5 transferable skills that shine in any job.

Let’s talk about some hidden gems that lie within you: those transferable soft skills that you might not have given much thought to. These are the skills that transcend job titles and industries, the ones that make you a valuable asset in any role you choose to pursue.

Ok, but why are they so important?

Transferable soft skills can be applied across lots of industries and roles. They are often contrasted with “hard skills,” which are specific technical skills required for a particular job. While hard skills are important, employers value soft skills because they are used in a wider range of settings.

Employers value transferable soft skills because they are essential for success in any workplace. These skills are often what make the difference between a good employee and a great employee and could be what sets your application apart from the others.

Great, but how do I develop my soft skills?

You’ve been developing them all your life, through social situations, school and work life. Here are a few ideas to grow your soft skills.

  • Take on new challenges: Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. This will help you develop your adaptability, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.
  • Volunteer your time or join a group: Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in a variety of settings and develop your communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills. It might be that you try temping to gain some new experience. For some inspiration, check out my blog 10-things-i-love-about-temping.
  • Take workshops, classes or webinars: There are many classes and workshops available, both online and in person, that can help you develop your transferable soft skills.
  • Seek feedback: Ask your colleagues, friends, and family for feedback on your skills. This will help you identify areas where you can improve. In fact, friends and family are often the best people to see you as you are and identify skills that you’ve overlooked.

Developing transferable soft skills is an investment in your future. Develop these skills for success in any career you choose.

5 transferable soft skills that shine in any job.

Communication

Communication is the cornerstone of any successful task, and it’s a skill that shines brightly in any job. Whether you’re crafting compelling emails, presenting your idea in a team meeting, or simply having a friendly chat with a colleague, strong communication skills ensure that your message is clear, concise, and well-received.

Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is like having a superhero cape in your professional wardrobe. It’s the ability to identify issues, analyse potential solutions, and implement the most effective one. Whether you’re troubleshooting a technical glitch (turn it off and on again?!), resolving a stock issue, or navigating a tricky customer situation, problem-solving skills make you the go-to person for resolving dilemmas.

Teamwork

In today’s collaborative world, teamwork is the key that unlocks success. It’s about working harmoniously with others, sharing ideas, and supporting each other to achieve common goals. Whether you’re discussing ideas with colleagues, helping to train a new person, or managing a team, strong teamwork skills make you an essential part of the professional puzzle.

Adaptability

They say change is the only constant in life, and adaptability is your superpower to navigate it smoothly. It’s the ability to embrace new ideas, adjust to evolving circumstances, and roll with the punches. Whether you’re facing a sudden shift in company policies or learning a new software program, adaptability ensures you thrive in a dynamic environment.

Time Management

Time management is the art of orchestrating your tasks and making the most of every minute. It’s about setting priorities, avoiding distractions, and accomplishing goals within deadlines. Whether you’re juggling multiple projects or managing a busy workload, strong time management skills make you a productivity powerhouse.

 

Depending on the job you’re going for, you might want to add some others. Initiative (acting without being told what to do), or interpersonal skills (building positive relationships with others) are great additions.

Leadership (inspiring and motivating others) and decision-making skills (making sound judgements based on available information) are highly valued for management or supervisory roles. Creativity (the ability to generate new ideas) is also a sought-after skill.

Don’t forget to give real-life examples.

These transferable soft skills are not just job requirements. They are the keys to unlocking your full potential and achieving success in any field you choose. Nurture these skills and let them shine.  You will pave the way to a fulfilling and rewarding career journey.

Remember, you should provide real-life examples of your transferable skills to make them meaningful. Don’t make them up, or you will get caught out at interview. Be honest and authentic, but don’t be afraid to be your biggest champion.

Here to help.

Our Octopus recruiters can help you work out which transferable skills are important to shout about. Ask about transferable skills in your next catch up or when registering with us. For more CV tips, try our blog on CV-success.

 

Anna Wiklinska

About the author

I’m on hand for our industrial and hospitality recruitment here at Octopus – think warehousing, production, construction, kitchen and technical type jobs. I also run our seasonal event work – this is a great option for those wanting to earn some extra money without commitment.

I really enjoy meeting our job hunters and helping them to find work. It’s been lovely to talk to local people and find out what matters to them.

Continuing Professional Development is a journey

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): A key to career success

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re an experienced professional, continuing professional development (CPD) is essential for your success. CPD is the process of continuously learning and developing your skills and knowledge throughout your career. It can help you progress in your current job, find a new job, and stay ahead of the curve in your industry. You may not have thought about it, but odds are, you’ve participated in CPD in your work life – whether it’s the fork lift training you completed or an interesting webinar in your job industry.

My CPD journey

As a recruitment consultant, I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills and knowledge. That’s why I’m a big believer in continuing professional development (CPD).

I’ve always loved learning and self-development. Last year, I completed online training for one of our new clients and gained a certificate in Safer Recruitment to sit alongside our recruitment for local schools.  I wanted to push myself and develop further into my roles, so I subsequently completed a professional industry- recognised qualification with the Recruitment & Employment Federation (REC).  This course was challenging, but it was also incredibly rewarding. I learned a lot about the latest trends and developments in the recruitment industry, and I gained new skills that I can use to better serve my clients and candidates.

I’ve also completed several online courses related to my field. In December 2022 I decided to access CPD learning online from home, and I completed Level 3 certificates in Recruitment, and Human Resource Management.  I was thrilled to get a Distinction and a Higher Distinction in these areas.  My current project shows how useful transferable skills are if you think outside the box. I have just started an online evening course in CPCAB Counselling, which develops listening and communication skills, something that is absolutely crucial in recruitment, after all, its a people business.

I’m a strong believer that CPD is essential for anyone who wants to progress in their career. By continuously learning and developing your skills, you can make yourself more marketable to potential employers and increase your earning potential.

4 ways CPD can help your career.

  1. Improved job performance: CPD improves your skills and knowledge, which can lead to better job performance and increased productivity.
  2. Increased career opportunities: CPD makes yourself more marketable to potential employers. When you have a strong CPD record, it shows employers that you are committed to your career and that you are always looking for ways to improve yourself.
  3. Higher earning potential: Studies have shown that people who engage in CPD tend to earn more than those who don’t. This is because CPD can help you develop the skills and knowledge that are in high demand by employers.
  4. Greater job satisfaction: CPD keeps you up to date on the latest trends and developments in your industry. This can make your job more interesting and challenging, and lead to greater job satisfaction.

How to engage in CPD

There are many different ways to get involved in your CPD.

  1. Taking courses and workshops: This is a great way to learn new skills and knowledge. There are many different types of courses and workshops available, both online and in person.
  2. Attending conferences, trade shows and networking meetings: This is a great way to learn about the latest trends and developments in your industry, and to network with other professionals. It can be anything from a national exhibition to a local networking breakfast.
  3. Reading industry publications and blogs: This is a great way to stay up to date on the latest news and information in your industry. Follow people or companies you like on social media.
  4. Mentoring or coaching: This is a great way to learn from more experienced professionals or colleagues.
  5. Volunteering: This is a great way to gain new skills and experience, and to make a difference in your community.

