Archives For HR

As more and more candidates embrace video interviewing, it’s great to review these feedback comments which were submitted immediately after completing their online interviews:

The following are also recent feedback emails from candidates using the Compact Interview system. All are genuine and unedited:

“An easy format that makes a video interview a pleasurable (as much as it can) experience. Easy to set up, follow and complete.

Thank you
Ben”

No technical know-how required:

“Amazing innovation and simple user interface. Does not require any technical know-how to operate.

Highly commendable tool.

Cheers”

Slightly scary but…

“What a great idea. Slightly scary to start off, but with practice becomes easier. Interesting to see one’s mannerisms as one talks as well – I’ve not recorded myself before.

Thank you”

Great for candidates abroad:

“To Whom It May Concern:

First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity given. It has been my first time to record an interview and I must say it was a great experience. As I mentioned in one my answers, it is a great form of interview, especially for candidates abroad, which is my case.

I look forward to hear back from you soon, as I will be delighted to be part of (company name).

Best Regards,”

First time but would recommend again:

“I thought the video interview was very useful. It is the first time I have ever used this technique but would recommend using it again.

Many thanks”

Looking at the camera takes getting used to:

“This was a very different experience from what I am normally used to. However it was a good experience for me. One of the drawbacks which I have seen is that it is not easy to look at the camera as your eyes are naturally drawn to the screen. Otherwise from this, I think it was ok, it only needs getting used to this. Thank you.

Regards,”

If you would like to find out about Compact Interview and experience a free trial, please get in touch with us and we will be pleased to assist.

 

 

Sample CVArticle by Rupert Sellers

How useful is a CV today for hiring purposes?

Most recruiters are at breaking point as to how to handle CVs effectively, and quantity over quality is the constant issue.

To process the volume of applications generated from online job sites, many HR teams rely on automated keyword filters to sift CVs.

That might seem smart, but candidates who don’t include certain words that match the criteria set by the employer will immediately be discarded. Pity those highly suitable candidates that didn’t make the cut, simply because they chose to use alternative descriptive words in their CV.

It means that a lot of great talent is condemned to the reject file, without even being considered.

Candidates have a tougher application process than ever before and they are having to rely on the right keywords in order to make the initial selection. Unfortunately many keywords that appear in CVs do not reflect the actual candidate. Any candidate, good or bad, can add the keywords an employer is looking for – regardless of whether they actually have that skill.

The same applies to LinkedIn profiles: Users are renowned for overstating their skills, so how can a recruiter/employer find the right candidates based on a keyword search?

Advising candidates to copy keywords from a job description to their CV ridicules the recruitment screening process

Candidates will of course welcome advice and tips on how they can stand out and have their job application considered, but so-called ‘career coaches’ and ‘expert resume writers’ who constantly tweet the lines below are a nuisance for employers:

“#Jobseekers. Review the job ad & company website & mirror keywords in your resume that the employer uses.”

“#Resumetips: Beat the filters. Use keywords in your resume drawn from job descriptions or ads.”

These tips may help applicants in the selection process, initially at least, but this advice completely skews the keyword sift that so many employers rely on. Screening a text CV based on matching keywords to select talent is flawed. Employers and candidates deserve a fairer, more robust recruitment process.

See also: The diminishing value of a CV

 

 

Article by Rupert Sellers

ReTraditional CVs - 8.8 seconds to reviewcruiters need better solution to screen talent than outdated text CV

A Curriculum Vitae, Latin for a “course of one’s life”, used to be a rare document and employers to whom it was sent would take their time to review every detail. This all worked pretty well when there wasn’t much movement in the jobs market. A few decades ago, jobs would become available to graduates and apprentices when employees after 30 or 40 years of service retired. A ‘job for life’ was quite normal.

Today, that approach to employment is unimaginable. Average job tenure is now 4.4 years, and most millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. Thanks to the internet, employers post thousands of jobs every day via job boards, aggregators and social media, and in return they receive millions of CVs – unfortunately many of which are completely unsuitable.

With so many CVs to review, recruiters are spending less than 10 seconds on each one to decide whether or not to keep a candidate in the recruitment process. Inevitably, some hidden gems get rejected as words ‘on paper’ provide only limited insight on the candidate.

