Job Seekers

6 Ways to Attract Headhunters

by Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Jason Elias of Elias Recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Elias Recruitment is a specialist legal recruitment consultancy, finding lawyers for law firms, not-for-profits and corporates across Australia. Jason is the Chairman of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors and received our Chairman’s Award in 2014. Jason is also a Fellow of the peak recruitment industry body in Australasia  the RCSA (Recruitment & Consulting Services Association). Today he shares advice for working with headhunters.

A few touches to your mobile phone and your groceries, an Uber or a pizza come to you. So why not a job? Many of the best jobs are never advertised, so how do you hear about them?

Good employers know that the best lawyers are so busy running their practices that they don’t have time to trawl through job ads. They also like keeping strategic hires out of the public eye so the marketplace doesn’t catch on to what they’re doing and where they’re headed. Read the rest of this entry »


What Does a Recruiter Do?

by Veronica Blatt

If you’re a job seeker who has tried unsuccessfully to work with a headhunter, you may find yourself wondering, “What does a recruiter do?” In the simplest terms, I often say that recruiters help companies find employees, they don’t help people find jobs. You may be thinking that’s the same thing, but it’s an important distinction to make because the employer (company) is paying for the recruiter’s services. And ultimately, that means the recruiter is working for the employer. Certainly during the process the recruiter is also talking with various candidates, and if the recruiter is successful, one of those candidates will be hired. But most recruiters, most of the time, are working to fill a specific opening and are only dealing with candidates who are highly qualified for that opening. Read the rest of this entry »


Unprofessional Recruiters Impact Clients and Candidates

by Veronica Blatt

Unprofessional recruiters are not only frustrating, they can actually damage relationships between employers and job seekers. While many people have horror stories, there are some common behaviors that can help you determine if you’re working with a top-notch recruiter or …. not. The tips below to help define a good third-party (agency) recruiter. Read the rest of this entry »


Tips for Changing Careers

by Veronica Blatt

I generally describe the role of a recruiter as “helping companies find people …. *not* helping people find jobs.” In other words, a company approaches a recruiter with their hiring need, and the recruiter is charged with finding the best person to fill that need. While many recruiters will market a great candidate as part of their business development process (or some will specialize in working the candidate side), most of them time, recruiters do not collect great candidates and then hunt down companies who want to hire them. So for people who are interested in changing careers, working with a recruiter is often not the best option. Read the rest of this entry »


Recruiters, Inform Candidates That Employers Are Hiring!

by Dave Nerz

While the pandemic has certainly caused disruption to the employment market, and many workers have been laid off or furloughed, recruiters need to tell their candidates that employers are hiring. Global recruiters will need to inform their candidates that different strategies may be necessary to find the jobs that they want. Because furloughed workers are not necessarily unemployed, and can be called back by their employers, the current market is ripe for recruiters to work directly with candidates. Candidates should be working on discreet, undercover, and confidential searches. Recruiters are a perfect fit for the search that furloughed candidates are pursuing. Read the rest of this entry »


Why You Should Work With a Recruiter Right Now

by Liz Carey

When looking for a new job, candidates shouldn’t go at it alone.  Even if you are armed with an impressive resume, it can be tough to even snag an interview.  An experienced recruiter can be your guide and main point of contact with potential employers.  But during a pandemic where many companies have enacted hiring freezes, you might be thinking there’s no reason to reach out to a recruiter.  Wrong.  Recruiters are proactively looking for candidates for when the economy rebounds and jobs open back up.  When it opens back up, competition will likely be higher than ever due to the sheer amount of people who have been laid off or furloughed.  You want to make sure you can stand out to hiring managers and increase your odds of success. Read the rest of this entry »


Recruiters are awful!

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Tim Lane founder and director of Park Lane Recruitment based near Manchester UK.  Park Lane Recruitment is a specialist recruiting firm in the technology space with niche areas of cybersecurity, fintech, space and defense IT, as well as generic IT sales, tech and managerial.  Tim is also an NPAworldwide Board Director with responsibility for the EMEA region and a 30+ year veteran of the recruiting industry.

“Recruiters are awful,” “Recruiters get in the way of hiring,” “Recruiters never respond when I apply for role”… these and many other (often ruder!) statements have been written by candidates the world over seemingly since professional recruitment started many years ago. Yet if recruiters were so useless, why would they still exist? Read the rest of this entry »


5 Ways To Get Ahead in Your Job Search During the Coronavirus Crisis

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano, CEO of Barbachano International (BIP), the human capital solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA. Barbachano International offers high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement and has been a member of NPAworldwide for more than ten years. He offers job search tips in the post below.