Still not sure? Here are some great ideas if you’re in the office, industrial, and hospitality sectors:

  • Office: Take a course on Microsoft Office Suite, learn a new programming language, or attend a seminar on project management.
  • Industrial: Take a course on safety procedures or learn how to operate new machinery.
  • Hospitality: Take a course on customer service or learn a new language.

Start searching online or on your social media channels for ideas. To get you started, head to Money Saving Expert | Free ways to learn new skills at home for free ways to learn new skills at home.

My top tips for getting started with CPD.

  1. Identify your goals. What do you want to achieve with CPD? Are you looking to learn new skills, develop your knowledge, or progress in your career?
  2. Research different CPD opportunities. There are many ways to engage in CPD, including taking courses, attending conferences, and reading industry publications.
  3. Talk to your employer! Find out what the company can offer you. They’ll be really pleased that you are showing an active interest in improving your skills.
  4. Create a CPD plan. This will help you to stay on track and achieve your goals.
  5. Set aside time for CPD. It’s important to schedule time for CPD, just as you would for any other important commitment.
  6. Reflect on your CPD journey. Take some time at the end of each year to reflect on your CPD activities and assess your progress.

Show off your CPD.

When you’re looking for a new job, it’s important to highlight your CPD activities in your CV. This will show potential employers that you are committed to your career and that you are always looking for ways to improve yourself.

I love it when candidates tell me about any CPD they’ve done or are doing. It gives me extra ways to market you to our clients, and I’m often inspired to suggest jobs that work with your transferable skills. You can also mention your CPD activities in job interviews. This is a great way to show employers that you are knowledgeable and passionate about your field.

Don’t wait!

CPD is an essential part of any successful career. It can help you improve your skills and knowledge, increase your career opportunities, and earn a higher salary. If you’re not already engaging in CPD, I encourage you to start today. There are many different ways to engage in CPD, so you can find something that fits your needs and interests.

The important thing is to find activities that will help you improve your skills and knowledge and make you a more sought-after candidate to potential employers. CPD is an essential part of any successful career. By continuously learning and developing your skills, you can make yourself more marketable to potential employers and increase your earning potential.

If you’re thinking about starting a CPD journey, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best investments you can make in your career.

If you’d like to talk to me about your CPD or career prospects, I’d love to help. Call for a quick chat or book an appointment with me for a more in-depth look at your options on 01747 825568.

 

Katherine Bending

About the author

I oversee the office and work from home jobs here at Octopus, including finance, sales, marketing, buying and admin roles.

The team are absolutely fantastic here at Octopus.  I love that the same level of care and support between our team is mirrored in our client and candidate interactions, which is what sets us apart as a brand.

How to Master the Art of Interviewing

Mastering the Art of Interviewing: Tips from a Mindset and Leadership Coach

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences for both interviewees and interviewers (yep, even Hiring Managers admit to getting butterflies before an interview!). We get it; interviews can be a whirlwind of emotions. The pressure to make a positive impression, showcase your skills, and secure the job can be overwhelming. But we’ve got just the thing to help you ace your next interview – insights and tips from the fabulous Mindset and Leadership Coach, Chloe Bannister!

I had the pleasure of chatting to a great friend of Octopus Personnel, Mindset and Leadership Coach, Chloe Bannister, to explore her invaluable insights and tips to maximise your interview success. Chloe’s got the inside scoop, having spent years on the hiring side of the interview table. I caught up with Chloe to tap into her wealth of wisdom and practical advice that’s sure to take your interview game to the next level.

With the right guidance and preparation, anyone can master the art of interviewing. So, let’s delve in and read what Chloe has to say about mastering your next interview!

Understanding your value.

K: Confidence plays a crucial role in interviews. It can make a significant difference in how you present yourself, communicate your qualifications, and handle challenging questions. But how do we ditch those pre-interview jitters?

C: Well, first things first, I don’t think you’re ever going to overcome nervousness and anxiety completely. I think that it’s a sign of care – it shows that you want to make a good impression and are really interested in the job. So, the key is to work with them, not against them. I always go back to the phrase ‘proper prior planning prevents poor performance’! Catchy, right?

K: That’s certainly going to stick in my memory! So, how can we channel that nervous energy into something more productive?

C: It’s all about self-awareness. Understand what’s making you nervous, and you’ll be better equipped to tackle it. It might be a feeling of imposter syndrome or you’re not as good as other candidates. A self-awareness helps to focus on what is within your control, which is prior planning.

I think that if you really understand what is needed from you for the job, you can work out what you can actually offer to it. Understanding your own value and uniqueness is key.

This is what coaching can do. We help people to understand what their strengths are, what they might need to do a bit of work on, and where their little brain worms come from that are causing that anxiety and self-doubt – what we would call a limiting belief.

K: How can you tell when its more than a bit of interview nerves?

C: There’s always a baseline of nervousness that comes naturally from caring and wanting to do a good job. But if they morph into thoughts like ‘I’m never going to be good enough for the job’ that’s when we need to shift gears. Is this true or is it a limiting belief? In my sessions, I would explore that and understand what you’re going for, why you’re going for it, what you’re going to bring to it and working with you to turn that limiting mindset into positive beliefs. In my coaching sessions I don’t assess anyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Instead, I facilitate people to assess themselves. No one knows the answers better than you. My job is to help you focus to find those answers in a relaxed, non-biased space.

K: You also offer group sessions Chloe. How does that differ from your 1:1 sessions?

C: It works a little bit differently. It’s still client-led, but it’s a bit more open. There is a small group, maybe 5 people, and there’s a lot of camaraderie in listening to other people describe how they’re feeling. People start to go, “oh, its not just me who thinks that”. There is real value around having an open conversation, learning, and communicating with others in a safe space. Listening to others gives you perspective on what’s in your control and what’s not. People worry so much around things that are entirely out of their control within an interview situation, and coaching helps them gain the perspective of what they can focus on.

Chloe’s top tips for job interview success.

K: There’s not much you haven’t seen in your experience as a Hiring Manager. What’s your biggest tip for mastering an interview?

C: I think the biggest common mistake is that people don’t prep before they come to an interview. Research the job you’re going for and really think about what you bring to the table. What are your values? What do you want from the job? What kind of company culture are you looking for? What can’t you bring to the job? Think about these things before the interview and there will be very few unexpected questions. And you’ll help the nerves by focussing on what is in your control. So yeah, prior preparation is a massive one.

There are also just really simple things like turn up on time and show interest. So many people don’t have questions, but potentially you’re going to be working there a long time. The interview is a two-way conversation. Its not just whether I want you on my team. Its whether you want to be in my team – so what do you want to know about working there?

K: Are there any big no-no’s during an interview?

C: I think the main thing is to be respectful of previous employers. Explain why you left if you’re asked but don’t dwell on it. Focus on the job you’re applying for and what you want to know about it. Showing genuine interest is impressive and will win you some serious interview brownie points.

K: What’s the one question everyone should ask their interviewer?

C: I think it’s a really good idea to ask the person interviewing you what they like about working there. What is it that keeps them with the company? I think, personally for me, culture is so important, you want to feel comfortable and happy where you work, right? So don’t shy away from asking questions that matter to you.

The Power of Preparation.

Now that you’ve got the scoop from Chloe, it’s time to rock your next interview! Remember, preparation is your secret weapon in mastering the art of the interview. Researching the company, anticipating common interview questions, and thinking of some of your own for the interviewer are all integral to mastering the art of interviewing.

