Tuesday, 20 January 2015

(Not so) Great Expectations

As you leave university you will have spent the last 3 or 4 years working hard, playing hard and hopefully enjoying your time before you have to start making some choices about your next steps which for most graduates will be, what job do you want?

It’s important that when you’re stepping out post university that your expectations match the outside world and most of the time, these expectations revolve about money and time.
If I had a pound for the amount of times I’ve spoken to a graduate and they ask “What is the salary” or “do you offer flexitime” I would be a rich person right now, they’re not taboo questions to ask but there is a time and place and within the first 10 minutes of an initial phone call with a potential employer is not the time nor the place. Which brings me back to the point of this blog, what are your expectations? It’s a really important question to ask as it could demonstrate that your “wants” are totally out of whack with the market you’re applying in or the employment market in general.

It’s not uncommon these days for businesses to offer flexible working, this could mean working from home, staggering your hours or working from a different office but that is not to say that as a fresh graduate with no experience you won’t be expected to come in, on time, to one location, every day for some time to come. You have a lot to learn and you can’t do that if you’re not with your team, it’s not only about learning a skill or demonstrating yours, it’s about learning to be with people in a professional environment, answering the phone, being in meetings, conduct with clients or senior members of staff, very important skills to learn and you can’t do that at home on your sofa and expecting to be able to flit here and there as and when you want is very off putting.

Money is the other embarrassing point and there are far too many grads who think they should be in line for £35K for just graduating. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain jobs that will pay that such as Oil and Gas engineering but most won’t and coming in all heavy handed with expectations of “at least £30000 starting salary” (immediate reject) is so off putting and recruiters will often have to have a very uncomfortable conversation about what you’re thinking!! This usually results in the candidate swallowing their pride or flouncing off somewhere else only to be told the same thing.

These two examples just demonstrate some extremes of behaviour and to ensure you’re on the money when you apply to roles, do your research, what is the market ACTUALLY paying, what benefits are most common in your field? You can play hardball but know your limits and you’ll not only come across as interesting but also astute and someone that an employer may want on their team, unlike someone who’s expectations are so above what they should be, you’re dismissed before you’ve even started the process.

It’s worth me ending by saying that graduates in the main are keen, enthusiastic and present themselves well as they know it’s a busy market out there but there are the odd 3 or 4 that let everyone down and give them all a bad rep. There’s certainly more that can be done at universities to change that but that’s for another post (and it’s certainly not a criticism).

Any comments about this article? Is it too harsh? Do you think graduates have a right to be pushy? Do let me know

Sunday, 4 January 2015

UK job market at the start of 2015

Welcome to 2015! I hope you have enjoyed the seasonal slowdown and have spent the first few days  of the year not sticking to your resolutions!

My blogs will be slightly more focused from here on in and I'm starting with a brief (very brief) picture of the UK job market as we head into the year.

It's been clear for a while that what once were green shoots in the employment market are now grassy meadows, we are back in a candidate driven market with many industries enjoying a more buoyant time with the ability to hire new staff in significant numbers.
Without a doubt, many recruiters and indeed managers still feel the reverberations of the recession and the impact it had on employment, it's taken a long time to get to this point but we're heading into 2015 with more positive expectations for the year ahead.

But why focus on the positive?!! We're always so good at finding the negative spin aren't we (our media are at least) so this is mine - research currently suggests that unfilled posts in the UK are costing the economy £18 BN a year. Eighteen billion - that's huge!!

Empty seats are not great and every recruiter's aim is to get the right bum on the right seat, no bum means a cost to the company but also to the wider economy due to time lost, money lost, inability to fulfill contracts on time etc etc - this paragraph came out wrong but you know what I mean.

I'll link to the article below but the issue effects nearly every industry, social, healthcare (obvs), finance, retail, professional services and more.

Its an issue that is already being talked about in the longer term with an ageing population, a lack of qualified candidates and the problems we will face in the future but that is not for now......as I would be here for ages and you would have left in a flurry of boredom.

So what does this all mean? To be honest, I'm not sure, every day you read something different about our economy and the employment market, what you read and what it means in a general sense will depend on the writer. One thing is for sure, we have jobs once again, there are jobs out there, they don't suit everyone I know but as I said, those green shoots have defiantly shot and it would seem that in some industries they're impossible to keep up with.

So what does this mean to you as a job seeker? Well I would firstly say that you shouldn't expect your job search to be easy, there is still a huge amount of competition out there, particularly at Graduate level but if you're committed and intelligent, if you know your market and can demonstrate that in your application through study and/or experience then you are off on the right foot, of course if you're not sure where to start then get in touch with us.

So 2015 - who knows what will happen as we move through the weeks and months, one thing is for sure, no one can predict it, no matter how many facts and figures they give you.

Article: http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/unfilled-vacancies-costing-the-uk-economy-%C2%A318bn-a-year