The way that candidates apply for jobs has dramatically changed over the last few years. It
seems as though that not only this has changed, but the interview process has evolved
also. Traditionally, the interview process involves a string of stages and
tough meetings in order to acquire that dream job. As companies get busier and
the search for talent gets harder, many companies have optimised this process
with a ‘Try Before You Buy’ method.
The key to this is companies giving candidates the opportunity to showcase their skills
over a small period of time to determine as to whether they would be suitable
for the job on offer or not.
This is an effective strategy for candidates and companies as a whole. It’s an extremely
cost effective method for companies and it gives them the opportunity to grow
their business with smaller financial risks. For example, if a company hires an
employee that eventually after 3 months is not fitting in with the company
culture or isn’t delivering on their professional promises, the company has
effectively wasted 3 months wages on that person, not to mention having to
waste valuable time starting the interview process all over again.
This is also great for candidates who have the qualifications, but lack the experience
required to find work. It’s a fantastic chance for prospective candidates to understand;
the culture of the company, the role that they will be undertaking if
successful on the trial, whether the potential role is right for them and what
will be expected of them should they be successful. In the job market,
experience is essential and whether successful or not that experience will
stand any candidate in good stead when applying for other jobs.
It should also be noted that this method for companies is a great way of determining a candidate’s
passion and motivation for the role on offer. It gives a candidate the
opportunity to show dedication and desire to attain that job by working for a
small period of time for nothing. It is a time consuming process and only the
best and most motivated candidates will stick through the process without
More and more companies are employing this method and when carried out correctly, it can be
of great benefit to employers and potential employees.
Being a sales person is rife with stereotypes and pre-conceptions. Traditionally they are not
looked upon favourably by the business and consumer public. We have all had
those experiences where we get frustrated with the sales person on the other
end of our telephone line either for, wasting our time, selling something we
are not interested in, not letting us speak, even the tone of their peppy and
enthusiastic voice can set us on the war path.
Despite thesestereotypes and feelings towards sales people, they are the cogs in the machine
that makes businesses successful and every once in a while they will be
offering something that could actually be useful to us and our businesses.
Being a good sales person is all about technique and there are many steps that can be taken
to ensure that a sales person is effective and successful whilst not only
pleasing himself, but their customers also.
The ability to sell with an understanding of a client or potential client is crucial. Many
sales people make calls thinking about their needs and what they are looking
for out of the sale but not what is beneficial for the client. The skill of
being able to put one self in the position of the client allows sales people to
tailor their behaviour in accordance to the needs and wants of the clients. It
is important to remember that marketing in which sales play a major part, is
essentially about identifying, anticipating and most importantly satisfying
customer needs. It is important to think why someone will buy what a sales
person is selling and more importantly why they would want to buy it from them
specifically. This is important because it makes a sales person think more
about the buyer rather than only thinking about making a sale.
Any great sales person must have an enhanced judgement of people and their situations,
and be sensitive to the way a potential buyer is feeling. They must be able to
identify if the buyer is; busy, stressed or even receptive to what they have to
offer. Timing is an art that sales people must understand to be successful and
there must be the thought in mind that if they were the customer how would they
want to be treated and targeted.
When people look to identify the skills of a good sales person, many will say it’s about
having the ‘gift of the gab’ or being a good talker. While these
characteristics are important, they are nowhere near as important as a sales person’s
ability to listen. As much as talkative sales people can make a sale, they can
also lose a sale by talking too much bombarding the customer making them
annoyed and less receptive to what they are selling. Sometimes less is more.
Using information with relevance is one of the keys to effective selling.
Of course sales people need to be confident, enthusiastic, a good talker, thick skinned
and positive. What’s more important however is the knowledge of when to use
each skill as all will inevitably be needed in accordance to the needs and
wants of their customer or client. They need to know when to talk, and when to
Once a sales person has sold either a product or service, the next stage is actually
delivering what they have offered and doing what they said they would do in
initial conversations. Many sales people will say anything to make a sale and
make outrageous promises to clients that they cannot deliver on. Is that
helping the client or the sales person? This all forms a part of making the
right impression, which is crucial especially if a sales person ever wants to
work with that client again. As a sales person it is important to be accurate
and dependable for clients and customers. A sales person is not only
representing themselves, but their companies as well.
