Originally posted on redjobs:

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

“Point at the incompetent presidential candidate”…

Today is Election day in the U.S, with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney falling silent after months on the campaign trail to allow American voters to have their final say at the polling stations.

A few days ago both candidates travelled to swing states to make what political professionals call their ‘closing arguments’ to crucial undecided voters that could win them the presidency. This is the closing of the sale, the last chance to quash any rebuttals – the final stage of the interview.

“The question of this election comes down to this, Do you want four more years like the last four years? Or do you want real change? President Obama promised change, but he couldn’t deliver it. I have promised change and I have a record of achieving it.”

“I will lead America to a better place, where confidence in the future…

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executivenetworksales:

And just when you thought pumpkins were harmless fun…….

Originally posted on hserecruitment:

Not so HSE Halloween Special

As it is Halloween our ‘Not so HSE’ this week is getting into the spirit of it all.

If you are celebrating with a pumpkin this evening, make sure you don’t make the mistake that these people made and decide to make a pumpkin flame thrower by soaking the pumpkin in highly flammable liquids. And if you do decide to do this, definitely do not do it inside your own house, next to a wooden bannister…..

A very stupid idea. Whats wrong with a few tea lights?

Anyway, We hope everyone has a great (and safe) halloween!

 

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Recruitment and Employee Engagement in the Digital Age

Big Cat event - recruiting in the digital age

Last week we attended a Big Cat event in Birmingham entitled Recruiting and Employee Engagement in the Digital Age, and here is a summary of the key talking points for those that could not attend.

It was an extremely interesting event touching on many ‘hot’ topics in an industry that is rapidly changing due to technology shifting the way that people communicate at the most basic level. The explosion of Social Media, the importance of the ‘Digital shop front’ and the employment game changer that is LinkedIn has obviously altered the the way that Recruitment companies and HR professionals recruit new employees.

The panelists leading the discussion encompassed a whole spectrum of views on the subject from John Mortimer, Chief Executive of Angela Mortimer plc who thinks Facebook has two years left until it crumbles, and dared any recruitment company to run a website that lets candidates register a C.V quicker than they could if they just picked up the ol’ blower. To Andrew Springhall CEO of Blusource who admitted that on three separate occasions twitter has been used to solely source and place a candidate successfully. Dee Dee Doke, editor of The Recruiter magazine was the special guest and led the discussions forward with enthusiastic gusto.

The Digital Shopfront – It’s all about the user

Michelle Hughes, Head of Digital Marketing for Pertemps led the first discussion and she pleaded to always remember the user when implementing digital projects. Many companies spend time and money investing in social media channels and search advertising trying to drive traffic to a site that is confusing for the user to navigate.

The Pertemps site took over a year to get live, Michelle told us, and that is because they tested it to death. Not because of fancy graphics and flash animations. Usability is the most important aspect with simple site layouts that enable visitors to quickly access the information they need. Michelle researched what the target audience wanted, which was to find jobs, and now when you go on to the Pertemps site you are hit straight in the face with job listings and a large search box to enter specifics such as location and job keywords. They researched extensively with focus groups analysing where people are drawn to click on the page to perform certain commands. This research has paid off as the amount of people registering CV’s through the site is up 536% and their bounce rate is down significantly.

“Don’t drive traffic to a site that doesn’t work for the user”

Digital Innovation – There’s lots of Noise out there

John Mortimer headed this discussion, he is notably sceptical of the place of ‘digital’ or what he referred to as ‘whirligigs’ in the recruitment process. He sees the recruitment process is one that can’t be computerised well, the presence of digital recruitment solutions are a substistution for real interaction and provide a watered down version of it.

John made many interesting comments on the current changing tech landscape. He noted how recessions are accelerators of change, but it is important to identify what are actual cultural changes that will stick around and stand the test of time, and what are just trends that will be gone before you know it. John sees Social Media, and highlighted Facebook in particular as trends, saying that it has between 2-5 years left to live, and will fail due to the failure to monetize the network successfully, and then fall out of our collective consciousness forever.

digital recruitment solutions are a substistution for real interaction and provide a watered down version of it.