You might be thinking a COVID19 pandemic is the worst time to initiate a job search. After all, countless other people are in the same position as you, rushing to find a light at the end of a tunnel that wasn’t even there a few weeks ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Getting Your CV Ready

by Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Jason Elias of Elias Recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Elias Recruitment is a specialist legal recruitment consultancy, finding lawyers for law firms, not for profits and corporates, across Australia. Jason is the Chairman-ELect of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors and received our Chairman’s Award in 2014. Jason is also a Fellow of the peak recruitment industry body in Australasia  the RCSA (Recruitment & Consulting Services Association).

A study by The Ladders found that professional recruiters give most resumes an initial 6-second review to look at key details before deciding whether to contact you for an interview.

During that 6-second window recruiters are quickly scanning: Read the rest of this entry »


Prepare to Smash Your Job Interview

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Anthony McCormack, founding consultant, managing director and entrepreneur behind Macstaff with offices in Bristol and Abergavenny, United Kingdom. Macstaff is a high impact recruitment consultancy majoring on right-fit permanent placements in construction, property, manufacturing and engineering sectors in UK & Internationally. Macstaff joined NPAworldwide in 2019. Anthony McCormack takes you through several helpful and practical hints to give you the very best chance of being successful at an upcoming job interview. And some are more obvious than you think. This post originally appeared here.

So you are in an active job search and have secured yourself an interview.

Now this is where the ‘rubber hits the road’!

Personally, I think reliance on a job interview to determine the best candidate for a position is a broken system – but we will save this topic for another blog.

Nonetheless, the interview is how 90% of hiring decisions will be made. So be prepared to sell yourself. How you do that will influence the likelihood of an offer and the better the interview, the better the offer potentially!

So my first point will state the blindingly obvious. The best advice on preparation is… to actually prepare!

Many people spend an inordinate amount of time tinkering with the CV, browsing job postings and crafting the perfect cover letter – but little or no time properly preparing for individual interviews.

If you’re reading this, it looks like you are putting in some groundwork so give yourself a pat on the back, you’re heading in the right direction.

From a mental preparation point of view, I suggest making sure that you are ‘in it to win it.’ Don’t go to an interview to ‘check them out’ or to ‘see what they have to say.’ Go to an interview with the intention of winning a great job offer. If you get offered and choose not to accept, that’s empowering and your call to make.

I am always sad when someone is ill-prepared for an interview, goes in lukewarm or even suspicious about the opportunity, and realises during the appointment that the role is a dream job for them. It’s typically too late to inject passion to the interview and reverse the first impression formed by the interviewer that you only came to ‘kick some tyres.’

Logistics

Logistics wise. Make sure you plan your journey and allow enough time. That’s enough time to get to the postcode according to Google maps or SatNav but also to park and sign in. I also suggest allowing enough time for heavy traffic, road closures, getting lost and spilling coffee down yourself! As sod’s law says, it’s going to happen.

You want to allow enough time to be on time but also to be in the right frame of mind. Five minutes decompressing from the journey and visualising a successful interview will pay dividends. Lastly, I don’t want to pile on extra pressure, but I’ve pretty much never seen someone turn up late to an interview and go on to secure the job.

Take a CV with you

Take a fresh copy of your CV and a separate reference sheet so you are ready to hand over either or both. You likely won’t need them but it looks organised and allows you to use them as a point of reference. Also, in the eventuality that they have lost the CV or can’t print it, your job interview still goes smoothly ahead.

Dress to impress

It’s an interview cliché to be sharp-suited, clean pressed shirt and shiny shoes. However, I think old-school rules still apply here. As you all know, first impressions are strong, difficult to change and are strongly based around visual aspects.

How you present is viewed as a reflection (rightly or wrongly) of how seriously you are taking the application and how much respect you are giving the appointment.

I would say that while you can mess up by under-dressing for an interview, you can never really fail by over-dressing. Many people have a concern that they don’t want to feel over-dressed when they attend an interview at a less formal office environment. So feel free to try and mirror their culture to an extent. I must point out though that their current employees are not attending an interview and you are!

Expectations are different so it really doesn’t matter if you are the only person in a suit. It’s kind of like the interviewer can swear in the interview and they won’t notice or remember, if you do, it’s going to stand out and reflect badly.

Paint a picture of a Win-Win

Candidates are going to want to satisfy themselves that they are going to win the job in question, with respect to salary, benefits, challenge, interest, career potential and so on before accepting an offer. Clients are going to want to satisfy themselves that they are going to win by hiring the candidate in question in respect to skills, experience, personality, attitude and future potential before making an offer.

What is less obvious is the opposite side of these points. Candidates should want to establish that the company will win by hiring them, meaning they add value, it is a good fit and chances are good it will work out in short and long term.

Clients should want to establish that the candidate will win meaning that they get to apply their skills in a meaningful way, enjoy the work and ultimately stick around.

