Your natural instincts may tell you that the New Year is the only time people look for a job - that recruiting in December is just crazy. After all, in January, everyone’s enjoyed masses of turkey, tinsel and television; the thought of going back to their current job may finally be the push to browse suitable vacancies. And New Year is the time when businesses assess their staff and resources for the year ahead, isn’t it? You know…new plans, new strategies, and a new determination to fill that position…

Well, not necessarily. January and the New Year may not be the best time to look for a job at all. Right now could prove better for job-seekers to grab their dream job than if they wait a few weeks.

As a recruiter, your instincts may tell you to wait until Santa has got back to the North Pole before you look to fill positions. The trouble is, everyone else has those same instincts too, which means far greater competition come January 1st.

Advice from LoveLocalJobs.com suggests December is the perfect time for job-seekers and recruiters to come together. Longer term, in-house projects are usually completed by this time, which gives employers/managers the space to think strategically about staff provision for new projects on the horizon – staff they’d prefer to be settled, trained, and in place when such projects begin.

It’s the time when the same managers look at whether targets were met throughout that year, and assess where budgets could have been better spent; staffing could prove a significant factor. Being a time when most people wind down, it’s also likely hirers – and employees – have plenty of available time slots for interviews.

In some industries, particularly those that pay large end-of-year bonuses, it’s a point where people commonly announce retirements, career breaks, or just that they themselves are moving on - which subsequently leaves various positions to fill. As the Christmas period is a fantastic time of year for networking, why would anyone wait to get ahead of their competition – particularly if seeking a specific position or niche role? Why let the chat around the buffet table be someone else’s in-road to your perfect job?

As many recruiters will be aware, towards the end of December, many seasonal and temporary jobs come to an end. Though employees in those roles already may wish to be kept on should the opportunity arise, it’s unlikely to be the case for everyone. Those January sales will still need servicing!

Throughout the year, recruiters advise job-seekers to look at their network for any opportunities. But consider how easy it is to reconnect with an old contact at Christmas; it gives people a legitimate and polite excuse to get back in touch before asking for help.

So don’t discount December….instead of spending your time filling bags with Christmas shopping, fill those positions instead!

Fast Recruitment Websites help their clients stand out from the crowd in today’s challenging marketplace. Call us on 01302 288591 for an informal evaluation of your current recruitment website.

According to new research carried out by Glassdoor, it appears so. The more difficult the interview process, the better matched the final candidate seems to be for the job, and the more satisfied the applicant in the long-term. Take, for example, Google. Famed for presenting brain teasers and incorporating tests that measure behaviour into the interview process, such is their focus on finding the right person who will slot effortlessly into their business and with their culture.

So, does that mean all interviewers need to beef up their questioning, psychometric testing, and practical analysis?

This isn’t an assumption Glassdoor has made – there are firm statistics that back up their findings. Analysing six different countries, they found that an interview made 10% more difficult contributes to an increase in the job satisfaction of the chosen candidate by an average of 2.6%.

Of course, the whole point of the interview process is to filter applicants and to dig deeper into their skills, knowledge and attitude. If they’re tested more thoroughly, does this not just present the interviewer with more information on which to base his/her decision, leading to fewer bad hires? Hiring the right person for the right job – that’s as suitable for the candidate as it is for the hirer – would naturally lead to a greater level of job satisfaction, surely?

The inference that a company with a well-designed interview strategy has a stronger internal culture and takes better care of its employees is one thought. If a company places little importance on finding the right person, it’s unlikely the morale or commitment shown by its employees will be as strong, given the higher rate of staff turnover they’ll see and the weight of tasks the long-suffering workforce have to shoulder whilst yet another new employee is found. If that decision is right the first-time, and the job given to someone likely to embrace the role and company’s vision, it’s easy to see why this would increase job satisfaction, not only for the employee, but for those around them.

Does a harder interview ensure the strongest and fittest?

According to Glassdoor’s research, there is an optimal degree of difficulty in the interview process. Making things so hard that only Einstein could pass doesn’t necessarily secure the best talent. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 was most difficult, and 1 was ‘easy’, an interview offering level 4 difficulty produced the employees who would display greater job satisfaction later on. Testing, yes; overwhelmingly so, no. One explanation offered by Glassdoor was that a level 5 interview may project an aggressive culture by the hiring company, which may put off candidates. On the flipside, making the interview process too ‘easy’ was found to have very little filtering affect at all.

To a certain extent, these findings seem only to support what common sense would tell us. Test a candidate well and you find out more about them (always a good thing when recruiting, anything that helps the hirer make the right decision); and a company that places a great deal of importance on finding the right candidate is likely to make newcomers feel welcome and valued from the off.

Original article: http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/do-difficult-job-interviews-lead-to-more-satisfied-workers-evidence-from-glassdoor

You may have heard the words ‘name-blind recruitment’ recently - in the news and as the burning subject on numerous discussion boards.

Reports show a number of minority candidates feel they’d only get a response from employers if they removed their names from their CVs and applications forms.

One careers adviser suggested to a black candidate that they use their middle name of ‘Elizabeth’, to sway any preconceptions from the hiring panel. Similar stories tell of applicants being encouraged to omit details of hobbies or interests with ethnic connotations.

The findings of a French study showed that candidates with a ‘foreign-sounding name’ were less likely to be invited for interview than those with more traditional monikers.

Bias isn’t just resigned to ethnicity: a study carried out in the US involved laboratory managers receiving random CVs bearing male and female names; automatically, the males were considered to be ‘more competent and hireable’.

David Cameron has encouraged some of the UK’s biggest employers to accept CVs on a name-blind basis. Applications to the NHS, HSBC, Deloitte, the BBC, Teach First, Virgin Money, KPMG, learndirect and the civil service will, from now on, have the names of the candidates hidden, to ensure no stereotyping. Ucas will also use the same approach on university applications from 2017.

Said David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte: “The introduction of name-blind recruitment processes, and school and university-blind interviews, will help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of potential - not ethnicity, gender or past personal circumstance.”

Beatrice Bartlay, from recruitment firm 2B Interface adds: “With some women and minority groups still facing discrimination in many professional environments, employers need to maintain their focus on skills above backgrounds during the hiring process. I welcome the approach to finding talent, because not only does it offer complete transparency for the candidate, it encourages the employer to look a little closer at CVs.”

What do you think? Would you favour Jane over Jameela? Or show preference to Kevin over Kamal? Name-blindness, although it is unlikely to eradicate all kinds of prejudice, is at least one step in the right direction.

Whilst that headline may evoke the image of a corseted slip of a girl kneading udders from her stool, the context has nothing to do with butter, cream or, indeed, any dairy product.

Reducing the churn is just another term for rapid turnover of staff, particularly in reference to larger organisations, where ‘churn’ can prove an issue.

Recruiting staff that are not fit for the role they’re applying for only increases the churn, as sooner or later, the organisation finds the individual is unable to carry out their duties effectively, or the person in question realises it’s not for them and they head for the door. Either way, the associated cost of a poor hire can mount up….the recruiters’ fees are only the tip of the iceberg: a client may have footed travel, hotel and meal expenses, and costs associated with the employee’s training. Even the employee’s termination may incur costs if a wrongful dismissal/grievance is pursued. And that’s without factoring in any relocation costs in the total. The human cost, such as the effect on productivity, morale and customer service, associated with a high staff turnover may not be as easily put into pounds and pennies, but you can bet the knock-on effect could run into the thousands – possibly even the millions.

Suddenly, that churn is significant, especially to agencies that deal with volume recruitment. So what can recruiters do to ensure the only thing their clients ‘churn’ is a greater turnover from the right hiring decisions?

Understand the culture of the organisation

The job description is the easy part; knowing the way the organisation operates - its values, mission and the kind of people already working there - can help you find the right candidates. And not just on paper, it involves meeting them face-to-face and getting a feel for the type of person they are. Have different consultants from your agency interview the shortlisted candidates, so that decisions are not just resigned to one recruiter’s ‘gut feeling’.

Be as specific as you can

Recycling a job description from the last time it was filled obviously didn’t do the trick if it was a role vacated within weeks. Drill down further into the required skills, knowledge and attributes. Are you able to contact the departing employee(s), for example, to find out exactly what duties the role(s) entails in practice – this may be completely different to what their manager believes.

Look beyond the obvious

In the recession, many people had to take on more than one job, or downscale their role to compensate. Recognise that someone’s background isn’t always black and white. Filter CVs carefully, and consider personally interviewing people you may be tempted to dismiss if they have some of the attributes required. Hearing their story in detail may paint a completely different picture of the candidate no CV could impart. Ask questions relating to a candidate’s softer skills, another thing CVs tend not to represent. Pin down the candidate’s career plan; they may be perfect for the role, but if they’re ambitious, they could move on from the position very quickly, adding to the churn.

