Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Trust is the New Green

I wonder if this phrase will grow in popularity. It was respectfully plagiarised by Thomas Brown at a CIM seminar I attended last week and appears to originate from Graham Sadd. It resonates in the current climate where trust in various institutions has, rightly or wrongly, been eroded. In this post credit crunch age the successful new entrants to various market places will be those who join the battle with a shiny lustre of trustworthiness.

Trustworthy Brands
Recently we’ve seen Tesco move into banking. Some consumers would never have considered moving from their high street banks before but now the lure of accessibility and savings isn’t hindered by the once comforting authority of the traditional banking brands. Tesco has as much right to consumer trust as many of the banks and, like the other supermarkets, has helped those consumers save money in the hard times.

Trust is what enabled toothpaste manufacturers to move into making toothbrushes. If you think about it in terms of design and manufacturing processes this is a big departure but that history of dental protection helps us make the leap of faith...

...and then there are Land Rover mountain bikes, Duracell torches, Caterpillar boots...

Trustworthy Recruiters
There are always plenty of players in the recruitment market. Some are corporate and some are small specialists. Who are the ones who will come through this downturn strongly?
The ones who:

· Listen to clients and candidates and remember what is important to them.

· Call when they say they will and give feedback even if the news isn’t good.

· Specialise in getting things right and believe in long term relationships.

· Go the extra mile and stay professional when times are tough.

Yes, it’s all about trust, well that’s what we think anyway. Every industry has its own issues but trust has to be right up there just now.

Here’s another phrase to ponder: “Recession is the mother of innovation” – I’ll credit that one to Ian Smith, former Senior VP Europe for Oracle who spoke at the CW Jobs seminar in July this year. There is a history of successful companies being born in times of economic downturn because that’s when growth can only be based on a genuine value proposition coupled with excellent service. In most cases this has been backed up with an innovative marketing campaign or way of doing business.

Could it be that this logic applies at the individual level?

Personal Branding
Yes. The people who understand the unique value they can bring to an organisation and are innovative enough to find new ways of communicating that message will eventually prosper provided they have the soft skills to engender the trust that is so vital in today’s market. That may mean applying for a new role at your current employer, starting your own company, publicising yourself through social media, creating a blog or a website or standing on a column in Trafalgar Square. So what are you going to do? The great thing about innovation is that there are no limits.

See you for more soon!

PS. Despite the title of this week’s blog Picture More feel that acting environmentally reflects the kind of responsible attitude that gains trust rather than being something we have moved on from!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Online Job Boards

Hello again, how are you this week? As promised, this time we are looking at online job boards.

How Recruiters Work

Picture More have had a lot of candidates to search for recently and we look in many places. It maybe in our mobile phones, on our database or in Linkedin; we advertise and we get referrals but one of the key places any recruiter will look is on the job boards. Companies like Picture More pay to access these sites as it gives us a great source of immediately searchable CVs.

Candidate Search

We always tell our candidates where we found them but how do you make sure you get found? It’s not rocket science. Putting a good CV together is essential but what about the job board profile? Please don’t ignore it, when recruiters search the boards these profiles are the first place they look. It’s also the first place the job board’s search engine looks. Some recruiters can be unsophisticated in their searching techniques so help them to help you. The more detail the better. Here are some of the headings:

Please include...

Preferred location: If you put RG12 you are limiting yourself. If a recruiter does a specific search you stay invisible. Sites like jobsite and monster feature a “within x miles” function but give yourself the best chance. Putting RG12 (no offence to Bracknell) makes you look inflexible. Put one or more location names.

Job Type: It’s hard to move from contract to permanent roles in the current market. If you do want to make that switch you need to have a convincing reason why.

Main Skills: If you are a Marketing Manager don’t put Powerpoint and Excel as your skills. Put marketing, branding, e-commerce, B2B, B2C, direct marketing or whatever you see fit, but keep it relevant, not peripheral. If you are a developer put your main languages. Try and avoid unnecessary abbreviations. If you’re a Business Analyst take the extra half second to type that instead of BA. (If you are an Object Oriented Programmer it would be best not to abbreviate it to “POO” like one recent candidate did).

