Archive for July, 2012

Romantic meetings, baseball jackets and profile boxes on CVs

Monday, July 30th, 2012
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I can still remember the first time I met my wife. As men of course, we’re all supposed to say this, in case our partners fail us on some lifestyle magazine’s “Is your man good enough for you?”  type quiz. No wonder there are a lot of paranoid men (and women) around with such questionnaires lurking in each publication. Now normally I can hardly remember where I put the newspaper this morning , let alone my reaction on meeting someone twenty odd years ago. But the truth is I do remember meeting her for the first time.

It wasn’t quite a fixated eyes “gazing across a crowded ballroom routine” , all white tie and tails, with “Some Enchanted Evening” soaring melodically in the background, but it was still very memorable. I can remember a group of us (of which she was one) going out for a curry and later on gate crashing a party. I am also clear about the fact that I’d finally bought a long sought after baseball jacket that very day ; the ones with different coloured sleeves to the body of the jacket and a logo tenuously connecting an American city with some wild animal. Did England beat Scotland at football that day at the old Wembley? Yep they did, and I know because I was there , though my good lady wife  wasn’t (we met later that evening), and  has certainly to my knowledge never attended a football match before or since.

Baseball Jacket

Baseball Jackets and first encounters…They can all tell us something about the appearance of our CV’s.

But I doubt if I’d have remembered buying the jacket or the football if it wasn’t for meeting her that day. Mutual friends had arranged a get together for a group of us, and this tall brunette just appeared, very calm, very smiley, slightly self conscious……and just… well just quietly perfect. I can’t really think of other words, but “quietly perfect” seems about right. She was instantly photographed onto my memory, into my subconscious; a lasting first impression, and we’re still together all these years and three kids later. Though the baseball jacket has gone (and my hair). She’s still a gorgeous brunette of course.

Now you’re probably asking what’s all this got to do with profile boxes on cvs? Well the connection is simply that first impressions are memorable and critical, and nowhere more so than with your cv. So do yourself a favour and make your cv memorable for the right reasons. And there’s no better place to start than by putting a bullet pointed profile box at the top of the first page of your cv, with three or four points describing  why you are relevant for the specific role you are applying for. It’s the first thing that will get read, and may be the only thing that gets the reader to carry on. Trust me; it’s quick, easy, and more likely to get you an interview than the rest of your cv - as easy and quick as throwing out your partners naff old baseball jacket from their singleton days…


About the Author – Julian Evans

Julian Evans is a successful freelance  trainer specialising in all aspects of the recruitment industry.  He works in  the UK  and Europe and is currently writing a book  entitled “Successful Recruitment Consultancy”, to be published in 2013.

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How to recruit a great temp for your team in 40 minutes

Friday, July 20th, 2012
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Recruiting temps can be a frustrating process, often taking up valuable time when you need it most.  Writing briefs, phoning agencies, reviewing CVs, shortlisting, setting up interviews, conducting the interviews, conducting 2ndinterviews, making offers – all this time  adds up, lengthens the process unnecessarily and may not be fit for purpose.


Recruiting a temp for your business in record time can be done.

If you’re really up against it and don’t have the luxury of a managed service to help you recruit a temp, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to recruit a good temp for a short-term appointment in less than 40 minutes.

FIVE steps to recruiting a good temp using less than 40 minutes of your time:

That morning (or the night before if possible) spend TEN MINUTES putting the role ‘down on paper’ and include:

  • the top 3 things the temp will have delivered by the end of the assignment for it to have been considered a successful placement – be specific so you can measure it;
  • the essential experience required to ensure they can achieve these;
  • working hours, duration of placement, the pay rate, location of work;
  • write two competency questions relevant to the skills required.

As early as you can that morning, use THREE MINUTES to send one email to three recruitment agencies that specialise in your industry/profession.  Copy them into the same email and include:

  • the brief;
  • one of the competency questions;
  • a time allocated to each agency’s applicant for a 6 minute telephone interview that afternoon.

