Tag Archives: Recruitment

Finding the Right Talent for your Business

A company is only as good as the people in it but how, in an ever-changing and developing recruitment environment, do you get the most talented and most fitting candidates to walk through your door?

Many companies have become frustrated by an apparent ‘lack of talent’.  The truth is that there is an abundance of aptitude and flair in virtually every sector.  What many forget is that the company-employee relationship is two-way and that, as an organisation, you must be as attractive to applicants as they need to be to your business.

If you are struggling to hire your dream team, then settle in and peruse our tips, to see if there are areas in your recruitment strategy that could do with a tweak or a rethink.

Your Corporate Profile

One of the most difficult things to do in business is to put yourself in the shoes of others. You may be racking your brain as to why you are not attracting applicants. Profile and reputation are more important than ever, as many elements of your business are visible, your reputation and history are easily accessible to potential employees.  Social media and the culture of branding across all aspects of life mean that the ‘online shopfront’ of your business must be on point. So, how do you look from the outside? What does your company look like to those who don’t already work inside it?

What kind of applicant are you hoping to attract? What demographic? What experience?  What attributes and values? Now you must think about whether your brand appeals to the target recruits.  How visible is your brand in the marketplace? Does the business look like a big enough player in your industry; is the business innovative/cutting edge or have an ethical stance – or whatever values your target employees expect?   

What Do New Graduates Want?

Businesses crave fresh, energetic, relevant and hungry graduates. Hiring these vibrant, ambitious new professionals give companies real energy and new perspectives on problem-solving. However, graduates are not only looking for good salaries.  In fact, studies show somewhat of a decrease in this being the most important factor when seeking long-term employment. When you are scouting for young talent, consider the following:

Progression Opportunities: More than half of graduates now state that the potential for career progression is the number one thing they look for in a job. So, your offer should include a clear structure for progression and professional development opportunities.

Culture: A positive and exciting work environment is now an essential ingredient for a desirable job. In 2017, over 60% of workers under 30 said that they would trade a higher salary for a positive social and professional climate around their job.  Is your company doing enough towards employee happiness and wellbeing?  Not only is this more attractive to applicants, but high workplace wellbeing has been linked to optimum productivity.

Flexibility: How flexible is your working structure? Many millennials have been known to favour less money for good flexibility. With it now being so easy to work remotely, people are also looking for the option to operate from home for some of the time. Can you implement this in your workforce?

Your Recruiting Methods

This is perhaps the biggest problem facing companies looking for the best recruits; how do you get the message out there? How do you reach the people you want on your team and how do you extract the best from your applicants? Well, there are some traditional recruitment methods that have become forgotten in recent years, yet still work extremely well.  There is also a torrent of new ways to get the freshest talent to knock on your door.

Traditional Methods

Newspaper Advertisements: Now, it could certainly be argued that this is outdated.  However, research around the world suggests that this is still a very successful way to reach candidates.  For many, the job pages in the papers (both online and paper publication) are the ‘go-to’ starting point for job searches. So, don’t turn your nose up at this method just yet.

Temp Agencies:This is a sound way to get ‘no-strings-attached’ potential staff through the door. Temp agencies are often teeming with skilled fresh graduates just making a living whilst they wait for the right job to come along. By getting a temp in, you have no obligation to ask them back if they aren’t up to scratch. If, on the other hand, they are wonderful then you, and they, might feel that a perfect match has been found!

Internal Hiring: Never overlook the brilliant people who already work in your organisation. Not only is internal hiring/promotion the simplest way to fill roles (as they already know, and are part of, the infrastructure of the workplace), but it is also the safest way to hire; no risks taken on sub-par skills or questionable personalities.

Modern Methods

Social Media: Yes, it does seem obvious. And yes, social media does have a somewhat controversial reputation, but you would be remiss not to use it to your advantage. We are all glued to our devices, there’s no getting away from it, so social media recruitment posts and advertising will broaden your pool of applicants. Another bonus of this method is that, in the grand scheme of job advertising, using social media channels is relatively low cost.

ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems):  These systems are becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes. ATS essentially deals with all your recruitment needs, cutting down on administrative load, and creates a database of talent that not only corresponds to your current needs, but also keeps candidates on file for future opportunities. There is an ATS to fit any business, check out some of the best software options here.

Open Ended Job Advertisements: This is an interesting development. The standard job description is changing in nature. It has become not uncommon to leave off job titles and parts of job specifications. The idea is that a more diverse range of professionals will apply for the posts, basing their application more on the content of the prospective job as opposed to the title.

Updated Interview Techniques and Job Auditions: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ is an interview question that is soon to be left in the past. Interview techniques are changing; there are a number of ways to get a better read on your candidate with a few tweaks in your technique, check out a few here. We are also seeing a rise in the ‘job audition’; getting candidates to spend a few hours in the job for which they are applying to see if they really do match up to their CV.  This is a much more practical and telling way of assessing a potential addition to your team.

So, there we have it. How many of these tips and techniques will you be trying out for your business? The addition of just a handful of these ideas will help you to populate your business with a talented and driven workforce that is just as positive about working for you as you are to have them on your team.

Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

What to avoid on your graduate job hunt

Get set and go footprints intrapreneurship January 2017 Coloured text With more people going to university than ever before, the graduate job market is incredibly competitive. It’s pushing firms to demand that candidates arrive at a job interview not only with a degree under their belts, but internships and references to boot. As a result, so-called entry-level graduate positions now seem to be anything but.

Graduates now need to beat the odds in order for their first job searches to prove fruitful. Whether you’re looking for a graduate leadership programme or an entry-level junior management role, these odds can be stacked in your favour if you avoid a few common pitfalls and mistakes. So what should you avoid doing during the hunt for that first full-time role?

Don’t start by only looking for your dream job
Say, for example, that your dream is to become a senior consultant for a ‘Big Four’ firm or an editor at a well-established newspaper like The Times or The Guardian. You might be tempted to look at only one role within your dream organisation, and ignore other openings as a result.

This is a huge mistake. One of the things that major employers are looking for in their graduates is transferable skills, a breadth of experience and adaptability. Narrowing your job search to your perfect role and neglecting other jobs that could provide you with those necessary transferable skills could hurt your prospects in the long-term. The path you take to your dream role is often not straightforward. It helps to instead ‘go sideways’: look for roles at different levels in a range of industries and gain some necessary skills and experience first.

Don’t get the dress code wrong
One of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t get the job is turning up to an interview in the wrong attire,  not looking the part for the job.  There are many instances of promising candidates who are turned away because they attend an interview in casual wear or are inappropriately dressed for a particular company. Find out the dress code in advance of the interview – employers should inform you about this when they offer the interview, but if not, ask.  Failing that, do some research, for example, look at the interviewing organisation’s website, brochures and social media. Even for more creative environments, it’s probably wise to err on the side of caution and wear a smart suit.

 Don’t neglect your digital CV or portfolio
These days, a lot of recruitment takes place online and you may have already put a lot of time and effort into designing a great LinkedIn profile or personal website portfolio. The purpose of having a digital CV is that it makes networking and applying for jobs extremely streamlined – but if you don’t do anything with it, you might as well have not spent the time creating it. LinkedIn is a great way of networking with recruiters and potential employers, so get involved in discussions, promote your achievements, build your connections, and add testimonials. The more detail and engagement you put in, the greater chance there is of your digital CV making an impact. Don’t neglect your existing contacts either – the more people relevant to your job search that you connect and engage with, the more potential opportunities.

Don’t lose confidence
Here’s a fact: most successful people have been rejected countless times in their lives. You will, one day, be rejected or ignored after you apply for a job – even after spending hours or days on the application. Rejection is inevitable. It’s what you choose to do with rejection that counts.

Even if you’ve applied for many jobs and not secured a post, don’t give up. Ensure you get feedback from your interviewers, after all, you’ve invested your time, it’s only reasonable to get feedback. Find out if anything specific went wrong, use each interview as a learning experience and figure out how you can improve for the next one. Employers often receive hundreds of applications for a position and only one candidate can be successful. So what are you going to do differently next time you send an application or attend an interview?

Don’t ignore internships
You might be gearing up for a full-time job, but ignore internships at your peril. Most employers expect you to have some level of work experience, to the point where internships are quickly becoming the new ‘entry-level’.  Not all internships are unpaid, and three months of working full-time will definitely boost your chances in the long-term.  Some salaried entry-level jobs are even listed as ‘internships’, so, again, it’s worth looking further afield for your first role.

Preparation is key for successful job searches and interviews – you might find our blog, boosting your job search with social media, helpful.

Recruiting Trends in Engineering

Mike Astell 2

SMF Mike Astell has both engineering and business qualifications, the latter he gained through his MBA study thanks to a hefty bursary from Sainsbury Management Fellows which champions the idea of having engineers in board positions because they bring a multiplicity of skills to these roles.

Mikes’ MBA enabled him to transition into senior management posts where his is responsible for hiring a diversity of staff including engineers.  Mike’s view on current recruitment is that “Engineering recruitment is at a turning point.  A major shift is taking place within  graduate recruitment as many more are seeing engineering as an exciting long term career choice.

“Our industry has long lamented the fact that large numbers of talented engineering graduates have not seen their careers in engineering roles and have been lured by City employers which offer big incentives and salaries to attract people with strategic, analytical and project management skills.

“The failure of so many financial institutions has led to the restructuring of the economy  (eg headcount reductions, divestments) and engineering graduates are starting to look at things differently.  They are exploring engineering roles more carefully and beginning to appreciate the potential for challenging careers with long term prospects for advancement.

“This shift in perspective has increased the pool of graduate talent from which to select the very best engineering graduates, creating a very competitive market – many graduates are having to do work placements or part time work to improve their competitiveness.  Now  we are recruiting some amazing graduates; not only in terms of their academic achievements, but their energy and enthusiasm to contribute to industry.

“And it’s not just engineering graduates. The upheaval in the job market has resulted in a large churn and highly experience engineers who may have stayed at one firm for a long time, becoming frustrated at not progressing, have joined the candidate market, creating even more opportunities for employers to access the best engineers. This diversion of talent into industry will most definitely help to rebuild the British economy.”