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December is the month of Preparation

December is the month of Preparation

Its hard to believe the end of 2017 is racing towards us.

December – Advent Calendar time. And it’s the concept of preparation that strikes me today.

It seems as though a lot of changed during 2017 and that the pace of this change is getting ever faster. Yet some of the key issues we faced in 2017 haven’t actually gone away.

Finding and retaining good quality talent is just as relevant in the final few weeks of the year as it was at the beginning. In fact – if anything its more critical. The skills gap and shortage of tech talent is still there – It is time to listen to the rhetoric. In turbulent political and economic times it is challenging to find a way to plug the leak that is the high attrition rate amongst good staff. And yet when we break down what actually makes an employee stay – it would seem that Christmas is an excellent time to make a start on doing just that. Money is less important than you might think, (which is good in today’s climate!) and in the season of goodwill – it is easier to focus on giving – which for the most part is what contrbutes to an employee’s feelings of satisfaction at work.

So for today – in this festive season – let’s take a moment to review – to prepare – to make sure that 2018 truly does become the year that good people feel valued and appreciated at work.

 

Some key facts to consider:

IT professionals get twice as many recruitment mails than other professionals!

Contributing factors to employees leaving range from lack of career advancement to culture to lack of recognition. Money is a factor – but get the career aspiration loop right and recompense becomes a much smaller problem than you may think.

It costs your business about half an annual salary to find a replacement employee.

And those new employees are far less engaged and therefore more likely to move on faster which creates cultural uncertainty and higher stress in those remaining employees.

The bottom line is that there is very little point in having an excellent hiring strategy if you then forget all about the employee the minute they sign on the dotted line. Recruitment needs to come hand in hand with retention. And that strategy needs to fit your unique company culture. We know the talent is out there – but the competition is fierce. If your organisation won’t look after its key assets – someone else will!!

 

Top Tips:

Communicate

Have an optimal onboarding process

Promote your company culture

Develop Effective Leaders

Recognise and Reward

Train and Develop

Provide Challenges

Offer Flexibility

Pay attention to top performers

Offer an attractive compensation package (think past purely salary here!)

Work – Life balance

Be fair

Be honest about change

Foster good teamwork

The Alexa Factor

The Alexa Factor

There are 2 predominant schools of thought around the advent of AI – the positive value added approach: Humans X Process X Data = Increased Business Value

Vs The Chicken Licken thought process of “AI is stealing my job, AI is stealing my job”

Not forgetting those Ostriches amongst us who somehow believe that the advances in AI will have little to no impact on current jobs.

One way or another the landscape is changing. How well your company responds to that is very much down to how much agility is valued as a core skill set.

3 years ago Alexa was just a choice of baby name. In the coming years – naming your baby Alexa may not be so popular a choice – as Alexa is now in over 3 million homes, organising babysitters, booking holidays – and in many cases – being a “person” to chat to. Echo AI technology has improved user experiences – and is earning Amazon big bucks in the process. The Key in this is the fact that Alexa responds almost like a person. Alexa applies machine learning and algorithms to run queries through huge data sets almost instantaneously. Spotify applies the same logic – curating your very own DJ set based on previous choices.

Extrapolating that speed for business will surely guide towards better and more objective business outcomes.

Recent surveys by Accenture have highlighted the need for change in our own approaches with 85% of executives surveyed claiming to be investing in AI over the coming 5 years

So there is no doubt that the rise of AI will change the shape of the job market – especially for the lower skilled workforce. In order to safeguard against rising labor costs – automation becomes critical. Yet higher up the salary scale there are predictions of significant human skills shortages in the very area of robotics that is driving the change agenda. So it would seem that the key to AI success is not how to remove humans from the chain altogether, but how to embed them more effectively to participate in human-critical automation of the business, and in the search for novel business methods and models.

Perhaps the most urgent question we must answer is not one of the role of AI in our 21st century workforce but rather one of integration – and whether economics is purely driven by productivity and speed alone?

Used effectively AI has the potential to alter careers to fit a far more personal model. A more agile workforce – a more diverse workforce. But this requires a collaberation with machine learning to improve the human capability

Change is difficult at the best of times – but when the future is moving faster than we can predict it becomes an increasing challenge.

