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What qualities do you need?

Well there are no formal qualifications, no natural progression into the trade, there is no training that can prepare you. The only things you need is to be able to think quickly on your feet, to be able to sell, have a nose for gossip, an ability to talk to people and get them to open up, a desire to win and to be able to take many, many knock backs.

Why would you want to be a recruitment consultant?

There is only one reason…… Money. There is no other business (other than Politics) where someone with no qualifications can make a lot of money. There are very few people who get into this business with honourable intent of wanting to help people.

So what’s it like?

Its a very tough job, in fact one that you are never able to switch off, for example I am always listening to people to hear what they do for a living and if it’s relevant to me either them as a candidate or who they work for.

In the first two years you can expect low pay, and bad conditions. For example in the first year you can expect to work 10 or 12 hours days. After a few years in the business you are able to relax but you can never take your foot off the pedal as there is always some young buck ready to take your place.

The are a lot of highs and a lot of lows. But the highs are very high and the lows, very low. For example the day your client calls you to say that they are cutting heads in the business and the first to go are your 10 contractors.

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Appraising Staff – How to Get the Most from the Process

As the year draws to a close, a large numbers of managers across the country will be approaching their “Review Period”, looking to arrange annual reviews or appraisals with each of their employees. For those who are looking to get the most from this process or perhaps haven’t received formal training in this area, Steven Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of Adecco Staffing in UK and Ireland offers some advice.

It may sound obvious, but it’s essential to prepare for each review well in advance. Every member of staff needs to be treated as an individual and their review should be prepared for separately. Consider each person’s progression since their last review, identify the good work they have done, any issues that you have come up against and how you see their career progressing. By looking at their previous review you can make sure targets have been met and both parties have kept to their side of the agreement. By attempting to run reviews ‘off the cuff’ and without correct preparation the review process is likely to become a waste of time.

Get feedback – don’t just talk
Reviews should be a two-way process; not just an outlet for managers to express their opinions of their employee. Be sure to have some questions lined up that you would like to ask and take note of what your team member is saying. Always get your employees’ view on how they felt their year has gone, things they liked or disliked, and where they would like their career to be this time next year. Understanding their feelings towards their career and the business, will inevitably make it much easier to manage them in the future.

Be constructive
Part of the purpose of a review is to highlight any issues from the past year. However, it is important not to use the session as a way of endlessly criticising an employee’s weaknesses. Be sure to match every problem or issue with an action or solution. This should be a joint exercise, so find out whether or not your employee agrees with you and also what they think could be done to resolve the issue. By doing this you are offering constructive feedback and creating solutions to any problems as a team. These can be agreed upon with a plan of action, rather than being an enforced measure put in place by the employer.

Set targets
It’s important that every review results in clear targets being set in agreement with the employee. The targets should be measurable and on a clear time-scale, focused towards them, their career progression and overall job satisfaction. The targets need to be agreed to on both sides rather than dictated by the employer.

Take action
Reviews should not end once everyone has left the room. The idea is to take a look back at recent months, but also to plan for the forthcoming months. Ideally, the actions that are agreed in reviews should be referred to on a monthly basis in order to make sure that both parties are heading in the right direction. For this reason, set short-term, monthly goals as well as longer term targets.

Leave staff motivated
Whatever the outcome of a review, and with promotions, bonuses and pay increases aside, it’s important to leave staff feeling motivated and with a view that the appraisal was a worthwhile exercise. For this reason, end the meeting on a positive note, highlight their good work and the areas that you will be aiming to improve and cover off some of the interesting things that are planned for the year ahead.

Write it down
Always write things down. The whole review process will become completely unproductive if nothing is documented in terms of what has been discussed, what actions need to be taken and what both parties have agreed to. By doing this, both you and the employee can quickly and easily refer to their previous review in order to highlight their progression or short-comings. Most reviews should be summarised and shared with the employee within a week or so, to be signed and agreed upon. This way you both have something measurable and agreed for the next twelve months.

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Source : On rec

Recruiters seek multi-lingual consultants

Rec-to-rec recruiters are experiencing an increase in demand for multi-lingual consultants as UK-based agencies target international business.

