Tuesday, 27 November 2012

All I Want for Christmas...

Whilst driving into town last week, I spotted my first decorated house of the Christmas season – nice and early and hats off to them, nice and gaudy too!  For a lot of recruiters, the first strains of Noddy Holder and the mere sight of tinsel sends a shiver through the bones.  

There seems to be a perception amongst some in the industry that upon opening the first door on the advent calendar, businesses across the region down tools for the year and get stuck into the eggnog.  

From my own experience, while December may not be the busiest month of the year, it’s by no means the quietest either and for a smart HR Manager, there are ample benefits of completing pieces of recruitment in the festive season.

For starters, there is the obvious benefit of securing a great candidate during the month and having them ready to sit down at their new desk on the first day of the New Year.  As a business, we moved into our new property on the 3rd January and it proved a great psychological boost to everyone at Exclusive...New Year, lovely new offices, new faces and it has led to us going on to have our most successful year yet.  There’s nothing like a rested and refreshed team with New Year’s resolutions still intact to really push things forward in January and think of the benefit of having a new member of the team to boost them even further!

December also tends to be a good month for attracting some great candidates.  As a generalisation, it tends to be easier for candidates to make availability for interviews over the party season and indeed as many firms do ease off in the run up to Christmas, the competition to attract the very best talent becomes slightly less fierce – a great time to steal a march on your rivals!

Bear in mind too that although January tends to be the busiest month in terms of candidate movement, a lot of this is driven by people being disgruntled with their own roles and realising over the Christmas break that they would simply rather be anywhere other than with their current employer.  It might sound like I’m making this up, but ten years of recruitment experience has taught me that motivations for moving on tend to be more reasoned and driven by ambition in December than they do in the New Year when it is generally more a case of ‘(I’m a frustrated HR Professional) Get me out of Here!’

Do feel free to give us a call over the next month and tell us about your recruitment plans as the year draws to an end.  We’ll be here working away, candle burning on desk right until Santa flies overhead on his sleigh...ho ho ho!

Managing Consultant

Exclusive: Recruitment & HR Consultancy
Newcastle, Leeds & Aberdeen

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lifting the Lid... The much needed return!

As with most industries over the past 5 years, recruitment has been hit hard by the recession. As we emerge from the recent double dip, we hoped, as did many of our clients, that this would see an end to the sharks of this industry, that they would swim off into waters new. We hoped that the remaining recruiters would operate ethically and with a high degree of integrity. We hoped, therefore, that our past series of articles on ‘lifting the lid’ would become obsolete in this new era of cleansed recruitment practices.

But no - just like the City financial practices that brought the country to its knees – lessons have not been learned and unethical, wide-boy practices have returned. And so has our series of blogs.

In turn we hope that by educating and exposing these practices that our client base will be better prepared and able to spot the sharks in the waters, ending once and for all these practices.

When is an introduction an introduction?

It’s a very common misconception that whenever an agency sends a CV first, the client is then contractually bound to see that candidate via said agency.

In-line with unethical practices, many agencies are simply now advertising a vacancy and then immediately forwarding the CV to the client. They do this in the hope that their CV’s land first so they can argue it constitutes an introduction.

 It does not.

An introduction occurs when you interview the candidate and not before this point.

I make this point as we are hearing of an ever increasing amount of candidates that are being sent to clients without their prior consent. The client then feels compelled to interview via this agency and the candidates feel effectively ‘hoodwinked’ into attending.

If you receive a CV without requesting it, or you are informed the candidate was not aware that their details were sent to you, you are not contractually bound to see this candidate via this agency.

The choice, as they say, is yours; choose the ethical recruiter or the unethical recruiter?

Not much of a choice, is it?

If you have any questions on recruitment practices you would like answering, please feel free to email me directly.

Kind Regards as always

Managing Director

Exclusive: Recruitment & HR Consultancy
Newcastle, Leeds & Aberdeen

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tone on the Phone

As a strong believer in Customer Excellence and high expectations of service level provisions, I always do my utmost to ensure every piece of communication, whether written or verbal, conveys exactly what I need and want it to.

Having recently had an experience of ‘bad customer excellence’ as well as a misunderstanding of message simply due to tone of voice or choice of phrase within an email outside of work, I’ve been wondering whether we realise that what we say or write can be both conducive and counter-productive to business development and the overall perception of a company’s employer branding.

Take for example a phone call I received recently; A service we were looking to use was no longer available due to personnel changes. However, the tone of voice used to convey this was not conducive to building a positive customer relationship. Rather, it was belittling and made me question why we would look to use their services in the future; surely Customer Excellence has to go along the entire Supply Chain, not just stay within one company?

What can be learnt from this? Sometimes it’s not what you say but rather HOW you say it. I am sure we have all had occasions when a company has not been able to live up to expectations on delivery of services or services offered. However, what makes the difference is how they inform you of this and how they go about rectifying any situation.

So how does this affect my role within Exclusive Ltd? As the company lead for our Customer Excellence programme, I ensure that every customer, whether Client or Candidate, receives the level of service they would expect from a Recruitment and HR Consultancy. If this falls below expectations, which rarely happens, then this is discussed as a business to see how we, as a company, can move forward to set things right, but also to see what lessons are to be learnt. As I often said to pupils when teaching “it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them” – nobody can be perfect every time.

Even today, customer service has been coined as the future battleground in competitive times for companies who are looking to grow their business. As Exclusive Ltd is a proud member of the Service Network and recent recipient of Highly Commended at the Culture for Success Awards 20120, it is a company-wide belief that high standards of customer service should not just be another area of competition, but rather an integral part of any service provider. As such, Customer Excellence and a Culture for Success are at the heart of every decision made and every communication, whether verbal or written.

For further information on how our Customer Excellence programme is used by Clients and Candidates, please visit our website www.exclusiveltd.co.uk and click our independently hosted Customer Services tab.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Social Network

Wherever you are, you cannot escape Social Media – that is near enough fact - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, to name but a few, follow you wherever you go.

Never before has it been so easy to communicate with others – We live in the age of Smart Phones, Tablets, Androids and Apps, meaning that you are never far away from knowing what is happening around you, in near enough ‘real time’.

For this reason, it is important that businesses utilise Social Networking to their advantage. What better way to connect with similar organisations, clients, candidates, staff than using this powerful tool?

Not only is it usually free, or if not, relatively inexpensive, but you are in control of the tone of your correspondence, meaning that YOU set the standards for your company’s image.

However, it is crucial that you use these platforms in a professional way, as these things can sometimes backfire on you.

Take, for instance, the high brow retail chain, Waitrose.

After asking people on Twitter why they shop there, they were inundated with responses such as: ‘#I shop at Waitrose because I once heard a 6 year old boy say “Daddy does Lego have a ‘t’ at the end like Merlot?”’

I am not sure that was the response Waitrose was hoping for, but they do say there is no such thing as bad publicity...

At Exclusive Ltd, we love using Social Media to connect with our clients, candidates and network as it is a way for them to get to know us as a company - what we offer, how we work and it enables us to show our personality and professionalism.

Through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Exclusive Ltd posts new vacancies and information on a regular basis but without crossing the ever annoying ‘spam line’. Naturally, we also communicate with our connections on a one-to-one basis; in that sense, we make everyone welcome when they join our network.

When used properly and professionally, Social Media can work wonders for a company – We have all seen through the Google Chrome ad how the Cambridge Satchal Company started – an idea in a kitchen and a blog.....

Internet Marketing Consultant

To connect with Exclusive Ltd visit http://www.exclusiveltd.co.uk/