Maybe we should ask Alexa what to do next?

https://www.accenture.com/t20170125T084846__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/Accenture/next-gen-4/tech-vision-2017/pdf/Accenture-TV17-Trend-1.pdf

Not your average Recruitment Company…

Not your average Recruitment Company…

Ruth Maskrey is our Senior Delivery Consultant. Ruth hails from sunny Stockport and prior to joining ISR spent her formative work life as a Soft Skill Systems Trainer and credits this as one of the keys to her success in the recruitment sector. Ruth is one of those rare individuals with an infectious personality who always has a smile on her face and a positive outlook, even in difficult situations. Ruth loves dealing with people, and is always committed to delivering outstanding service to everyone she interacts with and this comes across clearly to everyone who has the pleasure to speak with her!

Let’s see what Ruth had to say……..

 

  • WHAT ARE THE MOST/LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF RECRUITING?

Most = helping the candidates through their journey – knowing they have put the effort   and energy into the interviews, taken on board the preparation you have given them and then be offered the role J

Least = knowing a really good candidate has withdrawn from the process when it’s been a struggle to find somebody with the right skills

  • WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THE JOB?

Candidate commitment

  • WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN THE JOB?

Placing somebody in a role which took around 6 months from the start t to the end, the candidate relocated from Cheshire to London.  Met him recently and he loves his job and his family have settled into their new home

  • WHERE DO YOU SEE Your Career IN 10 YEARS?

Managing staff / mentor

  • ANY TOP TIPS FOR CANDIDATES?

Market yourself, add more information on to your CV, be professional but friendly on the phone and don’t use the word “like!”

  • ANY TOP TIPS FOR CLIENTS?

Be quicker with constructive feedback on why somebody isn’t right for the role

Tell us what you’re not looking for

  • LIFE’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Work life balance – knowing you have commitments but also knowing you have a role to fill

  • TWO HOBBIES – AND WHY?

Trampolining – I used to compete before my kids were born and recently started going to an adult class – my mind says I can still do it but my body disagrees – brings back happy memories and my competitive streak!

Spinning – it’s a challenge every time I go, but so proud of myself for getting through the class alive

  • TWO PET HATES AND WHY?

Liars

Lateness

  • WHAT’S ONE QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

Que sera sera

  • WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Laying in a bubble bath watching Jeremy Kyle on YouTube

 

Contact Ruth on:

0161 972 4863
07463 071 240

 

Not your average Recruitment Company

Not your average Recruitment Company

Checking in as “Mr Smith”

 

Saxus Solutions is Mike Smiths’ 1st child – originally conceived back in 2003 – long before the 3 real children actually arrived on the scene.

Mike is a man with his own brand of work ethic. He works (and plays!) hard – and expects the same level of commitment from the team that he surrounds himself with. It was one of the major reasons why he chose to go it alone back in 2003. “I had fallen into recruitment almost by accident! Having spent 20 months overseas working in the fitness industry I returned to the UK without a clear plan. A friend introduced me to recruitment – and it turned out that working in fitness was a great grounding for sales. To get the best out of people in the Gym you need to find out what motivates them, their passions – and how to help them to keep going – turns out I am pretty good at finding out what makes people tick – and putting that to best effect”

Mike is a Sports Science graduate – and frequently has used sport as an analogy for business

It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. – Paul “Bear” Bryant

But most of all – this is a man who works as hard for your careers as he does for his own. He firmly believes that everyone has the right to enjoy, achieve and be rewarded in their working lives.

 

  • What are the most enjoyable aspects of recruiting?

We get people work – hopefully good and fulfilling work – what a great thing to be doing!

  • What is the biggest challenge of the job?

Ironically – given that we are a recruitment agency, the hardest thing is to find the right people to work internally. We are trying to create more than just your average recruitment agency – and that means we are looking for exceptional people to work for Saxus. People that share our vision and passion for getting people not just any job, but THE job. And we want people working for us that feel the same way about their own jobs!

  • What has been your most memorable moment in the job?

There have been so many over the years that it’s difficult to choose one – so I won’t. Instead I will say – that the things I remember best are our repeat customers. Candidates and clients alike – that come back to us to find the right fit. And that’s because we have provided a memorable service for them. These are the bits I remember best – and there are a lot of them!! Must be doing something right!!!

  • Why a merger?