Don’t forget that interviews are a two-way process. Its just as important for you to find out whether you want to work for the company and your interviewer will appreciate your enthusiasm and interest. The right prep will give you confidence and help you focus on what is inside your control. Try not to worry about things that are outside your control and remember that nerves are a sign that you care. And we all get them!

A massive thank you to Chloe for sharing her incredible insights to master your job interview. If you’re interested in finding out more about Chloe’s 1 to 1 sessions and online group workshops, check out her brand new website thinkwithchloe.co.uk. Make sure you follow Chloe on LinkedIn for expert insights and advice, webinars, offers and more.

Happy interviewing. You’ve got this!

 

Want to read more interview tips, check out these handy Octopus blogs Nailing an Online Interview in 4 easy steps and Craft the perfect interview response or go to our Blog and search on Candidate Top Tips.

Katherine Bending

About the author

I oversee the office and work from home jobs here at Octopus, including finance, sales, marketing, buying and admin roles.

The team are absolutely fantastic here at Octopus.  I love that the same level of care and support between our team is mirrored in our client and candidate interactions, which is what sets us apart as a brand.

Job Market Insights – Summer 2023

Unlocking insights

We’ve got our tentacles on the pulse of the job market and we’re here to bring you the latest on the job market landscape.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) have just dropped their latest report on the current state of the job market, and we’re here to break it down for you. 

  • Permanent placements fall at quickest rate since June 2020.
  • Upturn in candidate availability gathers pace.
  • Pay pressures ease only slightly amid rising cost of living.

Cloudy with a chance of sunshine

The REC has reported on a dampened job market but with some sunny spells brightening the outlook. Businesses are not yet confident enough in the economic outlook to commit to permanent hires. This has led to the steepest pace of decline in placements since June 2020.

  • While the demand for temporary workers remains strong, the availability of workers has shrunk in recent months as job hunters hold out for permanent roles.
  • Labour supply has risen substantially. The overall availability of staff has risen at a substantial pace amid the slowdown in recruitment and reports of redundancies. This means that there are now more people available for work than there are jobs available overall in the UK. But that doesn’t always make it easy to find the right fit.
  • Competition for skilled workers is still high, and employers are willing to pay more to attract and retain skilled workers. However, the pace of wage growth is slowing down as the economy cools.

What does this mean for businesses?

  • Businesses should be prepared for a slower pace of hiring in the coming months. It will take longer to find the right person for your vacancy. We can take the pressure off by searching and first interviewing candidates, so you only have to select from our recommended shortlist on your client portal.
  • Businesses may need to be more creative in their recruitment strategies, such as offering more flexible working arrangements. In a recent Hays poll on LinkedIn, flexible working came second only to pay for people searching for jobs. Think about what you offer your employees and remember to tell us so we can shout about it in our advertising.
  • Businesses should be prepared to compete for talent, as the number of available candidates is increasing. Strategies such as our video recruitment to attract candidates could be key in getting your job vacancy noticed by the right people.

What does this mean for job seekers?

  • Job seekers should be prepared for a more competitive job market. Those who adapt and are open to trying new things will be more successful. Consider temping to try out a new industry. Hospitality and construction are industries that are experiencing shortages, so now is an opportune time to find work in these areas.
  • Job seekers should be proactive in their job search and should be prepared to negotiate on salary. Start thinking about what could put your application ahead of the rest or have a chat with Anna or Katherine to see what you can do to supercharge your CV.
  • Job seekers should consider taking on temporary work while they look for a permanent role. So many of our temp jobs end up in permanent employment, it really is a great strategy when looking for work. Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said ‘Temping keeps people in work when firms are uncertain about the future path of the economy – it is a huge UK success story.’

There is opportunity out there.

The UK job market is facing some challenges in the short term, but there are still opportunities for businesses and job seekers who are prepared to adapt. Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, commented in the report ‘Hiring overall is still at a good level, and some sectors remain under pressure from significant labour shortages, including hospitality and construction – so there is opportunity out there for job seekers.’

Finding the right people for the right jobs.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your recruitment outlook sunnier in the current job market.

 

 

Source: The REC Report on Jobs Market

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

How do I write a CV?

We’re often asked, “how do I write a CV?” when people register with us. We know that when you haven’t written a CV before, the prospect can seem a little daunting. There’s lots of templates and advice available online. However, the sheer amount can sometimes be off-putting – which one should you choose and whose advice should you listen to?

There is no right or wrong answer to that. Your CV is your first introduction to an employer, so it needs to give them an idea of what value you can bring to the company, and ideally a little flavour of your personality. We’ve seen quite a few CVs in our time (to state the obvious), so we thought we’d offer our take on the subject.

What is a CV and why does it matter?

A Curriculum Vitae (or CV as we commonly say) is a short written document of your work history, qualifications, and education. Your CV is used by employers to screen job applicants and assess whether they might be right for the job. The information you put in your CV will help employers to shortlist people for interview and will often be referred to by your interviewer throughout your interview.

What should I include in my CV?

While there is a lot of variation in structure and presentation, there are some things that are expected within a CV.

  • Your personal details (name and how to contact you) – your gender and date of birth is not necessary here.
  • Work experience (with the most recent experience first) – Try and give a brief description of what you do in the job, any responsibilities you have and any training you did.
  • Education and qualifications (most recent first)
  • References (on request)

There are some other sections that you can add when writing your CV to make you stand out.

  • Personal profile or statement – this is a few lines about who you are and what you are looking for or can offer a company. This section can help grab the reader’s attention and give them context to your work history. Focus on your key skills and give the employer a reason to shortlist you. To really impress, adapt this section to the job you’re applying for.
  • Hobbies and interests – add these only if you think they might be relevant to the job or company culture or interesting to the employer. Socialising isn’t a hobby!

CV checklist

  • Keep it brief and relevant
  • Check spelling and grammar – use Editor on Word or similar
  • Choose a professional font – make sure it’s easy to read
  • Be logical in your layout and use headings and bullet points.

Bronya’s top tips

Remember this is a professional document.

  • Don’t use funny or potentially off-putting email addresses – the safest option is an email address with just your name (and numbers if needed). You can easily create a free email address from Google, Outlook, or others.
  • Consider your social presence online – don’t use a profile photo that might put an employer off and check your privacy settings.
  • Be honest – don’t get caught out in interview with something that isn’t real on your CV. If you’re open and honest you are more likely to find a job that’s right for you.
  • If you’re on LinkedIn, make sure your work history matches your CV.
  • Keep it short and sweet – 2 pages is ideal. If you’re running out of space, give priority to your newest experience and qualifications.
  • Tackle any gaps in your work history head on and supply brief reasons for them, expanding in a cover letter if it is necessary. Put a positive spin on any gaps, drawing attention to any useful skills or experience.
  • Think about the language you are using – this isn’t the same as writing a social profile aimed at your friends. Remember you are writing to a hiring manager and stick to professional language.
  • If you’re just entering the world of work, don’t worry. Enthusiasm and a willingness to learn will go a long way and you can make the most of your extracurricular activities and hobbies to show transferable skills. Show that you know what you’re aiming at and how you plan to contribute to the company.
  • Register with a recruitment agency – when we meet with you, we will find everything we need to increase your chances with an employer, so your CV won’t be your only tool in your job search toolbox.

