Archives For October 2013


Janette + Malene - portraits

Article by Rupert Sellers

I am delighted to announce two new appointments to the Compact Interview team.

Our video interviewing system is now helping HR teams in many different industry sectors to streamline their recruitment for a faster and more effective process. With increasing demand, not only in the UK, but also in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, it’s perfect timing to bring on board two very well respected and professional sales directors, Janette MacKay and Malene Bertelsen – and I’m fortunate to have known them both for many years.

Janette MacKay (pictured left) will work closely with me to pick up the growing demand in the UK and Middle East, and Malene Bertelsen (pictured right) will oversee our developments in Asia Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand.

About Janette

Janette spent 16 years with Initial City Link, one of the UK’s most successful parcel delivery services. As Sales Director, she was responsible for leading both the New Sales and Business Development teams generating turnover in excess of £50 million each year. Janette’s team was the most successful within the Initial City Link Network and constantly exceeded ever-growing sales targets. A multi-tasking guru, Janette was given the added responsibility of managing their Customer Service and IT teams. Married with two young children, Janette is passionate about international travel and exploring new cultures – there can’t be many countries in the world she hasn’t yet visited!

Here’s Janette’s take on joining us: “I’m very excited to be part of the team at Compact Interview. Employers have been crying out for better recruitment solutions for years. Video interviewing makes so much sense and this screening tool breathes fresh air into the hiring process. It would certainly have made my life so much easier if this was available when I was recruiting in previous roles”.

About Malene

Malene has spent most of her career handling Sales for the luxury hospitality sector. She worked at London’s Dorchester Hotel in the early 90’s and I later hired her as my Director of Sales for the brand new Metropolitan on Park Lane. Malene then ran her own successful hotel sales & marketing consultancy before relocating to Perth, Australia in 2008 to be with her partner (now husband!). Malene is very well travelled and in her Regional Sales Director position for Design Hotels she has worked closely with her colleagues and clients in Asia. Her location in Perth makes an ideal base from which to develop business with clients in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region.

Here’s Malene’s take on joining us: “I love the Compact Interview concept and I’m very excited to be part of something new. I think this is a natural progression considering how video is used now including skype calls and similar. I am sure this online screening tool will be very useful for employers in Australia, given the vast distances between cities. So much time and money can be saved with pre-recorded video interviews before taking final steps to meet candidates in person.”

As for Asia, Compact Interview is already working with companies in Singapore and Malaysia and we currently have strong leads in Hong Kong and Thailand. This recently published survey which polled 578 Asia-Pacific based companies found that ‘over a third of countries in the Asia-Pacific area are moving to streamline their HR departments…Technology is seen as the main driver of the cost-cutting and HR efficiency measures’.

Welcome aboard Janette and Malene!

Click here for full press release.

CIPD - 100 yearsWrong. That’s what many employers may think, but youths have a range of talents that can complement an organisation’s workforce.

A great new initiative from the CIPD and Inspiring the Future highlights the issues with youth unemployment, not just for the young individuals themselves but also for the future growth of businesses. Whilst UK unemployment is falling, the statistics for youth unemployment have barely changed – there are still 958,000 16-24 year olds looking for work.

Many employers do want to hire youths, and this bodes well with their Corporate Social Responsibility policy, but the challenge is HOW to do this effectively.

On the flipside, young candidates struggle with HOW to be considered for a job. How can they grab attention with their text CV when their qualifications are going to be similar to their socio-economic peers applying for the same jobs? Graduates with 2:1 degrees may pitch for a different level of job to non-qualified candidates but the issue of getting noticed is the same. At this young age, there’s no real work experience to speak of, so what will the employer be looking for when sifting through hundreds of CVs?

It’s hugely demotivating for candidates who submit their CV for jobs and are constantly rejected. In spite of all the advice that is written about how to compose a CV – what to include, how many pages etc, the CV screening process can feel like a lottery.

Failing to deal with youth unemployment now is creating a ticking time bomb of skills shortages

As shown in the excellent ‘HR Inspiring the Future’ video, employers who do recruit young people say ‘they bring fresh ideas’ and ‘think outside the box’. Businesses need to overcome the headache of HOW, and find ways to ‘connect’ with youth talent. Short video interviews that candidates can record for the employers review is certainly one way to address this issue. Most 16-24 year olds will readily embrace video using their smartphone and tablets as a means to get noticed.

job description - small

Hiring managers should clearly articulate to HR what skills, qualifications and experience are required for the job.

But here’s the problem: During my 12 years in recruitment, I have seen hundreds of situations where the job spec states ‘Minimum 5 years experience’ in a particular field, when actually the hiring manager would happily consider candidates with less experience. The criteria set might help eliminate candidates in the recruiting funnel, but how many hidden gems are being overlooked because of this?

Of course technical skills are important (more so in some jobs than others), but many hiring managers would happily hire a candidate with 3 years experience (rather than the 5 specified) if other less tangible boxes are ticked, such as personality/soft skills.

How to screen for Soft Skills

It’s difficult for hiring managers to provide meaningful criteria to HR when it comes to soft skills. Firstly, these skills can’t show on a CV (text such as ‘outgoing personality’ doesn’t always match the reality). And even in a phone screen, HR’s interpretation of a candidate’s soft skills might be quite different to the hiring manager’s.

An effective solution is to screen with recorded video interviews. This way the HR manager and the hiring manager can collaborate, watch the candidate videos and gather insight. This quick process helps ensure the best selection of candidates are invited for face-to-face interviews. Throughout the recruitment process it’s important to keep candidates engaged from Application to Interview.

To find out more about video interviewing and how this easy-to-use screening tool can be used in your recruitment process, give us a call on 020 3130 4935 or visit our enquiries page.

The short film on Compact Interview has just been published today on The Telegraph website. In the film senior managers from two of London’s top hotels, The Lanesborough and InterContinental London Park Lane discuss the benefits of video interviews in the recruitment process.

Watch the Telegraph film here.

Telegraph Business Club - logo


Telegraph film - Anja Henschel IHGTelegraph film - Paula McColgan - LanesboroughTelegraph film - female candidate on iPadTelegraph film - female candidate on iPad 2Telegraph film - Rupert SellersTelegraph film - Matt Evans