Archive for the ‘Recruitment’ Category

What Next for Employers

Okay, so we’ve sent you a list of candidates.  You’ve reviewed them, seen their videos, read their CVs, and narrowed them down to a short list.  What next? Before the interview (it’s a long topic worthy of it’s own blog post), what should you be doing to prepare?

The most important thing is figuring out what you want. Obviously you want a new member of staff or you wouldn’t be hiring, but what is it that you’re really looking for in an employee?  Do you want someone creative?  Someone who’ll work lots of overtime when it’s necessary?  Someone who fits in with the team culture?  Someone with very set ideas, or someone who you can mould in the company’s image?  Thinking about this before will help you stay focused during the interview process, and help you to determine which candidates are right for your current needs.

You should do a bit of homework on the candidate before they arrive.  Read their CV, watch their video on our website, but also consider digging a bit deeper.  You could, for example, spend a couple minutes researching their previous company, an orginisation they volunteer for, or even an unusual pastime they have written about on their CV.  The idea behind this is to get a well-rounded view of this candidate.  This will help you to see who will best fit the slot you are looking to fill, and will also give you more to discuss during the interview.  An added bonus is that candidates will usually enjoy the fact that you took a couple extra minutes to consider their backgrounds and will likely think more highly of your company as a result.

Finally, spend a couple minutes thinking about how to sell this position.  Interviews are a two-way street (yes, even in these tough economic times) and candidates are using the interview process to interview you right back.  So think about why they would want this position beforehand.  Is there lots of room for growth in your organisation?  Do you offer unusually good benefits?  Do you offer flexi-time, or maybe have a gym on-site? Is the work itself interesting and challenging?  Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to convey them to candidates during the interview, which will sell them on the position.

Happy hiring!

Job Seekers & Employers

Job seekers have long been told that they should have an elevator pitch, but it’s excellent advice for employers as well.

First of all, what is an elevator pitch?   It’s a short, concise, description of yourself or your company/role that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator.  This can be helpful for a couple reasons.  It’s important to be able to sell yourself at any time, to anyone you might happen to meet.  Even more importantly, thinking up an elevator pitch will help you focus on your most important selling points.  It’s worth taking a few minutes to think about what you would tell someone about yourself or the role you’re hiring for, if you only had time to discuss the most important points.

Job hunters, you never know who you’ll meet or when you’ll meet them.  You need to be ready to explain to a potential employer why they should hire you, even if you meet them while standing in line for a takeaway.  Stranger things have happened!  It’s also important for you to keep it in mind during interviews.  Even if they don’t ask that exact question, interviewers will be wondering why they should hire you.  Knowing your elevator pitch will keep your answers focused on the reasons you’re great for the job.

Employers, you should also have a pitch.  Although it may seem like you hold all the cards, employees are also scoping you out to see if you’ll be a good fit in their lives.   They’ll want to know what you offer.  Is it a role with a great chance for advancement?  Is there a gym in the building?  Do you offer a great pension, 30 days holiday, or flexible working?  What’s interesting about the role?  Why should the best and brightest employees on the job market be tripping all over themselves to get hired?

So, take 5 minutes and think of your elevator pitch. You never know when you’ll need it!

Dana G.

Answers to Questions

We’ve had a quite few questions about security temp positions since my last blog post, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer some of the more common ones for you.

Why would I need temporary security staff?

There are a lot of situations where temporary security staff could come in handy.  Sometimes employers who regularly use security staff might need extra hands for bigger events.

Other times, places that don’t normally use security staff might need them.  At David Alan, we will staff anything from an outdoor picnic to large sporting or social events.

And, of course, we will provide cover if your regular security staff are unavailable to work.

How does David Alan screen their security staff?

First, we take a comprehensive job spec, which we use to advertise the role.  From our applicants, we choose a shortlist to be invited in for interviews.

All pretty standard so far, but here’s the David Alan twist: We capture the interviews on film, and send the video clip along with their CVs to the candidate.  This allows them to see the candidate’s unique personalities and make an informed decision about who they’d like to interview.

Do David Alan security staff come with uniforms or equipment?
If uniforms or equipment are required, they are supplied by the client so they can meet their specific specifications.