Find a CV template that you like online and get writing – almost all employers, recruitment agencies, and job sites will ask you for one.

How Octopus can help.

If you would like support writing your CV for the first time, we can help you. Once you’re registered with us, we can set up a CV writing appointment with Anna or Katherine and they will guide you through the process and even print copies for you. Call us on 01747 825568 to make a CV appointment.

If you’ve never registered with an agency before, you can read our blog How to register with a recruitment agency or give us a call on 01747 825568.

Bronya Tanner

About the author

I look after the office here at Octopus and will usually be the first person you speak to. I keep everyone organised and ready for the day ahead and love that we all work as a team to help find the right job matches.

At home I am a keen baker and have my own Insta food blog! I’ve already made the odd Showstopper for our Octopus events and my Signature bake would have to be a celebration cake.

10 things I love about temping

Temping is great. Yes, I know I’m going to say that as it’s my job but there are so many reasons why choosing to temp is a great work solution for so many people. For some it’s a way to fit work around their lives. For others it’s a stop gap while they look for a permanent job.

Many employers choose to use temporary workers through an agency. Temporary workers help employers to respond to changing customer demand or to help them deliver a project on time.

There are different ways to temp. You can pick and choose different shifts or events to earn some extra money when you need it. You can pick up a short-term temping assignment that can last anything from a couple days to a few months without committing to a permanent contract. We also have ongoing assignments that can last several months. Whatever your reason, temping can provide you a great way of working around your personal circumstances.

Here’s my top 10 reasons why temping could be great for you.

 

  1. Gain great experience, fast

Temping can give you the chance to gain skills and expertise in a variety of roles, businesses, and cultures at a fast rate. You will become more adaptable and learn new skills rapidly – key attributes that employers look for when recruiting.

  1. Open new doors and network

Temping provides great networking opportunities, and many businesses who aren’t willing to commit to new permanent roles end up creating one for temps who add value to their business. Many organisations bring in temps to help them deliver a project or undergo a challenging period of change or demand on quite a fast time scale. Experienced temp workers are in high demand!

  1. Test out a potential new job or employer

Temping can provide a great opportunity for you to try your hand at something new before deciding whether it’s for you. If you are new to the market, seeking a change of career, recently been made redundant or returning to work after a period of absence, temping can provide you with opportunities to try several different organisations, roles, and projects to find the perfect fit.

  1. Improve your CV

You can quickly improve your CV with interesting temping roles – it shows you have ambition and drive, valuable transferrable skills and demonstrates that you are reliable, conscientious, and able to gel with a team quickly.

  1. Feel part of a team

Being a temp and then being offered full-time employment can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding ways of joining an organisation. Even if you must undergo a period of probation after being taken on full time, you will feel more established as part of the team. You will also get all the support and guidance you need from the Octopus team. We’re here to make sure you are happy in your assignment so its important to stay in touch and we will keep in regular contact with you and our clients.

  1. Fair, transparent pay

When you are contacted about a temping assignment, you will be given exact details about the pay rate and hours. At Octopus, you will be paid weekly based on your timesheet. You’ll also accrue holiday just like a permanent employee. There can also be overtime at enhanced rates or shift allowances too!

  1. Work/life balance, flexibility

Your temping assignment can provide you with flexibility to fit in with your current circumstances. You get to choose when you work so your home life, holidays and interests take more of a priority. If you want to pause or stop work for a period, or want to try something different, you have the flexibility to do just that.

  1. Learn new skills

Temping will give you the opportunity to see a different industry or environment at the same time as learning new skills. It is a great way to discover a new location, especially if you have recently moved. Temping can also enable you to meet new people socially – we have known many temps who have been invited back to a Christmas do long after the end of their assignment!

  1. Same rights and benefits as permanent workers

After 12 weeks as temp working through an agency, you are entitled to similar employment rights as a permanent member of staff, including the same pay, pension, and annual leave.

  1. Temping often leads to permanent employment

This happens more often than you would think. Its so important for employers to find the right fit for their existing team, so when they find a person who works well, they often offer a permanent contract rather than lose someone. Several of our Temp of the Month winners have gone on to work permanently from their assignments.

 

How we can help

At Octopus, I head up our temporary, contract and interim recruitment but you will find that we all work as a team to help find work for people. You’ll have access to exclusive bookings and assignments with the best clients in the local area. Our consultants concentrate on getting to know both you and your skill set, ensuring that you enjoy and gain from each assignment that you work in.

We provide temporary staffing and recruitment services across Dorset, Wiltshire, and Somerset, covering a variety of economic sectors including office & administration, manufacturing, agricultural, warehouse and other positions. Small or large volume, last-minute or planned, we work with a wide range of companies to use temporary staff to drive their businesses forward.

All our temps are entered into our Temp of the Month award, rewarding the hard work, reliability and dedication shown by our temp team. You can read about some of our previous winners here.

If you choose to take a temporary assignment but are still seeking permanent employment, don’t worry! We will always continue to actively seek roles for you, and we will work closely with each other to assist you in coordinating times for your permanent job interviews. Employers also often create a permanent role when they find an excellent employee through temp work!

You can read more on how to register with an agency, it really is easy and will make sure that we’re looking for the right job for you.

Why not join Octopus now? You can start the registration process here or email your CV to us at jobs@octopuspersonnel.co.uk. Or just call us in the office on 01747 825568.

Anna Wiklinska

About the author

I’m on hand for our industrial and hospitality recruitment here at Octopus – think warehousing, production, construction, kitchen and technical type jobs. I also run our seasonal event work – this is a great option for those wanting to earn some extra money without commitment.

I really enjoy meeting our job hunters and helping them to find work. It’s been lovely to talk to local people and find out what matters to them.

How to register with a recruitment agency

How to register with a recruitment agency

 The job market is changing. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS)*, job vacancies are reaching record highs. Over the period June to August 2021, job vacancies grew by 35%, with all industry sectors increasing their number of vacancies. This is great for the job searcher and now is the best time to enter the job market or look for the next step in your career.

With employers looking to recruit again following the impact of COVID-19, many employers are leaving the recruitment process in the hands of the recruitment agencies. This means it is a great time to register with a recruitment agency so that you’re first in line to hear about a new job.

Octopus Personnel is Gillingham High Street’s local recruitment agency, finding the right people for the right jobs in Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire. We recruit for permanent and temporary positions from warehouse, production, and industrial, to office and technical jobs.

With lots of people realising that recruitment agencies are the best way of job searching, how can you make sure that you are the first person that springs to mind for a recruiter?

The key is in a successful registration. Alice gives her top tips to successfully register with Octopus Personnel and ensure you stand out at your appointment.

 

What is a registration?

 

What is a Registration and Why Does it Matter?

A registration with Octopus Personnel includes a 20-minute appointment with one of our friendly Octopus Recruitment Consultants. We also need some necessary details to be able to help you on your job search like your personal details, identity check and GDPR form so that we’re complying with our legal requirements. It doesn’t take long to fill in, we promise!

Your registration is an opportunity for us to meet you face to face and have an informal conversation with you. This enables us to get a better feel for the types of jobs and employers that would be the best fit for you and your interests and skills. We are looking for the right person for our clients and a job for you that you will be happy in.

