Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Reading Between the Lines

A foray into the world of Recruitment and Advert ‘jargon’ 
As the person within Exclusive who lovingly acknowledges all Applicants and Candidates when they initially apply for, or express interest in a particular role, I see many applications every day from prospective Candidates. Unfortunately, I am also the harbinger of rejection when they are unsuitable for the roles they have applied for.

The reasons for this are many and varied, but the most frequent causes for being unsuccessful on application would be due to;

  • Lack of experience either within a specific type of role or sector 
  • Lack of relevant ‘time-served’ experience or qualifications 
  • Relevance of previous experience when compared to our Client’s Job Description 

In light of this, I have put together some ‘read between the lines’ tips and handy hints for when you are looking for that new role or challenge, and how to become more successful in your search.

Job Titles

Let’s not get stuck on formalities here; we all know that different companies will have differing titles for certain roles within their organisation. A Building Maintenance Officer in one company could be called a Site Manager, Project Manager, Yard Manager or Facilities Officer in any other company. The important part of the Job Title falls under your remit, in both your current role and the one for which you are applying.

However, it is always prudent to remember that certain roles will require quite specific experiences, eg HR Manager or PSV Master.

An opportunity to progress....

This little gem is used often and frequently by both Consultancies and Companies looking to attract Candidates, who are already working within a particular Sector, although not exclusively. It may be that, if you apply for this role and cannot show demonstrable experience either in Financial Services or Oil and Gas or Healthcare Provision, chances are you will be unsuccessful.

However, if you are able to portray quite strong transferable skills and/or similarities in your personal sector experience, then make sure you highlight this in the relevant part of your CV eg you are looking to apply for an Engineering role at a Nuclear Plant, and your experience is within engineering the power systems within submarines which run on nuclear energy, then there is a similarity and something transferable.

A relevant qualification in....

Employers and Consultancies use this phrase to distinguish between different types of roles. Project Engineers roles may appear frequently, but they can encompass a vast range of Sectors and experience. If an organisation are looking for an Applicant with a ‘relevant qualification in Marine or Subsea Engineering’, then that gives you considerable insight into the type of Projects you will be part of, on successful completion of your application. Also, it denotes that the role you are thinking of applying for does require either ‘time-served’ or studied qualifications as well as experience within that type of Engineering etc

I guess it goes without saying that, again, certain roles will naturally require specific qualifications such as a Master will require a Class I CoC, or someone looking for Junior Finance roles will, more likely than not, require an AAT Certificate.

Relevant Experience

At Exclusive we always try to provide as much information as possible in our adverts, to allow prospective Candidates the ability to properly assess themselves against the role before applying. Whether this information is with regards to the type of work/projects you will be involved in, or about the Client’s organisation in general and where they are positioned in either the geographical or global market is very much dependent on the information our Client is happy for us to divulge at an open public level.

In cases where we are unable to give detailed information, all applications are individually assessed against the criteria as supplied by the Client.

Above all it is important to remember that rejections are rarely, if ever, personal. If you are finding your applications are being rejected for similar reasons time and time again, why not speak to your Consultant (if you are registered with a Consultancy) or ask someone for advice on tweaking your CV to give you the best possible opportunity.

Friday, 21 September 2012

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

UK Offshore Wind

NOF Energy and Energi Coast recently hosted a UK Offshore Wind Conference at St James Park that we attended and we wanted to share some information from the day.

Speaking organisations at the event included: The Crown Estate, DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change), BIS, Areva, Mitsubishi, EDF Energy Renewables, Siemens, Energi Coast, NOF Energy, OGN Group and Technip.

offshore wind
The event, attended by most of the large players in the Offshore Wind sector, highlighted the key issues and growth areas surrounding Offshore Wind in the UK. According to the Crown Estate, in order for the UK to hit its Renewable Energy incentive by 2020 the projected costs will be in the region of £50 billion.  

Key actions to reduce this cost include: larger more efficient turbines (companies such as Mitsubishi, with their 7MW turbine ‘SeaAngel’ with a rotor diameter of over 165m, and Siemens with their upcoming 6MW turbine, are paving the way for larger scale and more efficient solutions); optimisation of installation procedures (Mitsubishi using new digital displacement drive;  organisations such as Technip acquiring SubOcean for their cable installations; OGN Group developing 3 and 4 leg steel jacketed foundations) and greater competition (there is increasing competition between the EU and the UK and specifically countries like Germany and further out China, are seeing increase in investment in offshore wind creating a much larger competitive base for the UK).