Tips for Temps

Now that I’ve (hopefully) sold you on temping, here are some ways to do a great job of it.

Treat it like a real job (because it is one).  This might seem like a no-brainer, but many temps show up late, don’t dress professionally, or do the bare minimum that’s asked of them.  This obviously does not reflect well on the temp, and in extreme cases, might actually get them dismissed from the role.

Be honest with your agency.  If your agency asks if you have experience with a specific skill, instrument or procedure, do not lie.  Telling a lie might get your foot in the door initially, but the employer has requested those skills because they are necessary in order to do the job.  As soon as it becomes apparent that you lied, you will be sent packing.  Worse, you will have tarnished your, and your agency’s, reputations.

Consider being a bit flexible.  Your agent might suggest a role that might not fall in line with your long-term career goals.  It’s okay to be a bit picky and wait for your dream role, but it’s also okay to branch out a little bit and try something new.

Ask how you can help.  If your to-do pile is already done, don’t just sit around staring at the wall and waiting for new work to come in.  By offering to help, you are making yourself valuable to the organisations. Again, this is the type of thing hiring managers look for.

Keep job hunting.  If you are temping because you haven’t yet found the right full time job, don’t let the fact that you are temping stop you from applying.  Temping is a great way of meeting people, learning new skills, and earning some money but most temp roles will not go on indefinitely.  It’s important to keep your CV up to date and to keep applying for jobs.

Dana G.

How Temping Can Help You Get Ahead

Some people who are looking for permanent positions have told me they do not like temp roles.  One friend even told me it’s akin to dating the wrong guy –  the right guy could come along and she wouldn’t even notice because she would be too busy with Mr. Wrong!  This friend of mine is actually missing out on some wonderful opportunities.

Working as a temp is a great way to hone a wide range of skills.  Temps work with a variety of different computer programs, in a variety of different environments, with a variety of different people. When filling out job applications or answering interview questions, someone who has been temping can confidently answer that they have experience with a wide variety of situations.  Temping demonstrates flexibility, desire to work, and ability to function in to a variety of different conditions.  These are qualities that make a prospective employee appear very attractive to a hiring manager.

Temping is an outstanding way to network and show off your skills. Even if there are no jobs currently available, the next time a role opens up, an impressive temp will be the first to get a phone call.  Many employers also like to hire on a temp-to-perm basis, so they can evaluate the employees skills before committing to hiring them long term.  If you go in to a temp role and wow them, there’s a very real possibility that you could be offered a full time contract.

Employers know that temps are generally in the process of job hunting, and if the situation allows, some of them might be a bit more flexible when it comes to time off for interviews.  This obviously varies by industry and employer, so use your judgment.

Finally, working as a temp allows you try a variety of different jobs on for size.  You might even discover a hidden talent!

Dana G.


Job Hunters: Why use an Agency?

Job hunters, listen up: It’s tough out there these days.  Between skyrocketing unemployment rates, stiff competition for every available job, laborious online job applications, and the old adage that it isn’t what you know but who you know that will find you employment, today’s job seekers need every friend they can get.

And that’s where recruitment specialists (especially David Alan) come in!  We are the first to hear about many available roles, and can quickly match them to qualified candidates.  We know what the employer is looking for, so you won’t waste time applying for positions you aren’t suited or qualified for.  Best of all, we know you.  And that means we can sell you.

Being faced with a stack of CVs as an employer is daunting.  When a trusted consultant tells them that they have a perfect candidate to fill a vacancy, that candidate will go straight to the top of their stack.

Once your CV has been read, and an interview has been scheduled, a consultant can give you inside information about the hiring manager.  What are they looking for?  What do they want to hear?  These are advantages you can only get by using a consultant.

Some agencies even offer special services.  For example, at David Alan we offer a Talking Heads service, where we videotape our candidates.  This allows employers to get a better feel for potential candidates and select the ones they feel would best fit into their orginisation.  This is of benefit to job hunters as well.  Some CVs might be overlooked, but upon “meeting” a candidate on video, an employer might deicde they would be a perfect fit.

