You’ve been excited for weeks and the big day is almost here – first day on your new job! But all of a sudden you’re overwhelmed with uncertainty and nerves. Who am I to ask for when I get there? Where do I park? What if I don’t know what to do? What are my teammates names again? What if I’m not good enough? Ahh… where is the bathroom? We all experience first day nerves. It’s to be expected – you want to make the best first impression possible. The better the impression you make the easier it will be to settle in as you rid yourself of nerves. So how do you guarantee a great first day? Simply by being organised. Be early! We’ve all been late to work before and the stress and strain we feel when we are late is not what you need on your first day. Set your alarm 30 minutes early and for your first morning aim to be 15-20 minutes early, this way if you do hit a traffic-jam or miss your bus, you’ve time to spare. Do your research Before you start, learn as much about the company as you can – names of the senior management team, who will be on your team, clients etc. First days on the job are normally overwhelming as you get reams of information thrown at you! Find out as much as possible in advance so you’re not stunned. Get your bearings Come in early or stay late one of your first days to figure out where everything is i.e. where the stationery cupboard or the printer are, can you leave food in the staff kitchen etc. The more comfortable you are with your environment, the sooner you won’t feel as awkward. Don’t be afraid to ask questions No one expects you to know everything on your first day so if you’re unsure of anything, make sure to ask! It’s best to make sure you’re doing things right than finding out later on and having to start all over again. Make Connections Everyone will go out of their way to make you feel welcome on your first day so see this as an opportunity to make connections with your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people and try to get to know them. Also be aware of the company culture, is it a sociable company? If it is try and make it out for Friday evening drinks, often this can be one of the best environments to get to know your colleagues. Finally while you may feel like the newbie now, in a few weeks time it will be like you’ve always been there.
We’ve listed the 10 ways you can become a superhero at work and become the employee that your employer really wants to hold on to! Being a superhero employee isn’t about becoming the “perfect” employee and you don’t need to develop extra special powers to achieve this. It’s about using your initiative and working diligently.
We get a lot of emails. A LOT. Probably more than we can handle. And smartphones haven’t helped with constant access to your emails, along with social media apps sending you a notification every time someone even thinks about you. So rather than moaning about the number of emails you have, why not re-evaluate your email habits and see what changes you can make. Here are some tips we’ve put together to give you a helping hand. 1. Unsubscribe Email subscriptions is one of the biggest causes of unwanted emails so take a little time out to start unsubscribing. You’d be amazed at the amount of things you may have signed up to months or even years ago that you just automatically delete without thinking about it e.g. Google alerts, online shopping offers, group alerts from LinkedIn. Just think, is it something you absolutely HAVE to be notified about? Will the world end if you catch up on those offers in your own time, by actually logging in to the website and having a look for yourself? Probably not. 2. Send less emails It seems obvious but sometimes you don’t need to reply to every email. Responding leads to responses so just assume the other person doesn’t want as many emails in their inbox as well and you may notice things slowing down. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude; perhaps pick up the phone? You can say things far more effectively and save time by having a two minute call rather than a 20 email conversation. Besides, with email and chat taking over, a little social interaction is long overdue. 3. Chat A big part of email issues can be being included on email trails between colleagues that have no real bearing on the work day. Office chat and banter is great for morale but not great for productivity. It may be a good idea to remove yourself from group emails and avoid being overloaded by office spam. Management often see this sort of spam as negative for business and reflects badly on you so be selective in how many group emails you are involved in. 4. CC Folder A great trick is to create a folder where any email you have been cc’d on goes in to a separate folder, which you can view when you have the time. Let people know you’re doing this though so as to ensure you’re not missing important emails or deadlines. It will make a huge difference to your inbox and your workload. And also, don’t cc people who don’t have a real interest or bearing on the topic. Put yourself in their shoes – I’m sure they are also sick of being cc’d on emails. 5. Don’t delete Lastly, deleting emails is the most effective way of clearing your inbox but when you’re trying to find something from 2 months ago usually the easiest thing to do is ask whomever sent it to you to re-send right? Wrong. You now have that email twice, for no good reason. Start saving emails in folders. Not just in your inbox but on your hard drive.