All our registration appointments are face-to-face so that we can dedicate time to get to know you and consider how best to represent you to employers. Thanks to the joys of technology, you can either come to our office in Gillingham or have a meeting over FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp!

 

How to have a successful registration

 

How to register with a recruitment agency

Be Honest

Be honest with yourself and us with the types of jobs you are looking for and are likely to seriously consider. Let us know if there is a salary you need to reach to pay the bills and let us know about anything that will affect your job search or employment.

Our team is friendly and approachable and have a lot of experience in dealing with all sorts of situations. They will give you feedback on your CV and let you know any changes they think might be needed. They’ll listen to your experience in other jobs – good and bad – and give you advice on interviews and what jobs might be a good fit.

 

How to register with a recruitment agency

Be realistic

Think about what you want – are your expectations achievable? Do you have the skills and experience for the job you want? Are your salary expectations reasonable?

For some jobs you might need to do some assessments, for example, Word, Data Entry, Excel or even Welding. This gives us a great idea of your suitability for a job and means that you will stand out to the employer.

 

How to register with a recruitment agency

Be flexible

We might see potential in a job you’ve not considered before. Be open to new ideas and types of working. Keep the days and hours you can work as flexible as possible. Consider shift work, temporary jobs, and events. You never know, the client you work for at an event might be impressed with you and have a job opening. Or the temporary job might turn into a permanent position. It happens a lot!

 

How to register with a recruitment agency

Be confident

Be confident and show us who you are! We’re here to help you find the right job for you, so we need to see who you are. Let us get to know the real you and we can give you tips and advice to show your strengths for the jobs you want.

 

How to register with a recruitment agency

Keep in contact

Keep us up to date with any change of details. Let us know if you’d consider new types of jobs or working hours. It all helps us to find the right match for you.

Sign up for our job alerts and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We post our new jobs on our website and our social media, so if you see a job that you like, let us know!

 

How to register with a recruitment agency

Remember our top tips!

We’re here to help.

First impressions count so consider the way you dress and present yourself. Be kind, courteous and respectful.

Listen to our advice! We want you to succeed and we’ll use all our expertise and experience to find you the right job.

Take the tests! Some job roles require skills assessments or short video introductions or video interviews. Don’t be shy and don’t put these off. See this as a great opportunity to put yourself ahead of the competition.

 

Register with Octopus Personnel and kick start your job search today!

At Octopus Personnel, we take the time to really get to know our job searchers because we love what we do, and we love changing people’s lives for the better.

We are experts at presenting our job searchers to our clients, so that they can see all the skills and experience you can bring to a job. Years of industry expertise and great relationships with our clients means that we are the best solution to find you the right job.

Book an appointment to register with us on 01747 825568 or send us your details here.

 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/jobsandvacanciesintheuk/latest

 

Alice Weeks

About the author

I specialise in temporary recruitment and I’m always planning ahead, but manage to fill those last minute gaps! I really enjoy the buzz of the Octopus Office and no two days are the same. For me, it’s really important to get to know my candidates so I can support them on assignments and get the best from them.

I love baking so working in the Octopus Office with a monthly bake-off is a dream come true. I am a great listener and I know the power of a well-timed cup of tea and a biscuit!

5 ways to deal with interview rejection and plan your next steps

 5 ways to deal with interview rejection and plan your next steps

Have you ever received that dreaded interview rejection phone call or email? It can be tough, but Alice Weeks, Octopus Personnel Recruitment Consultant, explains why you shouldn’t feel dejected or disheartened. Instead you can use this experience to positively plan the next steps in your job search.

 

Any recruiter will tell you that the interview rejection phone call is a tough one to make – especially if the candidate has prepared well for the interview.  The way you handle interview rejection is just as important as the skills on your CV when it comes to securing a new role. If you allow interview rejection to knock your confidence and make you doubt your abilities, it could negatively affect your performance in future interviews.

So when you get that call, here are a few things to remember to keep you positive, optimistic and motivated, and help you plan what to do next.

5 point plan to deal with rejection and move forward

1. Rejection is not feedback

Whilst you may not have secured this role, that doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong!  At Octopus Personnel, we always follow up on interviews and give feedback to candidates.

Next step: Listen to what you did right (so you can do it again next time) and think about the areas that could be improved. Act on that feedback!

5 point plan to deal with rejection and move forward (2)

2. It’s not personal

It is very easy to take rejection personally.  However, most of the reasons behind hiring decisions will not be made apparent to you. You may have performed excellently but there could be other factors at play. For example, there may have been a strong internal candidate who is already familiar with the business, or another candidate with slightly more relevant experience than you. These are things you cannot change.  Focus on the positives you are given in the feedback, be aware of any advice in terms of areas to improve and move forward positively.

Next step: Revisit your CV to remind yourself of your strengths. Annotate your CV with examples that worked well in this interview.

5 point plan to deal with rejection and move forward (3)

3. A fresh approach

Approach each new job opportunity with a fresh perspective and a positive attitude. Tailor your CV to best match a new opportunity and fully research and prepare for a new interview. If you made mistakes or felt unprepared in your last interview – learn from this but don’t keep it at the forefront of your mind, it will only make you nervous.

Every company and hiring manager is different and will have a different idea of the ‘ideal candidate’. Keep a fresh approach while remaining true to your personality and experience.  Your Octopus Personnel consultant will prepare you beforehand with details about the interview and role. You can then support this with your own research about the company.  Put in the work each time.

Next step:  Start preparing for the next interview with the same commitment and vigour.

5 point plan to deal with rejection and move forward (4)

4. Keep learning and developing

Whilst that interview rejection phone call might not be the one you are hoping for, there are still things you can do to keep making a difference to your morale, motivation and employability.  A part-time training course or webinar, a charity project, mentorship or a voluntary position in a company of interest can keep your skills sharpened and your experience relevant and up to date.  If you are not working, temping can be an excellent way to learn new skills and add to your professional contacts.

By keeping professionally active in this way, you can aid ongoing development, boost confidence, give yourself a focus outside your job hunt and provide a discussion point in your next interview.

Next step:  Seek out other opportunities to keep your skills and experience relevant and up to date.

5 point plan to deal with rejection and move forward (5)

5. Always leave room for Plan B

Don’t pin your hopes on one specific job in the belief that it’s a perfect fit. If you don’t get that job, the rejection can be harder to take.  Think about each interview as a point along the journey to your next role. It’s also smart to pursue multiple opportunities, even when you are particularly invested in one role.

Next step:  Whilst you should tailor your CV and research for each role, you can apply for multiple roles at the same time.  Take an organised approach to make sure you don’t get the details of each role confused.

5 point plan to deal with rejection and move forward (6)

Have I convinced you?  What have you got to lose?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role.  Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients means that we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role and interview success.

You can sign up here or call the team on 01747 825568 to set up an appointment to register with us.

 

 

 

 

Alice Weeks

About the author

I specialise in temporary recruitment and I’m always planning ahead, but manage to fill those last minute gaps! I really enjoy the buzz of the Octopus Office and no two days are the same. For me, it’s really important to get to know my candidates so I can support them on assignments and get the best from them.

I love baking so working in the Octopus Office with a monthly bake-off is a dream come true. I am a great listener and I know the power of a well-timed cup of tea and a biscuit!

