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Women In Logistics: How To Attract Female Talent To The Industry

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

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For some industries like logistics and warehousing, out-of-date perceptions can be a big obstacle to overcome if you want to attract a more diverse range of talent.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.

Recruitment Careers: What Makes a Successful Recruiter?

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

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?
A girl sitting on a floor wearing jeans, trainers and brown top with a notebook and pen in front of her, a laptop on her lap and the words your story across the image
Your 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.

Being Human

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.

Your Reputation

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.

The words take time to build your brand written with a fountatin pen on paper
Take time to build your personal brand

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.

business man, recruitment consultant

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

Business woman, Internal Recruiter

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


What Next?

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.

Have a chat with Marie Weston and let’s see if ASC is the right company to support your recruitment career.

Articles you may be interested in:

Recruitment Careers: The Importance of Company Culture
Recruitment Careers: Your Market Sector
6 Key Signs it’s Time To Leave Your Job

External Sources
Recruitment Agency Statistics

Recruitment Careers: The Importance of Company Culture

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

In this Recruitment Careers article, we look at the importance of company culture within your recruitment job and how it affects your career progression.

There are many factors that can influence your success as a recruiter but if you’re working within a recruitment company whose culture and values don’t align with your own, it can be detrimental.

You could be a good recruiter who has had success, you then join a company and you don’t seem to be doing as well but you can’t understand why. Sometimes, it’s not you, it’s the environment you’re in, the people you’re surrounded by, the way you’re managed, the attitude the company has towards certain tasks and instead of thriving, you’re finding a way to survive.

Don’t let your recruitment career stagnate because of factors you can’t control.


We chatted with one of our longest-serving consultants, Mark Dawson about why he has stayed at ASC long term and the importance of company culture for recruitment careers.

You’ve been in recruitment for a long time, where did it all start?

My recruitment career started in 2001 when a friend introduced me to a rec to rec as they felt I would suit the recruitment industry.

I met with a Branch Manager of a leading industrial recruitment business in Birmingham. I was soon offered the chance to join them as a Trainee Consultant placing shop floor and industrial temps into businesses across the city.

What happened next?

I worked my way up to Senior Recruitment Consultant level and then felt I needed a change. I started working for a large global recruitment organisation as I wanted to experience a corporate culture. This is where I found my passion for the Supply Chain, Procurement and Logistics sector and worked for various corporate agencies recruiting senior people within this market. I even worked for a large corporate beverage business as an internal recruiter.

However, after a number of years in the corporate world, I felt this type of environment wasn’t for me anymore. After various interviews and three offers, I decided to join ASC. After spending time with the Directors, I connected with them and felt they were the best fit.

What made you choose ASC?

Firstly, I was used to working for large, corporate agencies and the restrictions they can place on Consultants to operate. I didn’t want to just be a number anymore. A smaller business with no red tape and a direct line into the powers that be where I could make a difference suited me better. I met their Managing Director, Neil Mcnally first and the first interview lasted well over 2 hours. During this, I felt a synergy and a common ground to the business, its direction, and values. At a later date, I met with the Operations Director, Jane Storer and again it was a long interview with a lot of common ground. I felt that ASC could offer me a fresh challenge and provide a great working environment where I could excel!

Why did you want to move recruitment agencies?

Having worked for some of the largest recruitment companies in the world, you are just a number and you can sometimes feel a little lost in the size. These organisations can also restrict your growth somewhat by placing geographical restrictions. I was not able to operate in postcodes where most of the big businesses in my market operated which reduced the size of my market. This meant that career progression wasn’t moving forward the way I had envisaged and I felt stuck. I wanted to move to a business where I knew the Directors, I was clear on the direction the business was taking and had no restrictions allowing me to thrive. Where basically, your career progression was all on you rather than factors outside your control.

Before moving to ASC what were your career goals and why do you feel you didn’t achieve them?

I wanted to move into a management position with a team. It is difficult to do this in a large, corporate agency due to the restrictions mentioned earlier, the way they promote people or what you can apply for internally. I just felt to reach my goal would take longer than I wanted.

Have you now achieved your career goals at ASC?

Yes, I started here as a Senior Recruitment Consultant developing a Supply Chain and Procurement desk, a market the company had not ventured into before. Using all of my knowledge and a few old contacts I was able to make an impact quickly. Within 12 months I had employed a Trainee Resource Consultant to assist me in candidate generation. From that point, I continued to develop and pick up more responsibility for a wider team covering Business Support roles. I got promoted to a Managing Consultant responsible for a team of 3 consultants and myself.

