Summer Newsletter

Article 1: THE TRUTH: What We REALLY Get Up To ‘Working From Home’


Before we get into that, the caveat to this story is that the study we refer to wasn’t conducted by a recruitment industry body or a global HR firm or even a local recruiter, it was carried out by online bed retailer Time4Sleep….


The option to work from home makes a job more attractive to 42% of the 1,000 surveyed and the study considered how factors including being able to sleep at work (!), flexible hours and home working play a part in making a job seem more attractive.


BUT…. what do your employees REALLY get up to when they’re ‘working from home?’ Let’s have a peek through the keyhole –


  • 20% of females admitted to working from home to nurse a post-office party hangover
  • One in 10 worked from the sofa to watch major sporting events like Wimbledon
  • A secret shopping day accounted for 17% of 18-24 year olds
  • Almost half worked in ‘lounge wear’, aka pyjamas
  • 40% had a lie-in
  • A third fell asleep at some point during the day
  • 32% watched TV and the same number actually worked from bed


Being allowed to sleep during the day proved to be the biggest draw for those who took part in the study. Over 20% said ‘they would be more inclined to take a job if staff were allowed to nap during the day’; 23% felt that ‘having the option to start work later would make a job more attractive’ and 15% said ‘said they would feel more productive at work if they could nap mid shift.’


Hold the front page – RECRUITMENT SHOCKER! If people could sleep at work, jobs would be more attractive!


Isn’t that a bit like saying a job would be more attractive if they were paying a Ronaldo-esque salary and throwing in a Lamborghini and a La-Z-Boy recliner with a built-in beer fridge….


As we said, the study was from a company that sells beds.



Article 2: Think, Think and Think Again….


It will come as no surprise to learn that demand for the very best candidates remains high but in true Freakonomics style, supply is low. So, what do we do about it? Some are ditching perm staff for temp and contract staff on a ‘per project’ basis but hiring for a particular project is harder than hiring for an all-encompassing role….


That’s why you have to up your interviewing game.


Every now and again you’ll hear stories of interviewers pretending to be asleep, or eating lunch, or talking on the phone to gauge the reaction of those sitting in front of them but Joe Wiggins, Trends Analyst at Glassdoor suggests that difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction rates throughout the six countries they examined – US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France.


Curveball questions test strength of character, the ability to think quickly and logically and how a person reacts  under pressure and while the answers are largely irrelevant, if the candidate talks the interviewer through how they got there, it’s as good as getting it right.


Here are ten of the hardest interview questions from the Glassdoor database:


‘Can you calculate how many tennis balls are used during the course of Wimbledon?

Analyst candidate, Accenture


‘Estimate the total number of cars in the UK’.

Trading Analyst candidate, Barclays Capital


‘How would you sell a fridge to an Eskimo?’

Temp Sales Associate candidate, Harrods


‘How many calories are in a supermarket?’

Product Manager candidate, Google


‘What would you take to a lonely island with you and why?’

Sales Assistant candidate, Urban Outfitters


‘Is Batman a superhero?’

Support Engineer candidate, AlphaSights


‘You have 17 red and 17 blue balls, and you remove two at a time. If the two are the same colour, add in one extra blue ball. If they are different colours, add in an extra red ball. What colour is the final ball removed?’

Software Engineer candidate, Geonomics


‘What cartoon character would you be, and why?’

Admin Assistant candidate, ASDA


‘What’s the wildest thing you’ve done?’

Teller candidate, Metro Bank


‘What was your opinion of the film The Blair Witch Project?’

Data Analyst candidate, Jefferies & Co


What’s the hardest – strangest – question you’ve asked or been asked at interview? Let us know on Facebook & Twitter.






Article 3: What Does ‘Cultural Fit’ Even Mean?


When we get mandates from companies to fill jobs, not only do we learn about the role and what it entails so we can promote it in the best light to candidates but we are also asked, on occasion, to promote the company’s culture. This ensures the ultimately successful candidate knows what type of environment they’re walking into.


A successful cultural fit is more important than you think. In fact, it’s become a ‘hiring necessity’. A poor cultural fit only ends one way – high staff turnover rates, the subsequent low morale and an additional 50-60% of salary in the first year meeting all sorts of financial obligations.


According to new research by cloud-based HR and benefits platform Hibob, a staggering 47% of those who have rejected a job offer have done so based on the company’s culture or after meeting their potential new team!


As for what ‘cultural fit’ means, the generally accepted standard definition is ‘a candidate adapting to, and reflecting, the core beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of an organisation’.


But, asserts award-winning psychologist and author of ‘5 Myths of the Workplace’ Ron Friedman PhD, ‘if all the people in an organization are very similar to one another – in personality, attitude, values, thinking style, background – it can lead to complacency, overconfidence, and a lack of creativity, and that it can become an excuse for hiring to fulfil existing prejudices.’


In the opposing corner sits Mark Hoplamazian, the President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation who explains that an important element of the hiring process of his business focuses on looking for these ‘soft’ cultural skills.


He says ‘We hire more for personality and growth mindset than specific skill set. We believe curiosity, passion and a love of learning together can be greater than a person’s previous experience.’


Both positions carry validity so where do you stand? Does having a set of similar people breed complacency in the workplace or does it make for a productive environment? Let us know on Facebook & Twitter.



Article 4: Recruitment & Brexit – The Challenges


Article 50 has been signed and it appears there’s no turning back, but what impact will leaving the EU have on the recruitment industry and the day-to-day operations of the 24,000 agencies in the UK?


On one hand, the Prime Minister wants to significantly increase trade deals with ‘the fastest growing export markets in the world’ – many of which are outside the European trading bloc and on the other, she doesn’t want to turn her back on those closest to us, saying ‘There should be no reason why we should not agree a new deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU that works for us all.’

So, no mixed messages there at all then, but what are the major challenges facing us as we sail through this unprecedented period of national turbulence?


  1. Talent Acquisition

As part of the EU, workers from Europe were entitled to move freely between member states, however that picture will remain unclear until a new deal is negotiated and this uncertainty will have a negative short-term effect on recruitment. With EU citizens unsure of their rights, agencies up and down the country can expect a hefty drop in the number of EU applicants.


Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC said, ‘In sectors such as healthcare, education, hospitality, construction and manufacturing, workers from the EU are vital and any change to our immigration system needs to recognise that.’


  1. Cost Reductions

According to research from PwC, the UK’s GDP could be between 3-5.5% lower by 2020 outside the EU than within it and this type of uncertainty is bound to have a knock-on effect for businesses. Imports will cost more to us and exports will cost more to the EU since the trade subsidies we had may not exist.


This is a slightly more indirect challenge to face but again, cost cutting may be necessary as agencies adjust to a lower influx of EU applicants.


  1. No-one Knows…

The biggest challenge facing the recruitment industry is the uncertainty. At its most basic, no-one has ever left the EU before so there’s no template for transition out of such a massive trading bloc. Businesses, including some of the worlds’ biggest, are going to be faced with years of uncertainty.


