Is Linkedin Changing the Face of Recruitment?

Is Linkedin Changing the Face of Recruitment?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you’ve probably heard a fair bit about the professional social network Linkedin. Its success has changed the working world in many positive ways, allowing us to stay in touch with other professionals and network from the comfort of our desk. But the area most fundamentally affected by the rise of Linkedin has to be that of recruitment, with a vast majority of employers now reporting that they have recruited someone via the online platform.

Outside of Linkedin, the most common way of recruiting for mid to high level experience positions is through head-hunters and search firms. These professionals have a database of potential candidates at their fingertips and are constantly scouting for new talent. This means that when a new position becomes available, the head-hunter can match a potential candidate to the post and act as a mediator between company and employee. The ever-growing usage of Linkedin means that more and more of this personal information stored in headhunter databases is publically available, and so employers are increasingly choosing to recruit independently in this way. But is this a good thing?

Sure, it’s an incredible feat that Linkedin have achieved. Employers now have a seemingly infinite pool of candidates at their disposal, which means that they’re bound to find the right person for the job, right? Not necessarily. Employers choosing to recruit in this way are missing out on the personalised filtration of candidates provided by head-hunters. Admittedly, there are filters available on Linkedin that will allow you to select based upon level of education, experience, amongst other factors, but what is lacking is the human aspect. Linkedin cannot tell you whether a candidate is willing to move for a new opportunity, or whether they are interested in working in the relevant sector. A head-hunter would already know this information before presenting the company with potential candidates, thus preventing time wasted pursuing candidates who were never going to be interested in the first place.

For candidates too, the prevalence of Linkedin based recruitment can pose a problem. With recruiters, candidates only have to have one conversation about their professional goals, flexibility, desired salary etc. whereas when recruitment is done directly between individuals and companies, the candidates are obliged to repeat the same information each time they speak to a new company, often without any results.

Recruitment services provide a personal touch to the whole process. Naturally, a human can understand you and your needs, be you a candidate or an employer, much better than a simple Linkedin search can. Technology is encroaching on a variety of sectors of work, but recruitment is not yet ready for this takeover; it is to be resisted if we want efficient, personalised recruitment rather than a quick fix that ultimately doesn’t work.

If you enjoyed this blog, you can read more of the same here, and why not try out a recruitment service yourself? Take a look at our offers and send us your CV today!

The Rise of the Male Assistant

Gender equality is a hot topic in employment: it drives company initiatives, informs HR journalism but generally doesn’t stray far from the line “We need more women”.  Yet, here’s a vocation in which you might see a reverse trend; it’s all about the men.  For the first time, men are embracing the executive assistant profession which, half a century ago, was a uniquely female venture.  Today, when equality of the sexes in the workplace is more of a reality than a promise, the profile of an executive assistant is being regendered.  Enter the male assistant.

Here at TM International, a recruitment agency specialising in the placement of bilingual assistants, we have seen a notable increase of late in the number of male candidates sending in their CVs.  The classic profile tends to be a man in his early twenties, a first jobber or with a primary experience up his sleeve.  So why, unlike his predecessors, has he decided to become an assistant?

As touched upon, male assistants typically belong to the younger generation; that which has grown up believing in equal working rights for both sexes and is comfortable with the idea of a male assistant working for a female boss.  Suffice to say, twenty years ago, this probably wasn’t the case but well-worn sexual prejudices are on their way out and men are no longer averse to the idea of being an assistant.  Notably, the desexualisation of the profession has a lot to do with it.  The transition in job title from ‘secretary’ to ‘assistant’ has helped rebrand the secretary, from a woman in a short skirt to a respected professional, and has removed any sexual stigma.

Furthermore, the onset of technology in the workplace has completely changed the role.  When word processors were brought in, companies no longer needed typists but sought organisers; those who were resourceful and on whom an executive could rely to make his/her life a lot easier.  The role has more scope and can be very rewarding; just look here for how valued a good assistant can be.

