6 key skills needed to progress as a call centre operative

The commercial sector is one of the real growth sectors within recruitment currently. Within this general industry, call centre staff are in demand. This key role is very often the first point of contact for customers with a company so it is vital call centre staff have the right attributes to succeed. If you are involved in this sector and want to progress your career further, there are some key skills to possess.

We take a look at just what they are and why they are so important.

1. Communication skills

This first skill is common sense when you consider what a call centre role involves. It is still worth highlighting though when thinking about recruitment or progression! To really progress as a call centre operative then you need to be able to talk to people in a way that engages them and explains things clearly. Be sure to always keep a professional tone though but in a way that is welcoming to the customer too. If you can continue to improve your communication skills through your career, it will really help your progression to higher-level roles.

2. Problem-solving skills

Although you will naturally have built up experience within your current role, you will still get lots of calls that present problems you may not have come across before. To stand out as an excellent call centre employee and move up the career ladder, you need to show you can solve these problems and use your own initiative. Of course, any solutions should be checked with your team leader before you promise the customer anything but they will soon notice that you are bringing them answers not just questions. It will also help you get good feedback from customers too who will value that you are trying to find a way to solve their complex issue.

3. Listening skills

This is very often the one skill that many call centre staff could do with brushing up on. Take the time to really listen to what the customer is saying to you when they call and it will make everything so much easier. Not only will the customer appreciate someone who listens to them but it will give you time to fully understand their issue. The net result is that you will get great customer feedback and better results which will do wonders for your career progression.

4. Teamwork skills

It is pretty certain that you will be working as part of a call centre team in this recruitment sector. With this in mind, it is vital that you are able to work with people in a positive, effective manner. If you cannot then your career progression can soon hit a glass ceiling. Employers will naturally want to promote and give responsibility to people they see who can be a team player for the good of the whole company. This could cover everything from your interpersonal relationships with other staff to taking on a difficult call or helping out if they are short staffed. Brush up on your teamwork skills and you will have another fantastic string to your bow to make that next move upwards.

5. Conflict resolution skills

Let’s not pretend – at some point when working as a call centre operative, you will experience an unhappy or angry customer on the phone! The mark of a good call centre worker is that you can diffuse any situation such as this so it doesn’t get out of hand. This doesn’t mean agreeing with the customer or giving them what they want though if they are not right. It does, however, mean finding a way to resolve the call to the satisfaction of both parties. If you can develop these skills then you will be in demand and likely to progress quicker.

6. Organisation skills

A major part of this type of role is being organised. If you work in a haphazard way then you will not retain any information given to you by the customer and not be able to complete any follow-up work after the call. Great organisation skills will also mean that you can have your PC set up with the databases you need ready for when a customer calls in. Being organised will also help you have any information you may need on a call to hand and not be searching for it while the customer is waiting. If you are not organised then you will find it very hard to move beyond the most entry level of call centre roles.

If you are looking to make that next step as a call centre operative then why not let Time recruitment help? We work with the very best companies nationwide that need the skills you have. Get in touch today to see how we can help you progress to that next level in your career.

Attracting more women to the male-dominated tech industry

One of the fastest growing and most diverse industries recruiting today is the IT sector. With more companies than ever before relying on computer-based systems and online interactions, there is a huge demand for qualified professionals who can maintain and manage IT systems, or create and manage specialist software. There are also great financial opportunities in this sector, with IT project managers taking home an average salary of around £48,000.

There are so many ways to work in IT. Everything from offices to schools, from hospitals to warehouses, has an IT network at its centre and an online platform to maintain. Working in IT can involve some of the world’s most interesting and unusual industries. From developing a website for a local company to project managing global conference communications, there are many ways women could be involved in IT work.

However, a Deloitte study from 2016 notes that just one-quarter of tech jobs in developed nations are held by women, with very few of the senior roles being allocated to female workers. The study also asserts that this disparity is a key contributor to the overall gender pay gap. So why are women staying away from this lucrative and exciting industry – and what can be done to attract more females into the IT sector?