Usually with articles like this there’s some sort of conclusion, rounding it all off with a nice soundbite but this time, we have nothing…just years of ‘not sure what’s happening.’


What do you think is going to happen? As always, we’re on Facebook & Twitter if you want to vent your spleen!



Article 5: This Week’s Funny Recruitment Stories, Part 1


What’s a recruitment newsletter without funny recruitment stories? Not one that we’d consider sending out, that’s for sure, so here’s part one of a two-parter (keep reading, it’s there). Some are classics, some have a happy ending and some are plain odd but for every clanger we’ve dropped (and we’ve all dropped them), there’s always someone – recruiter, hirer or candidate – happy to steer the good ship recruitment way, way off course….


Billy Big Bo**ocks Makes a Boo-Boo

A new employee was dropping some very big names about who he knew in the industry, making out he was bessie mates with all of them and hiring him was a wise move as it would open doors to the big players.


One of the names Billy Big Shot dropped just happened to work in that office and he was brought it to say hi to a ‘close friend’…Suffice it to say that the bullshit-o-meter went bonkers and the pitiful employee walked out, staring at the floor in dejected shame.


Clean, and Ye Shall Be Rewarded

‘I went into the office (in a trailer) on a construction site looking for my first job in the industry. As I walked in, the guv’nor threw a bit of rubbish towards the bin but missed. I picked it up and put it where it was originally intended to go.


Turns out I was hired for exactly that. I worked for him for ten years and I now have my own construction business.


Up Close and VERY Personal

A digital agency interviewed a software engineer whose CV was very impressive. During the (far from outstanding) interview he seemed distracted, visibly irritated and largely uninterested. It seemed he wanted to do the interview his way.


Out came a manila envelope and he started with his birth certificate, kindergarten finger paintings, every merit badge from 11 years of school and a full life and family history. After refusing his social media advances, he resorted to a LinkedIn death threat and was blocked for good!


A ‘Glassy’ Move…

‘I happened to be in the vicinity when a well-known, board-level candidate was brought in for interview which was about to take place in a huge glass office, the walls of which were the same size as the door…


Correct, he faceplanted right into it, leaving an identifiable print! He was hired and was a huge success at our business but his image on the glass was forever immortalised with a bright red circle. It lasted about six months!’


The Secret Code

‘We once advertised for a Web developer exclusively within the source code of our website. We didn’t receive many applicants – but we did receive a few.


The best thing about advertising this way was that we only attracted those who already had curiosity – after all, they went so far as to open the source code of the page. We actually hired the guy we were looking for this way!’



Article 6: To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo, That Is The Question


It’s amazing to think that in this day and age, tattoos are still regarded as having a negative workplace impact.


Long gone are the days of ‘Love’ and ‘Hate’ on the knuckles and the spider’s web up the throat. Today’s tattoos can be symbolic, beautifully intricate and considered works of art, so why do 64% of respondents in a study by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) course providers DPG plc still think tattoos were undesirable features in candidates?


DPG Managing Director Paul Drew said ‘Dress codes can be an important part of how a business is perceived, but features such as tattoos can be problematic. With such a large amount of the population possessing tattoos, discrimination represents a very real problem that threatens to limit talented workers from entering the workforce. Moreover, it’s sad to see such a superficial feature being used as a valuable way of assessing a candidate’s attitude and performance.’


The study threw up some interesting (stereotypical, derogatory and horribly old-fashioned) stats:


  • 43% of decision makers regard visible tattoos as being a valuable marker for determining a person’s character
  • Around a third thought that visible tattoos were a perfectly good barometer of a person’s predicted performance
  • In all areas of the study, male hirers were more discriminatory
  • Unsurprisingly, the age range most likely to see tattoos as undesirable features were the over 55s. Surprisingly, the next age range on that particular list was 18-24


In a sweet twist, 13% of hirers would take the tattooed candidate over the non-tattooed candidate when having to make a straight up-and-down choice and 33% said it would make no difference whatsoever.


One of the most interesting elements of the study was the fact that should a tattooed candidate or employee feel genuinely discriminated against, there is currently no legislation protecting the rights of the inked. This means that there’s no legal recourse if they think they’re being unfairly treated on the basis of their body art.


The perfectly-aptly named Paul Drew has the last word: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a large discrimination case soon – potentially leading to increased protection for tattooed workers, similar to the recent developments in obesity legislation.’


Any thoughts either way on visible tats? Appropriate in the workplace? Couldn’t care less either way providing they do what they’re employed to do? Will only employ people with teardrops and forehead art? As always, let us know on Facebook & Twitter.



Article 7: Article 5: This Week’s Funny Recruitment Stories, Part 2


Here’s part two of our ‘why does this stuff never happen to me’ trawl through the ups and downs of the recruitment process!


The Email We All Want to Get

Dear Mrs X,


I last contacted you on 20th Feb 201* seeking work. Normally, someone of my experience and skill set would be employed immediately but I would like to disclose the reason I am still on the market to prevent wasting anybody’s time.


I am a convicted felon in California, Georgia, and in Federal Courts. I am the victim in each case. My non-violent felony pseudo-crimes include escape, tax evasion, and resisting an executive officer. My actions in each case were justified by failures of individuals who represent the justice system. In each case, I did the right thing and was maliciously prosecuted.


Let my recent and past work speak for itself.


Yours faithfully,




It’s About Give and Take

A potential hire was at a lunch interview and she’d only eaten half her spaghetti. When the meal was done she asked for a doggy bag and the waiter brought out the remains of her meal in a Styrofoam container placed in a big paper bag. She took a half-eaten piece of bread from her side plate and put it in the bag along with the three remaining pieces in the bread basket.


As the payment was being taken, she looked around and put a few of the tea bags that came with the tea she’d ordered into the bag, quickly followed by the rest. It escalated to all the sugar and sweetener and then they started walking out. She made an excuse she’d forgotten something, made sure her back was between her and her potential boss and put the salt and pepper shakers into her bag! She didn’t get the job…


Google Rules

‘As a job seeker looking to move into a larger agency role in pay-per-click advertising, I created a Google AdWords campaign to demonstrate my skillset. With a small amount of research, I could geofence each agency office I was interested in working at. Then I placed search ads on any searches originating from the agencies’ offices during business hours, which included bids on the agency names, C-level employees, and the hiring manager’s name.


When clicked, each ad led to a landing page targeted to the agency designed to emulate a true lead-generation page with a value proposition, supporting copy, testimonials and a lead form allowing the agency to schedule an interview with me. In less than a week, I caught the attention of the agency I’m now happily employed with.’


Autocorrect Is Rarely Your Friend

An applicant came in for a typical interview. After she left, she sent a message saying, ‘Thank you for meeting me today. As mentioned in the interview, I have strong people skills. In my previous job, I copulated with many staff members on a daily basis to take the company to the next level.”


Of course, she meant ‘cooperated.’