And a more demanding role requires a higher salary.  In the UK, salaries for executive assistants range from £25,000 to £75,000, while in France, they can range between €24,000 and €60,000.  David Morel, managing director of Tiger Recruitment in the UK, notes the higher salary as a fundamental factor pulling more male applicants to the job.  In addition, the opportunities for progression as an assistant within a company are now more apparent than ever.  An assistant has experience in many sectors of the business and works closely with senior managers, meaning he/she is well-positioned to climb the rungs of the company.

All in all, while the assistant demographic is still overwhelmingly female, any movement towards embracing greater diversity in the workplace is to be applauded.  And, on a general note, the next time you ring somebody’s assistant, don’t expect to hear a female voice…

If you found this article interesting, look here for more of the same.  And if you are looking for a job, consult the job offers on our website.

Le CV par compétences : à adopter ou éviter ?

Chez TM International, nous avons récemment noté une nette augmentation du nombre de CV par compétences dans notre boîte de réception.

Êtes-vous déjà au courant de ce qui en est ce CV plutôt avant-garde ?

Peut-être souhaiteriez-vous que l’on vous conseille sur ses qualités et ses défauts ?  Alors voici votre petit manuel pour tout vous expliquer à propos de l’engouement pour ce format de candidature.

En bref, le CV par compétences se distingue du CV classique principalement au niveau de la mise-en-page.  Les compétences acquises par le candidat pendant sa carrière sont mises en valeur de manière hiérarchique, effaçant l’ordre ante-chronologique des expériences, ce qui est préféré du CV classique.  On met la qualité la plus fondamentale quant au métier au premier rang, suivie par deux ou trois compétences additionnelles considérées comme importantes pour le poste auquel on a postulé.  Voici plusieurs exemples.

Avantages

  • Si vous réfléchissez à une réorientation de carrière, le CV par compétences pourrait vous convenir. Il vous permet de mettre en évidence vos aptitudes pour un poste spécifique même si vos dernières expériences n’y correspondent pas.
  • De plus, si vos dernières expériences se sont développées dans plusieurs secteurs différents, le CV par compétences vous aiderait à présenter un parcours professionnel plus cohérent plutôt qu’un mélange d’expériences diverses.
  • Si vous souhaitez détourner l’attention d’une pause significative dans la carrière, la composition du CV par compétences favorise cela.
  • Il en va de même pour les experts dans un domaine, surtout dans l’informatique, qui souhaitent donner du relief aux compétences spécialisées, telle que la connaissance de certains logiciels par exemple.  Sophie Girardeau vous l’explique en profondeur ici.

Inconvénients

  • Le CV par compétences ne place pas les savoir-faire du candidat dans leur contexte ce qui peut rendre la candidature moins crédible et lisible chez les recruteurs.
  • En général, les personnels RH ne sont pas des aficionados de ce nouveau genre de CV et se déclarent avoir une préférence pour le style classique.
  • On ne conseille pas aux jeunes diplômés d’adopter ce genre du CV parce qu’ils n’ont que la formation pour prouver qu’ils ont acquis le bilan de compétences dont ils parlent.
  • Si votre situation professionnelle ne correspond pas à celles explorées dans la section « Avantages » ci-dessus, il vaudrait mieux opter pour le CV classique afin de ne pas risquer de présenter une candidature générale et répandue.

Enfin, à moins que vous soyez certain que le CV par compétences ferait la meilleure impression chez les Responsables RH, mieux vaut exercer la prudence et être fidèle au CV classique.  Aussi n’hésitez pas à regarder quelques exemples sur notre site.  Profitez-en bien !

Are company perks going too far?

Before we entered into the third millennium, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were lucky if your job offered a sturdy salary and an attractive pension package.  But oh, how times have changed!  A recent trend has seen large companies push the boat out even further with regard to corporate perks.  From pampering to poodles (read on!), and even naptime, businesses are taking ever greater measures to attract the best candidates.  Yet is the talent deficit really so great that companies need to offer such extreme incentives?

