Recruitment Conduct: Help Us to Help You
We receive hundreds of applications for the roles for which we recruit, and deal with many, many people as a result. Those that tend to be successful in the application process often have a number of attributes in common – not necessarily in terms of their skills, but in how they present themselves and how they behave throughout the process. Individuals with a hard-nosed, challenging attitude are much harder to place effectively than the professional, diplomatic applicants who understand that we’re all working to a common cause. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share a few pointers for candidates thinking of applying for a role.
Your CV is the first foot you put forward on the road to your new role. Make sure it’s neat, presentable, reads easily and follows a logical sequence and layout. The information needs to be correct, of course, and easily understood. Any gaps in your employment history will need to be explained with a clear, concise answer, or you risk being overlooked at this early stage. Ensure that the spelling and grammar are correct (there are tools for this if it is not your strong suit), and if you can make your CV eye-catching in some way (with a discrete header, for example) so much the better.
Your Registration Interview with the Recruitment Consultancy
Be clear in what you want from a new role – salary expectations, working conditions, etc. If you have specific requirements, such as a live in role or a role in certain area, be upfront about this to prevent your time being wasted with jobs that won’t fit your needs. Be forthcoming with your prior experience, and as mentioned earlier be prepared to explain any gaps in your work history. Just as importantly, a friendly, respectful attitude goes a long way – the consultant assisting you will want to build a lasting professional relationship, so this works very much in your favour.
Fill out all the documents and so on you are asked to in a timely manner, with as much clarity as possible. This is an essential – and indeed legal – part of the recruitment process, without which we won’t be able to assist you. Withholding information could hinder us – and therefore you – to a great degree. We ask for paperwork to be completed and returned at your earliest convenience in order to avoid missing out on any imminently forthcoming opportunities. Do bear in mind that we need all the information we ask for – should you have questions on why certain things are necessary we’re always happy to have a chat and explain.
Availability and Communication
Making yourself available for calls and emails is vital. Some roles receive a large number of applications, meaning the process can move very quickly, and we don’t want applicants to miss out on opportunities – so being ready to respond can work in your favour. This also shows that you are keen to secure the role, and can give you an advantage over someone who doesn’t put as much effort into replying swiftly. We know that everyone is busy, but for example a quick email saying when you will be available for a brief chat can go a long way.
The way you communicate is also of vital importance. Keep emails, texts and conversations friendly but also as professional as possible, whilst staying concise and being clear in what you’re saying. For example, one-word answers (particularly via email or text, where context and non-verbal communication are very limited) can make it seem like you’re uninterested, and ultimately make it difficult for consultants to assist you.
Interview Process with the Employer
Your consultants will prep you on the appropriate dress code and etiquette for each interview, as it can vary a great deal – some interviews are very formal, others a much more relaxed chat over a coffee. It’s worth paying attention to what the consultant says – they know their client (your potential employer). Whatever the tone or level of formality, conduct yourself in a professional manner – avoid being overly familiar or too laid back, even in a relatively relaxed setting, and avoid using slang words.
As far as clothing is concerned, business attire, or sometimes business casual, is usually recommended. Your consultant will advise you otherwise.
Be yourself, be friendly, and keep a professional demeanour while still showing your personality. It’s usually best to stay on track by focussing on what the interviewer asks you – try not to veer off on tangents or give too much information at once without being prompted. Stick to the pertinent details of the role and the questions being asked – again your consultant will offer you guidance beforehand, as every client and every role is slightly different.
Unless asked directly, avoid talking about salary, holidays, or minor contract negotiations with the interviewer, especially at a first interview. These things are usually best left to your consultant to negotiate on your behalf.
After the Interview
After your interview you’ll certainly speak with your consultant, who will want to know your thoughts, if you’re keen to move forward or if you didn’t think it would be right for you, and perhaps a gut feeling on how it went. As ever with communication, being clear and upfront with your feedback helps the process move swiftly and efficiently, and makes it easier to assist you in the future – be it with the next steps or an alternative role.
It bears repeating that at this stage remaining as available as reasonably possible and keeping a clear passage of communication is extremely helpful.
We wanted to highlight these points in order to demonstrate how to best ensure that the process works for you. We’re not trying to dictate your personality, nor to accuse you of being anything other than completely professional. Moreover, we simply want to show how to work in your own best interest, to streamline the whole process, and to avoid wasting time: in short, how to help us to help you. We love assisting our candidates, and we look forward to working with you.