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Recruitment trends to keep an eye on in 2015

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 Recruitment Trends 

Trends, fashions and fads come and go across all sectors and industries, with the ‘how and why’ of the recruitment process not being immune to changes in fashion and so on. 


With the economy slowly levering its way out of recession, the recruitment market could, once again, become a hot bed of activity. Companies will be recruiting, possibly hiring in larger volumes that the previous few years have allowed. With studies from major recruitment agencies and social platform LinkedIn, the global recruiting trends for 2015 have been identified.

Top statistic 

Nearly half of the 450 financial companies interview from a survey carried out by the Association for Financial Professionals Business Outlook, stated they would look to be hiring big time over the course of the year. With the financial sector beginning to ‘move’ once again, it pays to keep an eye on all major industries.  

Trend 1 - The focus is on retention

A hot recruitment market is a double edged sword. For the employee, it opens up a whole heap of potential opportunities but, for the employer it presents real possibilities that they could be losing brilliant staff.

However, a New York based survey found that well over half of those surveyed in June of last year were unhappy with their work or job. This means that there is a large group of people looking to grasp new opportunities and challenges as they arise.

What this means for employers…

… 2015 could be the year that the need to listen to employees, create a better working environment and start to ‘look after’ their employees, by providing the opportunities they want in order to stretch themselves.

As the economy picks up, however, there is one more threat that companies need to be aware of. 7 in 10 workers, when questioned, would like to leave their regular employment and start their own business. A more buoyant economy could be the very thing that they need to give them the push.

Top tip for 2015 – look to retain the staff you have! 

Trend 2 – Offer competitive wages

The recession has a strangle hold on the what and how much a company can pay their staff, as well as any pay increases and awards they can offer.

Many UK workers have not had a significant increase in recent years, if any at all and thus, there is a clear expectation that once business is able to do so, that it should increase the pay of staff.

Larger companies with global points of work have indicated that they intend on increasing the pay of staff, up to 5% in some cases. However, pay is not the be all and end all, with many smaller to medium sized businesses urged to look at benefits packages for employees if their profit margins are still under pressure.

Top tip for 2015 – look to create benefits packages if a pay increase is not viable. 

Trend 3 – Spruce up your brand

Your brand does not just talk to potential customers. It talks to potential job candidates too.

When recession or turbulent economy times hit within a company, the profits are pulled to the core, to oil all the financial cogs that need to keep turning. Once the load is lightened, businesses may start to look for top notch candidates but, if the brand is not quite talking, then you may find the calibre of candidate is not quite what you want.

Top tip – join the big global players and start to cultivate the employer brand of your company; make it the place that people want to work.  

Trend 4 – Retirement age is no longer 65 in the UK…

… and, as a company, you will need to prepare for this. With the age at which the state pension can be drawn increasing to 67 and 68 years of age, the make-up of your workforce is beginning to change. Businesses need to respond to this in a positive, and wholesome way.

Top tip – finding ways to transfer skills from the ‘older’ generation to the young starters need to be found, but that ‘space’ within a workforce will also need to be found to accommodate the change in retirement age.  

Trend 5 – the ‘gigging worker’

 The ‘zero hours contract’ debate raged during the recent election but it is still out there. Again, a double edge sword; some people enjoy the freedom of freelancing and yet some employers are ‘hedging their bets’ by presenting workers with no choice. For some, they could have no work tomorrow but 60 hours the following week.

Damaging to both the economy, the business itself and morale, the grip of these contracts is such that they will be hard to get rid of. However, the need for flexibility is still strong but business needs to find a far better way to recruit casual or temporary staff.

Top tip – freelancers are growing but freelancing is not the same as ‘zero hours contracts’.  

Trend 6 – Recruiting is going to get tougher

Leading companies predict that 2015 will be the year that everything gets tougher in the recruitment market with competition between firms to attract the best candidates become almost too hot to handle.

Many suggest that social media sites could be effective recruitment boards and that interviewing through phone or video will also become more common place.

Top tip – step up your recruitment strategy NOW!

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Qualifications vs. Experience – which is best?

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 There has long been a struggle in the recruitment process and it is one that many a candidate has suffered from – the lack of experience, and yet they have all the skills needed. Catching that lucky break in some industries and sectors is incredibly tough. 


But, as well as providing an almost insurmountable dilemma for the candidate, it also presents a tough decision for the hiring company too.

Qualifications Vs And yet, in recent years, there has been increasing emphasis and trends on the experience side of the candidate, borne out of the need for cultural fit. The congruence between the candidate’s values and those of the company is increasingly sought after and thus, you would think at this point that every company is looking for experience, over qualifications.

However, the solution is not as easy as this. Striking the right balance between qualifications and skills sets, coupled with experience is more important than ever.

No longer the elephant in the room – the importance of personality

The interviewing process at one time could be described as a rather staid affair. In the pursuit of getting the best person for the job in terms of skill set, the notion of personality and cultural fit was not mentioned.

With the need to be open and transparent, with discrimination frowned upon, and rightly so, appointing anyone on the merit of their personality became lost.

The tide is turning again and whilst it should not be the sole basis on which to base any decision, there is a need to understand the importance that personality plays in people applying for vacancies.

Work is not just about food and lodgings. If it was about the money, who would care where they worked, or what they did? But we do, because work is multi-dimensional; it defines who we are, underpins our self-confidence and self-esteem. When work is going great, we are in love with life. It provides the stability and the routine that we need and crave.

When work is all going wrong, it has a massive impact on us, and our emotional well-being. From work place harassment to ‘just not getting on’ with colleagues, when work turns bad, it colours every aspect of our lives. Work is hard to get away from, more so when things are not progressing well.