Vic Chuntz, chief executive at rec-to-rec consultancy Aston Taylor, told Recruiter diversification had caused the demand.

“In IT for instance, the market has been saturated in terms of the number of recruiters and it’s natural for people to start looking abroad.”

For example, IT recruiter SThree’s results for year-end 2008 showed the group’s international business grew by 64% to £97.4m (2007: £59.3m), representing 45% of the group total revenue (2007: 32%).

Robin Huggins, division manager of NetworkersMSB, told Recruiter the company has recruited multi-lingual consultants after identifying a need for IT workers with language skills in the Glasgow area.

“The most highly sought language skills include French, Spanish, Dutch, German and the Nordic languages.  There is now also a need emerging for Eastern Europe languages such as Polish, Russian and Turkish.”

Huggins added the demand was experienced elsewhere in the UK particularly in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Tim Connolly, director of rec-to-rec A La Carte Search and Selection, has also noticed an increase in demand, telling Recruiter:

“Recruitment companies are looking to do more work overseas to spread the risk. It pays to have languages speakers, preferably native, as that really helps candidates and clients buy in to the business.”

Source : Recruiter

Perriam & Everett release survey results and white paper on recruiters’ recruitment experience

While many recruiters may be quick to chastise clients for their lack of expertise in hiring techniques, it seems that the industry is not necessarily practicing what it preaches.

During the first quarter of 2008, Perriam & Everett which places recruiters, headhunters and in house recruiters world-wide surveyed almost 1200 recruitment professionals to find out what they really felt about the industry they worked for and has produced a white paper on the findings:

  • Almost 40% were dissatisfied with their interview process and over a third of respondents were looking for more structure at their own interview stage and experienced recruiters felt that the process was far too informal. As one respondent put it: “Get over the chat over a cup of coffee – put me through my paces.”
  • Over a third (35%) felt that their current role and firm had not been accurately described.
  • Almost a third (33%) were not satisfied with the level of training they received and almost half (48%) felt that they needed to develop business development skills.
  • Over a third (35%) felt that the organisations goals and values were not in line with their own personal goals and objectives:

“The business is very results orientated but they pretend to be value focused. The values talk about behaviours that do not fit the aggressive financial results/goals for the year,” commented one respondent.

Commenting on the results, Aisling Tighe, Managing Director of Perriam & Everett said:

“There is some good news – induction programmes seem to be much more formal than in previous similar surveys we have undertaken and on boarding in general is much better. In previous years many recruiters have felt that after a ‘big sell’ they were left to sink or swim. However it’s important to remember that one of the main reasons recruiters join (and therefore leave) an organisation is the calibre of management and companies should therefore be investing in management development programmes to ensure that they not only keep their high performers – but attract other peoples.

If the recruitment sector is going to win its own war for talent, it needs to start taking some of its own medicine” she added.

Source : Recruitment Times

Waitrose launches new recruitment online judgement test

Premium UK food store Waitrose is using a new online sifting tool which aims to progress the  highest calibre candidates through to its graduate Selection Centres.  

Waitrose’s graduate scheme has received over 2,500 applications already this year.  Graduate Dilemmas from talent management provider A&DC, an online Situational Judgement Test, assesses graduates’ judgement and decision-making skills around common work situations.

Waitrose’s graduate recruitment team is aiming to narrow down the number of candidates getting to its centres to around 150.
Anglie Johns, manager, recruitment services at Waitrose, says: “We anticipated an uplift in applicant numbers this year, and therefore wanted to introduce a new, robust selection tool to our Graduate Assessment Process, to address the challenges of the recruitment market, and the growing numbers of applications.”
A&DC has also created a bespoke scoring key for Waitrose.
Natalie Livings, managing consultant at A&DC, says: “Successful Waitrose graduates are placed into store-based retail management roles and have the opportunity to reach department manager level within 12-24 months.  

“It is essential for Waitrose, however, to ensure it is firstly finding future employees who want to work for the company, rather than just ‘get a job’, and secondly, making sure they have the best possible fit for the available roles.”