The technology giants have long been ahead of the curve with their fancy employee packages.  Employees at Google travel to and from work on company buses, receive subsidized massages, nap when the stress gets too much and even bring their dogs to work (poodles explained!).  In a similar fashion, Apple recently installed a high-tech wellness centre at its HQ in California where the wait time for appointments is reportedly only five minutes and consultancy rooms boast iPads and Macs in the place of standard paperwork.  Such perks evidently place employee wellbeing at the forefront of the business while also fostering a creative environment, arguably necessary to attract the imaginative calibre of candidates needed within technology.

However, recently this trend has started spreading beyond Silicon Valley to other sectors too: SC Johnson, a family-owned household brands company, offers a personal concierge service to all employees and Richard Branson caused a stir when he announced that all Virgin employees would receive unlimited holiday.  Yet are these the benefits that employees really want?

Interestingly, Mindflash has revealed a large discrepancy between what employees say they want and what their employers think they want.  Employees rated “full appreciation for work done” as their most important concern, whereas employers prioritised “good wages”.  It just shows then, that emotional support is still valued over practical incentives, since “feeling ‘in’ on things” and “sympathetic help on personal problems” came a close second and third on employees’ lists.  Take a look at the full infographic here.

What’s more, there’s a strong case for arguing that these new incentives excessively merge the personal and professional spheres.  Providing a ping pong table at work might foster camaraderie among employees but it can’t replace a social life outside of the office.  Does the creation of such an environment suggest that life starts and ends at work?  Facebook and Apple’s offer to freeze female employees’ eggs takes a literal approach to this.  While it gives women more flexibility regarding when they choose to start a family, buying an employee’s fertility could give off the unnerving message that her career should always come first.  Should your company’s principles override your own?

The question to pose, then, is to what extent should a company be responsible for employee wellbeing?  Does this trend towards a provide-all package foster a more loyal and committed relationship between the company and the employee or could these latest incentives alternatively be interpreted as invasive?  Just some food for thought…

Head to our website to browse our current job offers and other articles!

CV a-non-yme ?

C’est la question pertinente de la rentrée : les entreprises de 50 salariés et plus adopteront le CV anonyme ou non ?  On parle d’une loi votée en 2006 mais qui n’est pas encore entrée en vigueur.  Tout pourrait changer cependant, grâce au délai de six mois prononcé par le Conseil d’État en juillet de cette année qui pousse le gouvernement à agir.  Les opinions y sont divisées : un pas majeur vers l’égalité des chances ou une couche supplémentaire inutile de bureaucratie ?

La discrimination à l’embauche continue à affliger le processus de recrutement…

José Zamora en est victime exemplaire.  Cet article raconte sa lutte pour décrocher un entretien dans laquelle il a dû changer le nom sur son CV afin de recevoir des réponses.  Il reste ainsi certain que la discrimination à l’embauche est vraiment répandue.  L’adoption du CV anonyme éliminerait toute décision fondée sur le patronyme du candidat à la première phase du recrutement, ouvrant des portes à un système d’embauche plus neutre et objectif.  Nom, prénom, âge, photographie, date et lieu de naissance : chaque donnée inconnue.

Mais c’est là que réside le problème…

Sans aucune coordonnée, la prochaine étape de l’entretien relève de la folie.  À qui s’attendre ?  « Enchanté Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle Anonyme, comment vous appelez-vous ? »  C’est une scène maladroite qui ne peut ressembler qu’à une rencontre à l’aveugle.  En plus, la personne qui fait passer les entretiens finira par apprendre le nom du candidat et faire sa connaissance.  Si le recruteur est susceptible de prendre une décision basée sur des éléments discriminatoires, l’élaboration du CV anonyme ne fera que différer ce comportement jusqu’à la prochaine phase du recrutement plutôt que l’empêcher.

D’ailleurs, la discrimination positive ne sera plus possible avec le CV anonyme… 

Alors que la plupart des grandes organisations se sont engagées dans la lutte contre la discrimination en entreprise – ayant lancé des campagnes de diversité ou ayant signé la Charte de la Diversité – certaines mesures, telles que promouvoir le nombre de salariés issus de l’immigration ou féminiser une entreprise, deviendraient impossibles à l’heure de l’application du CV anonyme.  Comme l’indique une étude réalisée par le Centre de recherche en économie et statistiques (Crest), ceux qui sont issus de l’immigration, et qui manquent ainsi d’expérience professionnelle, seraient dans une position désavantageuse puisque le CV anonyme supprime toute possibilité de prendre en compte cette diversité.