Finally, recruitment consultants are trained and experienced in finding people jobs. As a job hunter, why wouldn’t you want an expert on your side, especially at no cost to you?

Dana G.


Why Hire Young?

It’s no secret that young people are having a tough time finding a job these days.  Employers receive hundreds of applications for every role they advertise, and they are in a position where they can afford to be selective.  Unfortunately for the 1.04 million unemployed people between the ages of 16 and 24 (as of December 2011, according to the UK Office for National Statistics), selective can often mean choosing someone with experience doing the precise role that is being advertised.

Many of these unemployed young people have either never held a job, or have held a part time job throughout school or university.  Whole they may have gained many transferable skills through their studies, life experiences and part time jobs, they are still getting passed over in favour of people with more experience.

But hiring one of these young people could bring with it some unexpected benefits.

Here are 5: Flexibility: Young people are often more flexible in terms of the hours they can work due to less commitments such as childcare.  They are generally also more willing to relocate as they are not tied to one place by a mortgage or spouse as often.

Transferable Skills: They may not have the job title on their CV, but many of these young people have all the skills necessary to perform these roles.

The Future: With a significant portion of the population reaching retirement age in the next few years, hiring some younger people now will make for a smooth transition.

A New Point of View: Young people bring in a new perspective and can add a lot of valuable insight especially when it comes to trend-oriented markets like technology, social media or music.

The Company Culture:  If someone is being hired for their first or second job, they don’t have a set idea of how things “should” be done, and will likely bend to fit in with your ways of working and company culture.

Dana G.

How I Found David Alan Recruitment

David Alan Consultancy

Like any good job hunter, whenever I see a missed call I immediately hop on Google to see who (or which job opportunity) has rung. Late one afternoon, I found myself Googling David Alan Recruitment’s number.  I’d never heard of them before, but after checking to make sure they were legitimate, I rang them back.

I was greeted by Rosanne, the bubbly, enthusiastic managing director.  She told me about a secretarial role that she thought I’d be great for.  I told her I wasn’t interested as I am attempting to find communications roles.  Most recruiters would have thanked me for ringing back at that point, and put down the phone.

Instead, Rosanne asked what kind of roles I was seeking, and when I told her I was after communications roles, and I’m trying to get my foot in the door in the charity sector, she told me she had a short term position at a charity for the next week.  I was overjoyed!  She suggested we meet for a coffee to discuss.  She was warm, engaging, and really listed to what I wanted.

In the end, not only did she place me in a short-term charity role, she also offered to let me work on her social media for David Alan! Wins all around. David Alan gets an extra hand on deck, and I get valuable communications experience!

Dana G.

Help Start Youth Careers

Video recruitment increases graduate placements even when they have little work experience - help start youth careers

The Government has launched initiatives to help get 350,000 young people into work.

The number of young people out of work during the three months to September 2011 rose by 67,000. The total is the highest since comparable records began 19 years ago.


Youth unemployment hits one million

Youth unemployment hits one million

Last month, youth unemployment (ie under 25 years) touched 1 million.

In these grim economic times, even a university degree doesn’t guarantee you a job, as many despairing graduates have discovered.

So what can be done to help?

“The government needs to start investing in opportunities for graduates and supporting businesses that are willing to employ young workers.” says Estelle Hart, spokesperson for the National Union of Students (NUS).

Last year the government axed the Future Jobs Fund, which was created to fund invaluable work experience for young people and graduates. Its withdrawal means there is little or no incentive for employers to take on a new generation of employees who are our future.

But there are glimmers of hope.

Growth may be slow in the permanent market but temporary work is steady. We help candidates recognise their strengths and skills, and capture it on video so it enhances their written CV which very often has minimal work experience.

Clearly these young people have loads of energy and commitment and keen to have a chance in a first job. What they lack in experience they make up in enthusiasm.

David Alan’s candidate video clips allow employers to view 10 candidates in 20 minutes.

To find out how we can save you time when taking on temporary staff to enhance your business in the short term, please contact us at David Alan Consultants.

Rosanne Shochot
David Alan Consultants
Recruitment specialists placing staff who last

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