He sees social media as creating a lot of noise, with not that many people listening. And says it is wrong to just assume you can have a captive audience waiting for your each and every tweet.

But he placed importance on email marketing, particularly on optimising it for mobile. Seeing the way we interact with content on the go is a definite cultural shift to pay attention to, not a disappearing trend.

LinkedIn – Friend or Foe?

LinkedIn is a double edged sword for recruiters. Used effectively and sparingly it can be an important tool to resource clients in the first instance. But it also threatens the recruitment industry by giving HR professionals hiring a much stronger card to play when looking for potential new candidates and makes recruitment more accessible. Stephen Edwards Managing Partner at Talisman Executive argued that LinkedIn is a good source for connecting to different candidates but reminded us that great candidates exist that aren’t on LinkedIn and when you work with a good recruiter, they don’t work a vacancy by scraping through linkedIn, you are buying into their talent pool that they have spent years researching, building and nurturing.

Many of the best candidates, Directors and CEO’s, have taken themselves off linkedIn for fear of being repeatedly harassed by lazy recruiters.

A HR professional in the audience was asked by the panel whether she would recruit in house using LinkedIn or through a recruitment company and she answered always through a recruitment company. That is because the quality of candidates is always superior and the vacancy is worked in a much shorter time scale.

when you work with a good recruiter, you are buying into their talent pool that they have spent years researching, building and nurturing.

Other Discussions from the day

Is the gamification of LinkedIn devaluing the site?Who owns the your

LinkedIn connections – you or your company?

Should Facebook be used to screen candidates, or by HR to monitor employees?

Hillhead – Why you should embrace the trade show

This week our team of consultants here at Executive Network’s Equipment Division will be joining many other industry professionals at the Hillhead trade show in Buxton. Located at Hillhead Quarry, Hillhead is the world’s biggest working demonstration in quarrying, recycling and heavy construction.

Construction jobs, quarrying jobs, equipment jobs

Hillhead – a demonstration in quarrying, recycling and heavy construction

With 461 exhibitors showcasing their products this year – the greatest number of exhibitors ever – it’s a good sign that the equipment and construction industry is flourishing. Hillhead offers the chance for companies to show off their new products, and the likes of Terex, JCB and CAT will all be exhibiting. The opportunity for new business is huge!

However, there has been a general decline in trade show attendance over the last few years, with fewer and fewer people deeming it a valuable use of their time. Maybe one or two of us have been to a show in the past purely to grab a load of freebies and roam around under the pretence of “networking”?? Well yes, if this is all you’re doing then this is definitely a bad use of time! But you’re getting it all wrong. Trust me, a huge trade show like Hillhead CAN be beneficial to you.

From a recruiter’s point of view trade shows allow us to get a better understanding of the products and people that work in our industry – and in simple terms, if we genuinely understand the products that our candidates are manufacturing, selling and maintaining, then this has to put us one step ahead of our competitors.

But it’s not just recruiters who should attend trade shows. Everyone who works in the heavy equipment industry could potentially benefit from going along. Both job seekers and employers can use a trade show to their advantage – the key is to plan ahead. The point of any trade show is to network and garner information, not to be the person who ambles around, collecting freebies, hoping to meet somebody that’ll change their year…sorry to sound harsh, but it just won’t happen!

Construction jobs, quarrying jobs, equipment jobs

It’s all about networking!

It’s important to plan ahead and book things in advance otherwise you’ll just end up being that person walking around aimlessly. Hillhead offer an interactive event planner on their  website which can be found here http://www.showplans.com/hillhead2012/. It might also be useful to arrange to meet key contacts at certain locations at various times.

That said, whether you’re attending as a vendor or a customer you never know when a good business opportunity might present itself. The luckiest people are the ones that take opportunities presented to them and go in with an open mind – you make your own luck as they say. An impromptu conversation with a vendor or attendee about what you do and what they do might lead to something…you never know how things could pan out!

