17 April 2014
1) Don’t wing it!
In today’s society it is so easy to rely on a smartphone to get to places, but phone batteries can run out and signals/GPS aren’t always reliable, especially in rural areas and in the middle of large city centres. Even if everything is OK with the technology, it has been known for Google to be wrong. Plan your journey and print out directions.
It is also advisable to print out contact information in case you need to ring ahead for assistance.
2) Be at one with yourself.
Arriving early to an interview allows you time to de-stress from the journey and collect your thoughts. It will give you time to go over the questions you have prepared, run through your presentation (if applicable), and review the answers to questions that are likely to be presented to you.
It will also give you time to calm your nerves, have a drink of water and go to the bathroom if necessary. This will hopefully allow you to enter the interview relaxed and comfortable.
3) A glimpse into the future.
First impressions are extremely important.
How you behave at an interview is a reflection of how you will potentially behave if you were to be offered the position. Being late for the interview may suggest to the interviewer that you would be regularly late if you were offered the job and employed by the organisation.
4) The interview before the interview.
In many organisations the interview starts as soon as you arrive in the building. How you interact with the receptionist or secretary may well be taken into account when considering you for the position – this gives the organisation an idea of your personality outside of the formal interview setting.
If you arrive late or on time then you may be missing out on the unofficial part of the interview process. So arrive early and be nice to all staff you encounter, but definitely no flirting!
5) Ring ahead.
If you are running late for any reason – ring ahead.
It is easy to think I’ll explain everything when I get there when time is against you but, again with today’s technology, it is assumed that most people will have a mobile phone and the capability of giving the organisation an update on your progress. However, you may want to think carefully about the reason you give for your lateness. Being scared of escalators, a man stopped me in the street to talk to me about breakdown cover or I saw a really cute dress in the window of Topshop are unlikely to be considered acceptable reasons!
Source: Undercover Recruiter
1 April 2014
Highlights from the March 2014 job market report from Adzuna
• Competition for jobs has dropped by over a third (35%) year-on-year. There are now just three UK jobseekers competing for every two advertised vacancies.
• Job vacancies increased 19% year-on-year, with 800,614 advertised UK vacancies in February, a 4.2% monthly increase on January.
• In the nine best cities to find a job in the UK, there were more vacancies than jobseekers. Cambridge – the best city to find a job – boasted five jobs to every job seeker.
• But advertised salaries sunk 4.4% year-on-year to £32,023 in February, a real-term fall of £2,077 over the last twelve months.
• Salary stagnation hits hardest in London (-6%), East Anglia (-5.3%) and the South East (-4%), while the North West sees moderate salary growth (2%)
• Youth unemployment heading for crisis point, with long term unemployment for 16-24 year olds doubling in the last 6 years. Current youth unemployment sits at 19.8%, approximately 3x the overall UK unemployment rate.
Source: UK Recruiter
18 March 2014
Work-life balance, or flexibility, is a highly desired work option . But what happens after you’ve recruited your ideal candidate and they’ve settled into their new jobs at a remote locations? Unfortunately, for some companies remote becomes “out-of-sight and out-of-mind”. Unless you require frequent on site visits, remote employees can easily become “those guys that work from home”.
A lot has been written aimed at telecommuting workers to help them maintain their visibility when working off site. It is a common concern of remote workers that telecommuting will cause them to be overlooked for promotions or bonuses, or to be excluded from important team decisions. They struggle to find ways to keep themselves in their employers’ minds so that telecommuting doesn’t result in career suicide.
It is important for telecommuters to make efforts to stay connected. But it’s only fair that employers accept some responsibility for helping them stay connected, as well. It can be easy to think that allowing employees to telecommute is gratifying enough for them, and then forget that they have the same needs your on-site employees have (for recognition, for community, etc.) If this is the case, don’t be surprised if you see a decline in morale and loyalty from your remote workers.
Why not ask yourself the following questions:
•Do I reward my on-site staff for exceptional performance?
•Do I create activities to help my on site employees feeling like they are a team?
•Do I make myself readily available to my on site employees when they need me?
•Then why would I do any thing less for my virtual or remote employees?
