The Benefits Of Bringing In Temporary Workers

“Help!” you shout on the phone to a local staffing agency.  “We’ve hit our busy season and need more bodies here. Fast.”

Bringing in a temporary worker (a “temp”) may be the right solution for you.  They can fill a gap quickly and there’s no long-term commitment involved.

Temporary Staff Versus Contract Workers

There may be some uncertainty over the terms “temp” and “contract worker.” To clarify, temp generally refers to a temporary worker you retain through a placement agency or personnel firm.  A temp is brought into your workplace for short assignments.  These engagements can range from a single day to several months.

Temps are paid by the staffing agency that represents them. Your firm contracts directly with the agency, not with the temp.  It is up to the staffing firm to pay the temp’s salary, deduct for taxes, and do the associated paper work.

When To Consider Using Temps

Over the years the role of temps has broadened.  Early on they were mainly lower paying positions, such as administrative assistants.  These groups are still among the most popular temp roles. However today you can find temps to do accounting tasks, marketing functions, and other higher level duties.

Unsure as to when a temp would be appropriate for you? How about when one of your employees suddenly gets sick for a week or two.  Or a key customer moves their deadline up on a big project you don’t quite have the staff on hand for.  Temps also come in handy if a staffer quits with little notice, is on holiday while you need work done.

An obvious advantage of using temps is their flexibility.  You can bring them in with little lead time, then stop using them right away as your need for extra workers subsides. Here are some other positives:

  • Relieves your existing staff from being over-burdened and burned out
  • Temps can be brought in to do specialised work your existing staff may not be qualified (or willing) to do
  • Enables you to meet project deadlines and handle extraordinary business demands, thereby increasing your bottom line
  • Since the staffing agency is the actual employer, you don’t necessarily have to increase headcount in order to employ more workers on occasion
  • If you’re impressed with the temp’s performance, there may be an opportunity to hire them on a permanent basis (this is an arrangement you would have to negotiate with the agency that represents them)

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Temps

Another nice thing about temps is that the staffing agencies they work for may provide them with updated training.  The result for you is better productivity.

You’ll still have to put aside time for basic on boarding though.  To ease your temp into their role, ensure that you assign someone who’ll be responsible for the temp’s experience at your firm.  Have your assigned employee show the temp around, familiarise them with their equipment, and explain procedures.  This employee should also outline specific expectations and be available to answer questions.

An experienced temp is used to popping in and out of workplaces.  Yet you can make their stay with you more enjoyable – and hopefully more productive – by showing that you appreciate them.

If possible, instruct your employees to greet temps in a friendly way, treating them with respect at all times.  And respond to a temp’s inquiries or requests promptly.  Although a temp may be with you for a short time only, you and your employees can make it worth every moment.

Author: Mark Swartz is a Canadian Workplace Specialist

How Brexit Is Impacting Your Hiring Strategy

With just under a year to go until Brexit, 96% of HR professionals and recruiters say that Brexit is already having an impact on their hiring strategies. Almost 50% of which envision a ‘big’ or ‘huge’ impact is still coming.

This new research comes from the first of LinkedIn’s quarterly Recruiter Sentiment Survey, which will track in-house HR departments’ and agency recruiters’ confidence in their ability to fill available roles, reflecting the trends they are seeing in the marketplace.

Brexit taking its toll on hiring

According to respondents, the top factors impacting hiring strategies as a result of Brexit are; the availability of talent, business uncertainty, the reluctance of candidates to move to the UK and competition from international businesses.

As Brexit negotiations continue, recruiters are seeing a negative impact on international hiring into the UK. Some are seeing a decrease in hiring from core European markets; with 37% of recruiters seeing a decrease from Italy, 35% from France, 35% from Germany, 32% from the Netherlands, 29% from Spain and 33% from other EU 27 countries over the last quarter. But it’s not just the EU, recruiters are seeing a decrease in hires from South Africa (27%), Canada (27%), Australia (26%) and the USA (25%) too.

Based on their conversations with candidates, over two-fifths (44%) said the UK is now less attractive to EU 27 candidates, and a third (28%) to the rest of the world. London, in particular, could be losing its appeal as a result of Brexit, with recruiters feeling the biggest impact on hiring – 54% say it’s having a ‘huge’ or ‘big’ impact and 39% said reluctance of candidates to relocate to the capital was a factor in this.