Why are there fewer women in tech jobs than men?

There is a wider problem of low female engagement in the science and engineering sectors. A 2015 study found that more than half of women who start in tech-based industries end up leaving for a different sector. The top reasons cited for leaving include feeling isolated or bullied, poor management and feedback, and a lack of opportunities to move up the career ladder.

This is certainly true in the IT sector, say women working in the industry. However, men in the tech sector tend to disagree. They feel that there are plenty of opportunities for women and that jobs are open to the best candidate, whatever their gender. Often, they claim that there are too few women entering education on IT courses – therefore, there are not enough qualified women to compete for the best tech jobs.

There is some truth in this. Even in countries where the genders are close to equal in law, such as Norway, Finland and the UK, there is a significant lack of women studying on tech and computer-based degree courses. Women are less likely to studying programming, engineering and other related disciplines. Yet the gap is not so broad as some would have you believe – women are signing up in increasing numbers to study IT related subjects. So why are they still underrepresented when it comes to employment – and what can be done about the issue?

Attracting more women to tech jobs

More female role models in IT could help to entice workers into the sector. There has always been a distinct lack of female CEOs among the top tech companies, though this is starting to change. Recruiters can inspire young women to work in IT through the success stories of some of the industry’s rising female stars: such as Jessica Naziri of TechSesh, FileMaker senior Dara Treseder or engineer Erica Baker from Slack.

Search for candidates in female-focused forums and social media sites. Women who work in tech often band together online, discussing opportunities and sharing experiences. These hives of female IT professionals are a great resource to tap when recruiting. There are also focus programs which are designed to push women into male-dominated work fields, backed by grant money in many cases and partnering with these initiatives can increase a job’s visibility to a female audience.

Always use gender-neutral language when writing IT vacancy posts. Studies also suggest using less masculine language – for example, ‘developer’ instead of ‘hacker’ and ‘IT professional’ instead of ‘techie’.

Companies that promote more women will almost certainly attract more women into the business. Knowing that a company has a female management team could encourage more women to apply for the role, and give them confidence that the job has future prospects. Women in tech jobs often feel they are passed over for promotion while their male colleagues rise up the ranks, so by promoting women to senior roles, new staff will immediately have confidence in their new employer.

Offering flexible working isn’t always possible for employers, but a degree of flexibility in an IT role could ensure that females with families are able to join the industry. There are plenty of IT roles which can be carried out remotely, either some or all of the time. In-house IT roles with flexible hours, or a family-friendly approach to urgent leave requests, can empower women to enter the tech field and use their IT skills on a full or part-time basis.

Retaining female IT professionals

Even where companies are strong at hiring women for IT jobs, the industry still has a high attrition rate. In order to keep skilled IT professionals on their books, companies need to ensure their female workers are getting fair opportunities and an equal salary. IT jobs often feature among studies of job satisfaction and happiness, with settled IT workers reporting that they enjoy their job. However, women have slightly lower rates of job satisfaction, and this is likely a result of the barriers they face. To ensure that women are attracted to IT jobs and that they stay in them, employers should work continually to maintain an equal and fair workplace.

For more information on recruitment for a wide range of industries, including the IT sector, contact Time Recruitment today. Our busy and fast-growing Manchester based recruitment agency sources the most skilled and reliable staff to fill roles at your company.

Crucial skills for construction industry candidates

If you are looking for work in the construction sector, and if you are new to the world of building work, you might be finding some of the jargon in the job adverts confusing. What is the difference between an essential skill and a desirable one? What is a CSCS card – and why do you need one? How can a worker without experience get themselves onto the career ladder? We answer all these questions and more, in order to help you secure the right construction job.

Know the difference between ‘desirable’ and ‘essential’ skills

When it comes to job vacancies, there are some skills you absolutely must have. These will be listed as ‘essential’ skills or qualifications. They often include safety courses that must be completed for legal reasons. Without holding the relevant paperwork or having the right work experience, you are unlikely to be given the job.

