Diversity in the Face of Adversity

By Hannah McMillan-O'Brien

Since the controversial vote for Britain to leave the EU, much of the population has been fixated on following the political developments intently. There have been predictions of the brain drain, of universities suffering and  investors shunning UK start-ups. The decimation of the value of the pound and the real concern that the UK will be punished for having the audacity to leave the World’s largest free-trade zone. However, regardless of individual views on Brexit, a democratic process has taken place and the demos have spoken. It remains to be seen whether 52% of the British public were right to take a historical plunge.

Is Al sexist?

In the meantime, while politicians wrangle with one another and ideologies clash, the rest of us have to get on with our lives and make the best of the hand we have been dealt. With that in mind, the tech industry is on a mission to encourage more women to join the rage. Experts are considering the dangers of having a lack of diversity in technology teams. The year 2018 was declared “The year of the Woman”, and yet women in the tech sector are still facing unconscious bias, gender pay gaps, a lack of role models and the development of sexist Al.

The development of Artificial Intelligence Technologies has been accused of creating biased Al algorithms because it lacks the ability to consider both front end and back end systems simultaneously. The teams aren’t focusing on the end user who will be navigating the services. Therefore the industry has suggested that embedding Al into our lives will encourage a more diverse range of people moving into development roles. As a starting point for making Al industry more inclusive, more women should be encouraged into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (Stem).

“The year of the Woman”

Back in March, the theme for 2018’s International Women’s Day was #PressForProgress and in the tech sector, which has previously been male dominated, some firms started to push back for greater diversity. CA Technologies rolled out unconscious bias training for all of its managers.  Organisations including the UK government are signing the Tech Talent Charter to establish guidelines around diverse tech hiring and the Trainline has partnered with Code First: Girls to teach 20,000 women to code for free by 2020.

Traditionally, diversity in the workplace has not been a
top priority of many employers, defending the notion of business is business
and companies must make money to continue operating so why fix something that
isn’t broken? We have seen this situation significantly change for the better
in recent times, not just in terms of bridging the gender gap across the
diversity spectrum; people from all backgrounds, of all genders, of all ethnic
minorities, of all sexual persuasions and people with disabilities have seen
increased empowerment and had the chance to maximise their potential and gain
career progression in a way that was previously impossible.

Most importantly, as people of the UK, a population bound together by citizenship and cultural ties, we each have a duty to ensure progress is not sacrificed in favour of profit-based protectionism. In this crucial time of uncertainty, it is strongly believed that everybody must now turn their minds to innovation, progress and development in order to keep the country on track as a world leader in liberalism, tolerance, business, education and social stability. We should accept collective responsibility for our futures and ensure, for ourselves, that the country we live in boasts a fair diverse system. 

10 reasons why being a recruiter is awesome!

By Hannah McMillan-O'Brien

Have you ever met someone for the first time, told them what you do for a living and been greeted with a look as though you have just told them you were in the business of puppy snatching? Like lawyers and politicians, recruiters are not ranked very highly in the list of favourite vocations. Don’t be disheartened though – take 5 minutes to read our 10 reasons why being a recruiter is awesome and always have an answer for the dreaded ‘sorry, you do what? look off strangers.

10 reasons why being a recruiter is awesome!

Changing People’s Lives

The most important part of a recruiter’s job is finding the right talent for the role and the right role for the talent. Ok so it may take a lot of calls, emails and meetings until you find the perfect candidate, but how great does it feel when you’ve worked hard for something that suddenly comes into fruition. Just think about taking a person through the entire recruitment process and securing them their dream job? Knowing that you helped to change that person’s life for the better – isn’t that the kind of job satisfaction worth striving for?

 

Independence

Unlike many jobs recruiters have a great deal of control over the running of their day. Once targets are agreed with line managers, the freedom you have to manage your daily tasks in your hands. If you are continually gaining more business and getting people into jobs, then your independence will progress with the trust between you and your managers. The harder you work the more you can achieve!

Good Pay

Within recruitment you have the opportunity to earn an unlimited amount of money. Unlike other jobs where you can work for years without as much as a 1% pay rise, recruiters have control of their own pay check. The more candidates you can successfully place into roles – the more money you’ll earn. Work hard, get rewarded. How’s that for motivation to get you out of bed?

Variety

There’s no working 9 to 5 for service and devotion. Not a single day will be the same as a previous. One day you could be in London on client meetings discussing a business deal, the next you’ll be in Manchester attending networking events guiding people to gain a new job. Every day is different and exciting. Being a recruiter is one of the furthest things from boring!

