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Coronavirus: Job Interviews go Online as Candidates Stuck at Home
March 17, 2020
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BBC News reports that recruitment firms are going online to interview candidates who are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Working from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Tech giants Google, Amazon and Twitter are among the growing number of firms asking staff to work from home.

The strategy is part of social distancing efforts as businesses try to slow the spread of the virus.

Headhunters also say it’s now easier to contact candidates as they’re not in stuck in meetings or travelling.

“It was actually easier to get hold of many clients because they were at home, bored and on the end of a mobile phone than it was when they were in meetings, walking factories or flying somewhere,” said recruitment firm PageGroup’s chief executive Steve Ingham.

Worldwide travel restrictions also mean people aren’t travelling for business, one of the biggest challenges for recruiters trying to meet potential hires.

It comes as recruiters and hiring managers switch from face-to-face meetings to online interviews using apps such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp.

Online interviews also suit potential hires as they take up less time and are more convenient. 

“They are happy to use this approach as well because it saves them travelling time and minimises human contact amidst the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Charlene Tay at recruitment firm Robert Walters in Singapore.

But job-seeking candidates are being advised to practice ahead of an online interview. “Interviewing online and interviewing in person are two completely different experiences,” said Sarah Johnston, a professional interview coach.

“Job seekers share that it can be more challenging to connect with the interviewer online because there is often less small talk and it’s harder to pick up on non-verbal cues,” she added.

Recruiters also advise candidates to be patient as, although online job interviews can help speed up the process, there will still be delays as businesses come up with contingency plans and deal with coronavirus-related issues. “This is uncharted territory and we are all doing the best we can,” added Ms Johnston.

But online interviews don’t work for everyone. “Those roles which require client interaction and team management, an in-person interview is likely to remain an essential stage of the process,” added Paul Endacott, chief executive of GRIT Search.

Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Declining a Job Offer
February 26, 2020
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The following article By Suzie Finch. Founder of The Career Improvement Club may be of interest to clients who are uncertain if a job offer is for them.

Searching for your next big job can be a wild ride—exhilarating one moment, discouraging the next.

Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Declining a Job Offer

Between scouring CV tips and CV designs, attending loads of interviews and negotiating over salaries, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment.

We spend so much time agonising over finding somewhere to work—often because we need it. We have bills to pay, people to support, food to eat.

But what if you’re lucky enough to get a few different job offers? You can’t accept every one, obviously. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and even if there was—no thanks. You’ve got to find a way to let the rest of the other guys down.

Turning down a job might seem daunting at first, but don’t let it feel like a bad breakup. You’re not disappointing anyone, breaking anyone’s hearts or wasting anyone’s time.

Got the Job-Declining Blues? Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t stress about turning down a job for something better.

Remember, an interview is not a promise

Interviewing is a lot like a first date. You exchange some small talk. You discuss your goals. You introduce yourselves, get a feel for each other and try to figure out how you’ll fit into each other’s lives. And if things don’t go as well as you hope, there’s no contract that says you have to see them again.

The same goes for a job interview. There’s no promise that you’ll be chosen for the job you interview for, no matter how amazing your CV looks. So it only follows naturally that there’s no promise that you’ll take that position you interviewed for. Don’t make it out to be more than it is.

Hiring managers don’t lose sleep over candidates

Sometimes turning the tables is the easiest way to put things in perspective. Hiring managers interview many candidates—and of course, they can’t hire them all. Rejection is a natural part of the process, and we can pretty much guarantee they don’t break a sweat when they call you to let you down—or don’t even contact you again.

Don’t stress over someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. Just keep things respectful, professional and keep it moving.

You have to do what’s best for you

When you’re assessing whether a position is going to fit well into your life, there’s plenty of things to consider. Will your work/life balance be good? Is the workplace culture one you can fit with? Does it come with a pay cut that will leave you in a tight spot? Is the commute simply too long? Is the position different from what you thought before you applied?

Collect the answers to all these questions (and more!). With all that info in mind, does this job meet your needs? We spend an awful lot of time at work—so if you’re going to be there, it better be good.

Never feel guilty about prioritising your needs beyond just needing to pay your bills. And understand that it’s okay to value yourself above all else. No job is going to do that for you.

