Graduates Want to Make a Difference

Graduates in 2012 want to make a difference with the skills and knowledge they’ve gained at university, says a recent study carried out by management consulting firm Hay Group. In fact, as much as 51% of recent university students stated that ‘whether or not a job would make positive difference to world’ would be among one of deciding factors when it comes to looking for employment. And though the job market is in no way saturated with this brand of happy-go-lucky opportunities to keep up with graduate demand, the study has made me think a little differently as to how best to attract graduate-calibre talent to a company.

What Graduates Want

Of course, no-one wants to work for Dr Evil (except maybe me, I’ve always fancied one of those board-rooms where you can plunge fellow employees into a steaming pit of a lava at the push of a button), and be branded a monstrous corporate cog; but the reality is such that not every job on the market comes with a free glowing halo to wear over your head.

The trouble is that the gap between reality and student expectation (in the UK job market) is somewhat of a gaping chasm, meaning a lot of graduates enter the market with a significantly picky mind-set. So then, we must be a little more astute when it comes to job-appeal and targeting graduates to fill a particular role.

It’s all in the Job Description

The best course of action would be to think like a graduate – what would they want from the job? Of course, they may be expected to be ‘a competent Excel user, with good analytical skills in a bid to increase the sales of a new energy drink product’. But if you flip the coin, a much more appealing description would be the ‘requirement to use their analytical and Excel  wizardry to help as many of our British athletes find out about our amazing new energiser drink’! Talk about making a difference (who wouldn’t want to help our athletes in the wake of a hugely successful Olympic triumph?)!


Universities may be pumping out graduates more often than ever, but the current state of the UK job market isn’t enough make students forget about their principles. If employment-seeking graduates want to make a positive difference to the world, then let them – all it takes is a little re-think in order to keep them interested!

Get it across in your job advert that they’ll be pulling levers which determine the very fate of something immensely important, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your prize! welcomes a new team Member

We would like to welcome and introduce a brand new member of the hiringmadesimple team; Mike Wise, Account Manager for

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Mike will be responsible for servicing our current clients and promoting our services to companies throughout the UK.

If you would like to contact Mike directly regarding any of our products please email him at:

Hiring Tips, Week 3 – 3 Things Most Companies Don’t Consider but Should!

We’re going to close our hiring tips with a quick run-down of some of biggest stumbling blocks that hiring managers often trip up on when it comes to taking on new employees, and how you can avoid falling at them in the future in order to land that hot-shot candidate.

1. Why Would I Want to Work for You?

Let’s be frank, if a company was to table me a job description that’s akin to a laundry list of ‘things-to-do’, it hardly sparks my enthusiasm for the position or gets my engines raring to go. So then, obviously, this will probably come over during the interview (that’s if I even apply for the job in the first place!), meaning all of my positive attributes that I could bring to the business would be somewhat muted. The company bosses may decide that I’m not enthusiastic enough for the role, and could potentially be missing out on a superstar candidate (even if I say so myself).

Too many hiring managers focus on a ‘what can you do for us?’ attitude and fail to sell themselves to the candidate in return. This is a very egotistical and big-headed approach to hiring, and should be avoided at all cost.

Instead, those in charge of hiring new staff should be trying to employ the best possible candidates by selling their company as much as possible. Perhaps this, then, will attract more people who want to work for you and not just those who are willing to work for you.

2. There’s no Miracle Potion

When advertising a job, many businesses are very particular as to what they require when it comes to experience, areas of expertise, personal qualities and academic qualifications. On top of this, they insist candidates must be able to work on X days, have a deep-rooted passion for all things sport-related and be able to drive a motorcycle up a ramp and leap over a row of cars….backwards. The point I’m trying to make here is that some hiring managers are too specific when it comes to job requirements, and won’t even entertain an interview from those who don’t answer ‘yes’ to all of the above.

Let’s get one thing clear, you’re not going to find someone (or at least, very rarely find someone) who ticks all of the boxes. What you may find, however, is that the IT candidate who doesn’t have a degree in web design, actually has a portfolio twice the size of, and more impressive than, those candidates who do.

As a company, you must learn to be flexible when it comes to finding the right candidate for your job. There is no miracle potion that will solve everything!

3. Focus on the Task

I’ve seen a handful of HR managers do a lot of talking when it comes to hiring new talent, but normally Hell has a much better chance of freezing over before they get themselves into gear and employ someone. It seems to be a long and drawn out affair for many companies to enlist someone new, and this could be half of the reason they struggle to fill their position.

Let’s think about it for a  second – you post your opening online to job sites like Reed, Total Jobs, Monster and so on  (we can help you there – effective job advertising services), and receive about 30 applications for the post. These 30 people are actively seeking work so, unlike your company, may not have time to sit around and wait. If it takes you more than 2 weeks to communicate with possible candidates after the initial application, you may find yourself playing second fiddle to another company who have snapped them up first.

The same goes for the post-interview stage. If a candidate has impressed on an interview, don’t dawdle for too long before inviting them back, because chances are they’ve had other interviews elsewhere and impressed in those too. Of course, I’m not saying point your finger at them across the desk at the end of the interview and say ‘You’re Hired!’, all Alan Sugar style – but be sure not to make the process any lengthier than it needs to be.

