7 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Job Interview

When you’re interviewing for your dream job, there’s nothing worse than going in unprepared. Though studying interview questions and having general knowledge about the subject is a must for any interviewee, you might be overlooking some of the other ways that you can prepare for your interview, in order to give you an edge over your competition. Here are just a few ways you can prepare for that big interview:

1. Research your potential employer

It’s not enough to know general knowledge about your topic – it’s also important to do at least a little research on what a company does, how it works and even its history. Showing you can research and understand the values and ethos of a business can be equally as important as the skills and knowledge you can display offhand. You don’t have to go in-depth, but if you can fill a page of an A5 notebook with what you know about the company you’re applying to, then you’re off to a great start. If you have one positive recent news story you could refer to as well, perhaps relating to an award, event or new product, then it’s all the better.

2. Research your employer’s competitors

Having a greater understanding of the market you’re going into can give you insight into what your role might be. Whether it’s taking a quick look at the skills and abilities of people in similar organisations to you or simply looking at what sets your interviewing company apart from the competition, further knowledge of the ins and outs of an industry can be a good indicator that you’re passionate about it. It can also give you a greater understanding of what your responsibilities will be in a particular role, and give you other options that you’ve already researched should one interview not work out.

3. Choose your outfit

Just throwing on something on the day won’t cut it; and even if an office or workplace has a uniform or is smart-casual, opting for the smarter spectrum for your interview wardrobe gives a good impression. Of course, it’s also important to know how to read a business; if you’ll be on your feet a lot or on-site for a role, showing up to your interview in a pencil skirt and heels might not immediately make your match with the kind of job you want. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruitment agency or their HR manager pre-interview on what it the etiquette for your interview process; whether formal or casual.

4. Talk about yourself in the mirror

This one might seem more appropriate for an improv or drama class, but in fact, being able to speak confidently about yourself while keeping good eye contact is something many people struggle with, and using the mirror can be a good tool to take away the awkwardness of being asked about yourself in the interview room. Talk about your good points, your experiences and even things you’d like to improve; anything that might be asked on the day.

5. Practice your makeup and beauty routine

We’re not just talking women when it comes to ensuring you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the day of an interview. A little concealer can make you look more awake, and a beauty routine could just be ensuring your hair is freshly washed, clean and nicely styled. Other makeup isn’t a must for any interview, really, but if you feel more confident with a little mascara on, go for it. Heavy-duty concealer can also be used to cover tattoos is necessary, and if it is indicated that they may not be welcome in the workplace.

6. Plan your route

There’s nothing worse than the panic of being late to a job interview, and it can reflect badly on you even if the situation may not have been your fault. From traffic to breakdowns, lack of public transport to roadworks, having some understanding ahead of time of how long your journey will take, when you’ll get there, and how much time you’ll have before an interview are all key things to consider. It’s always preferable to arrive at your interview a little early, but if you’re there more than twenty minutes before your interview, opt to duck into the nearest coffee shop or cafe and wait it out.

7. Collate relevant documents

It’s very unlikely that any job will want you to take in your qualifications and identification to an interview, so when we’re talking about paperwork we mean anything that adds value to your meeting with a potential employer. If you’re asked to do a presentation, bring paper copies so they can follow along and make notes. Written something relevant you’re particularly proud of? Bring it with you. Choose a professional ring binder or folder to ensure your paper doesn’t arrive dog-eared or messy, and to give yourself a more professional image.

If you’re looking for a new role in the healthcare, construction, commercial or industrial industries, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today at Time Recruitment to find out more about the roles we have waiting for you.

Why You Should Use a Recruitment Agency – The Benefits for Individuals

Deciding to take on a new role is a big decision. However, trying to decide what that new job should be is only the first step of a very long process, one that is often costly, time consuming and has no guarantee of finding the right position to suit your talent, skills and interests.

Employers are looking for the top talents, and any internal human resources department faces a difficult time attempting to sift through applications while trying to find the right candidates for the job. Given the large quantities of people who are looking for permanent positions at the moment, the ever-increasing numbers of graduates and the competition between companies all trying to find the top people, it’s not surprising that many businesses dislike the hiring process, which has a negative effect on people trying to find jobs with them.