Construction jobs, equipment jobs, sales jobs, service engineer jobs

It’s important to plan ahead

Even if you’re not a confident networker, simply the sheer number of companies showing off their new and existing products is reason enough to get involved. Knowledge is power, and with many exhibitors having experts on hand to provide information on particular topics or products, if you do nothing more than immerse yourself in the show you can’t help but win. Especially if you look online before you attend and target companies and products that would be beneficial to you and your business. For example, Hillhead has 3 large demo areas – Quarry Face, Rock Processing and Recycling – that should have lots of new and innovative products on show. We’ll definitely be heading there!

Like most things in life – the more you put in the more you get out. So embrace trade shows and make the most of the unique opportunities that these events can present.

If you would like to arrange to meet one of our own recruitment consultants at Hillhead please contact us on info@ensales.co.uk or 0121 450 5000.

By Jennie Everall, Digital Marketing Executive – Executive Network Sales Ltd.

Executive Network Sales Ltd specialises in sales vacancies and associated positions at all levels across a range of niche sectors throughout the UK.

Would you turn down a bonus?

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks you’ll have noticed that there’s a big uproar going on with regards to Stephen Hester, Chief Executive of RBS, turning down his £1m bonus. Well, I’m sure everyone has got an opinion on whether or not he should have turned the bonus down and indeed, whether he should have even been offered the bonus in the first instance.

Would you refuse a bonus?

However, when I first heard the story on the radio I started thinking about the bonuses and commission we receive as recruitment consultants or as people in sales positions.

As a recruitment agency which specialises in placing people in sales jobs, we’re well aware how a good commission structure and bonus scheme can drive and motivate people to sell. If you are of this school of thought then maybe you think that it’s the case that Hester DID deserve a bonus? The way I see it, if a salesperson is doing a good job, then he’s guaranteed to earn more money and in turn this motivates him to continue to do a good job. Could this also be applied to Hester? For example, surely getting a bonus in shares should be considered a good thing! Look at it like this – if he did a rubbish job, the value in shares would go down so he’d inevitably be taking money out of his own pockets. Obviously, like any good salesperson, he’d want to do a good job and thus accrue more shares. Makes sense right?

And it’s the same in any sales job.

If you're doing well shouldn't you earn a big bonus?

If someone is doing well and earning a lot of money for their company, then it stands to reason that they should earn a proportion of what they billed for their company by way of commission or bonus payment.

On the other hand, how about if you or your company aren’t doing so well? For example, reading an article on Hester rejecting his bonus, I was reminded of a time not so long ago when the credit crunch was in full swing. As the recruitment industry was hit hard and consultants struggled to sell their services to businesses up and down the country my colleagues and I were offered a solution to the impending doom of redundancy; namely four day weeks. Those of us still lucky enough to be in a job agreed to work reduced hours in order to keep our company afloat. However, rather than reduce commission payments our Director decided it might be a better idea to scrap the commission threshold and offer a non capped commission scheme for a brief period whereby any consultants who billed would earn commission on their placement, regardless of the fee.

Are there other ways to incentivise people?

This turned out to be an effective way to incentivise people and raise morale. Especially in a climate where freezes on recruitment were high in most industries and businesses sought to pay out as little of their profits as possible.

But how about the flip side? Would you, as a sales person, be prepared to give up your commission or bonus for what could be termed as the “greater good”? For example, if you’re business were floundering, as a devoted employee, would you forgo any commission payments in order to see your company survive?

Furthermore, should companies funded by the tax payer even be allowed to pay bonuses until their debt to the tax payer is repaid?

Would you ever give up your bonus for a year like Stephen Hester? If not, why not? And if you would, well, we’d REALLY like to know the reasons behind that!

Executive Network Sales Ltd specialises in sales vacancies and associated positions at all levels across a range of niche sectors throughout the UK.

Refusing something you’re offered!

