Archive for the ‘Applicant tracking’ Category

I wellz wnt a job innit – Young people in the job market

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
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Giv uz a good job bruv?

According to a report from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), young people are using more and more “text-speak” in applications and have unrealistic expectations of the job market.

They also claimed that young people have a lack of understanding of basic common sense when it comes to interviews. That means turning up in inappropriate gear, turning up late, or not even turning up at all!

Full story: Daily Mail

Have you ever had a candidate who has not taken the application process seriously?

Let us know your thoughts!

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS.

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Video Interviewing – the future of recruitment?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
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We chatted to our Graduate Recruiter, Loretta, about how video interviewing is used here at PPS. Have a look and see what she said!

Written and edited by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

Starring Loretta Snape, Account Co-ordinator at PPS Works.

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What Mobile Phone’s 40th Birthday Has Taught Us About Technology

Friday, April 5th, 2013
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It’s hard to believe that mobile phones are 40 years old. From the Trigger Happy TV style cement-block to the sleek iPhone 5, technology has advanced so much that our landlines are practically redundant, pining the old days where they were so wholly relied upon.

And personally, I do not believe that technology is a bad thing. I even found out how to properly spell ‘onomatopoeia’ from auto-correct the other day. A device that allows me to interact with fellow humans and simultaneously help my spelling surely can’t be a bad thing, right?

But the important thing is that technology is subordinate to real human interaction, and that’s the clincher.

Technology at PPS is imperative to the work that we do. Our tailor-made MORS system allows both us and our clients to have full control over the recruitment process and deliver a fair and consistent process for all candidates. However, the most important part of our work doesn’t come from intricate coding. It comes from communication. Real, human communication and a supportive recruitment process that means that we get feedback like this from candidates:

“I’ve never come across a company so committed to getting the right staff that they walk you through every step of the recruitment process. Keep up the good work.”

“Every time I contacted the recruitment team, I felt welcomed and never felt an inconvenience – they were extremely helpful and friendly.”


How do you use technology in the recruitment process?

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works

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Do Employers expect too much of Graduates? (Or do Graduates expect too much of Employers?)

Monday, March 25th, 2013
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Recruiting graduates often involves screening many thousands of applications in various guises. Yet despite employers having increasingly

Are application forms just too difficult?

Are application forms just too difficult?

detailed and informative websites explaining their recruitment process, candidates do seem to struggle to fully articulate themselves. Frustratingly often half of all applications are screened out at that initial application stage.

Employers can of course take advantage of the latest advances in technology to find new ways of shortlisiting applicants for final stage interviews and assessment centres – which is really great when you’re inundated with applications and all of them are outstanding. However, if candidates cannot articulate how they influenced a situation / worked in a team / communicated clearly / are motivated to work for that employer, what happens next?

Why do those candidates who meet the essential criteria, for example, those who have the right degree, the right grades, the right work experience, find it so difficult to demonstrate their true potential in the application process?

Perhaps the problem lies with the employer. Maybe they should adapt their recruitment processes so that a graduate can apply for a role with less effort and without having to demonstrate any of those soft skills.

Or maybe this proves that the application forms are doing their job – we don’t want applications from those unable to complete them.

Or, does the problem lie with the graduates – do they expect too much? Are they looking for a job on a plate?

There has been much discussion around screening for potential which we entirely agree should form part of the process, but what we’re finding is that often graduates who have the potential struggle to demonstrate it clearly. Is there a need for more help for graduates in the form of application guidance?

We would love your thoughts on this issue!

debsWritten by Deborah Edmondson, Major Accounts Director at PPS Works.

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Edited by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

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Do cut priced degrees mean second rate education?

Friday, March 1st, 2013
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Thousands of the cheapest university places are not being filled following the introduction of varied fees. Courses costing less than £7,500 per year are not full to capacity due to student’s uncertainty of their value and whether their cut-price status means a ‘bargain bin’ education.

But the value of a degree is substantially more than its price – and come to think of it, more than the course content itself.