Toutes choses considérées, bien que le CV anonyme paraisse ne pas être la voie à suivre, la décision de se battre contre ce type de discrimination répandue est fort louable.  Une piste d’amélioration serait peut-être de former davantage les équipes de recrutement sur les points sensibles afin de mettre fin aux préjugés à l’embauche.

À méditer et à suivre.  Qu’en pensez-vous ?  Laissez vos commentaires sous cet article !

Hit the mark!

We all start off the new year with good intentions: I will eat more healthily, I will spend less,  I will stay away from the TV and read more books; but yesterday marked the day when you were most likely to ditch your new year’s resolution. Why? Although the cold January weather might not help, the main reason why people give up on their resolutions is a poor goal-setting technique. Therefore, nail your goal-setting technique and it will help give you the drive and focus you need to succeed.

The first stage of goal-setting is establishing a plan of action. It’s all well and good saying you want to get a promotion but if you don’t have a clear idea how you are going to do so, your goal will lack the direction it requires. Keep things simple and start off with one goal.  Then, write a plan implementing what, when and how you are going to accomplish your objectives.  Revise your plan regularly to monitor progress.

Image via StockMonkeys.com

Losing motivation and focus are the main causes behind falling off the wagon. However, it only takes a few little steps to maintain your drive. Build your peer support group by telling your friends and family about your aim. Find role models and look for inspiration from others who are currently aiming for the same thing on blogs, or in books and magazines. Stick a post-it on your desk or set yourself a reminder to keep the goal at the forefront of your thoughts.  To make an action a habit, statistics show that it takes approximately 30 to 40 repetitions so integrate your goal into your daily routine. For instance, if your goal is to exercise more, you could get off the bus two stops before your usual stop and walk the rest of the way home. The little things add up!

Whilst it is important to focus on one goal, it is a good idea to bear in mind your aspirations for the future. Writing down all of your lifelong ambitions will allow you to prioritise and throw any goals that you aren’t particularly bothered about. This pyramid approach from Lifehacker  will aid you to visualise your goals:

Image

Not only will this method allow you to appreciate what you wish to achieve, it offers an approach to set yourself realistic and attainable goals in the short-term to build towards the final goal.

However, sometimes you can do all the planning in the world and you don’t achieve your aim. What do you do then? Firstly, don’t take the failure to heart. This will lead to demotivation and negative thinking, which won’t be productive. Taking a risk means unfortunately that things don’t always work out as planned. Use this as a learning opportunity to build on for the next stage and remember that without taking risks, you are denying yourself the opportunity to reach your potential.

So, what are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to make positive changes in your life!

 

What are your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions? Have you ever made one and saw it through until the end of the year?

Is it ever OK to bad-mouth a colleague?

Be honest or keep quiet? Image via StreetFly JZ.

Criticising a colleague or ex-colleague during an interview has always been considered a massive no-no in the recruitment world. However, this year has seen the rule being broken numerous times on quite a public scale. From Greg Smith’s infamous resignation letter in the New York Times to the latest resignation letter to go viral in which the author accuses his boss of inappropriate behaviour, bad-mouthing colleagues seems to be the latest fad. But are there circumstances where criticising a professional counterpart is acceptable or should we continue to keep schtum?

From the recruiter’s point of view, the general consensus is no. Bad-mouthing a boss or co-worker in front of a prospective employer gives the impression that you’re not a team player and lack professionalism. Regardless of professional differences, you both work (or have worked) for the same company and a public criticism puts both the company’s and your reputation on the line. Additionally, employing someone who has openly criticised their former boss or colleague means that the employer runs the risk of the same happening again. Criticising a co-worker also has the potential to backfire as your ‘idiot’ boss or ‘incompetent’ co-worker could count your prospective employer as part of their professional network.

