Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What’s wrong with your careers website?

Friday, April 4th, 2014
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Long gone are the days where you sent your CV via letter, pigeon or a very enthusiastic owl. Candidates expect so much more from a company careers website now.  And in an ever-advancing world, their expectations should be met.

Let’s break down the numbers. In 2013, only 4% of all people who browsed the internet stayed on one page longer than ten minutes. Research at PPS shows the average stay on a website is often less than two minutes. That means if your guest does not find what they are looking for in seconds – they will go elsewhere.

So, here is your challenge. Pull up your careers site.  You have one minute to show me why I should spend two hours filling out your application form.

If you are struggling, you are part of a large percentage of companies who need to re-haul their careers pages.

So – what can you do to make your website sticky? Easy, give them what they want.

Look at the following examples. Remember the golden rule: if your careers site does not hook people within a few minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

1 -    Create easy to view content with lists

Who doesn’t like a good list?  Websites are no longer streams of text. Create a list with effective reasons to click ‘apply’ like Adobe:

Adobe's careers website

Adobe’s careers website

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adobe uses simple imagery and words like ‘great, transformative, endless, powerful’ to prove that this is where candidates should aspire to work. A website that uses the word ‘transformative’ without me wanting to turn to my book of ‘made up words that companies use’? Brilliant.

2 -    Relate to your company culture.

If you pride yourself in a relaxed company atmosphere, strong internal communications or just have a really nice set of desk lamps, then tell the prospective candidates through the tone of your advert. The Onion’s satirical wit may not work for all companies, but why not reflect your company’s ethos in the advert? Who said that adverts have to be serious?

Look at this sparkling ad for Listening Intern at The Onion:

The Onion's job advert for a "Listening Intern" position

The Onion’s job advert for a “Listening Intern” position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 –      Be transparent.

How many more images of “friendly smiling woman running with briefcase” will we have to submit our eyes to? The era of transparency is upon us; do not ruin your website with fake images.

Take housing association, Wandle, for example, who enlisted us and employer branding agency, Peter’s Fox, to create their careers website. No long-winded baffle or random office images here – just authentic shots of people who actually work at Wandle. The result? A careers website that is true to Wandle’s brand and employee culture.

And consider Google’s use of their own Headquarters in their imagery. OK, perhaps your office may not be quite like Google, but it is far more interesting to a prospective candidate than perfect teeth and awkward poses.

Life at Google uses a number of images from Google's offices

Life at Google uses a number of images from Google’s offices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 –   Hit the checklist

Finally, work through the following checklist. Have you:

  • Posted your jobs on your own company website, or made it easy to reach your careers site from your website?
  • Posted your jobs on social media?
  • Reduced the amount of text on your site to a minimum, whilst still giving candidates important information?
  • Used clear and friendly text which mirrors brand voice and company culture?
  • Engaged your candidates socially through ‘share’ buttons?
  • Used quotes from current employees, videos, games and other media to create a hub of vital information?
  • Made it very, almost painfully, easy to apply?

Once you have checked off this list, you’re on your way to career website awesomeness!

What does your careers website looks like? How effective a recruitment tool is it? Here at PPS, we create career websites for several of our clients. Take a look at the careers website we created for Wandle, in partnership with Peter’s Fox.  Interested in finding out more? Get in touch.

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, aspiring author and guest blogger for PPS.

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So, you have a talent pool. Now, what?

Friday, March 21st, 2014
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Talent pools allow us to have access to a constant stream of high quality candidates. They are a resource that, when used effectively, could mean the difference between successfully filling a role and having to begin the entire recruitment process again.

It is important we ensure that these candidates are ready and willing to take on the challenge of beginning the application process. But how do we prevent our talent pools from becoming stagnant?

Engaging with talent is hugely important. Whether we access them via talent pipelines, pools, or communities, this should be key to any organisation’s recruitment strategy.

Engaging with your talent pool in the right way - whether that's online or offline - is crucial.

Engaging with your talent pool in the right way – whether that’s online or offline – is crucial.

We need to communicate with these potential applicants, they need to know who we are and why we want to be in contact with them. This allows us to be ahead of the game and prepared for when that next vacancy is authorised.