People

The diversity of people that you have the opportunity to meet and work with will make for an interesting collaboration. From CEO’s to graduates you get the chance to meet a variety of different people from all walks of life.

Competition

Recruitment is perfect for the competitive people out there. So many of the jobs out there are advertised by numerous recruitment agencies, you have to be on your toes at all times if you want to secure your candidate into the role.

Training

Training has many benefits for you as an individual to acquire new skills, self-esteem which ultimately increases your contribution to the business. The training allows you to progress within the company and develop into new positions with better prospects. In the last 6 months Strategic People have spent 15.7% of our net profit on training staff.

Satisfied Clients

One of the contributing factors to a company’s success is in the hiring of the best talent to achieve the best results. If you hire someone for your client who goes on to become a top employee, then your client will trust your instincts and be more likely to work with you in the future. You’ll invoke loyalty.

Rewarding

Though the financial freedom that comes with recruiting as a career, it’s not all about the material rewards. The feeling you get of sourcing, forming a relationship, collaborating and placing people into perfect careers that they in turn love, is one of the most rewarding feelings you’ll find.

Exciting

How many people do you know who can honestly say their job is exciting? Probably not very many, but recruiting is one of the most exciting and fast paced industries to work in. Whether it’s securing someone a job or closing a business deal there is always something going on.

Ready to apply? Check out our Interview prep blog and send your CV to

Strategic People’s guide to ace that interview

By Hannah McMillan-O'Brien

Strategic People's guide to ace that interview

There was a period when people feared the interview process for more than just the pressure of wanting/needing the job. The root of this fear: Oddball questions designed to test the candidate’s ability to think out-of-the-box. Questions such as:

‘If space is infinite, how long can it go on for?’

‘Describe the colour yellow to a blind person.’

Luckily, this method of interviewing has become redundant for the most part.

Some employers have adopted a psychometric test to gain insight into candidate’s stability within a role using personality characteristics and aptitude (cognitive abilities).

Strategic People have created a training programme that begins at the point of interview and develops throughout the successful candidate’s career.

Here’s a secret; we want you to do well in the interview. Regardless of how nervous you feel and how tough the interviewer seems; the truth is we’re rooting for you.

Research the company thoroughly

Take time to look into what the company does, who they hire, what the culture is like, their core values. There is nothing less impressive than sitting chatting away with zero knowledge. Check out LinkedIn and blogs to get a feel for the company tone.

Tip: Search for your interviewer to see what they look like and stand to shake their hand before they greet you or integrate common interests you share with them into the conversation.Do not start a conversation about how many city goals were scored in the last game unless you can commit to a full conversation about it.

 

Understand the job description

Ensure that you know exactly what you are applying for and investigate any terms foreign to you. Be aware that employers may use internal terms within their job descriptions so ensure that you have completed detailed research and are prepared for any questions that might come up on the subject.

 

Draw comparisons between your resume and the job description

Put your mind in the place of the interviewer and try to predict what they will have seen from your CV that fits with their role. Think of work-related stories and give examples of scenarios where you went the extra mile to solve a problem, made a successful outcome, overcame a weakness or created a new process.

 

Practice speaking out loud about yourself

You’d be amazed how many people develop stutters when it comes to talking about themselves. It’s important to get comfortable talking about all the good things you have to offer, with the perfect balance of pride and consciousness. Sit in front of your mirror and think of the interview as a conversation.

 

Dress Professionally

The purpose of the interview is to be remembered and ultimately hired. Don’t be remembered for being ‘too much’, too casual, too scruffy, too put together, too bold. Your clothes should be neutral and allow your personality to shine through. An ironed shirt, clean suit or pencil skirt and blazer, matching socks and polished shoes will go a long way in your favour.

 

Waiting to be seen

This is the first impression that the company will have of you. Be patient and curious about the office. Don’t cause distractions to the working team while playing on your phone or putting on make-up. Use this time to run through the preparation you’ve done and imagine yourself working in the office for the company.

 

Bring copies of your CV

Have fresh neatly presented copies of your CV just in case it’s needed. You never know when someone will forget to send it over in time, or the printer will break or the interviewer will misplace it in their mountain of other potentials. It would also be beneficial to bring along evidence of your successes, such as: awards won, written references, proof of billings and earners.

Tip: To really stand out create a presentation about your understanding of the company, the role, the industry and where you think you fit in. Ensure that you have evidence to back up your statements and make a concrete sales pitch.

 

We are hiring! We’re seeking ambitious game changing recruits to join our team. Follow us here for more information about Strategic People and get in touch on to discuss your CV and skills.