CV writer specialists are not the answer

Given the precious window of opportunity (the 10 second glance of a CV), it’s not surprising that there are hundreds of companies and ‘specialists’ offering advice on ‘how to write a CV’ – and some even charge for the service. Content in a CV has become so critical due to the sheer volume that recruiters and employers have to process, and every word written has to be considered a potential keyword a recruiter is looking for (often searched for via an applicant tracking system). But does a CV stuffed with keywords that mirror the job description mean it represents a good candidate?

Ironically, the most desirable candidates tend not to have the best CVs in terms of layout and details provided. The active job seeker who might not be remarkable is far more likely to have a CV with all the necessary content to advance to the next stage of the process.

Too much emphasis on CV for candidate selection

Organisations will of course conduct interviews for candidates that make the selection, and possibly use psychometric tests, but there is too much emphasis placed on the CV – and many good candidates could be wrongly eliminated without the chance to prove themselves in interviews and tests that would follow the CV assessment stage.

In the many years I have been a recruiter for the luxury hospitality sector I have seen some fantastic looking CVs that simply don’t match up to the person. I have also come across great candidates with underwhelming CVs. Work experience can be deceiving. If a candidate has worked for some top brands they tend to be much more attractive to an employer than a candidate who has experience with unknown company names. We assume that the brands speak for themselves and therefore associated candidates must be good. But I have come across many mediocre candidates with seemingly glowing CVs who have somehow managed to hide below the radar and progress in their career from one good brand to the next.

Looking beyond the CV with video

Recruiters have a big job to process high volumes of candidates but racing through CVs is not the solution, particularly when you are hiring for customer service positions. A quick glance at qualifications and work experience doesn’t tell you much about the person. How do you know what their ‘soft skills’ are like? Of course it is not practical to meet all your applicants in person, and conducting phone interviews could also be a lengthy process. But before you eliminate your ‘maybe’ candidates (those that you are not sure about, but you haven’t the time to include them), consider inviting your candidate selection to record a personalised pre-set video interview. You will gather much more insight and you are likely to make a better judgment on whether or not to keep a candidate in the early stage of your recruitment process.

CIPD logo

Skills shortfalls, people risk, corporate behaviours and culture are all causes of increasing concern in a landscape of continued change and uncertainty, so organisations need to innovate and adapt. 

“HR must continue to innovate and adapt to meet the rapidly changing needs of business”, says Peter Cheese, Chief Executive CIPD.

“The need for professional HR and L&D capabilities have never been in greater demand, but we’ll need to look beyond traditional thinking and standardised practice, and start defining ‘professional’ in new terms”.

Cheese wants to encourage delegates to shift from searching for best practice or standard approaches, to innovate and to challenge existing orthodoxies driven by a real understanding of context, purpose and outcomes. Business has to become more people centric in every sense, and to make a shift from accounting to more accountability. HR has to be at the forefront, acting with confidence and credibility founded on a strong base of professional knowledge and competence.

“We know that there’s no one size fits all model for great HR, and we need to adapt our HR practices to the context and needs of our workforces and organisations” says Cheese. “But what guides our actions and decisions? Any business is about judgments and priorities that drive decisions and actions, but these need to be framed through principles and values that drive good, ethical and sustainable business more clearly. These principles should provide the framework for HR to support the judgments and often the compromises that we are so often called on to make.

Furthermore, we need to challenge ourselves in examining our processes, policies, and practices as the world of work evolves. We must look at the purpose and outcomes of what we do more critically, and understand what fundamental principles and base of knowledge make those practices effective. Ultimately, we need a new definition of what it means to be an HR professional, with a greater focus on clarity of professional capability and purpose, and a strengthened ability to provide trusted and credible advice to businesses, whatever the circumstances.”

The CIPD’s commitment to helping the HR and L&D professionals of the future realise their true potential is encapsulated in its Profession for the Future strategy. It has already conducted extensive research with HR practitioners, business leaders, academics, thought leaders, regulators and line managers to shape its thinking, and is starting a debate about the core principles that should guide the profession going forward as well as what guides good business.

“The first step in our Profession for the Future strategy is to establish a shared understanding of HR’s purpose, who our stakeholders really are, and where our priorities lie – in other words, a set of core principles to guide our decision making. We want the principles to be broad, ambitious and applicable in any context and we’re turning to HR practitioners, academics, thought leaders, policy makers, business leaders and line managers to help us define them.

