A cover letter is an essential part of any job application. It’s your chance to make a great first impression on a potential employer and stand out from the crowd. But how do you go about writing the perfect cover letter in an increasingly competitive labour market? Well, here are 6 tips to write the perfect cover letter that will get your profile noticed by recruiters and hiring managers across the board. After all, we read dozens of cover letters on a daily basis… Some might say we’ve got the hang of it now!
1. Tailor your cover letter to the job
This means highlighting how your skills and experience align with the requirements of the job. Even though this can feel like tedious extra work, it really can make a difference. It shows you are genuinely interested in the role and company instead of sending blanket applications to every organisation within a 25 mile range of your home! In addition, you can tailor industry specific experience you have had over your career to clearly demonstrate that you are a good fit for the advertised role. Generally speaking, avoid using a generic cover letter for multiple job applications. This dilutes its content and is ultimately less effective.
Think about it; if someone were to contact you via email or phone to sell you a product, chances are you would be a lot less receptive if they called you “dear customer” instead of personalising the experience by using your name! Best practice is to write a cover letter template containing all of your information and then trim it down for what the job requires.
2. Address the Hiring Manager
Whenever possible, address your cover letter to the hiring manager or recruiter by name. This personal touch shows you’ve taken the time to research the company and are genuinely interested in the position. Generally, you’ll find the hiring manager for a vacancy by using LinkedIn or the organisation’s “meet the team” page.
Addressing someone directly instead of a generic-one-size fits all “dear Sir/Madam” can give off a much better first impression. From a more scientific perspective, research has shown that seeing your own name on a document has a powerful effect on ones attention and interest. So use this to your advantage and stand out by engaging your recipient like you would in a normal conversation!
3. Introduce yourself
Start to write your cover letter by introducing yourself and explaining why you’re interested in the job. Remember, tailor this to each role you’re applying for so it matches the job description and your experience aligns as closely as possible to the desired profile! Briefly mention how you came across the job opening and why you’re excited about the opportunity. When thinking about why you’re interested in the opportunity, make sure to ask yourself a few questions.
Am I interested in the company’s culture, values, and direction? – Mention that their brand is the reason you’re applying to the role.
Do I love the idea of the role? – Find a relationship between your professional and personal paths and make this the basis of your ‘perfect fit’ pitch.
Have I accomplished something that stands out? – explain how your achievements are exactly what the business needs (demonstrable growth, expertise, projects).
Don’t start your cover letter by a paragraph highlighting what job you’re applying for and where you saw it listed. The hiring manager or recruiter already knows what job you’re applying for, and your cover letter will automatically be placed in the ‘generic’ pile with countless others, regardless of the rest of your content.
4. Highlight your relevant experience
Use the body of your cover letter to highlight your relevant experience and skills. Be specific about how your past experience has prepared you for the job you’re applying for. Use examples to demonstrate your accomplishments and success in previous roles. Overall, you want to show them how the company will benefit from hiring you specifically instead of another candidate. What sets you apart from the rest? What projects have you spearheaded which have benefited your employers or your professional development?
At the end of the day, it’s about showing the business why you’re the right choice instead of telling them. After all, actions do speak louder than words! Of course, we all know what makes any business tick; numbers. Everything is down to cost and profit. So if you have had any experience working on projects which have had a measurable impact on a business’ bottom line, now’s the time to include them!
5. Close with an enthusiastic call-to-action
End your cover letter by expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity and asking for a chance to discuss your qualifications further. Be sure to thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration. Hiring managers want to see that you’re passionate about the job and probably most importantly, the company.
Show your enthusiasm by talking about what excites you about the position and the company culture. Highlight how your values align with the company’s and that you share the same vision for the business. This demonstrates that you’re a good fit for the company and that this opportunity would mean more to you than just a random job as a way to make some money. Crudely speaking, treat it like a Tinder conversation before the first date. Make them feel like their company is special and they are lucky to have come across your profile. Make sure to market yourself in a way where you would be doing them a favour by working for them, as opposed to the other way around. However, be careful to word your argument in a confident way instead of an arrogant way. This is a fine line to walk but it can make the difference.
6. Edit & Proofread
Before submitting your cover letter, make sure to edit and proofread it carefully. Typos and grammatical errors can make a bad impression on potential employers. If you can, get someone else to read your cover letter and give you potential feedback on its flow, format, and content. An exterior, impartial point of view can really help you to take a step back and view your content in a previously unseen way. This can help you exploit some newly found elements and charter some distinct lines of content such as personality traits which could be an asset to the role, or forgotten professional experience/hobbies which would highlight your soft skills more accurately.
