Tag Archives: HR advice

Interviews: Use your Resourcing Consultant as a Valuable Resource!

Jo Pearson - HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

Jo Pearson – HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

So you’ve secured an interview for your dream job? Excellent! Now just to make sure you’re prepared for whatever may get thrown at you on the day!

Interviews can be a scary, nerve-wracking experience, but they really needn’t be.  It all comes down to preparation and getting the basics right to make sure you make the right impression.  And when I say basics, I’m not just talking about wearing your best suit, arriving on time, keeping good eye contact, speaking clearly and a firm handshake.

No, these things of course are important and will set you off on the right foot but there’s a few other things you can do to make sure you leave a lasting impression and ensure that you’re the candidate the employer is itching to call back with a big fat offer!

I thought it might be helpful here to compile a short list of tips and tricks based on my experience of working in recruitment for the last 5 years and to make sure you’re getting the most out of your consultant.

  • Use your recruitment consultant to get as much information as possible about what to expect from the interview. It’s great that you have the job description and have done your recruitmentconsultant2research on line but a consultant worth his or her salt will have information you won’t be able to find anywhere else. They should know what you might be asked; what the interviewers are “really” looking for; what puts them off; what will grab their attention.       Your consultant should be calling you with all this information and if they’re not; call them and ask!

 

  • Take a copy of your CV, the job description and make some notes of good examples of your experience and some questions you want to ask. You’ll look well prepared and if you forget something or “go blank” you’ve something handy to jog your memory and refer to. Everyone’s suffered that moment in an interview when what you really wanted to say goes out of your head! If it gets really bad, take a breath, have a drink of water and ask the interviewer a question.

presentationIf you’ve been asked to prepare a presentation, check what it is they’re expecting from you. Prepare it well in advance and get your consultant to cast a second pair of eyes over it. They should know again what the client’s looking for in more detail than the brief you’ve been given and will be able to give you some handy pointers.  Take plenty of handouts, and if you’re using your own laptop make sure you have your power adapter with you!

 

  • Do your research on who will be interviewing you. Use Linkedin to your advantage.  Find out where they worked before and ask them why they joined the business and what they like about working there. It’ll help you decide if it’s the right job for you. It’s a two way process after all. Oh, and make sure you call them by the correct name during the interview. A simple thing you might think but I have known some occasions where a candidate has called the interviewer by the wrong name throughout!

interview dress

  • Dress smart and look your best but dress appropriately. I know that outfit looked great on you when you last wore it to Friday night cocktails but……really?! For further guidance on dressing for success read Top 10 Tips for Interview Dress Etiquette

 

 

Here is a really useful video to guide you through your interview step by step.

 

These are just a few ideas based on my experience and where I’ve seen people sometimes not get it quite right.  Now you’re hopefully all set. Good luck!

You can contact Jo on 0161 615 9000 or email him at jo.pearson@ashleykatehr.com.  The North team consist of Jo, Paula Shaw, Jorja Carr and Gemma Thomason. and are supported by a UK network of HR Recruitment Consultants.

 

 

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Recruitment is not that bad! Honestly

Kim MacNamara - HR Business Director

Kim MacNamara – HR Business Director

Have you noticed there have been a few derogatory comments made about recruitment consultancies recently on Twitter?  Why is it that there is still a small percentage (thank you to the majority for your positive comments!) of HR that feel it necessary to criticise recruitment consultants. I think this is so counterproductive!

Isn’t it about time we think constructively and come up with new initiatives and for HR to become more in tune with consultancies to make the relationship work so that it is mutually beneficial? The majority of HR out there really value the service consultancies offer, and work in partnership with them, whether that be as a candidate or as a client, and there is no getting away from it there is a market for good niche specialist recruitment consultants. We are here to stay! You only have to look at the recent REC report    to see the value of the UK’s recruitment industry has surpassed its pre-recession peak, recording total revenue of £28.7 billion by the end of the financial year 2013/14.