However, there are also secondary skills and qualifications which relate to a job role, often described as ‘desirable’ skills. A candidate without these skills could still be considered for the job, and the more boxes you tick, the more chance you will be successful in securing an interview and getting the job. Many jobs will even offer additional training in their desirable skills, to ensure you meet the high standards expected of that role.

What is a CSCS card?

One thing you will see listed as essential in the majority of construction jobs is a CSCS card. But what exactly is the card – and how do you get one? CSCS stands for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. The card is a guarantee to your employer or client that you have completed the relevant exam, and that you are registered with the Construction Skills body.

Some employers will help new staff members acquire their card, especially when they take on an apprentice worker. However, the majority will expect construction workers to hold the card already. You can apply for a CSCS card yourself online [https://www.cscs.uk.com//], while employers can apply for cards in bulk through the same web portal.

The application process consists of a health and safety test, completed online. This is a multiple choice exam with a number of questions relating to construction site safety and best practice. Make sure you take the right test: this depends on the type of work you will be doing and the level of seniority in the role. The three categories are ‘construction related occupation’, ‘craft and operative’, and ‘technical, supervisory and management’. You may also need to supply evidence of any qualifications that apply to the work you will be doing, such as a City and Guilds or Higher National Diploma in a relevant field.

Finally, there is a charge of £30 to be paid. When the application is successfully completed, the card should arrive within 15 days. Make sure you apply in good time if you will need to present the card at a work interview, or when you start work at new premises. Without the card, you are unlikely to get the job – or be allowed access to the work site.

What does ‘time served’ mean – and how much experience is required?

For some jobs, experience working in a related field is essential. The job vacancy listing might request ‘time served contractors’. This generally means that the worker has three or more years in a relevant industry. Other job adverts might list a minimum level of experience – such as two years working on other sites. This is likely to be true of more complicated jobs, where specialist skills are necessary, or for supervisor and project manager roles.

If you are an experienced construction worker who has spent time working in your chosen industry, you are likely to meet this requirement. But what if you are fresh from college: will you be rejected for lack of experience? If you can prove in your cover letter and CV that you do meet the other specifications and that you hold the relevant qualifications, you still could be in with a chance. It may be worth speaking with a recruitment consultant who can help you find roles at companies where experience isn’t always necessary.

What desirable skills do construction workers need?

As well as holding the right qualifications and possessing the right knowledge, there are some qualities which help construction job candidates stand out from the crowd. For building work, there are some characteristics most employers want from their staff members. These include a strong work ethic. Can you demonstrate that you are hardworking and committed to getting the job done? In the interview, share examples of projects you worked hard to complete, and detail ways you have taken responsibility for the work you have done before.

Having a good level of strength and stamina is also important. Construction is a very physically demanding industry, with lots of heavy lifting and hard work involved. If you are already an active person, engaged in keeping fit and building your strength, this is likely to work in your favour. Employers look for candidates who are willing to learn, and extra training can always be given to improve skills: but without a basic level of fitness, which cannot simply be taught, the candidate is unlikely to be able to fulfil the requirements of the job.

The ability to think fast and solve problems is extremely attractive to a prospective employer. The fewer problems there are on a construction site, the sooner the project can be completed – saving the managers and developers money. Fewer problems also mean less risk, keeping workers safer. Therefore, bosses want to employ people who can spot problems quickly and solve them using their own initiative. If you can describe during the interview a time when you took charge of a situation and found a solution to a problem, you are sure to impress the recruiter.

For more information on working in the construction sector, or to hear about upcoming vacancies in commercial, residential and industrial construction, get in touch with Time Recruitment today.

