Posts Tagged ‘screening’

What Genre is Your Recruitment Process?

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
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No two days in recruitment are ever the same, whether you are dealing with a number of different people, solving complex queries or working on the latest attraction methods. Every day offers a variety of challenges and can GENREFILMevoke a range of emotions.

It can feel a bit like you’re a character in a low budget film. The genre varies from day to day- I am sometimes reminded of Action and Adventure but, in less fortunate cases, Crime and Horror spring to mind.

Often the importance of candidate engagement is prominent when thinking about a successful recruitment campaign. Obviously this is an extremely important stage of the process, but this is where your day can become unpredictable and take on the form of any genre. However, the initial screening process can mean the difference between you being the hero and the victim.

Screening has become such an automated process that we often forget that, without this being done properly, there won’t be any candidates to engage with.

To me, screening is consistently a rom-com. There are so many do’s and don’ts- it isn’t dissimilar to dating.

Don’t get desperate

It is important to take time out to find the right candidate or you could end up in the proverbial bed with the wrong person.

You need someone quickly, but why waste time and resource on the wrong candidates? If your gut feeling tells you they’re wrong, you’re probably right.

Do spend time reading the CV

You know the role and you’re on a tight schedule- it can be tempting to skim over CVs in a few seconds, take in the basics and make your decision. This is where romance can turn in to comedy.

You’ve read their name, you know their most recent or current role and a little bit about their education, but is this really enough?  You wouldn’t base the potential of a date on this information and you shouldn’t for a job either.

Don’t be seduced

I’ve never met a recruiter who doesn’t love to chat and network. Reading someone’s CV or application form gives us a unique look in to their life and experiences.

You get a good sense of someone’s personality and you may have even spoken to them on the phone and got on with them phenomenally well. If this is the case they may be a good companion for a catch up in Costa, but are they really a good fit for the role?

Always give screening the time it deserves.

Rom-coms might not be your thing, but if you can put up with participating for a short while, you won’t get caught up in a murder mystery later in the process.  

Hannah RWritten by Hannah Ratcliff, Business Development Executive at PPS

Find PPS on Twitter and LinkedIn

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What’s the point of prerequisites?

Friday, May 9th, 2014
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Take your pick of 5 of the latest job descriptions you’ve either read or written. I bet every single one of them came with a list of prerequisites. A few years’ experience, a minimum degree classification, a driver’s license, etc. etc.

Why is this case?

For example, imagine you’re on the hunt for a new sales executive to help bring in new customers. Your job description might list that the ideal sales executive should have at least 5 years’ experience and a minimum 2:1 bachelor’s degree from a Redbrick-listed University. But what you really need is a sales executive who is going to be able to sell.

Screening based off a criteria can lead to a short-sighted approach to finding the right candidate. Credit: marcusrg, Flickr

Screening based off a criteria can lead to a short-sighted approach to finding the right candidate. Credit: marcusrg, Flickr

The point here is, is the focus of your screening process shouldn’t be to tick candidates off against a list of credentials. So what if the candidate doesn’t have a minimum 2:1 degree? The ability to teamwork, manage time and meet deadlines – all things a degree supposedly equips you with – aren’t necessarily taught within the confines of a lecture room.

Rather, you need to find out what skills people have – and more specifically, if they have the skills needed to overcome the business problem you face.

So, whilst your screening techniques shouldn’t discount experience or education, your methods need to decipher more. Test the thought-processes of your candidates by asking real-life situations into a timed video interview format. And know that the Internet has unlocked many unconventional ways to learn new skills – and your screening process should promote this, not neglect it.

Without prerequisites, what would your job description look like, I hear you ask? Well, if the responsibilities are clearly outlined, unqualified candidates will likely not apply. And if they do, chances are they won’t make it very far. This isn’t call to end all prerequisites – they can be powerful in highlighting the best candidates when used right. However, more often than not, they narrow a recruiter’s perception of what a good candidate looks like in terms of experience, skills and qualifications.

What are your thoughts on the value of prerequisites for a role – and ultimately, finding the right candidate? 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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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

Find PPS on Twitter and LinkedIn

Find Megha 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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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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Can recruitment tools be used for Volunteers?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
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Volunteering is rewarding and socially beneficial. It’s rewarding for people who want to use their professional skills and knowledge to benefit others, to give back to an organisation that has positively impacted on their life, either directly or indirectly or make a difference to the lives of others less fortunate. Socially, it can also be a great way to meet new people, make new friends and get to know your local community.

However the wider sociological and economic impact of volunteering can’t be ignored.  With the highest youth unemployment in decades – volunteering is also a great way of gaining new skills, knowledge and experience, enhancing a CV and improving one’s employment prospects.

Volunteering can be rewarding and socially beneficial.

As an ageing UK population volunteering also offers opportunities for older people who are now working longer, who have valuable skills and experience.
It is also for many organisations an important route to other types of engagement with the organisation, such as part time or full time working.

Click here to read more of PPS’ Managing Director, Amanda Marques’ thoughts on recruiting volunteers

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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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Poll: Would you Google a candidate?

Monday, September 5th, 2011
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According to this article by the New York Times, 75% of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. Given how easy it is to Google an individual, it seems silly to not take advantage of the plethora of information available. A quick search could help confirm sneaky suspicions about an extravagant CV claim or highlight achievements that they did not get round to mentioning, but that are worth knowing about.

That being said, how truly valuable is the information that crops in your results page? How do you know that the information you have found does not belong to another individual of the same name (particularly if the investigation occurs at the screening stage)? Or that all of your candidates have been searched for in the same thorough manner and so can be evaluated against each other on a consistent basis? Furthermore, how can you ensure that personal information is used in the most appropriate way? Shockingly, 70% of recruiters in the US report that they have rejected a candidate following the information they had found online!

We want to know your thoughts – vote on our poll below and tell us your thoughts! Is it appropriate to launch a random Google search on your candidates?


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