As we all know all too well – the economic climate over the last 6 or so years has been challenging at best. We aren’t an enormous agency – we value the personal touch. But that brings with it a different set of issues – and merging with a like-minded organisation has been the best way to capitalise on the now (hopefully continuing!)improving economy, and thereby enable us to continue offering our best in class service.

  • Why choose ISR to partner?

ISR was the natural choice – I have known Iain personally for 20 years – I know how hard he works and how committed he is. We share a similar background – and we definitely share the same vision.

  • Where do you see IS Recruitment / SAXUS Solutions in 10 years??

As a highly respected services company that offers a diverse set of solutions, throughout Europe!

  • Any top tips for candidates?

Easy – Preparation! It’s critical! We can help with this!!

  • Any top tips for clients?

Hire for potential. By that I mean look for those candidates that show a willingness and ability – but necessarily all the current correct skills. Think long term. If a candidate can already do everything then where do they go? If you can take the right attitude and develop it – you may have a total career match!

  • What is your advice for anyone looking for a career in recruitment?

Take a long term view and make sure your success is by design and not through luck. Design a process that works for you, understand your business and do not focus on the money. If you focus on the service, the financial and personal rewards will come!

  • How do you maintain balance?

This is a difficult one, and one we all need to work at constantly. I love my job – and I think it’s really important for my kids to see me work hard and be happy doing so. That said – I also have to remember to evaluate all my opportunities. There may be another time to have a meeting – but my kids will only ever have one 1st day of starting school. It’s about working smarter these days. Use the advances in technology to our advantage, make the time count – and that gives you the opportunity to ensure that there is a balance.. but it’s tricky.. perhaps the best advice is to turn the work mobile off for at least some of your weekend… down time does make you more productive..

  • Life’s biggest challenge?

Not checking your work emails all weekend!! What was that I said about balance?!

  • Two hobbies – and why??

Running – I have run track all my life and have really enjoyed getting back into it again as a “veteran” athlete. I love the challenge, it keeps me fit and is a great way to let off steam

Reading and Learning. Not something I would ever have considered as a hobby at school – but I am now a voracious reader. I am also studying for a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology – and the reason why we do the things we do is fascinating. There are books everywhere in our house – from the dodgy chick lit (my wife NOT me!) to Foucault to “the Tiger who came to Tea”. I am hoping that my kids will also learn to love learning – just because you can rather than necessarily to pass a test!

  • Two pet hates and why?

Liars – I can deal with most things – but people who try to squirm out things by lying don’t go down well. We all screw up – it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference!

Mess… interestingly none of us in my family are great at being tidy – yet we all hate mess… There is obviously a solution that we haven’t figured out yet.. But I would love to be better at sorting the chaos of a home with 3 young kids!

  • What’s one quote that you live your life by??

Play the Hand you are dealt!!

Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.

  • What is your guilty pleasure?

I am lucky in that my life is full of experiences that give me pleasure. As for a guilty one…..if it made me feel guilty I probably would not do it…either that or I just do not have a conscience!!

And so there you have it – Mr Smith. A man who genuinely believes that excellence is a direct result of always trying to do better. And in that respect – we can all achieve excellence – just keep on keeping on!!

 

Contact Mike at:

Saxus
45 Beech St
London
EC2Y 8AD

TEL: 0207 953 9760
FAX: 0207 593 9764

Not your average Recruitment Company

Not your average Recruitment Company

MEET OUR NEWEST TEAM MEMBER

 

The IS Recruitment team is continuing to grow to meet the increasing needs of our clients and we are excited to announce that we’ve added a new member to our team. Emma Lloyd joins us as a Senior Consultant. Emma has spent the last 12 years, providing Change and Transformation recruitment & consultancy services to various sectors particularly within the financial services arena.  Emma’s direct and personal style, has allowed her to develop long lasting business relationships over the years, most of which are still ongoing.

Having represented her county & country she is particularly proud to have a World Team Championship and World Individual title to her name at the Mounted Games. Emma has developed a sense of discipline and dedication which she applied to her career and credits this as one of the reasons for her success.

Let’s see what Emma had to say further;

 

  • WHAT ARE THE MOST/LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF RECRUITING?

Most = People and relationships are the best part of my job.

Least = I find it so hard to see really great people who are out of work lose their self-belief.

  • WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THE JOB?

Not enough hours in the day!

 

  • WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN THE JOB?

I have been really lucky to work on some complex Change & Transformation programmes over the last decade.  I can’t single just one moment out, but I get a real sense of pride from my candidates or consultants from a week, month, year or decade ago delivering high impact change.

 

  • WHERE DO YOU SEE Your Career IN 10 YEARS?

In an ideal world opening an office for ISR in Barbados!

 

  • ANY TOP TIPS FOR CANDIDATES?

It is really important to take the time to get your submission right first time – there are rarely second chances!  Work with your recruitment consultant to understand the role, culture and the clients’ goals before preparing your resume & additional information.

 

  • ANY TOP TIPS FOR CLIENTS?

It’s really important that the right balance is found between the delivery requirements of the business against procurement/HR’s drive to reduce recruitment spend. Once the right recruitment/resource partner has been selected then open & honest communication throughout the process is paramount.

 

  • LIFE’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Utilising your time properly, it is so easy to get caught up in the ‘trivial’ that you miss what is really important.

 

  • TWO HOBBIES – AND WHY?

Horses have been a huge part of my life and I am really grateful for the opportunities I have been given; I’m particularly proud of representing my county, region & country in a number of disciplines.

 

I’m a sports fan in general but I’m an MUFC girl (tricky when my boss is a blue).

 

  • TWO PET HATES AND WHY?

Traffic jams and ‘Middle-lane hogs’ – I spend far too much time sat in traffic jams and a lot of these could be avoided if only people could drive properly!

 

  • WHAT’S ONE QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

Go hard or go home!

 

  • WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Taylor Swift!

Not your average Recruitment Company

Not your average Recruitment Company

Michael O’Leary is our resident Insurance and Wealth Management Consultant here at Saxus; he has been with the organisation since 2011 after studying in Computing and Management at Loughborough University, which has enabled him to have a deeper understanding of IT Recruitment and the latest technologies. Michael plays an integral role in the team here at Saxus having worked on all areas of the business over the last 4+ years covering the full project lifecycles and numerous technologies (.NET being the most prominent).

Michael prides himself on getting to know both his candidates and clients personally to ensure that the optimum level of service is delivered consistently. He doesn’t just know technical people – he actually knows what those people do.

Let’s see what Michael had to say…

WHAT ARE THE MOST/LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF RECRUITING?

Most = Helping people into work / that ideal job

Least = Candidates that don’t turn up to arranged interviews/then dodge all efforts which is made to contact them.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THE JOB?

Changing the somewhat tainted opinion of the stereotypical ‘recruiter’. in doing so, opening up clients eyes to better ways of working

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN THE JOB?

Placing your first candidate is always up there

 

WHERE DO YOU SEE Your Career IN 10 YEARS?

Who knows!?

 

ANY TOP TIPS FOR CANDIDATES?

In-depth interview preparation – looking at the company website is very veneer and everybody does that. More is needed in order to stand out from the rest.

 

ANY TOP TIPS FOR CLIENTS?

Feedback – whether good or bad is always key!

 

LIFE’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Not enough hours in the day

 

TWO HOBBIES – AND WHY?

Fitness – Personally a healthy lifestyle and exercise plays a pivotal role in my life

Football – has been since a very young age

 

TWO PET HATES AND WHY?

Plug socket switches ‘on’ & not off

People using ‘like’ as a fill word

 

WHAT’S ONE QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

 “Speak how you wish to be spoken to, Treat people how you want to be treated”

 

WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Farley’s rusks! :)

Move up or move over – how to use technology AND talent to deliver your business

Move up or move over – how to use technology AND talent to deliver your business

More than ever before – IT sits at the heart of everything “business”.It is no longer a question of having an IT department, it is now more that IT its an overarching business principle.Business now is totally dependent on being digital – and this means changing the way we have traditionally viewed our IT departments!

Digital places IT at a critical juncture: change or be changed. IT MUST be a partner in driving business value; How exciting that IT is truly instrumental in marrying technology AND talent to realise business outcomes and innovation.

Managing your IT talent is becoming ever more critical to business success.The traditional role of the IT professional no longer exists and an increasing number of “new IT professionals” are now embedded throughout the organisation, meaning that innovation can and will happen independently of the IT department! This requires a balancing of the skills triangle – Business + digital + technology, and IT leaders MUST help the workforce adopt new roles accordingly.