Listening to the radio the other day I was engrossed in a story which reported on the number of people who turned down an honour from the Queen between 1948 and 1999. The report also stated that 116 people turned down an honour in the past three years, although these people weren’t identified. I suppose the initial question on everyone’s lips when they hear this is “WHY?”. Why would someone turn down something which is so prestigious?

Accept or refuse, sales job, fitter job, IFA job, service engineer job

What do you do, accept or refuse?

Well certainly there are a number of reasons as to why people would turn down an honour; perhaps they don’t agree with the monarchy or perhaps they are declining one honour in the hopes of being offered another. Whatever the case, it seems quite absurd to refuse something that can offer so much prestige and responsibility.

But what has this got to do with job searching? Well, let me tell you. Picture the scene: you’re unhappy in your current role. It offers no career progression. You believe you’re underpaid. You feel stale in the role you’re in and dream of pastures new. So you apply for new positions you’re interested in and before you know it you’ve landed a fantastic new job. Now THIS is when the counter offer comes in. Your boss takes you into a meeting, offers you a pay rise and a promotion and suddenly you’re picturing yourself driving that new Audi A5 you’ll be able to afford with your 20% salary increase.

So, this is when you’ll most probably be weighing up your options.

What would you do when you're offered a pay rise or promotion?

Remember I said that it seemed quite absurd to refuse something that can offer so much prestige and responsibility? Much like refusing an honour, why would anyone refuse something that offers them better status and standing?

Well let me tell you this, a counter offer is not necessarily the best thing for you and on many occasion, simply not worth the risk.

Will you stay or will you go?

When you’ve handed in your resignation, and thereafter changed your mind, your loyalty to your current company may now be in question. Your management team may now be wondering whether you’re just hanging around until you find a better opportunity. Furthermore, if your loyalty to the company is suspect, does this mean you might have scuppered your chances of advancement in the future?

But is the grass really greener?

The answer is yes! You made the decision to leave your current company because the new position offered you the best environment to fulfil your career needs.

The grass IS greener on the other side!

Think about it like this: if you stay in your current role will things really improve just because you said you were leaving? Ok, so you may have been offered a super promotion and a pay rise but you’ll no doubt still have the same grievances towards your company but now with more responsibility on your shoulders.

Furthermore, if money is the issue, for example, why should it take the chance of you leaving before you’re offered a pay rise? Likewise, if you’re offered a better position, why should this only come about because you threatened to go elsewhere?

In the end, much like the people who declined the honours, you know what’s best for you. Whether that be declining the counter offer or not. But remember, the counter offer is only a belated recognition of the contribution you have made to your company. Maybe if it had come unprompted it would be a lot more flattering to you. As such, my advice is this: Move ahead with the goal of making yourself as valuable to your new employer as you now know you were to your old.

Executive Network Sales Ltd specialises in sales vacancies and associated positions at all levels across a range of niche sectors throughout the UK.

Images provided by watcharakun / tungphoto / Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are the implications of RDR for you and your business?

The FSA are seeking to make the financial services industry more professional with the introduction of RDR which will come into affect as of the 1stof January 2013. They are ensuring all financial advisors are qualified to a minimum of diploma standard (level 4) and beyond, thus guaranteeing a better level of service to clients.

In effect the FSA are cleaning up the industry, placing restrictions on the advice that can be given out from people who aren’t qualified to a certain standard.

Is your company ready for RDR?

Is your company ready for RDR?

On the surface it seems RDR should be a very positive thing for financial advisors and certainly this may be the case for some of you. As something which aims to improve public confidence in the financial services industry as a whole then surely raising the bar in terms of ethical standards and qualifications is a valuable strategy? Furthermore, surely it’s true that charging a fee rather than commission payments will allay the fear of mis-selling?

On the contrary there are also considerations to be made as to whether RDR has any implications restricting advisors. For example, as an advisor who already operates in a professional manner, having worked in the industry for a substantial amount of time, do you consider the necessary changes in terms of qualifications invaluable or disruptive? If this is the case, are you considering a move from the financial services industry? Does this mean the industry will notably lose a lot of hard working, dedicated advisors?