The next phase will be about ensuring we equip the HR professionals of the future with the knowledge, skills and expertise to apply those principles in practice, so that we can secure HR’s role as a trusted and credible profession that helps to create sustainable value for all of a business’ stakeholders.”

Source: CIPD’s Annual Conference – November 2015

With backingSample CV music track of ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, watch this great 2 minute video that shows how technology is changing and largely improving our lives.

Many purists argue that technology rips out the soul from some of our treasured traditions, such as the classic vinyl LP replaced by iTune downloads or the cherished paperback steadily being replaced by Tablets such as Kindle and the iPad.

And these purists have a point. There is something special about listening to music on vinyl; the vocals and instruments seem more real and vibrant. Fortunately, three years on from when this video clip was published on YouTube, vinyl is having a great resurgence. And so is the wrist watch, albeit as Apple Watch (not the clockwork type)!

What about the traditional CV?

Preserving some traditions makes sense. But when it comes to identifying talented candidates, there is nothing to cherish about the traditional Curriculum Vitae. Yes, it documents a candidate’s track record of employment and qualifications which is important, but it tells you nothing about personality and attitude, the hugely important ‘soft skills’ required for customer facing employees in hospitality.

Thanks to technology, assessing candidates is now much easier and employers can view video interviews from each applicant at the click of a button, and have much richer insight on a candidate than a text CV alone.

So should you carry on screening candidates with the traditional text CV …or embrace Video where you can see and hear a candidate answer questions you would ask in an interview?

Technology has clearly paved the way for more effective talent selection in the early stages of the recruitment process.

This 2 minute video shows how technology is impacting our lives. The evolution of CV to video is not included in this piece but it would have been another good illustration.

Perhaps Video will kill …the CV!

 

 

Article by Brian Westfall, Market Research Associate – Software Advice

Research shows that candidates who have done a video job interview before embrace video more than a phone interview.

More and more employers are using video interviewing software for their remote interviewing needs, which can be daunting for job candidates used to the classic phone interview. So Software Advice, a company involved in video interviewing software research and reviews, conducted a survey of nearly 400 random people who have applied to a job in the last two years to find out how they feel about interviewing for a job through video.

It seems any trepidation among potential job applicants with video job interviewing stems from them never having done one before. Those that have never done a video job interview before (46 percent of respondents), say they would prefer to do a phone interview instead of a video interview (67 percent for phone versus 19 percent for video). The rest of our respondents who have done a video interview before are the opposite, preferring video to phone (47 percent for video versus 36 percent for phone).

Remote Interviewing Preferences

This goes to show that once a candidate does a video interview, they warm up to it. But getting a candidate comfortable with their first video interview can be tricky.

When it comes to drawbacks with video interviews, respondents say the most significant ones are possible connectivity issues (27 percent), and being uncomfortable on camera (21 percent). There are a number of things that candidates can do to secure their connection, including using wired internet and closing any other bandwidth-eating programs. Some video interviewing platforms even include features for users to test their connection.

If interviewees are uncomfortable on camera, it can be hard to fix, but practice is key. For a pre-recorded interview, hiring managers could allow candidates to re-record their responses to get them right. Some systems also allow for practice runs before recording a real response.

Interviewers would also be wise to keep video interviews under an hour by saving some questions for a follow-up in-person interview. Thirty-four percent of respondents say after an hour, they would consider the video interview to be too long.

All of this knowledge is important, as a negative video interviewing experience could be detrimental to the employer. If they had a self-described negative interviewing experience, 86 percent of respondents say they would be more likely to not accept a job offer and 68 percent would be more likely to tell others not to apply.

Knowing how to create a positive video interviewing experience can help employers find their ideal candidate.

View full article from Software Advice

CIPD logoThis year delivered growth but 2015 must be a year of productivity to sustain growth and improve earnings, says CIPD.

The UK labour market will continue to expand at a strong rate in 2015 but it’s unlikely that we’ll see any real increase in wage growth until 2016, according to Mark Beatson, chief economist for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. While improvements in the labour market are good news for jobseekers and good news for businesses, Beatson warns that the UK’s steady growth remains vulnerable to developments in Europe and that the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’ is an urgent issue for policy makers and businesses to address in order to sustain growth.

