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!

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What Makes a Good Candidate?

The job market is as competitive as ever, and when applying for a post you could be up against any number of highly qualified candidates. Sometimes you may think you performed excellently in interview, only to find someone else was offered the job, leaving you asking yourself what sets people apart in a crowd all vying for the same job. Not to worry; we at TM have a great deal of experience in what makes a good candidate, and although requirements of course vary from post to post, there are some golden rules to go by:

  • A good CV

The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. They say first impressions count, and for the vast majority of job applications your CV will be the first thing the employer sees. Luckily for you, some simple superficial tweaks will help you get noticed. Of course the usual advice of making sure everything is clearly presented on one or two sides of A4 applies here, and an additional tip is to place the most important information in the top middle section of the page, where the eye naturally falls first. If you’re stuck, ask someone who has experience in CV selection to take a look at yours and polish it up.

  • Relevant experience

This goes hand in hand with a good CV, and is also extremely variable based on the post you’re applying for. It’s not enough to simply have the experience, you have to know how to present in correctly on your CV and relate it to the job applied for in the interview. If you’re lacking in experience directly relevant to the post, or if it’s your first job, you can consider how your other experience and qualifications taught you transferrable skills that will make you more attractive.

  • Reactivity

Make sure you’re available and responsive when making interview plans. Get email alerts on your phone or make sure you’re by a computer so that you can reply promptly, and if it all possible prioritise the interview over other plans.

  • Presentation

This one is so simple and yet so many can get it wrong! Make sure you’re clean and wearing something simple and professional when you arrive for interview; the level of formality will depend on the company, but as a general rule leave the jeans and t-shirt at home. Also, this isn’t the time to make any bold fashion statements, play it safe with something classic and understated.

  • Good etiquette at interview

This means showing up at the right time, preferably around 5 minutes before the interview is due to start. Don’t worry too much if you’re 5 or 10 minutes late, interviewers understand that problems can arise with transport etc., but under no circumstances should you show up early! It can be quite irritating as your interviewer may well have something planned beforehand. In addition, make sure you remember your basic manners, like standing up to shake your interviewers hand and good eye contact.

These are just some of the simpler steps you take to increase your chances of success when applying for a job, and now you know all of this, why not take a look at our offers and send an application in now? And if you enjoyed this and would like to read more of the same, head over to our blog now.

What Does Fluency Mean to You?

As a company specialising in the recruitment of bilingual secretaries, it’s important to examine exactly what we mean by ‘bilingual’, or rather what is implied by fluency. The word is bandied around, laden with implicit meaning, in questions to language learners and expats alike (“But are you fluent yet?”) and as anyone with any experience in this area can tell you, the answer is far from simple.

Most would suggest a definition along the lines of ‘conversing accurately and with ease’, and indeed this seems to be the consensus amongst dictionaries. Does this mean that a fluent speaker must have a perfect mastery of the language? Certainly not. The myriad aspects of language are almost impossible to list, let alone to master. To any native English speakers: how many of you can provide a definition of the verb ‘to jargogle’? Does your likely inability to define this obscure word as the act of confusing or mixing things up demonstrate that you are not, as you had previously thought, a fluent English speaker? It seems that rather than demanding absolute lexical knowledge of a language as proof of fluency, we should look more towards contextual understanding of unknown words and the ability to use the target language to fill gaps in vocabulary. For example: the ability to describe a coaster as a small mat for a drink without knowing the word itself. Of course, excellent and consistent grammatical knowledge is necessary, but fluent second language speakers and natives alike will occasionally slip up in this regard; what matters is that communication is not impeded.

As far as accents go, some will go very far towards perfecting theirs in a foreign language, but only a handful will rid themselves completely of their native language accent – and should this really be the goal? A (slight!) accent should be worn as a badge of honour, as proof of the hard work put in to acquire your second language, rather than seen as something to be ashamed of. Few would claim that Marion Cotillard, for example, does not speak English fluently due to her slight French accent.

Then there is the romantic idea that dreaming in a foreign language is the ultimate indicator of fluency. The trouble with dreams is that they are particularly hard to measure and do not necessarily accompany fluency, although they are certainly a good sign of mental immersion. Furthermore, many beginners have been known to dream in their second language without understanding what is being spoken around them, which is quite probably gibberish!

Perhaps the most sensible way to view fluency is as the ability to function in your second language in the same capacities as your native one. Evidently this will mean different things for different people and therefore adds a personal aspect lacking from the ‘accurately and with ease’ definition. For example: the ability to discuss astrophysics would be irrelevant for most, whereas for a German scientist working in an Anglophone environment this might be an integral part of bilingualism.