Is it also possible that advisors will continue to practice without any intention of doing anything about it in terms of qualifications? Is it encouraging non regulated advisors to abuse the new regulations under the guise of a servicing consultant?

There is also the question of whether your company is ready for the impending RDR? Certainly for large companies whom employ more than 40 advisors, it’s a daunting task to ensure all advisors are qualified to the necessary level.

However, if you are part of a smaller company do you think you have the resources to ensure your company is RDR compliant?

RDR has raised many questions for individuals and their companies

RDR has raised many questions for individuals and their companies

Here at Executive Network we work with a large number of IFAs and as such, we’re finding that RDR is having an impact on recruitment within the financial services industry. For example, there are a number of advisors who themselves are RDR compliant and have taken on board what they have to do in respect of the impending RDR. However, many have concerns with the companies they work for regarding their RDR processes and procedures, that their companies are not taking their part in RDR seriously or their RDR proposition is not complete.

Some might argue these companies have time to turn things around, however, in spite of this, many advisors are contemplating a move to companies who are more RDR compliant. If a company is not ready for RDR does this mean we will see vast movement in the industry as a whole? If this is the case, when will this happen? Moreover, with this in mind, will there be increased competition for jobs in the future in what is traditionally a candidate short market?

And does this mean advisors should be more prepared or exploring more opportunities available to them now rather than in the future when competition will inevitably be higher? With all the changes the industry is set to face, would  it also be prudent to make a move now? Would it be advisable to transfer existing clients prior to RDR so they are comfortable and familiar with a company whilst changes are being made?

Executive Network Sales Ltd specialises in sales vacancies and associated positions at all levels across a range of niche sectors throughout the UK.

Be aware of what you’re putting on social media!

We’ve heard it all before, jokes about recruiters selling their souls to the devil, being arrogant and smarmy. A lot of people think that we’re cut throat and will do anything in our power for a big fee. This might be your opinion, maybe you think we’re just here to make a buck, that we don’t give a **** about our candidates, that there’s no human element to our profession but if you’re a job seeker looking for your next role, it might be a good idea to keep your opinion to yourself and avoid splashing it all over your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page!

Take heed!

On LinkedIn recently we spotted a post where someone had a rant about recruiters, claiming that they should “stop getting in the way and stop lying”. Now we’re not saying you’re not entitled to your own opinion but it might be prudent to think carefully before posting such rants on a social media site such as LinkedIn.

At Executive Network Sales we certainly don’t operate that way; we have the best interests of both the candidate and the client at heart. We will put you forward for roles we feel are suitable for you and match your skill set with the job specification. If we believe you’d be able to perform the role well there is absolutely no reason why we wouldn’t put your CV forward to a client.  We’re sure there are cowboy recruiters out there, however if you tar recruiters with the same brush you risk alienating those recruiters who put a lot of time and effort into helping you land your perfect position.

....although, we hope he isn't as harsh as this chap!

As a candidate seeking employment you need to realise what kind of impact these negative rants have on recruiters; they will deem you rude, discourteous and certainly won’t look too favourably on you! What’s more, it’s never a good idea to offend people that are in a position to help and assist you, whatever your reasons.

Big Brother is always watching, or so it seems. If you use social media to post unhelpful and rude comments about others you can be sure that these comments will be seen by someone who you would really rather not see them. Remember the majority of our Tweets, LinkedIn posts or Facebook statuses are visible to a vast amount of people. As such, you should avoid being too negative on these sites or blogs.  If you post as yourself, making yourself known you can be sure it’s going to come back to bite you!

Maybe social media isn't the best place to vent your frustrations!

Think about it, if recruiters see your rants they are unlikely to want to work with you. Not only is it unprofessional but they’re very unlikely to want to sell you as a rational professional to one of their clients if you’re ranting and raving about recruiters being “unethical” and “standing in the way of the employer”.