So how should HR work collaboratively and positively with their recruitment consultant to ensure maximum benefit and continued brand strengthening? You want value for your money in your recruitment process or as a candidate you want excellent service so why not focus on developing a relationship that will really work for you.

toptipsTop tips:

At interview stage – confirm an action plan with your consultant.  Agree how and where they will market you, on and offline and schedule a time to review progress.  Bear in mind recruitment consultants are hard to get hold of during the day, this is because they are actively working during core hours of the day trying to generate a new challenge for you.  Don’t forgot this is 2014, recruitment volumes are higher and yes it is frustrating trying to get hold of people – get a time in place to speak/update and avoid the constant to and fro of wasted calls and emails. Implement structure into your joint action plan.

If you feel your consultant is not probing you enough with questions at registration stage tell them there and then, not afterwards to your fellow colleagues and bloggers.  Make sure you fully equip them with all the information they need to actively promote you to their clients.  This is a two way relationship remember and they need to act in your best interests.

If you feel you don’t understand the role fully you are being considered for – challenge the consultant to find out more.  A good consultant will know the ins and outs – of the role if they have been fully briefed by the client of course.  Brands can be so easily misunderstood if clients do not spend adequate time to brief properly.

recruitment12It has been suggested that consultants can easily damage employee brands.  My response would be – why would we want to do this? – it wouldn’t make good commercial sense to do this right!!  We have access to more industry insights than a candidate or internal recruiter will have. Probe that knowledge further until you are satisfied you are happy with applying for the role. More often than not we work on a retained assignment basis with our clients and this gives us fantastic insight in to a firms objectives and can then truly provide an overall picture of the job opportunity and operate as an extension to the hiring team in promoting cultural values and visions. Failure is not an option in our recruitment world and job seekers are now behaving like consumers so it makes perfect sense to identify what our candidates intentions are and work cohesively together.

hrnetworkIf you are of the opinion that an agency is only interested in a quick fix then think again! Look for specialist recruiters who have a long track record, you can benefit from their market intelligence on areas such as the job role, structural information, contact data, sector and salary and can offer unbiased company views when applying to HR roles. Also ask them about their post placement added value services and how your new team will benefit.  Take a look at our HR Network for further advice on value added services

Remember a good Recruitment Consultant has to be nimble and adapt to the ever changing climate and developing an effective relationship with a HR professional is key but it will only work if both make the effort. Recruitment is an art; there are those that are better at it than others but the long term specialists are the ones you need to be targeting to develop a results orientated approach to your career plan.

tangoDon’t forget this is a 360 partnership for it to work effectively and also remember it takes two to tango!

Ashley Kate HR are always open and receptive to ideas on how to develop effective candidate and client relationships further – if you would like to connect with me to discuss more effective ways of working with recruiters then please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn   or email me directly –  at kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com.

FIRP, HR Recruitment Director –  Kim MacNamara is a HR recruitment specialist who has successfully placed senior HR roles across the UK and is driven by a focus on an excellent customer experience.  Working alongside Claire Baker, Emma Dobson, Lucy Wesson & Leon Morley they provide effective recruitment solutions for HR roles from Administrative to Board level.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim also runs the LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim is also responsible for running the Ashley Kate HR HRD Boardroom style debate events in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Importance of a Happy Team – and how to achieve it!

naomiasher

Naomi Asher – Co Founder and Managing Director of Ashley Kate HR

I am naturally a happy, optimistic, positive person, I believe life is short and you have to embrace it and not waste time on negativity or on people who create negativity.

These views I bring into both my personal life and work, if people are happy they are more productive, if they are surrounded by a team of happy, positive people then they will all be more productive, the more productive you are the happier you are, so how do we as Owners / Managers help our teams to feel this way.

worklifeWork life balance – I’m not the first to discuss this, in fact in the 20 (ish!) years I have been working it has been a constant topic of conversation, so why are so many companies still getting it wrong – I have worked in environments where you have to be in before your ‘boss’, leave after they have left, your ‘standard’ hours are totally different to the hours you are ‘expected’ to work  why? And part time / flexi hours do work in recruitment; retaining talent is key, so why say no to requests for flexibility.