My aim is to now develop and grow the team further and become a real recruiter of choice for a range of Supply Chain businesses. My long term goal is to grow and train my own replacement enabling me further growth at ASC.

How has ASC supported you to reach your goals?

I feel without the early support and freedom provided it would have been difficult to grow my desk . ASC provided a personal development plan with bespoke training for my needs. Unlike corporate companies where it’s company-wide training in groups, this was more one on one. This enabled me to train, mentor and develop another consultant, proving I was doing well and lead to my promotion.

Why do you feel the culture at ASC is better for you than previous companies you’ve worked for?

At ASC you can have more of a say in how the business and your desk are run. You can choose the direction it takes and have a real input into this. Having the Directors so close to hand aids this greatly.

Why do you think finding the right company culture is important?

You need to not only enjoy the work you do but also enjoy the business you work at. If you have aligned values and goals, and the culture is one that provides this then it can only really provide you with the potential to succeed.

Hopefully, this is an interesting way to understand why choosing the right company culture for your recruitment career is important.

What Next?

Find out if you’re recruitment career is on the right track with our Recruitment Career Checklist.

A great way to understand where you are and what you need to do to achieve your career goals.

If you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Find out more about working here and if the markets we recruit for would be of interest to you.

Common Interview Questions & Answers

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

We know interviews can be a daunting experience, even if you know you can do the job you are applying for. However, regardless of the role, there are common interview questions that are regularly asked by employers to understand who you are and if you will fit into their culture. They assess your motivations, aspirations and work ethic.

Common Interview Questions

Here, we give you a guide to common interview questions and how best to answer them with examples.

Why do you want this job?

This has to be one of the most common interview questions asked. We suggest thinking carefully about this question. Stress the positive aspects which have attracted you to applying for this position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or the job in question.

Good Examples

  • I have heard lots of good things about your company and that combined with my research has really got me enthused about working for you.
  • I am looking to work for a company that I can further grow and develop my skills and my experiences and I feel that this role and your business will enable me to do that.

Bad Examples

  • I’m looking for a job closer to home.
  • I looking to move to a job that offers me more money.
  • I’m not getting on with my current manager and need to get out.

What qualities do you think will be required for this job?

Their advertisement for the job may help you a little bit, but you should also think of the other qualities that may be required. These may include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, analytical skills, etc.

Example:

I think you will need someone that can effectively manage your customer’s expectations and deliver a high level of service. I feel that my years of experience and numerous examples of where I have done so put me in a strong position to perform well in the role.

What can you contribute?

This is your chance to shine. Tell them about your achievements in your previous position(s) which are relevant to the new position you are applying for.

Examples:

I am cool under pressure and I am able to find a positive in any situation to overcome the challenge. For example, in my previous role, I had a deadline to organise x project. I decided to utilise the expertise of those around me to support me in completing the project on time.

My years of experience in x industry will support the growth of your business. In my last role, I managed to bring on 10 new clients from my connections within the industry, resulting in x revenue over x years for that company.

Why do you want to work for this company?

Emphasize the positive reasons why you want to join their company, but avoid aspects such as more money or shorter hours. These would not endear you to a prospective employer.

Examples:

You have a really strong reputation in the market and I want to be a part of this.

I feel that your company values are in line with my own such as your focus to become more sustainable as a business.

What do you know about this company?

This is your chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their company. Give them a rundown of their products/services, sales figures, news, company figures, customers, etc.

Examples:

History and Structure:

You were founded in X and Operate in X countries and are a leader in the market. You have X employees across X sites.

Market Knowledge:

You are number x in your industry and have x products that are big sellers in your market.

What interests you about our product (or service)?

thinking bubble with a lightbulb in the middle

Again, your research into the company should aid you in answering this question. Have they won any awards for their product innovations or service?

Example:

You have some of the most innovative products within your market and this has been proven with your industry award for xxx. I am interested to understand more about the thinking behind the products and achieving such good standards.

What can we (the new company) offer that your previous company cannot offer?

Tread carefully here! Again do not mention money. In other words, stress opportunities for personal growth, new challenges, etc.

Examples:

I want to work for a company long term where I can progress. You offer various progression routes and you really invest in your employees. I feel I have gone as far as I can in my current company.

