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  • ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. This comment, attributed to artist Andy Warhol, will always be considered one of the most celebrated quotes ever, despite him, in later life, denying that he ever said it. This example of early personal branding has become uncannily prophetic in the age of social media influencers and YouTube personalities. But what has all this got to do with recruitment we hear you ask? Plenty. Especially if you are looking for a job or new employment challenge. How you position yourself in the market-place is a critical factor in your success. And that means producing a personal statement that resonates with the target audience – in this case, the prospective employer. What is a personal statement, and how do you go about producing one? A personal statement is just like Andy Warhol’s famous quote, it’s what gets you noticed. A summary of why the prospective employer should hire you, and what benefits you bring to the business. Where do you start? Today the vast amount of competition, all vying for attention, has a myriad of outlets to enable this. A personal statement, therefore, has to work hard to stand out and catch the recruiter’s attention above everyone else’s. How do you define a personal statement? It’s a concise summary of the key skills and attributes that make you the most suitable candidate for the position. In your CV, it usually appears below your name and contact details and is written usually in the first person, ‘I am’ or ‘I did’ etc. It is also important that you tailor its content for every application submitted. Generic versions soon get ditched. This not a one size fits all operation. Every role is different and requires unique skills and experience that should be reflected in your personal statement. For example: ‘I have ten years’ experience as a commercial gas engineer in the Stoke area’ and ‘The last five working in the construction sector’ etc. A personal statement is the six second* chance you have of ‘selling yourself’ to the recruiter. (*six seconds is the average length of time your CV will be looked at). It should, therefore, concisely combine skills, personal attributes, goals, and ambitions, and why the organisation should employ you. All in less than 150 words and without any waffle or rambling content. On the other hand, you are not auditioning for The Apprentice (unless you are, of course) so hold back the hype, cancel the buzzwords (culture fit / talent pipeline / synergy / Rock star etc.) and be honest (back to The Apprentice again) without over-exaggerating. It should also be consistent and formatted the same as the remainder of your CV (otherwise it looks like a cut and paste) and back up your claims with accreditations and professional memberships (ACS / Rail RISQS etc.) By the way, if you are struggling for inspiration, refer to the recruiter’s job description and make a note of the skills and experience they are looking for. Then make a list and cross them off as you write your personal statement. The structure of the statement should be concise and business like. No catchy slogans and phrases such as ‘I have always wanted to work for xxxx for as long as I can remember’ etc. Express your enthusiasm in the benefits you feel you will bring to the company. Also, avoid generic statements such as ‘knowledge of Microsoft programs’ and be more specific, such as ‘approved competence in SQL / Python’ etc. If, of course, this is relevant to the vacancy. Don’t just include everything you are good at or skilled in. Remember, this is a tailored personal statement. It is designed to answer the question ‘why you are the most suitable person for the advertised vacancy’ and should focus on what benefits you bring to the business, rather than how much you’ve achieved in your life. For example: ‘I have over 10 years’ experience as a performance analyst in both a data and contact centre environment. I have good communication skills with a proven track record in building relationships – both internally and externally.’ ‘I am ready for a new challenge and keen to progress further in this field. I have previously produced several statistical analysis reports for my current employer. This enabled them to introduce a revised methodology resulting in savings of over 30% per annum’ Another example: ‘I have worked as a domestic and commercial gas engineer continually for the last seven years. The last three predominately in the construction industry. I am fully qualified, having obtained both commercial and ACS safety certification. ‘I have previous diagnostic and fault finding experience and an up to date awareness of all health and safety procedures. I consider myself good at communicating both orally and in written form, having achieved a level 7 certificate of achievement in a CPD accredited communications course, attended as part of my internal training progression programme.’ What should be included in your personal statement? Skills that are pertinent to the job you are applying for. Evidence of competency in these skills. Refer to them in context of the job description. Experience in the recruiting company’s field of operation. Career goals. This will highlight your aims and objectives and one of the reasons for applying for the vacancy. If you are currently unemployed, include details of any voluntary work or training courses you’ve attended during this period. The reader will also be interested in hearing how you’ve remained connected and up to date during this period. For example, keeping your LinkedIn profile refreshed, maintaining contact with networkers, overseeing industry trends etc. If you have had a career break, for example pregnancy or a gap travel year, mention this but don’t dwell on it. Use it to highlight your well balanced composition. Make sure your personal statement not only catches the reader’s attention but keeps them reading to the end. Make it interesting and compelling. Don’t include any adverse or negative comments about your current / previous employment. This is not the place to bad mouth your current employer (they may know each other!) Don’t cut and paste or plagiarise someone else’s personal statement. Remember, the reader is looking at many more than just yours so familiar or common phrases or statements will stand out, just not in a good way. How to end your personal statement In show business, they do say ‘it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish’. It’s the same with a personal statement. A strong opening sentence will certainly hook the reader, but it’s a strong closing sentence that will clinch the interview. The final paragraph gives you the chance to emphasise the key points in your statement and leave them in no doubt that you are the perfect person to fill their vacancy.  