In his annual analysis of the UK labour market for the year ahead, published today, Beatson predicts:

• Employment may grow by as much as half a million in 2015, slightly more than the OBR forecast. This is due to the extra number of migrant workers seeking work, older workers looking to stay in work to strengthen their pension pots and more people leaving benefits and going into jobs under the Welfare to Work programme
• Economic growth of around 2.4% is expected in 2015, slightly lower than in 2014
• The Eurozone as a whole is still expected to grow by just 1.1% in 2015
• Interest rates are expected to rise but any increases are likely to be small
• Wage growth is likely to remain in the 1-2% range for most or all of 2015, although low inflation means average earnings may increase slightly in real terms. However, no significant increase in wage growth can be expected until 2016, and even then, it is not guaranteed
• Productivity needs to form the core of economic policy and employers need to raise their productivity – including developing their workforce – before skills shortages mount.

Beatson comments: “By historic standards 2014 has been a year of reasonable growth, but there are still some very significant challenges that the government needs to address around productivity. We said at the start of 2014 that productivity needed to be at the top of the agenda for Government and the same is true for this year. As a country we are still producing less value today than before the recession, and the years preceding that. We need a massive step-change as without growth in productivity, we are unlikely to see real earnings grow for some time”.

Beatson warns that while hiring intentions remain positive, at some stage labour shortages will start to become more acute and that taking advantage of relatively cheap labour now could have an impact on business competition, particularly in international markets. In both cases, he suggests that employers can manage these risks by investing in productivity. This might include investments in capital equipment such as technology and machinery as well as investing in intangible assets, including people.

He continues: “Upskilling the existing workforce is an insurance policy against future skills shortages, but these efforts will only be maximised through broader changes such as improved management practices and job design. We need to see a similar focus from policy makers. Higher productivity is necessary if living standards are to improve and economic policy in the next Parliament should focus on achieving it through creating an environment that supports productivity growth at a sector and local level.

The UK’s productivity challenges are deep-rooted and require systemic change. We need government, employee representatives and business to come together and pinpoint where workplace practices are working, where they need to be challenged and how we can build a workplace of the future that really works and drives the productivity we need.”

The CIPD has recently published research which pinpoints the role of effective management in the workplace and how this contributes to business productivity and organisational resilience. ‘Megatrends: are UK organisations getting better at managing their people?’ View research here.

The predictions report is available to download here.

Article by Rupert Sellers

Profile photos - smallIt’s a long standing debate about whether or not a candidate’s photo should appear in a CV.

More often than not, published articles advise candidates not to include their photo as it could lead to discrimination – and some quote that there is an “88% job rejection rate if candidates have a photo of themselves on their CV”. Really?? It’s worth noting that this ‘statistic’ was compiled by a company called ‘Be Hiring’ over two years ago (Try finding them on the internet; I don’t think they exist anymore).

It’s time to be more realistic in today’s visual, multimedia age about how a CV / resume should be presented. And employers should stop overly worrying about discrimination implications due to a photo.

Think about LinkedIn and how powerful this social network has become as a recruiting source. LinkedIn’s Nicole Williams makes the case that “You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have (a photo). Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong.”

In Susan Joyce’s piece in the Huffington Post, she feels if you can be visually judged when you meet someone in person then why is a photo any different: “If someone doesn’t want to hire me because of my age (shown by my gray hair), they won’t hire me whether they see my gray hair in my LinkedIn photo or in person. So, I feel that I’m saving my valuable time and energy by making it clear who I am.”

We have all become far more visual in our communications, so why should a CV be any different? The photo personalises the CV and helps the individual to be more identifiable rather than just another applicant.

Video interviewing takes visual a step further (before any face-to-face interviews), giving candidates the opportunity to showcase themselves by answering questions on video that have been pre-set by the employer. Compact Interview provides this straightforward service as part of a growing number of employers’ recruitment process, and the visual and audio insight is proving invaluable.

It’s true that age, sex, race and possibly religion can be determined from a photo or a video, and of course when a candidate meets an employer in person. But instead of worrying about discrimination employers and recruiters should focus on best practice recruitment: Treat applications professionally and don’t be influenced by a candidate’s appearance other than grooming standards and dress sense (which are important factors for customer service industries such as hospitality).

Photos and video undoubtedly enrich a text CV, so let’s stop putting off candidates from including their photo and embrace the visual, multimedia age we all live in.

Article by Rupert Sellers

mobile video interview

What do employers and candidates want to achieve from an interview process? 