Ascertain the true benefits

Candidates don’t always look for financial remuneration when applying for jobs; often, perks are to do with hours, aspects of their role, location to work from, etc. If you have a strong candidate that’s asking for some flexibility, for example, consider asking your client if this is possible.

The churn is an important aspect of recruiting: for agencies, their clients and their candidates. Steps taken to reduce the churn benefit everyone. There’s no better testimonial to your agency’s services, if you’re able to match the right person to the right role.

Fast Recruitment Websites is rapidly becoming the UK's leading low-cost recruitment website supplier. For a no-obligation, informal chat about your website design needs, contact us on 01302 288591 or info@fastrecruitmentwebsites.co.uk.

If, ten years ago, you’d asked business owners and managers tasked with hiring which section of the population they would least like to employ, the chances are they would have replied “new mothers”. The stereotypical, and often unfair, assumption that this band of women were more trouble than any other member of the workforce: needing time off if their child was ill, a lack of concentration due to night feeds and little sleep, flexibility in their working hours around partners’ shifts, etc.

New research shows that this attitude is changing, and that working mothers are desirable to hirers. As flexible working is far more common than a decade ago, working mothers’ needs for leeway in their hours is not likely to be seen as unusual, as it’s a benefit commonly enjoyed by older working parents and those without children too.

That they’re coping with the challenges of being a new mother is increasingly seen as a positive, rather than a negative. Time management skills, inherent in returning-to-work-mothers, as they juggle feeding schedules and meticulously plan the comings and goings of their household; according to Regus, who carried out the survey, a significant portion of the 4,000 senior business people interviewed saw new mums’ organisational talents as valuable transferable skills.

The fact that returning mothers were less likely to swap jobs was also recognised. Once an employer helps to support a routine that works for the ‘new mum’ employee and her colleagues, it’s rare that she’d rock the boat. Survey respondents welcomed this commitment and reliability.

Perhaps because of the assumptions and stereotyping of days gone by, returning mums were also seen as more hardworking than other sections of the workforce - possibly in a bid to prove they were as up to the job as their colleagues, and also to find some value and worth outside the home. Softer skills, attributes commonly sought after by hirers in today’s competitive job market, were also deemed by the respondents to be abundant in new mothers.

These findings were echoed by Celia Donne, Regus’ Global Operations Director. She said, “The benefits to businesses are clear; not least, lower staff turnover and associated hiring and training costs.”

But if a firm doesn’t promote flexible working, would returning mothers, and all their beneficial attributes, join that firm? And even if flexible hours were on offer, does this automatically solve working mothers’ problems?

A separate survey, carried out by workingmums.co.uk, claimed that 57% of mums have trouble with childcare provision before and after school. However, new mums fared even worse: 61% claimed that their intention to return to work was in jeopardy, due to the cost of full-time childcare and its potential to outweigh their earnings.

Employer-run crèches could prove one solution, but are often impractical and costly for the business, even if they do attract working mums and all the benefits they bring. Government subsidies towards childcare are also welcome, even if many working mums claim they’re not enough.

It’s good to see attitudes changing towards mothers returning to work; though they may not endure jealousy or bad feeling in the office as they may once have experienced, they still have hurdles to overcome if they want to rejoin the workforce. Businesses can help by being as flexible as they can, so that the new mum employee can take advantage of free nursery places (which means being a slave to the nursery’s opening hours), as well as considering if some of their workload can be carried out at home.

Though the latter sounds the perfect solution (working from home, no childcare costs!), try concentrating on emails or making phone calls with a crying baby in the background – it may alter your view.

Fast Recruitment Websites solely provide professional websites to UK recruitment agencies without the inflated price tag. We specialise in helping start-up agencies get online fast and established agencies to enjoy the benefits of a professional site without the need for excessive capital investment. Call us on 01302 288591 for a friendly, no obligation chat about your needs.

Shaky economies, Far Eastern stock market crashes and skills gaps are obstacles for any industry, but recruitment is one sector that’s enjoying stable growth despite such prevalent influences.

A new study by Deloitte reports that 83% of agencies have seen their net income increase over the last twelve months. Even the number of agencies previously reporting a decline has reduced by 11%.

With this success comes a new set of challenges, however. As often happens when growth occurs, agencies are – ironically - facing difficulty enlisting new staff to cope with their increased workloads, and 31% also reported issues with the retaining of their in-house talent. Various elements were mentioned in the study as paramount to a competitive employee package, such as private healthcare, flexible working hours, employee share schemes and staff outings. Whether these are the right benefits to attract and retain today’s recruitment agents will no doubt be the subject of further studies.

The sustaining of this welcome success and growth is another worry, Deloitte found, as 44% admitted the maintaining of profitability was an ongoing concern. To counteract this issue was the plan by 29% of agencies to develop capable management teams, to steer them towards greater success. Tools and techniques to also uphold agencies’ growth ranged from increased training (70% of agencies reckoned this was very important) to an investment in technology (50% said this was fairly important). Expansion was planned by many (71% considered this important) as one method to increase growth even further.

2015 follows a healthy 2014 for the recruitment sector. A survey carried out at the beginning of the year by Bullhorn saw agencies predict profitable times ahead after the successes they achieved over the previous twelve months. As many as 93% surveyed by Bullhorn expected 2015’s revenue to outdo the previous year, something Deloitte’s report appears to confirm.

Agencies’ ambitious outlook, concerning revenue, expansion and staff numbers, equals good news for the industry. As other countries, namely China, face cuts and financial challenges, it seems this is one sector that’s certainly on the up.

Fast Recruitment Websites help their clients stand out from the crowd on their own merit. Contact us today on 01302 288591 to discuss your website design needs.

We’ve mentioned before the benefits employees - and employers – often enjoy from the offer of flexible hours and the option of working from home, either part-time or full-time. More and more of us are asking for the freedom to choose our hours and where our workstations should be; agencies recognise that flexibility is one of the main elements that feature in the expectations and desires of candidates.

There’s no doubt that working from home boosts employees’ morale, but once they have permission, do they actually do that? Or do those enjoying this perk simply loll about on the settee in front of Jeremy Kyle and a raft of afternoon telly, before rushing around madly at midnight to complete the minimum amount of work required?

Joking aside, similar preconceptions concerning the activity of an employee working from home can be one reason employers turn down such a request. New research by CV-library, however, can put paid to such worries. According to their findings, employees that work from home are actually more productive than their office-bound colleagues, as well as happier.

1,800 professionals were surveyed and, surprisingly, just 18.2% worked from home, whilst 15.4% split their time equally between office and abode. Despite just a third being actual home-workers, more than four in five of those surveyed believed they were equally or more productive when working from home than office-based workers. The absence of a commute and fewer meetings also contribute, said 26% of those surveyed.

Effort is requisite: rather than ‘bunking off’ work like a truanting schoolkid, 65.8% of those working from home feel they work much longer hours than their colleagues in the office.

Said Lee Biggins, CV-Library’s founder and managing director: “Remote working is a model that is growing in popularity and we expect that to continue in the future. As technology evolves and develops, it becomes easier and more practical for companies to operate their businesses remotely, making employers more receptive to the idea of letting staff work from home. Our latest research suggests that attending fewer meetings and having no office distractions are two of the main reasons employees find they are more productive at home.”

With statistics like these, and considering that 83.2% found working from home allowed them to enjoy a better work/life balance, it’s not as easy to envisage downsides for both employee and employer from such a move.

Fast Recruitment Websites provide professional websites to UK recruitment agencies without the inflated price tag. We specialise in helping start-up agencies get online fast and established agencies to enjoy the benefits of a professional site without the need for excessive capital investment. Call us on 01302 288591 for a friendly, no obligation chat about your needs.

A recent study has found that the average commute to work is 54 minutes. The average commute!

The research, carried out by Randstad UK, reported that the typical worker loses a staggering 11 weeks per year travelling to and from their place of work. This time, in monetary terms, represents a loss to their annual income of £5,722, and that’s not counting the actual cost of all those public transport journeys, or what one would spend on petrol getting from A to B twice a day.

Commuting can also have an impact on our health and wellbeing. According to another survey, which focused on people’s health and happiness: “Forty per cent of people who commute for more than three hours per day ‘experience worry’ for much of the day. In contrast, only 28% of people with commutes of less than ten minutes are regularly worried.”

Time to worry is detrimental enough, but were you aware of how dangerous commuting can be? The same wellbeing survey found that commuters in the UK, on average, risk serious injury 32 times each week. As a result, 1.7m people have needed time off work after getting hurt; the most common risks being road injuries from not looking when crossing the street, eating whilst walking, and jumping on and off public transport before doors properly open or close.

Skills gaps and a search for top talent contributed to a 5% rise in the amount of UK relocations last year. For candidates, renting in the area where they work can often prove a more cost-efficient solution, and, of course, affords less unproductive downtime due to a quicker commute. Relocation can prove big business for recruiters, particularly those with a wealth of knowledge on their local area, something of huge value to those moving there.