The difficulty comes in knowing how to engage effectively with these different talent streams. We need to treat each potential candidate as an individual and work to build a unique rapport with them, because each of them is different and has a distinctive experience of you or your organisation.

Some of these individuals may be a ‘like’ on your company’s Facebook or LinkedIn page, others might be a speculative CV sent in via email and others with great potential, might have already been to interview with a Hiring Manager and are now ‘on-hold’.

We need to communicate with the talent, whether we drop them a call or a tweet, to ensure that they want to be contacted whilst they are patiently awaiting the right role. Any communication should be on a level that they request and are happy with, so as not to turn them away from your organisation.

Once we know what they are comfortable with, it’s worth creating a defined communication plan around their requirements – what are you communicating and why? Also, how is it adding value in engaging with these candidates (for both parties)?

This is where the human element comes in, intelligently selecting targeted communications – automated systems can help in this process of course, but they lack the personal touch that ‘real’ human beings bring to recruitment.

Through using our talent pools effectively, we are able to improve upon candidate experience as well as lowering the time and cost per hire. We must provide the service we promised and ensure that our pool of glowing talent, does not turn stagnant.

How do you engage with your talent pool? 

debs eWritten by Debbie Edmondson, New Recruitment Director at PPS.

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Let’s give up bad recruitment for Lent.

Friday, March 14th, 2014
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9 days in, and after the post-bloating of Pancake Day, I hope everyone who’s participating, is settling in to their yearly regimes of giving up a treat for the religious holiday.

Chocolate is a popular choice to give up for Lent. As recruiters, what practices can we give up to make our recruitment processes better?

Chocolate is a popular choice to give up for Lent. As recruiters, what practices can we give up to make our recruitment processes better?

Research by the ever-scientific and always accurate Daily Mail has shown that giving up can be a very rewarding process. It claims  people could save up to £18,425 if they gave up chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol and coffee every year during lent.

So, if holding back on the occasional Dairy Milk can save thousands of pounds, surely giving up on poor recruitment processes can do the same?

What do we need to give up (not just for lent) in recruitment?

1. Give up on not using an Applicant Tracking System

You’re falling over piles of applications that came through the post and email. You have spread sheets overwhelming your desktop. Why then, would you not streamline the process by using an ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software package which allows electronic handling in a recruitment environment. At PPS, we use our own in-house recruitment system (MORS)  which shapes and moulds to the needs of our clients. More importantly, our technology delivers information that matters – just take a look at what our technology does for Turning Point‘s recruitment process.

Our software doesn’t hold us back like that obligatory chocolate bar and the yearly “summer diet” – it grows with us.

Using an ATS will save you valuable time and money, as well as improve your candidate’s experience through timely responses and efficient processes. So give up doing it alone!

2. Give up on disliking social media.

LinkedIn screenshot

Give up avoiding social media as a recruiter this Lent.

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. Social media is a tool with endless possibilities. So, take the time to figure out how social media can fit into your recruitment campaigns. If not used effectively, you could be limiting the amount of  applications you receive by a serious percentage. Take the time to understand the inner workings of Twitter, Tweetdeck, Facebook and LinkedIn and use that as your ‘giving up on being old fashioned’ for lent.

3. Give up on poor candidate experience

Candidates have a choice to be an employee, as much as you have the choice to employ them! The impact of a negative candidate experience resonates far beyond the candidate experiencing it – your brand and future talent pools are also at risk of the wrath of negative word of mouth. So, this Lent give up on delivering poor candidate experiences.

It’s time to show a bit more affection towards your candidates. Use an automated service, like PPS’ MORS to send text messages, helpful hints and tips and refined interview questions at the click of a button. Engage online platforms such as Google Hangouts to encourage active candidate participation. Or simply, call candidates back when you said you would and stop them from having a better relationship with your voice mail service than you.

So, they were our top three things to stop doing for your recruitment life – and for lent – which overall should save you time and money. What would you suggest?

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, aspiring author and guest blogger for PPS.

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Recruitment success, candidate experience and photobombing.

Friday, March 7th, 2014
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The past week or so seems to have been a flurry of celebrity selfies, red carpet face-plants and oddly alluring GIFs of Leonardo Dicaprio sobbing.

