Posts Tagged ‘CV’

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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Poll: Are Video CVs the future?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
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Charging in with 55% of the vote, you voted poor spelling and grammar as the worst mistake to make on your CV on our poll. With employers apparently, only spending a grand total of 10 seconds on each application and worse still, some applicants using their CV as a coaster (prior to sending it off according to one poll voter!) – it is no surprise that a new form of applying is creating a buzz in the market.

Type in ‘video CV’ into a well-known video sharing website, and you get almost 220,000 results – from graduates to statistical programmers, all are vying to capture your attention with their short (and often interactive) clips of how they are theideal candidate. Online job boards

This phenomenon has created some major success stories (see: Graeme Anthony and his C.V.I.V here) which show the potential of the video CV, whilst other entries make you want hold your paper CV close and never let go (see: this guy).

Here at the PPS offices, we understand how saturated today’s market is. Standing out from the crowd is essential – however, is the video CV the way to go about it?

Will it become the way we assess candidates in the future? Or is it just another time-consuming gimmick (for employers and job-hunters)?

We want to hear your thoughts – answer the poll below and share your experiences now!

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Poll: What is the worst mistake you could make on your CV?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
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Here at PPS, we come across some questionable CVs from time to time that make us inch over to the ‘Regret’ button. We have drawn up a shortlist of the worst offenders but opinions are divided at the PPS’ offices as to which mistake takes the crown – so we want to hear your thoughts!

Which CV mistake is unforgivable? Which error makes you pull your hair out? Or is there something you have come across that has not been included below which you feel deserves the crown for CV mistake of the century?

Answer the poll below and tell us what you think is the ultimate in CV sin!


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‘Bad’ applicants – generic examples of the types of candidates rejected at CV screen

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
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Here at PPS, we screen 100’s of CV’s on a weekly basis, often with many being rejected at the first stage. Some of these rejections could be prevented if the candidate was actually aware of the role they are applying for.

For example, if you are applying for a retail role, would you tailor your CV so that your accounting skills are highlighted accompanied with paragraphs describing how you really want a career in finance? A potential employer would take one look at this and question your commitment straight away.

Using our recruitment expertise, we have devised some key PPS tips to making a good first impression:
Click here to read our tips!

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Making yourself more employable

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
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Times are hard in the job world for a lot of people right now. Clearly there are still millions of us gainfully employed, as well as many of us moving easily between jobs, often having taken a pick from several opportunities. But there are big groups of job hunters who are not finding it so easy. From the thousands of graduates finding it hard to get work, to the groups of recently, or not so recently laid off who have not yet found a way back to employment, there are thousands of job seekers who could do with an edge.

Working for a recruitment process outsourcing company, you get to see a lot of CVs, and speak to a lot of applicants for all sorts of different jobs and different clients. Therefore here are my sure-fire tips to what to do, and what to avoid during the application process in terms of making yourself more employable.

Find out what Will’s sure-fire tips…

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Talent Pool

Friday, December 10th, 2010
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What is a talent pool?

Talent pools are everywhere now.  In the simplest terms they are sources of potential candidates for companies that are recruiting.  If you have applied for a job recently then the chances are you will have entered a talent pool at some stage in the process.

The main routes to a talent pool are:

Online job boards

Online job boardsTechnology has transformed both the way we look for jobs and how companies look for candidates.  Many candidates now post their CV along with a brief profile to online jobboards.  These online job boards allow categorisation for industry, job type, experience and educational levels.   Both recruitment agencies and end user clients can then pay to search these online talent pools to find suitable candidates.

There are no real restrictions to entry for candidates but with the industry growing so fast candidates should ensure to keep track of where they are registered, as the responsibility for keeping a record up to date lies with themselves.  In order to be found by relevant companies candidates should familiarise themselves with how companies would search for candidates of a similar profile.

Before posting your CV and profile you should consider some key facts about the job board.  Is it a good match for your experience, industry and job level?

Specialist agencies

Specialist recruitment agencies advertise in a variety of different places.  Once you register withan agency, your details will be held in their talent pool; coded in such a way that they can match potential jobs to your skills and experience.

Recruitment consultants will tell you if they choose to register you and if they do then administration methods vary.  Some will require you attend an interview inperson.  In all cases you should keep your recruitment consultant up to date with your current situation and update your skills and experience as appropriate.

Recruitment consultants often pro actively try to generate business using the CV’s of good candidates registered in their talentpool.  Make sure you understand how you will be informed if your details are presented to a client.  It could cause difficulties later if you apply directly.

End user clients:

Most companies using progressive recruitment methods are now using online application forms and applicant tracking technology.  “Weeding out” questions during this online process will determine  minimum criteria;such as right to work and essential skills.  Without this, an automatic rejection email will be sent.   This means that when candidates apply on their website, or through a link in an on-line advertisement, a talent pool is automatically created of all candidates who have passed the minimum criteria.

By creating a talent pool companies are avoiding unnecessaryadvertising and administration time. They are also removing the need to pay a recruitment agency fee (often as high as 30% of salary) for somebody who has found them themselves.

Talent pools are not a new phenomena.  Companies have been developing them for years in order to have a ready to draw on group of candidates with the right skills and experience.  In the past they wouldhave been manually kept and filed; now they are automated and electronic.

