Posts Tagged ‘screening cvs’

Why you should telephone screen.

Friday, November 8th, 2013
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Any recruitment process worth its weight in gold has a thorough screening practice in place – one that swiftly distinguishes the suitable from the unsuitable, saving time and money for the employer along the way. The good folk at PPS employ a number of

Telephone screening can be a valuable tool in your recruitment campaign

Telephone screening can be a valuable tool in your recruitment campaign

screening techniques; not least, the mighty telephone screen.

A pre-employment telephone screen is a great way to determine the fit of a candidate to a specific role. In turn, as recruiters, we can quickly establish which candidates to focus our resources, energy, and time on. Overall, this delivers a far more streamlined recruitment process – in which, both candidates and employers benefit.

We’ve devised 5 reasons why telephone screening should be a part of your recruitment process;

1. Flexibility

The telephone screen process can be as quick or as elaborate as your client’s needs require. The purpose is to identify if the candidate is a good fit, and if they should progress to the next stages of the recruitment process. The more you find out on the phone, the easier it is to make an informed decision on a candidate. As such, the telephone screen is good tool to have in your recruitment armour.

2. Deciding factor

It is a great way to decipher, in a few minutes, a candidate’s communication skills – a key attribute which may not always come

A quick 10 minute chat can help you make an informed decision on a candidate's suitability for a role

A quick 10 minute chat can help you make an informed decision on a candidate’s suitability for a role

across in an application form or CV.

The candidate that looked great on paper? A telephone screen might highlight a poor communicator in real life. Got a candidate you can’t decide on? A quick 10 minute chat could confirm your suspicions and save you from putting an unsuitable candidate through, and an employer’s time from face-to-face interviewing them. Either way, a telephone screen helps such things slipping through the radar, and harming the quality of the later stages of recruitment.

3. Fill in the gaps

In today’s job market, it’ll come as no surprise that you may receive a number of applicants with missing gaps in their

employment history. Taking the time out to call the candidate and conduct a telephone screen can help to fill these gaps in. Again, this helps you, the recruiter; to make a well-informed decision about a candidate. More importantly, it gives those who have been out of employment, a fair chance to put forth their suitability for a role.

4. Determines candidate’s ability to think on their feet

Most candidates won’t expect to be involved in a screening over phone. As such, it’s a great window for you to find out what they

A telephone screen can help you fill in the missing gaps in a candidate's employment history.

A telephone screen can help you fill in the missing gaps in a candidate’s employment history.

really know about the role or the company, rather than what they are able to research before an arranged telephone interview.

5. Objectivity

Since you won’t be able to see the person, your initial reactions will be based solely on the content and delivery of the responses provided, rather than by physical appearance or facial expressions. This is always a positive!

Do you agree with us? What are your thoughts on the value of telephone screening? Do you employ it yourself and find it useful, or are you dubious about its benefits? Comment below, tweet us, 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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Find Megha on LinkedIn

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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.

Connect with Julian on LinkedIn

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Smartphone applications – do they have a place in recruitment?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
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From blackberries to iPhones, to HTCs and Samsung Galaxys, with a smartphone to suit every type of user it is no surprise that recent figures indicate sales of smartphones have shot up by 75% worldwide.

Their applications, better known as ‘apps’, have been working their magic on many industries – you can now check your balance using your smartphone, or do your weekly shop or spend hours on end helping out a bunch of birds that seem to be quite angry about something.

Could smartphones be a staple of the future of recruitment?

Could smartphones be a staple of the future of recruitment?

For many services and products, having a custom-made app makes sense. It makes the customer experience easier, faster and efficient. Companies also benefit. Apps can be marketing tools to broaden customer base and build consumer loyalty, as well as doubling up as an office away from the office.

So could the smartphone and its applications do the same within the recruitment industry?

Online job boards have seen a 1500% increase in traffic from mobile devices since 2010. With peaks of job searching activity in line with the morning commute and late evening slumber, it seems that going mobile allows job seekers to search for longer throughout the day. Furthermore, Jobsite accounts that 9% of all mobile traffic ends in people actually applying for a role, with 5% of all of the applications it receives coming from mobiles.

With numerous people using their smartphone to follow job boards, search for the latest vacancies and apply, can recruiters get in on the action?