Writing the perfect cover letter requires careful thought and attention to detail. Obviously, this can be quite daunting at first but hopefully by following these tips, you can create a cover letter in a breeze that will get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. Of course, if you think you would benefit from one-to-one support to write your cover letter and/or find your perfect job, get in touch with one of our consultants! On top of knowing what makes a compelling cover letter, CV, and best interview practices, they know their industries inside and out which can give you the extra edge you’re looking for! Good luck with your job search!
Handing in your notice can be a challenging decision to make, particularly when you have built strong relationships with your colleagues and employer. It can also be a stressful experience when you receive a counter-offer from your current employer, making it even more difficult to decide whether to go or stay and accepting a counter-offer. In this blog, we will discuss some tips for handling your notice and dealing with counter-offers.
1. Be Professional
When handing in your notice, it is essential to do so professionally. Ensure that you give your employer sufficient notice and provide a resignation letter outlining your reasons for leaving. You should also be prepared to answer any questions your employer may have and offer to help with the transition process.
2. Stay Positive
It is essential to remain positive and professional during your notice period. This will help to ensure that your colleagues and employer have a positive impression of you when you leave. In most cases, there is hardly ever a reasonable reason for burning bridges between yourself and your employer. Think of it as a mutually agreed and mature breakup; after it’s all said and done, why not meet up for coffee and reminisce about the old days? Who knows, they might even be able to help you in your career in the future by providing glowing references or even another role later down the line if you nurture this relationship.
3. Understand Your Reasons for leaving
Before accepting a counter-offer, it is crucial to understand your reasons for leaving. You should consider why you were looking to leave in the first place, whether it is for career progression, a better work-life balance or a more significant challenge. Consider whether your current employer can genuinely address these concerns. Remember that your employer is offering a counter-offer because there is something to counter. If you’re leaving because the problem is the people you work with or no career progression opportunities, an increase in salary isn’t going to magically fix this in the long run. This is primarily why 52% of people who have accepted a counter-offer end up leaving within 12 months.
4. Consider the Implications of a Counter-Offer
If you do receive a counter-offer, you should carefully consider the implications of accepting it. While it may seem attractive initially, accepting a counter-offer can often lead to disappointment in the long term. It is essential to consider whether the counter-offer is a genuine attempt to address your concerns or merely an attempt to keep you from leaving. It is in an employer’s interest to keep their existing employees from leaving as the recruitment process and the invested time is frequently more costly for an employer than meeting the demands of an employee.
5. Seek Advice
If you are unsure about whether to accept a counter-offer, it is advisable to seek advice. A recruitment agency such as ours can provide impartial advice and help you to make an informed decision. We can also help you to negotiate a counter-offer if you decide to stay.
6. Be Honest
If you do decide to leave, it is essential to be honest with your employer about your reasons for leaving. Not only will this help you to have closure and potentially help cultivate a positive relationship in the future, this will also help to ensure that your employer has a better understanding of why you are leaving and can address any concerns they may have about retaining staff in the future.
In conclusion, handing in your notice and dealing with counter-offers can be a challenging experience. It is essential to remain professional and positive when handing in your notice and to carefully consider the implications of a counter-offer. Seek advice from a recruitment agency if you are unsure about what to do. Ultimately, being honest with your employer and understanding your reasons for leaving will help to ensure a smooth transition and a positive impression when you leave. Regardless of what you choose to do in such a situation, feel free to get in touch with us for some professional advice on your next move.
19 JANUARY 2023, ASC Connections has won the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award for the third year running, an independent seal of excellence, which recognises businesses that consistently deliver a world-class customer experience.
Feefo established the Trusted Service Awards in 2014 to recognise brands that use the platform to collect verified reviews and receive exceptional feedback from their customers. The awards are unique because they truly reflect a business’s dedication to providing outstanding customer service by analysing feedback from real customers.
Working with over 6,000 brands, Feefo is the world’s largest provider of verified reviews, helping brands understand customers by analysing verified reviews and providing insight into trends, needs and habits.
With consumer confidence at near historic lows due to rising inflation, as well as research from the Institute of Customer Service revealing that complaints rose to 17.3% in the second half of 2022, this award celebrates brands that are successfully navigating tough market conditions to deliver exceptional service.
Feefo has presented Platinum Trusted Service Awards to businesses that have achieved Gold standard for three consecutive years. To receive a Gold Trusted Service Award, businesses must have collected at least 50 reviews with a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 4.9 between 1st January 2022 and 31st December 2022.
Neil McNally, MD at ASC Connections, commented: “We’re delighted to receive yet another Platinum Trusted Service Award from Feefo. Keeping our clients and candidates happy is our priority so the fact this award is based on feedback from real customers gives us confidence we are continuing to provide an exceptional level of service. The award also recognises just how hard our staff have worked under fresh challenges, with both rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis affecting both candidates and clients alike. As we enter a new year, we will continue to listen, understand and deliver what our clientele wants.”