Internal migration’s on the rise, and so are relocations across the globe. There’s a term that’s been coined for this movement of talent: global mobility.

Many agencies are focusing on their approach and services in this regard, to help candidates find and adjust to new environments. Recruitment agencies have been instrumental in the introduction of global mobility to smaller companies; outsourcing is many times more cost-effective than installing their own internal global, or UK-wide, mobility department.

Agencies that can help make relocations/transitions smooth for candidates will have an edge over their competitors. This means demonstrating a solid knowledge of an area’s schools, leisure pursuits available, a city’s cultural offerings, and much more.

Matching the right candidate to the right job takes on an extra dimension if recruiters have the whole world to pick from.

FastRecruitmentWebsites.com specifically helps those within the recruitment industry establish their niche and gain prominence; contact us on 01302 288591 for a no obligation quote.

Opportunities nowadays are much, much wider than those of our grandparents’ generation. No longer are we constrained by our class, race, location or societal values when it comes to choosing our career. Just because Grandad and Dad were greengrocers for years doesn’t mean you have to be too.

Every profession has benefitted from diversity of its employees. Gender bias is a hot topic, and although there’s still work to do in this area, it’s light years away from the ‘50s housewife who chose bringing up her family as her life’s work. Despite leaps made in the workplace, to bring fairness and promote diversity, there are still stereotypical issues around age, for example, amongst other forms of discrimination, to tackle.

Often, it’s not our conscious mind that makes assumptions, but the preconceptions made by our subconscious. ‘Affinity bias’ is the idea that hiring decisions are influenced by stereotypes and outdated values buried deep in our psyche. Even the most competent recruiter has the capacity to make a poor decision.

Claire Williams, of Inclusive Employers, says: “Bias is developed over a lifetime of being exposed to more data than our conscious brain can manage, and as a result, the unconscious brain processes 200,000 times more information than the conscious.”

“We all know people who say they know immediately if a candidate is right for the job. This is their unconscious brain at work.” So, if something is so deep-rooted and unintentional, how can it be overcome?

Claire suggests the following:

Question your first impression of a candidate: your first impression is likely to be from your subconscious mind; take the effort to also consciously evaluate them on a rational level, based on their performance, skills and experience.

Aim to promote diversity: If recruiting for a long-standing client, consider the current workforce, and whether there’s an opportunity to widen its diversity with your next appointment. Of course, matching the right person to the job role takes precedence over diversity ‘quotas’; however, there are situations when more than one candidate is suitable, and this could become a consideration.

Broaden your network: If you approach the same places, such as specific universities, etc. when attracting talent to your ‘pool’, break the affinity and target new organisations. It’s not always the case that candidates from particular places will be the only ones up to the job.

Don’t rush, and keep up your sugar intake: Both elements affect the portion of your brain you may use. Low sugar levels and decisions made under pressure are more likely to be formed by your subconscious. Sleep on recruitment decisions/referrals; you may see things differently when you’re refreshed and alert.

According to Equality Works: “Workforce diversity has a quantifiable effect on business and performance outcomes. Among the many business benefits of addressing unconscious bias in recruitment are: better decision-making, reduced recruitment costs, and more productive teams.”

Does your website show bias of any kind? For an objective review, or an informal chat about your recruitment website needs, contact Fast Recruitment Websites on 01302 288591.

A new survey by Hiring Hub has found that, within the last 12 months, a staggering 91% of UK businesses “compromised” when it came to the calibre of a candidate, with one in three admitting the person they employed was “less than ideal” for the role.

Investment was cited as one of the reasons inappropriate appointments occur, with regards to the training and direction of new employees. 54% of those surveyed agreed that training budgets needed revising, and urgently. 35% identified that their line managers also needed more training and encouragement, so that they can be better equipped to support those joining their firm.

A report by HR review pinned the cost of a bad hire down to £30,000. Faced with an outlay as large as this, are training budgets really beyond reach? Not only does lower productivity threaten, if an employee isn’t the right fit for the job and struggles to cope, the financial ramifications of replacing them are matched by the amount of time also wasted.

Time was a prominent issue indeed in Hiring Hub’s survey. More than half the respondents complained that sifting through CVs and shortlisting candidates for interview sapped more hours than expected. Two-thirds admitted that more time is needed when it comes to the interview process, so that rash or poor hiring decisions can be reduced or avoided.

One possible reason for hiring the wrong candidate could be down to the ‘halo effect’. If an applicant has a strong CV, then subsequently makes the interviewer feel at ease and scores highly on a few issues at the interview, the employer can be lulled into a false sense of security. That they may score lower in some areas, if these are even probed at all, is overlooked or ignored if commonalities, shared interests or compatible natures crop up during the discussion. The hirer’s brain is subsequently tricked into thinking that the candidate’s other areas are “bound to be alright….we have a connection!” The halo effect’s premature judging can be very powerful, but very costly in the long run.

Hirers also need to be honest in their job adverts, if they’re to save themselves time and money. It’s no good being vague, or branding a job role as something it’s not. Other research suggests that for recruitment agencies, seeing candidates in person before putting them forward for a position is requisite. Says Spencer Lawrence, letting director at Paramount Properties: “A number of recruitment agencies don’t interview the applicants face-to-face. It’s like me trying to let a property or sell it without turning up to see it, and that doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”

So, who’s at fault when it comes to the wrong person hired – the employee or the hirer? The agencies or those holding the training budget’s purse-strings? At £30,000 a pop when things go wrong – and there’s a one in three chance it will, according to Hiring Hub’s survey - it’s certainly an issue worth further thought.

Fast Recruitment Websites is rapidly becoming the UK's leading low-cost recruitment website supplier. For a no obligation informal chat about your website design needs, contact us on 01302 288591 or info@fastrecruitmentwebsites.co.uk.

Your natural instincts may tell you that the New Year is the only time people look for a job - that recruiting in December is just crazy. After all, in January, everyone’s enjoyed masses of turkey, tinsel and television; the thought of going back to their current job may finally be the push to browse suitable vacancies. And New Year is the time when businesses assess their staff and resources for the year ahead, isn’t it? You know…new plans, new strategies, and a new determination to fill that position…

Well, not necessarily. January and the New Year may not be the best time to look for a job at all. Right now could prove better for job-seekers to grab their dream job than if they wait a few weeks.

As a recruiter, your instincts may tell you to wait until Santa has got back to the North Pole before you look to fill positions. The trouble is, everyone else has those same instincts too, which means far greater competition come January 1st.

Advice from LoveLocalJobs.com suggests December is the perfect time for job-seekers and recruiters to come together. Longer term, in-house projects are usually completed by this time, which gives employers/managers the space to think strategically about staff provision for new projects on the horizon – staff they’d prefer to be settled, trained, and in place when such projects begin.

It’s the time when the same managers look at whether targets were met throughout that year, and assess where budgets could have been better spent; staffing could prove a significant factor. Being a time when most people wind down, it’s also likely hirers – and employees – have plenty of available time slots for interviews.

In some industries, particularly those that pay large end-of-year bonuses, it’s a point where people commonly announce retirements, career breaks, or just that they themselves are moving on - which subsequently leaves various positions to fill. As the Christmas period is a fantastic time of year for networking, why would anyone wait to get ahead of their competition – particularly if seeking a specific position or niche role? Why let the chat around the buffet table be someone else’s in-road to your perfect job?

As many recruiters will be aware, towards the end of December, many seasonal and temporary jobs come to an end. Though employees in those roles already may wish to be kept on should the opportunity arise, it’s unlikely to be the case for everyone. Those January sales will still need servicing!

Throughout the year, recruiters advise job-seekers to look at their network for any opportunities. But consider how easy it is to reconnect with an old contact at Christmas; it gives people a legitimate and polite excuse to get back in touch before asking for help.

So don’t discount December….instead of spending your time filling bags with Christmas shopping, fill those positions instead!

Fast Recruitment Websites help their clients stand out from the crowd in today’s challenging marketplace. Call us on 01302 288591 for an informal evaluation of your current recruitment website.

According to new research carried out by Glassdoor, it appears so. The more difficult the interview process, the better matched the final candidate seems to be for the job, and the more satisfied the applicant in the long-term. Take, for example, Google. Famed for presenting brain teasers and incorporating tests that measure behaviour into the interview process, such is their focus on finding the right person who will slot effortlessly into their business and with their culture.

So, does that mean all interviewers need to beef up their questioning, psychometric testing, and practical analysis?

This isn’t an assumption Glassdoor has made – there are firm statistics that back up their findings. Analysing six different countries, they found that an interview made 10% more difficult contributes to an increase in the job satisfaction of the chosen candidate by an average of 2.6%.