Making the wrong choice could come at a price

Never let yourself get pressured into taking a job that just isn’t right for you. Maybe you don’t have the luxury of multiple offers; maybe this is the only one being offered but it still doesn’t feel right. Sure, you’ll be employed if you take it—despite all the cons. And sure, it will be uncomfortable and hard to decline a job offer after going through the process of interviewing. But ignoring your intuition can come at a high cost, even if it gets you ahead in the short term.

If you get yourself into a situation you know isn’t right, expect to have that discomfort spill over into other parts of your life. Misery at work can affect the way you interact with family at home, how often you take care of yourself and eventually take a major toll on your mental health.

Is avoiding the task of declining that job worth it? No way.

Facing slight conflict head-on can be uncomfortable at first. But growth requires uncomfortable moments—so bring them on.

You’re not doing them any favours

Accepting a job you don’t want won’t benefit the employer. You won’t be doing them any favours by forcing yourself into something that doesn’t feel right. Ignoring your intuition almost never pays off in the long run—it just feels bad.

We guarantee that they’d rather have to continue interviewing to find the right candidate. Having you slug through something, only to leave later, is a way bigger pain. Just do the right thing, be upfront and own your decision.

Trust yourself

If you know that this job isn’t the one, say so. If you’re not happy with what they’re offering, say so. You have to be your biggest defender and take care of yourself—because your job is never going to care about you the way you do.

Trust your intuition, listen to your gut and put yourself first. You’re worth it. Never feel guilty about doing what’s best for you.

By Suzie Finch. Founder of The Career Improvement Club, Suzie Finch combines extensive experience in HR and CV writing to help job seekers. Her advice and beautiful CV Designs have helped thousands of charity professionals secure brilliant career moves.

Emotional Intelligence – the New Skills Gap
February 24, 2020
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By Nick Kirk – Managing Director at Michael Page.

Employers want to hire people with emotional intelligence skills but candidates aren’t listing them on applications

There has been a lot of buzz recently around emotional intelligence, often referred to as EQ. Back in 2016 the World Economic Forum named emotional intelligence as one of the most important workplace skills needed for success in 2020.

Emotional intelligence is being aware of one’s own emotions and being able to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy.

However, recent research by Michael Page has uncovered a worrying new trend in the UK jobs market: an emotional intelligence skills gap.

The key finding of our study shows that there is a clear disconnect between the skills employers want and those jobseekers are displaying when it comes to emotional intelligence.

Half of the employers surveyed cited emotional intelligence as increasingly important for those entering today’s workforce, ranking it higher than work experience or even holding a degree. However, this is rarely mentioned in candidates’ applications.

Despite emphasis being placed on emotional intelligence by those in hiring positions, just 0.4% of PageGroup applicants over the last year reference empathy in their CV – a key tenet of emotional intelligence – while just 0.81% mention listening as one of their skills.

Emotional intelligence skills are consistently being ranked higher than more traditional skills such as foreign languages or financial acumen.

Essentially emotional intelligence in the workplace comes down to understanding, expressing, managing good relationships and solving problems under pressure.

Our capacity for emotional intelligence is one of the most obvious ways humans have the edge over technological counterparts. What is worrying is that candidates are not highlighting these skills to potential employers, despite clear demand for them.

To help address this I urge companies to look at jobseekers who have clearly evaluated their skillset and highlighted the most valuable ones.

Introducing EQ into the recruitment and assessment process will help to identify the candidates with the right attitude and mindset to work well with colleagues, be advocates of change, and deliver against your organisation’s objectives.

For instance, self-awareness is key to emotional intelligence. Employees who spend time observing and reflecting on their emotional responses to different situations, and who pay attention to their physical reactions, can have a great impact on company culture.

Active listening skills and motivation are also two invaluable traits of EQ. People who possess them understand issues from different perspectives, demonstrate optimism and a desire to build valuable relationships with others, and continually improve their skillset.

However, just as it is important to seek new hires with emotional intelligence, it is vital for managers and other business leaders to operate in emotionally intelligent ways to meet the needs of today’s workers.

Stress can trigger irrational behaviour that is often attributed to low emotional intelligence. Consider the best way to reduce the stress levels within your business – whether that’s allowing employees to take a break from their desks, listen to music, or go for a walk.