With the graduate market becoming ever more competitive, students are increasingly more aware of what their chosen university can offer them in terms of employability and value for money.

At our recent graduate employer event, #GradConnect, our guest speaker, AGR Project Lead for the HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) discussed how the HEAR combined with university careers services would act as a framework in order to allow students to actively increase their own employability and enable themselves to have those core skills that graduate employers look for.

In its current form, the HEAR will act as an enhancement to the degree classification and will give a broader view of a student’s journey which is then verified by the university.

Because of the information on the HEAR, it will hopefully blend the gaps between university life and work in an efficient and timely manner. Organisations can also tailor-make its training around an individual’s HEAR and the discrepancies/attributes that it highlights.

In relation to this, do you think that graduates have the skills that you want in your business? And if not, do you think that it would be helped by installing the HEAR?

If you would like to find out more information about the HEAR, please email me on the below details for a copy of #GradConnect’s briefing notes.

If you would like to attend the next #GradConnect, please email me and I will be in touch about the next event.

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works

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Feedback for Your Candidates – A Vital Statistic

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
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We’ve all been there. Patiently (at first, and impatiently secondly) waiting for that one important email from a potential employer which will say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to your application form.

But what if those emails never come?

CareerBuilders recent survey found that seventy-five per cent of workers who applied for jobs through various venues in the last year did not hear

Are your applicants waiting by the phone?

Are your applicants waiting by the phone?

back from employers. That’s an astounding number considering the simple measures you can put in place in order to suitably notify all applicants.

Not only are these figures a representation of the highly competitive job market, but they highlight the negative implications of uncommunicative recruitment teams for employers.

When applicants do not hear whether their lovingly crafted application form has been successful or not, it affects how the company is perceived. Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of workers said they would be less inclined to purchase products or services from a company that didn’t respond to their application. Candidates who had a  bad experience when applying for a position are less likely to apply for another position at that company and are likely to discourage friends and family from applying or purchasing products from that company.

But with eighty-two per cent of workers anticipating to hear back from a company when they apply for a job, regardless of whether the employer is interested or not, companies are still initially expected to treat its applicants to good communication.

Here at PPS, we act as an extension of your HR services. A dedicated team will use effective methods to enable candidates to get a great recruitment experience from your company – regardless of whether they are successful or not. From social media communities to ‘Good Luck for your interview’ texts, the candidates will have a personal and consistent relationship with our teams.

Have a look below at what candidates for a job with our client, a supplier of household electrical items, recently said about our processes:

“I’ve never come across a company so committed to getting the right staff that they walk you through every step of the recruitment process. Keep up the good work”

“Every time I contacted the recruitment team, I felt welcomed and never felt an inconvenience – they were extremely helpful and friendly.”

“(The Recruitment team) talked me through every step, constantly giving feedback and making sure I was happy every step of the way. Brilliant!”

Using our tailored recruitment technology and personalising the process allowed PPS to give the very best service to applicants and secure the brand’s well-known name from unnecessary criticism.

We think that one hundred per cent of applicants deserve to hear back from the company that they applied to…What do you think?

Comment and share!

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works

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CQC Inspections – Are You Ready?

Friday, January 25th, 2013
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We’ve been asking a big question today at PPS, and we would like your help to answer it.

Are you and your organisation ready for the CQC?

Are you and your organisation ready for the CQC?

Here at PPS, we are well aware of the CQC (Care Quality Commission) and their inspection criteria.  The CQC review our registered providers annually and we use the guidelines to ensure we (as well as our clients) are working to best practice standards in recruitment at all times.

But, now here’s the tricky bit, unless you are lucky enough to be a dental practice, the CQC will not give an organisation notice of an impending inspection. That means that the CQC can enter your organisation when your registered manager is on his/her annual family holiday to Crete – and you have to deal with the consequences.

So how do you know that you’re ready for an inspection?  Can you say that ALL staff that could be called upon by a CQC inspector on the day are given enough information about your recruitment processes to answer their probing questions?