And speaking of The Oscars, what could be a better time to focus on our recruitment successes? Let’s think about how important it is to make an impact, what it means to fail and, most importantly, the formula for a top-notch photobomb.

Recruitment and the Oscars have a lot more in common than you might think...

Recruitment and the Oscars have a lot more in common than you might think…

Can you believe that Leonardo Dicaprio has never won an Oscar? Let him be a reminder to us that, even if a candidate doesn’t succeed at interview, he or she could still have so much more to give.

When the successful candidate is offered a position, we tend to put all of our attention on them, and why wouldn’t we? We may need to contact their referees, begin DBS checks or simply keep them engaged in the recruitment process.

But let’s not forget the unsuccessful candidates- Dicaprio is the guy sitting in our talent pools. He’s the versatile candidate, waiting to achieve, impress and be recognised. That candidate is what allows us to be resourceful and they could be the person that finally fills that tricky role you’ve been working on.

But it’s not all about the revealing dresses, overpriced shoes and those little golden men- it’s also about photobombing.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Lawrence and Jared Leto are all masterminds when it comes to hijacking Oscar snapshots. These guys are pretty high profile but any recruiter can easily achieve this level of expertise with the use of quite a simple formula:

1. Be prepared

In recruitment, we should always be ready and waiting. We should be equipped with all of the tools we need to make an amazing impact on our candidates. We need to be ready to provide an excellent candidate experience and pull out all of the stops so that we can offer the right candidate a new job (or get the guy from Titanic in our talent pool).

2.Teamwork

No photobomb could work without forming the perfect unity between yourself, the other person in the photo, and the camera. By pulling together and using one another as a resource, we will be successful, we will jump in at the last minute and we will make a lasting impression on our candidates, and enhance employer branding.

3.Flexibility

And just like Brad Pitt, leap at the opportunity to get stuck in. Be willing to go the extra mile so that you can take control and explore alternative methods, own the moment and fill that really difficult role.

So, maybe, just maybe The Oscars are in fact a bit like recruitment.

Let’s be prepared, pull together, smile for our candidates and, if we fall over on the red carpet, strut our way through the critics and photobomb everyone we walk past.

How do you deliver award-winning recruitment campaigns and Oscar-worthy quality candidates? Comment below, tweet us, chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

Hannah RWritten by Hannah Ratcliff, Graduate Recruiter at PPS

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Why values based recruitment is a no-brainer.

Friday, February 21st, 2014
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Last week I had the pleasure of spending a morning with colleagues from Skills for Care, Alternative Futures Group, Profiles4Care and Avenues Group.  The strand that holds us together – values based recruitment.

Now it’s no secret that social care has its fair share of recruitment problems.  It speaks volumes that the sector is growing, yet thousands of front-line jobs are still sitting vacant.  HR teams are at pains to come up with a reliable and consistent way of filling care and support

"Values based recruitment is a no-brainer in social care" - Lee Burman

“Values based recruitment is a no-brainer in social care”

vacancies.  Even harder still is the need to fill vacancies with the right people, who will actually stay.

Which is why a values based approach to recruitment may be part of the answer.

At the heart of values based recruitment sits the idea that skills are something that can be taught and developed with the right training.  What really matters are the values and behaviours sitting at the core of the individual.  When you plug this approach into recruiting a high performing support worker, this means that what you might be looking for is that passion for making a difference to the lives of others.  It’s a part of their DNA.  Not making a difference is simply not an option.

I think the social care sector is onto something here.  We’ve seen it with our own clients.  These individuals are easy to spot.  When you talk to them they have a genuine and sincere enthusiasm and passion for enabling others to live happy lives.  Putting higher calibre applicants in front of hiring managers becomes much easier, because you can spot a ‘fraud’ a mile off.

Focus on previous experience often fails in social care recruitment. Rather, its the core values of a candidate we need to focus on.

Focus on previous experience often fails in social care recruitment. Rather, its the core values of a candidate we need to focus on.

I say values based recruitment is part of the answer.  It doesn’t solve attraction problems on its own.  The sector still has far more work to do in how it sells itself and retains staff.