Firstly, recruiters can use apps to attract candidates. Video clips are a great way of advertising a vacancy, and a creative approach to standing out from the crowd. Downloading the official apps from Social Media’s ‘Big 3’ allow you to source and check out potential and passive candidates on the go.

Using mobile technology can assist in simplifying the screening process too. Apps such as the Hire Syndicate and Auto Search enable recruiters to collaborate with fellow recruiters and scour multiple websites using simple Boolean search strings. Candidates are able to submit their CVs to recruiters, which are then stored on a database for easy viewing and screening. Companies such as PepsiCo have created their own career app that gives prospective applicants the opportunity to get a feel for the company before they apply.

Whilst research does suggest that shunning mobile technology within recruitment may affect the amount of talent attracted, there still seems to be a long way to go before the handy Smartphone and its apps become a staple recruitment tool.

What are your thoughts? Do  smartphones and their applications have a place in recruitment? Comment and share!

Written by Bavinder Chahal, a recruiter at PPS

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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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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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Fixed fee recruitment – the benefits and pitfalls

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
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Fixed fee recruitment – the benefits and pitfalls

There are more and more fixed fee recruitment models entering the market.

You’ll get no argument from me that the contingent fee model that most agencies use doesn’t constitute value for money. Particularly not when you consider how much the internet and internet based advertising has automated the actual process of applying for a job. But I believe that reducing unnecessary fees should never be contemplated if it includes a compromise in quality.

So should we be applauding these new kids on the block?

I’m not so sure….

Automate is the key word here; just because something is automated and on-line, doesn’t make it an efficient process. In fact, it’s not very different to the services that most major job boards were offering years ago.
Choice is good. The choice to get extra help in busy times can be a useful benefit for teams that are short on resources. The attractiveness of this choice is only heightened when the cost of a “fixed fee service” is contrasted with that of using a recruitment agency, particularly when the lower end of the prices on offer is now less than £500.00.

However, many “fixed fee” recruitment agencies have the same pitfalls as traditional agencies.

Efficiency: Some fixed fee models simply advertise and either send all applications to the client or undertake minimal screening. Without modern applicant tracking technology, this creates the same issues that exist if the advertisement was simply placed directly by the client.

Quality: Recruiting the best quality candidates is about attraction and assessment. Most fixed fee agencies don’t CV screen or interview. Without a quality focus in the recruitment process, costs may be low, but staff turnover will be high – and this turnover will inhibit the results that businesses can deliver.

Employer Brand: Without a focus on the quality of the recruitment process, and the response to all applicants, employers will continue to struggle to improve their employer brand – which in turn makes it harder to attract the best talent. Fixed fee agencies are about generating high response – they do not have an answer as to how to adequately deal with that response from a brand perspective

Exclusivity: While clients may find a suitable candidate, most fixed fee agencies do not offer exclusivity of the candidates that are submitted or that apply to their jobs.

Management Information: Without clarity on the ratios of success from each on-line site used, clients are unable to assess the best attraction sources for their employment brand. And a recruiter should really be judged on the quality of the candidates that it helps to recruit over the long term in regards length of service. Fixed fee recruiters may offer little in the way of management information.

In summary; outsourcing the posting of an advertisement can save time and deliver savings to the cost of advertising on line. However it doesn’t add the recruitment expertise that can in the long term enhance your employer brand, reduce turnover and help you to make the strategic decisions that will deliver an efficient, quality focussed recruitment partner.

Watch out for other hidden costs in fixed fee models. Too many applications will steal valuable time from your managers. Poorly screened candidates that make it through a process will reduce productivity in your teams and add to the internal workload of training and induction.

So are we against fixed fee recruitment?

No, but we do believe that in order for any recruitment partnership to add value:

  • Candidates should have a positive experience, no matter what the outcome.
  • The process should deliver the best quality applicants in the most efficient and cost effective way.
  • The client should have exclusivity of all applicants, in order to protect their employer brand.
  • Turnover costs should be monitored closely and management information should evidence the value of the solution as well as assist in longer term decisions.

It will always be difficult to look at the resourcing of employees in a purely commoditised way. Their recruitment journey, their input, how long they stay and the many and varied costs involved, make the decision more complicated than most other resources.

In order to assess success, more than just the “fixed fee” itself needs to be considered.

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