Craft the perfect interview response

Is there such a thing as the perfect interview response?  Whether face-to-face or online, nailing the answers to those tricky interview questions is key to selling yourself to a prospective employer.  You need to be fluent, practised and polished with examples to back up each of your points.  Here are 10 key questions and how to craft the perfect interview answers.  This will take time, thought and practise – but it will definitely be worth it when the job offer comes!

Three cubes which read Who Are You - perfect interview answers - Tell me about yourself

“Tell Me About Yourself…”

With such a broad range of possible answers, this question often trips interviewees up. The perfect interview answer will not be your life story; they want to know about where you are now professionally and what you have learnt from previous employment experiences.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Be succinct and to the point (which means practising beforehand).
  • Pick out three key events from your work history which provide a coherent story about where you are now professionally and what you have learnt. Choose a specific skill and experience from each job.
  • Talk about what makes you excited about this opportunity – be specific!
  • Use your company research to illustrate how you already have the strengths and qualities they are searching for.

Section of dictionary defining strength - What is your greatest strength

“What Is Your Greatest Strength?”

The perfect interview answer here will be based on your company research, showing you already know the qualities the company is looking for and you can use this opportunity to illustrate one you haven’t yet shown in the interview.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • This question really lets you guide the interview where you want it to go. This is your chance to relate your most impressive success story, so take advantage!
  • Highlight a strength that is crucial to the position.
  • Don’t make claims that you can’t illustrate with a brief example or fact.

Word task written with a tick next to it - What is your greatest accomplishment - perfect interview answers

“What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?”

This is somewhat similar to the “what is your greatest strength?” question and can be handled along the same lines. You want to pick an accomplishment that shows you have the qualities that the company puts value in and that are desirable for the position you’re interviewing for.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Talk about an accomplishment that exhibits how you will be a perfect fit for the company and for the position you’re interviewing for.
  • Try and show some genuine passion when you’re talking about your accomplishment.

What is your greatest weakness written on a sportstrack - perfect interview answers

“What Is Your Greatest Weakness?”

Don’t pick a weakness that is a key competency for the job! The perfect interview response will involve choosing your weaknesses wisely and showing that you have taken steps to “work on it”.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Show that you are aware of your weakness and what you have done to overcome it.
  • Show that you are “self-aware” and that you have the ability to take steps to improve yourself – through education, experience or mentoring.

Man leaping between two high rocks - Describe a difficult work situation

“Describe A Difficult Work Situation And What You Did To Overcome It…”

The perfect interview response here is to pick a success story that shows you exhibiting the qualities/skills required at the job and company you are interviewing for.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Pick an example that shows you tackling a problem that could arise at the new company you’re interviewing for. This shows your value.
  • Be specific and fairly concise.
  • Use the S.T.A.R. Method:

Situation

(Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalised description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.)

Task

(What did you need to achieve and why? What goal were you working toward?)

Action

(Summary of the problem and the action you took. Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on YOU. What specific steps did you take and what was your particular contribution? Be careful that you don’t describe what the team or group did when talking about a project, but what you actually did. Use the word “I,” not “we” when describing actions.)

Result

(Describe the outcome of your actions and don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Make sure your answer contains multiple positive results, preferably with a specific piece fact or figure which illustrates your success.)

  • Don’t bash anyone in your success story. (Coworker, boss or customer!)

Sign saying Join The Team - Why do you want to work for us - perfect interview answers

“Why Do You Want To Work For Us?”

The perfect interview response will demonstrate that you want to become an integral part of the company, to grow and develop with the needs of the business and demonstrate how your “wants” coincide with their “needs”.  Review LinkedIn, Bloomberg, FT,Wall Street Journal etc. for mention of the company over the past six months.  Review employee testimonials on Glassdoor.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Choose 4 specific things you like about the company. Do your homework before and find out the needs of the company and talk about how you’re passionate about “fulfilling those needs”.
  • Be complimentary. Most people enjoy being flattered. (Just don’t go overboard)
  • Show how your strengths perfectly align with the job position and company culture.

Sign saying we need you - Why should we hire you - perfect interview question answers

“Why Should We Hire You?”

The secret to success here is to be specific and evidence-based. You have already used your company research and the job description to find out exactly why the company is hiring someone for this position. Demonstrating that you understand the problem the new hire needs to solve will make you seem like the perfect candidate!

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Show the hiring manager that you are uniquely suited to filling this position. Be the candidate that solves the problem!
  • Show you know some significant details about the company and their general practices because you have researched the firm and are prepared.
  • Tell a “success story” that highlights how you have the ‘qualities’ needed to fill their specific needs – make sure you use a different example.
  • Don’t be too modest or too arrogant; you can avoid this by being specific and factual about your role in the examples you use. Again, preparation is key!

Lady looking through binoculars - Why did you leave your last job

“Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”

Preparation for this question is vital to seem plausible and truthful. The perfect interview response takes practise so it’s fluent and coherent.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • If you left voluntarily be sure to explain why. For example: you wanted a different challenge. How does this company offer you a specific characteristic or opportunity which your previous employer didn’t have? Explain what attracts you to this company.
  • If you were let go, be honest and explain the situation and own it. Explain what you learned from the experience, because the interviewer knows you’re human, you make mistakes, and just wants to see that you were able to do something about it.
  • Don’t bash your last company or boss or anything along those lines

Start written on the road - Where do you see yourself in 5 years - perfect interview answers

“Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?”

You DO want to show that you are an ambitious person BUT you need to show that you don’t have your “head in the clouds” and are focused on the job at hand.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Demonstrate when you answer the question your level of commitment to the position they are interviewing you for.
  • After you have demonstrated your commitment to the role you are interviewing for, outline a realistic growth strategy that is directly tied to the role you’re in and the needs and values of the company. How will this role help you grow?
  • Stress your interest in a long-term career at the company.

Questions written in chalk - Do you have any questions for me

“Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”

The perfect interview response for this question will make you stand out from the crowd and show your knowledge and passion for the company or organisation you are interviewing for. Always have a few questions prepared and have one based around something you found during your company research phase.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

  • Focus your questions on the company and what you can do for them.
  • Ask about something you’ve discovered in your company research. This will show your passion and knowledge of the company.
  • Ask if there is any reason the HR manager wouldn’t hire you. (This can be a little daunting to ask BUT can really pay off. It allows you to address something they may be thinking in their head but haven’t brought up.

Need further advice?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role, and preparing you to succeed at interview with the perfect interview answers. Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role. You can sign up here and call the office on 01747 825568 to arrange an interview.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the social media and website you see online to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of things, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

Nailing an Online Interview in 4 easy steps!

Online interviews can feel daunting— especially if your prospective employer wants to chat face-to-face online. Whilst the format of online interviews are often similar to traditional, in-person meetings, they have some major differences that candidates should be prepared for.  Below is my step-by-step guide to nailing your online interview.  From setting up your technology to answering those tricky questions, this is a one stop shop to get you ready to shine!

