26th September 2017

Spring Newsletter

7 September 2017 | by Asset Resourcing

Article 1: Recruitment & Homelessness: It CAN Work

 

Here are three short stories that with everything going on in the news will reinforce your belief that there are genuinely good people in the world…

 

Story #1: A Chicago-based non-profit called Bridge to Success clothes homeless jobseekers for interviews. Their website says; ‘The mission of Bridge to Success is to enhance employment opportunities for at-risk, low-income and no-income men, women and young adults by providing high-end interview and workplace appropriate clothing, coupled with coaching, to build self-confidence through appearance, interview preparation and sense of belonging at the workplace.’

 

Story #2: Farsight Recruitment in Derby is helping the homeless in their community through the Help the Homeless: Coat Exchange initiative where they leave a rail of coats – all donated by locals – outside their office for the homeless. There are similar initiatives being set up all over the country. If you’ve got an old coat gathering dust in the back of your cupboard, dig it out, find your nearest coat exchange and take it there.

 

Story #3: This video of a homeless guy who landed a full-time job has gone viral, and rightly so.  He was working on a trial basis at Central RPL, a Midlands-based double-glazing firm but in mid-Feb he was offered a permanent role and Aaron Doyle shared the video of the guy doing the best ‘I just got a job’ celebration you’ll see this year.

 

This is a good story even if it stopped there, but it gets better…

 

The guy hasn’t been named but he was staying at a homeless shelter in Wolverhampton with literally nothing apart from a real desire to get back on his feet. Doyle takes up the story: ‘He gets given food from the church every day and brings it to work. Take into account he doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from and probably doesn’t eat the best.’

 

‘Every single morning he offers me a chocolate bar or some of his coffee and milk. Might seem like nothing to most but this guy has really won me over. But the best part of the story is that today he’s been paid his first week’s wages and told he’s got a permanent job. The reaction as he left was priceless.’

 

Good on you fella, whoever you are.

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Article 2: Workplace Distractions: How Much Time Are You Wasting?

 

We’ve just read a story about a report on workplace distractions where the stats it spewed out were so staggering, we couldn’t quite believe it.

 

  • 30% of employees are distracted for up to 3h a day – that’s 60h/month or 759h/year
  • Half said they were productive for 6+h every day
  • 10% – 10%! – said they were only productive for 30 minutes a day

 

Workplace distraction is without doubt an issue in modern offices. The availability of social media, online shopping, games, news and personal email on your phone does affect all of us – come on, admit it – but being productive for half an hour a day? That requires world-class procrastination skills.

 

Another poll we saw suggested that almost a quarter of employees surveyed admitted to spending at least an hour a day on personal emails, texts, calls and social media but it’s important to note that not all workplace distractions are self-imposed.

 

We’ve all been in an office where conversations are too loud, music is audible even through the wearer’s headphones, people are talking to clients on speakerphone or the spanner from accounts drops by on his way back from the bog for a few minutes to talk about last night’s Bake Off, so what can employers do about it?

 

The truth is, not a massive amount. You can of course go Draco-style and filter your internet access – goodbye Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and whatever else you choose to block); you can limit the wi-fi so that if they’re intent on watching hours of Dude Perfect on YouTube, it’s their nickel and dime or you can, like most companies, keep an eye on what’s going on and quietly mention it at staff meetings or in the weekly internal email.

 

If you notice a genuine drop in productivity then it’s time to take action with words, policies or at its most drastic, disciplinary action but it’s absolutely worth keeping an eye on what’s going on when employees look like they’re working!

 

Here are some ‘actual’ examples of what people have seen ‘other’ employees doing when they should have been working:

 

  • A married guy was browsing dating sites and denied it while it was still on his screen
  • A girl was looking after her pet bird she somehow managed to smuggle into the office
  • One girl shaving her legs in the ladies
  • A guy hiding under a pile of boxes scaring people as they walked past
  • Two lads having a wrestling match – with a referee
  • A sleeping guy who later claimed he was praying
  • One guy who was printing a 660-page book off the internet
  • A girl who warmed her bare feet on the radiator almost all day

 

There must be someone in your office that can waste time like a pro but remember, if you can’t think who it is, it’s likely to be you…

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Article 3: How Bored Are You At Work?