Of course, the whole point of the interview process is to filter applicants and to dig deeper into their skills, knowledge and attitude. If they’re tested more thoroughly, does this not just present the interviewer with more information on which to base his/her decision, leading to fewer bad hires? Hiring the right person for the right job – that’s as suitable for the candidate as it is for the hirer – would naturally lead to a greater level of job satisfaction, surely?

The inference that a company with a well-designed interview strategy has a stronger internal culture and takes better care of its employees is one thought. If a company places little importance on finding the right person, it’s unlikely the morale or commitment shown by its employees will be as strong, given the higher rate of staff turnover they’ll see and the weight of tasks the long-suffering workforce have to shoulder whilst yet another new employee is found. If that decision is right the first-time, and the job given to someone likely to embrace the role and company’s vision, it’s easy to see why this would increase job satisfaction, not only for the employee, but for those around them.

Does a harder interview ensure the strongest and fittest?

According to Glassdoor’s research, there is an optimal degree of difficulty in the interview process. Making things so hard that only Einstein could pass doesn’t necessarily secure the best talent. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 was most difficult, and 1 was ‘easy’, an interview offering level 4 difficulty produced the employees who would display greater job satisfaction later on. Testing, yes; overwhelmingly so, no. One explanation offered by Glassdoor was that a level 5 interview may project an aggressive culture by the hiring company, which may put off candidates. On the flipside, making the interview process too ‘easy’ was found to have very little filtering affect at all.

To a certain extent, these findings seem only to support what common sense would tell us. Test a candidate well and you find out more about them (always a good thing when recruiting, anything that helps the hirer make the right decision); and a company that places a great deal of importance on finding the right candidate is likely to make newcomers feel welcome and valued from the off.

Original article: http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/do-difficult-job-interviews-lead-to-more-satisfied-workers-evidence-from-glassdoor

You may have heard the words ‘name-blind recruitment’ recently - in the news and as the burning subject on numerous discussion boards.

Reports show a number of minority candidates feel they’d only get a response from employers if they removed their names from their CVs and applications forms.

One careers adviser suggested to a black candidate that they use their middle name of ‘Elizabeth’, to sway any preconceptions from the hiring panel. Similar stories tell of applicants being encouraged to omit details of hobbies or interests with ethnic connotations.

The findings of a French study showed that candidates with a ‘foreign-sounding name’ were less likely to be invited for interview than those with more traditional monikers.

Bias isn’t just resigned to ethnicity: a study carried out in the US involved laboratory managers receiving random CVs bearing male and female names; automatically, the males were considered to be ‘more competent and hireable’.

David Cameron has encouraged some of the UK’s biggest employers to accept CVs on a name-blind basis. Applications to the NHS, HSBC, Deloitte, the BBC, Teach First, Virgin Money, KPMG, learndirect and the civil service will, from now on, have the names of the candidates hidden, to ensure no stereotyping. Ucas will also use the same approach on university applications from 2017.

Said David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte: “The introduction of name-blind recruitment processes, and school and university-blind interviews, will help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of potential - not ethnicity, gender or past personal circumstance.”

Beatrice Bartlay, from recruitment firm 2B Interface adds: “With some women and minority groups still facing discrimination in many professional environments, employers need to maintain their focus on skills above backgrounds during the hiring process. I welcome the approach to finding talent, because not only does it offer complete transparency for the candidate, it encourages the employer to look a little closer at CVs.”

What do you think? Would you favour Jane over Jameela? Or show preference to Kevin over Kamal? Name-blindness, although it is unlikely to eradicate all kinds of prejudice, is at least one step in the right direction.

Whilst that headline may evoke the image of a corseted slip of a girl kneading udders from her stool, the context has nothing to do with butter, cream or, indeed, any dairy product.

Reducing the churn is just another term for rapid turnover of staff, particularly in reference to larger organisations, where ‘churn’ can prove an issue.

Recruiting staff that are not fit for the role they’re applying for only increases the churn, as sooner or later, the organisation finds the individual is unable to carry out their duties effectively, or the person in question realises it’s not for them and they head for the door. Either way, the associated cost of a poor hire can mount up….the recruiters’ fees are only the tip of the iceberg: a client may have footed travel, hotel and meal expenses, and costs associated with the employee’s training. Even the employee’s termination may incur costs if a wrongful dismissal/grievance is pursued. And that’s without factoring in any relocation costs in the total. The human cost, such as the effect on productivity, morale and customer service, associated with a high staff turnover may not be as easily put into pounds and pennies, but you can bet the knock-on effect could run into the thousands – possibly even the millions.

Suddenly, that churn is significant, especially to agencies that deal with volume recruitment. So what can recruiters do to ensure the only thing their clients ‘churn’ is a greater turnover from the right hiring decisions?

Understand the culture of the organisation

The job description is the easy part; knowing the way the organisation operates - its values, mission and the kind of people already working there - can help you find the right candidates. And not just on paper, it involves meeting them face-to-face and getting a feel for the type of person they are. Have different consultants from your agency interview the shortlisted candidates, so that decisions are not just resigned to one recruiter’s ‘gut feeling’.

Be as specific as you can

Recycling a job description from the last time it was filled obviously didn’t do the trick if it was a role vacated within weeks. Drill down further into the required skills, knowledge and attributes. Are you able to contact the departing employee(s), for example, to find out exactly what duties the role(s) entails in practice – this may be completely different to what their manager believes.

Look beyond the obvious

In the recession, many people had to take on more than one job, or downscale their role to compensate. Recognise that someone’s background isn’t always black and white. Filter CVs carefully, and consider personally interviewing people you may be tempted to dismiss if they have some of the attributes required. Hearing their story in detail may paint a completely different picture of the candidate no CV could impart. Ask questions relating to a candidate’s softer skills, another thing CVs tend not to represent. Pin down the candidate’s career plan; they may be perfect for the role, but if they’re ambitious, they could move on from the position very quickly, adding to the churn.

Ascertain the true benefits

Candidates don’t always look for financial remuneration when applying for jobs; often, perks are to do with hours, aspects of their role, location to work from, etc. If you have a strong candidate that’s asking for some flexibility, for example, consider asking your client if this is possible.

The churn is an important aspect of recruiting: for agencies, their clients and their candidates. Steps taken to reduce the churn benefit everyone. There’s no better testimonial to your agency’s services, if you’re able to match the right person to the right role.

Fast Recruitment Websites is rapidly becoming the UK's leading low-cost recruitment website supplier. For a no-obligation, informal chat about your website design needs, contact us on 01302 288591 or info@fastrecruitmentwebsites.co.uk.

If, ten years ago, you’d asked business owners and managers tasked with hiring which section of the population they would least like to employ, the chances are they would have replied “new mothers”. The stereotypical, and often unfair, assumption that this band of women were more trouble than any other member of the workforce: needing time off if their child was ill, a lack of concentration due to night feeds and little sleep, flexibility in their working hours around partners’ shifts, etc.

New research shows that this attitude is changing, and that working mothers are desirable to hirers. As flexible working is far more common than a decade ago, working mothers’ needs for leeway in their hours is not likely to be seen as unusual, as it’s a benefit commonly enjoyed by older working parents and those without children too.

That they’re coping with the challenges of being a new mother is increasingly seen as a positive, rather than a negative. Time management skills, inherent in returning-to-work-mothers, as they juggle feeding schedules and meticulously plan the comings and goings of their household; according to Regus, who carried out the survey, a significant portion of the 4,000 senior business people interviewed saw new mums’ organisational talents as valuable transferable skills.

The fact that returning mothers were less likely to swap jobs was also recognised. Once an employer helps to support a routine that works for the ‘new mum’ employee and her colleagues, it’s rare that she’d rock the boat. Survey respondents welcomed this commitment and reliability.

Perhaps because of the assumptions and stereotyping of days gone by, returning mums were also seen as more hardworking than other sections of the workforce - possibly in a bid to prove they were as up to the job as their colleagues, and also to find some value and worth outside the home. Softer skills, attributes commonly sought after by hirers in today’s competitive job market, were also deemed by the respondents to be abundant in new mothers.

These findings were echoed by Celia Donne, Regus’ Global Operations Director. She said, “The benefits to businesses are clear; not least, lower staff turnover and associated hiring and training costs.”

But if a firm doesn’t promote flexible working, would returning mothers, and all their beneficial attributes, join that firm? And even if flexible hours were on offer, does this automatically solve working mothers’ problems?

A separate survey, carried out by workingmums.co.uk, claimed that 57% of mums have trouble with childcare provision before and after school. However, new mums fared even worse: 61% claimed that their intention to return to work was in jeopardy, due to the cost of full-time childcare and its potential to outweigh their earnings.

Employer-run crèches could prove one solution, but are often impractical and costly for the business, even if they do attract working mums and all the benefits they bring. Government subsidies towards childcare are also welcome, even if many working mums claim they’re not enough.