6 Skills That Will Benefit You in the Workplace – That aren’t on Most CVs

When preparing for an interview, it can be tempting to extol your virtues and all the great things you can do based solely on how your abilities will directly affect your work. From specific qualifications to previous experience, on paper, you might look like the perfect candidate and may even land your dream role. But when it comes to actively surviving in a bustling and busy workplace – especially if your area of expertise lends itself to high-energy environments – it takes more than just your theoretical knowledge to survive.

Want to know how to make the most of your job and help both yourself and those around you? Read on for six skills that will actively benefit you in the workplace that most people don’t even think of including on their CVs.

1. Digital communications skills

With many workplaces becoming more virtual than ever before, if you’re not used to working in a digital-friendly environment you’ll soon find yourself out of your depth. Especially when it comes to larger-scale businesses, being able to make full and active use of online collaboration tools, task management, excellent email communication and even messaging communication are all vital elements to success in the modern workplace.

These skills can be quickly learnt and developed with a variety of online tools, but failing to do so may soon put you behind your colleagues when it comes to your productivity and results.

2. Workload analysis

Being able to know when your workload is too much is just as key as knowing when you have too little to do. It may be tempting, in many roles, to bear the brunt of too much work by staying late, overworking and on occasion pushing back deadlines, but knowing how long a project or piece of work takes isn’t a failing; in fact, that perception puts you a step up above those who might choose to attempt too much work and fail, or take too little action and become complacent.

Knowing your workload can mean anything from just being aware of how much time something takes to a solid understanding of budget versus cost, and the resource needed to complete your work.

3. Stress management

Stress isn’t a word we ever want to think about in a new workplace – but no matter what industry you’re working in, stressful times do happen, and you need to be able to manage yourself effectively during those times.

Burn out is a very real thing in any business, so mechanisms to reduce stress and improve productivity during particularly busy times are crucial to producing consistent, quality work your employers will be happy with.

4. Conflict resolution

It’s a fact of life that sometimes people just do not get on. Whether it’s a rational disagreement or a previously professional complaint that’s gone a little too far, if you don’t have the ability to logically and rationally end heated moments with other team members, you’ll soon find you’re no longer enjoying your new workplace quite as much.

When you see certain people so much, it can be easy for microaggressions and animosity to build up – so knowing how to clear the air and resolve situations efficiently and professionally is critical to avoid embarrassment on either side.

5. Industry empathy and insight

You might know everything that there is to know about what your new workplace does and how it does it, but if you’re working with clients, customers or even other businesses, having a certain amount of insight and empathy for the position of those you’re working with outside the company is key.

This allows you to create fair and positive network relationships, which can go a long way towards impressing your employers and benefit your business in the long run. A different perspective can be a positive experience for everyone involved, and can even allow you to do your work better.

6. Crisis management

In any business, bad things sometimes happen. It can be a completely unexpected event or issue, a sudden catastrophic IT problem or even a result of issues internally, but when a crisis does occur in your workplace, knowing how to handle yourself and those around you is key to making it through a stressful and productivity-stalling situation.

An understanding of how your role can be achieved even with obstacles in the way puts you in a far better position than those who become helpless in similar situations. At the other end of a crisis, showing just what you can do under pressure will always go well for you.

If you’re on the hunt for your next dream role or you’re thinking about mixing up your career for something brand new, Time Recruitment is the perfect place to start. With a focus on the construction, industrial, healthcare, engineering and commercial industries, we have roles to fit just about everyone. Register with us today to find your next dream job.

How to write a great combination CV

In a highly competitive recruitment market, a really good resume or CV is essential if you’re to get that all-important interview. But what’s the best format to use?

A chronological resume concentrates on providing a reverse-chronological work history with detailed information about your accomplishments and duties. This is great if you have an established career track and wish to stay within a particular specialism, as it emphasises your relevant work experience.

You could opt instead for a functional resume. This format focuses on your key skills and not so much on your work experience. This is a good choice if you are looking to make a career change or have a rather sketchy employment history with gaps and lots of short-term jobs.

But there is another, increasingly popular option: the mixed or combination resume.