Much as people would regularly exercise to stay in shape physically, they need to regularly work on their emotional intelligence skills so that they improve.

Investing in emotional intelligence will result in more engaged, committed employees who will help to move your business forward.

We need to ensure the potential emotional intelligence skills gap in the country is addressed before it becomes a major business issue.

Business leaders should focus on driving change from within their own organisations so employees can follow their example. As the importance of emotional intelligence becomes widely recognised, I hope we will see jobseekers adapt their applications to reflect the behaviour demonstrated by businesses – with both putting EQ high on their list of priorities.

The Essential Job Interview Question Almost Nobody Ever Asks
February 12, 2020
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Ask prospective employees what type of management helps them thrive, writes Geoffrey James, an editor for Inc.

Their answers provide insight into their self-awareness, how they’ll work with the team and how managers might need to adapt. 

Full Story: Inc.

4 Key Trends for Recruiting #Talent in 2020
January 7, 2020
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90% OF THE JOB MARKET IS NOW CANDIDATE-DRIVEN – HOW TO RECRUIT IN 2020

As the new year begins, many companies begin to review their policies and their employee retention – something that can prove challenging with today’s workforce who are less likely to be loyal to a business who doesn’t prioritise factors that are important to them.

In the hopes of improving and growing in 2020, businesses are beginning to formulate new recruitment strategies.

In light of this, Instant Offices has looked into the factors that companies and employers should consider when looking to hire in the new year.

Despite everything, members of staff are a significant contributing factor to the success of any company.

For this reason, employers are consistently looking to hire talented people who can bring more of an edge to the team and overall business.

Company loyalty is on the decline

In 2020, just over a third (35%) of the workforce will be made up of Millennials (generation Y), a figure that is likely to increase to approximately three-quarters worldwide. This generation, whose focus remains heavily on inclusion and diversity, will also occupy a growing number of leadership roles in the workplace.

In the next five years, generation Y – those born between 1981 and 1996 – will dominate the workforce, accounting for approximately 75% worldwide; also occupying a growing number of leadership roles in the workplace.

How to hire talent in 2020

The relationship between employee and employer is fundamentally changing as importance is placed on factors that create a better working environment, work-life balance and future-proof skills.

According to a recent global LinkedIn report, there are four key trends which are considered to be the most important when it comes to hiring in the new year:

4 Trends transforming the workplace% of talent professionals who think it’s important
Soft skills91
Work flexibility72
Anti-harassment71
Pay transparency53
1. Soft skills

Soft skills, which includes the ability teamwork, communicate and problem solve, are far more desirable than ‘hard’ skills. 80% of professionals say soft skills are critical to the success of a company, as they are more future-proofed than technical skills, which advance rapidly and are not necessarily as transferable.

2. Work flexibility

Employers who offer flexibility in the interview process are more attractive to jobseekers who prioritise work-life balance. Once considered a perk, flexible working hours are becoming a standard expectation – job posts on LinkedIn mentioning flexibility have seen a 78% increase in the past two years.

3. Wellbeing

A company that places focus on wellbeing, communication and diversity is highly desirable to jobseekers who want a healthy and happy company culture. 90% of today’s job market is candidate-driven; prospective employees chose their employer more than companies choose them. Around half of all millennial jobseekers prioritise diversity and inclusion when choosing potential employers.

Year-on-year there has been a 71% increase in the amount of workplace harassment content shared on LinkedIn, and candidates are increasingly seeking out workplaces with policies to prevent, and combat, harassment and discrimination, as well as actively protecting their rights.

4. Pay transparency

Transparency and communication remain a necessity for 2020. Pay has always remained a confidential topic. Still, as more candidates look for companies who have transparency and remuneration, particularly with a significant focus on equal pay, more employers are starting to share salary information proactively. Over a quarter (27%) of those hiring say they share salary ranges with candidates earing on, while 1 in 5 say they are likely to start doing this in the next five years.

These trends will continue to shape the workforce throughout 2020. Not only will considering these create a more agile, flexible and inclusive culture – appealing to younger generations who a consistently place a strong focus on flexibility and values, but also help to retain talent going into the new year.