You have a leading product that I am really excited to work with and support with its development.

What do you like and dislike about the job we are discussing?

a blackboard with a smiley face in green, neutral face in orange and sad face in red written with chalk. A tick is next to the green smiley face.

Likes: stress things such as a new challenge or the opportunity to bring fresh experience to the company.

Example: I like that I will be able to take on more responsibility and welcome the challenge

Dislikes: Imply there is nothing to dislike about the job, which is why you are so interested.

Example: There is nothing that I dislike the sound of at all. If that was the case I probably wouldn’t have applied and accepted an interview.

Why did you choose a career in …?

Be positive about your reasons. If you have changed careers make a logical argument as to why you did so.

Example:

I decided t pursue a career in x industry because I had a real passion for it personally. This has only fuelled my ability to develop my career.

How much does your last job resemble the one you are applying for? What are the differences?

The interviewer is trying to see how well you would fit into the position you are applying for. So you should stress the similarities rather than the differences. When it comes to discussing the differences it will help your case if you can show that either you have done something similar in the past or that you can quickly pick up the new skills.

Example:

It is a very similar role, just with a different process and software. I will be able to learn quickly and be up to speed and operational in a short time.

The products are very similar, however, yours are different in terms of quality and innovation and I feel that I can perform even better in the role due to this.

Why did you join your previous company? Did they live up to your expectations? Why are you leaving now?

Always be positive about your reasons for joining and leaving a company. Be very careful that you do not say anything negative about your present employer. If you do, the new company will wonder what you will say about them when you leave. You might want to stress that you are looking for a new challenge and that you feel that the company that is interviewing you fits the bill!

Example:

My previous company gave me a great opportunity to develop as a manager and are a great company to work for, however, I feel I have progressed as far as I can and it’s time for me to take on a new challenge at this stage in my career.

Explain the organisational structure in your last company and how you fitted into it?

It’s important to realise, this sort of question may be used to find out whether your old job is at a comparable level to your new job. If the new job being discussed would be a step up the ladder you will need to show that you are ready for a more demanding position. You may be able to show that you have already had many of the responsibilities and the necessary skills which would be required for the next step.

Example:

In my current role, I work in a team of 10, we all report to one manager who reports into the director of the company. I also have one person who reports into myself. As part of my role, I have on occasions stood in for my manager and have provided updates on team performance and project progression to the director.

How long have you been looking for a new job?

If you have been unemployed for a long time this may be a rather tricky question to answer. But be honest. If you have been away on holiday or done some voluntary work you could mention this.

Examples:

If you are still employed

I don’t want to take a job just for the sake of it so am waiting for the right career opportunity to come up.

If you are unemployed

Whilst I have been looking for a new job, I have been studying for x qualification to strengthen my knowledge of the sector.

I have been volunteering at x company which has supported me to develop management skills.

What are you looking for in a new job?

Make sure your answer fits in with the company who is interviewing you. A suitable reply would be that you are looking for a new job where you can apply your existing skills and learn new ones.

Example:

In my current role, I have developed competent production planning skills. I am looking for a role where I can add to my current skill-set through being given the responsibility of more complex production planning requirements.

Are you considering any other positions at the moment?

If you are say so, but do not give too many details away – it will weaken your negotiating position later. If you do not have any other job offers at the moment just say that you have a few interviews in place.

Example:

As I am actively looking, I am considering a few select roles that meet my criteria’

What did you think of your manager/supervisor?

Say that he/she was the sort of person you could learn from and you communicated well, which meant that the task in hand was completed on time.

Example:

My manager gave me support when I needed it, knew when I needed to be put under pressure and provided constructive feedback which helped me develop my skills.

What did you do on a day to day basis?

Stress the positive things you did including your achievements. Even if some or much of it was paperwork, you can still show your interest in the way it was tackled.

Example:

As my role as Sales Administrator, my day to day duties included processing sales orders, answering queries from our clients and stock control. I really enjoyed building relationships with our clients and learning about how the companies products were used for their business.

How would you describe yourself or How would others describe you?

Choose characteristics that fit with the role you are interviewing for. If it is a sales role, talk about soft skills such as communication. If it’s a finance role, perhaps attention to detail. Either way, keep it relevant. There is a tendency from people to only focus on the positive traits but it shows a good level of self-awareness if you can balance the answer perhaps with an area of development that you or another has identified for you to work on.