It’s good to see attitudes changing towards mothers returning to work; though they may not endure jealousy or bad feeling in the office as they may once have experienced, they still have hurdles to overcome if they want to rejoin the workforce. Businesses can help by being as flexible as they can, so that the new mum employee can take advantage of free nursery places (which means being a slave to the nursery’s opening hours), as well as considering if some of their workload can be carried out at home.

Though the latter sounds the perfect solution (working from home, no childcare costs!), try concentrating on emails or making phone calls with a crying baby in the background – it may alter your view.

Fast Recruitment Websites solely provide professional websites to UK recruitment agencies without the inflated price tag. We specialise in helping start-up agencies get online fast and established agencies to enjoy the benefits of a professional site without the need for excessive capital investment. Call us on 01302 288591 for a friendly, no obligation chat about your needs.

Shaky economies, Far Eastern stock market crashes and skills gaps are obstacles for any industry, but recruitment is one sector that’s enjoying stable growth despite such prevalent influences.

A new study by Deloitte reports that 83% of agencies have seen their net income increase over the last twelve months. Even the number of agencies previously reporting a decline has reduced by 11%.

With this success comes a new set of challenges, however. As often happens when growth occurs, agencies are – ironically - facing difficulty enlisting new staff to cope with their increased workloads, and 31% also reported issues with the retaining of their in-house talent. Various elements were mentioned in the study as paramount to a competitive employee package, such as private healthcare, flexible working hours, employee share schemes and staff outings. Whether these are the right benefits to attract and retain today’s recruitment agents will no doubt be the subject of further studies.

The sustaining of this welcome success and growth is another worry, Deloitte found, as 44% admitted the maintaining of profitability was an ongoing concern. To counteract this issue was the plan by 29% of agencies to develop capable management teams, to steer them towards greater success. Tools and techniques to also uphold agencies’ growth ranged from increased training (70% of agencies reckoned this was very important) to an investment in technology (50% said this was fairly important). Expansion was planned by many (71% considered this important) as one method to increase growth even further.

2015 follows a healthy 2014 for the recruitment sector. A survey carried out at the beginning of the year by Bullhorn saw agencies predict profitable times ahead after the successes they achieved over the previous twelve months. As many as 93% surveyed by Bullhorn expected 2015’s revenue to outdo the previous year, something Deloitte’s report appears to confirm.

Agencies’ ambitious outlook, concerning revenue, expansion and staff numbers, equals good news for the industry. As other countries, namely China, face cuts and financial challenges, it seems this is one sector that’s certainly on the up.

Fast Recruitment Websites help their clients stand out from the crowd on their own merit. Contact us today on 01302 288591 to discuss your website design needs.

We’ve mentioned before the benefits employees - and employers – often enjoy from the offer of flexible hours and the option of working from home, either part-time or full-time. More and more of us are asking for the freedom to choose our hours and where our workstations should be; agencies recognise that flexibility is one of the main elements that feature in the expectations and desires of candidates.

There’s no doubt that working from home boosts employees’ morale, but once they have permission, do they actually do that? Or do those enjoying this perk simply loll about on the settee in front of Jeremy Kyle and a raft of afternoon telly, before rushing around madly at midnight to complete the minimum amount of work required?

Joking aside, similar preconceptions concerning the activity of an employee working from home can be one reason employers turn down such a request. New research by CV-library, however, can put paid to such worries. According to their findings, employees that work from home are actually more productive than their office-bound colleagues, as well as happier.

1,800 professionals were surveyed and, surprisingly, just 18.2% worked from home, whilst 15.4% split their time equally between office and abode. Despite just a third being actual home-workers, more than four in five of those surveyed believed they were equally or more productive when working from home than office-based workers. The absence of a commute and fewer meetings also contribute, said 26% of those surveyed.

Effort is requisite: rather than ‘bunking off’ work like a truanting schoolkid, 65.8% of those working from home feel they work much longer hours than their colleagues in the office.

Said Lee Biggins, CV-Library’s founder and managing director: “Remote working is a model that is growing in popularity and we expect that to continue in the future. As technology evolves and develops, it becomes easier and more practical for companies to operate their businesses remotely, making employers more receptive to the idea of letting staff work from home. Our latest research suggests that attending fewer meetings and having no office distractions are two of the main reasons employees find they are more productive at home.”

With statistics like these, and considering that 83.2% found working from home allowed them to enjoy a better work/life balance, it’s not as easy to envisage downsides for both employee and employer from such a move.

Fast Recruitment Websites provide professional websites to UK recruitment agencies without the inflated price tag. We specialise in helping start-up agencies get online fast and established agencies to enjoy the benefits of a professional site without the need for excessive capital investment. Call us on 01302 288591 for a friendly, no obligation chat about your needs.

A recent study has found that the average commute to work is 54 minutes. The average commute!

The research, carried out by Randstad UK, reported that the typical worker loses a staggering 11 weeks per year travelling to and from their place of work. This time, in monetary terms, represents a loss to their annual income of £5,722, and that’s not counting the actual cost of all those public transport journeys, or what one would spend on petrol getting from A to B twice a day.

Commuting can also have an impact on our health and wellbeing. According to another survey, which focused on people’s health and happiness: “Forty per cent of people who commute for more than three hours per day ‘experience worry’ for much of the day. In contrast, only 28% of people with commutes of less than ten minutes are regularly worried.”

Time to worry is detrimental enough, but were you aware of how dangerous commuting can be? The same wellbeing survey found that commuters in the UK, on average, risk serious injury 32 times each week. As a result, 1.7m people have needed time off work after getting hurt; the most common risks being road injuries from not looking when crossing the street, eating whilst walking, and jumping on and off public transport before doors properly open or close.

Skills gaps and a search for top talent contributed to a 5% rise in the amount of UK relocations last year. For candidates, renting in the area where they work can often prove a more cost-efficient solution, and, of course, affords less unproductive downtime due to a quicker commute. Relocation can prove big business for recruiters, particularly those with a wealth of knowledge on their local area, something of huge value to those moving there.

Internal migration’s on the rise, and so are relocations across the globe. There’s a term that’s been coined for this movement of talent: global mobility.

Many agencies are focusing on their approach and services in this regard, to help candidates find and adjust to new environments. Recruitment agencies have been instrumental in the introduction of global mobility to smaller companies; outsourcing is many times more cost-effective than installing their own internal global, or UK-wide, mobility department.

Agencies that can help make relocations/transitions smooth for candidates will have an edge over their competitors. This means demonstrating a solid knowledge of an area’s schools, leisure pursuits available, a city’s cultural offerings, and much more.

Matching the right candidate to the right job takes on an extra dimension if recruiters have the whole world to pick from.

FastRecruitmentWebsites.com specifically helps those within the recruitment industry establish their niche and gain prominence; contact us on 01302 288591 for a no obligation quote.

Opportunities nowadays are much, much wider than those of our grandparents’ generation. No longer are we constrained by our class, race, location or societal values when it comes to choosing our career. Just because Grandad and Dad were greengrocers for years doesn’t mean you have to be too.

Every profession has benefitted from diversity of its employees. Gender bias is a hot topic, and although there’s still work to do in this area, it’s light years away from the ‘50s housewife who chose bringing up her family as her life’s work. Despite leaps made in the workplace, to bring fairness and promote diversity, there are still stereotypical issues around age, for example, amongst other forms of discrimination, to tackle.

Often, it’s not our conscious mind that makes assumptions, but the preconceptions made by our subconscious. ‘Affinity bias’ is the idea that hiring decisions are influenced by stereotypes and outdated values buried deep in our psyche. Even the most competent recruiter has the capacity to make a poor decision.

Claire Williams, of Inclusive Employers, says: “Bias is developed over a lifetime of being exposed to more data than our conscious brain can manage, and as a result, the unconscious brain processes 200,000 times more information than the conscious.”

“We all know people who say they know immediately if a candidate is right for the job. This is their unconscious brain at work.” So, if something is so deep-rooted and unintentional, how can it be overcome?

Claire suggests the following:

Question your first impression of a candidate: your first impression is likely to be from your subconscious mind; take the effort to also consciously evaluate them on a rational level, based on their performance, skills and experience.

Aim to promote diversity: If recruiting for a long-standing client, consider the current workforce, and whether there’s an opportunity to widen its diversity with your next appointment. Of course, matching the right person to the job role takes precedence over diversity ‘quotas’; however, there are situations when more than one candidate is suitable, and this could become a consideration.

Broaden your network: If you approach the same places, such as specific universities, etc. when attracting talent to your ‘pool’, break the affinity and target new organisations. It’s not always the case that candidates from particular places will be the only ones up to the job.

Don’t rush, and keep up your sugar intake: Both elements affect the portion of your brain you may use. Low sugar levels and decisions made under pressure are more likely to be formed by your subconscious. Sleep on recruitment decisions/referrals; you may see things differently when you’re refreshed and alert.