What does fluency mean to you, and would you classify yourself as fluent in any languages you’ve learnt? Do any of these definitions really matter? Maybe you think we’d do best to get rid of the label completely and simply focus on being able to communicate with one another!

If you enjoyed reading this, you can look at our blog for more of the same. Also if you’re searching for a job, don’t hesitate to look at our offers.

3 Trésors gratuits en ligne pour maîtriser une langue étrangère

Vous avez un très bon niveau dans une langue mais vous ne la parlez pas encore couramment ?  Comment trouver ainsi des ressources en ligne pour perfectionner votre maîtrise ?

Si on débute l’apprentissage d’une nouvelle langue, il est facile de trouver des logiciels en ligne adaptés à votre niveau : Duolingo, par exemple, nommé application de l’année 2013 par l’entreprise Apple, propose des exercices ludiques pour vous enseigner, et il y en a beaucoup d’autres qui suivent ce modèle.

Quant aux locuteurs adeptes, le défi consiste cependant à trouver des outils en ligne correspondant à leur niveau supérieur.  Acquérir un vocabulaire de base, comme « dog » et « cat », ne vous sert à rien si le besoin est d’étoffer un lexique technique.  En plus, à quoi bon faire des exercices pédagogiques si vous souhaitez maîtriser un anglais des affaires courant ?  Ne vous inquiétez pas parce que voici plusieurs suggestions pour vous :

WeSpeke

Imaginez un mélange entre Skype et WordReference, et voilà, vous pensez à WeSpeke.  C’est un réseau social qui vous permet de joindre des locuteurs natifs aux quatre coins de la planète et avoir des conversations avec eux en temps réel.  Choisissez votre niveau de langue (1 pour un débutant et 5 pour un natif) ainsi que vos intérêts et vous serez prêt à vous lancer dans une communauté globale ! Vous parlez à tour de rôle dans votre langue maternelle d’un thème qui vous intéresse, les deux pendant un certain temps avant de changer de langue.  Ce site est tellement populaire qu’il connaît un succès grandissant depuis son lancement en 2010.  Inscrivez-vous ou trouvez plus de renseignements ici.

Linguee

Vous parlez couramment une langue mais vous avez du mal à traduire certaines expressions techniques ou spécifiques ? C’est Linguee que vous cherchez !  Un dictionnaire en ligne qui propose des traductions contextuelles, l’outil ramasse ses données des sites officiels qui ont été traduits par des traducteurs professionnels.  Donc, la prochaine fois qu’il vous faut trouver l’expression équivalente de ‘produit intérieur brut annuel’ en anglais, allez sur : www.linguee.fr !

Meetup

Etre bilingue à partir d’un logiciel… c’est probablement une promesse trop belle pour être vraie.  Cela dit, vous pourrez profiter du web pour rencontrer des gens dont la langue maternelle est celle que vous désirez perfectionner.  Meetup propose une manière de joindre les gens dans votre région qui ont envie de se retrouver.  Il y a beaucoup d’échanges linguistiques dont vous pouvez bénéficier.  Il faut simplement créer un compte pour découvrir l’adresse de votre prochain rendez-vous… n’hésitez pas !

Si vous avez d’autres astuces pour se perfectionner en langue, partagez-les avec nous en les écrivant en dessous.

Et ne pas oublier de visiter notre site pour découvrir toutes nos offres d’actualité pour les personnes bilingues ici.

Le bilinguisme : bien plus qu’un atout pour votre vie professionnelle uniquement

Que vous ayez tout-juste fini vos études supérieures ou que vous ayez déjà été un membre actif du monde du travail, vous sauriez qu’aujourd’hui, la capacité de parler couramment dans une seconde langue peut non seulement vous ouvrir des portes qui ne le seraient pas sans cette aptitude, mais aussi vous permettre de vous démarquer aux yeux de recruteurs potentiels. Dans l’économie globale actuelle, la communication est essentielle, et alors que de plus en plus d’entreprises ouvrent leurs horizons vers l’étranger, le bilinguisme est devenu un atout clé. En effet, connaître une seconde langue vous donne les outils pour comprendre le fonctionnement d’un business à l’étranger, mais aussi, vous permet presque automatiquement d’acquérir le respect de votre interlocuteur en étant capable de communiquer dans sa langue natale.

Mais en plus de vous équiper d’atouts pour le monde professionnel, apprendre une seconde langue vous procure également plusieurs avantages cognitifs. Et vous bénéficieriez mentalement que vous soyez bilingues depuis votre enfance, ou, qu’au contraire vous ayez développé la capacité de parler une seconde langue couramment étant adulte. Voici quelques-uns des « bonus » liés au bilinguisme.