Example:

I am extremely approachable and put people at ease when they talk to me. However, I’m not afraid to challenge a difference of opinion or rejection.

What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it?

arrows in an archery board

You should pick an achievement which is related to their needs and talk through it using the STAR method.

S – Situation – explaining this initially will give context to the example
T – Task – give details of your responsibilities in the situation
A – Action – demonstrate how you responded or took charge
R – Result – Explain the impact you made or the lessons you learned

There are great examples of this here.

What has been your biggest failure?

Keep it work related if possible and explain why you feel it is your biggest failure and more importantly, what you have learned from it and how would you apply that in future situations?

What Next?

If you don’t seem to be able to get past interview stage, maybe we can help. Register with us and one of our consultants will be in touch to:

  • Talk through your experience, situation and what you are looking for
  • Match you with companies and roles that are right for you
  • Help you prepare for your interviews to give you the best chance of success

Recruitment Careers: Your Market Sector

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

In our latest Recruitment Careers series, we look at the importance of choosing the right market sector to recruit within and how this impacts your success as a recruiter.

Recruitment careers are great if you are an ambitious and driven individual. You can become successful very quickly because you can build your own mini business. It’s exciting, challenging and rewarding all rolled into one.

However, in our experience, the market you choose to specialise in impacts your success. Why? Well, like with anything in life, the more interest you have in something, the more motivated you will be to learn, talk about it and in recruitment sell it.

Recruitment careers involve engaging with people every day about the industry they work in. If you don’t have an interest in this, it would be like sitting with a group of people who are talking about a topic you don’t understand, have no interest or opinion of and ultimately become bored.

You cannot see recruitment careers as a job, a means to an end as if you do, you will not succeed. Therefore, if you’re thinking about a recruitment career, choose to recruit within an industry that interests you, one that you can connect with people.

To give you a better understanding we spoke to Mathew Ram- Gopal, an experienced recruitment consultant with over 15 years’ in the industry. He talks about the importance of selecting a niche market rather than a broad one and his experience of why he chose the market he did and why he changed markets.

1. You’ve been in the industry for a long time, in your opinion, why do you think choosing a niche market is important for your recruitment career?

When you work a niche market all your activity ties in together – every candidate you speak to could be suitable for more than just the one vacancy you initially had in mind for them.  The leads you gain from them can generate vacancies which are suitable for the other similar Candidates you have on your books.

Also, I believe it’s best to have a clear identity – by stating that you specialise in a market you gain instant credibility. You’re seen as an industry expert, someone that can offer help, advice and knowledge.

2. You seem really interested and passionate about the market you recruit for, do you think this is a big factor when deciding on the market you want to recruit for?

If you don’t have an interest in the vertical market you’ll get bored and it’ll become more of a chore.  Both Clients and Candidates will pick up on this.

3. You changed the market you recruit for partway through your recruitment career, why was this?

Although I had an interest in my market, I found that from the activity I was putting in I wasn’t getting the results I was hoping for or expecting.  This was mainly down to that particular market lacking urgency – they could normally divide the workload amongst other staff until the perfect candidate came along.

4. What advice would you give to someone when thinking about what market to recruit for?

Find something that interests you, research it, find out the demand for Candidates in that market, and who your competition would be. If it looks like you can reach or exceed target after crunching a few numbers then it’s worth looking into further.

For example, when I decided my original market wasn’t bringing the results I wanted I researched into other areas. After a conversation with someone in the office, the Injection Moulding & Plastics industry looked promising. Not only did the numbers add up but the technical and scientific side to the roles I’d be recruiting for was something that fascinated me and I wanted to know more. The rest, as they say, is history, I haven’t looked back since.

5. Once you’ve decided on your market, how do you develop your knowledge to gain your reputation and credibility like you mentioned?

By speaking to Candidates, watching videos on YouTube, and by going on Client visits. You’ll start to pick up things and if you don’t understand something look it up and learn about it, after all, if it interests you, learning about it will be easier.

6. Have you got any other advice for those thinking about which market they should recruit within?

Look at it as your own business, and make a business plan. Preparation is vital!

In conclusion…

To summarise, pick a market that interests you but do your research to ensure it will bring the results you want, keep developing your knowledge online and through client and candidate conversation and plan to ensure your success.

What Next?

There you are, an introduction to the importance of choosing your market within recruitment. If you have any questions on this, don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you think you’d like to work for ASC, find out more about working here and if the markets we recruit for would be of interest to you.