Congratulating ASC Connections, Tony Wheble, CEO at Feefo, said: “This year has been a difficult one for so many businesses. I’m delighted to recognise thousands of our clients that have overcome various challenges to provide such high levels of customer service and satisfaction. The Trusted Service Awards have always been about recognising companies that go way beyond the norm in customer service and in turn receive great feedback from delighted customers. A particular congratulations to ASC Connections for winning a Platinum Trusted Service Award by providing great customer service consistently over a number of years. I look forward to seeing them continue to achieve next year and beyond.”
Covid-19, as we all know, has completely changed the game in many aspects of people’s working lives. More specifically, it’s no secret that in recent years a massively increasing number of interviews and meetings had to shift to a virtual setting to make sure everyone involved would be safe. We have all been in countless meetings both internal and external to our working lives over the years. Whether they relate to a professional environment, personal get togethers, or even parents evenings, we have all been exposed to meetings but for the most part on a face to face basis. However, we have all had video calls with friends and family or even with a manager attending a conference. The reality of this shift is that we have all had to adopt the new virtual standard imposed by the pandemic’s consequences in a very reactive manner. Of course, job interviews were and still are far from exempt from this paradigm shift.
The problem that lies with this is that many candidates, whilst potentially well versed in the art of face to face interviews, are perhaps not so used to attending interviews virtually. Furthermore, even though we have come out of the pandemic and no longer have restrictions on face-to-face interactions, virtual interviews have become a standard for many companies and industries. So, we thought we would give you a few tips and tricks on how to feel comfortable and on top of your game during your next virtual interview.
1. First impressions matter
Interviews, unlike a lot of virtual meetings, are a one off chance to make a lasting first impression which could positively change your life – or at least your career. Because of the ubiquitous nature of these calls and encounters, the importance of an interview can be lost in familiarity.
2. Dress to impress
Think about your outfit and attire; would you wear this if the interview were taking place at the business’ headquarters where you would meet with a multinational’s CEO? At the risk of sounding cliché, it is always better to overdress rather than underdress. It shows the interviewer that you care, even if you’re sat at home.
3. Check your virtual background
Is your virtual Teams or Zoom background appropriate or is it still set to that goofy aquarium effect from the last time you had a virtual drink with your friends? In essence, this comes down to simply being prepared before joining the interview and checking your settings.
4. Tidy up your real background
Is your real background neat and tidy? Remember, neat and tidy doesn’t necessarily mean plain white or bland. It can very much highlight your personality, especially if the company’s “vibe” is similar to yours, as long as it’s not overdone and tasteful (maybe take down your Metallica posters though).
5. Make sure you will not be disturbed
Are you likely to be disturbed? We have all seen this video of this consultant appearing on national television from his home office set up and his kids barging in only to be swept away by the other adult in the house. As funny and good natured as this was, let’s make sure something like this doesn’t happen to you and avoid the embarrassing blushing that will inevitably ensue. Make sure to let anyone else in the property that you have an interview lined up at a particular hour in the room you choose to set up shop in. Even a do not disturb sign on the door should do the trick!
6. Know your tech
Do you know the technology well enough? Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than malfunctioning tech, especially in such an important setting. Dropping a call due to an unreliable internet connection or being unable to use the software properly during an interview can hinder your chances of getting the role due to appearing potentially unprepared.
7. Test your tech
By extension; always test the tech! Before you hop onto the interview call, make sure that you have a reliable internet connection, functioning webcam, decent speakers, a good mic, etc. All of which should be standard in any modern laptop.
8. Display your real full name
Is your correct full name listed on the video conference software? Make sure that your full name is being displayed rather than a nickname. This small detail does show to the hiring team that you are professional and separate your personal life to your working life.
9. Watch your body language
This is just as relevant for video interviews as it is for any face-to-face interview. Your body language is an indicator of many different factors such as confidence, intent, and presence. Use it to help communicate what you want to say; frame yourself properly, adopt a good posture, smile, use your hands, all of the things you would naturally do in a face-to-face interview.
10. Do your research
Just like any interview whether this be face-to-face or virtual, you should know what the company you’re applying to does, their values, products/services, etc. as well as the role you’re applying to; what would be expected of you, how you match the required skills, etc. The good thing about virtual interviews however, is that you can have some Post-It notes set around your screen which can act as prompts without the interviewer being aware of them.