– Votre mémoire s’améliore
On compare souvent le cerveau à un muscle, car elle fonctionne mieux avec l’entrainement. Apprendre une nouvelle implique la mémorisation de règles et de vocabulaire, qui aident justement à renforcer ce « muscle » mental. Ces exercices améliorent votre mémoire, et signifie que les personnes parlant plusieurs langues peuvent se souvenir de listes et séquences. Ainsi, plusieurs études ont montré que les personnes bilingues avaient plus de facilité à se remémorer des listes de courses, noms, et directions, par exemple.

– Vous construisez des capacités de « multi-tasking »
Les personnes multi linguistes, et surtout les enfants, ont le talent de pouvoir alterner entre deux systèmes de parole, d’écriture et de structure. Selon une étude réalisée par L’Université de Pennsylvanie, ce talent de « jonglage » entre deux langues leur permet d’effectuer plusieurs tâches à la fois très aisément. Lors d’une étude, les participants ont fait l’exercice d’opérer un simulateur de conduite tout en faisant d’autres tâches séparées et distrayantes en même temps. La recherche a monté que les participants qui parlaient plus qu’une langue commettaient moins de fautes dans leur conduite.

– Vous repoussez les risques de développer l’Alzheimer et la démence.
Plusieurs études ont été conduites à ce sujet, et les résultats sont révélateurs. Pour les adultes monolingues, l’âge qui présente les premiers signes de démence est celle de 71.4, alors que dans le cas des adultes pouvant communiquer dans deux langues ou plus, ces signes apparaissent généralement plutôt vers l’âge de 75.5 ans. Les études ont pris en compte plusieurs facteurs tel que le niveau d’éducation, le niveau du salaire, le genre et la santé physique des sujets, mais les résultats sont consistants.

– Votre aptitude à prendre des décisions rapidement s’améliore
Selon une étude de l’université de Chicago, les bilingues ont tendance à prendre des décisions plus rationnelles. Toute langue contient des nuances et des implications subtiles dans le vocabulaire, et celles-ci peuvent influencer votre jugement de manière subconsciente. Pour cette raison, les bilingues sont plus confiants dans leurs décisions après les avoir revus dans leur deuxième langue et en ayant constaté si leurs conclusions initiales subsistaient.

– Vous vous améliorez dans votre première langue
Apprendre une seconde langue peut diriger votre attention vers les mécanismes du langage : que ce soit dans la grammaire, les conjugaisons, et la structure. Ceci vous rend plus sensible au langage et les façons dont elle peut être structurée et manipulée. Vous devenez ainsi un locuteur plus efficace et un écrivain, ou éditeur plus pointu. Les bilingues acquièrent également une bonne écoute, étant donné qu’ils sont habiles en matière de distinguer la signification derrière les sons discrets.

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

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Have you ever lied in an interview or at work? The answer is probably. Basic human instinct is survival… therefore, exaggerating, omitting and embellishing the truth are often used to cut ahead of the rest in order to get hired or promoted. In an ideal world in which career progression were easy, honesty would of course be the best policy. But with youth unemployment at 22.8%[i] in France and promotions harder to come by, how much do you need to lie to survive in the recruitment process or is honesty really the best policy?

 

The CV

 

The first impression an employer gets from a candidate is their CV… it’s sink or swim!  It is not surprising that 53% of CVs contain falsehoods to survive this stage[ii].  These falsehoods may consist of made-up experiences or skills and even stretching dates of employment, resulting in a more employable and impressive candidate. But beware… whitewashing the truth on your CV rather than merely embroidering it is becoming more dangerous. There has been a recent rise in pre-employment screenings caused by the high demand for jobs; now candidates that have lied are being found out in the first round.

 

The Interview

 

The second impression that an employer gets in the recruitment stage comes from the interview. Candidates will primarily be asked about their CV and if they have not been honest they risk getting caught in their own web of lies and botching their interview.  Some questions, however, may require the candidate to exclude information and facts. Common interview advice is to avoid any negativity towards previous jobs. If asked “Why did you leave your previous job?” an honest reply such as “because I hated my boss…” is not an appropriate answer. Omission of the truth can often be essential in order to keep within the professional boundaries of an interview and to ensure a good impression is made.

 

The Workplace

 

Once in the workplace, careful attention must be paid. Lies are regularly used as a safety net to avoid punishment having made an error. Excuses such as “My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning” should be left in the playground as an apology is more effective in these menial cases. In more serious cases lying to cover up fatal errors or to put yourself ahead of anyone else is more treacherous. This can result in chronic lies causing paranoia and insecurities within the workplace until the truth eventually comes out. In fact, 15% of employees in today’s businesses have been caught lying while at work[iii]. Once found out as a liar the employee’s relationships and reputation will be permanently damaged and they risk losing their job.

