Author Archives: Lynne Willoughby

How to deal with job rejections

Try to find positives

Just got rejected from your dream job following the interview?  If so, we know how difficult this can be to come to terms with, particularly in the current difficult job market. The excitement of getting through to the interview stage has been replaced with huge disappointment and often self-doubt.  With any form of disappointment it is good to remember that it is often not what happens to us that defines us, but how we react and deal with it.

Build a resilient mind-set

Building a resilient mind-set is the key to being able to handle rejection in a more balanced and constructive way. Resiliency will help you to keep a more positive and adaptable attitude when things don’t go as you had hoped and allow you to focus more on the opportunities that can be created from the lessons learnt.

Instead of dwelling on the things you can’t change, try to think objectively about what you can do to improve future chances. The first thing to remember, is that in an extremely competitive job market such as this, you have done well to get as far as you did.  This shows that you are capable of success, so you just need to keep going and keep believing in yourself.  Once the initial disappointment has subsided, take stock of what you have learned from the opportunity and use the positives and negatives to take you forward to your next application.

Ask for feedback

Try and get as much feedback as you can following your interview – this will help you know what to focus on going forward.  Where feedback is not available, you will need to draw your own conclusions about what went well and what areas could be improved.  Whilst doing this, try to be constructive and positive. If for example you felt that the interviewer didn’t realise how experienced you were at a particular task, try to think of how you could have presented the facts to them in a clearer way and maybe given some better examples.  It is again important to remember, that in the current market, companies have a much wider choice where they are often able to choose from several different candidates that may all be a 100% match. This means that you may miss out on an opportunity even where you felt you could not have done anything better.

Practice the areas you felt were your weakest

If the reason you have missed out this time was for lack of technical knowledge make sure you improve and practice this for future opportunities.  There are many online courses available to help you brush up on different technical skills. If you felt you may have missed out by lack of interview style or confidence, practice with friends and family, answering generic interview questions. Make sure you are well versed on the most common competency based interview questions and have examples ready to show how you would deal with things in practice.

Even if you haven’t been successful on this occasion, it doesn’t necessarily close the door to future opportunities with the particular company.  It is therefore always worth following up an interview with an email to say how you enjoyed hearing more about the opportunity and remain interested in both the role and the company.

Accept rejection as part of the process

None of us land every job we go for and learning to accept rejection as part of the process will help to keep things in perspective. Our brains are hardwired to pay more attention to negative events than to positive ones, so we need to accept that we will feel disappointed and disheartened, but build our resolve to take the positives forward and work on the negatives ready for our next opportunity.

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Are you Able to ‘Kickstart’ a Young Person’s Career?

The government is calling on ‘every employer, big and small, national or local’ to hire as many ‘Kickstarters’ as possible, through their newly launched Kickstart Scheme.

These newly created job placements should help the ‘Kickstarters’ develop skills and experience that will help them with their future career prospects.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

Kickstart is a Uk Government Scheme which provides funding to employers to create thousands of job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit.

The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, for 6 months. £1,500 is also available per placement for support and training.

Who can apply for funding?

All UK companies are eligible to apply for funding but if they have less than 30 placements to offer they must apply through a representative organistation/gateway. The only criteria is that the job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs and cannot:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as communication, problem solving and teamwork

How can Atwood Tate help?

As a passionate advocate of the scheme, Atwood Tate are delighted to get involved by acting as an intermediary organisation/gateway to facilitate our clients’ access to the scheme.  It is a fantastic opportunity for us all to give hope to the hundreds of young people that are getting in touch with us, concerned about their futures.

There has been some criticism and concern that many smaller businesses may be disadvantaged by the scheme in relation to their larger counterparts because companies taking on fewer than 30 new young workers are prevented from applying directly for funds. To address this problem, we are delighted to be working with our clients to pool your job vacancies and apply for funding on your behalf.

When Does the Kickstart Scheme Start?

The scheme is open for applications now and the DWP expect to be able to confirm funding within 4 weeks of the application.

How to Apply?

You can apply through our gateway as a completely free service, or you can take advantage of our large network, skills and experience to provide you with a more comprehensive package. Details of all our packages can be found on our website www.atwoodtate.co.uk

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How Company Culture Can Impact Recruiting?

How you consider your company culture can have a big impact on the way you recruit. It is widely considered that hiring for ‘cultural fit’ is a sensible approach to recruitment.  It makes sense that candidates hired with ‘cultural fit’ in mind are more likely to start really becoming part of your team much quicker, be happier in their role and in turn stay longer with your company.

BUT, if the definition of your culture is too rigid, it could lead to a lack of diversity by allowing ‘bias’ to creep in and consciously or unconsciously favouring people with similar backgrounds to your own. 