Anyone can learn to sell; you don’t need to be a specific type of personality. It’s more
important to be able to understand the needs of clients and customers and
empathising with timings and situations. Not only do you need to be a talker,
but you need to be a listener. If a sales person can put all these techniques
together; coupled with drive, motivation and ambition, they will be effective
and ultimately achieve their own goals, but the goals and targets of their
Looking for a job in any field is tough. The Job market can make talented candidates feel
frustrated and alone in their search for employment. The amount of recruiters
in all fields can make any candidate feel overwhelmed and have issues in who to
trust and which companies to stay away from.
Applying for a job online now doesn’t necessarily put you straight through to the company
advertising the job, but to that of an external recruitment company working on
behalf of the hiring company. Once a CV is submitted to an advertisement there’s
no limit as to how many recruitment companies can gain access to it meaning
that without a doubt they will be contacted by these companies in correspondence
to the role and other roles that they may have to offer on behalf of their
clients. This can also be very overwhelming not to mention annoying
Many companies look at individuals as a number and their lack of courtesy and
respect towards a candidates situation can sometimes be extremely transparent.
Recruitment companies are now very aware of this and are striving to create a
better candidate experience, to dispel these theories.
What’s important however, is not candidate ’experience’, but candidate ‘courtesy’. It’s
difficult to draw a line between the two and of course there are grey areas and
variables that can affect this. Candidate courtesy refers to how recruitment
companies treat candidates and the strides they take to show their respect for
a candidate’s situation.
Many candidates have very mixed experiences when it comes to courtesy. Some companies will put
CV’s forward for a job with little or no contact with the actual candidate themselves.
There are also experiences of lack of communication, frequency of contact and
honesty. For example, should a candidate be unsuccessful in an interview, it is
often the case that recruitment companies do not contact these candidates nor
do they outline the reasons why they were unsuccessful, meaning that candidate
can’t improve for their next opportunity.
This is where recruitment companies like Silver Seed choose to separate themselves from the
competition by adopting a philosophy where everyone is treated with the same
respect and courtesy as they would a client enhancing candidate experience
rather than relying on it entirely to attract talented individuals.
This is achieved by; increased levels of contact between Silver Seed and the candidate,
actually meeting the candidate to showcase not only themselves, but for Silver
Seed to showcase itself and its philosophies, preparation for interviews that
candidates have been submitted to and honest feedback once the interview
process is over, successful or unsuccessful. Honesty and transparency is what separates
the best recruitment companies from the worst.
Going to these lengths is Silver Seed’s way of ensuring that there candidates are
empathised and dealt with in the correct fashion leaving a lasting impression
that will encourage those candidates to work with them in the future.
Courtesy is a quality that we all as individuals need to be successful, but recruitment
companies must use it in order to not only have effective communications with
candidates, but their clients also.
In any profession, no matter the size of the company, no matter what your disposition is
towards other people, it is always more than likely that you end up working
with a colleague that you can’t get along with. It could be a difference in
opinion, a difference in ethics, or even a simple personality clash; what makes
a great and effective employee is how you deal with those people and the
strides you take to positively react to situations that grind your gears.
It’s easy to deal with people you don’t like in your personal life cause you can simply
choose not to be involved with them, but at work they are going to be there
whether you like them or not. So what steps can you take in learning to work
with those you don’t like?
A good starting point is to learn how to control your reactions to that person. When we
are confronted by people we don’t like there’s a range of reactions depending
on the type of personality you have from being merely discomforted by their
presence, you could feel a complete sense of hostility towards them whenever
you encounter them. In any situation positive or negative, it’s important to
step back from it and look at things objectively before reacting. Instead of
thinking about what bothers you about the other person, think about how you
choose to react to them. It’s pointless to attempt to control something you can’t
change, but you can control how you react. Many experts say to deal with these
types of stress; you should learn small relaxation techniques and practice them
daily. If you are calm and positive it’s very likely that those vibes will make
you feel impervious to the stress around you including those at work who annoy
you. The positive vibes you exude will also have a positive effect on others
you’re working with.
As much as we all like a good gossip, it’s important that you keep your distaste to yourself
and don’t share it with your other co-workers (however tempting it may be). It’s
natural and instinctive to seek the validation of our opinions from others, but
in this scenario resist it. Emotions can be contagious and your negative
attitude even if only towards another person, can have an adverse effect on the
mood of the rest of the workforce. Be mindful that talking distastefully about
a colleague can affect the way others look at you and perceive you. By
negatively discussing your views on someone else, people could see you as
unprofessional or can even make the conclusion that it is you who is difficult
to work with not the other person in question.