Thus, ignoring personality is at your peril when it comes to taking on new employees. Remain singular in your vision that it is only hard cold facts that matter, could see you make the mistake of employing people not suited to your industry, business or team. From applications to dealing with work place angst could be a process that happens within weeks, or months.

And so, with personality firmly on the list of ‘must-haves’, now is the time to look at skills and experience. What does each say about the candidate?

Skills & qualifications 

Qualifications are one thing, an important factor in the recruitment process. A basic smattering of high school qualifications, all to a good standard are a good foundation on which to build.

Skills are something that come with practice and many acquire them with many years’ experience. Others acquire a certain skill set in the pursuit of qualifications. Some people gain all kinds of skills from a variety of places, such as hobbies, volunteering and so on.

For highly technical jobs, some employers prize skills over and above anything else.


The esteem in which experience of candidates are held will vary from industry to industry and once again, the sway it holds in the shortlisting and interview process will also vary. For some, the accumulation of experience speaks volumes over and above qualifications.

For some industries such as the hospitality sector, experience can count for almost everything. Understanding the needs of guests is not something that can be wholly taught in the classroom but, in the real life setting of a busy hotel, understanding the importance of guests and the functioning of the hotel is everything.

Which is better? Qualifications or Experience?

The answer is balance. The balance between the two and the balance that your industry or sector demands is essential. In some cases, more weight may be held with academic qualifications, whereas for other sectors, experience may hold sway.

And so the answer is that it will vary from one sector to another. Candidates looking for their lucky break will need to do their research and, alongside formal qualifications, actively seek opportunities to practice their skills, and hone their experience.

Employers will need to decide not what they value more, but what can they teach candidates, what is learnt knowledge and what can be put down to experience

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How to succeed in a video interview

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 Video interviewThe way companies are interviewing is changing. Gone are the days when, similar to the BBC2 programme The Apprentice, potential candidates pitted their worth against an interviewing panel; or, more precisely, gone are the days when this was the only means of interviewing. 


And thus phone and video interviews are increasing in practice in all kinds of positions, from the grass roots of an organisation to the very top. And with agencies such as Staff Bay appreciating the changes, the how to succeed at a video interview can be an important lesson for many.

The video interview – the 7 common mistakes (and the solutions!)

Mistake 1: being too casual in your approach

The most common mistake for both phone and video interviews is that potential candidates approach them with a far more casual attitude than the traditional face-to-face grilling.

Would you turn up for a job interview in slippers? You may be in the comfort of your own home and the interviewing panel may not be looking at your feet, but the essence of you not quite being prepared, a bit too casual and so on will come across.

The solution 

Be professional in your ‘best way’. Your body language needs to ooze professionalism and confidence; your dress attire needs to be spot on and you need to be thoroughly prepared, just like a face-to-face interview. Don’t skimp on the details.  

Mistake 2: Not having a backup plan

Technology is a fabulous thing; from being able to communicate with the other side of the world to making life so much easier, the Internet, the PC, the phone, the mobile phone, the modem and routers of this world have all made a massive, manly positive impact… when it works.

The solution 

If you know your signal is poor at home, then get yourself another venue where you can concentrate on the interview. Background noise can interfere not only with your signal but concentration and focus too. Anything from the quiet of a friend’s house, to hiring a room at the local library, hotel etc. is better than the intermittent signal in your lounge. Be prepared beforehand.  

Mistake 3: Not practicing

Appearing on screen can be awkward, immediately making the most confident person self-conscious. Likewise, for many people, seeing themselves on screen can either turn them in a gabbling mess or render them speechless.

The solution 

Practice. Get used to talking and seeing yourself on screen. Check how clear and well you are coming across at the other end. It takes a certain set of skills to come across well on video interviews.  

Mistake 4: Leaving it to the last minute

A bit like packing your bag the night before school speech you undoubtedly had as a child, you need to ensure that your webcam and technology is ready.

The solution 

Prepare well in advance when it comes to the technology. Be sat at the PC, in front of the webcam 5 to 10 minutes before the interview time, just as you would be in a face-to-face situation.  

Mistake 5: Being over-prepared

Up to this point we have talked about preparation being key BUT, with video interview there can be a tendency to be over-prepared, to the point it sounds like you are reading from a script. This, like giving a presentation, is all down to nerves, brought on by heightened emotions and unfamiliarity.

The solution 

Have bullet points and snippets of information that can be an aide memoir, rather than scripted answers. You will come across more natural and in a more conversational style, rather than clipped and ‘trained’. 

Mistake 6: Not showing your personality

Companies need to ensure that they not only get the right skills to fill a post, but the right cultural fit too. Interviews via phone and video can be difficult in that the interviewer has to work somewhat harder to get the feel of the person and their personality.

The solution 

Be natural. It is normal to be nervous but try to act in the most natural way you can. Smile, and use your humour too. Make sure you comes across as warm, approachable and professional.  

Mistake 7: Gabbling or talking too fast

Video interviews are used to the benefit of both the company and the candidate. People no longer apply within a 50 mile radius of their home for work and thus, applying for a job several hundred miles away or in a different country just got a whole lot easier.

Nerves, however, makes us gabble, talk fast and can make us difficult to understand.

The solution 

Practice and breathe. Listen for when you start to gabble or talk too fast, and make a conscious effort to slow the pace of your talking. If you have a strong accent, be aware that this too can become ‘stronger’ when you are under pressure.  

Video interviews are a great way for companies to meet potential candidates; are you prepared?