True, managing remote staff does come with unique challenges. Obviously remote workers can’t gather in the lunch room or around the water cooler to exchange ideas and small talk. Further, depending on just how remote in location they are, virtual staff may not even be able to attend a company holiday party. However, there are ways you can ensure that your remote workers stay closely connected and feel they are part of the “we” in a team:
1) What can I do for you?
For starters, ask remote workers what it is they need. Do they need more communication with you? Although one of the requirements for working remotely usually is the ability to work independently, virtual workers still need human instruction and reassurance from time to time. Make it possible for them to get this, either through a special e-mail or online group that they know you will check at a specified time each day or week. Or, perhaps you could give them weekly scheduled phone time or Skype chat.
2) “A” for effort:
Virtual workers are humans who need encouragement and feedback.
Note their progress throughout the process of their work as well as the end results. Welcome updates on projects so that they feel noticed.
You don’t want to make them to feel like you’re scrutinizing them, but let them know that you acknowledge they are working hard even when a project isn’t yet completed.
3) It’s a special day!
Remember important occasions. A birthday card sent via snail mail is rare these days, even with close friends. Yet this is an inexpensive and very meaningful way to give remote workers a huge boost.
How about a congratulatory e-mail noting the anniversary of their employment with the company? And that holiday party they can’t attend? Then a gift, a bonus, and a voice message will go a long way in helping them feel a part of the celebration.
4) Is anybody out there?
Are your virtual workers able to regularly connect with on-site employees? Investing in video conferencing tools is no longer a luxury, it’s a must. Communicating with their peers solely by e-mail not only lends to crossed signals, but it is inefficient. Make it possible for all your staff to get together at one time, regardless of their locations.
So, you might ask, what do I get out of nurturing my remote employees? Besides remote work being better for your bottom line, you’ll have staff who feel valued and love their jobs. That means you’ll have employees who perform well not only for a paycheck, but because they care about what they do and for whom they do it. You can’t ask for a better team than that.
Source: The Undercover Recruiter.com
4 March 2014
Tens, if not hundreds, of people apply for each job that’s advertised which means that it’s more important than ever to make sure your CV stands out from the rest. Before applying for a job you should revise your CV and tweak it slightly in order to make sure it’s relevant to the role that you’re applying for. A lot of people make the mistake of sending a CV that they wrote years before and which hasn’t been updated since they finished high school or university. It’s imperative to read through and update your CV regularly to ensure that all of your relevant skills are included.
It’s true that recruiters have so many applications and CVs to sift through that each may get barely ten seconds of their attention. This means that yours needs to be short and snappy in order to catch their eye and to keep it out of the waste paper bin.
1. Irrelevant personal information
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, your CV is not the place for personal details. Your political interests, height, weight and eye colour might be things that you deem interesting about yourself, but they won’t help you get a job so leave them out. A statement like ‘GSCE level French’ is also an unnecessary addition. If you can’t speak a language to an advanced or fluent level and are unable to use it in within business, leave it out.
2. Make sure important information can be found easily
There’s no point burying important information on your CV because when it’s got a recruiter’s attention for less than ten seconds, they need to be able to see the facts that are useful to them straight away. Whatever it is that makes you perfect for the position that’s being advertised should be clearly marked, high up on your CV as opposed to being buried in sections further down. Recruiters appreciate the information that they need being easy to find and if you make sure the information’s obvious, if you’re right for the role, there’s no chance your CV will be overlooked.
Remember to sell yourself and make the reasons that you’ll be a benefit to the company obvious, in a concise, easy to understand and compelling few paragraphs.
3. Avoid typos and spelling and grammatical errors
If there’s one thing that will see your CV tossed straight into the bin, regardless of your experience, qualifications and potential, it’s spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and typos. This is one rule that all recruiters would hope was obvious, but it isn’t as there are many people who still don’t check through what they’ve written before sending it on. Nowadays there’s really no excuse either as the majority of jobs are applied for online which means that most people write their CV in a Word document. Word processing programs have a spell checker which will probably also check for grammatical errors.
Message from the recruiters: A spell checker is there for a reason, so use it.
4. Unexplained employment gaps
Almost everyone will have had that interview situation where you’ve had to explain a perfectly legitimate gap in employment. Whether it’s because you were travelling, on sabbatical or for any other reason, make sure you explain this to avoid your CV being cast aside due to potential employers see you as some kind of risk.