Once you have mastered the art of controlling your own reactions, start to consider exactly
what it is about the other person you don’t like; is it their personality that
sets you off, or is it perhaps they are higher up than you in the company which
you feel is undeserved. There is always an element of bias when we meet someone
who is different to ourselves. As far as we are concerned, there is no one on
earth better than ourselves and we are our own favourite person. Jealousy of course
naturally leads to dislike and misjudge or mistreat those that we are jealous.
Instead of thinking how much that person annoys you, think about what it is
about that person annoys you, what specifically are they doing that presses
your buttons? The better you understand your feelings and emotions, the easier
they are to control. This will also help you understand whether it is actually
you who is part of the problem not the other person.
Possibly the most paradoxical idea, it is worth your while to try and spend time and work
with the person who is irritating you. No one likes to spend time with people
they don’t like. In professional circumstances like stated earlier these people
will be in your environment whether you want them there or not so why not make
the best of it? Spending time with the person who annoys you is a great way to
understand them better and maybe get a better sense of why they behave the way
that they do. Empathy is sometimes the catalyst in building relationships so
spend time with your colleagues and learn to understand them more and perhaps
your negative feelings will change and you will learn to get along, not only
further developing yourself as a person, but helping develop your colleague
their skills and personality.
If the above fails, perhaps look to the most traditional form of communication, yes this
means actually speaking to the person in question. Provide your feedback on how
you feel your relationship could be better whilst working together. This is
important because the characteristics you may find annoying about that person
may have previously held them back in building relationships with others in
previous jobs. Of course, there are ways in which you can do this tactfully. And
you must show compassion and understand the different ways that person can
react to what you have to say.
If everything you have tried hasn’t worked. It’s best for you and the other colleague as well
as the rest of your co-workers to emotionally detach yourself from the
situation. By choosing to ignore the behaviour that irritates you, you are
neutralising the effects that they have on you and allows you to get on with
your work effectively and efficiently.
We encounter all different people from all different walks of life, in work and in our personal
lives. We may not be able to get along with them all along the way, but in the
professional world can you really afford to put your professionalism and job at
risk for the sake of not liking someone else. The best and most successful
employees will always say no.
Hiring new employees can at times be fraught and frantic, with a literal pool of
talented candidates it’s hard to pick out the weak from the chaff!
Not only is it frantic but it is also time consuming for any company looking for
new recruits. Unemployment is at such a high level, the competition for jobs
has intensified with many job advertisements attracting thousands of applicants
at a time.
The responsibility of a recruitment consultant is to alleviate this time consuming
process and identify the best candidates for the role on offer.
Therefore it is paramount that Employers hire consultants that they can trust. There must
be trust that the consultant is aware of the type of candidate they are looking
for. There also must be trust that the consultant will be able to sell the company
and the vacant position to the candidate positively and represent the client in
the best way possible.
As the saying goes ‘A company is only as good as the people who work for them’
With that in mind it’s important to be scrupulous when acquiring the services
of a recruitment consultant, because like the original saying ‘A recruitment
consultant is only as good as the candidates they have on their database’
Communication is a key element to the recruitment field. Technology has moved so far forward
anyone can have access to anyone or anything that is on the internet. So much
so is this change, other traditional and perhaps old school forms of
communication have started to get left by the waste side. In many scenarios consultants
and candidates are only corresponding via email and other online channels. This
method is time efficient of course and can allow communication with many potential
candidates. However this is never in the best interest of the client, as how
can the client trust the integrity of the candidate, when there recruitment
consultant hasn’t even met the candidate in question.
This of course is not the case for all consultants and there are pioneering
companies who are advocates of finding the best quality candidates whilst
sacrificing volumes of candidates.
As stated previously, communication is a key factor. Companies must look for
consultants who have an empathetic nature towards the needs of the company and
fully understand the job role on offer and the type of candidate they are
looking for. On the other side of the coin, Consultants must have an increased
knowledge of their candidates, their personality and what their goals are
Many consultants focus either on candidates or the client. It is an advantage to find
companies that can focus on both simultaneously and understand that everyone
must be treated with the same empathy as a client. It is these values that make
for a good recruitment consultancy and that will inevitably help companies and
candidates grow as individuals and overall as companies in the future.