With just under a year to go until we officially leave the EU, it’s clear that this is one of the biggest factors impacting hiring strategies. With less international talent looking to the UK for career opportunities, the war for talent is more competitive than ever as the UK labour market tightens.

This means there is a huge opportunity for businesses to focus on their employer branding efforts – to make their voice heard and their brand name known. Only then will they be able to attract the top professionals – at home and further afield. The sectors which are feeling the biggest impact on hiring as a result of Brexit – according to talent professionals – are healthcare (13%), manufacturing (11%), construction (11%), education (11%), banking and finance (11%) and retail (10%).

Recruiters are still confident

Despite concerns about the impact of the Brexit vote, overall confidence amongst talent professionals is relatively high. What is found is that 71% feel ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ confident about their ability to recruit the right talent, and almost 50% have seen an increase in hiring over the first quarter of 2018. Over two-fifths have seen no change in hiring rates.

For those who have seen an increase in hiring, the main reasons behind this have been: business growth, more vacancies. more suitable candidates on the market and sector-specific needs. Sourcing and hiring candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds is a ‘major’ or ‘big’ priority for recruiters, according to 56%.

Three tips to help you counter the Brexit effect

There are three important steps you should be taking to address the talent challenges you might face after the Brexit vote.

  1. Ensuring that long-term hiring strategies and workforce planning are aligned with business priorities is vital. HR teams should be leveraging workforce insights and data to ensure that in combination with their recruiters’ instincts, they make informed decisions and plan to hire talent not just for skills their business needs now, but will need in six to 12 months’ time too.
  2. Make more of what you already have, and think about how you could upskill your existing team to ensure that your business is well equipped to navigate the more competitive external hiring landscape. Think learning and development first.
  3. Elevate your brand beyond borders. Make it appealing to the talent you need now, and in the future, to ensure your access to the talent pool you need, from the UK and abroad, is maintained.

About the author: Jon Addison is the Head of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn UK.

Feedback to Candidates

How to Give Honest Feedback to Candidates

Job-seekers are routinely advised to seek feedback when they are not successful in securing a role for which they have interviewed.  Feedback is the communication to an applicant who has been unsuccessful in securing an offer of employment for which they have applied, with information about the reasons they have been unsuccessful. It may also include suggestions as to how the candidate may improve their interview technique.

Feedback may be provided on request from an applicant or given automatically to all unsuccessful applicants. If a candidate seeks feedback you don’t have to oblige but given the importance of the employer brand, you may choose to do this for at least some candidates. Providing relevant interview feedback is the final part of the recruitment exercise is and should leave a positive impression of the company.

Candidate experience

The candidate experience is key and social media could mean that reports will be posted far and wide by interviewees. Some of the people interviewed will work for competitors or go on to work for them, or for customers. You don’t know where a candidate will find their new role but you do want them to speak well of your organization.

Interviewing managers may be busy but the candidate took time to interview and will be disappointed if there is no personal feedback. Constructive feedback may make all the difference for their next interview. Bear in mind that some candidates may be suitable for future vacancies so keeping them in the loop is useful.

Disappointed candidates make well post about their interview experience and if they perceive their experience to have been negative the comments they make may leave an adverse impression of the organization to be found by other candidates doing pre-interview research.

Three top tips

Depending on the role and how they performed at an interview, feedback is likely to be based around:

  • How well the candidate met the job requirements – mention strengths, as well as weaknesses and stress the particular areas the organization is seeking to cover
  • How the interviewer thought the candidate would fit into the team/culture
  • How the candidate rated alongside other applicants – let the unsuccessful applicant understand that they were less successful in a strong field

Try to offer constructive feedback on skills or interview technique as these are things that the candidate can aim to improve. Honesty is important and tries to be specific and realistic. If a candidate was not as strong as others who interviewed then give that as feedback. Good feedback provides the applicant with the means to move forward with their career plan.

If you decide not to provide feedback, for some reason, it is important to be transparent; give the reason why it will not be provided.

Moving forward

Some applicants may seek detailed personal feedback to assist them with future applications; an interviewer may feel that they cannot meet such expectations due to the pressure of resources and time, but efforts to offer comprehensive feedback as far as possible will be appreciated.