Overall it’s important to remember that even though virtual interviews seem and feel different to traditional on-site interviews, good practice remains very similar in both instances. It never hurt anyone to be prepared. Arguably, virtual interviews can be seen as easier than face-to-face ones as there seems to be less pressure due to being able to remain in a comfortable setting during the interview i.e: your home. However, some elements might be trickier in a virtual interview due to their intangible nature; it’s arguably harder to make a lasting positive impression on interviewers when attending remotely as there is limited human contact between the parties. Overall, remember preparation is key and take an interview as being a conversation. If they offered you an interview, this means they are already interested in you on paper, now it’s just a matter of figuring out whether you as a person fit in their idea of the role and organization. So be natural, be yourself, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just have a conversation like you would in other settings and you’ll be just fine.
Get in touch!
At ASC Connections, we make a point to help every candidate to feel as prepared and comfortable as possible for any interview as we know how much of a big deal they can be. Feel free to get in touch with us either via email or give us a call on 0121 236 1662 and ask us for any tips or advice regarding your next career move!
The Summer Wolf Run is taking place on the 5th of June this year in Leicestershire. Now, you may ask, what is a Wolf Run? The word WOLF, on top of depicting a majestic creature, is an acronym for Woods, Obstacles, Lakes & Fields. From this, one can easily deduce that the difficulty of such an event is high and, as a result, not for the faint hearted due to its extremely physical nature. Participants must complete a course of either 3 (youth), 5 or 10 kilometres and brave the woods, mud, and obstacles in order to progress through the terrain. In essence it does sound like a fun weekend activity to spend outside for the sports and fitness fans out there. However, Lisa’s goal in participating resides in raising awareness and funds for Fibromyalgia Action UK as she has been diagnosed with the condition back in March 2018.
When Lisa was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, similarly to most people in the UK, she had never heard of the condition or had any idea of what it meant for her. It is therefore very dear to her heart that awareness about the condition and what it implies be raised around the UK. So, what is Fibromyalgia? Simply put, it is a long term condition which causes chronic pain all over one’s body coupled with extreme fatigue, difficulty sleeping, muscle stiffness, and can cause problems with mental processes. These are the physical symptoms, however there are some significant impacts on mental health and one’s daily life.
In order to learn more about the condition, we decided to sit down with Lisa and ask her a few questions relating to it, how she deals with it on a daily basis and her drive behind participating in such a physical activity.
How did you react when hearing the diagnosis?
“When I was first diagnosed in March 2018, I had never heard of the condition. I ran quite a few Google Searches and as we all know when doing so for illnesses, immediately found the worst case scenarios! I was frightened of what was to come and how the condition would impact my life. I’m a very active person both at work and in my personal life and I thought that Fibromyalgia would halt this. The problem was that I couldn’t afford to stop working or decreasing my hours as like many other people in the UK, I’m a mum, Nanna, have bills to pay, and a mortgage, so taking a break was not an option!”
Why participate in such a physically demanding activity as a Wolf Run when suffering from Fibromyalgia?
“It started off as a thing you’d mention in a passing conversation really! Long story short, my friend Wendi heard me mention that I thought it would be fun and that I wished I could participate in a Wolf Run or a Colour Run but couldn’t because of my condition and she said let’s just do it! Before I knew it, I was signing up to the Wolf Run. Mind you, I haven’t gone into it blind. Since the 1st Covid lockdown, I’ve been trying to exercise more and go for runs with the Couch to 5k app. I’ve had amazing support from my family doing this as we’ve ended up all running together to motivate each other. While I was exercising, I figured out that I actually felt so much better after a run! I feel energised and accomplished. Even though the physical pain is still there, my mental health has drastically improved from regular exercise! All in all, it’s also for me to see whether I can do it, where my limits are, how high I can push them, and most importantly to make it fun! It’s definitely a challenge, but one I am excited and happy to take on!”
What message would you like to communicate about Fibromyalgia?
“I would like people to know more about the condition. While Fibromyalgia is quite common in the UK and the awareness of the condition exists, the understanding of what it entails can still be misconstrued. I would like people to understand that Fibromyalgia is not a visible condition, and has different levels of affliction which can vary depending on the day. If someone with the condition seems fine on one day, it doesn’t mean that the condition is not there or that they are faking it on worse days. In essence I guess I’m trying to ask people not to judge a book by its cover.”
We at ASC are extremely proud of Lisa and her commitment to this cause. If you would like to support her in her adventure, she has asked that you go through her JustGiving Page. She has set a target of £250 and all proceeds will be going directly to Fibromyalgia Action UK.
We are very supportive of employees who want to support charity or community initiatives. If this sounds like a place you’d like to work, contact Neil McNally today or visit our work for us pages.
6 Tips For Job Hunting During The COVID-19 Outbreak
While Coronavirus is the hot topic amongst your family, friends and colleagues, it is not only affecting the health of hundreds of people, it’s also affecting the workplace environment and job security of people across the UK.