 I encourage standard and expected hours to be the same, in recruitment this is not the norm, our Consultants work 8.30am – 5pm or 9.30am to 6pm – the Ashley Kate HR offices are open 8.30am – 6pm our clients and candidates get the level of service they require and should expect, but our team get the time outside of work to have a ‘life’. If someone is doing excessive hours I look at why, do they require support in prioritising workload, extra training? I do not reward it.

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The working environment – I absolutely want a professional environment but that doesn’t mean stuffy, not able to have fun whilst at work, encouraging and allowing simple things like charity days, dress down (or dress up!) days helps people enjoy their time in the office. Our clients and candidates are professionals but they are also people, they support our Charities and CSR initiatives, and feedback regularly that they like to see what the team are doing.

Social Media – In a world that is embracing social media the importance of being present having a strong brand is high, there are so many guidelines on how to build your brand and the tone you need to use, my advice is be yourself, be professional, share relevant industry information, comment, be authoritative in your field, but be true to who you are, people buy people first, restricting people will not support them in their SM growth and forcing people to be present in forums/platforms they are not comfortable in for example videos or blog writing will not work, if these are essential for everyone a lot of training and support is required but ideally pull on peoples strengths those who don’t like certain things will be comfortable elsewhere.

supportSupporting underperformance – the recruitment industry has a tendency to view people on their last month’s performance, one bad month and you’re out – why? Even your top Consultants will have a bad month, before placing blame find out why, our ‘product’ put crudely is people, they are a lot harder to control than a tin of beans, things happen, interviews get rearranged, clients have to be off, candidates are ill, an extra stage is added to the process, if your consultant isn’t hitting targets they need support, they need training, not auditing and blaming.

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Yasmin Elezaj & Leon Morley rewarded for success

Motivating – everyone is motivated by different things, respond to different incentives, find what works, in recruitment it tends to be ££££ but a simple cup of tea made for them, box of chocolates or a well done goes a long way – people are quick to mention the negatives make sure you reward or even just acknowledge the positives.

To put a caveat to all the above, sometimes extra hours are needed, sometimes the working environment has to be fully focused on the task in hand, some things are not appropriate to post on SM, some underperformers can’t be turned round by training, I am realistic, but let’s give the positive a try first and see what happens……

I enjoy going to work, I am not naive enough to think the whole team feel this way every day but I do know the majority of time they do and no one dreads their working day.

Combining professionalism with fun to me is how you achieve a ‘Happy Team’

I’m a great believer in 360 feedback, take a look at what our consultants say about working for Ashley Kate HR. Ashley Kate HR Feedback

If you would like to discuss working with Ashley Kate HR either directly or indirectly email me naomi.asher@ashleykatehr.com or register your interest on our website or call 0845 413 3200.

 

 

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Is Job Share a Solution to Flexible Working?

Gemma Thomason - Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

Gemma Thomason – Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

With the new 2014 legislation giving all staff who have worked with you over 26 weeks the right to flexible working, has your company considered Job Share as a solution to offer?

Great idea Gemma BUT …..

  • “Oh no a job share won’t work in OUR business”
  • “This role is too senior to be a job share!”
  • “How do we handover if we are not in on the same day?”
  • “Our customers/clients/stakeholders won’t like dealing with two  different  people”

Valid concerns but in my experience of working on a job share, here are some key ideas on how a job share may work for your business and may be the solution to providing flexible working for more staff in your workplace.

PeopleselectionSelection – Choose the right people – do two staff members requesting flexible working hours already work well together? Therefor it would be an easy solution to match them up obviously as long as they are of similar level and both have requested flexibility.

If you are recruiting into the 2nd job share post ensure the first person is involved in the process.

How will it work? – Schedule a meeting with both job share employees on process and how things are going to work.

Agree a process for them to follow with regards to handovers whether these are written or handover1verbal communications.  The key is simplicity.  Spending half the day deciphering or writing the handover becomes ineffective. Keep the hand over to key points and urgent business.