At our #SocialCareConnect roundtable discussions, we ask these questions amongst others and discuss recruitment best practice with registered providers.

Our next meeting is under one week away and we’d like to get YOUR feedback on whether you and your organisation are prepared for the CQC.

Take our poll, comment and share!

Written by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

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GUEST BLOG – Successful graduate interviews: The interviewer’s perspective

Monday, January 21st, 2013
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We shake hands, exchange greetings and I offer a drink.  We sit down, I explain the format, then start asking the questions that will determine whether the person in front of me is suitable for further consideration in the available role.  It’s a very familiar process, and I’m far less nervous than the candidate.


Are you nervous? Perhaps you should be!

But maybe I should be nervous. Whilst research shows that interviews can be a highly valid form of assessment, am I really sure that the script I am about to follow really ascertains whether the individual has the right skills, knowledge and motivation for the role? If this is a question you have ever considered, I hope my blog will be of some interest!

As the graduate and industrial placement season gets into full swing, I thought I’d share my recent interview experiences on the validity and reliability of interviews.  For now I will just focus on two key points; interview design and candidate motivation. A future blog will look at my views and experiences of assessing job-person fit and the best structure to use for graduate interviews.

1.       The wrong questions waste time and money

The best questions are the ones that stop the candidates in their tracks. I have recently conducted a review of over 800 interview responses to the question ‘Tell me about a time when you had to manage a range of tasks at the same time’. Out of the 800 candidate responses, 650 referred to them planning their university work load. From the client’s perspective, the interviewers were wasting time gathering information from this question when there is so little variation in individual’s responses. Not surprisingly, 90% of the graduates scored an average mark to this question. Assuming the interviewers spent 10 minutes on this interview question, and with 800 candidates being interviewed, they have just wasted 133 hours – that’s nearly 4 weeks of work – on data that will not aid them in their selection decision making process.  Whilst you could strongly argue that it is the candidate’s responsibility to provide an example that stands out from the crowd, it is our responsibility to ensure that each question allows us to use the full marking range. Testing of interview questions is key to avoid costly mistakes like this being made, and feedback from the interviewers should be collated regularly to spot flaws in the design.

2.       Do they really want the job?

In a time where unemployment is high, employers could be mistaken for thinking that there are a wealth of enthusiastic graduates out there who want to work for them. In reality, many graduates tend to panic and apply for a number of different roles in different industries in the hope that this will guarantee them a job of some form.  I have seen many incredibly talented candidates rejected from recruitment processes as they haven’t convinced the company that they want to pursue a career with them. But from the company’s perspective it is far worse to have recruited these bright and capable people only to lose them six months down the line after companies when they go and pursue their desired career pathway.

Quite simply, to assess motivation effectively, it is all down to the questions you ask. Very basic motivation questions tend to ascertain whether the candidate knows the relevant data about the company they are applying for but all this shows is that your website is well stocked up on facts and figures.  In interviews, I often hear candidates talk about wanting a challenging role and so I start this challenge at the interview stage. If they really want a challenge, ask them questions that make them (and you) squirm a little.  So when they say ‘they like the culture of the company’, ask them to describe the culture as they see it, and why they have these views. And when they say ‘they want a role in a certain sector’, ask them what other companies they have applied for and the reasons for this. Suddenly you will learn so much more about whether the sector and/or the role is really right for them. The more detailed and direct the questioning, the less likely it is that you will get a vague response. Don’t leave the interview without knowing for sure what their motivation for the role is. You almost want to get to the point where you feel you are being interviewed by them, as the candidates who really want the role are the ones that really want to find out more about your own experiences in the company to cement their thoughts that this is the role for them.

I would love to hear your views on this. What have been your experiences of competency based questions and assessing motivation? Have you been successful in designing interviews that use the full scoring range? Get in touch and let’s share experiences and best practice.

Written by Jacqui Rice, Organisational Psychologist at Loganberry Limited

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What is your organisation’s top recruitment priority?