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult but having a hectic work and home life with little time for preparation can lead us down an unhealthy eating path prompting us to reach for convenience foods. By not adopting a healthy eating mind-set and not choosing foods that boost your energy levels and carry a nutritional value, you are making life – and work – more difficult for yourself in the long run. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you feel fatigued when you wake? Are you bloated and de-motivated? Are you tired at 3pm? Do you struggle to sleep? Do you find you have brain fogginess and an inability to focus? Are you sleepy after a meal with more than half a plate of carbohydrates? Do you find yourself procrastinating over picking up the phone to make that all-important sales call? If you can relate to these points, then it is possible you have a deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance– in other words blood sugar – imbalance. So, what do we mean by ‘blood sugar’? Blood sugar is simply the amount of glucose (sugar) in our blood. Whilst glucose is the main fuel molecule used by the body to give us our energy, too much or too little at any one time can cause several health issues. This article focuses on the result being – low energy levels, de-motivation, elevated stress levels and general feebleness. For professionals in general, this is not ideal when you are trying to hit targets, handle extra work loads and dig deep to find motivation. How does this happen? When eating a breakfast or lunch that is loaded with carbohydrates, our intelligent and resilient bodies digest these carbs in the digestive tract (stomach and intestines) by various enzymes for absorption into the blood stream. It takes around an hour or two for the digestive system to break down the carbohydrate meal into its digestible (monosaccharide) molecule form – or as we commonly know it, glucose or sugar, the form in which we get our energy. Your blood stream is now loaded with glucose after a heavy carbohydrate meal, which then activates and releases a hormone called Insulin. This wonderful and hindering hormone senses the heavy load of glucose and removes it from the blood, storing it in our cells (to make energy) and muscles. If our cells and muscles are full from overeating and reaching our quota then in come the fat cells, particularly fat cells around our waist as that is where our vital organs are located. This sudden shift of glucose can result in you having no energy half way through your working day. Now you are faced with the 3pm slump, feeling quite de-motivated. This is a very general explanation but hopefully it paints a picture. How do you fix this? There are several ways you can counteract the 3pm slump and boost your energy levels throughout the day. 1. Eat foods low on the glycaemic index. These foods release energy (glucose) slowly into the bloodstream. You can probably guess what they consist of: Vegetables, legumes, some fruits (the darker in colour the better) whole grains, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry and fish. 2. Include a snack in between main meals (only if you feel you need to) This will allow you to stay nice and stable throughout the day, avoiding those slumps and becoming too hungry, however you don’t want to over eat or eat just for the sake of it. Protein rich and quality fats are best. Eating every three hours can be a good start. 3. Eat protein with each meal. This can benefit your energy levels when you eat carbohydrates, as protein is harder to digest making the release of energy more stable. Protein is the most satiating macro-nutrient, meaning it releases energy slowly, which helps signal to the brain that you are full. Quality sources include lean meats and poultry preferably not out of a packet, any wild fish, nuts, seeds and legumes for those who prefer not to eat meat 4. Eat breakfast. Make sure it includes protein and healthy fats. These satiating macro-nutrients are sure to keep your blood sugars stable and help prevent you from feeling weak and irritable and prompting us to reach for sugary foods. 5. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. These are the main culprits of blood sugar spikes. They include white foods that have been stripped of their fibre. Examples of these are white bread, white rolls, large white pasta dishes and sugary snacks. When eating grains choose those high in fibre. These include – whole grain foods, rye, spelt, buckwheat and any grain dark in colour. Whole grains are harder for the body to break down and offer an array of nutrients including B Vitamins which are required to make energy in the body. 6. Avoid sugar filled drinks. These are filled with sugars, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, which can lead to a hormonal imbalance and blood sugar spike. Don’t fall victim to effective marketing, read the labels be mindful that anything over 5g of sugar per serving is moving away from low sugar foods. Also, if you don’t understand the ingredients you can be sure it is not that good for you. 7. Reduce stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, and even alcohol all cause our blood sugar to rise due to a spike in adrenaline.