Building a Personal Brand

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

Following on from the previous post, why personal branding is important for your career, here we discuss the impact building a personal brand will have on your job search and how to get it right.

What is a Personal Brand (re-cap)

Whether you are successful in your career or just starting out, building a personal brand can attract the attention of potential employers. Furthermore, your personal brand will give you the opportunity to showcase your experience and knowledge in a different way.

Personal branding is no different from branding a company or a product, done correctly, it is very powerful. To illustrate this, read the story below from Lars Lofgren, CEO of Quick Sprout.

How to Build a Personal Brand

Above all building a personal brand will differentiate you from others. Below are the 4 key steps to help you get started.

1. What is your Personal Brand?

Black board with the words who are you written in chalk
Who are you?

Like everything in life, you need to have a plan. Thus, the saying goes ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. In other words, to create a strong personal brand, you need to determine what you would like to say.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. By developing and growing your personal brand, what is it you want to achieve?
    For example, are you looking for a new job and want to make some noise about your knowledge & experience in your sector? Are you looking to change careers and need a way to capture the attention of employers? Or, maybe you want to go freelance and need to start building your customer base.
  2. When you meet or connect with people what is it you want them to know about you? How do you want them to perceive you?
    Here think about what it is you want to achieve, then establish what your strengths are, the parts of your personality that will support you achieve your goal, what you are you passionate about in your industry or discipline.
  3. What do people think about you now?
    Once you know this, you can decide if you want to build on it or change it depending on what it is you want to achieve.
A girl sitting on a floor wearing jeans, trainers and brown top with a notebook and pen in front of her, a laptop on her lap and the words your story across the image
Your Story

When you have determined all of this you can decide what your story and message is. For instance, maybe you want to move into a management position within the Procurement industry and you’re looking to get the attention of procurement professionals.

Your story could focus on the journey you’ve taken into procurement, what has changed and what you predict will happen in the future. What is your opinion?

As a result (of this), the message would resonate you are in a position to advise and guide those more junior to you and have the knowledge to influence within the industry.

2. Who do you want to engage with your personal brand?

After you have established what it is you want to achieve, it’s important to understand who you want to reach. Not everyone will be interested in you or your personal brand.

Now, this doesn’t mean finding out the names of every individual but what type of people are they. For example, where are they in their career, are you trying to reach people who already have a good reputation, how do they engage with others, are they serious or relaxed?

A black and white side shot of a woman with long hair wearing a hat ith the words Identity and two arrows underneath are dispplayed across the image
Who is your target audience

Other things to think about are:

What do they want to achieve and how can you help them with that? Such as if they are a director of a manufacturing company and need someone to manage their production process to support growth, how would you help them do that, what would make them sit up and take notice of you.

Similarly, what are the things that frustrate them or what are the challenges they face, do you have an opinion or solution for this?

3. Where will you showcase yourself?

The main point to you building a personal brand is to showcase it to others. You can’t do this unless you have a platform to do so. Therefore, you need to think about where you want to share your story and your message.

With this in mind, if you are not sure, think about the people you want to notice you, where are they? For example, which social media channels are they on, what events do they attend or what do they read? Other platforms to think about are:

The word reputation written in black marker on a white board with a red line underneath and someones hand at the end of the word witht he marker pen
Your Reputation
  • An online portfolio
  • Your own Website
  • Writing articles for an external source
  • Holding your own events
  • Speaking at events
  • Developing your own podcast/video series

4. How will you showcase your message

Finally, think about how you will get your message out there, you know what you want to achieve, who to and where but how do you get there?

Firstly people are not going to come to you, you need to get out there online and offline and shout about who are and what you believe in (your message). 

By the same token, having a social media account, your own website/blog and video series to showcase your message is great but you need people to take notice – that requires work on your part.

The words take time to build your brand written with a fountatin pen on paper
Take time to build your personal brand

In addition, you need to network with people, share your opinions, have an opinion on others thoughts. How? Make it a priority to comment on other’s posts on social media each day, connect with people and when they accept contact them. Do the same when you meet people face to face and follow-up with them after.

Hence, when you start engaging and networking with people, people will start to take notice of what you have to say and will read your articles, listen to your podcast/videos, comment/share/like your posts and reach out to you personally. It’s at this point, your goals will become reality. You’ll get offered that job or you’re customer base will snowball.