She was hired because she was qualified, and who among us hasn’t fallen foul to the devil that is autocorrect?



Article 8: Video of the Month!


It will come as no surprise that video is a fantastic way to engage with potential hires, to tell the story of the company and of its culture and stats say that job ads with videos are viewed on average 12% more than those without. But, they must be done right, otherwise you’re on your way to viral video hell from which there is no escape…


In the last newsletter, we showed one of the most horrifically bad recruitment videos ever made courtesy of the Australian Department of Health but in the interests of fairness, we think you ought to see a rather very good recruitment video, courtesy of Innocent Drinks.


If you follow them on Twitter you’ll know that aside from being ridiculously talented and creative, they’re cheeky young scamps, good for a laugh without taking themselves too seriously but also committed to making first-class products. This recruitment video does exactly what they need it to do – confirm what a cool brand they are and make people want to work there.


This is the Innocent Glee Club performing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. You won’t see a better recruitment video all day.



Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!


The Asset Resourcing Team

Spring Newsletter

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.



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…



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!



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 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’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.



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.’




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…



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…!



Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!


The Asset Resourcing Team

Christmas Newsletter

Article 1: Seven Vital Graduate Recruitment Lessons EVERY Employer Should Read


Serial bloggers, a City-based recruitment software company have identified seven key graduate recruitment lessons from their writings and musings this year. Here they are and they have the real ability to reduce time and costs, make recruitment more productive and perhaps most importantly, make sure you get the right person, first time.


Incorporate Gamification If you don’t already know, gamification is ‘the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals’, in this case, finding the perfect hire.


‘As an extra screening filter gamification forms part of your assessment process for measuring candidate quality. A great example of gamification in hiring includes PwC’s Multipoly which was originally introduced as part of an employer branding campaign. Careers app Debut is a further example of gamification used by over 41 brands including Microsoft, Google and Lloyds Bank.’


Drastically Reduce Your Time To Hire By bringing down the candidate screening process from weeks (and even months in some extreme cases) to days. Accounting giant KPMG inform potential new hires ‘of the outcome of their application within two days. Time to hire must remain a high priority in order to attract graduate talent in 2017.’


Adapt To AI Artificial Intelligence poses a threat to a number of jobs in a number of industries (About 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte).


‘EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG are automating entry level jobs. The nature of skills required is changing in response to this shift. For example, PwC plans to hire 500 additional data scientists within the next two years following a demand for data driven insights from its customers.’


Be Prepared To Pay For Talent High Fliers reported an increase in graduate pay of 3.3% last year, with average starting salaries standing at £30,000 at leading firms. Law and accounting firms and investment banks offer starting salaries as high as £47,000 and supermarket brand Aldi is known for its high graduate pay levels.


The Graduate Market Fair 2016 found that over 1,000 graduate jobs were turned down at the last minute in the previous year. UK employers were also reportedly paying 30% above current market rates to graduates in IT and finance with many from non-British universities to meet increased demand.


Local Trends Affect Hiring Strategy A study by thinktank Centre for Cities reports that a staggering 24% of all 2014 and 2015 graduates found work in London. ‘Earlier research found that just 12% stay close to their university, while 45% work and study close to home. Being aware of regional trends will help to create and finalise your own graduate recruitment strategy.’


Train For Soft Skills According to CV Library (and it’s hardly surprise of the year), ‘the biggest disadvantage new graduate hires have is their lack of experience and perceived ‘employability’. There is a soft skills gap in the UK jobs market according to CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese. Soft skills are defined as ‘personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people’ and alongside qualifications, having these skills on board from the outset are the highest indicators of potential employability.


Open Up Your Talent Pool This appears to be more of a cloaked advert for Advorto’s software. Basically they’re saying that certain sectors, such as investment banking, are biased towards wealthier people, judging them on which schools and universities they went to rather than assessing each individual on their relative merits and potential to actually do the job.


‘Anonymised CVs screened through recruitment software are the only way to minimise bias in hiring and expand your talent pool to access the most qualified candidates.’


Course they are….




Article 2: Hooray, It’s Pay Day!


There’s cash in the bank, it’s time to spend, spend, spend! Or is it…?  Probably not if the latest research from online payment provider Paymentsense covering 2,000 UK workers is anything to go by…


Here are the headline facts:


  • Around a quarter of UK workers spend 25% of their month’s money within 72 hours of getting paid
  • 49% say they make unnecessary purchases as soon as they get paid
  • A third said they spend between £41 – £60 on socialising on the first weekend after payday
  • Over half of women surveyed make unnecessary purchases as soon as they get paid, compared to 38% of men


Interestingly, about half said that they spend most of their monthly money on food but as the month goes on their eating habits change due to the scarcity of cash – presumably going from Tesco Finest to Tesco Value by week three.


Perhaps the most telling (and actually the most frightening) statistic of all is this – people with the highest disposable income – over £1,500/mth – don’t tend to spend any more than a tenner in the first 72 hours and those with the lowest disposable income – less than £100/mth – spend 22% of it in the first 72 hours.


Quite hilariously, many of the youngest employees admit to having online shopping baskets open and ready for when the cash hits their account. All they need to do is press ‘buy’.


Laugh as we do at the young ones trying to figure their way around the complex world of actually having to pay for their own stuff, close to 30% of 45-54 year-olds rely on credit cards to get them through the month!



Article 3: The Acid Test for Recruiters: Could You Recruit the Worst Job in Ireland?


When you read the phrase the ‘worst job in Ireland’ what immediately sprang to mind? Something gruesome involving bodily fluids or corpses no doubt but you’d be wrong. In fact the ad appeared on the Ryanair website and the job in question was the personal assistant to perennial shit-talker and esteemed CEO Michael O’Leary.


Bearing in mind that he has said in the past that he keeps employee motivation high through fear, specific tasks listed on the ad include general accountancy, general drudgery and MOL-ly coddling, an abysmal pun centered around the boss’s initials.


This really is the acid test for any recruiter out there who thinks that could recruit for any job! Attributed required include ‘thick skin, saint-like patience, aversion to bolloxology, own collection of nursery rhymes/bedtime stories, ability to operate without sleep or contact with the outside world, (ego) massage qualifications.’


The ad goes on to say that ‘Dubs fans, [Manchester United supporters], and cyclists will not only be automatically excluded from the process, but will be tracked down, tortured, and shot.’ Yup, funny.


Obviously since it’s Ryanair, the salary hasn’t been mentioned, presumably because they’ll give you a desk but ask you to buy your own chair and computer. Oh, and be careful about the size of the bag you bring to work, you may have to pay extra if it doesn’t fit into the metal cage in reception…



Article 4: This Quarter, the Newsletter is Brought to You by the Letters A & R…


A is for Asset and R is for Resourcing but aside from Sesame Street teaching generations of kids literacy, numeracy, logic and social skills, are there any lessons today’s job seekers can learn from the most iconic kids’ show of them all?