Despite the uncertainty, it is important to remember that a lot of companies are still recruiting. Social distancing has become the new norm but this hasn’t made it impossible to apply and interview for the roles that are still available thanks to easy online applications and the possibility of phone and video interviews. So, here are a few tips to help you if you are job searching at the moment…
Don’t just rely on the same types of job searches you’ve been doing time and time again if these tactics aren’t getting you anywhere. Use a multi-channel approach to make sure you’re covering all the bases! A simple Google search will bring up tons of online job boards where you can search for jobs by location, salary, keywords and more. This is always a good starting point but there are other avenues available to you.
Have you been keeping a list of contacts from previous jobs, networking events or other relevant forms of communication? Start emailing these people to see if they have heard of any job opportunities! Do you know of any specific companies you’d love to work for but aren’t sure if they’re hiring? It can’t hurt to send them your CV and an explanation of why you believe you’d fit into the company and what you can do for them!
Finally, don’t forget about checking in with recruiters directly. Here at ASC we can do a lot of the hard work for you. We have our own jobs portal where we post all the latest job opportunities from our clients, and you can also upload your CV to receive job updates and career advice directly to your inbox. We can also help with restructuring your CV, tailoring your interview skills and providing you with industry insights.
Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone
Yes some companies are still recruiting, but others have chosen to pause their search for new employees due to having to send staff to work from home. This means there may not be as much variety within the specific industry you are wishing to work in. Therefore, it’s definitely worth keeping an open mind as to the kind of job you’re searching for and perhaps researching other industries to see if there’s more vacancies elsewhere.
Really take time to evaluate the experiences you have had before, what skills you have learned and which of those skills are transferable. Transferable skills are your secret weapon to opening up opportunities for yourself in areas of work you may not have thought about before and could be the difference between you successfully stepping out of your comfort zone or staying put in an industry where you have exhausted all avenues for employment.
Switch up your CV
Your CV is the most important document you have when applying to jobs. But did you know that you should be adjusting it every time you apply to a new role? It’s good practice to read the job description thoroughly for any job opportunity and then tailor your CV to highlight the skills and experience relevant to the opportunity. This makes it easier for the employers to see why they should hire you over someone else.
Anticipate delays and keep searching
While companies are dealing with the ramifications of Coronavirus, there may be delays in responses to your applications. Don’t let this get the better of you and make sure you keep searching and applying. The more research you do and applications you send out, the more likely you are to get a response. It also doesn’t hurt to follow up on an application just to say that you hope they received it, thank them in advance for taking the time to read through it and give them a short reminder of why you applied in the first place.
Vamp up your LinkedIn profile
Did you know that more than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn? It is the best social media platform at your disposal when it comes to job searching but it is also an opportunity to create your brand. Once an employer reads your CV, they may be tempted to look you up online and if your LinkedIn profile matches the information you’ve given in your CV they are more likely to see you as a trustworthy candidate.
If you already have LinkedIn, make sure all the information is up to date and make the effort to connect with people relevant to your experience and the industry you wish to work in. If you haven’t got LinkedIn make sure you create a profile now! It really can boost your chances at not only finding job vacancies but also the likelihood of being asked for an interview.
Practice your phone and video etiquette
If you manage to get to the interview stage of an application process this is now likely to take place over the phone or over video platforms like Skype due to the social distancing advice from Government. If your interview is over the phone, this can make it more difficult to get your personality across as the employer will solely rely on the tone of your voice and range of vocabulary. Try doing some mock interview questions with friends or family over the phone and get them to be honest with you about how you could improve your speech.
If your interview is over Skype or a similar platform, make sure you are camera ready! It can be off-putting using these platforms as you can see yourself at the same time as the interviewer – make sure you keep your eyes on your interviewer instead of staring at yourself as this could mean you’re tempted to fidget or get distracted from what is being asked. It’s also good practice to make sure you have a go-to space in your home where you can do these interviews. It certainly wouldn’t look professional sitting in your bed in your loungewear!
Looking for a job can be tiring work but that’s where ASC can help. We take that stress away, supporting you to not only find a job and company that is right for you, but we can also help you achieve your career goals! Find out more about how we can help here.
Women In Logistics: How To Attract Female Talent To The Industry
With the logistics industry still behind in terms of diversity, Yvonne Noble, Operations Manager at Balloon One, shares her insight into what companies can do to encourage more women to apply for roles in logistics.
Research suggests that a higher level of diversity within an organisation contributes to higher financial returns and performance. Yet, according to recent research, 85% of the logistics workforce is made up of male employees, and 70% of companies even admit to paying men higher salaries compared to women, so there’s still a lot of work to be done.
On a smaller scale, if you create a more diverse and inclusive company culture, you’ll enhance your business’ ability to attract, recruit, and retain the best possible talent. Below are my tips for attracting more female talent.