Most bosses will be appreciative when told the truth rather than a cover up. Honesty is viewed as courageous whereas dishonesty is cowardice. Statistically, employees who told fewer lies had better relationships and smoother interactions within the workplace[iv]. An honest employee’s credibility and integrity speaks for itself, giving that person increased opportunities since the honest employee has proven themselves.  Furthermore, the peace of mind associated with a moral outlook in the office will result in higher productivity and happiness.

The Answer

In conclusion, there is far more to lose than gain from lying. When applying for a job it is understandable to want to present yourself in the most flattering light, especially in the current market. However, honesty is also highly valued and appreciated in the workplace and can be counted on as the best policy. The advice to give would be: Do not have a reason to be dishonest in the first place. Prove yourself to be a great candidate and employee on your own merit rather than lie and risk your reputation and job.

 

 Alternatively, lie your way to the top… just don’t get caught!

The Value of The French Language

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English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language. As English is now considered the “universal language”, does bilingualism in French have any value in the recruitment process?  The answer is yes.

Being bilingual in French leads to more benefits than just raw human dialogue. It opens a new world of communication skills that are essential in the work place. As the world becomes a seemingly smaller place, the influence of the French language is becoming wider in tandem with the internet and new markets. For candidates in the job market, a grasp of the French language might be what it takes to shine out from the rest as its value is ever increasing.

As the world becomes more socially, economically and technologically connected, competence in languages such as French is increasingly important.  There are a total of around 355 million French speakers worldwide including new markets that are considered economically important in the near future. The French speaking market is eminent and drives up the demand for French speakers in the job market.

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The French language is also opening new doors for international companies that were not considered valuable in the past. Half of the top-10 fastest growing countries in Africa have French as an official language and we can thus expect Africa to be an increasing focus of global trade and international relations.

Moreover, French is the third most used language on the internet ahead of Spanish. The internet has enabled entirely new forms of communication, research and business in recent years and is now considered a ‘basic need’. Bilingual candidates have goldmines of information at their fingertips that would otherwise be inaccessible to those relying on English.

Good communication skills are valued by many employers as “the most important of all life skills” and the candidate who can deal with a customer in their own language will without doubt have an edge. With the graduate job market crowded and a poor economic climate, bilingual communication skills are bordering on essential.  The recipe for successful communication skills is to understand the culture of the country you are doing business with which comes from being bilingual.

A grasp of the culture gives an understanding of acceptable behaviour and ethical differences that should be recognised for any real communication to take place. Miscommunications may have a serious impact on the success of the negotiation process. Whether it is following instructions or perceiving the motives of a client, it is essential in a working environment.

No one can deny the importance of the English language on an international scale however this does not reduce the value of French.  With the expanding Francophone sphere of influence combined with the necessary communication skills that accompany fluency, bilingual candidates shine out ahead of the rest.  The French language is therefore invaluable during the recruitment process and is becoming even more important with global development. Set yourself apart from the rest and learn French.

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.

MAKE YOUR LANGUAGES WORK FOR YOU: How being bilingual can help you get ahead!

It is well-acknowledged that one of the best ways to get ahead in your career and broaden your horizons is to learn a foreign language. Whether companies are conducting business overseas or fighting for a larger market share at home, employers are increasingly seeking out bilingual workers. A recent “CareerBuilder.com” keyword search turned up more than 1,000 job postings seeking bilingual applicants in the United States alone.

The more professional contacts you can communicate with, the more versatile and thus more valuable you become. Broadly speaking, Mandarin, English, Spanish and Arabic are some of the most widely spoken tongues in the world. Though it is impossible to ascertain exact figures, estimates for English vary between 250 and 450 million. In terms of languages used most widely in an official capacity, the list is topped by English (57 countries), followed by French at 28, then Arabic, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese.

The lure of living the expat life can also provide strong motivation to acquire a second language, with the United Arab Emirates topping the tables with an expat population of more than 70%. Within Europe, over 30% of Luxembourg’s population is expats, though in terms of quantity, Germany leads the way with over 10 million non-native inhabitants, followed swiftly by France. To stand a chance in the increasingly competitive expat job market amongst the 3 million Britons currently working abroad, developing your language competencies is vital.

The key to making a language work for you is taking a thorough approach. Once you have attained a high enough standard, you must work hard to maintain it. Remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it! This necessitates extra effort outside of the work environment, to avoid it becoming a dormant and unused skill on your CV. Preferred methods vary from person to person and can be tailored to your interests. Enrolling on a conversation exchange programme, for example on http://www.linguapassion.com/?lang=en, can be an enjoyable way to practise and meet like-minded people, whilst other options include watching films and reading novels in the original language.

Although at the outset it may seem like an uphill struggle to attain operational fluency in a foreign language, if you are willing to put in the time now, the long-term value of your linguistic skills cannot be overestimated!