The pool from which IT talent can be drawn from is also now a global pond.IT workers are highly mobile and can be from a broad geographical and cultural base.This requires a shift in focus to managing IT diversity which as well as managing a need for more business and market savvy IT professionals than ever before.

On the whole this is a massively positive change – IT professionals are now genuine partners in driving change across the organisation. But as we all know – “ Mindset” is a slow turning ship however reluctance to embrace the new distribution of your IT department throughout the business will slow the rate of advances to be made.

So what should you do about this? Well it will require a degree of reinvention and a move away from the traditional company structure! Invent a new IT organization; new structures and interaction models that make best use of skills and capabilities across the whole organization.

Now is the time to fix those “legacy issues”. Proactively start strategic workforce planning. In order to deliver multispeed IT a huge degree of flexibility is required.Your plan needs to consider how to re-skill, attract and source talent that matches both the digital demand of the business and IT.

Technology Goals

So think about Refining the “IT department” – into the IT business.This subtle yet critical mindset shift will help to bring about a more genuine partnership role. IT will now be a driver in business innovation.

And IT professionals…. there is a mindset and cultural shift for you here too. As IT becomes a more integrated department – this will require more than just typical skills. Ensure that you are “skills savvy” (see blog post on soft skills) and be ready to deliver innovation wherever it’s needed throughout the organisation!

Not your average Recruitment Company

Not your average Recruitment Company

THIS MONTH WE WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO OUR TEAM ADMINISTRATOR HOLLIE MARTIN.

As ISR’s Team Administrator, Hollie is command central and keeps us all organised. And while we could speak of her gazillion daily accomplishments, we’ll just cut to the chase and simply state that her multi-tasking abilities is simply superhuman.

If there was a competition for managing multiple activities from several phone conversations, whilst simultaneously engaging with people at her desk, solving scheduling conflicts, fixing the printer, preparing reports, processing payments, invoices and generally keeping the team happy we are confident Hollie would take the prize.

Along with her practical, common sense and willingness to help all who ask, Hollie also possesses a wonderful (& necessary) sense of humour.

Let’s see what Hollie had to say

 

  • WHAT ARE THE MOST/LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF RECRUITING?

Most = seeing how happy the recruiters are when they have helped a candidate get a job.

Least = When a candidate is unsuccessful in their interview.

 

  • WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THE JOB?

Making sure contractors get their timesheets in on time.

 

  • WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN THE JOB?

Putting together our ‘Grand Opening and 10 year anniversary’ event.

 

  • WHERE DO YOU SEE Your Career IN 10 YEARS?

Hopefully managing an admin team

 

  • ANY TOP TIPS FOR CANDIDATES?

Always spell check your C.V and plan your journey to your interview to make sure you won’t be late.

 

  • ANY TOP TIPS FOR CLIENTS?

The more information we receive, the better service we can provide.

 

  • LIFE’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Juggling work whilst being a mum to two children, with one going through terrible twos.

 

  • TWO HOBBIES – AND WHY?

Taking the kids out on days out and dancing in shows such as musicals and pantomimes.

 

  • TWO PET HATES AND WHY?

Rudeness and people being petty – just because it’s not nice.

 

  • WHAT’S ONE QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

YOLO

 

  • WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

All reality T.V

5 Difficult Interview Questions and How to Respond

5 Difficult Interview Questions and How to Respond

One smart CV and cover letter later – you are here – Interview Territory!! Be warned you are likely to face a few tricky interview questions, which is why we’ve put together a few of the most common ones so you can be prepared to answer.So far – your written words have been interesting enough to get you a foot in the door.Now is when the real hard job of creating the right impression starts.

In essence, an interview is an elimination round.This is where you quickly discard candidates that aren’t going to be the right fit and who don’t stand up to the rigours of the interview process.We can’t give you all the answers but we can give you some suggestions as to how to turn those “killer” interview probes into “nailed it” replies!

Bear in mind that this only really covers generic interview questions – we know that it goes without saying that your technical knowledge of role specifics must also be able to stand up to rigorous testing, and that you must equally prepare for that section – be ever sure that you are fully up to speed with all those technologies you highlighted in that CV. It doesn’t do to nail all the general interview spiel and then not know your java from your elbow!!!!