Job Title: Nobody’s going to search for something generic like Associate Director or IT Professional. Make sure the title describes the role you want. It’s a wise move to enter several different titles here e.g. Web Developer, Web Programmer, Software Developer, .net Developer, Solutions Developer etc. Many recruiters will only look for one title at a time.

Availability: Try to keep this one current. If you put your CV online in May with redundancy looming 3 months down the line you may get missed in August when someone needs an immediate starter.

Salary range: A recruiter will be searching on this field so put something sensible in. Some boards let you put in a wide range like £35-90k, this is not a good idea as it’s hard for the recruiter to work out what level you are really at and it will probably put them off. If you are in work start the range from just below your current salary to 15% above it. If you’ve been out of work for a while you can use the same system but it will hard to negotiate a better salary than you had in your last role.

Be Contactable

· If you hide your name you’ll have to be brilliant to get called.

· If you hide or omit your phone numbers you won’t get called anyway.

If you miss a call and your CV looks great the recruiter may choose to email you. Your address is probably on the CV but put it in the profile too, maybe a private address that you can view at your leisure.

"See CV" - the wrong approach

When you go for a second interview you’ll sometimes be asked to fill out a profile form in reception. Would you ever think it was a good idea to write “See CV” in one of the boxes? No you wouldn’t, because it would look unhelpful, inflexible and lazy. I know it’s a pain to be asked for the same information more than once but please try and avoid doing this on the job board profile because not only will it have that same effect but you won’t come up in so many searches either.

Be Prepared to Talk

I think that covers the main problem areas for people who want to be found. When we call some people it seems like being found is the last thing they wanted. If you leave your CV on line you may get called. Please take it as a compliment and be polite; you may need this person’s help in the future!

I hope that helps. See you again soon!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Meet the Picture More Recruitment Blogger

Hello all.

Well there’s no job seeking advice this week but there has certainly been a lot of activity going on over the last 2 weeks. There is a clear increase in the number of career opportunities and we hope that this trend will accelerate in September. Well done to our successful candidates!

For a lighter topic I thought it might be time to reveal myself as the Picture More blogger. In future we’ll profile other members of the team and there will be guest bloggers but for now here’s me:

Name: Martin Naylor

Age: 39

Marital status: Happily married to Sarah, a Kiwi lawyer, for 8 months

Previous industries: Corporate banking, Materials Handling, Insurance, Pharmaceuticals (I was also a DJ!).

Education: BA Honours in European Business from Nottingham Business School, a Chartered Marketer with the CIM and excited about starting the Henley MBA this month.

Foreign languages: Fluent French and reasonable Italian

Why recruitment? It’s a really positive time to get involved in rebuilding the economy and I believe we need to get the most talented people back into the key jobs to achieve that. So not only does this role allow me to practise my marketing and relationship management skills but I get to help the country by helping one person at a time; cheesy but true!

Specialist areas: Picture More has excellent credentials for recruiting IT professionals and executives. I am looking more specifically at Business Development Directors, Marketing Professionals, E-commerce experts and senior Business Analysts and Project Managers. My industry focus will be most heavily on professional services and any sector with major e-commerce activity.

Sporting achievements: Very limited but ran the California International Marathon in 4 hours 27 in 2004 and swam 50km for the British Heart Foundation during the month of November 1999.

Other interests: Skiing, marketing, mountain biking, quizzes, cricket, cooking and wine tasting.

Best holidays: The American road trips, the Peruvian trek and meeting my wife to be in Australia.

Heroes: Leonardo da Vinci, Andrew Flintoff, Clint Eastwood and Usain Bolt.

So there it is; a brief summary about me. Next time we’ll have a look at how to manage your presence on online job boards.