Emails – Create a shared signature on both emails explaining the days of work for each individual.  Ensure emails are redirected to correct job share partner without an “out of office” you want your customers to see a seamless process not worrying if their email has been received or not.

Skills –  A job share can work in a number of ways to suit your business but it makes sense to play to strengths. Do some candidates prefer to be more client facing, does one prefer to do the analytics and numbers. Two heads are better than one could really add value to the role and your business.

Ccommunication1ommunication – Key to success, not just between the job share partners but also with everyone within the business and your clients will see the job share as success and beneficial to them.

There a number of ways to make a job share work for your business.  By offering such flexibility you will engage and retain your top talent and still maintain business productivity.

If you have been struggling to recruit a HR professional on a part-time basis, I have key experience in this area, do not hesitate to give me a call on 0114 221 8000, or email me Gemma.thomason@ashleykatehr.com.

Gemma Thomason- is a Senior HR Recruitment Consultant for Yorkshire and the North West. She is a customer focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team.

Gemma has had key success in filling roles in the Yorkshire and the North West area including several at Regional HR Manager level with a global distribution firm, HRBP’s for a national Not-for Profit organisation and also in the Professional Service sector. She enjoys recruiting in the specialist areas of HR and has had some great outcomes especially in the Reward area recently.  If you require any assistance with recruitment please feel free to contact Gemma direct on 0114 221 8000 or email Gemma.thomason@ashleykatehr.com  you are more than welcome to connect with Gemma on LinkedIn or follow her on twitter.

 

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HR Networking & Employment Law Update

The Ashley Kate HR final employment law update of the year was a great success.

Birmingham played host to over 50 HR Professionals who enjoyed a breakfast and networking followed by an employment law update delivered by Caroline Robins and Frances O’Neill of Eversheds.

The update covered Whistle blowing, Shared Parental Leave & Holiday Pay.

The feedback from this update was extremely positive with a great deal of interest surrounding Shared Parental Leave and in depth questioning regarding potential Holiday Pay reforms.  The feedback we received regarding the event was very positive. 

silouette2“Very Informative” “Great content” “A good general ER overview”

“Informative session and the speakers clearly presented the topics and covered all areas”

“First time to an event and I found it very informative”

 

 

During the event the Ashley Kate HR team sold raffle tickets, the prizes included £50 TGI Voucher, £50 Boden Voucher, tickets to Twin Lakes and beauty gift bags.  The raffle raised at total of £77 and this  money has been split evenly between the Whitechapel Mission and Base 51.

base51Base 51 supports young people aged between 12–25, providing easy access to services including: Health, Counselling, Housing Advice and Support, Learning Support, Support for young parents, practical support such as affordable meals, and free laundry and showers.

At the Whitechapel Mission, they have been helping Londoners to help the homeless since 1876, meeting the specific needs of each man and woman who walks through their doors. They are a volunteer led workforce with very few staff, but this does not mean they are a small Whitechapelpngorganisation.  First, they help the homeless by meeting immediate needs: food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  In their recovery programs, Whitechapel Mission volunteers help address deeper needs for life-skills and job skills training, and addiction recovery.

 

 

HRN5Ashley Kate HR run these much anticipated legal seminars in conjunction with Eversheds and they formed part of a full schedule of HR networking events that we held in for 2014 for HR professionals right across the UK.

These events offer HR an invaluable opportunity to hear about the latest employment law changes, network with other HR professionals and ask direct questions to the legal experts from Eversheds and recruitment teams from Ashley Kate HR.  We are currently putting together the schedule for next year and will release this shortly. If you are keen to join the our HR Network and attend these valuable legal updates please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com

HRDboardroomBirmingham1Our final event of the year is due to take place on the 18th November our HR Directors Boardroom debate is being hosted at Eversheds in Birmingham and promises to be a lively HR debate, a few places are still available if you would like to attend please email kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com

 

 

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HR Specialists – Taking the lead

Kim MacNamara

Kim MacNamara HR Business Development Director

With the emphasis on businesses managing their people more effectively and building more productive organisations, Ashley Kate HR has seen a big surge in companies looking to recruit HR roles that require a more specific skill set to help achieve overall strategic objectives. In addition it is more noticeable that HR job titles are changing to reflect a more specialised, business-focused HR function.