 

The mixed resume

The mixed or combination resume is a hybrid of the chronological and functional formats and seeks to incorporate the best of both.

The document begins by giving a detailed description of your functional skills and any related qualifications, and then follows this section with a reverse-chronological employment history.

Many recruitment specialists and hiring managers like to see this format, as it states an applicant’s most relevant qualifications and skillset at the beginning of the document, then provides a relevant employment timeline. This pinpoints a candidate’s most desirable and relevant credentials, making it easy and quick for the busy recruiter to identify the most likely applicants for the position, without having to trawl through the whole resume to find the snippets of pertinent information they want.

The downside of the mixed resume is that a full employment history is included and any gaps are therefore more apparent than they would be in the functional resume format.

 

Who should use a mixed resume?

• Students, entry-level job applicants and new graduates: The mixed resume format allows these job seekers to place emphasis on their skills, rather than their brief employment history.

• Applicants with a consistent employment record.

• Career changers: A mixed resume is useful unless you are intending to pursue a really radical career change, when it might be best to go for a functional resume.

• Those re-entering the job market following a break: The mixed resume format removes some of the emphasis from the fact that you’ve had an employment break and directs attention to your skills and achievements instead.

• Older workers: It’s important for older applicants to really sell their strongest credentials, and an employment summary section provides an ideal opportunity to do this.

 

How to create a great mixed resume

A mixed resume is by its very nature a structurally flexible document, so you can tailor it to suit your needs.

Begin by including a career summary which contains detailed information on the qualifications and skills you have which are relevant to the position for which you are applying. This is your opportunity to persuade recruiters to read the rest of your resume as they will be able to see from the first section that you are well-qualified and potentially an ideal candidate for the role they are looking to fill. Incorporate all your key skills; specialist expertise, accomplishments, any related training and job objectives.

Follow this section with a reverse chronological employment history. Most recruiters prefer to see what you have done most recently, rather than what you were doing fifteen years ago when you first left college, so always put your employment history with your most recent position first.

Brevity is important in any resume; recruiters don’t want to read your entire life story! Keep your experience section clear and concise focusing on your accomplishments rather than your day to day duties and omit anything that’s not directly relevant to your career goal.

Remember to include examples of instances when you used your skills and strengths to add value to your role and where your work directly benefited a particular project you were working on. Be specific rather than generic so that you stand out from the crowd and give plenty of examples of how you used your strengths and skills in your previous jobs.

Other sections that can be included in a mixed resume rather depend upon your individual experience, but if you want to you could also include sections on training, education, languages, affiliations, and any other miscellaneous information you feel would be relevant to the position for which you are applying.

 

7 top interview tips to help you land your dream job

Often times, the hardest part of getting a new job is actually securing an interview with a company you are passionate about working for. What this means is that, once you do land those ideal interviews, you need to be doing everything right to help make sure you get the role. So, to help you out, and to make sure you don’t waste any opportunities that come your way, here are the seven ultimate interview tips you need to be following each and every time.

1. Showcase your talents

Ultimately, the interview process offers the chance for employers to fully understand your skill set and to decide whether or not you are best for the role. As such, you should be conscious of highlighting everything that you have accomplished and are able to do. When you are asked questions to demonstrate your skills, be as forthright as possible and use plenty of examples. Rather than saying you are a good leader, provide an example of when you displayed leadership qualities in a given role. To help make sure you showcase all of your talents, you should write them out before the interview and go over everything you need to say.

2. Practice, practice, practice

Practice is crucial when it comes to interviews. You need to practice all aspects of the interview, including what you would say when asked to give examples of what you have done in the past. You should write up a number of questions that you know you are likely to get asked, and then get friends or relatives to quiz you on them. As an added tip, whenever you practice answering questions, do so in the same manner as you would with the recruiter. For example, maintain strong eye contact and a confident posture.