Shows a laptop, phone and pencils

Master the technology: do a test-run

In this day and age, technology is such a blessing – especially when it works!  The only way to really feel comfortable and secure with the technology side of an online interview is practise!  You need to use the method which your prospective employer prefers ( Skype, Facetime, Zoom, etc.) so download the program as soon as you are notified of your interview.  Use their quick guide to getting set up or watch a youtube video to make sure you understand how to enable the video and audio on your computer.  Do a test run with your recruitment consultant, friend or a family member if possible.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

Before the interview, ask for details of the format of the interview.  Here are a few questions you can ask to make sure you are prepared:

  • Is it an audio or audio and video interview?
  • Will I be interviewed by someone live or are the questions pre-recorded?
  • If they are pre-recorded, how many chances do I get to record my answer?
  • What do I do or who should I call if I start having technical difficulties during the interview?

Shows a computer with the Octopus Personnel website on the screen

Dress to impress even in an online interview!

First impressions matter in an online interview, just the same as meeting face-to-face!  Your appearance is crucial to making a good impression.  When you are planning where you will sit during your interview, try on your chosen clothes.  Make sure you are comfortable, they fit well and you are giving the impression you want on the screen.  Take a screenshot of yourself and check!

Location matters so find the perfect spot!  A quiet place with good, natural light is perfect if possible.  The interviewer wants to be able to see your face clearly.  Make sure the background is clean, professional and uncluttered.  Choose a comfortable firm chair so you can sit up for the duration of the interview.  Dress your home for the job!  Make sure you have eliminated all possible distractions.  Mute all notifications on your computer and set your phone to silent.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

Make sure you have chosen your location the day before.  Then you have time to tidy, position items and you can focus on mentally rehearsing your answers on the day.  Make sure there is no-one else about to distract during the interview, shut the cat out and switch off your phone!  Don’t forget to smile!  You are trying to build a relationship with your interviewer online the same way you would face-to-face so smile and engage!

Shows a woman talking to a laptop screen - Online Interview - Eye contact is important

Look your interviewer in the eye

Even in an online environment, eye contact is important.  Instead of looking at the person on the screen, look directing into your webcam and stay focused and engaged.  Practice your main taling points if you feel nervous and remember to slow down and speak clearly.  Again, this might be a good idea to practise with your recruitment consultant, friend or a family member.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

If you are uncomfortable, put a picture of a friend or loved one next to the webcam and focus on them.  This will help you relax and let your answers flow more easily whilst still remaining focused on the interviewer.  Even though this is an online interview, don’t forget your traditional interview skills!  Use the questions further down in the blog to help you confidently prepare your answers and make sure you have specific examples to share.

Shows a man working on a laptop and writing notes - Online Interview - nail those tricky questions

Preparation is key – nail those tricky questions!

Now you have the technology, location and your outfit all sorted, it’s time to revisit those key interview skills.  Here are some of the key questions you are likely to be asked and how to nail the answer to make sure you show your best talents, experience and skills to the interviewer.

Lucie’s Pro Tip

Practise, practise, practise… the more you practise the more confident and flowing your answers will be.  Make sure you have examples to back up every point.  Use cue cards to support you during the online interview – but make sure they are out of sight.  Read my blog here about the best answers to tricky interview questions here.

Need further advice?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role, and preparing you to succeed at interview. Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role. You can sign up here and call the office on 01747 825568 to arrange an interview.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the social media and website you see online to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of things, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

Navigating the change to an Employer Driven Market

Sandra Smart, Octopus Personnel Director, explains how COVID19 has flipped the candidate driven market on its back, and what the implications are for candidates and employers as we approach recruitment post lockdown in an employer driven market.

For the last couple of years, with unemployment at record lows, we have been operating in a candidate driven market.  Put simply, this meant that high calibre candidates were often receiving multiple job offers, as well as their current employers trying to offer more for them to stay on as their employee.

The focus was on the whole package: more competitive salaries, flexible working patterns, stronger study support and a full career development plan. If a client couldn’t offer what a candidate was looking for, a competitor was.  Clients had to invest heavily in the packages they were offering, but also in selling their culture, brand and reputation to attract top talent.

Thanks to the unprecedented challenges which the business world has met during the Coronavirus pandemic, suddenly the market has become saturated with candidates again, and, make no mistake, many are extremely high-calibre talent. However, during March, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that as a result of the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus crisis, confidence in making hiring and investment decisions fell by 21 percentage points compared with the previous month.

So how does this affect recruitment?  How can you position yourself as an employer to benefit from this situation, attracting these high-quality candidates to your business, what effect will this have on those people seeking employment now, and how can recruitment agencies work to best serve both and ensure the right people are hired for the right jobs?

Image shows connected people icons - Strategic Recruitment in an Employer Driven Market

Strategic Recruitment for an Employer Driven Market

In a employer driven market, it is the companies who call the shots. They hire at their own pace, can focus wholly on their needs, and face little or no competition from peers in the industry.  Due to the COVID19 impact, there are many high-calibre people seeking employment right now and, for those companies who are able to, recruiting now may bring many dividends.

Now, more than ever, we are working closely with our clients to understand how they are managing the crisis, and their strategic operations and workforce planning for the future.  We are there to advise on successful recruitment strategies in practice and the flexibility of different types of recruitment.

We have continued to register high-quality candidates throughout this time to ensure we will be able to present the best qualified candidates, who we believe will dovetail with the company’s culture and vision, ready for virtual interviewing and, where required, digital onboarding to enable our clients to move swiftly and decisively.

Picture of Sandra Smart - Sandra's advice to navigate an Employer Driven Market

Sandra’s advice to clients

Now isn’t the time to abandon all your hard work on culture, brand and reputation, but it is a perfect opportunity to find the right person with a depth of experience and drive who can fully fulfil your role.   Be clear about the job role so candidates can visualise what a typical day at work might be like. Break responsibilities into short, clear job duties.  Be clear about KPIs and decide which qualifications and experience you need.  Think about the teams which this role works within and needs to gel with.  All this information will help your recruitment consultant work hard, better, faster for you in finding the right person.

Image of a star on the floor - How to secure the best talent in an Employer Driven Market

Working with the best talent

For candidates seeking employment, this is the toughest the employment market has been in a long time; it’s going to involve a lot of hard work, rejections and perseverance.  But an employer driven market is not without hope.

As a recruitment agency, this is where we go above and beyond for every one of our candidates.  We are there for the journey, not only talking them through roles, but advising them on changes in the market and how to most effectively self market through CVs and interviews.  As many of our candidates are currently at home, or working from home, we are taking this opportunity to work even more closely with them, coaching them through the job hunt, helping them improve their CVs and keeping them focused and motivated.  These quality relationships mean we are better able to advise our clients about the suitability of our candidates.

Picture of Sandra Smart - Sandra's advice to navigate an Employer Driven Market

Sandra’s advice for candidates

Whilst the market is tough, there are still plenty of things you can do to make yourself as attractive as possible to a new employer.

Be ready

Work with your recruitment consultant to improve your CV, and make sure you tailor it to each application.

Be active

Spend this time learning new skills, becoming part of professional discussions on LinkedIn and networking.

Be bold

Your recruitment consultant can advise you on the challenges of the current market.  This could mean you may need a new direction, be ready to work on a short term contract or explore temping to find that perfect fit.  Be open to new suggestions.

Be resilient

The challenges of this market will mean many candidates, even those exceptionally well-qualified and experienced, are going to experience some nos.  That’s ok.  Ask for feedback, learn what you can and move on.  It will be a yes soon!

How can Octopus Personnel help?