Big Bird: The Inner Child The 8-foot tall yellow bird (scholars believe it to be a canary but the producers have remained tight-lipped for decades) represents our inner child with his propensity to question everything. ‘Asking questions is a good way of finding things out’ he says and that is as true in primary school as it is in the corporate world.


Try and wing it and you’ll get found out very quickly. If you don’t know, it’s OK to ask. No-one ever knew less by continuously educating themselves and expanding their knowledge base.


Oscar the Grouch: The Habitual Pessimist In every office in the world there’s someone who comes in everyday and burdens the rest of the company with tales of life’s woes and how his or her life is crap. While we all have days where we’d rather stay tucked up under the duvet, the way you present yourself in person, on the phone or even on email is of paramount importance.


You’re representing your company. Be professional, positive, adopt a polite manner and present yourself as if you owned the business, even if your husband or wife buggered off with the dustman that morning.


Cookie Monster: Endearingly Greedy There’s always someone in the office who hoards cookies for their own consumption and will sneak out one at a time hoping no-one sees. Are they also the same person who focuses on personal credit to the detriment of team success? It’s the kid at school whose team lost 14-1 but they scored the goal and made sure everyone knew.


Try to create a ‘we first’ corporate culture because you’re more likely to realise personal ambitions by working as a component part of a talented, motivated team than hoarding the cookies for yourself. Doing that will only create resentment and you’ll soon wonder why you haven’t been invited out for Friday drinks in months…



Article 5: What are Reddit Users’ Biggest Interview Red Flags?


Reddit is a huge social network with unique annual users approaching 240m but they’re not spoken of in the same reverential tones that their grander cousins Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are so it’s entirely likely it may have passed you by, but don’t for a second underestimate its impact.


In an article posted this week on, an eclectic news site for and by women, they report that a question posed on Reddit to employers – what are some red flags when it comes to potential hires – threw up some interesting answers!


They say that the usual tell-tale signs of nervousness like sweaty palms, nervous laughter and intermittent stuttering can be overlooked, and the ‘usual’ signs, including turning up late with no excuse why, being seeming uninterested in the job or even not fully understanding for what role the interview was for are fairly standard when interviewing a big selection of people.


There are, however, subtler signs that could point to serious issues if the candidate – as qualified as they might be – was given the job.


One user commented that a major red flag for them was the applicant ‘complaining about their past management too much.’


‘All that tells me as the person who may or may not hire them is that they could be a problem for me’ Bustle reports.


Another major turn off for employers was a badly dressed candidate. One user wrote: ‘Dressing too casually was a big red flag. It may be a little old fashioned, but when I had 10 equally qualified candidates for one job, anyone who showed up wearing sandals would end up in the ‘no’ pile.’


The people who take the time and make the effort to clean themselves up for the interview are more likely to be more professional and make an effort to do a good job.


One employer said that they had interviewed a woman who raised literally every red flag there was, and invented some new ones the employer didn’t know existed…


‘She came in dressed like she just came out of a crack den and said she wanted a new job because she was having issues with the management at her current job. She pulled her phone out during the interview and even complained it was taking too long. At that point I told her I still had a few questions I wanted answers to but that I had enough to make an informed decision…’


What are your biggest interview red flags? Has the nightmare candidate ever sat in front of you and you knew it straight away? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.



Article 6: It Wasn’t Trump or Brexit Dividing the Internet in 2016…


It’s 2016 and we think it’s fair to say that some VERY strange things have happened this year. Trump and Brexit seem to have dominated online, offline and social media but last month a story appeared that literally divided the internet (we may exaggerate slightly for effect, but in the world of recruitment it was a hot topic of discussion…)


The co-owner of a business who was on maternity leave kindly said she’d come into the office for a few hours to sit in on some interviews. She didn’t have childcare so she brought in her three-month old son.


She will remain unnamed but she picks up the story:


‘I got there with 25 minutes to spare (would have gone earlier but had last minute issues with dog walker and had to take the dog for a quick walk). I planned to give [baby son] a quick feed then – but the interviewee arrived shortly after me. I told my business partner that I would probably have to breastfeed my son. He said ‘try not to, it’s not very professional’. My son was happy for 20 minutes then started whinging. I got up and bounced him for a bit but decided feeding him would be less distracting so I got a muslin out, covered myself a bit and quietly fed him. The interviewee (a lady in her 50s if that’s relevant) quickly glanced at me and kept chatting.’


When the interviewee left, her business partner commented that it was a bit weird of her to breastfeed her hungry son after she was doing him a favour by coming in a short notice, at one stage actually saying ‘can you try not getting your boobs out for the next interview…’


Writing in a forum, she ended her story by saying ‘I’m a bit upset about my business partner’s comments.’


As we said, it has absolutely divided opinion.


Comments in the thread ranged from ‘Totally weird to me to bring a baby to a job interview. So distracting and unprofessional’ and ‘This was not the time or the place and very unprofessional. You could have stepped out of the room to do it. It sounds like you were trying to make a point’ to ‘You are not being unreasonable. Poor you, that’s horrible and breastfeeding is hard enough without comments like that’ and ‘I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I think we need to check our attitudes towards things like this. The lady didn’t seem distracted and you could focus knowing baby was happy. Good for you!’


What are your thoughts? Should she have stepped out for a few minutes or should she have stayed put and fed her child without fear of being castigated? Is this acceptable in the workplace? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.



Article 7: How Was Your Day, Dear? You Know, Same Old…


…But not, it seems, if you work at AT&T. There must have been a competition run called ‘Create The Most Ridiculously American Recruitment Video Ever’ which they entered and undoubtedly won.


The theory is sound even though the $240bn company couldn’t do much better than the tired cliché ‘work hard, play hard; watch as these AT&T employees engineer the perfect lunch hour and connect to endless opportunities with #LifeAtATT’.


An engaged workforce is more productive and more profitable and Mike Williams, the HR Director at Byron Burgers suggests that the key to remaining competitive is having fun; ‘There’s an absolute correlation between our employee engagement, our labour turnover and our customer service scores.’


But, in a certain element of irony given the AT&T video, Williams continues ‘Our employees are discerning. If we came out with some cheesy rubbish, they would be like ‘this isn’t fun, this is cheesy rubbish’. So we have to be quite innovative in what we do.’


A guy running the HR operations of a burger chain talking about cheesy rubbish and a recruitment video from one of the world’s great corporate behemoths which can be filed safely in the ‘cheesy rubbish’ folder…hashtag ‘facepalm’.


The video, in all its glory, is here. Scroll down and it’s called ‘Just Another Day At The Office.’ Having watched it a few times, we’re relatively certain the people in it are neither working nor playing hard. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Article 8: Just for Fun


Since we challenged you to recruit for the ‘worst job in Ireland’ earlier in the newsletter, here’s a list of some of the genuinely worst jobs in the entire world! Of course the adjective ‘worst’ is subjective.