So – if you are ready… Your 60 seconds starts now……

1.Could you tell me a little about yourself?

AAArgh….. This is my least favourite interview question and one that truly throws an enormous amount of candidates.Say too little and you look like you are hiding something, say too much and you could end up sharing anecdotes that really were best left at the bar… Interviewers like this question as it helps them to assess your communication abilities, your delivery style – and your personal “poise”. Keep your answer to a minute or two at most. Cover 4 topics: early years, education, work history and recent career experience.The emphasis must be on the latter topics and highlight professional experiences that relate to the position you’re seeking and which support your credentials. Better yet, prepare a personal “branding statement “ that quickly describes who you are and what you can bring to the company.

2.What is your biggest weakness?

Ahh – the classic interview question.I have yet to attend an interview without this question being asked, and it’s always been a standard in my bag of questions when on the other side of the fence. So knowing that – you need to be ready for this one. It is used a lot – so interviewers will expect you to be ready for it – and to have put some consideration into the answer.The interviewer isn’t really expecting you to reveal your innermost fears at this point – it’s an interview, not a therapy session! So plan to use this question to your advantage. Let’s assume that you’re a detail driven workaholic and that you neglect friends and family when working on important projects. Turning these weaknesses into positives is relatively straightforward; by saying that you’re very thorough and remain involved in projects, even if it means working additional hours at times.

An alternative strategy is to mention an area where you’re seeking improvement, and then highlight the steps you’re taking to meet that goal, for instance, an IT professional earning additional certifications. Never draw negative attention to yourself by stating a weakness that would lead an employer to think you are not the best person for the job. The focus of your answer should be on your strengths

3.What didn’t / did you like about your last job?

This can frequently be used as an opportunity to trip you up into giving away a bit of information unwittingly that shows up a concealed weakness!! Be careful, for instance, of complaining of long working hours, you may need to start at 8am in the new role too!!  So you need to be prepared with an answer that highlights the more positive aspects of moving on.

If you currently have a job, it’s vital that you don’t use this as an opportunity to trash your boss / company (you never know who is chatting in All Bar One on a Friday night!). Moaning about current employers at an interview is a really big NO – it not only shows bad form, but also raises the issue that you may be a person who cannot tackle problems as they arise.You need to focus on why you’re now seeking greater opportunities, challenges or responsibility. Concentrate your answer on areas that are relevant to the proposed position and be specific. Avoid saying, “I liked the environment.” Instead, try saying “I enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of a team.” When discussing least-liked aspects, outline an area of responsibility that’s not critical to the job you’re seeking. But be sure your answer indicates that you either performed the task well or that you learned something useful.This shows stickability, even if this was an area that didn’t particularly interest you.

If all else fails and you need a “get out of jail free card” – then using outdated technology as a scapegoat can be a useful technique.

4.Why is there a gap in your work history?

In today’s economy there are so many talented professionals who have been pushed back into the workforce pool – so if this one is you – then don’t be ashamed to simply explain that you were a part of a downsizing. If you were fired for performance issues, it’s best to merely say you “parted ways” and refocus the discussion on how your skill set matches the current position.

It’s vital when you answer this question to highlight what you’ve been doing during any period of unemployment. Freelance projects, volunteer work or taking care of family members all let the interviewer know that time off was spent productively.

5.Why should I hire you? What sets you apart from other applicants?

And as if by magic – that is the next question….

The interviewer is trying to find out if you are actually ready for the job, Do you fully understand what it entails, how you could handle it and your willingness to work hard.

You must prepare this answer. Go back to that CV and cover letter and pick out key areas in your skillset that are particularly relevant to the role. Review the job spec and requirements very closely and choose areas where you can match your experience, career progression and achievements to those areas. Discuss YOUR specific talents – but keep it relevant to the role in hand. And back it up – a proven track record of results added to your best matched qualities.

Your job here is to demonstrate why you are the most qualified candidate – and have the evidence to back it up!