3. Turn up early on the day

It almost goes without saying but, the worst thing you could do is to turn up late to an interview. You should aim to get to the interview at least 15-30 minutes before you need to be there. That way, you have plenty of time to spare in case there is any sort of hold up on the way. Also, it helps for you to mentally prepare yourself and enter the interview feeling relaxed and calm. Finally, it leaves a great first impression on the employer, as punctuality is a desirable trait in all candidates.

4. Focus on remaining calm at all times

If you have properly prepared for the interview, then there is no reason for you to be nervous on the day. However, it is natural to feel a little tense or nervous as, after all, you do want the job. Just remember that the recruiter will be assessing all aspects of your performance and will be more interested in hiring someone who is calm and confident. So, try to focus on how you come across verbally and physically. Your body language will say a lot about how calm and confident you appear.

5. Be prepared well in advance

There are a number of things you need to do in order to get ready for your interview. This includes things like preparing questions you will need to answer; having questions to ask the recruiter; and knowing what you will be wearing. Regardless of what the task is, make sure you have prepared it as far in advance as possible and will not be left until the last minute. Try to plan the day as much as possible, like how you will be getting to the interview and checking for any expected delays along your route.

6. Thoroughly research the company

Working for any company means being passionate, not just about the role, but also about the company itself. Researching the company thoroughly will have the benefit of helping you to decide whether or not it is the sort of business you believe in and would support. Also, knowing as much as possible will help you to tailor any responses you give. You can focus your responses around things you know the company wants to hear. You can also relate your particular skills to how you can help the company achieve any missions it has.

7. Follow up politely

It is good custom and a smart idea to send a follow-up email to the recruiter up to 24 hours after the interview. Keep it brief and polite and thank them for taking the time to meet with you. You can include any further points you might have missed out or remind them of why you would be perfect for the role. Don’t be pushy, but at the same time, recruiters will respect you for taking the initiative and trying to succeed.

Now that you know what to do in your interviews, it’s time to start opening yourself up to more opportunities and finding those great job opportunities. This is where Time Recruitment comes in. We help local job seekers to find their dream roles across a whole range of sectors. Our team of dedicated recruiters know what it takes to find perfect roles and to then prepare you for getting them. To get started on your path to a new career, simply sign up for a free account today. Then, get to work browsing through the roles we currently have available.

Nursing job interview questions you should prepare for

Certain job roles, such as nursing, come with a specific set of skills that help recruiters find the perfect candidates. Obtaining these skills is crucial if you want to come off well in an interview and either make it to the next stage or better yet, land the job.

(more…)

4 tips for making your job adverts gender neutral

The Equality Act, which became law in October 2010, states that it is unlawful to discriminate against people at work because of nine key areas: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The aim of this act is to improve equal job opportunities and promote fairness in the workplace.

(more…)

Will a good CV design get you the job?

Colourful patterns and imagery on CVs may be visually exciting but often they can be tossed aside by employers/recruiters because they are too difficult to read or not what they are looking for. Remember, recruiters are busy people and if your CV is too fussy, they might not even look at it at all.

(more…)

Important recruitment lessons to learn in 2018

Just because we’re a month into a new year doesn’t mean it’s too late to reflect on what we’ve learnt in 2017. As we head further into 2018, we take a look back at some of last year’s recruitment trends and what we should be looking out for in the next 12 months.

(more…)

6 body language tips to use in an interview

How you present yourself in an interview is just as important as what you say, so it’s vital you are aware of the different ways in which interviewers will be reviewing you. While it’s important to prepare what you will talk about and how you can explain your skills and experiences in the best way, take some time before your interview to think about the way you hold yourself because body language is a huge factor.

(more…)

7 ways to cope when you’re having a bad work day

Bad days can happen to anyone, even those of us who really love our jobs. When you are having a bad day it can seem like there’s no way out and having an extensive workload can really add to the pressure. Perhaps you’re feeling unmotivated and can’t seem to bring yourself to begin the long list of tasks you need to complete, or maybe you’re stuck in a seemingly never-ending rut.

(more…)