Author: Jon Becker

Brexit Headlines for the UK Jobs Market

 

  • 48% of businesses think Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK jobs market – down from 70% last June

  • The jobs market continued to grow in Q1 with jobs up 17% year on year

  • Health & Medicine (+29%) and Engineering (+20%) are the sectors driving annual growth for Q1

  • ‘Businesses moving jobs outside of the UK’ is recruiters’ number one concern about Brexit

  • Over 1 in 4 businesses report a reduction in applications from EU citizens since the referendum

  • ‘Securing free trade or retaining the single market with the EU’ is the key issue in Brexit negotiations for UK businesses

    (data from reed.co.uk)

 

Five Curveball Questions You Could Be Asked At An Interview…..

Reed.co.uk have suggested five curveball questions a hiring company might use at a job interview. They will never be asked by me I hasten to add because I hate these type of questions! Nevertheless this is a good read and some useful answers are provided…..

If you were an animal, what would you be?

The archetypal interview curveball. However, whether it’s the type of animal they are, the superpower they’d choose, or even determining the correct colour packaging for a packet of salt & vinegar crisps (always blue, obviously), this question is essentially a test of a candidate’s creativity. In other words, it’s not what they answer, but how they answer that counts.

Any answer which brings in some necessary skills for the role, whilst also revealing a little bit more of their personality, is definitely a winner

Good answer: ‘I think I’d be a duck. They’re always calm on the surface, but hustling like crazy to get things done underneath’.

Bad answer: ‘Definitely a Tiger. Grrrr…’

 

Every CV has one lie in it. What’s yours?

Research shows that as many as one in five jobseekers admits to lying on their CV.

However, even the most confident of candidate’s is unlikely to bring up any blurring of the facts without some kind of prompting.

OK, so it’s still unlikely they’ll admit whether they’ve been ‘creative’ with your chronology, and answers here should always be in the negative. However, if they’re able to use a little humour to break the tension, and convincingly reassure you that everything you’ve written is above-board, you might be on to a winner.

You might even catch out the any serial offenders before they’ve gotten started. A plan with no draw-backs.

Good answer: ‘OK, so “active lifestyle” may have been a bit of a stretch. I do go and sit in the sauna in my gym from time-to-time, if that counts? On a serious note though, I don’t believe there are any lies on my CV. I believe integrity is very important and that starts with your CV’

Bad answer: ‘Pass’

 

Would you rather be liked or feared?

While this could also be considered a character question, the fact that it’s almost a deliberate trick question means it could be considered in the curveball bracket.

There’s only one way a candidate should consider answering a question like this: they just shouldn’t answer it. You may have presented them with a straight choice, but it’s the unspoken third option that could make all the difference.

Let’s face it, no-one really wants to be feared at work, but it’s equally important not to come across like a pushover. The best candidates will always acknowledge the original framing of the question, but explain why it would be impossible for them to choose from what’s on the table.

Good answer: ‘Well I certainly wouldn’t want to be feared. Personally I think fear is a terrible motivator, and could lead to some uncomfortable situations. Everyone wants to be liked, but it isn’t always possible. Sometimes you have to do unpopular things to get the job done. I’d much sooner be respected, but have my co-workers understand that I always do my best for the team as a whole.’

Bad answer: ‘I want people to be afraid of how much they like me.’

 

Where does your boss think you are now?

In other words, are you hiring the kind of employee who would openly lie to your face?

This question is a good measure of character, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Admitting that they were happy to lie to their current employer in any way, shape or form, is unlikely to be an endearing trait. Even ‘white lies’ have the potential to do more harm than good.

The most reliable candidates will either explain that they booked a day’s leave in advance, or managed to work it into their current schedule. Notable exceptions include temporary or freelance roles, and redundancies. If it’s clear that they have no long-term future at a company, only the most unreasonable of bosses would stand in their way.

Good answer: ‘I booked today as annual leave. I know colleagues who have lied about their whereabouts in the past, but it’s not something I’d be comfortable doing’

Bad answer: ‘I’m not sure really. I just kind of walked out…’

 

Sell me this pen…

Finally, the perennial interview ‘sales-pitch’ favourite.