Start campaigning early
Sourcing female talent starts with inspiring girls to pursue a career in logistics from a young age. You can preserve the future talent pipeline by helping to encourage them to take STEM subjects at school.
STEM subjects equip young people with many of the skills they need to succeed in logistics, from data analysis to problem solving. While on the rise, girls are still less likely to take STEM subjects like science and maths at GCSE, as well as at A-Level.
So, we need to establish a more balanced proportion at school level, which can be achieved by planning and hosting outreach programs and events. You can do this alone or by teaming up with an organisation such as STEMettes who specialise in these experiences.
Gen Z are more likely to consider STEM career paths than millennials or boomers (Best Colleges), so you should also work on attracting female talent through apprenticeships that target this generation, who are currently school leavers and recent graduates.
If you don’t have an apprenticeship scheme in place, develop one and attend careers fairs at schools and colleges to engage with potential candidates early on. That way, you can hire more female candidates straight out of education rather than having to convince an older generation to switch careers.
Change perceptions of the industry
For some industries like logistics and warehousing, out-of-date perceptions can be a big obstacle to overcome if you want to attract a more diverse range of talent. That’s why it’s important to highlight the varied roles within logistics to show there’s a job to suit every strength and weakness — from management to planning and operations — in your marketing.
It’s also important to show that there are plenty of opportunities for development and progression within the industry, and that roles in logistics can make you a desirable candidate in careers up and down the supply chain. So, women who learn key transferrable skills in logistics can move on to anything from manufacturing to buying roles later on.
Some women may also think they won’t be able to physically ‘keep up’ with some of their male colleagues, particularly if they’re working at a warehouse operative level, for example. So, it’s worth making it clear that modern warehouses are full of high-tech machinery and state-of-the-art software to improve productivity and efficiency, and that a high level of physical strength isn’t necessarily important.
Get the hiring process right
Word travels fast, and women will be less likely to apply for a role in logistics if the hiring process puts them off. It’s important to review your job profiles and descriptions to get rid of gendered language that could make them feel the position isn’t for them. Try to avoid using aggressive or competitive language in your adverts, such as “lead”, “analyse”, and “confident”, and favour words like “support”, “understanding” and “responsible” instead.
Mentioning an inclusive culture and offering flexible working schedules is a must for diverse companies, as they are far more appealing to candidates both male and female. Plus, a good work/life balance can have an amazingly positive impact on productivity and staff retention, so you’ll benefit from these perks too.
It will also help to increase the visibility of women in your workplace, including having female staff present in the interview to demonstrate the diversity at your company and help put candidates at ease. This will also prove useful should the candidate have any gender-specific questions, as the woman interviewing will be able to provide valuable insight.
Then, once you’ve hired a new female member of staff, make sure she has access to female mentors and role models within your company who can show her the ropes.
Hiring more women can be a challenge if you aren’t receiving enough applications. The tips in this guide can help you attract more women to your logistics company, so the industry can benefit from a more diverse range of talent.
Yvonne Smith is Operations Manager at the supply chain technology consultancy, Balloon One. Having been with the company since 2006, when it was a fraction of its current size, Yvonne has sat on the management team since 2012. She has leveraged her career in administrative roles to bring in both company-wide and functional process improvements. Whilst managing the Service team, Yvonne was credited with driving customer satisfaction to new levels.
If you’re looking for a job or star candidate within the Supply Chain, Procurement or Logistics industry, our ASC Connections team go the extra mile. You can find out more about what we do here.
It’s never been more important to understand how to be a successful recruiter. Why? The UK recruitment industry is competitive. There are currently circa 40,000 recruitment agencies and 115,000 people employed within it and it keeps on growing. If you think that 84% of recruitment agencies set up between 2008 and 2018, it’s critical to ensure you are standing out in a crowded market place.
The Key To Being a Successful Recruiter
This article aims to help you understand the qualities of a successful recruiter, factors that impact your success as a recruiter and tips from real-life recruiters.
Qualities of Successful Recruiters
As mentioned, it’s a competitive marketplace. It can be a very rewarding career but it is also very hard work as successful recruiters will tell you. To stand out and be successful you need to have certain qualities. Take a look at the list below and see if you have what it takes to make it to the top:
Resilience – You’ll have good and bad times in recruitment, but you have to be resilient to get through the bad patches.
Confidence – if you don’t believe in your candidate, client or your ability to do the job, no one else will.
Driven – Recruitment is a target driven industry, you need to be driven to meet those targets and goals.
Motivated – Without this quality, you will not make it as a recruiter. You should be buzzing to come to work every day and if you’ve had a bad day, draw a line and start a new day with a fresh perspective.