It must be clear that these are all legitimate jobs that serve a very important role in the context in which these people are employed and many of them are very highly qualified but on the surface they seem largely nonsensical and utterly bizarre. Can there really be a person who’s employed to smell other people’s armpits?


Remember, they do this stuff so you don’t have to…


Crocodile or Lion Trainer At some point, someone has to be the very first person to put their head into a lion or a croc’s gaping gob for the pleasure of the baying public…


Buckingham Palace Guard Regarded by career soldiers as one of the worst gigs in the army, guards have to stand motionless for hours while swarms of tourists take a million selfies and try and get them to laugh.


Medical Facility Janitor Vital to the smooth running of the nation it may be, cleaning isn’t the most salubrious of jobs at the best of times but a janitor in a hospital, an old people’s home of heaven forbid, a ‘male donation’ centre must be at the ‘bottom’ of the janitorial pile…


Crime Scene Operative After the cool detective swoops in and gets the clues he needs to catch the ‘goddam son of a b*tch’, someone has to clean up the blood and guts and crap and acid and bones and all sorts of utterly disgusting stuff. One American interviewed said ‘there are some things you just can’t Febreze!’


Roadkill Collector A 24h a day job where they are permanently on call, these guys move in and clear the roads of dead, squashed animals while dodging oncoming traffic to make the roads safe for, ironically, oncoming traffic.


Armpit Sniffer The deodorant game is a multi-billion pound industry and when the likes of Lynx and Right Guard are being developed, the pharmaceutical companies need to test them on people’s actual armpits. Which in turn means someone needs to be sniffing said armpits to see if the deodorants work…


Mosquito Researcher Also known as biologists and scientists, in order to monitor and study mozzies, these brave souls offer themselves up as sacrificial lambs and study the bites. On his best night on the job, veteran researcher Helge Zieler PhD caught 500 Anopheles mozzies in three hours but suffered to the tune of 3,000 bites…


The moral of the story – when you think you’re having a bad day in the office, there’s always someone who’s having a worse day than you are.




Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!


The Asset Resourcing Team

Summer Newsletter

Article 1: Q: How Has Brexit Affected the Recruitment Industry?

A: Badly. Really badly. Oh, you want more? OK.

In a scathing indictment of the Brexit fallout, the Financial Times said that the UK job market was in ‘freefall’.

Referring to a press release from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the FT article says that recruiters have reported the steepest drop in permanent placements for seven years. From bad to worse, the depressing presser was sent out a day after the Bank of England predicted a rise in unemployment from 4.9% to 5.5% as a direct result of Brexit.

These numbers have a ring of doom and gloom to them, of that there’s no doubt, but it is, according to REC Chief Executive Kevin Green, ‘important not to jump to conclusions from one month’s worth of data’.

At the time of writing, it’s been six weeks since we voted to leave the EU and the only thing that we can believe with absolute certainty from what we read in the papers and online is that no-one knows what the long-term consequences look like.

With Government and the Bank of England making sensible decisions (yes OK, we know it’s a long shot), market confidence could return faster than originally anticipated but as Kevin Green says ‘the demand for staff remains strong with vacancies continuing to rise but the sharp fall in placements suggests that businesses are highly cautious about committing to new hires. Economic turbulence following the vote to leave the EU is undoubtedly the root cause.’

It seems that, for now, job seekers are prepared to stay where they are instead of rocking the boat and moving on with no guarantees of stability. While there’s been a drop in confidence rather than demand for perm staff, temp billings are up across the country as employers look to satisfy demand with casual staff.

What doesn’t help confidence is Mark Carney saying that around 250,000 people will lose their jobs as a direct result of Brexit….

In last month’s Recruitment Grapevine online magazine, Macildowie chairman Ed Vernon OBE offers his thoughts on the post-Brexit recruitment industry and it’s an interesting read.

We know we ask every month but what are your thoughts? What do you think is going to happen? Have you noticed a drop in per placements? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Article 2: Can Where You Sit REALLY Improve Productivity?

An article in this month’s Recruitment Buzz thinks so.

Reading one of a billion trillion books on improving productivity in the workplace and then regurgitating it verbatim to bored middle-managers and small business owners who are looking no further than the next invoice is how ‘business coaches’ justify their existence. Now, there’s a new way to improve productivity and thankfully you don’t have to waste your money on ‘consultants’ and ‘coaches’. You just need to buy a few new chairs.

A new report – with the exceptionally dull title ‘Planning Strategic Seating to Maximise Employee Performance’ – from talent managers Cornerstone in conjunction with Harvard Business School says that by rearranging where your employees sit in relation to each other, businesses can ‘generate up to a 15% increase in organisational performance’.

In a company of 2,000 staff, that potentially translates to an extra £800,000 on the bottom line.

The research – which took two years to compile and took in data from over 2,000 employees – identified three types of workers:

  • Productive – very productive but lack in quality
  • Quality – superior quality but lack in productivity
  • Generalist – average on both dimensions

As it turns out, ‘seating Productive and Quality workers together and seating Generalists separately in their own group shows a 13% gain in productivity and a 17% gain in effectiveness.’

In a sentence that can charitably be filed under ‘the bleedin’ obvious’, the geniuses behind the report suggest that ‘symbiotic relationships are created from pairing those with opposite strengths’.

While the report says that by sitting certain people together will increase productivity, it also says that the ‘spillover’, the effects one gets from another, can also ‘extend to negative performance through misconduct and unethical behaviour’.

The article goes on to say ‘in measuring the extent to which a toxic worker (i.e. a worker that harms an organisation’s people and/or property) influences others, the study finds that the negative performance of these workers spills over to fellow workers in a process similar to positive spillover.’

So there we have it. In a nutshell, sit with people who you think you can learn from and who will positively influence your productivity rather than that kid in school who used to spit balls of rolled up paper through a straw at the back of teacher’s head. He’s a wrong ‘un.

Article 3: The Bleedin’ Obvious 101: Don’t Be Rude At Your Interview

The title of this article barely needs further explanation, except it does. We’re not talking about calling the interviewer a **** on your way out, the rudeness we’re talking about is much more subtle…

Business Insider has collated 20 things candidates say (mostly without realising it) that are guaranteed to relocate their CV to the bottom of the pile.

I’ve been waiting a while’be internally annoyed your interviewer is late, but don’t verbalise it.

‘Hi, I know I’m late, but…’ – Don’t draw attention to it and don’t make lame excuses. Apologise quickly and move on.

‘What happens if I don’t get on with my boss?’ – The inference here is that you don’t get on with co-workers and/or management. Also, it’s likely your future boss is sitting in front of you…

‘Are you married/do you have kids?’ – Your interviewer’s personal life is way off limits and none of your business. Don’t even go there.

‘I heard a rumour about the MD, is it true?’ – An interview is no place for idle gossip and hearsay of the very worst kind. It’s hugely unprofessional.

‘Who in the office should I avoid?’ – Intra-office politics and dramas are not your concern when you’re not even an employee (yet).