So be prepared for the fact that when you apply for a job,or log your CV on a job board, you may be making yourself part of a future talent pool. Make sure that your CV and covering letter are specific enough for the role that you are applying to, but also broad enough to appeal to anyone delving into the talent pool in a few months time.

Written by Amanda Marques, Business Solutions Director at PPS recruitment process outsourcing

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Advice for candidates in the recruitment process

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
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Advice for candidates in the recruitment processIt has been a frustrating time over the last two years for candidates seeking work and actually gaining employment. It can be soul destroying and demoralising.

However companies still want the best person for the role – it is crucially important that any negative thoughts are dismissed from the very outset.

Please find below some top tips that will help in your job search.


In this whole process the application form and the job description are your greatest friend!

Preparation is the key.

Application forms/ CV tips

  • This is often laborious and boring and you feel like you have filled out ‘000 of forms and sent off your CV everywhere – however DON’T rush this part of the process – take care.
  • Remember this is the 1st time that this employer will have received your details.
  • Make your CV / application form match the job description – print out the person and job specification, highlight the key words and ensure you use these on your application.
  • Have a flexible and constantly changing CV – change your personal profile and the bullet points on your responsibilities to match to the job description.
  • With organisations receiving increasing numbers of applications, employers have less time to read the CV. Make yours punchy and relevant from the first second – put your most relevant skills 1st, bullet point your responsibilities, and keep it to 2 pages. You only have 5 -10 sec to make a first impression.
  • Remember that your CV is a career history and it is also your biggest sales tool!


The key here is to think Positive!


  • Tips for an interviewDo your preparation – it is crucial that you know about the company, the role and why you want the job.
  • Think about and prepare why you are suitable for the organisation – what transferable skills do you have? Write them down and be comfortable that they will just roll off the tongue when you are asked the question!
  • Practice competency based questions at home with friends and family – they can be your harshest critic – use their feedback.
  • Try and guess the questions that may come up – look at the details that you have on the role and try and predict 5 questions that you might get asked.
  • Don’t be late – this is something that is always stated but is so true. Make sure that you know where you are going – do a dummy run the night before. Put the interview time in your diary 30 mins earlier so give you room for delays.
  • Be confident about your Strengths and Weakness – know why your strength is relevant to the Company. Know your job description. Make sure your turn your weakness into a positive e.g. “I can sometimes be stubborn however this means that when I am set a task I have the mindset that I will achieve and that it I will do an excellent job.”


  • 1st impressions are EVERYTHING and are hard to take back – make sure you are smartly dressed, well presented and think about the smaller details.
  • On the way from reception to the interview room try and make brief small talk about the weather or something similar – start breaking down the barriers, building a rapport and bringing through your personality.
  • Give a strong handshake – one that oozes confidence and not one that squashes the interviewer’s hand!!
  • Don’t appear desperate – the employer may think that you want any job – not their job.
  • Be specific as to why you are particularly interested in this role.
  • Don’t ask questions about benefits i.e. salary, holidays etc. This can put off interviewers. Things like this can be discussed at a later date. Ask questions likes “where is the organisation heading in the next two years?” and “what is the culture of the company like?” – these appear to be more insightful and not all about ££.
  • Stay positive throughout your interview, even if you do not feel that the interview is going well, the interviewer might! Remain positive with a friendly, professional attitude.
  • During your interview avoid commenting negatively about previous employers or express negative views which may lead the interviewer to think badly of you. Be really careful on your reasons for leaving – prepare your answer well.
  • Sound as though you are already working for the Company and show genuine interest in the Company and their plans. Convince them that you can do the job and want the position.
  • IF and only if you feel confident at interview, ask them if they have any reservations about you, as you would really like the position. Be prepared for them to come back with negatives – handle these in a calm manner and overcome their reservations.

Good luck!!

Written by Kate Ingram, a recruiter  for recruitment process outsourcing company PPS.

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Common mistakes in CV’s and applications

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
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One of PPS’s recruitment co-ordinators, who sees 100’s of CVs on a weekly basis, was asked to discuss the most common mistakes that she comes across.

Due to the increasingly competitive job market, it is essential that your CV and application demonstrates immediately and exactly what you can do and why you are the right person for the role. This is your first opportunity to let an employer know why they should hire you, which is why you need to ensure that it is relevant, correct and error free.

The most common mistakes to make on a CV and application are:

Lack of attention to detail
It’s essential that spelling and grammar is correct. If you are unsure, ask someone to proof read it for you and use the spell check on your PC. Ensure that all information asked of you is completed on the application form. Copying and pasting from a previous application, and forgetting to change the name of the organisation you are applying to is likely to result in an immediate end to your application!

Incorrect information
If you put the wrong contact details on the CV, how will you be contacted? If you put the wrong grades or qualifications on the CV, and are found out, your application will be rejected! Make sure all your details are correct.

Lack of personal profile
This is a great way to catch the reader’s interest and show them why you are the right person for the job. Read the job description thoroughly and make sure you match your skills to those that the role and company are looking for.

Information in the wrong order
The recruiter needs to see the most relevant information as soon as possible. Start with the most recent work experience. Don’t fill up the first half of your CV with less relevant information such as short training courses!

Too lengthy
Try to keep your CV to 2 pages if possible. You do not need to include reasons for leaving and salary as you will be asked this at the interview stage.

Try to avoid writing long paragraphs, use bullet points as this is a quick and easy way for the recruiter to see your skills.

Written by Rachael Fide, a recruiter at PPS

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