 

City-based pay data firm Emolument (FYI: another word for ‘salary’) has surveyed 1,300 executives across 13 industry sectors in order to compile a list of the most boring jobs in the world!

 

We should start on a slightly brighter note by saying that the least bored (should that read ‘happiest’) are those in education – presumably there’s no time to be bored, followed by executive management – presumably whacking great salaries help alleviate boredom and R&D – presumably because it’s a genuinely interesting and exciting field to be in right now.

 

Ranked by the number of professionals in these sectors who said they found their jobs boring, here are the top 10:

 

  • Law (81%)
  • Project Management (78%)
  • Support roles (71%)
  • Finance Control (68%)
  • Consulting & Accounting (67%)
  • Financial Services & Banking (67%)
  • Engineering (64%)
  • Sales (61%)
  • Marketing & Communications (60%)
  • IT (56%)

 

The survey was conducted internationally and it turns out that the most bored executives in the world were in the United Arab Emirates with Italy and the USA not far behind.

 

Perhaps surprisingly for many of us, the UK was voted the third most interesting country to work in and not at all surprisingly, Switzerland tops that particular list. It’s also interesting but again, obvious when you think about it that those lower down the pay scale are more bored than those close to the top of the corporate ladder…

 

If you’re bored at work, browse our selection of brilliant, interesting, fun, wonderful, awesome jobs in IT & New Media, HR & Admin, Accountancy & Finance and Sales & Marketing!

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Article 4: The UKs Hardest Interview Questions: How Well Would You Do?

 

The Glassdoor guys have delved into the deepest recess of their database and they’ve come up with the 20 hardest interview questions in the UK. They’ve not done it for some cheap clickbait, there’s a very good point to be made.

 

David Whitby of Glassdoor.com says; ‘Preparing for an interview thoroughly means being ready for anything, even a curveball question not directly related to the job.’

 

As a candidate going through the process, your suitability for the world of work isn’t only determined by your knowledge and experience to do the job at hand. It’s now increasingly common for interviewers to delve a little deeper into your personality to see what you’re made of, to see if you can think on your feet or how you react to a leftfield hip-check.

 

It’s not about giving right or wrong answers, it’s more about your ability to cope under the type of pressure you weren’t expecting.

 

Here are Glassdoor.com’s top 20. How would you handle them?

 

What on your CV is the closest thing to a lie? Communications, The Phoenix Partnership

 

What am I thinking right now? Regional Director, TES Global

 

How would your enemy describe you? Ad Sales Graduate Scheme, Condé Nast

 

If you had a friend who was great for a job and an identical person who was just as good, but your friend earned you £2,000 less, who would you give the job to? Recruitment Consultant, Hays

 

What’s the most selfish thing you’ve ever done? Graduate Consultant, PageGroup

 

You are stranded on the moon with a group of other astronauts and you need to travel 200 miles back to base, here is a list of 15 items salvaged from the wreckage of the spacecraft you were travelling in. List them in order of importance. Sales, Turnstone Sales

 

If your best friend was here what advice would he give you? CCP, American Express

 

Describe your biggest weakness. Then describe another. Software Engineer, Palantir Technologies

 

How do you cope with repetition? Product Specialist, Tesla Motors

 

How would you describe cloud computing to a 7 year old? Graduate Scheme, Microsoft

 

There are three people, each with different salaries, and they want to find the average of them without telling any of the other two their salary. How do they do it? Graduate, BAE Systems

 

Who is your hero, and why? Product Quality Employee, GE

 

What’s your the biggest regret managing people so far? Area Director, Regus

 

What would you ask the CEO if you met him one day? Performance Analyst, British Airways

 