‘So, what does your company do?’ – If you even have to ask this, don’t be surprised if the interviewer simply asks you to leave on the spot.

‘My weaknesses? None at all.’ – Don’t be ridiculous. We all have them. Be honest otherwise you come across as arrogant and not entirely honest. If you had no business weaknesses you’d be running Amazon.

‘So, did I get the job?’ – This is #1 on the list of ‘what not to ask an interviewer while you’re technically still in your interview.’ It puts them on the spot and you may not like the answer.

‘I think your company’s big weakness is _______’ – Be enthusiastic and positive, don’t point out deficiencies. Offer ways of improvement rather than to tell them how awful they’re doing.

‘Sorry, I really need to take this call…’ – No explanation needed. Use your phone during an interview and you’re finished.

‘I just need a job.’ – We refer you back to point one. Even if you’re thinking it, don’t verbalise it.

‘Shall we get started?’ – That’s not your call to make. Eager and nervous you may be but wait for the interviewer to start the interview.

‘Sorry, I’ve gotta run…’ – Make sure you leave enough time (including a redundancy) before and after your interview.

‘I’d like a coffee please.’ – It’s bad form to ask. Wait to be offered and if you’re not, tough. Take a bottle of water in with you if you think you’re going to need some lubrication.

‘I…I…I…’ – Of course you need to sell yourself but keep the bigger picture in mind. You’re about to become a cog in a machine, not the MD.

‘The office isn’t what I imagined it to be.’ – Don’t start off with disappointment. Again, keep these things to yourself.

‘How did YOU get this job?’ – That’s none of your business. It implies condescension and that’s not the first impression you want to leave the interviewer with.

‘So, did you vote Leave or Remain?’ Keep politics off the agenda. That goes both ways. If the interviewer asks about your political allegiances, politely steer them away from the conversation and ask something about benefits or working hours.

‘Thanks mate/honey/brother/sugarlips…’ – Don’t be familiar or worse, a dick. This is the person you’re hoping will give you money each month to pay your mortgage and feed your kids.

Article 4: The Three Most Unnecessary Jobs at Rio 2016

Any major sporting event – the Olympics, World Cup, Tour de France – requires phenomenal feats of complex organisation, consultation, arrangements, logistics and the allocation of roles. Over the last 20 years or so, we’ve seen spectacularly well-organised events for which the host nations and all those who participated can be rightly proud.

But sometimes, the allocation of roles goes a little bit far. These three for example…

  1. Lifeguards– Brazilian law is quite clear – pools over a certain size are required by law to have a lifeguard present, and that includes swimming, diving, water polo and kayaking. The lifeguards are paid £260 to sit and watch the world’s finest aquatic athletes do their thing.
  2. Human Sign-Posts – During the opening ceremony, dozens and dozens of human sign-posts were on hand to guide the teams to their allocated areas as they came into the stadium for the first time. Many of them got so overwhelmed as to where people should go they ended up pointing to all places but the right one. A sign on a pole would have been cheaper and far more effective.
  3. Eric – Have you read about Eric? He became a bit of a reluctant celebrity at the Olympic Village and an internet sensation after he was pictured walking into the mini-city holding a bag filled with almost half a million condoms. It works out at 42 per athlete, or three a day for the duration of the Games…

Article 5: Met Vriendelijke Groet, Duizendpoot*

*Kind regards, the Centipede…’

 No, we haven’t fallen down, hit our head and woken up speaking Dutch but if an article on Recruitment Grapevine is to be believed, der Nederlanders, at least in their job descriptions, are seemingly happy to refer to themselves as animals.

Marte Meijs, a marketing and communications specialist at Amsterdam-based semantic search technology company Textkernel who create labour market analyses says that animal-related expressions are so commonly used in the Dutch language that they have inevitably found their way into job descriptions.

Her article says that insects are at the top of this particular food chain; ‘Centipede’ (a multi-skilled multitasker) has consistently been the most advertised job position over the past five years (70% of all animal-themed vacancies), followed by ‘sales tiger’ (aggressive, go getter) and ‘spider in the web’ (problem solver).

 It seems to be a bit of a double-edged sword though. Whiles these job ads can increase the pool of applications thanks to their humorous and playful nature, the job descriptions need to be found.  Candidates searching for a head chef position are unlikely to extend their search to ‘catering tiger’ so from a boring (but necessary) SEO standpoint, ‘it seems to be a disadvantage to be creative.’

 In all its glory, here’s the list of 2016’s most popular animal-related job titles…

Centipede – A person who can do a lot of things to a very high standard

Sales Tiger – A relentless salesman/woman with the drive required to close the deal

Spider in the Web – A well organised problem solver who oversees processes

Early Bird – Someone who wakes up early

Catering Tiger – Enthusiastic catering staff

Cool Frog – One who can keep their head when all around them are losing theirs

Sheep with Five Legs – A jack-of-all-trades

Young Dog – A young but highly-motivated person

Water Rat – Someone who loves to be in the water

Fish in the Water – Someone who easily adapts to different situations

Night Animal – A person happiest working in the night hours

Busy Bee – Someone capable of taking on many tasks at once

Career Tiger – Someone intent on scaling the career ladder

We’re unlikely to read about the ‘Fast-Food Elephant’ or the ‘Estate Agent Pig’ but if you ever see anthropomorphic job titles, send them our way!

Article 6: Reminder: Sexism Has NO Place in the Workplace

 For the vast majority of forward-thinking 21st century employers, workplace sexism is a long-dead relic of times past but for a very small number, it’s alive and well and more than that, it’s actively encouraged.

While there might be a few backwater businesses where sexism still lingers like a bad smell, you’ll never see it in job descriptions. Or will you?

Well as it turns out you will, but only if you happen to be looking for a very particular job in Russia.

One of the former Soviet Union’s top recruiters posted a job advert earlier in the summer which somehow manages to plumb the rancid depths of the unholiest of unholy trinities – it’s sexist, creepy and just plain odd.

The ad explains in the tiniest of details what face shape, smile type (there are 23 types according to the advert), height, hair and eye colour is required along with the fact that the candidate shouldn’t have had any type of plastic surgery.

Recruiter Ella Mikhaylova posted the listing on Facebook, writing; ‘The main requirement for the job is a smile. A certain type of smile (there are 23 types)’. She went on to say that the ‘premium girl’ must possess a ‘soft, Slavic smile (only the top row of teeth must be visible, and under no circumstances must the bottom row be seen)’ and they most certainly mustn’t have a ‘defiant, dazzling, advert-ready American smile.’

 Oh, it gets worse – much, much worse.

Further down the advert, it mentions the successful candidate must ‘contain no hint of feminism, cunning, haughtiness, independence or pride.’

 Yes, it really says that.

The cherry on top of this particularly gruesome cake is the stunning admission from Ms. Mikhaylova that she would send out the contacts of the girls who made the final round to ‘my male friends’ but, naturally, ‘only with the women’s’ consent’. 