According to Equality Works: “Workforce diversity has a quantifiable effect on business and performance outcomes. Among the many business benefits of addressing unconscious bias in recruitment are: better decision-making, reduced recruitment costs, and more productive teams.”

Does your website show bias of any kind? For an objective review, or an informal chat about your recruitment website needs, contact Fast Recruitment Websites on 01302 288591.

A new survey by Hiring Hub has found that, within the last 12 months, a staggering 91% of UK businesses “compromised” when it came to the calibre of a candidate, with one in three admitting the person they employed was “less than ideal” for the role.

Investment was cited as one of the reasons inappropriate appointments occur, with regards to the training and direction of new employees. 54% of those surveyed agreed that training budgets needed revising, and urgently. 35% identified that their line managers also needed more training and encouragement, so that they can be better equipped to support those joining their firm.

A report by HR review pinned the cost of a bad hire down to £30,000. Faced with an outlay as large as this, are training budgets really beyond reach? Not only does lower productivity threaten, if an employee isn’t the right fit for the job and struggles to cope, the financial ramifications of replacing them are matched by the amount of time also wasted.

Time was a prominent issue indeed in Hiring Hub’s survey. More than half the respondents complained that sifting through CVs and shortlisting candidates for interview sapped more hours than expected. Two-thirds admitted that more time is needed when it comes to the interview process, so that rash or poor hiring decisions can be reduced or avoided.

One possible reason for hiring the wrong candidate could be down to the ‘halo effect’. If an applicant has a strong CV, then subsequently makes the interviewer feel at ease and scores highly on a few issues at the interview, the employer can be lulled into a false sense of security. That they may score lower in some areas, if these are even probed at all, is overlooked or ignored if commonalities, shared interests or compatible natures crop up during the discussion. The hirer’s brain is subsequently tricked into thinking that the candidate’s other areas are “bound to be alright….we have a connection!” The halo effect’s premature judging can be very powerful, but very costly in the long run.

Hirers also need to be honest in their job adverts, if they’re to save themselves time and money. It’s no good being vague, or branding a job role as something it’s not. Other research suggests that for recruitment agencies, seeing candidates in person before putting them forward for a position is requisite. Says Spencer Lawrence, letting director at Paramount Properties: “A number of recruitment agencies don’t interview the applicants face-to-face. It’s like me trying to let a property or sell it without turning up to see it, and that doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”

So, who’s at fault when it comes to the wrong person hired – the employee or the hirer? The agencies or those holding the training budget’s purse-strings? At £30,000 a pop when things go wrong – and there’s a one in three chance it will, according to Hiring Hub’s survey - it’s certainly an issue worth further thought.

Fast Recruitment Websites is rapidly becoming the UK's leading low-cost recruitment website supplier. For a no obligation informal chat about your website design needs, contact us on 01302 288591 or info@fastrecruitmentwebsites.co.uk.

Your natural instincts may tell you that the New Year is the only time people look for a job - that recruiting in December is just crazy. After all, in January, everyone’s enjoyed masses of turkey, tinsel and television; the thought of going back to their current job may finally be the push to browse suitable vacancies. And New Year is the time when businesses assess their staff and resources for the year ahead, isn’t it? You know…new plans, new strategies, and a new determination to fill that position…

Well, not necessarily. January and the New Year may not be the best time to look for a job at all. Right now could prove better for job-seekers to grab their dream job than if they wait a few weeks.

As a recruiter, your instincts may tell you to wait until Santa has got back to the North Pole before you look to fill positions. The trouble is, everyone else has those same instincts too, which means far greater competition come January 1st.

Advice from LoveLocalJobs.com suggests December is the perfect time for job-seekers and recruiters to come together. Longer term, in-house projects are usually completed by this time, which gives employers/managers the space to think strategically about staff provision for new projects on the horizon – staff they’d prefer to be settled, trained, and in place when such projects begin.

It’s the time when the same managers look at whether targets were met throughout that year, and assess where budgets could have been better spent; staffing could prove a significant factor. Being a time when most people wind down, it’s also likely hirers – and employees – have plenty of available time slots for interviews.

In some industries, particularly those that pay large end-of-year bonuses, it’s a point where people commonly announce retirements, career breaks, or just that they themselves are moving on - which subsequently leaves various positions to fill. As the Christmas period is a fantastic time of year for networking, why would anyone wait to get ahead of their competition – particularly if seeking a specific position or niche role? Why let the chat around the buffet table be someone else’s in-road to your perfect job?

As many recruiters will be aware, towards the end of December, many seasonal and temporary jobs come to an end. Though employees in those roles already may wish to be kept on should the opportunity arise, it’s unlikely to be the case for everyone. Those January sales will still need servicing!

Throughout the year, recruiters advise job-seekers to look at their network for any opportunities. But consider how easy it is to reconnect with an old contact at Christmas; it gives people a legitimate and polite excuse to get back in touch before asking for help.

So don’t discount December….instead of spending your time filling bags with Christmas shopping, fill those positions instead!

Fast Recruitment Websites help their clients stand out from the crowd in today’s challenging marketplace. Call us on 01302 288591 for an informal evaluation of your current recruitment website.

According to new research carried out by Glassdoor, it appears so. The more difficult the interview process, the better matched the final candidate seems to be for the job, and the more satisfied the applicant in the long-term. Take, for example, Google. Famed for presenting brain teasers and incorporating tests that measure behaviour into the interview process, such is their focus on finding the right person who will slot effortlessly into their business and with their culture.

So, does that mean all interviewers need to beef up their questioning, psychometric testing, and practical analysis?

This isn’t an assumption Glassdoor has made – there are firm statistics that back up their findings. Analysing six different countries, they found that an interview made 10% more difficult contributes to an increase in the job satisfaction of the chosen candidate by an average of 2.6%.

Of course, the whole point of the interview process is to filter applicants and to dig deeper into their skills, knowledge and attitude. If they’re tested more thoroughly, does this not just present the interviewer with more information on which to base his/her decision, leading to fewer bad hires? Hiring the right person for the right job – that’s as suitable for the candidate as it is for the hirer – would naturally lead to a greater level of job satisfaction, surely?

The inference that a company with a well-designed interview strategy has a stronger internal culture and takes better care of its employees is one thought. If a company places little importance on finding the right person, it’s unlikely the morale or commitment shown by its employees will be as strong, given the higher rate of staff turnover they’ll see and the weight of tasks the long-suffering workforce have to shoulder whilst yet another new employee is found. If that decision is right the first-time, and the job given to someone likely to embrace the role and company’s vision, it’s easy to see why this would increase job satisfaction, not only for the employee, but for those around them.

Does a harder interview ensure the strongest and fittest?

According to Glassdoor’s research, there is an optimal degree of difficulty in the interview process. Making things so hard that only Einstein could pass doesn’t necessarily secure the best talent. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 was most difficult, and 1 was ‘easy’, an interview offering level 4 difficulty produced the employees who would display greater job satisfaction later on. Testing, yes; overwhelmingly so, no. One explanation offered by Glassdoor was that a level 5 interview may project an aggressive culture by the hiring company, which may put off candidates. On the flipside, making the interview process too ‘easy’ was found to have very little filtering affect at all.

To a certain extent, these findings seem only to support what common sense would tell us. Test a candidate well and you find out more about them (always a good thing when recruiting, anything that helps the hirer make the right decision); and a company that places a great deal of importance on finding the right candidate is likely to make newcomers feel welcome and valued from the off.

Original article: http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/do-difficult-job-interviews-lead-to-more-satisfied-workers-evidence-from-glassdoor

You may have heard the words ‘name-blind recruitment’ recently - in the news and as the burning subject on numerous discussion boards.

Reports show a number of minority candidates feel they’d only get a response from employers if they removed their names from their CVs and applications forms.

One careers adviser suggested to a black candidate that they use their middle name of ‘Elizabeth’, to sway any preconceptions from the hiring panel. Similar stories tell of applicants being encouraged to omit details of hobbies or interests with ethnic connotations.

The findings of a French study showed that candidates with a ‘foreign-sounding name’ were less likely to be invited for interview than those with more traditional monikers.

Bias isn’t just resigned to ethnicity: a study carried out in the US involved laboratory managers receiving random CVs bearing male and female names; automatically, the males were considered to be ‘more competent and hireable’.

David Cameron has encouraged some of the UK’s biggest employers to accept CVs on a name-blind basis. Applications to the NHS, HSBC, Deloitte, the BBC, Teach First, Virgin Money, KPMG, learndirect and the civil service will, from now on, have the names of the candidates hidden, to ensure no stereotyping. Ucas will also use the same approach on university applications from 2017.

Said David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte: “The introduction of name-blind recruitment processes, and school and university-blind interviews, will help prevent unconscious bias and ensure that job offers are made on the basis of potential - not ethnicity, gender or past personal circumstance.”