Personal Branding Examples

Here are some personal Branding Pros that you may learn a thing or two from:

Gary Vaynerchuk – Someone who came from nothing and built not only his family business to be successful but now has an empire of businesses.

Neil Patel – In short, he is currently he is one of the top entrepreneurs in the U.S and he started his entrepreneurial lifestyle at the age of 15.

A few things to remember

  • Consistency – don’t change your persona once you’ve developed it
  • Confidence – in who you are
  • Be Patient – it takes time to build your personal brand
  • Always Engage – always respond to those who engage with you
  • Be constant – decide how often you can post a social media post, write an article/blog or shoot a video and keep to that timeline. Albeit, the more you post the more often you will be seen.

Hopefully, talking through how to build your personal brand will support you to get it off the ground and make it a success.

You might also like:

How to write a good CV

How to succeed at Interview

7 Tips to Get Your Job Application Noticed

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why Work in Recruitment Marketing

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

I wanted to share my story and why you should consider working in recruitment marketing. Like most people who work within the recruitment industry, I fell into recruitment marketing. So, why work in recruitment marketing?

When I was at university, I have to be honest, my goal wasn’t to work in a recruitment agency. I had these visions of moving to London to market the latest trendy products in a really cool office with slides and sleep pods! 

Now I’m not saying I couldn’t have achieved my vision but an opportunity in my university placement year changed my mind-set. Why go for jobs that everyone wants when you will probably gain more experience and learn a lot more in a smaller company where you can make a real difference.

This is why, when I was approached by ASC, I leapt at the chance to move away from a big corporate culture into a ‘get stuck in’ and make a difference culture. Although this scared the living daylight out of me, I was looking forward to it.

Now I’ve given you an introduction to how I ended up working as a recruitment marketer, here are my reasons behind why work in recruitment marketing.

Every day is different

I can guarantee you will not work anywhere else where you have so many things going on at the same time. The job really is a ‘get stuck in and get your hands dirty’ type of role. I’m not saying it’s an easy ride. It’s a challenge but this makes it more interesting.

For example, a consultant may ask you to put together a presentation for a client pitch and they need it today. The next day you might be asked to monitor the phones because a member of staff is away. Yes, that’s right, you need to help out with areas of the business outside of marketing. However, this helps you integrate into the business a little more and get a deeper understanding of it.

As well as this, things change quickly in recruitment and you have to be able to adapt to this. Something I found hard when I first started, especially coming from a corporate background. However, once you get used to the momentum, it makes the job exciting.

Increased Marketing Skills

When I look back at the marketing teams I was in before, they were just that, teams with specialists that you could turn to for advice at any time.

Although, whilst this can be a good thing especially if you’re working on a project and need the expertise of say, a social media marketer, I feel it also hinders you. When you work in big teams, you get boxed into your area of marketing, you could be the content specialist, the e-marketing specialist, events specialist etc. It then limits your career progression opportunities.

When I started my role at ASC I’d had a brief introduction to email marketing, social media, design, and video creation. My previous role focussed a lot on event marketing and presenting. Despite this, two years on and I’ve developed a new brand for ASC and launched it, lead on the development of a new website, worked on various design projects and increased the social media presence for the company.

These projects have significantly developed SEO, data analytics and design skills and strengthened my communication skills. In addition, I’ve even crossed over into HR and operations with some of the projects I’ve worked on.

Marketing at Board Level

Marketing Board room. Chairs around a table in a room with the view of a city.
Marketing Board Room

There are not many industry’s that hire one in house marketing person who will work alongside the board of directors and senior management to influence growth within the business. In other words, it helps you build on your persuasion and influencing skills to put a business case forward.

If you want an overview of the main areas you’ll work on as a recruitment marketer, take a look at this great article from Undercover Recruiter.

More autonomy

The recruitment industry is late to the marketing game and together with an increase in recruitment companies year on year, more will want to invest in marketing. In fact here are some stats and reasons why from Beamery.com.

However, the great part is, you can be as creative as you like, there are no restrictions. Moreover, you get to make the rules, shape the marketing goals and the strategies and tactics that will support achieving them. 

Yes, you will make mistakes but you will learn from these and you have to agree this is the best way to learn.

No other marketing like it!

I’m not kidding, you’ll be using and developing marketing skills such as internal communication, employer branding to attract people to the business, win clients, engage with existing and lapsed clients and nurture candidates through a funnel.

