Monthly Archives: January 2015

Interviewing Backwards – Reverse Engineering Recruitment Part 1

Improvise your interview style and win over passive job seekers, the ones who are basically window shopping.

Recruitment Utopia

Time-wastersThe Candidates are coming

A candidate driven market is one whereby the candidates are in the driving seat and they call the shots. It means that they can window shop to their hearts content. In the retail world consumers now undertake what is commonly known as ‘showrooming’, guess what? Job seekers are doing it too. Ultimately it will cost you time and money, it will ensure you miss recruiting deadlines, maybe fail to deliver strategic goals or projects. Simply because showroom job seekers will interview, they will even go all the way to offer stage and then decline. Simply because they can.

Exceptional talent, the kind of talent that you want in your organisation has options. They know who they want to work for and why and generally they tend to meet with those organisations first. The chances are if you are privileged enough to get some face time…

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Motivational Self Belief Speakers or Snake Oil Salesmen

images (1)Yesterday I was offered a complimentary ticket to attend a show by a world renowned Motivational Speaker and Author. I use the term show to describe the event because I simply don’t know what else to call it. If it’s anything like the Tony Robbins gig I attended about 20 years ago, show is the appropriate word. The only things missing on that occasion were Elvis Presley costumes and knickers been thrown at the stage, although I do recall we got to see some Kung Fu and Karate moves.

I’m curious though. This is BIG MONEY. There are summits, shows, seminars in the recruitment industry that charge upwards of £1,000 per day per delegate to attend. There is no Gala Dinner or Hotel in that fee either. But for throwing a huge chunk of money at some guy who recruited back in the day when we were all carrying Rolodex and your clients had the number for your local pub, they’ll tell you how to explode your potential. I’m not sure Michael Page or any of the founders of the UK’s leading listed recruitment organisations or their current CEO’s ever attended this kind of event, in fact I’m pretty certain that they didn’t. But they still sell these gigs out, a bit like the Rolling Stones I suppose, you know that what you are going to get is a dusty book jacket, but just maybe there will be that one amazing rendition of a wonderful song that will become legendary like Coldplay performing Fix You at Glastonbury. As a recruiter you just want that one snippet of information, that nugget of gold that will elevate you to the summit of recruitment excellence.

The truth is, if you ain’t got it, you simply ain’t got it. Harsh but true. We are not all destined to be multi-millionaires from this industry and we shouldn’t all want to be. Of course monetary reward plays an important part in what we do, that is fundamentally why most of us go to work. But for me passion for the industry, a love of your job and what it offers you in terms of emotional and psychological reward are just as important. Are you proud of what you do and how you do it? If the answer is a resounding Yes, then just keep doing it until it becomes a No.

In the meantime if you really want to see a Motivational Speaker – there are loads on Youtube for free. Gather the office around and check out my absolute favourite: Kevin Nalts –

The World’s Worst Job Advert – Job Seekers Beware

The excellent organisation Safer Jobs

The excellent organisation Safer Jobs

Want to know what one of the toughest things to be in the World right now is? It’s being a Job Seeker. Trust me, if you haven’t tried it, do. Even if you just pretend for a day. Let me give you one example of why.

Whilst browsing through my professional twitter feed last night I came across this post from The Daily Smarter, for a ‘Director, Human Resources’ vacancy:

“THE TML GROUP INC. – Toronto, ON – strategy to the business strategy Previous experience working in a startup company an asset Candidate Profile: A high energy Leader, the incumbent must be self-directed and motivated Must have a sense of urgency and an entrepreneurial spirit to be successful in a creative and fast paced entrepreneurial environment. Results oriented, the incumbent must also have the ability to “roll up” their sleeves and get involved at a detailed level to ensure that appropriate solutions are delivered in… – Tempo indeterminato – Full time – See more at:

First impressions count and after reading that my first impressions were “How truly bloody awful”. I was stunned by the sheer idiocy of the advert, the absolute lack of any real content or insight. Job seekers have a hard enough time sorting through the rubbish out there in a quest to find a genuine vacancy, but this really does take the biscuit. I thought to myself, this firm needs more than a HR Director, they need a Lecturer in 101 English Language.

But the real kicker was yet to come, curious as to what kind of company could actually post such an advert, I clicked on the ‘Apply now, click here’ link. Fully expecting at worst to be taken to a job board aggregator or similar. Nope, I was actually taken to an page and an advert for a war game called Fate of Arun. I hate war games. So I skipped the advert thinking that maybe this was some kind of initiative test. It wasn’t, it simply took me around to another advert. basically enable anybody to get paid for sharing links on the internet. So effectively there are now hundreds of people who post misleading job adverts on job boards with Apply Now buttons that take you to an advert for something completely different. I’ve seen this in other places and job boards as well, always the free to post ones where there are no real formal checks on content or actual validation of the posting companies identity or authenticity.

This is a shame, as I said at the beginning it’s tough enough being out there in the job market without having your time wasted by pointless exercises such as this. My advice, stick to the credible job boards where an organisation has to pay to advertise. There is a whole plethora of creative and innovative ways that unscrupulous con artists and similar can exploit job seekers whether they are looking to extract up front payments from you or steal your personal identity, but few if any of them will actually pay up front for the privilege.

More information on Job Board Scams and how to be safe here: Safer Jobs

Retail Tech Recruitment – Treat job seekers as consumers and reap the rewards.

Recruitment Utopia

imagesSo here we are at last, 2015 has arrived and with it for many, a new age of economic optimism. The retail technology helter-skelter has finally begun to shake out, despite the original doom mongers predictions of a surreal virtual world of on-line stores, it looks like bricks and mortar is here to stay. As a guy who likes to pick things up, try things on and generally get a feel for the quality of the merchandise, I’ll drink to that.

But on a very serious note, we are all excitedly talking about Endless Aisle Inventory Management Systems, little data transforming into Big Analytic’s and how RFID is the new black. Yet few of us are really looking at applying the same level of innovation to the way we attract and engage exceptional talent. Beyond investing in a careers portal and an applicant tracking system (ATS), our desire…

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How to choose the right Recruiter for your firm – use a lie detector test?

Lie DetectorIt’s January and probably like me, you are looking forward to an amazing 2015. But you know that achieving your organisations aspirations could hinge on how well your recruitment strategy works.

So how do you choose the perfect recruiter for you? Even if your organisation has been kind enough to unleash procurement and entrust them to set up a PSL for you, how do you know that the recruiters on that PSL can get the job done?

When I’ve worked in interim in-house roles I’ve often wished that I could formally demand that I put my recruitment service providers through a lie detector test. The reasoning behind this is that rarely, in fact never in 20+ years in recruitment have I ever heard a recruiter say “I can’t do that.” Or “Not really my cup of tea, I’d recommend you go to XYZ firm instead.”

More often than not what is said is more like this:

“So Mr Client, you want a Spikey Haired Carrot Cruncher with experience of living on the moon and has expertise in categorising alien life forms? No problem, that is our speciality.”

“Of course I can find you 6 outstanding passive candidates who have no intention of leaving your competition in 2 weeks for a role with your organisation which is paying less, that’s my personal area of expertise.”

I recently met with a high street recruiter who is renowned for recruiting temp clerical staff. They told me in their opening statement that they also do executive search. I asked them to explain their process and assignment strategy, and then sat back as they dug a massive hole big enough to hide a jumbo jet, or possibly even the ego of a Million Pound Biller Recruitment Consultant in!

So answer me this, if you could hook a recruiter up to a lie detector machine and ask them 5 questions before you agreed to do business with them, what questions would you ask them and why?