What it does do however is open the potential candidate pool far wider.  When you remove the shackles of having to recruit for previous experience, you have far more interesting places to go with your candidate sourcing strategy.  We’ve seen it first hand – one of my most memorable

interviews was with an applicant who was working at B&Q, but the one thing he loved most about his job was his role as an employee champion – supporting his colleagues to ensure they were living a fulfilled life at work.  He blew the client away at interview and was offered the job on the spot.

So often social care is berated for being behind the times but I can’t see any reason why this approach shouldn’t be adopted elsewhere.  How many times do we complain about the customer service rep who just doesn’t care, or the pushy sales person who doesn’t have our best interests at heart.  If these skills can be taught and developed, then recruiting against values is surely a no-brainer.

What are your thoughts on using values based recruitment in the social care sector?

Comment below, tweet us, chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

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leeWritten by Lee Burman, Business Development Manager at PPS and a social care enthusiast.

Follow him on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn!

 

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PPS celebrates 2 years of recruitment with Turning Point!

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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All around the world today, people everywhere will be celebrating their relationships.

And here at PPS, we’re no different. Except, it is a different type of “ship” we’re celebrating. A partnership.

PPS Turning Point recruitment

PPS and Turning Point celebrate their two year recruitment partnership today!

 

Two years ago today, began our recruitment partnership with Turning Point – one of the UK’s leading Health and Social Care organisations. Since then, by Turning Point’s own admission, we have become, “an integral part” of their HR team. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a time when PPS did not fully manage Turning Point’s recruitment function.

When the idea of working together first surfaced, Turning Point were on the hunt for a partner who was as forward-thinking as they were.

They wanted a “one-stop end-to-end” service for their recruitment managers and candidates alike.

They didn’t just want quality hires – they wanted meaningful recruitment data and a sophisticated applicant tracking system along with it too.

Looking back so far, we’d like to think we’re achieving this – and more (click to enlarge):

TP FINAL FINAL

 

Aside from the facts and figures, here’s what the people at both PPS and Turning Point had to say:

 Melissa Moore, Recruiting Partner at Turning Point:

“PPS have worked hard to ensure the service they provide is suited to both the organisation and the applicants. We now have a seamless process that makes the PPS recruitment team an integral part of the wider HR team. PPS provide essential management information to both recruiting managers locally and senior stakeholders within Turning Point making them not only a resourcing partner but a strategic one too. The team are fantastic and are very flexible with their approach to our recruitment.

Dave Beesley, Account Manager at PPS:

“The partnership between PPS and Turning Point has grown from strength to strength over the past 2 years. The key to our partnership so far is our shared desire to constantly evolve and improve as the recruitment world changes. Turning Point is an aspirational organisation – passionate about the service they provide. We share that passion about recruitment here at PPS – and that’s important. Ultimately, we are very proud of our partnership with Turning Point, and I am really excited about the future.”

Here’s to a fruitful two years and many more to come, Turning Point!

Want to know more about the recruitment partnerships we share with our clients? Get in touch, tweet us, or chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

Megha Sthankiya Marketing Executive at PPSWritten by Megha Sthankiya, Marketing Executive at PPS

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Attraction methods: A “recroobie” perspective

Friday, February 7th, 2014
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I’m new to recruitment, a ‘recroobie’ if you will.

Up until 5 months ago, I never would have even considered the importance of ‘candidate experience’, let alone “screened” something.  There have been so many new concepts to consider, a number of different elements to focus on and of course, several jobs to find the perfect candidates for . It wasn’t until I started to get sourcing, job posting and mass tea-making under my belt that I realised how important attraction methods are.

Know your audience - and plan your attraction and sourcing strategy accordingly

Know your audience – and plan your attraction and sourcing strategy accordingly

Having spent 3 years of my life studying for a journalism degree, the majority of people I know question this profession, “It’s not really relevant to you, is it?” Well actually, I think it is. Journalism is all about knowing your market and your audience, and well, recruitment isn’t that different. For example, when direct sourcing, I think it is important to consider candidates as our audience and look at things from their perspective.

I’m still learning, but I think that drawing on some of the following points can help to make  for a more seamless and engaging  recruitment process.