Not only this but within the client and candidate markets, you will without a doubt have a multitude of various audience personas to get your teeth stuck into. More than I have ever worked with before.

You’re the Marketing expert

As mentioned previously, when you work in this industry, unless you’re part of a big recruitment company, you’re likely to be on your own or part of a very small team. This means, you are the one in the know, you are the decision-maker when it comes to everything marketing and guess what? People come to you to ask for advice.

This was weird for me at first as I was so used to going to people for advice, not the other way around. Then I thought I can really help people gain a better understanding of marketing and how it can help business, so rather than worry about it, I embraced it.

Finally…

It’s a great career but it’s not for everyone. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, you need to be resilient, have the ability to work off your own initiative without much guidance and you’ve got to believe in yourself. If you don’t, no one is going to tell you you’re doing great, we’re in recruitment – a results-driven industry. 

But, if you’re all of this and you want to work in an exciting, fast-paced and ever-changing industry then open that door and let yourself in.

Hopefully, I’ve answered why work in recruitment marketing and if anyone would like any advice on working in recruitment marketing, please feel free to get in touch with me.

Or if ASC sounds like the kind of company you’d like to work for, check out our Work for Us pages and latest jobs.

Recruitment Careers: Corporate vs Independent

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

Whether you’re a seasoned recruiter or only just thinking about starting a recruitment career, it can be difficult to decide which agency you may want to work for. Especially when there are so many recruitment agencies to choose from.

The last report stated there were nearly 40,000 recruitment agencies registered in the UK.

Recruitment Consultant

We spoke to Claire Roberts, a Senior Recruitment Consultant who has worked for both a large corporate and more recently a smaller independent agency to give you an idea of what it’s like to work in both types of recruitment environments.

Can you give us a quick overview of your recruitment career so far?

I started my recruitment career 10 years ago when I moved to the Midlands from the Wirral. I didn’t set out to work in recruitment. I visited a well-known agency to register and get help with finding work.  It was during a conversation with a member of their team that they asked if I would consider working in recruitment and the rest is history.

To begin with, I worked as a Recruitment Consultant covering permanent commercial roles. After 3 years, I started to climb the ladder, working up from Consultant to a Senior Branch Manager position over a number of years.

More recently, I went back to being a Recruitment Consultant as I missed the recruitment bit which you don’t do as much of when you reach a management level.

What made you change to an independent recruitment agency after 10 years in a corporate environment?

After 10 years at a corporate agency, I decided I needed a new challenge and a role closer to home as I was missing out on lots of time with my son due to the commute. I was then contacted by a local agency and after 2 interviews I was offered the role and decided to make the move. The structure and plans they had in place for when I joined sounded like a great opportunity.

Do you wish you’d moved sooner?

I am happy the way I have progressed in my career and wouldn’t change this. The experience I gained over the last 10 years has given me the right ingredients to be successful at an independent agency. I felt I could come in and hit the ground running from day one.

What are the best bits about working for an independent agency compared to a corporate?

a blackboard with a smiley face in green, neutral face in orange and sad face in red written with chalk. A tick is next to the green smiley face.
  • Being given the autonomy to get on with your job and manage your own time and desk how you want rather than having to follow strict timetables
  • Being able to run a Hybrid desk
  • Relaxed yet professional environment
  • Being able to cover the whole of the UK rather than a small patch

Can you give an overview of the difference in the following areas between the two types of recruitment agencies?

Training

The large corporate agency offered a 5-year training programme and you then also received training throughout the year. This was great for trainee consultants.

Having said that, the Independent agency provides a structured 12-week training academy programme for those new to recruitment.  There is also both internal and external training for the team at all levels.

Culture

The corporate agency had a very formal dress code and strict rules on locations and specialisms you were allowed to recruit for.

The Independent agency has given me the freedom to recruit for any office role in any location meaning I have more scope to succeed.  They are also less formal in dress code but maintain a professional image.  It’s just an overall more relaxed and friendly culture.

Working Structure

The Corporate agency was very strict in the way you plan your day, such as outlining tasks you need to achieve on a daily basis. Tasks and targets have to be done by a certain time.

In comparison, although the Independent agency does set KPIs and daily tasks there is more flexibility in how you plan your day. In short, this means you can get on with your job and have more time to recruit which is what you’re there to do. Also, guidance and assistance are readily provided if you need it.

