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stress at work

How To Hire For A Position That You Are Clueless About

stress at work

Have you ever been handed a job description and felt like you’ve just been given something in a different language to decipher, a language that you are far from fluent in. It can be intimidating and hard to know where to begin.

 

A quick google search of some of the keywords might give you a small bit of insight but if time is of the essence you don’t want to spend hours trawling through Wikipedia pages and other websites on a wild goose chase that brings you no closer to deciding on a recruitment strategy for this role.

 

Go To the Person That Does Understand the Requirement

Is there an expert in the business who can explain to you the ins and outs of this job? The hiring manager might be the obvious person to go to however sometimes they are not available. Is there someone in the business doing the job already or a colleague from the same team that could help you? Or is this job coming about because a person is leaving; can you pick their brain? Ask them to explain the set-up of the team, the larger function, and the systems that are required. If you get lost in the explanation, be honest with them, ask them to pretend they were explaining it to an alien who has just arrived on Earth and knows nothing about the company and job itself.

 

Minimize the Risk of Screening out Potentially Suitable Candidates

You don’t want to regret candidates simply because you don’t understand their CV. You need to know what the prerequisites are for this job and what is flexible. At the same time don’t be obsessed with looking for certain terms only. Find out what alternative words might be found on the CV of a potentially suitable candidate whether it is a job title, experience, degree etc. If they need systems experience are there alternative systems that they might have used before that could work in this instance? Are there certain skills that can be learned on the job?

 

Don’t Try and Bluff It

It’s better to be honest with the candidate or hiring manager when you don’t understand what they are talking about. If you try and blag it, they will pick up on it and you are going to lose their respect. This will not create a positive experience for the company. Ask the hiring manager what type of screening questions they think you can use and what sort of answers they would accept as sufficient?

 

LinkedIn Is Your Friend

Type the job title into LinkedIn and check out a few profiles of people who are already doing this job. What companies do they typically work in? What is their academic background? On LinkedIn how do they explain what they do? What was their previous job title? All of these will give you vital clues as to suitable backgrounds.

 

Ask For Help

You might fully understand the job but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to have a lot of suitable candidates. Not knowing the career path a candidate needs to take before getting to this position or having no contacts in the industry may hinder your progress. If this is the case you might want to consider getting help from a recruitment agency. Remember a specialist recruiter spends all day working within their given market so they should be able to understand both what the job looks like and more importantly what the ideal candidate looks like. Don’t be afraid to call one to ask for advice, most recruiters are happy to give their time and advice to those in need.

Posted by Kate Stewart, Team Lead, HR on 7 December 2017

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10 Small Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

10 Small Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

‘Work smarter, not longer.’ This is the attitude more and more employers are adopting as flexible and part-time working becomes increasingly normalised by businesses. There are only so many hours in the day – to avoid taking work home with you, it’s important to be productive in the time you have. In a world of short attention spans and incessant distractions, however, that can be difficult. Here are 10 small ways you can increase your productivity at work and better attain that mythical work/life balance. 1. Document Your Time Humans’ awareness of time is historically warped. In very few scenarios can we accurately estimate how much time has passed, with our perception able to be distorted by factors such as temperature, season, time of day or emotional state. It’s therefore a great idea to document how much time a day you actually spend on completing certain tasks. Having an objectively clear picture of how your day tends to be spread out will help you better structure your time in the future. 2. Set Deadlines Now you know where your time is going, try limiting the amount of time you spend on one task. ‘Perfection is the enemy of good,’ so they say. You can always return to an activity and polish it up later. In the meantime, however, it’s a good idea to keep up momentum and move onto a new task when you can – you may be surprised at how much you can achieve if you’re strict with yourself! 3. Hold Standing Meetings This one may not be for everyone, but the results behind it are interesting. It’s been suggested by research that standing meetings (literally meetings where everyone is standing) are more time efficient and productive. Without seats or tables, there tends to be less territoriality and increased group collaboration, not to mention quicker meeting times. One study found their average meeting length was reduced by 25% when participants were standing throughout. 4. Act, Don’t React It’s easy to let your day be dictated by phone calls and emails, putting out fires with every response. While this reactionary attitude is a great way to simply ‘cope’, it stops you making headway of your own with projects that require you to be proactive in how you handle them. While it’s difficult to ignore a pop-up notification or a blaring ring tone, carving out time in your schedule when everybody knows not to disturb you, or turn your notifications off. 5. Delegate Many busy leaders tend to believe it’s quicker to complete a task themselves (and definitely get it right first time) rather than explain the task to a co-worker and have them complete it (maybe not quite right first time). This can result in complete overwork on the part of the leader, and perhaps an unhealthy environment of mistrust or micromanagement in the workspace. Instead, consider assigning tasks to colleagues based on their strengths, and take the time to explain to them clearly what exactly you’re looking for from them. You might be pleasantly surprised when they do it as well, or better, than you could! 6. Stay Healthy One of the most effective ways to increase your productivity is to keep your brain in top shape. Some things you can do to maintain energy levels and sharp thinking are: Get a good night’s sleep Stay hydrated Keep healthy, nutritious snacks in your desk drawer Exercise regularly, particularly in your breaks Take a full lunch break Don’t take work home with you when you can avoid it 7. Take…Breaks? Taking breaks to improve productivity sounds somewhat counterintuitive. However, scientists have suggested that taking regular mental rests from work actually makes us more productive in the long run. As University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras elaborates: “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused…From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!” Why not give it a go? Try working in 90-segments with a 10-minute break between each. Really disconnect from your desk during this time – take a walk, get some fresh air. When you return to the problem at hand, you’ll be forced to think about it globally rather than specifically for a few minutes, perhaps enabling you to see solutions and perspectives previously hidden from you. 8. Avoid Multi-tasking When your to-do list is overwhelmingly long, it can be tempting to hop from task to task, generating an illusion of control for your own benefit. 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These are just 10 ways you can increase productivity in the workplace. While these are useful tips you can enact in your everyday working life, it’s important to remember that productivity is primarily a state of mind. If you love your job and find your daily workload rewarding, you’ll likely be considerably more productive than someone who does not. If you’re struggling to maintain productivity across the working week, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and assess whether this position is really the right one for you, or perhaps consider that you are suffering from Burnout (just this week classified as a diagnosable illness by WHO).

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10 Types Of Leadership Styles

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