  • Tread on their social footprint:

    Understanding our candidates' social footprints can help us communicate effectively

    Understanding our candidates’ social footprints can help us communicate effectively

What better place is there to interact with someone than the sites they use to network with their friends and families? People are way more likely to read a 140 character Tweet than a 300 word advert. They would probably prefer to reply to your Facebook message than return the voicemail you left them a few days ago.

These are passive candidates, whose interest and interaction we can really get a feel for. If we have the platform to  source and interact with our candidates using their social footprint, then why shouldn’t we?

  • Search Engine Optimisation:

Be the candidate! What keywords would you, or your ideal candidate use to find the job you’re recruiting for? Find out if the role has any well-known terms or phrases – and use them. This is a simple but effective way of attracting candidates and helping them to find you.

  • Advert Writing:

    A job advert is often the first touchpoint between a potential employee and employer

    A job advert is often the first touch point between a potential employee and employer

All too often job adverts take on the same, monotonous format. “This is the job, this is what you’ll be doing- fill in an application form if you like.”

Adverts should be compelling, they should sell the job and the establishment. The candidate needs to feel engaged and excited by the prospects of the role.

“Are you passionate?” “Are you ready to take on an exciting new experience?” “Do you want to work for one of the best organisations in the field?”

The job advert is often the first point of contact a company has with a potential candidate. It is up to us to ensure the job advert persuades the candidate to initiate further conversation.

  • Being industry savvy:

Know your market. Research similar jobs, is the salary you’re offering comparable to others? What benefits are similar businesses offering to prospective employees?  Can a candidate get a better deal/recruitment experience elsewhere?

So, as a self-confessed recroobie with a degree in journalism, I have learnt  the two are more similar than first apparent.  So, as the world changes and moves forward, recruitment needs to, too.

We will use social networking to interact with candidates, recruiters will become marketing experts and, in some instances, journalists might even become recruiters.

What’s in your attraction and sourcing armour? Comment below, tweet us, chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

Hannah RWritten by Hannah Ratcliff, Graduate Recruiter at PPS

Find PPS on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

 

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Is there a “perfect” Graduate Recruitment Process?

Friday, January 24th, 2014
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Is there such a thing as the “perfect” Graduate Recruitment process?

No two graduate recruitment campaigns are the same. As recruiters, we can attest to the fact that graduate recruitment can be a lengthy process.  Moreover, from a student’s perspective – the idea of attempting the often dozens of stages can be frightening.

For example, a typical graduate selection process can consist of the following many stages:

1)      Updating your CV

2)      An in-depth online application form

3)      Situational Judgement Questions

4)      Online Testing

5)      Telephone Interviews

6)      Online Video Interviews

7)      Filming videos on why candidates are right for the company

8)      Assessment Centre

9)      Final Stage one to one Interviews

So, in today’s day and age, can we create the “perfect” graduate recruitment process?  Is there an ideal length or a best combination of assessment measures?

Graduate Hat

Finding the “ideal” graduate campaign may be difficult, but there are steps we can take as recruiters, to ensure it’s the best fit for our clients’ needs

Most importantly, how do we determine the most engaging candidate experience – one that still entices candidates to apply, whilst capturing the best talent?

Having worked on a number of graduate campaigns across varying industries and different job roles, I have often found there is a preference of including as many stages as possible, almost as a default reaction. But how many of these stages are actually crucial to identifying the best candidates? And how many, in essence, are assessing the same skills?

So, here are my top 4 tips to remember when devising your next graduate recruitment selection process:

Find out everything

A recent study suggests 42% of graduates are put off by a lengthy application process, and there’s much they would like changed about the process. To develop a graduate selection process that doesn’t have candidates running for the hills and assesses their skills and abilities appropriately, gain thorough knowledge of the job role. Find out what is needed to excel within the specific job role and adapt assessments accordingly. From daily tasks to the various groups they will be working with and communicating with – everything.

Understand the culture graduates will be working in

Identifying the culture and core values of your client is key to building an appropriate graduate campaign

Identifying the culture and core values of your client is key to building an appropriate graduate campaign

 

It is no longer enough to recruit graduates who have the necessary experience and academic background. More and more, companies are looking to hire graduates who “fit” the personality, culture and values of their organisation. Figure out the sort of culture you’re recruiting for. Find out the type of environment graduates will be working in – the office atmosphere, the expected work/life balance, the combination of client-facing/team-work/individual work the role entails.