However, the beauty of this question lies far beyond an assessment of a candidate’s sales skills. Instead, it’s all about needs identification.

It’s all about the questions you’re asked, if they can correctly identify any issues you have, and demonstrating how their product is the perfect way to solve the problem.

To make it extra difficult, we recommend only ever selecting particularly ugly pens.

 Good answer: ‘Do you do a lot of writing in your spare time?’

Bad answer: ‘You know how you were saying earlier that you needed a pen…’

 

 

Ten Important Career Lessons Most People Learn Too Late In Life

Here is an excellent article posted by Bernard Marr who is a best-selling author, keynote speaker and leading business and data expert. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

 

“Keep your head down and your nose to the grindstone. That’s what a lot of us were taught to believe about work. But is it really the best strategy?

I find that people often take this sort of advice to heart — and then learn too late in their careers that there’s more to life (and success) than just keeping busy.

I’ve gathered up my top 10 lessons you should take to heart now, before it’s too late!

  1. Life is short. Here’s the thing: Life is too short to put up with a job you hate, a boss who demeans you, or a company with no soul.  Many people convince themselves that they can put up with a job or career situation that makes them unhappy because they need the income, because they don’t know if they can find another job, or for some other reason. But the truth is none of us knows how long we have on this earth, and spending too much of it in a bad situation will only make you miserable and regretful. If you’re in this situation, take a step today — no matter how small — toward a better situation.
  2. Social networks matter. You might think that networking events are dull, that it’s boring to chat with coworkers around the watercooler, or that you’re simply a born introvert, but study after study confirms that social networks are vital to our success. In fact, the most successful people tend to have the broadest and most diverse social networks. The more time and effort you put into nurturing your social networks, the more successful you are likely to be.
  3. Sacrificing your health for success or wealth isn’t worth it. Many driven, successful people have a hard time creating work/life balance and can end up burning out or developing serious health problems from stress and overwork. The truth is, it’s much easier to stay healthy than to heal from a problem or disease — and no amount of success or money can replace your health. Don’t take your health for granted and take steps to mitigate stress that could cause problems later.
  4. None of the best moments of your life will take place looking at a screen. In our connected world, it’s tempting to let all the little screens we have access to dictate our lives. But you’ll never reach the end of your life wishing you’d spent more time checking email on your phone. Disconnect regularly and experience real life.
  5. Never stop learning. With the rate at which technologies are changing today, if you decide that you are “done” learning, you will be left behind within a matter of years, if not sooner. The idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is blatantly false, and you will never wake up and regret having invested in your mind by learning something new.
  6. Diversify. Hand in hand with learning, if you stick to only doing what you know, or what you are good at, you may quickly find that you’re only good at one thing. We need to be agile, nimble, and interested in many different things. Otherwise, you could get stuck in a job or career you don’t love, or that goes with the times. Think of the taxi driver threatened by Uber or the customer service person replaced by a chatbot.
  7. You can go fast alone, but you can go farther together. In other words, teamwork makes the dream work. Many people claim they don’t like to work in teams, but the ability to work well in teams is vital if you want to succeed. The idea of the solo auteur is a myth; every big idea needs a team to make it happen.
  8. Worrying doesn’t achieve anything. The antidote to fear and anxiety is action and hustle. If you’re wasting time because you’re afraid to pursue an idea, speak up, or are worried what others will think of you, you won’t achieve your goals. If you push through the worry and the fear, however, and take action, you’ll almost always find that you were worried about nothing.
  9. Failure is not an end. If you give up when you fail, you’ll never learn anything. Instead, look at failure as an opportunity, as the beginning of a new journey. If you do, you’re much more likely to try again and succeed at something else.
  10. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So many people put off their happiness; they think, “I’ll be happy when I get that job, when I lose that weight, when I’m in a relationship, when I’m out of a relationship…” and so on. But we can choose to be happy.  Happiness is a habit and a choice. No matter what your situation, if you can approach it with an attitude of happiness, you will be more successful.