You’d think, like any normal person, that this advert would have spectacularly backfired, women’s rights campaigners in Russia would be going crazy and Twitter would have gone into meltdown but less than 24 hours after the advert was posted on Facebook, Ms. Mikhaylova wrote; ‘We have received a flood of CVs. The vacancy aroused such enthusiasm that we were able to find the right candidate straight away. Thank you all for your participation!’


Article 7: A Movie Poster, a Facebook Profile and a 1950’s Newspaper Advert

 What do you think these three things have in common? Wrong. They are three creative examples of how CVs have been submitted to employers and while plenty have tried and failed (including the tired toilet paper cliché), this guy stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Perfectly tapping into the zeitgeist, Reddit user ‘blueddit4’ wrote his CV to read like a Game of Thrones script. If you’re in any way familiar with the adventures of Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark and Cersei Lannister, you will love this!

NB: The guy’s name and university were redacted from the article so the writer has reverted to poetic license to keep the flow!

‘I am Dave Smith, first of his name, graduated fresh from University of America, scientist of computers, hunting for a job.

Attached is my resume to prove that I am worthy to serve House Symph. And if ever you feel that my credentials are OK, I am always willing to learn to adjust to fit the company’s needs.

 I also live by the motto ‘if you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.’

 Thank you for taking your time in reading my application via virtual crow.’

 Of course the success of such a specifically-targeted CV is entirely reliant on the recipient also being a Game of Thrones fan. Luckily, ‘blueddit4’ struck gold with this reply…

‘Greetings. I was just beginning to recover and get on with life after the last season ended. I’m unsure if I should thank you or hate you for bringing up the memories. Anyway, let’s meet. Are you free to come to House Symph tomorrow at the strike of ten in the morning? I’ll arrange to have bread and salt prepared to ensure your safe passage.’ 

The candidate shot back with; ‘Expect my presence at House Symph at the strike of ten in the morning, carrying the banner of House blueddit4. I shall represent our house well.’

It’s not clear if the guy got the job or not but what would you do if a CV like this came across your desk? Dismiss it as a childish prank not worthy of your esteemed company or embrace the fact that there are some pretty creative types out there and they should be given worthy consideration?

Article 8: Just for fun….

 Wouldn’t it be great if all interviews went like this…

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!

The Asset Resourcing Team

Monthly Newsletter

Article 1: Got Your Eyes & Ears Peeled?  Nine Tell-Tale Candidate Interview Mistakes

The meeting room has been booked out; you’ve got your notebook, coffee, a stack of CVs and your best Thursday socks on and you’re settled in for a day of interviews. You’re fresh for the first three or four but eventually they candidates will morph into what seems like a gelatinous mass of cliché after cliché.

You need to keep your wits about you. It’s often not what they say but how they say it and there are some sure-fire signs that the candidates sitting in front of you are failing to engage brain before opening mouth. Here are nine classic interview warning signs:

  1. Liars: Candidates who lie about roles, experience or salary won’t look you in the eye, they blush, nibble their lips and blink more rapidly than normal – indications that the brain is working quickly. Be aware.
  2. Vague Answers: You want a more detailed explanation as to why they left their last role. ‘I left to further my career’ can be true but it can also be a euphemism for ‘I was booted out for stealing too many Post-It Notes’. Be sure.
  3. CV Knowledge: Does their off-pat chat correspond with what’s on their CV? Does it match up? Test them.
  4. Why You? You need to determine whether the person in front of you just needs a job to pay the bills or genuinely wants to work for you. Do they know the company, the role and the culture? Do they care? Find out.
  5. Negativity: This is an easy one because it’s purely verbal. If they kick off with reasons why they can’t do overtime, overseas trips or that they absolutely have to get the 5.46 train from Waterloo every day, file their CV in the ‘maybe’ pile.
  6. Barriers Are Up: Underselling is very common but look for signs that they are focusing on the 15% of the role they don’t have experience in rather than the 85% they do. It could be a sign of things to come.
  7. Too Much: Overselling is the domain of the nervous. If they go on and on about how great they are, how much money they made for their last company or a me, me, me diatribe, be cautious. No-one’s perfect even if some of us think we are…
  8. ‘Hilarious’ Jokes: A candidate sitting in front of you telling you ‘jokingly’ that they’d use dirt they had on potential clients to drive business is one to be cautious of. A joke it may have been but it’s an insight into how their brain works and from the get-go, the seed is planted.
  9. Where Next? Candidates that ask about progression within the business in the right way are to be applauded but the ones who want to use this role as a stepping-stone to the top need to be weeded out. They will have an agenda.Article 2: Comedic Candidates, Confused Clients…

 As a business owner, HR manager or indeed anyone who has ever conducted an interview, sometimes a candidate presents themselves seemingly with the sole purpose of ending up on a list like this… Here are some candidates we all wish we could see, if only to break up the monotony of a day of asking the same questions to dozens of people!

In an article from, they asked over 200 interviewers for their most memorable faux-pas…#facepalm

Dress for Success

Most know how to dress for an interview, unlike these guys…

  • The woman who showed up with bare feet, holding her shoes complaining her feet hurt
  • A Skype interview conducted with the candidate in bed wearing stripy pyjamas
  • The candidate who sewed saucepan lids into the lining of his coat for ‘protection’

Eat Healthily

That’s sound advice, but not during an interview…

  • The guy who came in with a half-eaten pizza in the box and asked the interviewer if she wanted a slice
  • The lunch interview where the candidate asked for a beer, then another, then two more. He got battered and threw up
  • The girl who was getting flustered and sunk a sachet of energy gel mid-conversation

Friends Will Be Friends

They’re your friends, not a portable fan club…

  • One candidate brought her best friend to sit in the interview for moral support
  • A guy brought his wife in to the interview who answered most of the questions on his behalf
  • The guy who brought his dog in with him. Guess what the dog did on the carpet…

No Category for Odd People

These don’t fit into any particular category but they’re too good to leave out…!

  • The guy who asked for a cigarette break halfway through his interview
  • The candidate who asked to borrow ‘a couple of grand’ from the interviewer
  • One candidate asked his interviewer out on a date
  • The woman going for a job at a yacht-charter company who was scared of the water

Article 3: Snap & Swipe: Are Snapchat and Tinder Useful Recruitment Tools?

Move over LinkedIn. Snapchat and Tinder are the latest way forward-thinking firms are attracting young, hip millennials with businesses creating geo-filters to target relevant people in specific areas. Melissa Murphy, head of HR at New York digital advertising agency Space150 whose Snapchat geo-filters targeted college campuses and public areas says, ‘Rather than asking students to come to us, we thought it would be much better to target them where they already are’.

She continued; ‘Being in a creative and tech-savvy industry, we’re always trying new ways to recruit talent – and Snapchat is where all the youngsters are.’

Fetch, a mobile agency in New York recently used dating app Tinder to recruit an intern. They created a profile for one day only and started swiping. They asked potential candidates for their best chat-up lines and of the 270 they matched (150 men, 120 women), five got to the interview stage.