Use this information to identify the sort of individuals who would “fit” the company and then, identify which specific stages of assessment are needed. For example, a Marketing/Communications role, which requires some time spent working at one of the company’s retail stores, indicates the need for strong communication skills and confidence. As such, a telephone or video interview would ideal for this role.

Identify what adds value and what doesn’t

It is important each step of your selection process actually adds value to the overall goal of the campaign – which is to find the best candidate for the job. For example, it’s a good idea for a finance-degree related role, to have graduates conduct online numerical testing. However, from my experience, the majority of finance graduates tend to excel within their tests, which reduces the value of the stage in separating the good from the great.  Instead, other methods need to be employed which offer a more rigorous way of testing such skills. Why not play the Generation Y game and  find out what your candidates really thought of the assessments used in your recent graduate campaign.

Merging stages into a day or two day assessment centre.

Merging stages into a day or two day assessment centre.

Merge stages

If you feel the majority of assessments are crucial, why not merge stages together and conduct them all over a short period of time? On a recent graduate campaign, we created a 2-day assessment centre filled with a series of exercises that assessed all the skills and abilities required, whilst keeping candidates engaged and promoting a much shorter recruitment process.

Overall, there is no question about it – each assessment is as important as the last, and there is no clear-cut “ideal” recruitment process. However, as recruiters, we need to find out what’s essential and valuable to the selection process – and what’s not, and be flexible in making changes.

Doing so, we can deliver campaigns that encourage, not overwhelm graduates, whilst still providing the rigor and depth needed to find the cream of the crop. 

 What does your “perfect” Graduate Recruitment Process look like?

Comment below, tweet us, chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

Bavinder ChahalWritten by Bavinder Chahal, Recruitment Co-ordinator at PPS

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Zero hours, mentoring and Boris Johnson – a review of recruitment in 2013

Friday, January 10th, 2014
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A quick review of 2013 from the point of view of a recruiter, entrepreneur, and ‘always wanted to be ‘politician.

Recruitment politics was dominated throughout most of the year by the Zero hour contract debate.

What a distraction!

When politicians know so little about a specific area that you happen to know a lot about, and are clearly only interested in sound bites and point scoring, you realise this is probably how they manage everything else they are supposed to be looking after for us – including the economy, immigration, and transport (see London Airport and HS2 debates).

Zero hours was a key talking point in recruitment in 2013.

Zero hours was a key talking point in recruitment in 2013.

When it comes to zero hour contracts, it would be far more appropriate to focus on low pay, skills development and lowest cost commissioning by Local Authorities. Zero hour contracts are prevalent in the Care & Support industry. Instead of looking to ban them, we need to debate whether we want some of the lowest paid members of our society to be those who care for us in our old age, or special need. Moreover, how we can ever guarantee quality in such an environment remains to be seen.

I spent a small amount of 2013 mentoring members of the younger generation, on employment and their future careers. Thanks to the CIPD for enabling me to get involved in what has been a rewarding experience working with secondary school students and new graduates.

What is clear from my time spent is the gulf between what they know, and the knowledge they actually need to secure gainful and meaningful employment in the future.  There is a great need to educate the next generation of workers on the basics – such as CVs and interview techniques – but more crucially, on gaining appropriate work experience.

Mentoring was a personal highlight for me in 2013.

Mentoring was a personal highlight for me in 2013.

The demise of a national career service for schools will have a profoundly negative effect. I watched a deputy head – for all his passion for his kids’ futures, explaining the importance of getting the postcode of their school correct on their CVs. Employers who know what really needs to be on a CV need to get involved! Our Social Enterprise www.studentsonplacement.co.uk endeavours to address some of these issues, but is of course just a drop in the ocean. Many more ventures and schemes like this are needed.

In the autumn of 2013, I started working with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses programme at Aston University. It continues to prove to be an incredible resource for business, and has had a tremendous impact on me and PPS over the last few months of 2013. Developing the vision and strategy for PPS has come at such a timely point given our year of such significant growth. Perhaps, most inspirational has been the opportunity to meet some many other exceptional business leaders from the Midlands, with a few particular stand outs – Byron Dixon (Director of MicroFresh), Richard Barnes (Owner and MD of Select Research Ltd) and Adam Whitehouse (Owner and Founder of TMT First Ltd).