You have 50 red and 50 blue objects. Split these however you like between two containers to give the minimum/maximum probability of drawing one of the colours. Ops Analyst, Clearwater Analytics

 

What does social justice mean to you? Content Marketing Manager, ThoughtWorks

 

What is your coping mechanism when you have a bad day?  Consultant, Switch Consulting

 

Are you a nice guy? Product Manager, Badoo

 

Provide an estimate for the number of goals in the Premier League. Management Accountant, VAX

 

Tell me about your childhood. Learning and Development Employee, Next

 

Have you been asked an odd or seemingly bizarre question at an interview? What was it and what was your answer? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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Article 5: Turned Down By Emoji? Think Before You Act….

 

A-Level student Megan Dixon was interviewed for a waitress position at a new branch of the steakhouse Miller & Carter in Leicestershire. The interviewer was one Shantel Wesson, an assistant manager.

 

After the interview, Megan asked when she’d hear back and Wesson and the assistant manager said she’s email within a few days.

 

Within hours, Megan received a text message that simply read ‘It’s a no’. If you think that’s unprofessional, there’s more…

 

Megan asked what the reasons were and the text that came back has shamed the company and presumably Wesson. ‘Just not engaging. And answers were ‘like’ basic’. This amateur hour garbage was followed up by the ‘crying with laughter’ emoji.

 

‘The laughing face emoji was so unprofessional. It was a really b***** thing to do’ Megan said, and she’s absolutely right.

 

A spokesman for Miller & Carter told The Sun: ‘We can’t apologise enough to Megan.’

 

…and their snivelling, pathetic excuses continued; ‘It was never our intention to be disrespectful or upset her in any way. The texts were sent in error and were intended for our manager, not the candidate.’

 

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Article 6: The Executive Job Search is a Full-Time Job

 

It’s time for a reality check. You’re an executive with extensive experience in the corporate world but for whatever reason, you find yourself back on the job market. How hard are you looking for your next role?

 

You may not have been in this position for years and the way in which potential jobs are researched, sourced and applied for may have changed beyond all recognition in the intervening years but what hasn’t changed – and never will – is the effort required to get back on the corporate ladder.

 

Barbara Safani, a regular contributor to Forbes and owner of, Career Solvers, a career management firm that specialises in transitions lists her top five reality checks you may want to read while you’re half-heartedly looking at LinkedIn every couple of days to see if anyone’s hiring…

 

  1. A serious executive search can take 9-12 months. Understanding this harsh reality will allow you to plan properly but it’s also worth knowing that there are a number of different factors to take into consideration, including how relevant your particular skills are, whether you’re looking in the same or in a different industry, whether you’re willing to relocate and how strong your network is.

 

  1. You are not the first priority for your network. Again, it may sound harsh, but the search agencies you are with are looking equally as hard to place lots of other candidates and there will always be lots of people competing for a finite amount of time. The same goes for your network of friends, associates and business connections, not everyone will return your calls immediately so you need to be flexible and understanding.

 

  1. Looking for a job is a full-time job. Those serious about their futures will spend as much time looking for a job as they would at work – around 35-40 hours a week. Contact your network, organise meetings and then follow-up afterwards, research industries you’d like to work in and businesses you’d like to work for, connect with suitable recruitment and executive search agencies and make sure your CV is spot-on perfect.

 

  1. Your CV alone won’t get you a job. Think about it. What does a CV tell a potential employer? Where you’ve worked, what you did and for how long. That’s all. Uploading your CV to dozens of job boards is NOT a search strategy. People hire people so while your CV may be impressive, you have to be equally impressive when you’re in front of the people you you’re looking to take a handsome salary off each month.