Good Communicator – you’ll be dealing with various people and will need to adapt your communication style to suit. This is to ensure you’re getting your message across loud and clear.
Multitasker – you wear many hats as a recruiter. You need the ability to find candidates, book in interviews, arrange start dates, liaise with clients, bring on jobs and the list goes on.
Problem Solver – thinking on your feet is needed in this job to resolve issues. Such as why you can’t find a candidate, or why a candidate should take your job and not another.
Factors that impact your success as a recruiter
As well as having the right qualities, you also need to ensure you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing in recruitment. Here are some factors that can impact your success.
How personal are you?
Customer experience is everything now. This means you need to make every interaction with clients and candidates personal. Instead of asking ‘are they interested in ‘x job’ or ‘x candidate’, ask them more about themselves.
People love to talk about themselves so take the time to really listen. What this means is don’t be a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ person. Understand what they are saying, ask more questions and make the job or candidate personal to them. For instance, a client tells you they are struggling to find someone who is the right cultural fit. Instead of agreeing and advising you’ll look to find someone who is right, keep asking questions about the culture. Not only what type of person but why weren’t the previous hires right, was there anything in the interview stages that they could have picked up on etc.
In addition and if possible, offer something of value too such as free advice. i.e this might help you because. It will help you build relationships better.
Can you tell a good story?
People buy from people because they can relate to certain scenarios or situations. As well as making your interactions personal, turn them into stories people can relate to. For example, you are speaking to a candidate who is telling you they want to leave their current job because of their Manager. You tell a story of another candidate in a similar situation and the success they have had in their career since moving and working under a Manager that is better suited to them.
It sounds so simple but is easily forgotten when you get into the day to day tasks. As a recruiter, you will be under pressure to meet targets, such as phone time, jobs on, CVs screened and the list goes on. A successful recruiter always remembers that the person they are speaking to is a human not a target.
Therefore, be empathetic and understanding. Never be rude if it doesn’t go your way. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you would like that conversation to go. There is enough misconception about the recruitment industry and recruiters, don’t be one of those ‘typical recruiters’ that people talk about.
A big factor that impacts your success as a recruiter is your ability to build a strong reputation. To do this you need to think outside the box and do things differently.
When building your reputation think as yourself as a brand. You need to raise awareness about who you are and what you do. Don’t just post jobs on boards and social media or email with jobs and candidates or phone asking if a company has a job. Provide value.
As a recruiter, you speak to people every day. Without realising you find out what’s going on in the market, find out common questions or themes from candidates and clients. Use this information to your advantage. For example, is there a common issue coming up when you speak to candidates?
Recently one of our recruiters who works in the controls and automation space found many of his candidates were advising how easy it was to transfer skills between PLC platforms. However, employers were unwilling to consider this. He used this as a talking point, created a debate about it on social media and wrote a LinkedIn and website article. All of which started to build his credibility as a recruiter and the knowledge within the market.
How narrow is your market?
To really build your credibility as a recruiter, you need to develop your knowledge. The best way to do this is by focusing on a niche or vertical market. The less broad it is, the more success you will have.
Are you getting too complacent?
When you start reaching your targets every week, month, quarter and for the year, you start reaping the rewards, financially and through sense of achievement.
However, sometimes when things are going well, it’s all too easy to sit back and let things happen. Never become complacent. You never know what is around the corner, your biggest client could pull the plug. What then? Always strive for more and push yourself to achieve harder targets.
Tips from Recruiters
What a better way to understand how to become a successful recruiter than taking tips from real recruiters.
Don’t just send cv’s to jobs for the sake of fulfilling a KPI. If you cannot find what they are looking for, take a consultative approach and discuss it with them. You will come up with ideas and alternative options in which to be successful in finding them the talent they need.
Mark Dawson, Managing Consultant
Get to know your candidates, keep in touch with them regularly and be aware of their other activity. They will buy into you as a person and this can sometimes be the difference in them taking your role over someone else’s.
Marie Weston, Internal Recruiter
Focus on selling the opportunity to the candidate, whether it’s via an advert, over the telephone or face to face. Understand the strengths of your company and the position and then sell, sell, sell. Don’t just focus on what the candidate can bring to the business because in a candidate led market (like the one we’re in), you need to stand out from the crowd.
Neil Edwards, Business Manager
If you feel you are doing all of the above and you’re still not achieving, maybe it’s time to consider moving to a company that will help you to become a successful recruiter.
The importance of work-life balance has become high on the agenda for the majority of working people. However, most don’t seem to be able to get the balance right for them.
According to a recent study by Investors in People, 22% said they are looking for a job with a better work-life balance. Furthermore, a whopping 77% said they felt stressed at work suggesting their work-life balance is out of sync.