Most companies have a phrase to capture cultural fit, such as “no jerks policy”, “no egos”, “no a**hole policy” etc. and as crude as they sound they are very subjective and typically administered on gut feel. For such a subjective judgment call that’s critical to every hire, how do organisations apply this consistently? Here are three key principles to selecting talent for cultural fit; 1. Understand the Authenticity of Culture Culture is the collective behaviours in the organisation, influenced by beliefs and practices. It’s the heartbeat and pulse of the organisation which ebbs and flows as the personality and character of people change. It is organic and blossoms from the people in the organisation. It can’t be forced – it needs to be authentic as Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh recently discovered when he introduced a new way of working to his organisation. The e-tailer bought by Amazon for $1.2bn in 2002 has long been admired for its unique culture, so much so that Hsieh penned a book on it called “Delivering Happiness” which has established him as an international guru on the topic. On March 24, 1,500 or so Zappos employees got a memo from Tony concerning their transition to a new way of working called “Holacracy” (a manager-free operating structure that is composed, in theory, of equally privileged employees working in task-specific circles, often overlapping). Hsieh began experimenting with Holacracy in 2013 as a way of maintaining Zappos’ lauded employee-centric environment as it continued to grow. On April 30th 2015, he offered an ultimatum: embrace self-management or we’ll give you a three-month severance package to leave. By May, 210 Zappos employees, or 14% of the company, had taken the offer. Although the jury is out on Holocracy, it was a costly lesson to learn (even for a guru) that culture can’t be forced – it needs to be authentic. The clearer it is defined, the easier it is to select for. 2. Values Have Value if they are Truly Valued and…Indicated If culture is the result of behaviours, what guides behaviours? Values alone won’t guide behaviours. Integrity, Communication, Respect, Excellence hung in the boardroom of Enron before its infamous collapse! Clearly defining indicators of values is what guides behaviour. Take Hubspot for example, who used one key guiding value, to scale from an MIT spin out to a $billion valuation in 2015, which was “use good judgment”. Understanding that peoples judgment varies, they gave a clear indicators of what they mean to act as a beacon around behaviours asking employees to remember the following hierarchy when making a decision: How does your decision positively impact (1) the customer (2) the company (3) your team and (4) you. Clear indicators align behaviour! Identify indicators of values and assess against the indicators. 3. Purpose Beyond Task Dan Pink emphasized the importance of purpose when he wrote about what motivates people to do their best work through his “Motivation Trifecta”: Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose! Author of the “Little Prince”, Antoine De Saint Exipery once wrote: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Culture is sometimes a blend of what you are and what you aspire to be as an organisation. If you clearly understand what you aspire to be, there is a point where your value indicators and purpose meet and this is where authentic values meet purpose! Probe candidates impact on values that align with purpose beyond task. Look for points in their career where they influenced the dynamic of a team through reflecting values with a true sense of purpose. Call it what you like, apply consistently and never compromise on cultural fit.