Beatrice Bartlay, from recruitment firm 2B Interface adds: “With some women and minority groups still facing discrimination in many professional environments, employers need to maintain their focus on skills above backgrounds during the hiring process. I welcome the approach to finding talent, because not only does it offer complete transparency for the candidate, it encourages the employer to look a little closer at CVs.”

What do you think? Would you favour Jane over Jameela? Or show preference to Kevin over Kamal? Name-blindness, although it is unlikely to eradicate all kinds of prejudice, is at least one step in the right direction.

Whilst that headline may evoke the image of a corseted slip of a girl kneading udders from her stool, the context has nothing to do with butter, cream or, indeed, any dairy product.

Reducing the churn is just another term for rapid turnover of staff, particularly in reference to larger organisations, where ‘churn’ can prove an issue.

Recruiting staff that are not fit for the role they’re applying for only increases the churn, as sooner or later, the organisation finds the individual is unable to carry out their duties effectively, or the person in question realises it’s not for them and they head for the door. Either way, the associated cost of a poor hire can mount up….the recruiters’ fees are only the tip of the iceberg: a client may have footed travel, hotel and meal expenses, and costs associated with the employee’s training. Even the employee’s termination may incur costs if a wrongful dismissal/grievance is pursued. And that’s without factoring in any relocation costs in the total. The human cost, such as the effect on productivity, morale and customer service, associated with a high staff turnover may not be as easily put into pounds and pennies, but you can bet the knock-on effect could run into the thousands – possibly even the millions.

Suddenly, that churn is significant, especially to agencies that deal with volume recruitment. So what can recruiters do to ensure the only thing their clients ‘churn’ is a greater turnover from the right hiring decisions?

Understand the culture of the organisation

The job description is the easy part; knowing the way the organisation operates - its values, mission and the kind of people already working there - can help you find the right candidates. And not just on paper, it involves meeting them face-to-face and getting a feel for the type of person they are. Have different consultants from your agency interview the shortlisted candidates, so that decisions are not just resigned to one recruiter’s ‘gut feeling’.

Be as specific as you can

Recycling a job description from the last time it was filled obviously didn’t do the trick if it was a role vacated within weeks. Drill down further into the required skills, knowledge and attributes. Are you able to contact the departing employee(s), for example, to find out exactly what duties the role(s) entails in practice – this may be completely different to what their manager believes.

Look beyond the obvious

In the recession, many people had to take on more than one job, or downscale their role to compensate. Recognise that someone’s background isn’t always black and white. Filter CVs carefully, and consider personally interviewing people you may be tempted to dismiss if they have some of the attributes required. Hearing their story in detail may paint a completely different picture of the candidate no CV could impart. Ask questions relating to a candidate’s softer skills, another thing CVs tend not to represent. Pin down the candidate’s career plan; they may be perfect for the role, but if they’re ambitious, they could move on from the position very quickly, adding to the churn.

Ascertain the true benefits

Candidates don’t always look for financial remuneration when applying for jobs; often, perks are to do with hours, aspects of their role, location to work from, etc. If you have a strong candidate that’s asking for some flexibility, for example, consider asking your client if this is possible.

The churn is an important aspect of recruiting: for agencies, their clients and their candidates. Steps taken to reduce the churn benefit everyone. There’s no better testimonial to your agency’s services, if you’re able to match the right person to the right role.

Fast Recruitment Websites is rapidly becoming the UK's leading low-cost recruitment website supplier. For a no-obligation, informal chat about your website design needs, contact us on 01302 288591 or info@fastrecruitmentwebsites.co.uk.

If, ten years ago, you’d asked business owners and managers tasked with hiring which section of the population they would least like to employ, the chances are they would have replied “new mothers”. The stereotypical, and often unfair, assumption that this band of women were more trouble than any other member of the workforce: needing time off if their child was ill, a lack of concentration due to night feeds and little sleep, flexibility in their working hours around partners’ shifts, etc.

New research shows that this attitude is changing, and that working mothers are desirable to hirers. As flexible working is far more common than a decade ago, working mothers’ needs for leeway in their hours is not likely to be seen as unusual, as it’s a benefit commonly enjoyed by older working parents and those without children too.

That they’re coping with the challenges of being a new mother is increasingly seen as a positive, rather than a negative. Time management skills, inherent in returning-to-work-mothers, as they juggle feeding schedules and meticulously plan the comings and goings of their household; according to Regus, who carried out the survey, a significant portion of the 4,000 senior business people interviewed saw new mums’ organisational talents as valuable transferable skills.

The fact that returning mothers were less likely to swap jobs was also recognised. Once an employer helps to support a routine that works for the ‘new mum’ employee and her colleagues, it’s rare that she’d rock the boat. Survey respondents welcomed this commitment and reliability.

Perhaps because of the assumptions and stereotyping of days gone by, returning mums were also seen as more hardworking than other sections of the workforce - possibly in a bid to prove they were as up to the job as their colleagues, and also to find some value and worth outside the home. Softer skills, attributes commonly sought after by hirers in today’s competitive job market, were also deemed by the respondents to be abundant in new mothers.

These findings were echoed by Celia Donne, Regus’ Global Operations Director. She said, “The benefits to businesses are clear; not least, lower staff turnover and associated hiring and training costs.”

But if a firm doesn’t promote flexible working, would returning mothers, and all their beneficial attributes, join that firm? And even if flexible hours were on offer, does this automatically solve working mothers’ problems?

A separate survey, carried out by workingmums.co.uk, claimed that 57% of mums have trouble with childcare provision before and after school. However, new mums fared even worse: 61% claimed that their intention to return to work was in jeopardy, due to the cost of full-time childcare and its potential to outweigh their earnings.

Employer-run crèches could prove one solution, but are often impractical and costly for the business, even if they do attract working mums and all the benefits they bring. Government subsidies towards childcare are also welcome, even if many working mums claim they’re not enough.

It’s good to see attitudes changing towards mothers returning to work; though they may not endure jealousy or bad feeling in the office as they may once have experienced, they still have hurdles to overcome if they want to rejoin the workforce. Businesses can help by being as flexible as they can, so that the new mum employee can take advantage of free nursery places (which means being a slave to the nursery’s opening hours), as well as considering if some of their workload can be carried out at home.

Though the latter sounds the perfect solution (working from home, no childcare costs!), try concentrating on emails or making phone calls with a crying baby in the background – it may alter your view.

Fast Recruitment Websites solely provide professional websites to UK recruitment agencies without the inflated price tag. We specialise in helping start-up agencies get online fast and established agencies to enjoy the benefits of a professional site without the need for excessive capital investment. Call us on 01302 288591 for a friendly, no obligation chat about your needs.

Shaky economies, Far Eastern stock market crashes and skills gaps are obstacles for any industry, but recruitment is one sector that’s enjoying stable growth despite such prevalent influences.

A new study by Deloitte reports that 83% of agencies have seen their net income increase over the last twelve months. Even the number of agencies previously reporting a decline has reduced by 11%.

With this success comes a new set of challenges, however. As often happens when growth occurs, agencies are – ironically - facing difficulty enlisting new staff to cope with their increased workloads, and 31% also reported issues with the retaining of their in-house talent. Various elements were mentioned in the study as paramount to a competitive employee package, such as private healthcare, flexible working hours, employee share schemes and staff outings. Whether these are the right benefits to attract and retain today’s recruitment agents will no doubt be the subject of further studies.

The sustaining of this welcome success and growth is another worry, Deloitte found, as 44% admitted the maintaining of profitability was an ongoing concern. To counteract this issue was the plan by 29% of agencies to develop capable management teams, to steer them towards greater success. Tools and techniques to also uphold agencies’ growth ranged from increased training (70% of agencies reckoned this was very important) to an investment in technology (50% said this was fairly important). Expansion was planned by many (71% considered this important) as one method to increase growth even further.

2015 follows a healthy 2014 for the recruitment sector. A survey carried out at the beginning of the year by Bullhorn saw agencies predict profitable times ahead after the successes they achieved over the previous twelve months. As many as 93% surveyed by Bullhorn expected 2015’s revenue to outdo the previous year, something Deloitte’s report appears to confirm.

Agencies’ ambitious outlook, concerning revenue, expansion and staff numbers, equals good news for the industry. As other countries, namely China, face cuts and financial challenges, it seems this is one sector that’s certainly on the up.

Fast Recruitment Websites help their clients stand out from the crowd on their own merit. Contact us today on 01302 288591 to discuss your website design needs.

We’ve mentioned before the benefits employees - and employers – often enjoy from the offer of flexible hours and the option of working from home, either part-time or full-time. More and more of us are asking for the freedom to choose our hours and where our workstations should be; agencies recognise that flexibility is one of the main elements that feature in the expectations and desires of candidates.