As such, more and more businesses are choosing to employ recruitment agencies, removing themselves from the difficult parts of the process, and being presented with a pool of talent from which they can make the final decision about who will be best for the job. Recruitment agencies identify and attract talent, can negotiate terms and allow businesses to continue to focus on their actual jobs without being distracted by the recruitment process. Given the constant pressures faced by business in these current economic times, recruitment agencies can relieve significant pressure. Because so many businesses are now using recruitment agencies, it is essential that people looking for jobs follow this trend; our experts have highlighted the top benefits for individuals using a recruitment agency brings:


1. Identifying jobs that match your talents

Recruitment agencies work with both professionals who are looking for positions and employers who are talent searching, so these agencies are best placed to understand and know exactly what all parties are looking for. By acting as an intermediary, recruitment agencies have proven experience in identifying talent based on CVs and conversations with individuals and use these skills to match specific jobs with your skillsets.

In addition, by having experience with many companies operating in your field of expertise, agencies will be able to have a broad understanding about your previous experiences, as well as the specific roles you are trying to get into, allowing them to match you with jobs with greater confidence, knowing exactly what skill sets are required for success.

2. Finding vacancies

Looking for jobs on company websites can take a lot of time. Often these websites are difficult to navigate, and there is no prior indication of whether the company is hiring, meaning you waste a lot of time on fruitless searching.

Recruitment agencies advertise vacancies through a variety of different platforms, including on their website, on the high street and through email communication with their subscribers, allowing far more people to see job adverts; due to recruitment agencies talented and targeted marketing techniques, they will send you jobs that match your needs, including previous experience and geographic location. Furthermore, recruitment companies will reach out and seek firms who have previously had job descriptions that would be suitable for you, in order to see if they have similar positions that need to be filled. Having a large pool of companies they can draw upon, agencies can directly contact people in these organisations they feel will be suited for you, even business who may not have a vacancy currently advertised.

3. Negotiation

Recruitment agencies are also highly skilled at salary negation, choosing to establish remuneration figures before going too far down the recruitment process. Acting as an intermediary party, they are well practiced in assessing the worth of individuals, as well as identifying correct salaries for jobs. They will negotiate on behalf of all parties within the recruitment process, while ensuring that everybody has realistic expectations in mind. Ensuring that both the employee and employer are aware of salary expectations from the outset results in realistic communication going forward, increasing the chances of a mutually beneficial outcome.

4. Initial screening

While a job description may look impressive, you often will not get a good understanding of a job’s roles and responsibilities until you have attended an interview or taken the time to contact the company over the phone. Recruitment agencies will do this for you, saving you time and effort, allowing them to narrow the pool of positions that are suitable for you. By conducting this screening, they can cut through the jargon of job descriptions, establish exactly what a job entails and subsequently assess whether it would be a right fit for you, while eliminating unsuitable positions. In addition, recruitment agencies may also provide background checks on business, looking at their social media presence and anonymous employee reviews on websites such as Glassdoor.com, to ensure that they are the type of business that suits your aspirations and needs. Finally, recruitment agencies can also assist you in interview techniques and how to answer certain questions, as well as recommending some questions for you to ask the employer, allowing you to make a much more informed decision when it comes to choosing your new job.

Why Digital Savvy is a Must for Many Employers

Whether you’re on-site or in the office, from healthcare roles to commercial positions, the digital world is more pervasive than ever when it comes to the skills we need to effectively complete our jobs. So when you’re looking for a new role in just about any field, a good understanding of the digital world and the skills involved is a must to be able to prove yourself a competent and effective employee. Here are a few ways in which digital savvy is a must for employers:

Digital communication

With even phone calls becoming the less prevalent form of communication, those still writing letters stand no chance in comparison to digital-savvy potential employees who understand the importance of digital communication. Emails are the forefront of just about any business, and understanding not only how to use the program at a basic level, but knowing the best way of writing for an industry and the tone of voice you should use are all important factors when it comes to digital communication.