It’s no secret these days that choice in the labour market is beginning to swing very much in the candidate’s favour. Increasingly we see that candidates are interviewing for multiple roles at one time. Their thirst at the moment is fuelled by the poor market that introduced itself through the recession of the past few years. Presently with Ireland’s economy thankfully beginning to emerge from the doldrums job creation is back in full swing leading to a shortage of people in some industries. The question on many hiring manager’s minds now is how to hire the best person for the job before they are snatched up by a competitor. Here are some tips to try ensure that you have the right person for the job and to make an offer that they cannot refuse. Know Your Market And The Pace It’s Moving At If you are recruiting for a role in a market that is new i.e. IT/digital then it is important to know the state of the marketplace and what to expect regarding applicants, skills and experience levels. Create A Clear Timeline, Most Importantly Outlining The ‘Offer Stage’ Outline the interview process before publishing a job spec as this will give you a timescale and deadline. Know when your offer stage will take place and alert candidates to this so they do not feel strung along and confused. Know What All Stakeholders Are Looking For Before You Go To Market Choosing a candidate is a stressful job but when different people choose assorted candidates the ambiguity may lead to drawn out discussions and losing the best candidate. Consider the role together and decide on the main responsibilities, scoring skills on importance before shortlisting CVs. Set Clear Structure Weighting The Main Competencies For The Role Directly related to the above having scorecards for every interviewer to fill out can help refresh memories in the decision making stage. Skills can be more important than experience sometimes, and this is hard to put across on a two page CV. When You Have Met A Suitable Candidate Make An Offer In the present market hours can be the difference between getting the right person and going through multiple processes for the same role. Don’t be afraid to appear enthusiastic about a person but don’t overdo it and appear desperate. A clear and sensible recruitment plan can make life a lot easier for Hiring Managers ensuring that you won’t be understaffed longer than you have to be. We are seeing quite a lot lately that candidates are having multiple interviews/ job offers and being counter offered so it is important to be responsive and not delay the process. Working with a good recruitment agency can help a lot in these situation as they can inform you where the candidate is interviewing and their preferences at the time. There can be more control over the process with definite interview dates and timelines. When the decision is made, make sure it’s a valid offer and always put it in writing as this can mean a lot to a candidate who has a big decision to make. Remember also that money is rarely the real motivator behind the candidate’s move, more often than not it’s progression, environment, a new challenge or circumstances so it is important for any company to confer the same level of professionalism on the their potential hires as they do to their employees and customers.
Job specifications are the most important way to market a job that your company has vacant. Now more than ever these documents are valuable as candidates are very specific in their needs and will not settle for less than them. Without a job spec you cannot outline the core responsibilities of the role, the skills involved and required and indeed provide an overview of the company. There are two types of job specs: For an existing job For a new position For an Existing Position You are lucky in this respect as you can ask the person who is leaving to sit with you and go through the details of their position. This can be part of their review to get insight into how the role can be improved. Understanding the different aspects of a position can help the company become more efficient as a whole so the meeting must be in a comfortable environment where the employee feels at ease confiding in their manager. Asking them to rate each skill by importance to the job will help when interviewing to get the best possible candidate for the job. Note re-writing an existing position also gives you an opportunity to update and improve upon the role, add to it if needed and even change the title if you feel it’s more appropriate. For a New Position So your company is growing and there is a need for a new position that the company has never had before, how do you find the relevant skills and responsibilities that the ideal candidate should possess? Research! This is the case for many companies at the moment in terms of Fintech and digital roles that have just emerged in the last five years. Read other job specs for these roles in your industry and even outside of them. Ask your network for advice or if you know someone in a similar position invite them for coffee and ask them about their position in order to help you decide what aspects would be important to your company. Contact a recruitment company that deals with these positions. In truth recruiters in the area that you are hiring for are experts in that they place these people every day and would be in an ideal position to give you constructive advice and information. Things to Include in a Job Spec: Job Title – don’t make it too long, abbreviate if needed Short introduction to your company (2-3 lines which sell the company) The main duties of the position, the location and who they will be reporting to Necessary skills required in the role, including experience and education level Core competencies required for the position such as good communication skills, people management etc. Relevant contact details and particulars on how to apply for the position with closing date if any Make sure to carry out a spell check and ask a colleague to review the spec before you advertise it – it is essential to make sure the spec is easy to read, has no spelling or punctuation mistakes and accurately reflects your company.
If you want better applicants you need to ensure the job ad you write is attractive to the type of people you want to hire. Use a job description to highlight your company culture, what the job entails and what you can offer a perspective candidate.
Sigmar Recruitment is delighted to have picked up two awards at the 11th annual National Recruitment Federation awards on Friday 1st December. Sigmar’s John Farrelly scooped the prestigious Per...
The 2017 Recruitment International Awards took place in Guild Hall London last night. The awards were presented at a black-tie gala dinner with over 400 senior directors and CEOs attend the specta...