5. Never lie or mislead a potential employer
Obviously you’re not going to highlight any negative qualities that you may have as the whole point of your CV is to portray yourself in the best possible light. Although it’s expected that you might exaggerate slightly on certain aspects of your CV to make it sparkle and stand out from the rest, it’s really important not to take it too far because recruiters will spot lies. Recruitment agencies and potential employers are always on the lookout for inflated qualifications, achievements, earnings and job titles.
It’s important to remember that the people who will be looking at your CV will have been recruiting new employees for years and will know if you’re exaggerating. If you were considering lying about your past achievements in order to try and bag an interview for the job of your dreams then be aware that a lot of employers are now performing background checks, using candidate checking services, to ensure that you do actually have the qualifications and experience that’s necessary for the role for which you’re applying. If you want to avoid an embarrassing interview situation then don’t lie on your CV and don’t apply for jobs for which you don’t have the relevant experience and qualifications, because you will be found out.
6. Long CVs
There’s nothing worse for a recruiter to face than a long and waffling CV. Regardless of your knowledge and experience, you’re unlikely to get an interview if your CV looks like this because recruiters won’t waste their time reading it. Don’t include any unnecessary information because it means the important stuff may be overlooked. Make sure it doesn’t take up more than two sides of A4 because if it does, it suggests to potential employers that you’ve had a lot of jobs over the years – something they’ll be wary of – or that you can’t write in a clear and concise manner, which is another negative. If you’re a little older and applying for a job then it can be hard to stick to the two page limit when you’ve got to describe every job that you’ve had for the last 30 years. Recruiters’ advice is to mention the role but don’t describe it because the likelihood is that it won’t be overly relevant anyway. Recruiters would prefer you to explain the more recent experience and achievements as opposed to irrelevant roles that you may have had in the past. If you feel that you should refer to jobs from years ago in order to avoid employment gaps or because they’re relevant to the role that you’re applying for then attach a separate document for ‘previous employment’.
Every recruiter will appreciate your taking the time to separate the things that are relevant from the things that probably aren’t. The same applies to qualifications too. If you studied something years ago purely because it was a compulsory subject at school then it’s probably not relevant to the job you’re applying for and should therefore be included in a separate document of ‘Other qualifications’. However, even if you obtained a qualification aeons ago, if you’ve maintained your skills – for example, you did a degree in French in the 70s and have been to France every year since in order to maintain your speaking skills – then it’s always worth including on your CV.
7. Font Size and Style
Simplicity is key when it comes to your CV. A funky, brightly coloured font, although undoubtedly eye catching, is not what a recruiter would deem as professional. Moreover, chopping and changing your font is a sure way to put yourself in the ‘no’ pile. There is no need to “jazz up” your CV with a diverse mixture of Comic Sans, Century Gothic and a hint of Times New Roman: it just looks uncoordinated and confused. Stick to a black, simple font, whilst keeping the size consistent throughout.
8. Unprofessional Email Addresses
We all remember the days of MSN and Hotmail, where an obscure or amusing email address was encouraged rather than dismissed. However, when applying for a job, it is important to say goodbye to ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, the email account you created when you were twelve. As a candidate, you need to be taken seriously, and recruiters will be apprehensive to put you forward when your contact details portray you in a less than professional light. Make sure to create a new account so you aren’t discounted and can portray yourself as a credible contender.
9. Overuse of Business Jargon or Acronyms
When submitting your CV to recruitment agencies, don’t assume that the business jargon and acronyms that were used in your last position is common knowledge. Particularly if you want to move away from your previous industry, it is important to use language that is clear and concise, where anyone can read it and understand. A CV full of complicated words and abbreviations will not put you in good stead. Try to explain the more complicated aspects of your previous roles. Once written, reread your CV as an outsider, asking yourself – “does this make sense?”
10. Don’t apply for a position if you’re under qualified
There’s absolutely no point in applying for a job that you’re not qualified for, but unfortunately, this is something that a lot of people do and it’s nothing but a waste of theirs and the recruiter’s time. Liking the sound of a job or the fact that a role has an attractive salary to accompany it really isn’t a reason to apply and you should spend time looking closely at the job description and any other relevant information that is provided before hitting the ‘apply here’ button.