You may be able to give advice on how an applicant could improve in any future applications, may be able to suggest alternative routes by which the applicant could secure a suitable role or information about other vacancies.

10Eighty would advise that feedback should be offered which states the reason for rejection and what the applicant needs to do to move forward. Good feedback will enhance the reputation of the organization and improve the applicant experience.

Author: Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a Co-Founder and Director of 10Eighty.

Interview Preparation

Social Media Clean Up:

  • Delete your own questionable posts and pictures
  • Choose a professional profile picture
  • Don’t talk about work on social media
  • Update your information on Facebook
  • Update your LinkedIn
  • Keep your Twitter feed interesting

Interview Do’s & Don’ts

  • Arrive on time, plan your route. Don’t be late
  • Select a suitable outfit, no casual clothes. If you do not own a suit ensure you look smart and presentable
  • SMILE! Shake hands firmly – create a good first impression
  • Make sure you know the interviewers’ full name and title – research your interviewers on LinkedIn
  • Be a good listener as well as a good talker – never interrupt as your interpersonal skills are being assessed
  • Research the company thoroughly – look beyond the ‘About Us’ section of their website
  • Be aware of topical issues affecting the company in the news
  • Maintain good eye contact; you will look more confident and interested
  • Never answer a question with a solitary ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Always give examples
  • Do not mention SALARY or BONUSES in the interview unless prompted to do so
  • Remember to thank them for their time when leaving, including the Receptionist
  • Don’t be too familiar – set a professional tone
  • Take your CV with you – ask your Consultant for a copy
  • Switch your mobile phone off

Questions for your Interviewers

  • What training and development opportunities can this role offer?
  • How many are in the team and how would you describe the dynamics?
  • What challenges could I face in the first three months?
  • How many others are you interviewing and what is the next step in the interview process?
  • When are you ideally looking to make a decision by/have someone start?

Competency Based Interviews

A competency-based interview is used to demonstrate certain behaviours/skills in the work place; it allows you to really talk in-depth about your past experiences and demonstrate your ability based on the criteria of the role. Note down any examples you can think of when you have put these competencies into practice; these examples could come from current or previous jobs; university, voluntary work, study at school or personal experiences. The focus should be on you, even if the situation involved a group

Example Interview Questions

  • Why do you want this job?
  • How does your experience match the requirements of the role?
  • What would you say are your main strengths?
  • Give me an example of when you have been a good team player and what was your input?
  • Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer?
  • Think of a difficult situation in the workplace that you were involved in. How did you deal with this situation to a successful outcome?
  • What have you achieved within your career to date that you are particularly proud of?
  • Where can you see yourself in the next year? And even the next 3 years?
  • What is the greatest challenge you have faced to date?
  • Give me an example of a time where you have had to communicate difficult information?
  • Tell me about a time when you were working on a piece of work where the priorities changed? How did you handle the situation?
  • Discuss a situation where you contributed towards improvements within the workplace
  • Tell me about yourself

Potentially Tricky Questions & Answers

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

Briefly outline recent personal and professional experiences (relating to the position where possible). Take the interviewer through key job moves and add any major achievements. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you like to do outside of work – where appropriate

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE LAST COMPANY YOU WORKED FOR?

Stay neutral or positive, no negatives. Focus on what you learned

YOU APPEAR TO HAVE CHANGED YOUR JOB FREQUENTLY – ARE YOU A JOB HOPPER?

Work out in advance your rationale for your moves. People do change jobs, and if your reasons are sound, say so. Avoid: Did not get along with boss, did not like management policies, passed over for salary increase, too many arguments, too much overtime or personal problems interfering with work

WHAT SALARY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Don’t volunteer information about your past salary unless pressed. Ensure you have clarified the salary of the role with your Consultant beforehand

WHAT WERE YOU EARNING IN YOUR LAST JOB?

If this matter is pressed then honesty is the best policy but perhaps highlight that money is not the key motivator

CAN YOU WORK UNDER PRESSURE?

Indicate that you can, then counter: “How much pressure is involved in this position?” If you thrive under pressure give a few examples

WHAT WERE YOUR REASONS FOR LEAVING YOUR LAST JOB?

