Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Tips to Recruit (and Job Search) in a Recruiter-Driven Market

by Neil Shorney

Economic Outlet of the Job Search Market

It’s now nearly four years since the “credit crunch” hit, and the economic outlook is still far from certain. If we believe the media, there are huge numbers of highly-qualified graduates out there and only about 7 jobs available. It’s a recruiter’s market for the job ssearch, isn’t it? Well… no, apparently not. In my role as a sales manager, I’ve recruited twenty times in the past ten years, and finding the right person for my sales jobs is no easier now that it was before the current troubles.

I’ve put together some first-hand advice. If you’re a recruiter, I hope this helps you. If you’re a candidate, you can use this advice to help you land your dream job and gives you a look into the recruiting and hiring processes from all perspectives.

5 Top Tips for Effective Recruitment

  • Look Out for Mistakes in CVs.  When reviewing CVs or curriculum vitae (also know as resume), it’s important to remember that candidates can put anything they like in the document. A better measure of a candidate’s appropriateness is to look out for inconsistencies, mistakes in spelling, grammar or punctuation, short stints in previous jobs, or unexplained gaps. Clumsy mistakes can be a sign of poor attention to detail or lack of knowledge. Other inconsistencies should at least warrant further investigation during interview.
  • Start with a Phone interview.  It is good practice to conduct the first interview over the telephone. Apart from giving a good indication of the applicant’s telephone manner, it is also a great time-saver. When a face-to-face meeting goes badly, it’s usually at least half an hour before you can politely show the candidate the door. By beginning with a telephone interview, you can keep the interview time down to 6 or 7 minutes if the candidate is unsuitable, meaning that face-to-face interviews can be reserved for only the most promising applicants.
  • Be Flexible with Your Interviewing.  Whilst it’s important to have a well-structured interview plan, it is equally important to approach each conversation with the flexibility to drill down into the specific strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Whilst most interviewers will have a list of “good” interview questions such as “why did you leave your previous job?”, “what are your career goals?” and “what would you change about your last manager?”, the most important questions you can ask are “why is that relevant?”, “how would you do that here?” and “can you tell me more about that?”. Questions like this allow you to personalise your interviewing, and to press candidates for more details to ensure skills are genuine.

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