After reading through any extra documentation that’s provided, you should sit back and really consider whether you’ve got the skills that are suitable for such a role. If the answer’s yes, then, and only then, should you apply. If the answer’s no, then save yourself time and save the recruiter time too – and also save yourself the heartache of facing yet another, inevitable rejection.
Constructing an effective and meaningful CV isn’t an easy task and it’s not something that can be done in five minutes. However, avoid these no-no’s and you’ll be well on your way to an interview for the job of your dreams.
Source: UK Recruiter.co.uk
25 February 2014
Are your employees rolling their eyes every time you demand something from them? Are they sick and tired of their duties? Do you feel like your company is not productive enough because of your employees? Then maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Have you ever thought of finding a way to engage them? Today’s business environment can only thrive if people work at their best potential.
Unfortunately, very few managers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs pay attention to the needs and wants of their staff – how can you expect results if you’re not committed enough to providing a pleasant work space for your employees? The secret to a successful enterprise is engagement, and that can only be achieved if you’re ready to make a change.
Be a useful leader:
Most business owners don’t like to get involved and they’d rather stick to giving orders. Is that such a good idea?
Do you think that just because employees fear you they will give it their best? Think again because in today’s modern environment, people who are not pleased with their jobs will leave. Successful leaders must be willing to swallow their pride and work hand in hand with their staff to boost productivity and lead their companies to the top of the pyramid. One of the best ways of getting your workers’ attention is to become an equal participant. Here’s what you can do to drive engagement:
•Organize periodic group meetings.
•Welcome the ideas of your staff.
•Encourage them to speak up their mind.
•Set up weekly brainstorming sessions.
•Provide constructive criticism.
•Admit if you’re being wrong (that proves you’re humane just like the rest of them).
Add excitement at the workplace:
A devoted business owner should always be ready to switch things up every once in a while. Working non-stop from 9 to 5 and engaging in the same routine every single day will eventually affect the creativity of your people; and let’s be honest: you need that creativity to make your company famous. Every devoted boss should add some excitement at the workplace.
Ask your employees to go home in the middle of their schedule, take them to lunch, or go bowling. Think of a smart idea and you’ll definitely manage to grab attention. You might be the world’s toughest boss but it’s nice for employees to know that you do have a softer side too.
Redecorate the workspace:
One of the best ways for a company to grab the attention of their employees is to completely redecorate their workspaces. New desks, ergonomic chairs, a relaxation room, and maybe a splash of colours will certainly appeal to the senses of your people. Include a sofa, a lunch corner, provide coffee, and make the office space more vibrant and welcoming.
As human beings, we are greatly influenced by what we see and feel. A dull work environment can’t motivate, yet a beautiful desk with nice furniture and a pleasant ambiance can really awake our creative spirit.
Organize competitions and award the best:
Another way of boosting productivity and keeping employees engaged is to organize daily competitions. It’s amazing how fast can people work when they’re bosses are willing to award their efforts. CEOs should constantly think of smart ways to make their teams stay united and thus help their companies thrive.
Lack of motivation will never lead to success – in every business domain the employees will want to make a name of themselves and strive to attain greatness. For that to happen, you must foster creativity and support their ideas.
The key to attaining success depends on communication. Major corporations are no longer creating individual offices for workers and they’d rather build joint workspaces to foster communication and bear creativity. Studies have shown that working in groups can be a lot more productive than working alone. Ergo, it’s best to sustain communication if you want results. Implement the following steps and you’ll reap great benefits:
•Conflicts must be handled with diplomacy – at some point, conflicts will emerge. Try not to start screaming at your employees and be a diplomat. Point out the mistake and together find a reasonable solution.
•Cultural differences must be respected – hiring people from all over the world is not uncommon anymore. Don’t discriminate your employees, and treat everyone equally.
•Good feedback is always welcomed
•Trust your employees
Getting your employees’ attention is something attainable without using a demanding attitude. As a manager, CEO, co-founder, or supervisor, it’s your job to make their lives at the workplace fulfilling. Shaking things up, grabbing their attention, fostering creativity, and giving them a reason to work for your company will keep them engaged.
In the long run, employee engagement will greatly boost productivity.
Source: The Undercover Recruiter.com
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