Archives for posts with tag: Recruitment

Most businesses choose to have one supplier for particular services e.g. they may have one stationary supplier, one facilities management company, one firm of accountants, one catering company etc.  They may regularly review and even change them but they will choose to work mainly with one supplier for one type of work.

Why will they do this?  Often they will get a good price from the supplier as they know there will be volume business, but also the supplier will get to know the business, the people involved, their needs, likes and dislikes.  They should be able to provide a more tailored, relevant and cost effective service to the business. So why when it comes to recruitment do so many businesses send their vacancies out to a huge range of different recruitment firms in what seems to be a scattergun approach?  We often hear from

in-house recruitment and HR staff how they are swamped with agency emails and phone calls to the point where they can’t get their jobs done.  This approach also often leads to a much slower process and in a market where there are skills shortages and high calibre candidates move on very quickly businesses can ill-afford to miss out on good candidates.  Could it be that their recruitment procedures are at the root of the problem?

At MAC Resourcing we believe that a partnership approach is the most effective way to work with our clients.  Apart from the cost savings often by our approach we believe the flexibility of our service can help our clients through the peaks and troughs in recruitment throughout the year, can provide specialist expertise, can use the client’s own brand to attract candidates who might otherwise not respond and allow their internal staff to get back to their own jobs. Our expertise also allows us to provide insight on the selection of candidates which his hugely important yet often overlooked. We can review the recruitment and selection process from start to finish and offer advice and support at each stage making the process smoother, more robust and quicker, benefiting the company and candidates alike.

Recruitment and selection are after all people based processes so why not build business relationships that work and last.

For an initial discussion on how our partnership approach could benefit your business please call 01224 577070 or visit for more information.


So you’ve applied for a job and been invited to attend an assessment centre – your first thought may be “great they liked my CV” and your second thought might very well be “oh no an assessment centre – scary!”  I must confess despite having being involved in designing and running assessment centres for years I would still feel exactly the same.  Regardless of whether you are a new graduate or someone who has been working for years I think this is a natural reaction.

So how should you prepare for an assessment centre in order to ensure you give your best performance? First consider the obvious things – travel arrangements, dress code, start time and make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before.  Then think about the tasks you are likely to be asked to complete and how you can prepare for each of these.  You can certainly practice ability tests online and you will more than likely have an interview during the day so prepare for this as you would for any other interview  There are plenty of books on the subject as well as internet articles and there are even some companies out there who offer assessment centre practice or coaching but this can be quite an expensive option.

Bear in mind that the assessment centre will be designed around a set of competencies so you should try to think about examples from your past experience where you have been able to demonstrate that you hold these competencies.  These examples do not all have to come from the workplace sometimes personal examples can be just as effective.

I have encountered a small number of people who have decided to withdraw their application rather than attend an assessment centre and I think that’s a real shame.  Only by stepping out of our comfort zone occasionally can we really find out what we are capable of.  If an assessment centre is well designed and managed you should find that you are undertaking tasks which are challenging but not impossible and these should be delivered in an environment designed to get the best out of you.  You should also receive some feedback after the event which will be useful for you whatever the eventual outcome of the assessment centre.

Finally it is worth remembering that the assessment centre is a two-way process and it is an opportunity for you to learn more about the company, its people, culture and so on so think about the questions that you would like to ask the company.  After an assessment centre you will certainly be tired but if you get the preparation right you should have learned quite a lot about yourself and the company and you can feel satisfied that you rose to the challenge despite your initial fears.  Be yourself but be your best self!

It is not so long ago that at least two pre-employment references were taken up on each candidate as a vital part of the recruitment process.  Offers of employment are often still made “subject to satisfactory references” and can be withdrawn if the references are not deemed suitable.

These days, for legal reasons, more and more companies are only willing to provide very basic, factual details in a reference such as dates of employment and job title.  Many companies also have a policy to this effect or have it written into their staff handbook that employees are not allowed to give a reference on behalf of the company. Taking up two of these references can be seen as more of a box-ticking exercise than a useful and informative part of a selection process.

Of course the candidate’s ex-colleagues can provide a personal reference if they want to but are these worth the paper they are written on?  Surely a candidate would only choose someone who likes them and is likely to be positive about them to be a referee?

So, we can get basic details from a previous employer and a gushing description of how fantastic the candidate is from an ex-colleague who is also a friend but how do we really know whether previous employers, colleagues or clients would recommend that individual’s work?

Word of mouth is probably the most common answer, if the candidate has been recommended by someone known to the employer and whose opinion they trust then they are certainly more likely to progress their application.  As the old adage goes it’s not what you know but who you know. Second to this though is online information in other words the recruiter will Google the candidate’s name and see what they find.  A LinkedIn profile is a likely starting point for research – does the candidate’s work history tie in with what is on the CV, are the dates the same, what skills and specialities do they have, and specifically what recommendations do they have?  Be aware though that there is no point having a well-polished LinkedIn profile is you have a Twitter or Facebook profile that gives a completely different picture of you.  Do you have lots of drunken pictures of you on nights out or have you been saying negative things about current or previous employers on your page?  These can all reflect poorly to a potential employer.

We are not suggesting that people should not be active in these social meeting settings but simply that they should err on the side of caution.  If you are job hunting try Googling yourself and double-check the privacy settings on your accounts to ensure that potential employers see just what you want them to.

I have been reading a number of articles recently proclaiming the death of the CV in its traditional format and as someone who is regularly asked for CV advice I like to keep up to date with current views.

Is the CV dead? No but it is certainly changing.

New developments

In the last few years I have seen more CVs with web links in them, perhaps through the logo of a previous company or a link to a graduate’s dissertation or a published paper.  These are useful assuming the CV is being read in an electronic format as most are.  I have also seen candidates from creative industries presenting a CV like an advertisement or even a storyboard and these certainly catch the attention but are they perhaps best left to those in creative roles?

The latest new development appears to be the video CV and there are a number of examples on YouTube as well as tips on how to prepare one. This trend appears to be more active in America right now but since we generally follow their lead eventually it’s worth being aware of. I think the two examples below are pretty cool and surprisingly both of these were produced at least 2 years ago.

There are even some animated cover letters out there admittedly this one is from someone who was looking for a job in animation and it’s probably much harder to animate examples of your work in other fields.

So do we all need to rush out and learn how to animate our CV and take courses in how to present to a camera so we can be on YouTube too?  Probably not right now as most employers websites and application processes will only accept the traditional format of CV but definitely an interesting development for the future and well worth considering for those in Marketing, PR, Communications and even Sales.

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