Archives For Employers

Interview in progressIn a candidate driven market, employers need to step up their game when interviewing candidates.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW…

Ditch the boring job descriptions
Firstly, you need to make the job appealing to attract candidates. Too many employers issue job descriptions outlining tasks, duties and minimum requirements. The generic content often gives no insight into what it is like to work for your organisation.

Empathise with candidates and get into their zone. Promote the job by adding excitement, demonstrate your company culture and ethos and show that you provide great career development opportunities. Better still, create a short informal video and talk about the job and your company on camera with clips from your team members. Video is much more engaging than boring text.

Respect all candidates and communicate
It might be a nightmare to process hundreds of applicants – that’s where video interviewing can come in very handy – but the application process shouldn’t be a ‘black hole’ as it’s often referred to in recruitment circles. Candidates should always be informed where they stand with clear communication, whether or not they are selected for an interview.

Review the CV again before the interview
Be prepared and read the candidate’s CV again just before you meet so that you know a bit about the person and where they are currently working. The candidate is assessing you as much as you are assessing the candidate.

THE INTERVIEW…

Be punctual for the interview
You expect your candidates to arrive on time for the interview. And so should you! Don’t keep the candidate waiting. Any longer than five minutes is unacceptable. Again, empathise – Think what the candidate is thinking and make sure you create the right impression for you and your organisation.

First impressions count
Candidates in an interview situation are typically nervous with heightened senses. They will notice the smallest details and observe your body language so make sure you are well prepared and ready with good questions.

Engage with your candidates
Treat your interviewees as you would your best customer. Open the conversation with some small talk to act as an ice-breaker. You want to make them feel comfortable before launching into your interview questions. Make sure your interview style is open and engaging. An intimidating or patronising approach will serve no purpose. If you ease a candidate’s nerves it will be much easier to gauge how you think that person would fit in your workplace.

Introduce to work colleagues
It’s a good idea to have other stakeholders in the hiring process on stand-by at the time of the interview. If you have a strong candidate in front of you, you could then introduce him/her to others – perhaps the department head. The ideal situation would be to roll this interview into a second interview to advance the process, but even if it is just a quick ‘hello’ this will engage the candidate more and help to get buy in.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW…

Act quickly!
If you like the candidate and feel he/she is well matched to the job and your organisation, you need to follow up immediately. Good talent gets snapped up quickly so make sure you communicate with next steps (or better still, the job offer) before other employers woo the candidate. Many great candidates are lost due to the employer’s delay in the hiring process. If you want the best in a candidate driven market, you have to move fast.

Piggy bank - smallArticle by Rupert Sellers

In real terms, the UK workforce is earning less in 2014 than at any time in the last 40 years.

The good news is that UK inflation is now down to 2%, the lowest it’s been since 2007. The bad news is that living standards are not improving. In yesterday’s BBC Newsnight, Andy Verity explains that the decade we live in today is more challenging financially than the last four decades, including the 1970s. Whilst inflation was much higher (a whopping 25% in 1975), wages were rising even faster. So in real terms, people were actually improving their living standards.

For the last 5 years, average income has started to fall in real terms – and it’s fallen fastest, not in recession, but in the recovery. Daniel Weldon, Senior Economist TUC says that people have been prepared to accept lower pay to help secure their job, but now that the economy is growing and employment is growing employees should feel more secure in asking for a pay rise.

Newsnight claims that companies have built up a pile of cash worth £671bn. With prices rising faster than wages, they’ve been getting more money in for the goods they sell and are paying out less to their staff. So why can’t companies spend that giant cash pile on bigger pay rises? John Cridland, Director-General CBI argues that the cash belongs to shareholders and should be invested for a return, which means workers need to be more productive, using more up-to-date technology, delivering new products and services in order to return a bigger return for the business. At least Mary Doyle, Deloitte UK in the Newsnight debate is optimistic and believes real term earnings are likely to rise this year.

Personally, I think most employees have understood the need to batten down the hatches and sacrifice salary increases during the long drawn out recession. But enough is enough.

In 2014, there will be growing impatience and unrest amongst the workforce. Employers need to pay more attention to employee satisfaction, otherwise they could lose some of their best talent. In many cases remuneration levels need to be addressed so that salaries are in line with where they should be. With so much positive talk about the economic recovery and news of companies enjoying healthy profits again, employers shouldn’t ignore the inbalance of top-line revenue versus wage cost.

If employers are complacent, they can expect a much higher rate of staff turnover this year as employees leave to pick up higher salaries elsewhere.

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.