We are seeing a deeper understanding from HR of the huge importance placed on hiring the right talent, making a break from a past acceptance of staff turnover as an inevitable cost of business. HR is continuing to become increasingly prominent and more visible at the ‘top’ table in organisations of all sizes, which again shows a positive perspective shift in tapping in to certain skill sets.

As competition gets stronger for highly skilled, experienced HR professionals especially those equipped with the latest specific, technical skills, we are starting to see a salary war heating up for those who can add real value to a companies greatest assets and impact on high level decisions and strategies.

talentmanagementCEOs and boards are increasingly spending significant amounts of time looking into HR issues and becoming more reliant on HR specialists and appreciating that their valuable skills can permeate throughout  the whole business, in areas such as: compensation, succession planning, talent management and performance reviews.

Increased M/A activity is driving an increased demand for change and transformation agents to manage transitions effectively. There is now much more emphasis on a greater integration between coaching, organisational development and performance management to drive through important organisation change.

Companies are becoming more focused on retaining their best talent to help with company growth and brand positioning and there has been an increase in demand for L&D experience e.g. leadership development, coaching, succession planning and also for Internal Recruitment /Talent specialists who can develop those essential talent pipelines in anticipation of future growth.

technologyBusinesses are utilising technology to analyse everything from role filling and retention levels, to why people choose to leave an organisation. This level of recruitment offers a clear indicator of a confident outlook for the future.

Also in an ever-changing economic environment, organisations continue to review and evaluate the reward programmes they have in place to understand the return on investment for an area of significant spent. Companies are increasingly keen to secure the services of skilled Reward professionals who can evaluate whether specific rewards programs are good fits for their employees, gauging the value the employees place on the benefits, and assessing the compliance impact on the rewards structure. Key skills sought after in this area include strong analytical skills which can impact evidence based decisions. This is key data senior HR need to impact and influence change at the ‘top’ table and strengthening HR’s overall positioning in a company. There are more senior roles in this area, and having a Head of Reward in place signals that firms are putting more emphasis on retaining talent.

We are certainly seeing a growing optimism amongst HR professionals having seen the largest number of jobs being registered with Ashley Kate HR in July this year since the company’s inception in 2001. Also for further evidence of the shift towards recruiting HR specialists take a look at Ashley Kate HR’s most recent salary survey as we see HR specialist roles catching up on generalist HR roles with 43% roles being registered in 2014. (To view our full salary survey please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com)

If you are being persuaded to think differently about your HR agenda, and are looking to scope out plans to recruit a specific skill set into your HR function, contact kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com at Ashley Kate HR to help you develop and deliver your recruitment campaign.

FIRP, HR Recruitment Director –  Kim MacNamara is a HR recruitment specialist who has successfully placed senior HR roles across the UK and is driven by a focus on an excellent customer experience.  Working alongside Claire Baker, Emma Dobson, Lucy Wesson & Leon Morley they provide effective recruitment solutions for HR roles from Administrative to Board level.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim also runs the LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim is also responsible for running the Ashley Kate HR HRD Boardroom style debate events in the UK.

Please feel free to connect with Kim   on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

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Twitter for Recruiters

Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw – HR Business Manager for the North

A recent article in HR Grapevine advised that there had been significant growth in the use of Twitter within the recruitment industry.

So why is this?

My personal opinion is that the pace of Twitter suits the pace of the recruitment industry. Twitter is a very fast paced Social Media messaging service. It is instant and you can get your message out to thousands of people at a one time, which is ideal for recruiters!