A recent report from DECC highlighted Ernst & Young’s ‘attractiveness index’ for renewable energy solutions to demonstrate that the UK is currently leading the way in Offshore Wind. This is proven by the UK with some of the most innovative and high profile wind farms. With 217 turbines that can power up to 750,000 homes, the London Array Wind farm off the coast of Essex & Kent, will be the largest in the world once completed and is expected to start sending energy to the National Grid by next Spring.

DECC awarded investments of over £6.9 billion in the year up to 31 March 2012, which created over 20,000 jobs around the country. This is assisting organisations in driving forward renewable energy solutions within the UK. An excellent example would be North East based OGN Group, who were recently awarded over £690,000 to assist with the development of their steel jacketed foundation prototype which will be built in their proposed new 36,000sqm offshore wind fabrication facility at their site in Wallsend.With all this investment and creation of jobs, a major issue for the Offshore Wind sector is the skills shortage that is becoming apparent.  

The event highlighted the need for ‘up-skilling’ in this area.  Organisations such as Renewable UK, alongside colleges and centres for excellence in offshore training around the UK, can assist with training staff to chartered status or learning specific skill sets. OEM organisations such as Areva mentioned the transfer from industries such as Aerospace, Automotive and Oil & Gas as ways to transfer skilled workers into the Offshore Wind sector.

Exclusive has a team of experienced recruiters in the Offshore Wind, Energy and Oil & Gas sectors who understand the need for exceptional staff in order to continue to drive forward and implement the ambitious plans and ideas of organisations in this sector. 

We can assist with recruitment needs, regardless of how specialist, and explore methods of recruitment outside the normal to overcome skills shortage issues – whether organisations need a specific skill set, want to recruit international talent, need to fill an extremely niche role, we can meet the needs and ensure organisations have the very best people in the market.

Laura Weaving
Divisional Lead

For further information please contact our Offshore Wind, Energy and Oil & Gas team:

North East
Office: 01661 867730

Aberdeen Office: 01224 912 151

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

HR; Friend or Foe?

So many businesses are apprehensive to introduce HR into their organisation, whether the HR is simple guidelines or assigning a HR Consultant or even developing a HR department.  Whatever level of HR involvement, much of this apprehension is the fear of the unknown with so many questions needing to be answered; what actually are the HR rules & regulations, how do I apply them, who can help me, how much will support cost, what do I do next and so on.

But with anything in business, until you have tried it you will never realise the benefits it has for your businesses efficiency and profitability!  Speaking from experience I have and still am witnessing a small local business which is screaming out for some HR guidance and in this case HR could be their friend…..
The Company Owner and Manager runs his service business with just three employees but believe it or not, with just a small staff team there have been HR elements to be handled including absenteeism issues, motivation matters, maternity allowances, flexible working requests and general attitude and behaviour problems. Phew! What a list for one Manager to deal with all alone!

The Manager has always hoped to avoid HR at all costs as a part of his business because of the fear of it, seeing it as an unnecessary factor which takes up too much time, effort and money when he has always believed he could resolve any employment matters informally through ‘chats’.  As a result he doesn’t have contracts of employment issued, basic policies and procedures available or consistent rules in place.  Consequently he wants to rectify these issues but doesn’t have the confidence to do so as there has always been a lack of clarity and confirmation of the boundaries.  

He now feels completely overwhelmed and frustrated with his one burning question being ‘where do I start?’ but the answer is simple ‘go back to basics and start from scratch!’.  So yes, involve HR by introducing at the very least some common ‘terms and conditions of employment’ to set the ground rules for all employees.  These terms and conditions will be the starting point for addressing any issues in the team which don’t seem to adhere to the company standards.  Believe it or not I am sure his employees will appreciate such standardisation as they will have a better sense of knowing what is expected of them and also what they can expect from their employer as employment is undoubtedly a two way process. 

In this situation, HR can definitely be his ‘Friend’……maybe next time we can consider how HR can be deemed the ‘Foe’?!?!?!?

For more information about our HR Services, please feel free to contact us


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Manager, Leader, Teacher or Coach?

In the fight to win employment after redundancy, you need to be more than ahead of the game, you need to be the prize, the person that everyone wants to employ.

So you’ve been a Manager before, you’ve worked hard, made your mark on the business, excelled in customer relations, increased business three-fold and still you can’t secure employment – Why?

The game has changed. No longer are you expected to just ‘manage’ the business and the people, you are expected to combine managing, with leadership, teaching and coaching as well.