To help you get to know our fabulous recruitment team, we’ve pulled together a Q&A with them where they discuss all things recruitment.
To date what’s been your biggest recruitment challenge? (Mike)
Over my 20 years working in recruitment, the challenges have changed as my experience has. From initially learning to keep many projects moving and communication levels high, through to changes in technology making roles easier to promote and apply for – which can lead to an over-reliance on email rather than picking up the phone and talking to people. One challenge that has stayed constant is the fact that as you’re dealing with people, minds and motivations can and do change. The ability to ask ‘useful’ questions, and to not stop asking them helps overcome most recruitment challenges. For instance, what the consequences of not filling a role are to the organisation, why someone wants a new role, what their aspirations are, what has gone right or wrong in their career so far. If you ask the right questions then you will always be able to offer a solution.
What’s been the most rewarding experience of your recruitment career to date? (Eilidh)
The experience that springs to mind involved coaching someone who lacked confidence ahead of an interview they’d secured directly. This was many years ago and I remember colleagues telling me I’d wasted my time as, like lots of recruiters, they would answer this questions in relation to financial rewards. Coaching this person to be able to present their best self at interview made a big difference to them and, knowing how much they appreciated it, was incredibly rewarding for me. That’s one of the reasons that I love working for Hunter Adams, we don’t pay commission, so we can stay true to our values and do the right thing.
In your experience, what are employers doing to make themselves more attractive to candidates? (Jude)
Nowadays candidates are interested in so much more than just a job description when considering a role, particularly if it’s a permanent one. They want to know what the culture is like within an organisation, what their values are and how they support their employees. Employers are responding to this by really selling themselves in terms of the benefits of joining their organisation. Whether it’s wellbeing initiatives like additional annual leave, having clear career paths, a generous pension scheme or something as simple as creating a sense of belonging through employee networks and events; these are things that make employers stand out and are very much worth shouting about.
Do you see a pattern in what type of employers are more popular among candidates? (Candice)
The market is in flux at the moment and we’re seeing unprecedented response rates to vacancies, that said the best candidates always want to ensure they are making “good moves”. Employers that can demonstrate that they truly value and support their people are always going to be popular.
What’s the easiest type of role to fill / and the hardest? (Eilidh)
The easiest roles to fill are those where you’ve got a really good brief from the client and they treat you as a trusted partner. The hardest are when you don’t get feedback or time lines drag and you’re having to ensure candidates still have a positive experience.
What’s the most valuable tip you could give a candidate trying to impress a potential employer, particularly in this era of virtual interviewing? (Laura)
Preparation is by far the most important things that we can advise candidates to do when it comes to impressing an employer. It’s so important to make sure that you have researched the company, have reviewed and understand the job description. By preparing examples of your experience in relation to the key criteria listed in the job description, it will enable you to answer any competency based questions with well-considered responses and ensure that those important career highlights and achievements are covered.
In the era of virtual interviewing, preparation is even more key. Before the interview, make sure that you have a trial run on Zoom/Teams and that the instructions are clear for logging into the call. It sounds like stating the obvious, but make sure you also prepare an area away from any distractions so that your full concentration can be given to the interview.
What trends are you seeing in the market just now? (Candice)
With the ever-changing world that we are in today, there’s been a huge shift to remote working. This trend will last and as a result open up a variety of new opportunities to both companies that are hiring and job seekers, where a long daily commute would previously have ruled them out. Obviously we’ve seen the impact of Covid on some sectors like hospitality, leisure and aviation and we’re seeing a real shift in the energy sector towards renewables. I think this year has seen lots of people re-evaluate what’s important to them and that this will have a lasting impact on the type of employers people will want to work for.
Once the pandemic is over do you think we’ll see a full return to “normality” in terms of face-to-face interviews, or do you think video interviews will become more common? (Jude)
I think that it has been great the way that we have all adapted and taken things online in order to continue to recruit. One of the positives of this is that it is much easier to organise diaries, schedule interviews and allows you to open up the process to candidates from any location in the world. I think this is likely to continue, however nothing beats meeting someone in person.
What type of role(s) will be most in demand in 2021? (Mike)
2020 has been a time of change for the workforce and that is set to continue. We have seen the workplace change from the standard post-industrial revolution model of 9-5 in a specific place (usually away from the home) to a model where more people are working from home.
This means important roles will be change-enabling ones. Be that in HR looking at work-from-home policies, or wellbeing, or inclusivity. Lots of learning and development will come into play helping the workforce with their specific challenges (e.g. managing a team remotely, sales people engaging with customers online instead of across the table, how to run audits when you cannot enter a building, etc.).
So rather than a specific role I think that people will need to be able to show how they can navigate change successfully.
What do you love most about recruitment?
Mike: It never stays still for long. There is always a new challenge and someone to give advice and experience to. There is always the feeling of accomplishment when you have helped an organisation move closer to its goals and helped an individual to be able to build their career and future.
Candice: There is nothing better than calling a candidate and giving them that job offer, it makes your job all the more worthwhile. I really enjoy the buzz I get from my job, no two days are the same!
Jude: At Hunter Adams we really get to know our candidates – and a new job can be life changing for some, so when you play your part in securing them that role, it really is a great feeling.
Eilidh: The privilege of working with people and organisations at critical points in their growth and development.
Laura: Relationship building is, to me, one of the best things about recruitment. Whether that’s interviewing new candidates and hearing about their career journeys, meeting clients to work on new roles, or simply keeping in touch with individuals that I’ve met over the years to hear about professional achievements (such as promotions) or life events (weddings and babies)!
There is no bigger satisfaction than building a relationship with a candidate/client and then finding the ‘perfect match’ for them. Making that phone call to tell someone that they’ve got an offer can be one of the best feelings ever!
If you’d like to learn more about us and how we can support you with your recruitment requirements, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org