I won’t lie to you, it took me some time to get to grips with Twitter as a tool for recruiting after having the safety of a traditional mind set like LinkedIn. There is an etiquette to LinkedIn, parameters with which to work around.  Twitter… well there appeared to be none.

twitterlinkEmbracing Twitter and actively using it has allowed me to grow a much larger, much more interactive and therefore a more engaging network with whom I feel I can create a better relationship with outside the highly formal boundaries of LinkedIn.

The Social Media team at Ashley Kate HR have been fully supportive and empowered us in the use of Twitter, our business ethics are Personal, Professional & Honest and this is how we conduct ourselves across all SM sites

I agree with the article and the findings that Facebook is not the place for recruiters. I indeed have a Facebook account, but this is my personal social media tool for keeping up to date with friends & family and this is completely separate from my professional work life.

The pace of Twitter allows recruiters to reach candidates instantly as soon as a vacancy comes in and allows them the privacy to contact us in a way which feels right for them. If you are new to twitter or would like guidance on how to build your personal brand on Twitter or across the other Social Media platforms, please contact me on 0114 2218000 or email me paula.shaw@ashleykatehr.com.  In the meantime follow Ashley Kate HR and me on Twitter to keep up to date about events, HR roles, employment law updates and much much more.

Ashley Kate HR are always on the ‘look out’ for the best talented, ambitious and enthusiastic individuals to join our team. We have an established, committed, loyal team and we are a renowned HR recruitment consultancy specialising in recruiting HR professionals for temporary, contract and permanent interim roles, working across all industries and every HR discipline. Founded in 2001, we’re now a market leader in one of the fastest-growing recruitment sectors in the UK and overseas. Read our blog on How to Join Ashley Kate HR

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Top 10 tips for Interview Dress Etiquette

Amanda Underhill - Senior Recruitment Consultant for London

Amanda Underhill – Senior Recruitment Consultant for London

You have learnt How to write a winning CV and it has landed you an interview for your dream job, but now comes the hard part! What to wear? Dressing for success is vital.

 When it comes to dressing for an interview, the consensus is that a formal dress code is best – but is it?

 With at least another 10  candidates having the same skillset as you in the running for the job, you need to set yourself apart from them, and not just with your sharp answers! Over the last 15 years you wouldn’t believe the horror stories I have heard from clients with feedback on how a candidate presented at interview. This includes, hair, shoes, make up, perfume, tattoos, piercing, nails and personal hygiene, and not forgetting the allusive chewing gum under the tongue and the smell of cigarettes.interviewfail

I remember interviewing a great candidate for a Head Receptionist role with a prestigious law firm. My candidate was well presented, looked the part, her answers were on point and she had the right culture fit.  It’s in the bag – right?  That’s what I thought too until I got a call from the hiring manager 3 days after I had interviewed her, advising me that unfortunately her aluminous green hair wouldn’t fit in a client facing role there.  Why she chose to do it a couple of days before her interview I will never know, but nevertheless she was not offered the job. Appearance matters.

Remember what works for you in your personal life, doesn’t always work in the office. You need to find the right fit.

 In the first instance, always research the organisations culture, a vital step and a bit of a rookie mistake if not done.  This leads me back to the conservative dress code. Being suited and booted is great, but it might not suit a creative media style company or high street fashion retailer.  Wearing the wrong clothes can make you feel uncomfortable and could affect your performance.  If in doubt ask the agency who is representing you or check with your interviewer.  If you are still unsure then I would suggest opting for the more formal approach, being overdressed is better than underdressed.

So here are my top tips;