This applies to instant messaging in the same way it does email. Whether access from a smartphone on-site or for information transfer between desks or offices, instant messaging for businesses is bigger than ever and allows for the increased productivity of staff around the world. A good understanding of how to use instant messaging as well as emails is essential for anyone looking to enter into a role, whether entry-level or not. IMs can hugely impact the amount of work completed in a day, and provide a way for employees to connect without the need to get up and find a person.

Most employers will be looking for these skills as a basic requirement for any role.

Social media management

Social media management doesn’t just apply to those in marketing-centric roles anymore. Though those kinds of roles will be the ones in charge of official channels and the control of what is in the public eye, some businesses expect those working for them to be active on platforms such as LinkedIn in the promotion of their employer. Of course, this mostly applies to sales roles, but one principle that carries over to all staff is that when it comes to social media, what’s public is what can impact the place you work for.

If you don’t have a social media account, no problem; but if you do have a public account, it’s important that you have the savvy to understand what is and what isn’t appropriate in the world of the workplace – and the fact that, these days, many employers or recruitment agencies will check out what your social media says about you before you even have your first interview. Keeping your social media clean and friendly is another indicator that you have the savvy required to work in a digital world.

Research and development

With the internet used every day in practically every business, being able to use online resources for your gain is another savvy skill that’s a must for many employers. Whether it’s simply knowing how to research information and ideas through online searches and collation of information, or even using online tutorials and videos to learn how to do something new or improve your skills, learning and development is just another way you can show how you’re digitally capable.

Being able to use the internet for your own means is of great benefit to you, too – as it can allow you to take courses, develop skills and evolve talents that can then be used in the interview process. If you can use your digital skills to further a prospective company or improve how well you can do your job, this is obviously a massive bonus to interviewers and potential employers, showing your willingness to learn and develop in your own time.

Online collaboration

From platforms like DropBox to services like Google Drive, being able to collaborate with other workers who could be sat next door to you or on the other side of the planet requires the use of collaborative programmes and management to improve efficiency – and these tools are regularly used in many workplaces as ways to allow multiple people to collaborate and work together on projects.

Being able to use software such as Office can carry over to these kinds of platforms, and employers will often look for those with skills in not just basic word processing but acting in more collaborative and complex projects, especially if this is part of your future job description. Being able to do all this in a digital field makes you a futureproof choice and a good fit for many businesses that require digital savvy employees.

If you want to know more about how digital skills can improve your job search, get in contact. Our goal as a recruitment agency is to help you find the perfect role for you and advise how best to fit that job description. Get in contact with us today to find out more.

The Importance of Social Media in the Recruitment Process

Want to get noticed for that next job? Who doesn’t? There are so many things you can do to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd and your interview skills are up to scratch, but one aspect many forget to address during the recruitment process is the importance of the digital world, mainly social media.

Choosing the right platform

Most of us will be active on at least one social media platform, whether that’s sharing statuses and videos on Facebook, tweeting about the latest news or sharing snaps of your latest dinner, location or outfit on Instagram. Perhaps the most important social network to consider when job hunting is LinkedIn, the professional social network.

Before we come on to how networks such as LinkedIn can help with job searches, getting noticed and becoming a standout candidate, it’s key to address the dos and don’ts when it comes to using other social platforms whilst job hunting.

Be socially savvy

No one wants to see your university photos from 10+ years ago, where you’re rolling around on the floor and drinking out of a bucket. The audience who especially don’t want to see this is recruiters, so it’s important to make sure you’re socially savvy.

Profiles for personal use, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to some extent should be kept private. Don’t hide everything on your page, then you look like you want to do exactly that; hide things from people, but make sure you’re selective in what you show to users outside of your friendship group.

Make sure your profile and cover images are suitable, and your about sections are up to date with job roles, personal info, etc. You could even include links to any of your professional sites or information on your hobbies. Instagram is mainly used for high-quality imagery anyway, but again, be savvy in knowing what and what not to share, especially on Instagram Stories if you’re an avid user.

Do your research

Social media can also be a very useful tool in conducting valuable company research prior to an application or interview. The best way to apply for a job is through a recruiter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use LinkedIn, or any other social network, to research information on the company, its projects, processes and even staff numbers.

