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

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