Posts Tagged ‘application forms’

Dear Editor…

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
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Check out our Director, Will’s response to this article in last week’s London Evening Standard.

Dear Editor,

There seems to be nothing ‘controversial’ about Pret’s recruitment (Why can’t a Brit get a job at Pret? – 23rd January 2012) – rather, it seems to do a fantastic job of securing them enthusiastic employees, focussed on giving the customer a top level of service.

I run a recruitment outsourcing business, and read your article hoping for an insight into how Pret recruit. When setting up a recruitment process, you look to have as many high calibre individuals as possible apply, and then build fair, efficient and fool proof methods to screen those applicants before hiring the best.

It strikes me that Pret achieve exactly this, and that the lack of Brits applying is a problem which lies not at their door.

With thorough screening and interview stages, Pret’s recruitment process seems to mirror that of many companies today – funnily enough, the responses from unsuccessful candidates seem to be quite similar too. Pret’s “graduation day” seems not too dissimilar to the prospective employee days of many of our high profile national recruiters, either.

Perhaps instead of sandwiching (pardon the pun) quotes from disgruntled candidates in between the all-too familiar bucket-passing statements from our so-called politicians, your reporter could look a lot more closely at why the calibre of ‘young Brits’ applying don’t make the grade. We might be able to have more of an informative debate then.

Try asking about government plans to address the gap between the minimum wage and the London ‘Living wage’. Or investigate what schools, colleges, career bodies and job centre plus are doing to prepare tomorrow’s employees for the world of work.  Even better yet, compare the validity of a recruitment process that has such stark results with others, and ask why it is so good? Maybe we could learn something from it.

Assuming that Pret maintain their high standard of recruitment, I shall continue to buy my morning coffee from them – it really does taste better when served with so much enthusiasm!

Yours Sincerely

Will Shepherd

What are your thoughts? Comment and share!

Written by Will Shepherd, Managing Director of PPS.

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The impact of personal interests and hobbies on job applications

Thursday, October 27th, 2011
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At PPS we screen thousands of job applications daily on behalf of our clients, working to set criteria that we have worked together to create.

We are seeing more and more employers add extracurricular activities and hobbies to their short listing criteria, giving more weight to this area of an application as a potential deciding factor during a selection process.

Most CVs have a section in which candidates can state their hobbies and interests away from the workplace. Opinions between recruiters are divided as to whether this section is relevant in actually landing a job. But there are a few hobbies and interests that demand attention on a CV and will be picked up on by a potential employer. Tips for an interview

Relevant hobbies and interests are activities that may be appropriate to the employment you are seeking. For instance, if a candidate were seeking a job position that entailed overseeing staff, then hobbies such as being the captain of a local football team may be significant in displaying leadership qualities. If a candidate undertakes voluntary work at Citizens Advice offices or national associations such as the Samaritans, then it could illustrate good people skills.

Most employers will have looked over a CV before interviewing a candidate. Interesting or unusual pastimes could act as ice breakers at the beginning of an interview. Hobbies such as scuba diving, skiing, dancing and horse riding may not seem unusual to the candidate, but they will be a good talking point for an interviewer. Golf may not seem a usual hobby for most, but many big  companies have some form of sports team, and it is a subtle way of showing that a candidate is a team player.

Many advertisements for jobs now specify a range of desired traits, so match these to your leisure interests. Offer variety and avoid lists. Specific detail is what makes it interesting to the reader, so give examples and emphasize any significant achievements related to your interests. It’s all about making a good first impression and capturing the interest of your recruiter so avoid the obvious pitfalls when including your hobbies, and steer the recruiters towards interests that add to your employability.

Recruiters what do you think? Do you pay any attention to this aspect of a candidate’s application or CV?

And job seekers, do you think your hobbies or extracurricular activities should impact your job application to an employer?

By Louise Birch, a recruiter at PPS.

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Come on candidates, help yourselves!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
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Example Online Application Form QuestionHere at PPS we recruit for many different positions, but one thing they all have in common is candidates who fall at the first hurdle by not helping themselves.

Whilst recently assessing online forms for a Graduate scheme, I was amazed by the number of candidates who missed out sections completely or had clearly copied and pasted answers from other online applications – in some cases not even changing the company name from one application to the next!

So why do so many online applications go unchecked? Granted it does take time to fill them in, however in this particular example the applicants in question were on course for good degree results, had demonstrated strong work experience and extra-curricular activities, yet did not take the time to review their application to ensure it read well to their potential future employer.

On then contacting these candidates to conduct pre-arranged telephone interviews (at a time to suit them), I was also surprised at the absence rate. If you’ve arranged a telephone interview why wouldn’t you be there at the agreed time? Maybe emergencies are on the increase?!

I’m sure this may be a sign of my age… Read more here

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