Explore each individual Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages belonging to the company (sometimes brands have more than one, say for customer services purposes on Twitter), and note any stand-out findings down. These can help greatly when attending an interview, as it helps you come across as inquisitive, thorough and interested in the business and its future.

A social CV

When it comes to your own personal profile, this almost acts as a CV. Lots of recruiters will ask for social network links nowadays, including LinkedIn, so it’s a real chance to show off your skillset and help validate it, too. Past and present colleagues can endorse you for particular skills, and the more you’re endorsed for a skill, the better it looks on your virtual CV (and actual CV, too!). When a recruiter sees your CV and LinkedIn profile and pairs them up, seeing validated endorsements on those skills you’ve outlined on paper is a real strong point.

Staying up to date

Make sure you keep your LinkedIn account up to date with jobs, the timings are correct and try and get as many relevant endorsements as you can to help boost your profile. Growing your network is also a huge benefit. Just like Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections are almost endorsements in themselves. You don’t want thousands as it comes across as impersonal, and recruiters will likely question the validity of it, as who realistically knows that number of people through the workplace, or even with the help of networking events.

Make sure you’re regularly creating and sharing content on your page, too. This will not only expand your reach on the platform but showcase your professionalism and knowledge across your industry, too. Make sure you include your own opinion when sharing articles – it adds a personal touch and shows you know what you’re talking about, as opposed to just sharing content in bulk.

LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn groups is another way to get noticed during the recruitment process. Groups are where like-minded users can join to talk about topics of interest and engage in knowledge-sharing in a professional forum. Engaging in conversations within LinkedIn groups can help expand your job search, and looks good to recruiters too, especially if you include within your CV itself. Groups can be set up by brands or individuals, so it’s also a great way to connect with brands and influential audiences.

For more on how to get noticed during the recruitment process, get in touch with us.

7 Mistakes That are Killing Your Job Search

If you are currently on the hunt for the perfect job for you, you may be feeling a little bit frustrated if your search is not going as well as you expected it to. There is no denying that a job hunt can be a bit of minefield. With so many places to find jobs today, and so much competition, it can be hard to know where to start and then how to make yourself stand out so you secure the job. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to take a look at some of the common mistakes people make when job hunting so that you can stop making them.

1. Going it alone

– One of the biggest mistakes people make today is attempting to tackle the job search by themselves. Nowadays, there are specialist recruitment firms dedicated to specific industries that can help you to find the right job for you. There are a number of different reasons why you should make the most of their assistance. Firstly, they can help you with matters like improving your CV and preparing for interviews. Secondly, they have the best contacts within that specific industry, and so they will be able to present you with more opportunities. Thirdly, they specialise in matching people to the right jobs for them, ensuring you end up in a career that is perfectly suited to you and can set you up for life.

2. Taking your eye off the competition

– When job hunting, it is important to remember that you are in direct competition with all of the other applicants. This is why you need to make a conscious effort to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Why should employers want you over the other candidates that are available? You are going to put yourself at a distinct advantage if you simply fall in line with the crowd.

3. Forgetting that times have changed

– If you have not been in the job market for a number of years now, you could have unrealistic expectations, as well as an outdated approach. It is easy to assume that the job market is going to be exactly as it was when you last applied for a job, but this is unlikely to be the case. Times have changed. Make sure you understand the modern job market before you attempt to tackle it, as well as what kinds of interview questions might come up. Again, this is where an expert recruitment firm really shows its worth.

4. Applying for every job you come across

– You should not waste your time applying for each and every job that you come across. Instead, you need to focus on the jobs that you really want. Instead of adopting a scattergun approach it is better to focus on fewer applications so that you can get them right. You won’t be able to give your applications the time and effort they require if you are making hundreds of them.

5. Taking rejection personally

– You should not be downhearted if you do not get accepted for a job, or a number of jobs for that matter. Today, it is exceptionally rare to be offered the first job that you make an application for. Competition is simply so fierce today, so you should never take rejection personally. Instead, ask for feedback so you can learn from it and take these lessons into your next proposal and interview.