UK job market strengthens in first quarter since Brexit vote

Up-to-the-minute data from reed.co.uk shows that the number of jobs advertised in the first quarter since the EU referendum rose 9% on the same period last year. That’s over 48,000 extra jobs added to reed.co.uk website in the third quarter of 2016 compared to last year.

According to the latest reed.co.uk Job Index, Motoring & Automotive (+27%) and Manufacturing (+24%) were amongst the strongest performing sectors for year-on-year growth in Q3. However, jobs in Banking (-18%) and in Charity & Voluntary (-15%) saw the biggest annual contractions following the announcement of the referendum result.

Across the country the picture is positive, with all regions seeing annual jobs growth between July and September. Northern Ireland (+50.6%), Wales (+21.5%) and the East Midlands (+16.2%) were the regions reporting the biggest growth in vacancies.
However, London and the South East have both seen a drop in the number of vacancies on offer in Q3 when compared to the previous quarter, with a fall of -2.8% and -4.3% respectively.

Source: Reed.co.uk

Survey Reveals Top Career Priorities Of Candidates

Despite the current economic uncertainty engulfing the UK as we navigate the Brexit referendum result, candidates are continuing to battle for the best career opportunities, with many conducting their job search with a strict set of priorities in mind.

The latest survey by CV Library reveals that 81.9% of Britain’s professionals would actually take a pay cut, if it meant landing their dream job.

They asked over 2,000 workers to share their career priorities, in addition to the sacrifices they would be prepared to make in order to bag their ideal job. And with a staggering 73.3% of the vote, a clear route for career progression was flagged as the top career priority for today’s workers, as the majority continue to place real importance on development and progression when considering a new job.

The research also revealed that workplace perks and benefits are important influencers when it comes to attracting new talent to a job role, as over half (54.4%) admitted that they value these opportunities when seeking new employment. Furthermore, 51.9% of UK workers confessed that the job title itself is important to them when applying for a new position, with almost a third (31.7%) stating that they would be more likely to take the job if it had the word ‘manager’ in the title.

However, today’s candidates do have a limit, and the research also revealed that despite being prepared to take a pay cut for their dream job, 53.6% would not be prepared to relocate for a role, suggesting that employers should be ready to tap into local talent pools when looking to secure the best recruits.

 

New Gender Pay Gap Legislation

With companies employing over 250 staff members needing to report their gender

pay gap by April 2018, more than 8,000 businesses across the country might

currently be unprepared to meet their statutory duties.

Although, under the Equal Pay Act, it is illegal to pay different amounts to men and women doing the same jobs, ONS figures suggest that female employees in the UK still earn, on average, 20% less than men.

Whilst this is the lowest since records began, it is emblematic of continued inequality in the workplace – one reason why new legislation was put in place to ensure companies are honest about, and publish, their pay gap.

It all comes down to a greater sense of transparency.

By revealing the number of men and women in each pay range, it will be clear to see where pay gaps are at their widest – giving gender inequality nowhere to hide and forcing companies to acknowledge, address, and explain any pay gaps that exist in their organisation.

Nicky Morgan, the former Equalities Minister and Education Secretary, explained: “In recent years, we’ve seen the best employers make ground-breaking strides in tackling gender inequality. But the job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognised equally and fairly in every workplace.”

It is also hoped that this system of reporting will help to identify broader issues of gender inequality through progression and promotion across the workplace, and provide a measure of female progression.

Aside from transparency, the new legislation will allow businesses to talk confidently about their approach to pay – something which could help change perceptions in traditionally male-orientated industries, such as engineering and finance. As a result, it has the potential to attract more talent to your company.

One of the major benefits is in addressing the unconscious bias that exists in boardrooms across the country. Although most companies don’t choose to discriminate, the gender pay gap has never properly been addressed at the highest levels.

The new legislation will allow HR teams to finally address this complex and long-standing issue.

Enforcing the new changes is not a straightforward process.

First of all, the reports need to be signed off and fully understood by a senior member of staff. Something which takes it far beyond the realms of HR.

(Reed.co.uk 30/09/2016)

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