At Octopus Personnel, we are here to help and support you as you navigate these challenges.  Whether you are looking for work or looking for workers, we are here at the end of the phone to help you.  Call us on 01747 825568.  Visit the website to request a call back or click on the send CV button to register with us.

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

CV Success in 2020: put your skills on show!

How can grab an employer’s attention and effectively market yourself? What are the secrets to CV success in 2020?  To be competitive in a client-focused market, your CV needs to stand out and really show who you are, your key competencies and skills quickly engaging a possible employer.  Alice Weeks, Octopus Personnel Recruitment Consultant, shows how using some of the strengths of a skills-based CV can enhance your chronological CV to secure that perfect role.

Man in suit thinking: Which format of CV is best? Targeting your CV for success in 2020

Which CV format should people choose?

A chronological CV is still the best format, but a skills-based section of your CV can highlight the experience and skills you have accumulated across your career, laying them out for an employer to recognise what you are bringing to a role.  This can pay dividends for those who are changing careers, returning after a break or just starting out in their working life.

As we move to a client-focused market post COVID19, self-marketing through a CV becomes even more vital a skill.  Here are my suggestions for efficiently strengthening your CV to make it work effectively for you.

Want CV success?  Make headline news!

You have  8.8 seconds to impress – that’s the average time someone reading your CV takes to decide if they should read on, so first impressions are everything.  Use a clear headline at the top of your CV, stating your professional identity in light of your career target.

Woman thinking with glasses on her head - Write an engaging headline to hook your reader - Targeting your CV for success in 2020

Hone in on your Target

You should then write a powerful, targeted profile that sums up what you can do for your target employer.  Your profile should concisely and effectively display who you are, your skills and strengths relevant to the sector and the job role as outlined in the advert and your career goals.

An effective profile will position you as a strong fit for your desired role and persuade the reader to keep reading your CV.  Avoid buzzwords, clichés and irrelevant information.  Try to give the reader a sense of your passion and drive for this particular role, and how this fits with your experience.  Your profile should be around four sentences in length, and no more than six, that’s somewhere between 50 and 200 words.

You need to state:

  • Who you are and what you are looking for – e.g. ‘A recent graduate with a 2:1 degree in Creative Writing from the University of Bournemouth seeking an entry-level position in…’
  • What you can offer the company – your absolute top skills and strengths, backed up with evidence. Use the job spec to create your statement, e. g. ‘Knowledgeable engineer with a wide skill-set, including condition-based maintenance, through working on automated systems such as…’
  • What your career goals are – e.g. ‘I am looking for a challenging, fast-paced environment within media to utilise my written knowledge and develop my creative skill set further.’ 

Be clear, truthful, concise, and don’t be afraid to market yourself.  Recruiters ultimately want to know you as a person and what you can bring to the table.

Woman drinking coffee at a laptop - Write a clear and concise profile to hook employers in - Targeting your CV for success in 2020

An example profile

‘I am an effective and hardworking purchasing manager looking to progress into a senior purchasing position within the industrial sector. With over 10 years experience working in managerial positions for large companies within the sector, I have honed my communication skills and nurtured successful working relationships that have been at the heart of my success. As a result, I possess an advantageous professional network and a proven track record for bringing strategic vision and value to the business.  I am now looking to develop my career in a market-leading and progressive organisation after a short career break to take care of a new-born.’

If you are changing career, you can draw out positive matches in your existing work history, voluntary roles or hobbies, carefully aligning them to the job description.  If you are returning to work after a break, present your most pertinent experience in a positive and compelling manner, explaining your career gap concisely and simply. This approach also works for job seekers whose relevant experience is earlier in their career.  If you are a graduate or early in your career, you can showcase university projects, part-time work, or community roles to demonstrate your skills and suitability. This is equally applicable for more-experienced jobseekers whose relevant skill base has been developed outside the workplace.

Feature your skills

Underneath your profile, create a an easy to read skills table and pack it with target role keywords that reflect the transferable business skills you can bring to the table.  A well-put-together skills section can help an employer quickly ascertain you have what it takes for the job – CV success! Your research will already have outlined many of the key skills needed, but you can further ensure you hit those key areas by putting the job description through something like wordclouds – what are the words which keep coming up?  How does your skill set dovetail with those needs?

Man working on laptop outside - Feature your skills - Targeting your CV for success in 2020

CV success through skilled selection

Put simply, a skill is an ability to perform certain tasks well.  A skills section should focus on actual skills, rather than industries you’ve worked in or grouping experiences together.

You should only choose between 3-5 skills to illustrate in this section – so make sure they speak exactly to the job description of the role you are applying for.  Balance your chosen skills between hard, learnt skills and soft, interpersonal skills – recruiters and employers give weight to both.

Hard skills can be learned, taught, and measured, such as English, Spanish, HTML, Python, copywriting, data analysis, SEO, etc.  Soft skills are equally valuable, such as leadership, communication, or other interpersonal skills such as soft skills include: problem-solving, negotiating, multitasking, time management, presenting, and others.

Dictionary open on page defining expert - Feature 3-5 key skills which are your personal strengths

Laid out for ease of reference in a table, make sure there are 3-5 skills listed.  Each one should be constructed in meaningful and descriptive sentences, contain facts such as numbers, figures and statistics (where possible) and real-life examples to illustrate your point.

Proven Sales Track Record

I am an excellent sales professional, demonstrated in my previous role as a Sales Representative where I exceeded my sales targets by at least 25% for six consecutive months.

Programming/coding experience

I have a strong knowledge of object-oriented programing and application development tools using Microsoft VB.Net, C#, .Net, C++, ASP.Net; Python and VBA.

Advanced Communication Skills

Reflected in my ability to explain complex design systems to colleagues and clients and liaising effectively with a range of departments.

Attention to detail

Adept at dealing with multitudes of information and data, some nearly identical, without any mistakes or omissions.

Black screen showing coding - Shine a spotlight on your key skills and experience using bullet points

Shine a spotlight using bullet points

Now you will go on to present your work history in reverse-chronological order, but using bullet points to highlight projects and activities that showcase your relevant skills in action. This way you can show you have the experience that’s needed, even if it was gained in a different context.

Reframe everything you have done so far in terms of what you want to do next, like an arrow pointing to a new mark!  Use the job advert, person specification, and job description for your target job role as a starting point, then make sure every line of your new CV speaks to those requirements – guaranteeing CV success!

Man holding CV - Reframe your experience and skills in terms of the role you are applying for - Targeting your CV for success in 2020

Finally to ensure your CV success, complement your revamped CV with a strong cover letter explaining your motivation, readiness, and fit for your target role.  Demonstrate the research you have done about the company and the value you bring to the business.  As above, back up your statements with facts, numbers, statistics and real-life examples.

Need more CV advice?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role.  Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role, be that through CV advice, interview tips or helping you make the most of your experience.  You can sign up here and call the office on 01747 825568 to arrange an interview.

Alice Weeks

About the author

I specialise in temporary recruitment and I’m always planning ahead, but manage to fill those last minute gaps! I really enjoy the buzz of the Octopus Office and no two days are the same. For me, it’s really important to get to know my candidates so I can support them on assignments and get the best from them.

I love baking so working in the Octopus Office with a monthly bake-off is a dream come true. I am a great listener and I know the power of a well-timed cup of tea and a biscuit!