You must prepare for this question, it is almost certain to come up. Don’t be negative about your former employer. The interviewer is trying to decipher whether you left for good reasons. Focus on results “Having successfully achieved …… I’m ready for a new challenge”

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

Good examples include: job interest, opportunity, personal growth, company ethics, chance to learn or work for a company who has world class products and reputation

WHAT DO YOU NOT LIKE TO DO?

First of all, you won’t get away with saying ‘nothing at all’. Everybody has some aspects of their work that they like less than other parts. Ensure your answer does not have a conflict of interest with the role you are applying for

WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?

Interviewers don’t expect you to be perfect. Turn this question on its head and present a personal weakness as a professional strength e.g. ‘I can get frustrated when people don’t share my enthusiasm but this is only because I’m passionate about the work I do’. Another way of answering is to identify an area where you’re currently seeking improvement and what steps you’re taking e.g. ‘I’m not so savvy on MS Excel so have signed up to a short course’

7 Facts Recruiters Look for In Your CV

Most business decisions are based on hard cold facts, and hiring decisions are no different. If an organisation is going to invest time and money into employing you; they will need to see evidence that you can perform.

By now we all know that clichés and buzzwords do nothing to impress recruiters, but many candidates still do not fully understand which facts are sought in a CV. When writing your role descriptions in particular; you should put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and think about the evidence you would require to make an informed hiring decision. Including the following details in your CV’s role descriptions will provide clarity to recruiters and support the case for interviewing and eventually hiring you.

1. Your position in the hierarchy

If a hiring manager is going to bring you on board, then it’s crucial for them to understand where they can place you within their team. Whether you are sitting at the top of the pile and overseeing largescale operations; leading a small team or working independently with nobody under your management; you need to make your position clear. Be sure to describe who you report to, whether you manage anybody and which people are dependent on you.

2. Who you interact with

Human interaction plays a vital role in the running of any organisation, so hiring managers will need to be satisfied that you are comfortable dealing with people. Most jobs will require you to interact with a wide range of individuals, so your CV should demonstrate you are capable of this. Show exactly who you interact with from customers and suppliers to management and external regulators; to prove your business-social abilities. Evidence that you can build strong working relationships, and use them to create beneficial outcomes for your employers.

3. Technology expertise

Technology is used in every line of work; from computer based tools like programming languages and accountancy software, through to hardware such as production machinery and vehicles. Most roles will require some working knowledge of one or more tools, so employers will be keen to understand your ability to use their core systems and hardware. So whether you’re an expert coder or a sports car technician, it’s essential to detail the tools you are able to use and how you apply them within your roles.

4. Work Produced

The work that you produce will vary greatly depending on your industry. It could be anything from Excel reports or website pages, to physical products like mobile phones or even buildings. Whatever tangible work you produce within your own roles, include it within your CV and be clear on the volumes you have produced, quality of the work, and how valuable they are to your customers or internal dependents.

5. What your employer actually does

This may seem obvious, but a surprisingly few candidates include a sufficient explanation of their employers. Before you delve into the specifics of your roles, it’s important that the recruiter understands who you work for and what they do. Without building context around your role, it will be difficult for readers to fully understand your work. However the level of detail you need to include will vary depending on the organisation.

If you work for relatively small business, it’s less likely that recruiters will have heard of them; so you will need to provide a full explanation of the services they offer and markets they operate in. However if you work for a household brand then you will need to place more focus on describing the department you work in, and how it’s function contributes to the success of the wider business.

6. The objective of your roles

The most important aspect that recruiters will want to know about your previous jobs, is what were you hired to do? It’s all well and good writing a detailed list of your daily activities, meetings and presentations; but without outlining the high level purpose of your role, nobody will understand what all your hard work was for. Every role should start with a clear objective statement so that readers can comprehend the bigger picture of your duties.

7. Numbers

Recruiters will look for numbers in your CV as a means of quantifying your value to an employer. Figures can provide strong evidence of the return on investment that an employer can expect after hiring you. For example, if you can provide some statistics around revenue that you’ve generated for a firm, or the value of a project you have supported, they are a great way to demonstrate your value. But the figures do not always have to be monetary; you can include figures such as; percentages of targets achieved or time taken to deliver a piece of work.

By including some of the facts above in your own CV role descriptions, you will prove your worth to recruiters and greatly increase your chances of landing job interviews.

About the author: Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of CV writing service StandOut CV.