This is where your interest and enthusiasm shines through. Not just your interest in the area of work but the opportunity to work for such a progressive organisation. It’s also where you can highlight what makes you special, in other words what your unique selling proposition (USP) is – the key thing that makes you stand out from all the other applicants. Finally Check your document for any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes and get someone else you trust to read it through and get their opinion. We’re happy to offer advice on how to create an eye catching personal statement, just drop us a line on 0845 478 5009 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk  
  • As the UK starts to open up for business, it’s no surprise to find that many businesses are now busy gearing up for a return to better times. One area that is crucial for business recovery is recruitment. In the next few months, we anticipate an increase in the number of candidates looking to change jobs or secure employment, so, for employers, that means producing an effective job description for any vacancies you will be recruiting for. What makes a good job description? The first thing to consider is the importance of a well written job specification. After all, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, hiring the wrong person can have a significant impact on productivity and prove to be an expensive decision. In fact, they go on to say that a ‘poor hire’ contributes around 25% less value than a ‘good match’ and costs three times more than just a wasted salary. There is no doubt, the second half of 2021 is going to be a critical time for UK businesses. Both Covid and Brexit have disrupted the labour market to such an extent that many businesses are now completely re-evaluating their staffing needs. For some, the Covid pandemic has encouraged them to consider remote working, while others have changed their business model and consequently require a different set of employee skills. A precise and compelling job description is, therefore, going to be a number one priority for any recruiting business wanting to stand out and attract the right candidate. In fact, it is said that prospective candidates take just six seconds to decide whether the job description applies to them. This is despite over 75% of candidates saying that it’s the job description that persuades them to apply for the position. What is a job description’s job? Its main role is to enable the prospective candidate to make an informed decision that yours is the kind of organisation they would like to work for. One of its key roles, therefore, is to sell your brand to the reader. This means providing a summary of what makes your business unique and worth working for, as well as its achievements and successes. Talk about the kind of projects the successful candidate could be involved in, the range of clients, and how your product or service benefits them, as well as the potential for progression within the company (but without any oversell). Also, don’t overlook the possibility that should the position not be what they are looking for, they might know someone for whom it is. Where do you start? A job description should include corporate information such as vision and mission statements, success stories, possible links to media coverage, blogs, location, and current members of staff before you go into finer details about the position. This is where a recruitment partner can really help. After all, a job description forms part of the contract of employment so it’s important to ensure it’s clear and concise to avoid any potential conflicts in the future (‘that’s not what it said in the job description’ etc.) If it’s a role that already exists, then it’s worth re-visiting the original job description and see how much of it still applies. If expanding the team – talk to current staff and see if they consider the role has changed. If it’s a new position, an external opinion from a recruitment partner will certainly help identify the requirements of the role, as well as ensure the content is compliant with all the new employment laws, and HR rules and regulations that have been introduced over the past few years. For example, the unintentional use of discriminatory words or gender specific roles etc. This can be a minefield and could lead to a negative reaction or even worse – legal action. We suggest keeping it simple and precise while being generic to the current employment pool, but specific enough for the position in question. An effective job description should include the following: Job title For maximum effectiveness, be precise and specific, and use words that accurately describe the role, such as HSQE Manager / Electrician / class 2 driver / CSCS labourer / climber tree surgeon etc. The more precise the description the better the results. Unless you are specifically targeting qualified staff with recognisable accreditation as above, try and avoid in-house jargon and acronyms. Remember, listings will be online so need to be Google friendly. Include key phrases such as ‘manager’, ‘supervisor’ or ‘director’ etc. rather than just descriptive content like ‘responsible for’, ‘in control of’ or ‘experienced in’. Specific keywords will then be picked up by search engines. Also, keep the job title concise – it’s said that titles containing between 60- 80 characters outperform shorter / longer titles by 30 – 40%. Job summary This should provide an overview of the position and the company’s expectations of the role. This section provides the prospective candidate with a feel of what makes the organisation worth working for. Highlight the company’s success stories, emphasise the brand message, and talk about the culture of the company. This is where you should also include relevant details such as salary range, hours worked, holiday entitlement, site location, travel / parking etc. Including work location also helps to optimise the posting online for more effective search results. Responsibilities / duties Once again, be precise and concise. Outline the key roles the candidate will undertake as part of their employment. The more detailed the better, especially the responsibilities that are unique to the organisation. It’s also good idea here to outline the regular activities involved.  