Consider cultural contribution rather than just cultural fit

Rather than just fixating on finding people that ‘fit in’ and align exactly to your beliefs and behaviours, it is better to think about how they might contribute to these. If you see value in hiring people who bring new perspectives and ways of thinking to your business, then you are already thinking about ‘cultural contribution’, rather than just immediate and obvious fit. 

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t define your values and culture and recruit with these in mind, but you shouldn’t be restricted by them. It is important that you recruit for people that will stretch your ability to innovate and adapt, as challenging the status quo is what will drive your business forward. Your recruitment approach needs to fact based, so that candidates are measured by their strengths and behaviour, rather than whether they are ‘similar’ to the people you already have.

Make ‘cultural contribution’ a company value

If you make cultural contribution a value of your company and are able to demonstrate and articulate the benefits to your existing team, you are less likely to create disharmony. People are often threatened by things that they are not familiar with or don’t understand but if you are able to show that cultural contribution can help them and the business to grow and evolve, you are more likely to take them with you on the journey.

Very often it can be a company’s perceived culture that holds them back so having people challenge this by having their own new ideas can have a positive impact.  Culture does not need to be fixed, instead it can adapt and evolve to create an environment where everyone can fit.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruitment Agency

Honesty is the best policy

The most important thing in the relationship with your recruitment agency, is honesty.  The more honest and open that both candidates and clients are, the more they are likely to get out of partnering with a recruitment agency.

As a candidate being honest about what you want and expect from a job is made easier by having a third party to ‘sound out’ your expectations.  This will give you the opportunity to find out if these are realistic and feasible without potentially ruining opportunities.  If you are using a specialist agency, they will be extremely experienced in the industry and be able to offer vital advice.  It is great for candidates to be focussed and have a good idea of what they want and this enables agencies to match them with the right employers for them.  It is also important that they are realistic and ensure that they have the relevant skills and experience that the role requires and a good agency will be able to advise where and if there is any flexibility on this.  Communication with your agency is key and ensuring that you are available to pick up and answer messages, either by phone or email, as promptly as possible will ensure that you don’t miss out on potential opportunities. If you are flexible and reliable, your recruitment agency is much more likely to be proactive on your behalf.  If you are unsure of anything it is always best to ask and if you are worried about any particular aspect of the job or remuneration package it is always good to raise this with your agency at the earliest possible opportunity. Always let your agency know about other opportunities you are exploring as a good agency should offer impartial advice and be more focussed on creating long term partnerships than the quick win. They should therefore hopefully have your interests at heart and give you the information and benefit of their experience to allow you to make the right choice for you.

Keep your agency informed of any changes

As a client, it is also extremely important to be as honest as possible with your agency partner. The goalposts will often move throughout the recruitment process but keeping your agency updated and aware of these changes is critical to ensuring they are able to manage the candidate’s expectations.  Honest feedback on the candidates is also essential so that the agency can help to ensure that the candidates are going for the right opportunities for them and are able to learn from their experiences.  Clients also need to be realistic with their expectations and realise that it is not always possible to tick every box.  Again, a good specialist agency will be able to give advice on where it is best to be flexible as they are likely to have an excellent grasp on the current market. Where possible it is always best to use one specialist agency rather than multiple agencies as this commitment will be matched by the agency’s commitment.  Partnering with the right agency and showing commitment to them will allow them to become a great ambassador for your company to ensure you maintain the value of your employer brand.

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Top 20 Interview Tips

Interview Tips

Interviews can be nerve racking and with many interviews now being conducted remotely it can be more difficult to appear relaxed and be able to get your personality across.  Whatever structure your interview takes and whatever level of role you are being interviewed for, the one things that remains unchanged is that preparation is still the key. The more you prepare the better chance of success you have.

There is a huge amount of advice out there to help you nail your interview, but we have put together a reminder of our top 20 tips for a successful interview.

1              BE PREPARED

2              BE PUNTUAL AND IF USING TECHNOLOGY TEST IN ADVANCE

3              SMILE & BE FRIENDLY

4              DON’T PANIC

5              RE-READ YOUR APPLICATION LETTER AND CV

6              BE ENTHUSIASTIC

7              BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITY

8              TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER YOUR ANSWERS

9              DO YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT THE COMPANY AND ROLE

10           DO YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT THE COMPANY’S COMPETITORS

11           PREPARE ANSWERS TO COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

12           HIGHLIGHT YOUR STRENGTHS AND APPLY THEM TO THE JOB ROLE

13           FRAME ANY WEAKNESSES POSITIVELY

14           PREPARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK

15           CLEARLY DEFINE WHY YOU WANT THIS PARTICULAR ROLE

16           KEEP PROFESSIONAL THROUGHOUT THE INTERVIEW

17           DON’T WAFFLE OR GO OFF AT TANGENTS

18           DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADMIT IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING

19           ASK ABOUT NEXT STAGES AND TIMELINE

20           FOLLOW UP AND CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST

Good luck!

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