From the earliest of ages we were always encouraged that when it came to our work,
quality is always better than quantity.
This lesson seems versatile enough to apply to most walks of life and philosophy in work.
There is however an environment by which many overlook quality in favour of
That industry is of course recruitment and in the mainstream many other jobs where you are
selling a product or service.
A very apt theory that demonstrates the age old proverb ‘the more you put out, the more
you get back’
Without a doubt this is an understandable theory but what about the candidates involved? Will
they want to be seen as a number? For that matter does anyone want to be seen
as a number?
One of the major complaints in the recruitment field from candidates is that recruiters don’t
take the time to get to know them and their skill sets and are therefore
putting them forward for inappropriate vacancies leaving not only the
candidate, but the client frustrated.
In recruitment it’s all about finding the right candidate for the right role that
fits in with the client’s needs, wants and culture.
That is why it is crucial that recruitment consultants take the required time to understand
both client and candidate needs.
Recruitment is a people business and some take the ‘people’ aspect more seriously than
others. While some choose to do all communications over phone and email, many
recruitment companies such as Silver Seed make a conscious effort to meet all
potential candidates to better understand them, their skills, ambitions and
This method is helpful in two ways. Number 1, it allows companies to understand their
candidates and put them forward for relevant roles, Number 2 it allows the
candidate to understand not only the recruitment company better, but the client’s
needs and culture.
As an intermediary between clients and candidates, it is of the utmost importance
that companies take an invested interest in their candidates and take the time
to get to know them and therefore place them in a role that will be beneficial not
only for the candidate and company, but the client whom they are representing
With digital technology starting to drive the recruitment process, recruiters must see
people as people and not a number in a database. To act successfully as a middle-man
you must understand and satisfy the needs of both parties and only then will
your business grow. Having a pool of 100 candidates is one thing. But having a
pool of relevant and talented candidates is another matter and that is what
will drive the success of recruitment companies.
It is clear for all to see the technological evolution of media and its distribution
channels. Our nation is changing in the way it receives media and publications.
From picking up a newspaper, to switching on our Ipad’s, how will media
companies and publications evolve to deal with this change in consumer
No company has been slow in recognising and anticipating this transition and many are looking
at different ways to take advantage of the Digital Media age that we are now
So much so is this necessity for change, established Newspapers like The Guardian are
considering scrapping their newspaper as a print publication altogether in
favour of making everything available online.
Not only that, the beloved staple of our countries busy streets ‘The Big Issue’ will now
be available completely online to address a decrease in their sales figures. It
is the first street paper ever to go digital. Caroline Price, The Big Issue in the North director,
has said however that they would not be ‘Ditching’ its print product
The 3 month scheme will pilot in Manchester from October 29th. Instead of the
street vendors selling the magazine, they will sell a card with a redemption
code for consumers to read the publication online as well as experience
This is a bold and forward thinking tactic anticipating and satisfying the need of the
modern day consumer to receive information in a fast, convenient, efficient and
The question is will other media companies and publications follow this trend to keep up
with their competitors?
Many companies obtain and publish content via both print and digital media but will
they take the risk of letting profits and sales slump from their print
publications while their digital media channels thrive.
As print media looks to innovate the way its publishes content, I’m sure it won’t be
long till other companies follow the exploits of The Guardian and The Big Issue
to ensure content is published with the intent of reacting to the needs of the
consumer for fast efficient publications at their own convenience.
Let us not be afraid of this change but let us embrace it!
Whilst in the midst of recovering from a double dip recession, not only is the government
looking to small businesses to champion the growth of the UK economy, but
graduates are jumping on the SME bandwagon too.
For any graduate leaving University, opportunities recently have become few and far
between with it estimated in July 2012 that up to a 5th of graduates
were left without a job 6 months after graduating.
Not only isthere a lack of work, but also there is a lack of opportunities for graduates
to gain the necessary experience to start a career in their chosen fields.
Many of the larger corporations do have graduate schemes in place but of course places are
limited and many question their roles in terms of responsibility and career
SME’s are growing with their innovative leaders envisaging a bright and prosperous
future. Along with this vision comes the need for young, talented, dynamic
individuals with a passion to work hard and gain valuable experience from an
increased amount of responsibility.
