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bars at work

Free Bars Are Great – But Meaningful Work The Top Motivator For Candidates

bars at work

Most people think they are better at stuff than they actually are: driving, singing, telling jokes. Most companies suffer the same problem with their interview process. When a company and a candidate both think they are great and cannot be improved, you get the usual awkward interview where the candidate pretends to be somebody they’re not and the interviewer pretends they work for a different company.

There are three elements that can help change that: interviews should ‘engage’ with candidates, they should be quick and they should fully reflect your company’s brand. With that in mind, these are my tips to make your interview process more efficient:

 

Sell something meaningful

Candidates are easier to find these days but harder to engage. There’s a lot of competition on the jobs market. When you’re recruiting a new hire, your company will be one of many that are looking for top talent. Nobody wants mediocre workers. Similarly, you’re not the only firm a candidate might consider. If they’re active in the marketplace, they’ll be applying for loads of jobs. If you’re a small firm, you might not have the fat salaries or free food that multinationals can offer, but you can sell something more meaningful in the interview. For example, you might have a really great training programme that’s respected in your industry. Tell candidates about it and what it could do for their careers. If you sell the genuine opportunities of working with your organisation, you’ll get a much better response and interviewees will compete harder for the role. Free food, gyms and bars on-site are great extras, but no one will join a company on these benefits alone – they want to do work that’s worthwhile. Meaningful work is the best motivator. Companies need to realise that they can stress that in their recruitment process and beat the big boys.

 

‘Creative’ questions

Once the opportunity has been sold and the candidate is interested, you’d be amazed at how many firms miss obvious questions and ask things in interviews that have little to do with the role on offer. Say you have a job in advertising sales, you’ll have a lot of companies asking general questions around a candidate’s experience or set interview questions they think should be asked such as asking about their biggest failure. Instead, companies should be asking very practical questions about the candidate’s ability to do the job, like how good they are at selling ads. Ask them about what targets they achieved in their previous role, who they sold ads to, that kind of thing. Specific questions will allow candidates to showcase their skills, and they’ll be much more enthusiastic about answering them. I had a client recently who went for a job at a well-known e-commerce business. Both the attitude and the timing of their questions was all wrong. For about two hours, they asked him fairly negative questions about things like the times he had failed, but they didn’t give him much of an opportunity to show off his past experience. It didn’t reflect the brand they were selling. They came across as very stiff and not a very nice place to work. Needless to say, he lost interest pretty quickly. Candidates should always see the point behind your line of questioning.The tech sector in particular is prone to asking ‘creative’ questions like: How many red cars do you think there are in Ireland? The idea is to see how candidates deal with a problem they’ve never encountered and have no frame of reference for. That’s fine, but you need to earn the right to ask those types of questions. If a potential hire comes through the door and is bombarded with really weird questions without context or reason, you will get a weak response. Again, if you have shown the opportunity on offer and given an explanation as to why you are asking the strange questions people will see it as a challenge and give it their all.

 

Quick turnaround

The longer people are left in the recruitment process, the longer they’re open to new opportunities. If you like a candidate, you’d better be quick. Don’t let time make the decision for you. Arrange interviews 24 hours after you’ve closed applications. When you interview somebody, get back to them within a week with the next stage, whatever it is. Either bring them in for a follow-up or get them out of the process. There’s nothing worse than going for an interview and hearing nothing. If candidates don’t hear from you, they’ll lose interest and start looking elsewhere. Think of it from your point of view. If a candidate didn’t get back to you for ages when you offered them a second interview, you’d see it as a red flag that they weren’t interested. The whole process should take two or three weeks. That’s ideal.

 

Double standards

There can be lots of double standards like that in the interview process. For example, if you arrange an interview with somebody at 10am, don’t have them waiting around for 15 minutes. Tardiness wouldn’t be tolerated at the company so don’t tolerate it from yourself. I also think if you expect somebody to wear business attire to the interview, you should wear it yourself.  It’s gas, you’ll see the coolest companies in the world where everybody wears sandals and T-shirts, but if someone shows up to an interview without a tie, they turn their noses up at them. If you can only offer a six-month contract, be prepared to look at people who might have had a lot of different jobs. They might have worked a lot of six-month contracts like the one you’re offering, so there’s no point ruling them if they’ve moved around a lot.

 

Finally, I’d say that if you’re serious about finding top talent, you should be flexible about when you can arrange interviews. A prized candidate is probably busy being successful between nine and five, so be prepared to interview them outside normal working hours or on weekends. It doesn’t make sense if you’re pitching your brand as laid back, but you have a very strict interview schedule.

Posted by Rossa Mullally, Manager Sales & Multilingual on 7 December 2017

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Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements over April, May, and June 2021. The number of placements during this period is higher than any other quarter in the recruitment company’s 20-year history. Current figures are up 6% on the previous record set in 2019 before the pandemic. As one of the largest recruiters in Ireland, Sigmar has offices across the country and is present in all professional sectors. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements breaking all records in the month of May, with June accounting for the second-highest month ever. Commenting on the rebound of the labour market, Sigmar founding Director, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is. We’re seeing several macro trends converge all at once, which is creating significant churn in the market. Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunities no longer bound by location. This is coupled with a rising tide of consumer confidence, as many professionals find themselves in a stronger financial position than before the pandemic. “The last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, and the humdrum of lockdown has created a desire for change which is now resulting in unprecedented numbers of people moving jobs. Employee loyalty is increasingly under question, with remote work being less enjoyable, many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” IT accounted for one-third of all job placements throughout the quarter, followed in order by Financial Services, Sales & Marketing, Accountancy, Life Science & Manufacturing, Office Support, Public Sector, Construction, Professional Services. Business confidence has also grown steadily over the course of the year, as vaccination gathered momentum. The “low-touch economy” is booming is sectors such as e-commerce, digital, and logistics. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The resurgence of permanent recruitment is somewhat unique to how we’ve rebounded from previous downturns, where we typically saw flexible work return quicker.” Although the vast majority of job placement in Q2 were understandably remote, Sigmar reports that the tide is beginning to change with the majority of employers now committing to hybrid work over the coming three months. Mac Giolla Phádraig advises: “As we now choose our workplaces, at a time when the power dynamic has shifted to the employee, employers need to ensure adequate work practices to reconnect the workforce with the workplace equitably. There is an inherent risk that new workforce inequities may emerge, such as “proximity bias”, where those closest to the centre of influence get greater recognition and therefore promotion opportunities as opposed to remote workers. When it comes to individual contribution the opposite could be argued that remote workers get the benefit of having less in-office distractions and their output is therefore greater.” Mac Giolla Phádraig likens remote work to long-distance relationships, which in many cases don’t work out. “We’ve gone from “living” with our employees in an office environment to long-distance relationships, which often sees commitment recede over time. The context of location also opens up new experiences and possibilities, which are now being explored on a scale never before seen.” He adds, “if we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. It’s now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”