Being properly prepared for these questions will help you enter the interview room calmly and ready to deal with whatever is thrown at you.Interviewers are looking for someone who not only WANTS the job, but who has done their homework and is ready to hit the ground running.They don’t expect you to have every answer – but they do expect you to have done some research and be willing to apply yourself. Being interview ready shows your commitment and the type of person you are, far better than a CV!!! For more in-depth tips on how to prepare for interviews have a read of our previous post. Top 5 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

6 Tips to Retain Top Talent

6 Tips to Retain Top Talent

The world of the Poacher is on the Increase.Top Talent is becoming a rare commodity and companies are out to snatch the talent while they can!

On the face of it – the solution seems simple – “ if we pay more.. they will stay..”

But the reason people leave is rarely about the money! In fact – financial reward is far lower on the charts than most people would believe. Take a look back at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  – and Money sits just above the most basic of human needs. It sits in the safety zone, meaning that once you have enough to ensure that you can provide food, shelter etc that your need is inherently “satisfied” – your happiness does not continue to increase exponentially the more money you earn! The trick is to pay “enough” (and by that we do mean fair compensation!!) that your employees finances aren’t causing any negative issues. But what makes people loyal is a little more complicated.

Many companies do understand the fact that retaining good people is less costly and far less time consuming than recruiting good new people. This issue generally worsens when budgets are tight and we all know how that feels in the last 5 or so years!! But it’s amazing how many companies don’t actually practice what they preach or have any kind of retention  strategy in place.

When you lose “top talent”, you’ll have to find another, and meanwhile your business can suffer a lack of performance which, right up until the time you’ve got the new person in place, can prove very damaging.

Get this bit right – and you will be rewarded with loyal employees who are happy to ignore the poacher at the end of the phone offering more cash. Get this bit right and your employees will know that whilst an extra £100 a week is nice, being valued is priceless!

1.Fairness – The bottom line in retention is fairness. Equal opportunities  and  no favouritisms is a good starting point. Salaries need to reflect performance. Be aware that your staff can (and will) discuss all these things. If you are paying unfairly, rewarding unfairly allowing time off unfairly – you will get found out. A staff member who feels short changed won’t just be looking to leave.. they will also be causing unrest while they stay. Stay fair, honest and open and keep your staff involved!

2.Challenge – Great talent is hard wired to want to improve! This is a wonderful thing – if you harness it correctly! The smart leader will recognise this need in his / her employees and allow them the freedom to change and Innovate. Engage their creativity. Let your staff have a voice – some of the best insights come from where you may least be looking! A bored employee will soon find something or some other company to provide them the challenge they need to maintain focus.

3.Development – Skills development is crucial to employee retention and business development. In this case it really is a win-win. Develop your skills base and the business becomes more able. Develop your staff and they feel happier and motivated. An employee who is given the room to grow within a company is much more likely to stay loyal and look for a “career progression” internally – in a place they feel supported and valued. They will want to put that skills development back!

4.Recognition – The best leader is one who gives the credit rather than takes it. Think back to the last time you were actually recognised for what you were doing well. Acknowledgement of a job done well can often be a great reward in itself. We can all remember those BAD bosses who cheerfully took the credit for their team, and failed to mention who had actually delivered the project.. that kind of resentment only increases over time – and then leads people to start looking at what’s being offered elsewhere. Take Notice. Praise WHERE it’s due. It’s that simple. And – if that recognition can actually at some point be a “something” – a bonus, some time off when it’s least expected etc… then this all helps build loyalty. Its VALUE added!

5.Leadership –  Most people don’t leave a company.. they leave their boss!! If you aren’t leading your team, then a disconnect between you and your staff will occur. Stand up and be counted.

6.Commitment – Keep your promises! There is little that can break down trust faster than not doing what you say you will! Leaders not accountable to their people, will eventually be held accountable by their people

So – now its time to take a really honest look at your employee retention strategy!

Are you doing enough to keep your Top Talent? And why are we, as a recruitment agency bothered about this??? Well – because we at Saxus believe that your retention strategy actually starts with an effective hiring process!  Making sure that you choose candidates who are a good fit for both the job AND the organization: Be sure to determine what competencies and skills are needed for success, and then use a solid hiring  process to identify individuals who possess these characteristics. The reward is a strong employee retention rate and also with loyal employees who contribute to your organization’s success – for the long-term.

It’s how we hire our own team. Now can we help you with yours??

 OUR CONTACT DETAILS

Tel: 0207 953 9760

Mobile: 0780 1631 481

Email: msmith@saxus.co.uk

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