  1.  Iron! Make sure your clothes are ironed – if you don’t know how to do this, take it to someone who does. No excuses.
  2. Ladies and tights – this is a hot topic of conversation in our office, across a mix of ages.  Some agree you should wear them, some don’t.  My advice is if you are going back and forth over it in your mind, it is likely you should be wearing them. Again this will come down to sector.
  3. Avoid garish jewellery, this can distract your interviewer
  4. Personally, I would avoid aftershaves and perfumes, but this is a personal choice.  What doesn’t give you a headache might give someone else one.  If you decide to wear it – think sparingly!
  5. Ensure your hair is well groomed/brushed.  No one likes to interview someone who looks like they have been pulled through a hedge backwards. This goes for facial hair too.  Clean cut works best.
  6. Make up – less is more.  Remember this is an interview not a night out.
  7. Nails – it is important to make sure they are neat, tidy and clean.  If you are wearing false nails, ensure they are presentable.  Ladies keep the colour as natural as possible.
  8. Shoes.  Make sure they are clean and smart.  Every interviewer (without even knowing it themselves) will check your shoes as you walk in, when you cross your legs or as you leave)  Ladies it is not acceptable to wear a pair of worn down heels.  The only place they should be seen is in the bin!
  9. Fresh breathe and  body odour.  This is essential. If you can’t do any of the above, you have to at least have these in check
  10. Mobile phones.  This isn’t really part of your “dress code” but the snazzy diamond phone cover might look great, but it has no place in the meeting unless it is off or on silent in the bottom of your handbag, briefcase or pocket.  It certainly doesn’t belong in your hand or on the table in front of you.

 Now your dresses to impress watch our Interview Success video

Good luck!

If you would like to discuss any HR related topics further please feel free to email me  on amanda.underhill@ashleykatehr.com or call me on 0845 413 3200.  You can also connect with me on LinkedIn or Follow me on Twitter .

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Feedback Failures

Gemma Thomason - Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

Gemma Thomason – Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

As a recruiter I am very aware of many different facets to my role, sourcing and short listing top talent for my clients, sourcing and short listing top companies/employers for my candidates!  It is a two way street.   I have always endeavoured to keep my candidate fully informed and updated throughout the recruitment process especially when it comes to providing feedback.    It is really important to keep candidates informed with regards to this.

Feedback is fundamental to the placement process, of course I have already met and spoken with my candidates at great length and already know their strengths and weaknesses,  I ensure when I shortlist candidates that their skills and feedback1experience are the best fit for the company and the employer as per the job specifications I  receive,  of course not all candidates I put forward will get through to second/final stage interviews and it is important for those candidates to understand why.  It is just as important for the employer to understand why a candidate does not want to take the process any further.

Whether I have heard back from the employer or not I ensure that I have had direct contact with the candidate to get their feedback and understand how they felt the interview went, what their thoughts are on the company and the culture of the company and the roles itself.  It is important to keep the candidate engaged throughout the whole of the recruitment process.

dream jobI love it when I speak with a candidate at the end of an interview and they feedback to me that the client has left the candidate feeling that they would absolutely love to work for the company.  This is when you know your clients’ employer branding is spot on and that the person delivering the interview is doing it right and that you have matched the candidate with the client and the role accurately.

Gaining detailed feedback we all know is tough, we are not asking for a chapter and verse overview on each performance, but here are some tips on what to focus on and what to avoid.

Try to stay away from the generalist feedback;

Do think of how the candidate performed and what they said specifically  it will be constructive and may improve their technique.  For example previously I received feedback  that one of the candidates I had put forward  was ‘not the right culture fit’ it took me questioning this further as to examples as to why this was and the real reason came out. My client advised me that the candidate had focused too much on negative reasons for wanting to leave their current company.

Whilst the candidate did have frustrations they were totally unaware they had been airing these, once I fed this back to the candidate we discussed the best way to tackle and handle certain questions as this individual was most definitely not a negative person however did have frustrations within her current role.

Have a comprehensive measure to score candidates against.  This is useful to see how candidates preformed against the benchmark of other candidates interviewing at the same time.

How were they assessed against the role they would be doing e.g  ‘Simons responses indicated that he might not be able to influence and engage our managers effectively as a business partner’  This feedback is much more useful than ‘not the right level’  It gives a candidate areas on which to focus on to further develop their career.

brandBy giving detailed feedback you will not only assist the candidate by giving them the opportunity for improvement but this will also reflect well on your company.  The candidate experience can have a direct impact on the employer branding, keep the candidate engaged, whether you end up recruiting them or not.