What advice would you give someone undecided on working for a corporate vs an independent?

Large corporate agencies have the ability to offer full training programmes but can be very strict on KPI’s and area’s you can work. Whereas, Independent agencies are more flexible and give you the opportunity to work on a wide range of roles across various locations. Furthermore, they also give you the support you need to achieve these results with training and the help of other consultants. I feel my knowledge has expanded more since joining the independent agency but the corporate gave me a good start. Also, the less formal environment of the independent agency is a real plus for me.

I think your choice of recruitment agency really depends on the environment you feel you’d fit best. I’d suggest (if possible), visiting both and gaining a feel for yourself before making a decision.

What Next?

ASC is an independently owned agency who are always looking for driven, ambitious and lively people to join our team. If this sounds like you, contact our Internal Recruiter, Marie who will be happy to have an informal chat with you.


6 ways to get your job advert noticed

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

ATTENTION!!! TO GET YOUR JOB ADVERT NOTICED YOU NEED TO MAKE IT STAND OUT.

We’re not saying you need to write your entire job advert in capitals, that would be a little extreme but it’s time to re-think the way you write your job adverts.

Furthermore, the current UK unemployment rate stands at 3.8% (as of June 2019), this is the lowest it has been since the last quarter of 1974. Great news for job seekers but for employers, it can be a challenge to find the right person for your business. Now more than ever, you need to grab the attention of great people.

You can start that process in the job adverts you write. Unsure where you’re going wrong? Well, we’ve had years of experience and regular training to understand what works best. Read on to find out how to get your job advert noticed.

1. Have you optimised your job advert?

In July 2018, Google launched a new feature called Google for Jobs. Just like how you would search for products, it brings jobs into a nice visual list. Google advised it created the new search technology after seeing an increase in people searching for jobs through the platform. It wanted to improve this experience by providing better results.

You cannot post to Google directly, it searches to see if there are jobs on all business websites and it works with some of the major job boards.

Key points to get your job advert noticed on Google:

  • Add a postcode to your advert
  • Keep your job titles simple
  • Don’t spam your advert with the job title
  • Include keywords (i.e. software packages or qualifications).

2. Keep your job description short and sweet

Research suggests that 500 words is a good length for a job advert and this length or under increases job applications by 12%. 500 words is about a quarter of a page, just to give you an idea on length.

Make use of bullet point lists. This will help the main points stand out and make it more appealing to the reader. But, ensure they aren’t exhaustive lists.

3. Talk to a candidate, not at them

Think about the language you’re using when writing your job advert. Is it engaging? Using language like ‘we’re looking for a marketing executive to join our team’ will not jump out as much as ‘are you an ambitious marketing executive looking for your next career move?’ Write as if that person is in front of you.

When you write about the experience and skills required, make it appealing. Use language like ‘if you’ve got the following we’d be keen to hear from you’. And, as mentioned before, don’t make it an exhaustive list, just focus on the attractive parts of the job.

Keep this enthusiastic and friendly voice throughout your advert to ensure the candidate keeps reading and stays interested in your role and company.

Also, do not forget to advise how they can apply and what the process will be. For example:

‘Interested? Apply today by submitting your CV to xxx@xxx.com If your application is successful we will be in touch in the next 5 days’.

4. Include a salary

piggy bank with money

Where possible, include a salary and salary range on your adverts. Why? A job without a salary could be dismissed if the candidate believes you’re not revealing salary because it is lower than the average.

Salary ranges also help as you are likely to get more applications as candidates of different experience levels may apply. This will mean you could see someone with great potential who is a great fit for your company who may not have applied had you just listed one salary.

5. Sell Sell Sell

We’re in a candidate shortage, the need to stand out as a company is imperative. A job advert is your opportunity to really sell your company and the role to a candidate. Why should they come and work for you?

Think about why working at your company is different such as the culture, benefits or any awards/partnerships.

6. Spelling and Grammar

What could be worse than a candidate spotting a mistake in your advert? It could portray to a potential candidate that you are not serious or your culture and management style is inconsiderate.

We always advise running a spell check and getting one other person to check your advert before it goes out. Just to dot the I’s and cross all the T’s.

We hope this has been a useful guide for you and that you start to receive more and good quality applications.

If you need support to recruit quality candidates, why not register your role today and we’ll be in touch. Alternatively, contact a member of the team who specialises in your sector to see how they could help you.


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