In my experience, in the stressful set-up of an interview, most people overlook ‘part 2’ of the win-win. So ensure everything you say and do in the selection process points towards a conclusion of strong mutual benefit.

On a related note, be aware of how you are viewed outside of the interview itself, like while booking the interview, when you ring beforehand and how you interact with the receptionist. Even when you are not being officially assessed, you are still being assessed. I would never want to hire someone that was snotty to my receptionist, for example.

Prepare by researching the company

This is so you can talk intelligently about the organisation, their products and projects. Or at least be able to answer the obvious question of why are you interested in XYZ when asked. You can look for published information from their website, news sources or from employer evaluation sites such as Glassdoor to get the ‘inside track’. Also, try and make sure you know the job specification and potentially the person specification for the role too.

Prepare lots of questions

There will typically be an opportunity to ask questions during an interview. Hopefully throughout, allowing a good two-way street of communication, or otherwise towards the end. This is an opportunity for you to take.

The quality of your questions can differentiate you from an otherwise similar candidate. Questions that show you have done your research are great, and in general open questions that demonstrate your understanding or prove your interest going to foster a positive response and often further discussion.

Questions which can be seen as suspicious, negative or are just hard to answer will make for a negative atmosphere which ends up reflecting badly.

For example, try not to ask: “What happened to the last person in this role?” or “What’s your sick days allocation?” or “What’s the company’s financial position like?”

Believe me, I have heard them asked before.

Take notes

There is some debate on this topic but I think it is okay to take some notes if you wish to capture key information for your future reference. Again, it can help demonstrate organisation and professionalism. Do ask permission and don’t overdo it as your note-taking can be off-putting to the interviewer, and of course, reduce eye contact which is important for building rapport.

Interview technique

This is a subject in itself and there is all kinds of advice to impart here. I’ll keep it simple and just cover two of them – confidence and enthusiasm.

If you think about it, the hiring company needs to work out two things: 1) Can you do the job (better than other candidates). 2) Do you want the job (and will you accept it).

Therefore you convince them you can do the job by feeling, showing and instilling them with confidence in your capabilities. You convince them that you want the job by demonstrating your enthusiasm for the job, company, product and projects in question.

Confidence

This will be maximised by being prepared (as above) by knowing your CV, the job-spec and how they relate. Prepare specific examples you plan to leverage and questions you would like to ask. Be conscious of using positive body language and voice projection. Practice the power of belief.

Enthusiasm

Prepare all the valid personal reasons why this job is a great match for you in order to demonstrate an authentic win-win. Why are you passionate about the industry, what do you like about the company, what attracts you to the job, are the location and salary going to satisfy you long term. Enthusiasm isn’t all about being ‘bubbly’ if that isn’t your style but demonstrating your appetite for the job somehow is important.

Be specific

The need to be specific will apply to many areas of the interview but particularly in terms of duties, responsibilities and achievements. Being specific and where appropriate using quantifiable examples moves you from making general claims about your suitability to giving evidence that you are the best candidate.

Be succinct

It’s a fine balance. You are going to want to answer questions fully, to score maximum points (either in the interviewer’s mind or often literally if you are being graded). However, you are also going to want to be succinct. The interviewer only has a certain amount of time and if they don’t get to ask all the questions then you certainly don’t get to score all the points. It’s easy with pressure and nerves to waffle on or go off on an irrelevant tangent. Much better to take a breath, get composure and then give a killer answer, rather than jumping in without thinking.

Ask for the job

I don’t think this is common interview advice but put in the right way, I think it is positive and powerful. This is typically for the end in respect to closing statements, and could be along the lines of: “On the basis of this conversation, I am even more excited about the job than when I applied. I would love to assume the role and look forward to hearing back.” This removes any doubt that you would be prepared to accept (offer dependent) and makes you a safer bet. Companies, like potential dates, hate being turned down and would prefer to ask someone who they know will likely say yes!

Any objections?

Again, I don’t think this a common area of interview advice, however, put in the right way I think this question can be a good strategic, assertive move. It again would come near to the end and would go something like: “I am very confident that I can meet all the requirements of the role, so do you have any questions or concerns?” If you are going to ask this, make sure you are ready to answer, address and perceived issues and hopefully overcome them.

So good luck with your current and future interviews. Expect success. The hiring company has a business issue to solve and given that you have been selected for interview, you are well qualified to solve this business issue. It is just about making sure that this comes across effectively.

The interviewers are also hoping that you are going to do well. So everyone is on the same side in that respect. My advice in short (as candidates who have worked with me will likely recall), is:

  • Be prepared
  • Be confident
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Be specific

If I can be of assistance in respect to interview preparation, hiring or job search issues across the spectrum, feel free to give me a shout.