 

Aside from offending people, there are other reasons why it might be a good idea to stop and think before posting anything on social media. With the way the current market stands, employees can afford to be picky when choosing the perfect candidate for their role. A few weeks ago one of our recruiters found the Facebook page of a potential candidate whom had posted very disturbing, not to mention racist

Beware of the Facebook spy!

and ignorant jokes on their page. This candidate may have thought he was being funny, but we’re certain he wouldn’t laugh if he knew the reason the recruiter didn’t put him forward for a role was because of his Facebook status!

Blunders such as these can prevent you from being offered that great new position, regardless of your ability to perform the role. So be warned job seekers, the next time you Tweet about that loathsome recruiter who is standing in the way of you getting that job you’re after, you never know who might be reading!!!

Executive Network Sales Ltd specialises in sales vacancies and associated positions at all levels across a range of niche sectors throughout the UK.

When does embellishment become lying on your CV?

As recruiters we’ve seen it all before. It’s not a rarity to have a CV land on our desk that lists someone’s accomplishments and achievements implying a little more authority or prestige than is entirely accurate. Making your CV convey a better version of yourself is nothing unusual, but when does embellishment on a CV cross over into that territory known as lying? Moreover, is there really any difference between the two?

Cast your mind back to 2010 when a 29 year old woman was jailed for 6 months for lying on her CV. Her CV stated that she had A Levels which enabled her to apply for, and subsequently acquire, a position as Capital Projects Administrator in the NHS.  

Lying on your CV may seem harmless, but in cases such as the one above that it is no less than fraud. Be aware that a “little white lie” on paper constitutes a crime under the Fraud Act of 2006.

Lying on your CV constitues fraud!

In this instance it’s obvious that the woman lied, but it’s not always so clear cut. Outright lying in our opinion would be claiming knowledge that the candidate doesn’t have or claiming to have worked on specific projects.

Some would believe that everyone embellishes their CV; salary expectations, achievements, duration of employment within certain companies. It has even been suggested that research shows that 25% of information on CVs is exaggerated! However, others believe in being 100% truthful

Does it mean that those of us who are 100% honest and upfront about in our CVs are short changing themselves when going against others who have embellished slightly? At Executive Network Sales we don’t think that’s the case; there are other ways to make yourself more employable with respect to your CV, rather than embellishing it.

Market yourself through well written achievements.

There is no need to exaggerate or embellish qualifications and achievements. Put a positive spin on any accomplishments you have under your belt, a CV should present you at your very best and as such should provide concrete, truthful details as supporting information.

Be creative with the truth.

One way to get around any shortcomings in your career history would be to be 100% truthful on what an employer wants to hear and then not tell them the rest. We call this being “creative” with the truth. Be truthful about achievements but obviously enough, don’t display your failures.

Always remember, employers can check!

So you’ve told your potential employer that you’re qualified to the max for this hot new position your interested in. Come third interview stage and you’re certain it’s in the bag. There’s only one thing standing in your way: You don’t have the qualifications specified in the job description. Not a problem, “I lost the certificates” you tell the interviewer. Well let’s face it, you could have got the qualifications, had you bothered to apply for the course in the first place. You’re not stupid. Right?

Wrong. “I lost the certificates” might seem like a good enough excuse at the time, but do not underestimate your potential employers. They can see through a white lie a mile off and although many of you may think that you’ll be able to get away with it, it’s easy for an employer to check your credentials and qualifications.

Don't tell little white lies! They might come back to bite you!

Our stance here at Executive Network Sales is that there is no real difference between embellishment and lying. It is only really the scale of the porky pie that differs. Embellishment isn’t truth and if you’re not telling the truth you’re lying, plain and simple. Honesty and integrity are the key to a professional and admirable CV and the risk of getting caught out by future employers with a little white lie is definitely not worth it.

Executive Network Sales Ltd specialises in sales vacancies and associated positions at all levels across a range of niche sectors throughout the UK.