Friday, December 7th, 2012
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PM’s webinar (November 15th 2012) asked the question: what is your organisation’s top recruitment priority? Speakers: Claire McCartney (CIPD), Hesketh Emden (NHS London) and Roberta Stewart (Hertz) presented on what is important to their organisation when recruiting new members of staff.

Claire McCartney discussed the CIPD’s Resourcing and Talent Planning survey. This survey found that two thirds of the 522 companies who participated were having difficulty retaining staff. Companies also found that Senior Management positions in the public sector and technical positions were tricky to recruit.

However, the findings stated that companies recruitment priorities were still heavily based on experience and skills of candidates rather than their potential.

Throughout the webinar, the 500 listeners were asked to demonstrate their opinions through several polls. When asked what was most important trait in a candidate, an individual’s ‘potential’ dragged at the bottom of the poll – with just 10% of people recognising it as an important factor in recruitment. This was overshadowed by experience, cultural fit and the top answer which was: skills.

With Claire suggesting that the UK have a skill shortage which is here to stay, how is your company going to adapt its recruitment processes?

I’ll leave you with a quote which Hesketh Emden mentioned in the webinar:

Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience. Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities.” Dee W. Hock, Visa (Previous CEO)

To listen to the webinar, register here:

Written by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works.

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Guest Blog: Social Media changes the rules in the war for talent

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
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A lot has happened at Bromford Group since we became active users of new media. One is that we have had people apply for jobs directly as a

Expand your reach and create a community using Social Media.

result of our social media presence. It’s led them to our website and then to our vacancies.

Even though they were not actually looking for a job at the time.

Bromford opened up full access to social media to all of our 1,100 Colleagues nearly 18 months ago. The intention?

  • To empower people to engage with others.
  • To be online ambassadors for Bromford.
  • To be advocates for somewhere that we believe is a great place to work.

Recruitment was always going to be transformed by the power of the social web. Never before in history has been it been possible to know so much about a job candidate without meeting them.

But it works both ways. Employers are in the shop window too. Your culture is on display for the world to see.

To attract the best people recruiters are going to need to think differently.  They are going to have to   reach out and engage their future talent digitally as well as in real life.

And just being present is no longer enough. You need to make your mark.

Social Media is fundamentally different to the “broadcast” nature of traditional communications. You have to become respected, engage in conversations, and build trust if you want to stand out and get your message across.

Here are 4 things we have learned about nurturing talent in the new world:

Create a Buzz:

Just expecting attention for your job opening might have worked pre-digital but it just won’t stand out in an increasingly crowded space. Bromford

#GottaLoveCake caused a storm over twitter.

recently advertised 5 posts using a campaign entitled #GottaLoveCake. It featured video, blogging and live twitter debates to create a unique campaign that reached over 13,000 twitter users and drew 2,500 views to its web page.

Video sells the culture:

The use of video to explain what it’s like to work somewhere is a huge opportunity to create engagement – especially if it’s done by colleagues themselves. This short video was filmed by a new recruit, previously unemployed, to tell others about our Opportunities for Employment programme.

You need to inspire people:

Job Descriptions have followed the same essential format for 50 years.  Most of them are anachronistic in today’s world. Lately I’ve been aiming for a job purpose you can fit into a tweet, a profile that is one page maximum (preferably a graphic) and language that is jargon free and provides a compelling reason to apply.

Build a Community:

People are now born into social communities. Their social networks will play a part in how they form relationships, how they engage in education and what they choose to do for a career.  Linkedin is very successful, but has an average user who is 43 years old. Facebook Jobs is the new kid on the block but it’s too early to say if it will be a success.

Any Employer needs to be thinking how it is engaging with its next generation, and that must include an online strategy.

We developed Connect Bromford to help provide a community for our customers who are not served by traditional Job sites. But its other purpose is to also to establish a rich future talent pool of our own customers.

Online services are changing the way we live our lives. Employers do not exist in isolation and must change to accommodate the Social employee.  The time to revisit the way we recruit them is now.

Written by Paul Taylor, Innovation Coach at Bromford.

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