You might want to break down the time staff are expected to devote to different aspects of the position. Include details of the hierarchy of the role, in other words who they report to and how their role affects the functionality of the business. This is also good place to talk about team working versus solo working, especially if they are expected to be self-sufficient. Qualifications / skills Treat these as separate entities. You may advertise for someone who is a ‘self-starter’ or ‘works well with others’. These personality attributes will appear under the qualifications heading, while skills should include both hard (e.g. technical skills) and soft (e.g. problem solving). Of course, you will also clearly identify necessary qualifications. However, there is no need to list every desirable qualification (unless you want to put people off applying), just the ones that enable them to do the job. Other details A job description will also include details of salary range, benefits - such as car / car allowance, laptop, phone, flexible hours etc, as well as desirable qualities (languages / computer competence etc.) Finally, as you can see, producing a job description in today’s sensitive employment environment is not something to be undertaken lightly. It’s crucial that you ensure you are not putting an unintentional bias in your job description. Falling foul of the laws regarding gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, and using language that would be considered discriminatory or even offensive. Contact us We are here to help you create a compelling reason why someone should want to come and work for you. Contact us on 0845 478 5009 or email enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk to see how we can help with your next recruitment campaign today.
  • Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain. The Company has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery, and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains. We are also committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chains, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners, and as part of our contracting processes, in the coming year we will include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude, whether adults or children, and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards. This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, officers, agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners. This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time. Responsibility for the policy The Company has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it. The Company has primary and day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy, monitoring its use and effectiveness, dealing with any queries about it, and auditing internal control systems and procedures to ensure they are effective in countering modern slavery. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy and are given adequate and regular training on it and the issue of modern slavery in supply chains. You are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved. Comments, suggestions and queries are encouraged and should be addressed to the Managing Director. Compliance with the policy You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy. The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of our business or supply chains is the responsibility of all those working for us or under our control. You are required to avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy. You must notify your line manager OR a company Director as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this policy has occurred or may occur in the future. You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of our business or supply chains of any supplier tier at the earliest possible stage. If you believe or suspect a breach of this policy has occurred or that it may occur, you must notify your line manager or company Director OR report it in accordance with our Whistleblowing Policy as soon as possible. You should note that where appropriate, and with the welfare and safety of local workers as a priority, we will give support and guidance to our suppliers to help them address coercive, abusive and exploitative work practices in their own business and supply chains. If you are unsure about whether a particular act, the treatment of workers more generally, or their working conditions within any tier of our supply chains constitutes any of the various forms of modern slavery, raise it with your line manager or company Director. We aim to encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of reporting in good faith their suspicion that modern slavery of whatever form is or may be taking place in any part of our own business or in any of our supply chains. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform your line manager immediately. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally using our Grievance Procedure, which can be found in the current employee handbook. This Modern (Anti) Slavery Policy and Statement is intended for businesses in all countries, especially the United Kingdom; and was brought to you by Rushax. Communication & awareness of this policy Training on this policy, and on the risk our business faces from modern slavery in its supply chains, forms part of the induction process for all individuals who work for us, and updates will be provided using established methods of communication between the business and you. Our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and reinforced as appropriate thereafter. Breaches of this policy Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for misconduct or gross misconduct. We may terminate our relationship with other individuals and organisations working on our behalf if they breach this policy. C Lee 21 Feb 2021