22-year old Sam Weidt was the lucky intern who wowed them with his chat-up line. Fetch initiated the chat with a simple ‘Hi Sam!’ His response was a pearler. ‘Hey Fetch! If I was as good at dating as I am at marketing, my thumbs wouldn’t be sore from Tinder!’

 Even JPMorgan, the most traditional of institutions has embraced Snapchat’s geo-filtering to look for young, urban millennials.

There was a word of warning via The Economic Times from a senior recruiter at Accenture who said ‘These apps don’t capture any educational and work experience of candidates, so a recruiter would end up investing a lot of time on each profile before even understanding their fitment.’

 Valid to a point, but if you want cool, young, tech-savvy kids with their fingers on the pulse, you have to go and find them.

Have you ever used Tinder or Snapchat to recruit? Would you consider it? Let us know on Twitter @AssetResourcing or Facebook.

Article 4: Bored of the Same Interview Questions? Have an Apple…

 Known the world over for innovation, secrecy and churning out ground-breaking products, Apple and CEO Tim Cook’s ‘team of hiring experts’ are also now famous for something else.

In an article from Business Insider, Apple’s ‘eccentric’ recruitment techniques means that if you want to join the other 115,000 ‘geniuses’ that work for the tech overlord, you’re going to have to answer some seriously strange cryptic riddles targeted to the role in question.

Want to work for Apple? Then get answering…

‘How much does the Empire State Building weigh?’ – Solutions Consultant

‘Give me five ways of measuring how much gasoline is in a car.’ – Hardware Engineer

 ‘Why did Apple change its name from Apple Computers Incorporated to Apple Inc.?’ Specialist

‘How many children are born every day?’ – Global Supply Manager

‘How does an airplane wing work?’ – Lead Systems Engineer

‘How would you break down the cost of this pen?’ – Global Supply Manager

‘How would you test a toaster?’ – Software QA Engineer

‘Explain what RAM is to a five year old.’ – Apple Genius

The last one is easy. A ram is a daddy sheep.

Article 5: Go Quietly and Don’t Make a Fuss…

 A disgruntled ex-employee with a grudge can be a scary prospect. Some will accept their failings and leave with good grace, a decent reference and another middle management role somewhere else.

Last laugh or career suicide, others are prepared to go postal…

In April, a video from sharing site LiveLeak apparently shows a rather displeased Russian airport worker taking his aggression out on a £3.5m Yak-40 plane with a crane after being sacked. Doubt has emerged regarding the authenticity of the clip with some believing it’s footage from an airplane breakers yard but still, it’s a cracking watch!

Meanwhile in Dundee, Gheorge Ilie went for an interview at Morrisons but didn’t get the job. So annoyed was he about failing the interview that on his way out, he loaded up a trolley with over £1,700-worth of booze covered with bags and, oddly, nappies and tried to leave the store. The security tags triggered the alarm and the inept thief was apprehended.

Andrew Plumb was sacked from the Gas Superstore in Leicester in early 2015 and decided to hack into the company’s computer system. He cancelled orders, changed passwords and replaced pictures of appliances with characters from Coronation Street. He cost the business £41,000 and they had to stop trading for three days.

Christmas most certainly wasn’t the season of gifts, kindness and forgiving for ex-Harrods Santa Lloyd Hudson. After downing almost two bottles of whisky, he found the location of the switches for the corner shop’s 10,000 exterior lights. He disabled a select series of lights until the outside of the world’s most famous department store read ‘F**k Off’!

Lastly in America, and after being given four weeks’ notice to leave, an accounts clerk at a trading company in the Midwest used the company credit card to order a year’s worth of male enhancement pills to be delivered to a choice selection of male executives around the office. [Insert your own joke about stiff penalties, hard labour etc…]

Article 6: Recruiters Can Only Do So Much…

Here at Asset Resourcing, we thoroughly prepare our candidates for their interviews. We run them through the questions they’re likely to face as well as the role and its responsibilities and then we let them loose. What we can’t do with any degree of accuracy is prepare them for random, leftfield questions…

Yasmin Green is head of R&D at Jigsaw, formerly known as Google Ideas and at Marie Claire’s recent Power Trip networking event for women she was aske d about her favourite interview technique. It was a marked detour from the usual guff and the logic behind it seems pretty solid.

She likes to ask potential hires the following question: ‘How would you make money from an ice-cream stand in Central Park?’

 She justifies her odd line of questioning. ‘I’m curious to see how people deal with ambiguity and whether they can have fun while thinking on their feet’. She’s passionate about hiring people that are ‘innately driven’ and those who have ‘that force of spirit that powers them through any obstacle that comes their way’ and asking them about how they’d make their fortune selling ice-cream in Central Park is as good a way as any.

Article 7: Just for Fun, Get Them In…

 Before potential candidates get involved with recruitment companies, applications and interviews, they need a robust, coherent CV. Now before we go any further, let’s all be honest for a moment. Most of us have embellished slightly and some of us have told whopping great porkies in order to secure a dream job. To confirm our suspicions, CareerBuilder’s summer 2015 survey says that 56% of employers have found a lie on a CV.

The most common ‘inaccuracies’ include embellished skill sets (62%), responsibilities (54%), dates of employment (39%), job titles (31%) and academic degrees (28%).

Yet some employers to the tune of 42% are happy to consider applicants meeting three out of five of these criteria. However sometimes, just sometimes a porky or an error so ridiculous manifests itself that it’s worth getting the candidate in…for a laugh! Here are some examples collated by CareerBuilder that are too funny to pass by! The applicant…

  1. …claimed to be a former CEO of the company he was applying to
  2. …claimed to be bi-lingual – English and Pig Latin
  3. …managed to write ‘whorehouse’ instead of ‘warehouse’ under previous jobs
  4. …’s email address was ‘2poopy4mypants@….
  5. …said he was a Nobel Prize winner
  6. …said they worked in a jail for two years but were actually serving time for robbery
  7. …went to a college that closed down in the 1960s
  8. …’s job history had her at three jobs in three states simultaneously
  9. …claimed to be HVAC-certified but had to ask the interviewer what HVAC stood for
  10. ..’s reference was from an employer they had embezzled money from with an arrest warrant out for said applicant

You couldn’t make it up! Have you seen anything on a CV that is worthy of this list? Let us know on Twitter @AssetResourcing or Facebook.

 Article 8: Recruitment Videos Can Be Good, We Promise…

 Recruitment is a continually moving target. What worked a decade ago is unlikely to work today. In fact what worked last week may not work today either, such is the fluidity of the industry we find ourselves in.

What hasn’t changed is companies trying to do their best to lure in potential candidates but it’s the way they try and lure them in that is getting a little more sophisticated.

Try this recruitment video from the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon. The production values are awful, the acting is wooden but Reddit users called it one of the best recruiting videos of all time!

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter @AssetResourcing or Facebook.

Head Office


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