Career and Knowing If It’s Time To Move On

Have you reached a point in your career where you feel it is time to move on?

This morning I participated in the Learning and Development Chat on Twitter (#LDInsight.) The question posed was a really interesting one:

“How did you decide that a career in L&D or OD was for you?”

It was fascinating to see the many and varied routes through which my many L&D/OD connections have arrived in their current roles and careers.

I shared a little of my own story. My career started in Personal and Corporate Banking in the days when human beings made lending decisions rather than computers! I initially got involved in training through my membership of an external organisation Junior Chamber International which at the time was the largest out-of-hours management training organisation for young professionals.

Continue reading “Career and Knowing If It’s Time To Move On”

Thanks for the Interview Invite!

Great! I have received your invitation to attend an interview and it arrived in good time. What happens next?

  • I replied acknowledging receipt and confirming that I will be delighted to attend. I have a couple of questions ahead of the interview and because the invite came from a person rather than a donotreply@ email address I can contact you. You reply to me very quickly with the answers to my questions and apologise for omitting those basic details from the invite. You make a note of the things I have asked about because you can add them to future invites and avoid others having to ask the same questions.
  • On the day of the interview I arrive in good time and the person on your reception is expecting me and welcomes me in a friendly manner. They know who you are and how to contact you so they let you know. They also ask me if I need to use the facilities and whether I would like a hot drink. I make use of the facilities to freshen up and politely decline the hot drink because I don’t want to spill anything!
  • A few minutes before the interview is due to start you come and collect me from reception. We make small talk on the way to the interview room and you also point out any interesting things along the way – like where I might find myself working if I am successful at interview. It’s obvious that it’s a friendly place to work because people speak as we walk along and even hold the door open for us.
  • When we arrive in the room the other members of the panel all get up and introduce themselves. Of course they are not hindered by their mobile phones and are not checking their email because they have already put them away or put them into “flight mode.”
  • Everything is already set up for the presentation which is great because I don’t need to work out how the various pieces of your kit work together. We start with the presentation, once you have offered me a glass of water which of course I gratefully accept and can place within easy reach.
  • Even though you have seen similar presentations, because you have been interviewing all day, you maintain an interested look and even if you are starting to tire you avoid yawning! I am grateful for that and reach the end of my presentation and answer the questions which you have around one of the points I had made.
  • Then we move onto the interview questions. Actually, it was much more a discussion about my experience, my thoughts on some of the key challenges/issues in my area of work and what I would bring to the role. That was so much better than us working through your list of competence questions which I then had to select one answer to from my memory bank of STAR (Situation, Task, Actions, Results) responses. You knew that the Question Tennis approach was old hat and recognised that a two sided discussion was much more useful. What was also great was that because we had a discussion rather than competence questions you didn’t find yourself having to say “Ah you have already answered this with one of your previous responses.”
  • There had been lots of opportunities for me to ask questions during our discussion so we didn’t then have to have that laboured “Any questions from you?” But I did have a couple of remaining questions and you very graciously answered them without making me feel rushed. Of course it helped that we didn’t have to go through all those HR type questions about Notice Period etc. because they had all been covered at application stage.
  • As we came to the end it was really clear to see that you had planned the whole process because you were able to tell me exactly what was going to happen next and by when.
  • You then walked me back to reception and as we chatted along the way you avoided the inane questions about the weather. You shook hands with me as we parted and your friendly reception team signed me out.
  • So now I just need to wait for the date you had given me for the outcome. What a really pleasant email I found waiting for me after I had driven home. You thanked me for attending, confirmed the details we had discussed in terms of the outcome and wished me a pleasant evening/weekend. I of course responded thanking you for your time etc.

That was a great interview in fact probably the Perfect Interview. Will it continue into the outcome stage to ensure that I really do have a great Candidate Experience? That will be covered in my next post!

If you want to read the previous two posts looking at What I want from Recruitment (as a candidate) then you can find them here:

  1. The Basics of a Recruitment Experience
  2. Do You want me as a Fan?

Do You Want Me as a Fan?

This is the second in a series of short posts looking at What I (a candidate) want from Recruitment. In the previous post (which you can read here) I suggested that there were some simple things that would make life better not only for the candidate but also the employer.

Those simple things were around including details of the overall process in your advertisement. Now let’s move on to the stage where I have applied for the role. What do I want?

The CIPD (the organisation that sets the professional standards for HR) suggest that when it comes to applicants the following should be a rule of thumb:

” Prompt acknowledgement of an application – whether successful or unsuccessful – is good practice and presents a positive image of the organisation.

In many ways there isn’t much to add there but let me just expand a little on the various aspects of what the CIPD recommend:

  1. As a candidate I want to know that you have received my application
  2. If I am not going to be invited to interview then I do want to know even if it’s just a short (personalised) rejection email. You want to leave me with a positive impression of your organisation don’t you?
  3. Don’t do what one large organisation did recently to me and reject me within less than 5 minutes
    1. Telling me that they had “carefully reviewed my CV against the criteria for the role.”
    2. What was really obvious from having worked with various types of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) was that they had set it to reject anyone who had put a previous or expected salary higher than they were prepared to pay – of course they had not advertised the salary!
    3. What a waste of time it was for me to have applied and was I left as a fan, advocate or ambassador for the organisation? I think you can probably guess the answer!
  4. If I am going to be invited to interview and you want me to do a presentation then please include the details. These should include the instructions for either getting the presentation to you or whether I can bring it with me on a Pen Drive. That saves a lot of unnecessary emails clarifying the details.

In the next post I will look at the Interview Experience from the Candidate’s perspective.

Have you had any experiences having applied for a role where the organisation could do better and what could they do better?

The Basics of A Recruitment Experience

I read an article the other day by David D’Souza entitled “What I Want from HR” (you can read it here) which set me thinking. As a current job seeker and with many connections who are looking for a new role I found myself pondering on what would constitute a good Recruitment experience from a candidate perspective.

As I thought about it, I came to realise that, actually there isn’t that much that is needed to elevate the average candidate experience to something better.

The Absolute Basics:

When I am recruiting I have a tendency to sit down with my diary and work out when things need to happen. I put together a mini project plan so that I can map things out against other priorities and put time into my diary. Admittedly things can happen that change the dates I put in my diary and I have to be flexible but I have a sense of when each of the main steps in the process will happen.

I am sure that I cannot be alone in taking a planned approach to recruitment or rather I sincerely hope that I am not.

Continue reading “The Basics of A Recruitment Experience”