There’s no doubt that working from home boosts employees’ morale, but once they have permission, do they actually do that? Or do those enjoying this perk simply loll about on the settee in front of Jeremy Kyle and a raft of afternoon telly, before rushing around madly at midnight to complete the minimum amount of work required?

Joking aside, similar preconceptions concerning the activity of an employee working from home can be one reason employers turn down such a request. New research by CV-library, however, can put paid to such worries. According to their findings, employees that work from home are actually more productive than their office-bound colleagues, as well as happier.

1,800 professionals were surveyed and, surprisingly, just 18.2% worked from home, whilst 15.4% split their time equally between office and abode. Despite just a third being actual home-workers, more than four in five of those surveyed believed they were equally or more productive when working from home than office-based workers. The absence of a commute and fewer meetings also contribute, said 26% of those surveyed.

Effort is requisite: rather than ‘bunking off’ work like a truanting schoolkid, 65.8% of those working from home feel they work much longer hours than their colleagues in the office.

Said Lee Biggins, CV-Library’s founder and managing director: “Remote working is a model that is growing in popularity and we expect that to continue in the future. As technology evolves and develops, it becomes easier and more practical for companies to operate their businesses remotely, making employers more receptive to the idea of letting staff work from home. Our latest research suggests that attending fewer meetings and having no office distractions are two of the main reasons employees find they are more productive at home.”

With statistics like these, and considering that 83.2% found working from home allowed them to enjoy a better work/life balance, it’s not as easy to envisage downsides for both employee and employer from such a move.

Fast Recruitment Websites provide professional websites to UK recruitment agencies without the inflated price tag. We specialise in helping start-up agencies get online fast and established agencies to enjoy the benefits of a professional site without the need for excessive capital investment. Call us on 01302 288591 for a friendly, no obligation chat about your needs.

A recent study has found that the average commute to work is 54 minutes. The average commute!

The research, carried out by Randstad UK, reported that the typical worker loses a staggering 11 weeks per year travelling to and from their place of work. This time, in monetary terms, represents a loss to their annual income of £5,722, and that’s not counting the actual cost of all those public transport journeys, or what one would spend on petrol getting from A to B twice a day.

Commuting can also have an impact on our health and wellbeing. According to another survey, which focused on people’s health and happiness: “Forty per cent of people who commute for more than three hours per day ‘experience worry’ for much of the day. In contrast, only 28% of people with commutes of less than ten minutes are regularly worried.”

Time to worry is detrimental enough, but were you aware of how dangerous commuting can be? The same wellbeing survey found that commuters in the UK, on average, risk serious injury 32 times each week. As a result, 1.7m people have needed time off work after getting hurt; the most common risks being road injuries from not looking when crossing the street, eating whilst walking, and jumping on and off public transport before doors properly open or close.

Skills gaps and a search for top talent contributed to a 5% rise in the amount of UK relocations last year. For candidates, renting in the area where they work can often prove a more cost-efficient solution, and, of course, affords less unproductive downtime due to a quicker commute. Relocation can prove big business for recruiters, particularly those with a wealth of knowledge on their local area, something of huge value to those moving there.

Internal migration’s on the rise, and so are relocations across the globe. There’s a term that’s been coined for this movement of talent: global mobility.

Many agencies are focusing on their approach and services in this regard, to help candidates find and adjust to new environments. Recruitment agencies have been instrumental in the introduction of global mobility to smaller companies; outsourcing is many times more cost-effective than installing their own internal global, or UK-wide, mobility department.

Agencies that can help make relocations/transitions smooth for candidates will have an edge over their competitors. This means demonstrating a solid knowledge of an area’s schools, leisure pursuits available, a city’s cultural offerings, and much more.

Matching the right candidate to the right job takes on an extra dimension if recruiters have the whole world to pick from.

FastRecruitmentWebsites.com specifically helps those within the recruitment industry establish their niche and gain prominence; contact us on 01302 288591 for a no obligation quote.

Opportunities nowadays are much, much wider than those of our grandparents’ generation. No longer are we constrained by our class, race, location or societal values when it comes to choosing our career. Just because Grandad and Dad were greengrocers for years doesn’t mean you have to be too.

Every profession has benefitted from diversity of its employees. Gender bias is a hot topic, and although there’s still work to do in this area, it’s light years away from the ‘50s housewife who chose bringing up her family as her life’s work. Despite leaps made in the workplace, to bring fairness and promote diversity, there are still stereotypical issues around age, for example, amongst other forms of discrimination, to tackle.

Often, it’s not our conscious mind that makes assumptions, but the preconceptions made by our subconscious. ‘Affinity bias’ is the idea that hiring decisions are influenced by stereotypes and outdated values buried deep in our psyche. Even the most competent recruiter has the capacity to make a poor decision.

Claire Williams, of Inclusive Employers, says: “Bias is developed over a lifetime of being exposed to more data than our conscious brain can manage, and as a result, the unconscious brain processes 200,000 times more information than the conscious.”

“We all know people who say they know immediately if a candidate is right for the job. This is their unconscious brain at work.” So, if something is so deep-rooted and unintentional, how can it be overcome?

Claire suggests the following:

Question your first impression of a candidate: your first impression is likely to be from your subconscious mind; take the effort to also consciously evaluate them on a rational level, based on their performance, skills and experience.

Aim to promote diversity: If recruiting for a long-standing client, consider the current workforce, and whether there’s an opportunity to widen its diversity with your next appointment. Of course, matching the right person to the job role takes precedence over diversity ‘quotas’; however, there are situations when more than one candidate is suitable, and this could become a consideration.

Broaden your network: If you approach the same places, such as specific universities, etc. when attracting talent to your ‘pool’, break the affinity and target new organisations. It’s not always the case that candidates from particular places will be the only ones up to the job.

Don’t rush, and keep up your sugar intake: Both elements affect the portion of your brain you may use. Low sugar levels and decisions made under pressure are more likely to be formed by your subconscious. Sleep on recruitment decisions/referrals; you may see things differently when you’re refreshed and alert.

According to Equality Works: “Workforce diversity has a quantifiable effect on business and performance outcomes. Among the many business benefits of addressing unconscious bias in recruitment are: better decision-making, reduced recruitment costs, and more productive teams.”

Does your website show bias of any kind? For an objective review, or an informal chat about your recruitment website needs, contact Fast Recruitment Websites on 01302 288591.

A new survey by Hiring Hub has found that, within the last 12 months, a staggering 91% of UK businesses “compromised” when it came to the calibre of a candidate, with one in three admitting the person they employed was “less than ideal” for the role.

Investment was cited as one of the reasons inappropriate appointments occur, with regards to the training and direction of new employees. 54% of those surveyed agreed that training budgets needed revising, and urgently. 35% identified that their line managers also needed more training and encouragement, so that they can be better equipped to support those joining their firm.

A report by HR review pinned the cost of a bad hire down to £30,000. Faced with an outlay as large as this, are training budgets really beyond reach? Not only does lower productivity threaten, if an employee isn’t the right fit for the job and struggles to cope, the financial ramifications of replacing them are matched by the amount of time also wasted.

Time was a prominent issue indeed in Hiring Hub’s survey. More than half the respondents complained that sifting through CVs and shortlisting candidates for interview sapped more hours than expected. Two-thirds admitted that more time is needed when it comes to the interview process, so that rash or poor hiring decisions can be reduced or avoided.

One possible reason for hiring the wrong candidate could be down to the ‘halo effect’. If an applicant has a strong CV, then subsequently makes the interviewer feel at ease and scores highly on a few issues at the interview, the employer can be lulled into a false sense of security. That they may score lower in some areas, if these are even probed at all, is overlooked or ignored if commonalities, shared interests or compatible natures crop up during the discussion. The hirer’s brain is subsequently tricked into thinking that the candidate’s other areas are “bound to be alright….we have a connection!” The halo effect’s premature judging can be very powerful, but very costly in the long run.

Hirers also need to be honest in their job adverts, if they’re to save themselves time and money. It’s no good being vague, or branding a job role as something it’s not. Other research suggests that for recruitment agencies, seeing candidates in person before putting them forward for a position is requisite. Says Spencer Lawrence, letting director at Paramount Properties: “A number of recruitment agencies don’t interview the applicants face-to-face. It’s like me trying to let a property or sell it without turning up to see it, and that doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”

So, who’s at fault when it comes to the wrong person hired – the employee or the hirer? The agencies or those holding the training budget’s purse-strings? At £30,000 a pop when things go wrong – and there’s a one in three chance it will, according to Hiring Hub’s survey - it’s certainly an issue worth further thought.

Fast Recruitment Websites is rapidly becoming the UK's leading low-cost recruitment website supplier. For a no obligation informal chat about your website design needs, contact us on 01302 288591 or info@fastrecruitmentwebsites.co.uk.

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