I was recently speaking to someone to potentially join us here at ASC. They were working 12 hour days to get their work done. They felt pressured and stressed and thus this was having an effect on their home life. Although work-life balance is subjective to the individual, it’s crucial to get it right.
That’s why I’ve written this article, to give you an understanding of the importance of work-life balance on your career and personal life.
The level of prioritisation between personal and professional activities in an individual’s life and the level to which activities related to their job are present in the home.
They also mention the reason why the importance of work-life balance has become more prominent in recent times is because of technology. If you think back to a time before the internet, smartphones and cloud-based tech, why would anyone have a need to bring their work home? Now people are given work mobiles, laptops and can remotely work from anywhere.
Whilst this can support flexible working arrangements, it can become a grey area. Technology shifts the boundaries of clear work time and personal time.
That is why it’s critical to get your work-life balance right for you.
Why is it important?
Work-life balance is important for many reasons including your health (physical and mental), your happiness, your relationships in and out of work and your ability to do the job well.
Although you may think it’s pretty obvious why it’s important, not everyone realises their balance is out of sync.
Some of us are workaholics. Just because you enjoy your job, it does not mean you should constantly be working. The key ingredient to work-life balance is the ability to relax, switch off from work and re-charge the batteries. There is more information on how to do this later on in the article. The next section focuses on the impact of a good vs poor work-life balance.
The impact of good vs poor work-life balance
A Poor Balance
Earlier, I referred to the person who was working 12 hour days, this is an example of poor work-life balance. So, what are the impacts of this?
Increased Tiredness: This could cause you to make mistakes. Thus, leading to questions about your ability to do the job and in extreme cases, loss of your job.
Increased Stress: Long hours impacts your mental and physical well-being. For example, it can cause a lower immune system which may result in more sick days. Not something your employer will be happy about.
Breakdown of relationships: Lack of work-life balance means you will see family and friends less. They may question this, leading to losing friends, breaking up with your partner or not seeing your children. Is this what you want?
Working Expectations: If you don’t have the balance right and always put in the hours, this then becomes the norm and your employer will expect it. You then fall into a trap of long hours with no or little downtime and ultimately burnout.
Risk of Health Issues in Later Life: According to Medical News Today, a poor work-life balance can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and anxiety/depression in later life. Is that how you envisaged retirement?
A good balance
On the contrary, getting work-life balance right has many added benefits. You see, a good work-life balance isn’t just about the division between work and personal time. It’s actually about a sense of fulfilment in the key areas of our life; work, family, friends, and self.
You need to ask yourself if you feel satisfied with all four of those areas. Balancing these means you feel you have achieved and are enjoying life. However, the balance can change from day to day or even year to year. Your balance when you are single will be different if you are married, hence advising it’s subjective to the individual.
Regardless of your situation, finding a good balance provides you with increased happiness, motivation, feeling of being valued, productivity and focus. These all lead to better health and wellbeing, reduced stress, better sleep, and personal and career development.
Tips to get your work-life balance right
As mentioned previously, getting the right work-life balance is about understanding your own needs. Below are some tips to support you with this:
Listen to your body. If you’re feeling tired and stressed, it’s time to take a break. Book a holiday or some time off.
Find something you enjoy for you. This could be as simple as reading a book or watching a movie. You may have a hobby such as riding your motorbike or the gym. Whatever it is, it should be about making time for yourself and no one else.
Be strict with yourself. Decide how many overtime hours you’ll do a day or a week and stick to it. Don’t say I’ll just stay for another hour at work, go home and make time for your friends and family. This also means not looking at your work emails on your mobile outside of these hours.
Find an employer who wants to support your work-life balance. Find a company that is right for your needs.
Prioritise the important stuff. This is at work and home and don’t let other things get in the way.
Understand when you are most proactive in the day. Use this to your advantage to get things done that need doing.
Be firm. Don’t be the person who says yes to every request, manage people’s expectations or you’ll be a walking doormat! That is in and outside of work.
Work-life balance benefits your employer too
Understanding if you’re achieving a good work-life balance allows you to see if you’re employer is supporting you. Work-life balance doesn’t just benefit you, it also helps your employer. If you’re happier, more motivated and focused, you’re going to be more productive, have improved performance and take less sick days. You are also likely to want to stay there which reduces the cost of finding a new hire.
So, there we have it, the importance of work-life balance. Hopefully, you now understand what it is, the benefits and tips on achieving it.
If you feel you’re not getting a good work-life balance and your employer is unwilling to support you, maybe it’s time to move jobs. Register with us and we’ll contact you to discuss what you are looking for. You can also search through all of our live jobs at any time.
If you think ASC could be a good place to work then please contact me, Marie Weston, to find out more.