However, Jay Goltz (a regular business blogger for the New York Times) argues that an honest answer about a negative job experience allows the recruiter to have a more profound insight of the candidate. If a prospective employee is dissatisfied with their current job, it is important that the recruiter knows why. Should a candidate demonstrate appropriately why they are unhappy with their current professional situation, the recruiter is left with a better idea of what the candidate expects from the job and how the candidate would fit in the company’s work culture.  Nevertheless, there is a fine line between having a legitimate concern and complaining.  Recruiters are looking for people who will find solutions not people who will bring up problems so a response needs to show how a candidate tried to resolve the issue rather than complain.

Whilst Mr. Goltz brings up a valid point, the real problem is the fact that the criticism has taken place in public. It is essential that the resolution to the problem is considered thoroughly and without doubt, it must be done in private on a one-to-one basis. Although it is natural to have professional clashes, making accusations public is too much of a risk. So, as tempting as it may be at times, making a dramatic exit is not the wisest move!

How do you show a negative job experience in a positive light during an interview?

Is this the future of the recruitment process?

The interview is getting an upgrade. You’ve probably heard of Skype but have you heard of HireVue?  A one way digital interview platform, HireVue has already become an integral part of the recruitment process in many top American companies and it looks set to expand globally. Will the appeal of HireVue translate globally and if so, is HireVue the face of the future recruitment process?

To give an overview of HireVue, it is a one way video interview. Pre-set questions are shown on the screen giving the candidate 30 seconds to think of an answer. The interview is recorded and the employer is able to watch the interview at a time of their own choosing.  HireVue is even enabled like a DVD with the viewer being able to play, pause, rewind and fast forward and, because it is recorded, the programme offers the option to share the interview with other colleagues. Let’s move on to weighing up the pros and cons of the product.

The advantages of the product are quite clear:  HireVue is a solution to the ever present problem of lack of time and money. HireVue claims to be up to 9 times cheaper and to be 10 times faster than the average recruitment process. The sharing option also allows more people to be involved without any added cost. Furthermore, the programme provides a resolution to the dilemma of job searching when you are already employed. Gone are the days when you have to squeeze an interview during your lunch break or find time off to meet with a prospective employer. The ability to fit into anyone’s schedule is, without doubt, HireVue’s trump card.

However, HireVue has completely neglected to address the candidate’s needs. As the programme is one sided, the candidate is unable to get an idea of the company’s work culture. Additionally, the candidate loses out on vital networking opportunities. They might be unsuitable for the job they have applied for but they could be more suited to another vacancy. Without the facility for small talk, both the candidate and the interviewer are unable to show their personality fully. Finally, the DVD nature of the programme turns the interview into a form of entertainment. In this day and age of social media, innovations like that of HireVue are vulnerable to misuse. Whilst this is a worst case scenario, the security of the programme needs to be taken into consideration.

With HireVue looking set to expand after landing a 22 million dollar investment, it is possible you could encounter a HireVue interview soon. The benefits, especially for larger companies, are undeniable. However, the programme’s process is artificial and in the end, the candidate and the employer need to meet in order to establish the potential of a working relationship. The interview, for now, is here to stay.

How to make sure you don’t lose your language skills

If you are a multilingual job seeker in the UK, pay attention!

In today’s job market, things are getting more and more competitive. With new records of students graduating with degrees every year in Britain, there simply aren’t enough jobs to satisfy everyone’s needs. As a multilingual job seeker, your best assets are of course your languages. The question is; how do you keep them up to scratch.

There are many different ways in which you can keep your languages going and although many of them may seem simple and obvious, they are very important. For someone like myself who is bilingual in English and French, it is easy just to coast along in English (as it is my mother tongue) and living in Paris, most of my friends and family are English speaking. I find it is crucial to speak as much French as possible with native speakers. Be aware that foreigners do always like to practise their English so be insistent.

Reading is so important to keep your languages ticking over. If you can’t find an interesting piece of French literature, then just get a translated version of your favourite English book. Although this isn’t as good as reading French books, this is still very beneficial. Not a book person? Read a French paper once a day or subscribe to a French magazine eg. le Point. If you are not comfortable with that level of language or simply not sufficiently interested in current affairs, you could try a more informal magazine via Bayard Jeunesse eg. Okapi. It may be targeted at teenagers but is informative, easy to read and equally well-suited to adults with short attention spans!