This means keeping to a time line of recruitment with dates already booked in and providing detailed feedback whether the candidates has made it through to the next stage or not! For further tips on your recruitment process take a look at our Time to Hire  blog written by Yasmin Elezaj

If you would like any further assistance or advice on Recruitment or HR, please feel free to email me gemma.thomason@ashleykatehr.com or call 0845 413 3200. For up to date information on HR related issues and top tips please follow our Company LinkedIn page.

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How to Manage your PSL

preferredThe Preferred Supplier List is the document which your company should use in daily tactical supplier selections. This document contains a list of your approved suppliers which have been assessed and approved to use.

They play an important role in your procurement strategy, producing this list will aid you in partnering with the suppliers who have been assessed and confirmed to offer the best value and best service, thus assisting you in driving business to those preferred suppliers.

It is vital that once you have implemented a PSL that it is communicated throughout the company and that these suppliers are continually assessed in meeting KPI’s through continuous business meetings and developing supplier relationships. This will not only optimise business but also minimise risk.supplier

Being part of the recruitment industry and working with companies who manage a PSL and implementing and managing our own PSL we have  listed below some top tips to help you with yours.

Quality over Quantity

Many companies have tens sometimes hundreds of suppliers on a PSL, this could be for just one area of the business, for instance in-house recruiters will have their own PSL and some of these departments have more than 50 companies listed.  Whilst you should not put all your eggs in one basket effectively managing a list this size is a massive task, to just even ‘review’ against KPI’s becomes a headache in itself.  A targeted quality over quantity approach is advised to be taken here, enabling much better working relationships with suppliers as well as providing greater control over the process.

reviewReview – continuous assessment is vital when you review your suppliers.  Measure their performance through set KPIs.  For instance as a recruitment consultancy we are measured against;

  • Quality of Candidates
  • Response time (to candidates)
  • Cost-per-hire
  • Time-to-hire
  • Rate of mis-hires
  • Service Standards

Set targets with your suppliers these should be reviewed on a regular basis. That way, you can directly, and fairly, compare the effectiveness of the suppliers on your PSL.

Don’t believe everything they say Many consultancies claim to have ‘specialist knowledge’ of your sector – many of the large corporate recruitment consultancies apparently specialise in ‘all’ your business functions!  Have you considered having ‘real’ specialist consultancies   covering all areas of your business?  For instance, the HR function of your business, the only agencies which should recruit for these positions being actual specialist HR recruitment consultancies, the same applies to the finance arm of your business, by only allowing specialist recruiters on your PSL will ensure better quality candidates available in a shorter time frame.  Many ‘general’ recruitment consultancies will go out to tier 2 agencies to fill specialist positions, therefore lengthening the process.   So test your suppliers.  Ask them a few questions about your market conditions and for specific information about their successes in your arena, you are the expert in your sector after all.

feedbackFeedback  From a recruitment consultancy and a candidate perspective feedback is vital. Quality feedback will enable the agency to put forward better aligned candidates, not providing feedback could be of potential harm to your employer brand, if a candidate is left without any feedback and relays this lack of communication back to their network it could damage your future prospects of sourcing brilliant candidates.

Revisit your PSL Continuous assessment and reviewing your PSL will keep your suppliers on their toes, if you are not reviewing your PSL on a regular basis it may be assumed that once an agency is on they are safe and standards may drop.

Make sure that you brief your suppliers; and equip your agencies with the tools to manage your staffing needs. This includes a good understanding of your company culture/values, a clear definition of the role and what a ‘good’ or ‘ideal’ candidate would be.  Provide them with detailed information regarding your employer brand and how best to represent this.

The PSL debate is always one of ‘two sides’ at Ashley Kate HR we work on PSL’s as well as working effectively with Agreed Terms.  Whichever method is in place our core values remain the same, Personal, Professional & Honest.    We work with all our clients as a true partner offering solutions to problems. Read our ‘When I Grow Up..’ article for further insight into values, direct from the Ashley Kate HR team.

For further information on Ashley Kate HR and working with us please visit our website or call 0845 413 3200.

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