Obviously, the right match. But both parties also want a fast process.

It’s fair to say that if a candidate was given the choice: Either being invited to a face-to-face interview or invited to record a video interview for an employer, they would probably opt for the face-to-face.

And so would I.

Unfortunately, it’s often not practical for an employer to meet all the applicants that have passed the initial CV sift, unless there is only a small handful in the selection. Each interview is likely to take about an hour if you factor in the scheduling time and preparation time.

By contrast, an employer can create a video interview, using their own questions, and then email the link to as many candidates as they like – and this process can take less than 5 minutes. The recruiter / hiring manager can then get on with other job tasks whilst the applicants record the interview in their own time. The recruiter is alerted every time a new video has been recorded which can be reviewed whenever convenient on a user-friendly dashboard.

Positive and negative reviews

I have read many articles about video interviewing, most of which are positive. But there are also stories that aren’t so favourable, such as a study last year by DeGroote School of Business in Canada, which featured in a CIPD article in March 2014. DeGroote claimed that using video conferencing for job interviews disadvantages both employers and candidates and that “video conference interviews are not equivalent to face-to-face interviews”.

Let’s put this in perspective. Of course, video interviews are not going to be on par with a face-to-face meeting. They’re not meant to be (and anyone who says you can simulate a face-to-face interview is wrong). Asynchronous (ie pre-recorded / one-way) video recordings should only be used for candidate screening purposes. And once the employer has reviewed all the videos and narrowed down the selection I would absolutely expect the next step to be in-person interviews.

Talking to myself on camera – Weird.

It’s easy to poke holes at the concept of a pre-recorded interview where you answer questions on video – and yes, talking to your mobile device or PC with webcam might seem strange. And some think video is impersonal. But it works and it’s a fast growing phenomenon. This medium is providing considerable value to the employer – and the candidate.

Thousands of candidates have been given the opportunity to showcase themselves on video to employers. In a traditional process, there is too much reliance on words in a CV and many are not given the chance to reveal who they really are. It’s easy for the employer to send an automated ‘regret’ email, but a lot of good talent gets overlooked.

Having been a recruiter for 14 years in the hospitality sector, I have interviewed many candidates who didn’t shine particularly well on paper but had oodles of personality / soft skills and were highly suitable for jobs. On the flip side, I have also interviewed hundreds of candidates who didn’t sparkle as their CVs had indicated.

So before making a judgment from academic studies about whether video interviewing is or isn’t for your organisation, try it and see for yourself how beneficial this tool is for a slick recruitment process. It’s fast and effective which is what both employers and candidates want.

As the CIPD video interviewing article concluded: “For now… the revolution continues unabated.”

You can sign up for a free trial here: www.compactinterview.com/sign-up. It takes 2 minutes and if you want any help we can assist you with creating your interview.

 

CIPD logoCIPD Report: Commenting on the Labour Market Statistics for February to April 2014 released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Gerwyn Davies, the CIPD’s Labour Market Adviser, said:

“A quarterly increase of almost 200,000 full-time jobs shows that employers are becoming more optimistic about the future.  Young people seem to be the biggest beneficiaries of this increase, which may be fuelled in part by the growth in formal training schemes and the appetite shown by an increasing number of employers to invest in their future talent pipeline.

“Meanwhile, the latest statistics also show that the number of public sector jobs fell only very slightly by 11,000, which aligns with our survey of employers. We are now seeing the education and health sectors making some new hires and replacing leavers. But we should not assume this is the end of public sector job cuts. The medium term outlook for the public finances suggests further job losses are likely in the next few years.”

Davies continues: “However, despite this positive picture, recruitment difficulties are yet to feed through to employers, which may partly explain why the pay trajectory appears to be moving in the opposite direction.  The government’s welfare reforms, the availability of EU migrants and the latent supply from the under-employed are just some of the reasons why employers are still yet to report difficulty filling vacancies.  However, the CIPD is urging employers in all sectors to start planning ahead to mitigate the risk of more widespread difficulties in the longer term.

“The fall in the rate of earnings growth also reflects the unwinding of events a year ago when some employers delayed bonus payments and pay rises to take advantage of the reduction in the top tax rate. Businesses may be expecting to invest more but this has still to show up in higher productivity growth and, until this happens, there is little leeway for higher earnings growth.”

Source: CIPD published 11 June 2014