear that's perfect in the next 24-48 hours. Trust your gut and don’t rush the hire, but move fast if the market place dictates that you need to.
Taking Their Word For It (Research!)
Any half decent recruiter is going to come to the interview polished and ready to chat. It is natural to be charmed and engaged by someone who normally sits on the other side of the desk for a living. The important thing is that you do your due diligence and check up on some of their claims. If they claim to have a stronghold on a particular niche, check their LinkedIn and see what groups they are a part of, research their Twitter to see what events they have attended and who they follow.
Using a Recruitment to Recruitment Firm
We will obviously be advocates for this point (can’t think why?)
Part of the reason that we started Raymond George Consultancy was because there was a gap in the market place for a great Recruitment to Recruitment firm on the South coast. Whether it’s us, or a different firm that you use, the services that a specialist firm can offer should mirror the business practices that you would expect of your own team and help you in the hiring process to find great recruiters that will add value and profitability to your business.
Our philosophy is to meet with our clients and candidates wherever possible. The selection of candidates that we send to a client should be based on our personal interaction and thorough interview, we will not spray and pray. We know that diligence around our interview process and really trying to understand the clients needs which are discussed during client visits will mean that we get as close as we can be to finding the right folks and we do our best to not waste valuable time for any party. A simple yet solid step to developing long term partnerships that is the basis of successful hires.
All in all, hiring a recruiter through a third party or not, means being hyper vigilant and keeping in mind that the cost of a bad hire can far outweigh a more cautious approach. If your client is pressuring you to present candidates, you can always share the statistics of what the wrong fit means to their bottom line and give them an inside peak to your thorough screening process that shows you are doing what you can to provide a solid addition to the team. Most clients will appreciate that your extra time is an investment that you are making to protect them vs. laziness or incompetence. Good luck!
What an amazing journey it's been over the last year and seeing what the unknown world of running our own business would bring. We've learned so much about all aspects of business and look forward to even more learning during the years to come.
We expected lows and highs, but we are proud to say from a business perspective it's actually been nothing but highs.
We are looking forward to a great second year, which is focused on placing even more recruitment professionals in jobs that they ❤️
The interview is a crucial moment to garner important details about potential candidates but it should also instill confidence in candidates to want to work for your firm. Unfortunately, when the wrong person conducts the interview this isn’t always the case...
Recruiters are usually busy which means when we are really bogged down, we can be tempted to hand off tasks like a hot potato to a teammate with a more forgiving workload. This is short term thinking that can cost you clout as well as time down the road. By aligning the best person to handle the interview, it sends the right message and mitigates unnecessary steps later.
Here’s how you know for sure if you are the right person to proceed:
As the interviewer you are the face of the company (culture) and how you carry the conversation and whether you are able to rally with the candidate will make or break their impression of your firm. Interviews can be nerve racking as is, so if you are the intense, quiet type - it may not foster the best environment for building rapport with potential candidates.
2. You understand the role thoroughly
There is no greater insult to a candidate then lacking basic information that they require because you are not informed. There should be at least one person in the interview who can articulate ‘a day in the life’ and be able to answer candidate questions that they have prepared regarding the team, commission structure, etc.
We don’t mean recite robotically a memorised mission statement. We mean hashing out anecdotally how the company lives and breathes their values and why they’re meaningful.
This is not mandatory but helpful to get a vibe early on with candidates and their manager. After all, growing the team is about more than just accolades on paper, it’s about chemistry.
If you haven’t read the CV, you should not be interviewing the candidate. Take it one step further and chat with the team member who referred them or pushed them through to add some meat to the feedback that you are able to offer the candidate in interview.
6. You have given thought to the best possible format of interview for this role / candidate
There is no prescriptive formula for what kind of interview works best generally but by factoring in timeframes and convenience for all involved makes the candidate feel cared for. Bonus points for reflecting post interview if the format was effective or how it could be improved.
Gone are the days of asking “why do you want to work here?” in interview. We are in a candidate driven market, so it is your opportunity to WOW the candidate with well thought out questions that show you are as invested in building a genuine rapport as much as they are. If you are not prepared with these questions, you should not proceed.
This is key in terms of engagement. As the interviewer, you should be ‘in the know’ with timeframes and be able to prep the candidate for next steps before leaving the interview.
If you answered mostly ‘NOT I’ to the above 8 qualifiers, do your best to pinpoint who this person is within your organisation and make the necessary adjustments to avoid shooting yourself in the foot when it comes time to procure winning candidates.