6. Badmouthing a previous employer

– This is a mistake that a lot of people make during the interview process. If you say something negative about your previous employer, it says more about you than the person you worked for. The individual that is interviewing you will assume that you are difficult to work with and they will worry that you are going to badmouth them in the future too.

7. Using the same CV and cover letter for every proposal

– Last but not least, employers can spot a generic application from a mile off. You need to ensure that every proposal is tweaked to suit the job that you are applying for. If you don’t, it shows that you do not care. Instead, show that you are passionate about the role you are applying for and that you have done your research into the company. You need to display that you are a perfect fit for the business you are applying to.
Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding regarding some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are looking for the perfect job for them. If you make an effort to avoid the blunders that have been discussed, you can give yourself a much better chance of your search being successful. Do not hesitate to call us at Time Recruitment for more advice. We can help you to find the ideal job for you.

The Top 5 Interview Questions to Learn More About Your Candidates

A well-planned interview will include a number of questions which have been designed to reveal information about the potential candidates and their achievements, goals, skills and personalities. More interviewers are aware of the common questions, so we have put together the following list which is designed to give you a better insight into potential candidates’ abilities.

1) “Tell me about a goal which you were able to achieve recently, what plan of action did you have in place?”

This is a great way to break the ice in an interview, as the candidate will quickly be able to talk in detail about their recent achievements. It is likely the candidate will discuss a goal which a manager set them and the steps they took to achieve the goal, but a great candidate will explain how they were able to set their own goals. You should look for candidates which were able to adapt plans as situations changed, to ensure the overall goal was achieved. A good employee is able to plan well and adjust to quickly changing environments.

2) “Can you give me an example of a goal which you were unable to achieve and why this happened?”

We all make mistakes, it is only natural. An honest and open candidate will be able to take responsibility for failing tasks, without trying to blame others. A great candidate will talk about the lessons they were able to learn from the experience. All failings are a learning curve and should have provided a candidate with improved skills and expertise from the insight gained.

3) “Have you ever started a conversation with a co-worker which became uncomfortable, if so what did you say?”

If there is a problem in the workplace which requires an awkward conversation, many employees will struggle to open up. In many situations people believe the easy option is to stay silent, while hoping that someone else in the workplace steps up and starts the conversation. If your candidate does not have an example of an uncomfortable conversation, they may not be a great fit for a team. A great team should be able to support each other through praise and constructive criticism.

An ideal candidate should be able to demonstrate an ability to involve themselves in team dynamics. They should be able to raise issues within the team and discuss interpersonal issues rather than hesitating.

4) “Tell me about the last time that you upset someone while at work? How did you handle the situation?”

There are conflicts in both our personal and professional lives, and in every role we are likely to be faced with conflict. This is an excellent way of establishing which candidates are unable to accept responsibility for an issue. An ideal candidate will be able to explain why an issue occurred and how they worked to solve the problem.

A common situation is when candidates raise an issue within a team, as it can lead to temporary upset. The candidate should be able to identify where the issue came from and demonstrate how they resolved the situation in a professional way. The best candidates will be able to admit when they were at fault and identify any of their actions which could have led to the upset.

5) “How did the first three months go in your last position, what were you able to achieve?”

This question will help you find candidates which are looking to hit the ground running. The ideal employee will want to learn quickly by finding their way in the day-to-day running of the business. The candidate should be able to describe how they were able to add value to the business and the skills which they brought to the position. You should be looking for candidates who were quickly able to identify changes to make in the workplace to improve efficiency, customer satisfaction and quality levels. Try to look for candidates who dive into their roles, rather than waiting for instructions from senior employees.

The best candidates are those who are able to share what they have learned through their working lives, as it shows they are always looking to develop and learn. Rather than moving from one question to the next, try to create a natural conversation flow, as it will put the candidate at ease. Always aim to find out a little more through follow up questions, which may not have been carefully prepared in advance. Remember to give the candidate ample opportunities to talk about their experience, skills and their career goals as small details could show you that they are a great fit for your business.

As a professional recruitment agency, we can assist you in finding the ideal candidate for your position. If you would like to find out more about our services, please contact us.

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.