This is an attitude that is starting to grab graduates attention. Many are buying into the
idea of sacrificing big starting salaries for the opportunity to work in an SME
where they could be potentially fast-tracked into a position higher up in the
company with more responsibility at a quicker rate.
For graduates there are many barriers to entry in terms of gaining experience, with companies
increasingly more wary of their finances and budgets. Another issue with the
bigger corporations is their actual need for staff and being able to provide a
workload that can satisfy young graduates looking to break into the working
With SME’s, the necessity for staff and the sufficient workload is already in place as
these companies look to strive and grow.
In an environment where organisations are looking for the seemingly impossible mix of
youth and experience it’s important to take a career step in which you can
learn and develop quickly alongside corporations pioneering the regeneration of
this country’s economy
In the UK alone, more than one million young people are out of work, with the unused digital skills estimated to be worth £6.7 billion to businesses.
The study by mobile operators, O2 revealed that businesses expect a fifth of their growth over the next three years to come through digital channels, and that digital skills were just as important as new business development and customer acquisition. However less than a quarter of businesses were planning to offer a first time job or an ‘on the job’ training role to a young person.
Businesses are failing to recognise the real value of employing the digitally savvy where many young people have the key skills needed to build the future. Skills such as using social media to promote a brand, designing a corporate website, developing a mobile app, coding and working on customer databases.
Only 35% of current employees were considered to be digital savvy in the businesses with 49% of businesses saying they had no plans to spend on up skilling their current workforce.
In the coming months, as new technology platforms and software are released, will businesses continue to ignore the digital skills gap?
We all know how hard it is to find a job at the moment. The doom and gloom is all over the news and across the internet giving a less than an optimistic vibe. The UK, like many European nations, is in the midst of a recession… and it’s not showing signs of letting up any time soon. With more than 80 students/graduates applying for every graduate job, the market is tough and extremely competitive. A recent report published by the ONS ‘Graduates in the Labour Market 2012’ states that recent graduates are more likely to work in a lower skilled job than ten years ago – with nearly 36% of graduates being employed in a lower skilled job compared to 26.7% in 2001.Unemployment rates for graduates have also risen since 2008 reaching a spike of 20.7% and now remaining around 18.9% (at the end of 2011). Therefore, 1 in 5 graduates is now unemployed.So it is clear that now, more than ever, graduates need to work a LOT harder to set themselves apart from the crowd, increase their employability and thus chances of gaining that job they really want. Below are 7 tips (in no particular order) on how to improve your employability in this tough job market.
1. Get a spot on CV
An effective CV that truly represents your education, skills and experience is vital. Get some help from your University careers service, tutor or recruitment agency on creating an impressive CV that makes you stand out from the huge pile.
2. Be realistic
Be clear and defined on what your skills are, what role you want and how realistic your chances of getting it are. The more focused your energies, the better chance you will have of getting the job you want. There’s no point applying for a senior level position if there’s obviously no chance of getting it.
Get yourself out there at networking events related to the industry you want to be in. Get some business cards printed with your name, email and other relevant information. Also build yourself a solid and professional social media profile. Join LinkedIn and create an effective profile. Follow-up with people you meet at networking events, connect with them and send them a message of introduction after meeting them. The stronger and bigger your network, the more likely that opportunities WILL come about.
4. Extra-curricular activities
If you’re still at Uni join a few societies and sports groups. Not only will this make you a more rounded and employable person, but it also gives you a chance to make new friends and contacts, which will only help expand your network.
5. Temporary contracts
Consider taking on some temporary work following graduation. Whilst it may not be your ideal job, it gives you some valuable ‘real world’ experience, reduces the gaps in your CV and ultimately makes you more employable.
6. Work experience
Likewise, unpaid work experience, internships or voluntary work also allows you to gain some extremely valuable experience and skills that employers will be impressed by. It also shows commitment and may be more industry-related than temporary work as above.
7. Develop your Skills
Utilise industry links at University, attend free lectures, seminars, courses and networking events organised through these industry links. These will give you an edge when applying for a job, and also gives you a great way of making contacts at the major employers within the industry you aspire to get in to.
The above is not an exhaustive list but just some tips on how to make yourself more employable in these tough times. The key is to be proactive and think of as many ways possible that you can be distinguished from the crowd.For more tips contact us at Silver Seed and we would be happy to have a chat!