 

  1. Getting a job is not the end. On some level you’ve achieved your goal but how did you go about it? Were you polite, professional and memorable? Did you make some excellent new contacts who will be useful should you ever find yourself in this position again? If you did, well played but if you were a screaming ‘don’t you know who I am’ Billy Big Bananas, karma will come back and bite you in the bum. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day when you least expect it, you’ll be asking a guy you pissed off four years ago for a job, and even if you don’t remember him, he’ll certainly remember you…

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Article 7: Time Waits For No Man, Sir

 

No, we’re not sure what this means either but it was a genuine line used by a perennially-late schoolboy who was asked for the tenth time in as many days why he was late in the morning. The teacher had nothing, nothing at all. It’s the perfect line.

 

This leads us onto a related point – impatience. In the disposable society we live in, everyone wants things done instantly. No-one wants to wait and that impatience has – finally, some would say – seeped into the jobs market.

 

Recruiters (as well as clients and candidates) are waking up to the fact that these days speed is of the essence. There’s the advertising, the interviewing, selecting who to put forward for interview, then the interview process, then the negotiations that can go on for weeks and then finally, a candidate is placed. It’s long and arduous and employers and recruiters alike are cutting the recruitment process down.

 

Around half the employers interviewed for a recent Totaljobs survey have slashed their hire times, but why? The most obvious answer is that the competition is fierce and securing the best talent is important. Also, said talent want to work quickly (dependent on notice periods), they don’t want to be held in the Seven Circles of Recruitment Hell and employers are cottoning on to this.

 

The survey which spoke to over 3,000 candidates and 100 recruiters threw up some interesting new stats:

 

  • 92% are said to have made a job offer within seven days of the first interview
  • 59% took just under two weeks from the date of advertising the role to setting a date for first interviews

 

These two alone suggest that heels aren’t being as dragged as badly as they once were. Of course one of the major boons in modern-day recruitment is our access to the right technology. People connect in far more ways than they once did and even interviews can be done via Skype or some such service.

 

Thanks to psychometric testing, searches can be narrowed down very quickly and mobile alerts for new jobs allow candidates to apply within minutes of the role being posted online.

 

There’s still work to be done though. 47% of employers don’t have a mobile-friendly job board; 59% only advertise through generalist boards and a staggering 84% still see their corporate website as the best place to advertise available jobs.

 

OK so it’s a work in progress but with unemployment at an 11-year low, the best talent is getting snapped up quickly and it’s a challenge for employers who don’t have their fingers on the pulse to find the good stuff….

 

Take a look at your recruitment processes. Can it be streamlined? If you want to talk it through, drop us a line and we can see what you’re doing and how to do it faster. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Article 8: You Can Stand Down, We Found The Worst Recruitment Ad EVER

 

First off, it worth noting that we’ve watched the video half-a-dozen times and we can’t work out if it’s a brilliantly deconstructed fake mocking the world of truly terrible recruitment ads or a genuinely truly terrible recruitment ad. Watch it and decide for yourself…

 

It was made by the Australian Department of Health and presumably it was cast, scripted and shot to entice graduates into the public sector but in fact what it’s has inadvertently done is create a viral vid that has been ceremoniously mocked from Adelaide to Aberdeen and everywhere in between.

 

It really is bloody awful. For one thing, never in the history of employment have people conversed in this manner –they used incredibly awkward staffers playing the roles of incredibly awkward staffers perfectly – and  the Sydney Morning Herald even ran a story about it!

 

Dee Madigan, Executive Creative Director of Sydney-based creative agency Campaign Edge was interviewed by the SMH and didn’t pull her punches; ‘It’s truly terrible. I always say real people are terrible at playing real people. No-one will watch that to the end.’

 

She went on to say ‘It’s probably one of the worst recruitment videos I’ve ever seen. The execution is atrocious and the only thing worse than the execution is the performances.’

 

The video, which you can watch here reportedly cost around £23,000 to make and contains perhaps the most horrifically-scripted tosh you will ever see:

 

‘Hey guys, I’m just heading downstairs for my paleo pear and banana bread. Would you like to join me?’

 

‘No thanks, it’s a little bit fancy for me. I’m actually off to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff network meeting.’

 

Go on, watch it, we double-dare you…!

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Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!

 

The Asset Resourcing Team


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