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

I recently went to watch Boris Johnson talk at the London School of Economics (LSE).  He was highly entertaining, but during his 45 minutes, he was unable to be serious once. It is scary to think he could become our next Prime Minister. It was the same week that Nelson Mandela died, who I had also seen talk at the LSE some 10 years ago – there was some difference in what they had to say about their views of the world!

We’ve also been focusing on future leaders at PPS. Our new graduate recruitment programmes continues apace, with our new recruits currently in the middle of a rotation around our business, learning every day how to become recruiting experts.

So what does 2014 have in store?

At PPS we believe that clients will continue to demand enhanced solutions and greater service complexity from their suppliers. From Employee branding and internal referral schemes, through situational judgment questions and strength based interviewing, to on-boarding and initial induction, the profession we are in has changed, is changing, and will continue to change in 2014 and beyond.

Here are a few of my predictions (and goals) for the world of recruiting in 2014:

  • Look out for better career sites, and slicker application processes as the competition for quality staff gets hotter.
  • Clients running large recruitment campaigns will need to offer pre-application interactions including webinars and on-line chat.
  • New options will continue to arise for screening and assessment – audio applications are a favourite of mine.
  • There will be continued academic research into the link between recruitment methods and job performance.
  • Enhanced development of combined temporary and staff bank technology (see how PPS’ MORS system can help you to manage your agency workforce, as well as your in-house bank/ Locums)
  • I will have time to set up www.millioncareers.co.uk and get employers nationwide to giving meaningful careers advice to schools

I hope that 2014 becomes a great year for you all!

What did you think recruitment in 2013? What are your predictions for 2014? Comment below, tweet us, chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

willWritten by Will Shepherd, Director and Owner of PPS

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The Recruitment(al) Life

Friday, December 13th, 2013
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I’ve been working for PPS for three months now, and in my time so far, I have learnt many a thing! Namely; always expect the unexpected in recruitment where no day is the same and – always get the breakfast egg and bacon sandwich on Fridays.

I thought it would be a good idea to share what I’ve learnt so far in the form of a blog – a Taylor’s Top Tips to Tremendous Recruiting, if you will. Read through, and recruiters – new and experienced, share your thoughts and your tips below!

1. Candidate experience is key!

Customer service is something most associate with hospitality and retail, however it is just as important in recruitment. You want the “customer” in your recruitment process – the candidate – to have the best candidate experience they can have. This doesn’t mean giving them the job, this means regardless of the outcome of their individual application, the candidate is put first throughout the entire process – at every touch point. Whether it’s a general enquiry or calling to offer a candidate, always try to build a good rapport, be empathetic and make them feel like the Number One priority – always.

It's always good recruitment practice to have a "Plan B" in place.

It’s always good recruitment practice to have a “Plan B” in place.

2. Always have a plan B

Recruitment is notoriously unpredictable and known for its unexpected nature; jobs coming in thick and fast, candidates dropping out minutes before interviews. With this in mind, it is great practice to have a contingency plan when mistakes occur, when life happens, when minds change. Always be on your toes! Be ready for anything! [Insert another cliché here!]

3. Never make promises you can’t fulfil – learn how to say no!

We’ve all been here. We have a moment to spare (it doesn’t happen very often), and a client gets in touch asking for a teeny tiny favour. What do you do? You, of course, help out and in turn, this helps the client relationship. However, it is important to remember to set boundaries with your clients. This is, after all, a business relationship in which you – the recruiter – know more about recruitment than your client. What may seem like a harmless favour now can easily turn into a long-standing inefficient and unprofitable situation in which the overall recruitment process suffers. It pays to know when to say yes, and when to say no.

Above all however, you’ll be hard pushed to find an industry that keeps you on your toes as much as recruitment does. You get to help candidates make career moves that can intrinsically improve their quality of life. You guide companies build workforces of dedicated and talented employees to drive success and growth.

Comment below, tweet us, chat to us on our LinkedIn page – we would love to hear from you!

Jon TaylorWritten by Jon Taylor, Graduate Trainee Recruiter at PPS

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