Request that they send you only the best CV available for the position (with references) within 4 hours and be clear that you will not consider any more than one CV.  This will give the agency enough time to search their database, and assess applicants against the brief and competency question.   By copying them into the same email and giving them interview times up front, they will be incentivised to send the best applicant they can find, to fill the job order that day.

Spend ONE MINUTE scanning each CV for the essential experience and competency answer.

Conduct SIX MINUTE telephone interviews with each candidate, using the time given to:

  • ask them how they intend to use their experience to meet the top 3 deliverables;
  • ask the second competency question;
  • ask them how their experience of working with the agency has been.

The candidate will already have been told to expect a short-interview and we’re only filling a short-term role here.  There is no need to go into great detail, and if you do, maybe you don’t need a temp but a longer-term appointment on a fixed term contract.

This last question about the agency experience is vital as it helps you to build a better knowledge of your supply chain, which you can use to your benefit when seeking future temps.

Make a decision on which candidate to appoint, email the agency with the offer as per the brief (TWO MINUTES) and once accepted, email the other agencies with feedback for the other candidates (TWO MINUTES).

PPS – we help organisations improve the way they recruit – forever.

We can help you improve your temporary agency processes – whether you need to drive up quality, save money on temp fees or better manage the impact of AWR.

If you would like to talk to us or any of our clients about how our work has changed recruitment for them, please get in touch by email or on 07939 297 337.

- Lee Burman, Business Solutions Manager at PPS.

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Organisations and the wider society

Friday, July 13th, 2012
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Organisations are having to put social value at the heart of what they do. For public sector organisations it is now a part of the procurement fundamentals and for private companies any brand is now expected to show how they also are giving back to society as well as making a profit.

Being seen to be involved in society and making a difference attracts people to work with an organisation and it has been a value that needs consideration. The vast majority of graduates score an organisation’s corporate responsibility as being very high on their list of must-haves when choosing organisation to work for. 86% of global consumers also believe that businesses need to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests.

The backlash from recent economic events has seen political leaders pushing for organisations to be more responsible.  CSR has also come a long way although it still tends to be seen separate rather than a synergistic part of what the organisation does.  Without the involvement of HR, CSR can be seen as PR.

Organisations and the wider society

Being involved with the wider community has benefits for both organisation leaders and society.

By being involved with working with communities an organisation’s leaders acquire value from understanding and making a difference and learning from others outside of their usual scope of knowledge.  Wider society benefits from the experience and passion of leaders really being involved, and people are engaged with a business in a proactive way.

Leaders often talk about wanting to get involved with helping a community, or setting up a project that helps others or doing more than just donate money to charities. The thing is it can be a bit daunting and it requires real leadership to get involved.

How are you going to do it?


Toby Buckle from HazelBranchAbout Author – Toby Buckle

Toby is a leadership development specialist who has a passion for helping people through coaching and training.

He founded Hazelbranch in 2007 and has worked with organisations as diverse as National Geographic, The 3663 Group, The Prison Service, The Muscular Dystophy Campaign as well as working with the leaders at PPS.

Toby also runs the social enterprise Leading The Change which delivers leadership skills that enable people to make change happen through community development. To find out more click here.

Toby donates his time to sit on interview panels for senior appointments at Great Ormond Street Hospital and advises Social Enterprises for the Business Community Partnership.

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Hiring from within – good or bad?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
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With headlines like ‘A Load of Old Bollinger’, it has been difficult to ignore Barclay’s infiltration of our media surrounding the scandal about rigged interest rates.

Now, with the pressure rising to appoint a new Chief Executive from an external source in order to ‘clean up the image of the company’, the question of whether hiring from within is good or bad has arisen.

Here are a couple of interesting articles exploring the pros and cons of internal hiring and promotion against an external option.

The topical view from Bloomberg:

And the academic view from Wharton:

How is it with your organisation? Is there a succession plan that covers all roles from top to bottom? And do you encourage and welcome applications from within?

Written by Will Shepherd, Managing Director of PPS Works Ltd. 

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