Hiring Tips, Week 2 – Effective Interviewing Techniques

There are plenty of articles all over the internet offering tips on how to approach a job interview from a candidate’s perspective, which is great, but there seems to be a lack of help when it comes to advice for those on the other side of the table. So, this week, we’ll look at how to get the most from your interviews, and the kind of questions you should be asking in order to make a much more reasoned and logical assessment of your candidates.

Of course, before doing any interviewing at all, you’ll need to attract the right people to your company – read out our specialised job advertising services for more information.

Preparation is Key

Finding the right employees for your company is a tough task, but getting it right will ultimately lead to a highly productive office and a much more successful business. It makes sense then, to be as prepared as possible before sitting anyone down in the hot-seat.

A good starting point is to right down a short paragraph which sums up the role you’re looking to fill. Not only does this make you think more about the skills that will be required to carry out the job, but it acts as a constant reminder as to the position you’re hiring for, should conversation wander in a different direction at any point during the interview.

You should also jot down any essential competences and experience that are essential for role, as well as reading thoroughly through the candidate’s application and CV, making note of any sections you would like to discuss further during the interview.

Finally, be sure to compile a complete list of all the questions you would like to ask. It may also be a good idea to write all CV-related questions down on a separate piece of paper before meeting your candidate – you could put yourself across as unprepared if you have to keep scanning the interviewee’s CV during the interview.  Bear in mind that your possible suitors are also interviewing you as a company, so it’s important for you yourself to give a great impression.

Asking the Right Questions

Trying to determine whether a candidate could be a good fit for your company can be quite tricky. Many job hunters will be pretty clued up when it comes to interview techniques, and will be well aware of most of the questions they will be asked beforehand. This, in my eyes, makes for a false impression, because lines are rehearsed and it all becomes a bit predictable. What you really want to do is get beyond those walls and find out what kind of person you’re interviewing. To do this, you’ll have to throw in a few questions which will make the candidate stop and think for a minute, such as:

  1. What do you think working here will be like?
  2. What has working in this field taught you most about the industry?

Remember, the idea here is not to fish for a right or wrong answer, but to go beyond those rehearsed standard answers to get a truer impression of the candidate, and to let their personality come through a little more.

By all means, ask a few generic questions to tackle their professional experience or personal attributes, but be sure to throw in a couple of unexpected ones too.

Final Thought’s

There really isn’t a set way to interview potential employees – each case is completely different. What’s important is that you break down barriers between yourself and the candidate to form a much more accurate judgement on their potential to enhance your team.

Hiring Tips, Week 1 – Pre-employment Screening

Over the weekend, I was wondering why so many small to mid-sized companies that I’ve been in touch with have such a high staff turnover rate, which got me thinking whether these companies actually put their best foot forward and make every effort to hire correctly in the first place. Hiring effectively is one of the most important things a business can do when expanding, so it really confuses me to hear business owners tell me that they’re having such a hard time maintaining a steady workforce in the office.

Remember, not only does a high staff turnover mean you’ll have to allocate more resources to constantly re-hire, it also leads to a disrupted work environment which could eat away at productivity levels and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Anyway, the outcome of this weekend’s deliberation was to plan a mini-series of tips and help articles to aid small to mid-sized companies hire more efficiently. This week we’ll be taking a quick look at how pre-employment screening can play its part in finding the staff for your office.

The Truth about Hiring

It’s hard to believe but, according to a recent study by Circle Research and General Dynamics IT, only 28% of company’s use pre-employment screening tests to help decide whether a candidate is right for their business. Considering the long-term benefits of finding the right person for the job, and the risks/cost associated with not doing, this figure is astonishingly low!

The study also showed that the majority of companies surveyed rely purely on post-employment strategies to reduce the possibility of employee misconduct and under-performance, which ultimately could lead to a higher staff turnover and therefore an overuse of HR resources.

Get it Right from the Start

It makes much more sense if companies adopt a thorough attitude from the word ‘go’ when it comes to employment, and in order to do that they must make use of pre-employment screening tests before hiring anyone. Although this may take a little extra effort to begin with, the benefits far out-weight the short-term losses. Let’s look at some of the advantages to begin with…

1.     Better Candidates

Just by stating in your job advertisement that you’ll be performing a routine pre-employment screening test, you’ll attract a higher calibre of candidates for the job. Those people with skeletons in the closet – who may be a risk to your business – will most likely be deterred from the offset.

2.     Safer Workplace

A screening can also minimise the risk of unwanted employee misconduct – including theft, damage to company or customer goods and abuse to other employees. It goes without saying that this should be an unwanted risk, which could go on to result in deflated staff morale, or even harm your company brand.

3.     Reduce Staff Turnover

Ultimately, a by-product of the two above points brings us full circle around to maintaining a much lower employee turnover within the company, minimising disruptions in the workplace and leading to higher staff productivity levels.

Closing Comments

Remember, there is more to hiring effectively than pre-employment screening tests, so be sure to check back next week for the next article! Also, you may want to check out our guide on how to maintain enthusiasm in the workforce for tips on how to maintain a healthier and more motivated work-environment.