Everyone likes a good film so there is no excuse not to watch them in French. It is such an easy way to consolidate your French and you are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to French cinema. In fact watching French television is very good for your languages. Just watching the 8 o’clock news every day is worth doing. You can also listen to the French radio and listen to French music (although it is not everyone’s cup of tea!)

If you have visited France or are planning to visit France in the future, make sure you keep in touch with the people you meet. This is the most important part of keeping your language at a solid level. There is no substitute for actually having a conversation in French with a French person. It is even worth finding a pen pal you can write to in French and they they can write to you in English. That way you are both winners.

Grammar. I have kept this to last. Unfortunately this is equally as important as your oral skills. Prospective employers will be keen to test your written French so accuracy is vital. The only way to do it is to practise, like anything else. There are plenty of websites available to test your grammar. You just have to grin and bear it and you will reap the benefits.

How to make the most of recruitment agencies

Hiring is difficult for everyone concerned. The average job seeker sends their CV out in all directions, only to sit waiting for feedback. On the other side of the spectrum, Employers spend hours analysing mountains of CVs, struggling to find a good match for their position. It has been estimated that between 7 and 20% of the salary for a position can be spent trying to fill it and that this process tends to take around 30-45 days. Solving these problems is just where recruiters come in. Able to find out exactly what both employers and job seekers are looking for, recruitment agencies are in the position to hugely speed up the hiring process. So how can you really make the most of a recruitment agency? And what should you take into consideration before choosing one?

With more than 4186 recruitment agencies in the UK and nearly 1600 in France, you should give time to deciding which one is best for you. Recruiters in general fill all kinds of jobs, from nursing to administration to manual labour. For this reason, many recruitment agencies specialise in a particular sector. Some recruiters even arrange training for candidates relevant to the specific sector, enabling them to build up skills and become more marketable. The ideal in choosing an agency is to go on recommendations. Find out if people you know in your field have any experience that they can share with you. Call up an agency you are considering and have a chat with a consultant. This way you can get a feel for the agency. Ask yourself; “Do they have my best interests at heart?”, “Would they get back to me with useful feedback?” and “Do they invite two way communication?”. Check the agency’s online credentials too. Pro-active, up-to-date agencies usually update their websites regularly and have an active social media presence.

Once you have chosen your agency, what should be done to make the most of it? Well, recruitment agencies handle the job search process on behalf of their client, lining up candidates who might suit a role.  Good recruiters pride themselves on really getting to know both candidate and client, making them well-equipped to make the best possible fit. For this reason, it is vital that candidates liaising with recruitment agencies do the following in order to benefit from the full potential of the relationship.

Honesty is essential. Tell your recruiting consultant as much about what you are looking for as possible; your ideal salary, sector, hours and so on. Holding information back or giving them what you feel is the right answer will only hinder their chances of finding you a great match. You build up a relationship with a recruiter, so start as you would in any other relationship; by being honest! This – like all relationships – takes two. Find out as much as possible about your recruitment agency and do a background check or get a recommendation before signing up – but more on that later!

Keep in touch. Just signing up to a recruitment agency doesn’t mean that you’ve automatically got a job. There will definitely be waiting involved, but this isn’t an opportunity for you to sit back and relax. Stay on the ball and take an active role. Check your agency’s website regularly, as offers will usually be updated there (which is definitely the case for TM International!). Call every week or so to let them know that you are still interested, but know where to draw the line between taking a keen interest and badgering your recruiter.

Be Realistic. Although any recruiter will understand your urgency, you are not their only candidate! They will have the same sort of questions coming from different candidates from all directions, so be realistic in what you expect from them. Remember that a recruitment agency is just a support to your job search. It may be a fantastic support, but be realistic and don’t forget to do your own research as well!

As long as you are realistic, choose an agency wisely and listen carefully to the advice that these experts in their field have to give, then seeking the help of a recruiter really can make a huge difference to your job search.

Good Luck!