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  • On average, employers will typically interview six to ten candidates for every advertised vacancy and applicants will undertake between two and three interviews before being shortlisted. Of course, Covid has had a massive impact on the recruitment process, and in many cases, this means the traditional job searching process may not necessarily apply to some industries and sectors. Also, as lockdown restrictions are lifted, more staff return to working in the office or site, and we get back to some sort of normality, many people are also now questioning their current career choice. In fact, having had over a year to consider their current position, we are now finding an increasing number of people are wanting to do something different. The question is what? It’s not simply a case of ploughing through the job vacancies anymore, it’s more about finding the right job, and increasingly important, one that’s relevant to you. Where do you start? As the furlough scheme starts to wind down, combined with the strength of the economic recovery, it’s no surprise to see an increasing number of jobs being advertised. Understandably, many of these are in industries that were hit hardest by the Covid lockdown. However, we are also seeing a growth in other professional sectors. The latest UK government statistics indicate that over 750,000 jobs were publicly advertised from March to May 2021, no doubt due in many parts, to the increasing success of the Covid vaccine programme. Could now be a good time to find that dream job? Let’s face it. We spend a considerable amount of time at work. In fact, about a third of our life is spent working, based on an average 35 hours a week, so it’s important that we not only earn a living but also enjoy what we are doing. But with an increasing number of vacancies, how do we cut through the job lists and find a job that, not only fulfils our monetary requirements, but also motivates us? This is especially relevant if we have been working off site during the recent lockdown. Register with an agency Traditional job searching, especially in the current environment, is a long and laborious slog. However, one way of making your task easier is to sign up with a recruitment partner, such as ourselves. Registering your details with us means you will hear of any suitable vacancies in advance of them being publicly advertised. Also, as an independent recruiter with many years’ experience, we provide a flexible, tailored service that’s responds to your specific requirements. Having specialist recruitment divisions also helps. Our team members, all have time served experience in their specialist field and can sit down and discuss your options with you when you are ready. How do you know when you’re ready, and where do you start? The first thing to consider is, what is it that motivates you to get up in a morning and go to work? Some would say instantly that it’s the money, while others, especially those that have been furloughed and / or working from home this past year, would say that there’s more to work than the pay packet. And we’d agree. From our experience, we find that everyone responds to different motivations when it comes to work. There are some who have a secure and well paid career but suffer from work fatigue, while others dread the looming of Monday morning and the thought of another miserable week at work. Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this. Yes, we fully understand the practical reality of paying the bills and keeping a roof over our heads is very real, but we also find that most employees rank job satisfaction and personal fulfilment above salary when it comes to what motivates us to get up and go to work. Your career, your choice We believe there’s no point being miserable at work and feeling lost and forgotten when there are increasing opportunities for pursuing a different career, post lockdown. So, unless you have little choice in taking the first job offered, now could be a very good time to cut through the plethora of vacancies and start focussing on your next career choice. It could be the first step on the employment ladder, a completely new career change based on existing skills and experience, a slight deviation to your current career or even a fanciful idea that’s been brooding for some time. Over the years we have reiterated that nothing is impossible. You only have to ask Mexborough born, Craig Senior, who in 2019 quit his job in the hospitality sector to become CEO of Herm, one of the smallest of the inhabited Channel Islands. He is still using his skill set and experience but has applied it to a dream job he saw advertised while on holiday with his family.  So, in our opinion, the answer to a fulfilling career is to focus on the things you love doing. This could be a professional skill set, a hobby or interest, or something truly off the wall as with Craig. Having said that, we do, of course, fully understand the challenges involved in finding the job that’s relevant to you. We are, after all, doing this every day for our registered clients. One thing we always suggest, is to jot down all the things you dream of doing in a job, possibly stuff you’ve dreamed of in the past – no matter how inconceivable it might sound. We’re sure Craig Senior never thought he would be moving lock stock and barrel to the tiny island of Herm when working as a retail manager in the hospitality sector. Many times, we overlook how our skills and experience (including hobbies and interests) can be transferred to a sector we had not previously considered. We can help you identify transferable skills and sectors that match your accomplishments Also, don’t just focus on job titles. Delve behind the advertised description to see if it offers (or could offer) ingredients that enable you to not only earn a living but also fulfil your passion and values. There is no doubt, that the jobs market in 2021 is very different to pre-Covid. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) comes to an end in September and while 2.4m workers (down 50% since January) continue to rely on State payments, it is expected that the change in employer contributions will encourage more people back to ‘normal’ working. Also, despite unemployment estimated to peak at around 5.5% over the next 18 months, we are certainly seeing an optimism in the jobs market, as UK firms boost investment in their workforce. Strategic planning For those looking for their dream job or just simply for a way to cut through all the current job vacancy lists, the key is to create a strategic plan. For example, start by identifying ‘growth’ sectors that are currently experiencing a shortage of professionally qualified staff. These include engineering, customer service, hospitality, construction, and transportation. Even if you don’t have experience in these fields, on the job training is usually available. Finally, don’t forget with the jobs market starting to bounce back, now is the time to identify your transferable skills (not just work related) that could just open up the doors to that dream job. For more information on cutting through the job lists, contact us on 01709 820102 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk
  • Multitask Personnel, the Rotherham based specialist recruitment consultancy, has strengthened its’ Trades team with the appointment of experienced Managing Consultant, Clive Bateman. Clive, who has close to 30 years’ experience at various levels within the recruitment sector, has built a successful career providing recruitment services, predominantly within the Construction and Interior Fit Out sectors. Responsible for building the Trades & Labour division of the business, Clive comes on board to help grow the department by increasing market share and brand awareness, along with the development of staff members within the team. Clive Bateman, Managing Consultant at Multitask Personnel Clive Bateman, the new Managing Consultant at Multitask Personnel comments: “I’m delighted to bring my experience to the Trades team at Multitask Personnel. This division is seeing creditable growth as the recruitment sector works its way out of the pandemic. “I’ve joined a team where each person is self-motivated and dedicated within their own role, whilst there is a constant sharing of information for the good of the clients and the business. Each day offers various challenges which everybody meets head on. “It’s a please to spearhead such a hard working, dedicated and loyal team who always work with a smile on their faces.” Also joining the wider team at Multitask is Accounts Administrator, Ruth Faulkner-Dyke who comes in to provide much needed support for invoicing, credit control, payroll, banking, and general accounts duties. Claire Lee, Managing Director at Multitask Personnel comments on the appointments: “We’re experiencing an increasing demand for our recruitment services at Multitask Personnel, particularly for trades and labour candidates across the Construction and M&E sectors, so bringing in someone with Clive’s experience is a huge coup for us. “Not only does Clive bring experience in some key sectors that we work in, but he also has a vast amount of managerial knowledge that will benefit the wider team as well. In order for us to continue to offer the best possible service to our clients, we need make sure our staff are developing too. “Recruitment is such as fast paced environment, so it’s vitally important that all our recruiters stay on top of their game. Our Trades team will learn a lot from Clive, who will be a brilliant asset for the business. “In addition to Clive, we also extend a warm welcome to Ruth, who joins our Accounts team to provide some much needed finance experience to the back office team.” The latest recruits bring the total head count at Multitask Personnel to 12, with plans for further internal recruitment set to continue throughout the remainder of the year. Clive, Ruth, and the team can be contacted on 01709 820102 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk
  • With the increasing uncertainty in the jobs market, it is no surprise to find that many employers are becoming swamped with applications, while at the same time, struggling to filter candidates for their suitability. This is especially critical if there is a deadline looming (such as lockdown easing). So, how do you ensure you select the most appropriate candidate for the position while at the same time ensuring legal compliance and fairness? Shortlisting is the answer. But where do you start? If you are replacing a staff member, you may consider a simple ‘like for like’ criterion but what if they’ve been there some time; things have changed, not just from a job description point of view but the increasing number of legal obligations now involved in the recruitment process? So, you’ve identified a vacancy, produced a job description, and embarked on recruiting the best person for the job. What do you do first? Step one is to define your criteria. In other words, what kind of person do you wish to recruit and what skills and experience do they require. Start by using your job description and person specification to create two lists - Essential and Desirable. These are the requirements you’ve decided a candidate should have before being selected for interview. However, the key to success, when creating these, is to be strict and not inflate them with ‘it would be good if they could also etc.’ Aim to identify half the number of essential requirements compared to desirable qualities. The first part of shortlisting is fairly straightforward. This is where you sort through the applications and score each one against the set criteria. Those that meet all (or most) of the ‘essential’ criteria can then be moved forward to the next stage. At this point, it’s also worth mentioning that if more than one person is involved in this part of the selection process, it is crucial that they are working to the same format and terms of reference. Also, remember when sharing information with colleagues and be aware of the implications of GDPR when disclosing personal data. Even though we are no longer part of the EU, the full GDPR act still applies in the UK. To manage the shortlisting process, we find it easiest if employers create a spreadsheet with both criteria listed and what they involve.  Also, when deciding what skills / knowledge a candidate needs, it’s worth considering what ‘on the job’ training will be offered. This may have an influence on the final selection, where any missing ‘essential requirements’ are compensated from the ‘desirable’ list. The essentials Essential requirements are the must haves, and depending on the sector or industry, this could include: Skills and experience (and length of service with previous employer)Qualifications (especially those mandatory to do the job such as ACS gas certification)Knowledge of specific IT services (such as first and second line experience in Windows infrastructure or experience of supporting Windows 10 and MS365)Customer Service (front facing or desk based)Attributes such as team working, time management and organisational abilities (e.g. proven / certified etc.) This list will be the easiest to filter by eliminating those that don’t fit the criteria.  This is another reason why it is important that everyone involved in the process is working from the same template. The desirables The desirable list is more complex and comprises attributes that candidates may possess that give them the edge and bring something extra to the organisation. This could include: Having a full and clean driving licenceBeing able to speak a second languageAn in depth knowledge of trending commercial opportunities for the businessA qualification that’s useful but not essential to do the jobKnowledge of a specific software package (that may not be directly involved in the job description)Flexible working hours Scoring the candidates Once you have created a spreadsheet with essential and desirable qualities, you can then score each candidate based on your criteria and whittle your list down to a manageable number.  This is probably the hardest part of the whole process. In fact, even with a comprehensive shortlisting process in place, most employers would agree that choosing the most appropriate candidate from the pool of applicants can be somewhat daunting. There’s no doubt that having a shortlisting process in place does make the hiring process easier and ultimately more effective in helping you select the right person for the job. A desirable outcome can often be determined by the criteria chosen in the first place. As we said earlier, if you are replacing a staff member on a like for like basis, it’s fairly straightforward. Ask them what skills and attributes they feel are necessary to do their job. However, do bear in mind depending on how long they have been with you, as there will be changes that now affect the position. Employment law For example, employment law has been amended several times in recent years, especially in the context of the UK leaving the EU and employment rights in respect of the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that, before embarking on the shortlisting process, it’s undoubtedly prudent to have an awareness of the legislation that could affect your decision making. The equality act (2010) covers ‘protected characteristics’ such as disability, maternity, race, religion and sexual orientation, and should be a major consideration when drawing up the shortlist criteria. It cannot be underestimated how important this is in when creating a shortlisting criteria. As we say, job descriptions and hiring practices might have changed dramatically since you last made the appointment. Discriminating against someone because of their protected characteristic (not always obvious) even if inadvertently, is against the law and could have serious repercussions. This is another reason for having a strict selection process template in place so that your decision making is carried out objectively and individual perceptions do not influence the process. Employment law can be a minefield, but our team of specialist recruitment partners will be happy to provide any help or support you require to stay on the right side of it. A numbers game? Finally, one of the questions we often get asked when clients are creating a shortlisting process, is how many candidates we should invite for an interview. Unfortunately, there is no real answer to this. Much will depend on your timescale, the quality pool of candidates submitted, and the number of candidates you are looking to recruit. However, using a recruitment partner such as ourselves, will provide the support you need at this critical time. As a general guideline, we suggest you invite up to a maximum six candidates for a first interview, scaled down to half this number for the second. Also, as a benchmark, on average around 12% of applicants will be invited to a first interview. Any more than that and your job description and / or shortlisting criteria may need amending. We are here to answer any questions about effective shortlisting. Contact us on 0845 478 5009 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk to discuss your next vacancy and we will be happy to share our knowledge.