• Category: Interviews

7 things every interviewer should know

Let’s be honest – most interviewers have not undergone any training. It’s just one of those things that you get to do when your department grows. That means it’s easy to miss out on the best candidates – just because you don’t know how to get them to open up.

Here are seven things that will make a real difference to your interview results:

Read more: 7 things every interviewer should know

  • Category: Recruitment

Is recruitment an endless task?

How long do your staff stay in your organisation? If they’re constantly moving on and you feel like the recruitment process is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge – it’s time to take a step back and discover why they’re leaving.

Firstly – unless you’re paying way below the market rate, it’s almost certainly NOT to do with pay. It’s been proven time and time again that most staff’s number one priority is not the salary.

In the majority of cases the reason for people moving on is that nebulous thing known as ‘job satisfaction’.

This can mean different things to different people.

Future possibilities: People like to see there’s a career path ahead of them. Even those at junior level want to feel their potential will be noticed and rewarded with promotion or more responsibilities.

Community: Most people like to feel they work among ‘friends’. If there’s a negative atmosphere in the workplace, people don’t stay around for long. If you’re going to spend eight hours a day somewhere you want to enjoy being there. What do you do to make your place a pleasure to work in?

Good management: A good manager nurtures his or her people. They know what is important to each person and what’s going on in their team. They appreciate and recognise effort and achievements – and their staff like working for them. That doesn’t mean they’re a pushover – but poor management is a common problem – and reason for leaving. Make sure your managers get training in management.

 That means flexi-hours, remote working and the ability to create a flexible working environment that allows for family commitments, without work necessarily suffering. This is no long the preserve of working Mums – working Dads play just as important a role in the home today and with both partners working being able to deliver results without having to be present in the office is appreciated.

If you’ve ticked all these boxes perhaps you do need to examine your rewards package. Is it just a salary or are there other benefits – a crèche, gym membership, holiday scheme, private healthcare, generous pension? These are all part of your employee feeling valued.

If you’ve addressed all these and, perhaps, have made some adjustments you’ll almost certainly find you need to recruit less often and retain your best staff.

When you want to ensure that you get the best qualified IT staff call us on 020 3762 2020 – and then it’s up to you to ensure they want to stay.

  • Category: Recruitment

Why engage an agency?

If you’ve got a professional HR team in-house, why would you even think about working with an agency? After all you have highly qualified professionals on tap. They know how to create job ads, they understand how to use job boards, they know where to look for likely candidates.

If you’re thinking of the average high street agency that operates as a people-processing system, then you’re probably right. You will be getting the same applicants as your in-house team already have access to. However, a full service agency offers more than your in-house team could do.

An agency that deals in a niche area – as we do with IT staff – knows the market in detail. They know where to find people who would be a perfect fit – even if they’re not currently looking for a new role. These are known as ‘passive candidates’.

If you’re recruiting for a high-flying position you may engage a head-hunter, but it can be an expensive exercise for lower-level positions, even if they’re critical roles. A full-service agency usually keeps a database of potential candidates for a range of positions and knows where to find the right people at the right time.

On the other side of the coin they’ll also know who is worth interviewing and who just applies for every position even vaguely in the same ball-park as their skills and is on the books of literally hundreds of agencies.

This kind of knowledge isn’t usually easy for even the most seasoned HR professional to keep track of. They have other responsibilities and it is pretty much a full time job. That’s why a good agency is worth investing in – they have highly specialised knowledge of how to find the perfect matches for your roles.

It’s the difference between a GP and a heart surgeon – which one would you rather have on your case if you had to have a heart bypass operation?

Having a professional, highly-focused, specialist agency on your recruitment team is just good sense – and often a much more cost effective way to find first class employees.

  • Category: Technical Assessment

Are Your Candidates Wasting Your Time?

When you embark on recruitment for technical roles it should be pretty straightforward – you specify the technical skills they need and then interview the people who have those skills.  Wrong!

If you’ve ever been through this process you’ll know that what people say they can do doesn’t always turn out to be fact.  They may have ‘some knowledge’ of a technical discipline, but when it comes to the crunch, they aren’t good enough.  In our experience most companies interview dozens of people before finding one that is technically up to scratch and a good fit for their organisation.

Read more: Are Your Candidates Wasting Your Time?

  • Category: Skills Development

Grow Your Team's Skills

Job descriptions or role profiles are often created for a role and then don’t change for years – despite the fact that the organisation is continually evolving and the objectives change from year to year and month to month.

The technical skills that were essential last year may now be less important and displaced my new requirements.  Does that mean that you have to fire all your tech team and recruit new people?  No, but it does mean that you should stay up-to-speed with the current skills inventory and ensure appropriate development takes place.

Read more: Grow Your Team's Skills

  • Category: Case Study

A Recruiter's Perspective

A member of the HR team for a technical company explains the challenges of recruiting technical staff.

Our HR team are all qualified professionals, but not technically qualified.  With a staff in the London office of around 250, the majority are techies – programmers, technical authors, testing, help desk and maintenance people.  The market for the type of programmers we recruit is very competitive and although we pay a reasonable salary, the draw of contracting in the finance sectors tempts many of our programmers away.

Read more: A Recruiter's Perspective

  • Category: Case Study

Finding Round Pegs

Growing companies need the right staff with the right skills to help them to grow and deliver what their clients expect and want.

Finding people that fit not only technical skill requirements, but who also fit into the team well is always a challenge.  A good recruitment process is critical – but also time consuming and, often, costly too.

This is how we help our clients – reducing both time and cost of recruitment.

Read more: Finding Round Pegs

  • Category: Technical Assessment

Planning for the Future

You know your technical staff can do the jobs they’ve been employed to do, but how do you build your future team and keep good staff from moving on to a ‘better’ job elsewhere?

Technical assessments have several applications apart from ensuring new hires have reasonable levels of the required skills.

Read more: Planning for the Future

  • Category: Technical Assessment

Are You an ASS?

If you’re interviewing technical staff you would expect that people who apply for the job are up to it.  However, it’s not unusual for a candidate to fall far short of the technical skills required for the job – and the employer doesn’t discover this until the interview.

As Samuel L. Jackson commented “Don’t assume; you only make an ASS out of U and ME.”  If you don’t want to be an ASS – check out your candidate’s competency in the required technical applications.

Read more: Are You an ASS?

“Although Edison Hill placed me 4 years ago, they have kept an interest in my development and keep contact. They found me an excellent employer providing so many opportunities to improve my technology skills. They did a first rate job, for which I am very grateful.”
– Kevin Taylor, candidate