Source : Recruiter

Legal fallouts of checking candidates’ profiles

Checking publicly available information, such as a prospective candidate’s social media page, might be technically lawful but may not be best practice, said Adrian Marlowe, managing director of Lawspeed.

Speaking at a Recruitment Society event earlier this month, Marlowe said that pre-employment ‘processing’ of applicants is covered under the Data Protection Act. This means that looking up information about a potential candidate on a social networking site is classed as processing. And processing would need consent from the applicant. However, the fact that it has been posted on a public site could lead you to conclude that consent has been impliantly given.

Marlowe warned that if employers base their decisions on information gleaned from a social networking site, they could be in line for potential claims of discrimination, should the unsuccessful applicant discover this is the case. Yet he admitted that in the real world, this scenario [where the candidate realised their profile was hacked into] would be rare.

Source : Recruiter

Call to ban phone cameras at Christmas parties

Digital camera phones should be banned from Christmas parties to avoid employees being fired due to photographic evidence emerging of party high jinks this year, according to employment lawyer Jonathan Whittaker.

The firm advises bosses to tell staff that snaps taken with a digital camera are fine, but not with mobile phones.

Jonathan Whittaker of law firm SAS Daniels, says: “The speed with which an embarrassing or even unlawful photo can make it from phone to internet is breathtaking – digital-savvy types can take a photo and post it on a blog, website or social networking site for the world to see within seconds.

“Under the European Convention of Human Rights, everybody has the right to respect for their private life. Employees should seek permission from each individual before posting their photo on a website or blog, otherwise it could give rise to problems for staff and employer.”

Source : Recruiter

REC comment on calls to extend the GLA to social care

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation is responding to a report from Oxfam entitled “Who Cares?” which looks at dealing with exploitation of workers in the care sector.

Anne Fairweather, the REC’s Head of Public Policy,  said “Boiling down a series of complex issues, which in virtually all cases involve breaches of the law, to a call for an extension of the licensing of recruitment agencies is missing the point.  The REC is committed to an effective enforcement regime and agrees that while the existing regime is not perfect, the Gangmaster Licensing Authority is not a silver bullet which can solve every enforcement issue.  If we are going to be serious about tackling issue of exploitation, in both the agency and directly employed sector, then we need to get to the root of the problem.”


Peter Cullimore, Chair of the REC Nursing and Social Care Group which represents 300 agencies in the sector, said:  “Social and domiciliary are agencies are highly regulated.  In addition to the Conduct Regulations which govern all recruitment agencies, our members have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission and are regulated and inspected by them.  Adding another layer to the inspection regime will simply add complexity and cost to legitimate businesses and would not necessary lead to better enforcement against those who break the rules.  Care work can be very rewarding and we would encourage better funding to enable the workers in the sector to be better rewarded financially for their work.”


Anne Fairweather concluded:  “Initiatives such as the Pay and Work Rights helpline to make it easier for workers to report abuses in the workplace, are an example of a measure that could have a real impact. The REC also supports the extra resource which has been given to the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate.  It is vital that those who exploit workers are caught and the REC will be considering how to further improve enforcement in our sector without adding complexity or costs on those operating correctly.”

Source : Recruitment-International

College for social workers’ proposal welcomed by REC

The REC is hailing victory after a new report was published today aimed at boosting standards in social work, which will include the establishment of a new national College for Social Work.

The REC had been invited by the British Association for Social Workers (BASW) to be part of a working group looking into the possibility of creating such a College.

In welcoming the proposal, Raluca Boroianu-Omura, Policy & PR Executive for REC Nursing and Social Care, said: ‘The College would promote the status of social work and would create a powerful voice for the profession. The REC is a strong advocate for raising standards and promoting good practice in social work, and sees this as the College’s main mission.

She added: “Social workers would benefit greatly from having the support offered by a national college. It would provide workers with post qualifying support and career structure. It would allow social workers to have the help they need to deliver first class services.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and to this end, the REC is committed to working closely with BASW and other key stakeholders to ensure that we keep up the momentum in achieving this aim.”

 Source : OnRec