What it takes to be truly happy in your jobMay 2013
In a recent interview in the Harvard Business Review, James Allworth, author and Fellow at Harvard Business School forums discussed the importance of understanding how your mind works in relation to motivation in order to find a trully fulfilling job.
James explains that there are two independent levels of factors which affect our motivation.
Firstly there are the 'extrinsic' factors. These are the factors which your friends and family can see, you can put on a CV and discuss in a job interview. Essentially these are:
- Job title
- Working for a prestigious firm
In other words, having these extrinsic motivators in abundance won't make you happy; instead, all that abundance will result in is an absence of dissatisfaction. Which is not the same thing as being satisfied.
James believes that true motivation relies on a very different set of factors which are 'intrinsic' in nature. These are much harder to measure, and he suggests may even be unique to you, however the most essential factors to genuine motivation are:
- Being given the opportunity to shoulder responsibility and work independently;
- The ability to learn and grow;and perhaps most important of all;
- Doing something you think is meaningful.
Understanding that your mind works in this way, don't forget to consider the other factors beyond the larger pay packet, fancy job title and prestigious firm when taking your next career move.
James Allworth is the co-author of How Will You Measure Your Life?. He has worked as a Fellow at the Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School, at Apple, and Booz & Company. Original article on HBR can be found at http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/the_graduation_advice_we_wish.html
Is Automated Recruitment the future?April 2013
With a significant number of the world's largest employers now using
candidate tracking software programmes, quizzes and games to filter
candidates, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the most important part
of the job hunting process is to have a brilliant CV, filled with rich
keywords and verbs.
Before you start amending your CV to incorporate half the dictionary for appropriate keywords, you need to think about what these systems, quizzes and games actually do.
Essentially, they manage large numbers of applications from a wide variety of sources. Automated systems are a tool to manage the sheer volume of applications and to help with the pre-selection of applicants down to a manageable number for the more traditional and personal side of the recruitment process - face to face meetings.
Some organisations are trying to save time through using telephone interviews, however they'll always want to meet you before making their decision.
As the old saying goes "People buy people" and people will continue to buy people in the future, regardless of how sophisticated computers become. That is why in addition to having a great CV, you also need to meet the recruitment professionals to ensure that you sell yourself to them.
They are the experts that employers value the opinions from and who will provide their professional opinion on whether you're the right fit for the role, company culture, the people and for the future growth of the company. You have to look no further than the apprecntice to understand that the vetting process always has a face to face role in getting to the truth.
So the verdict? Your CV needs to have keywords, in for instance a keyword summary, to be able to meet the machine driven criteria for selection. However if you really want a specific position, you cannot rely on passive CV applications. You also need to meet with the recruitment experts, as a good recruitment company will always meet you before they send your CV to their client. Make the most of this time with them and listen to their feedback and expert advice.
How to impress your prospective employer (and how not to!)October 2012
In an article where research was undertaken by a Staffing Service Company, they asked HR Managers across the US what impressed them most about candidates for roles and which ones stuck in their memories (Unfortunately, not always for the right reasons!)
Here is a summary of some of the responses:
"An applicant walked in with coffee and donuts, and her resume underneath."
"I've had someone outline what he planned to do for the company in his first six months."
"One job seeker sent a handmade get well card when she heard the hiring manager was under the weather."
"One applicant sent a gift and an invitation to coffee."
"We had a candidate who contacted our board of directors to try to make his case for being hired."
"I recall applicants who have impressed me with their overall marketing approach. A few have sent in fancy CDs that contained a video message explaining why they should get the job."
"One woman showed up with, literally, a suitcase full of binders containing letters of reference, certificates of achievement and other accolades."
"A job seeker brought in a performance review from his past employer."
On a more serious note, HR Managers had the following feedback about what really impressed them:
"One applicant explained what he knew about our company. I was very impressed with his knowledge and research."
"I had a follow-up email from a candidate immediately after our meeting."
"I liked the way one job seeker explained his skills in a way that correlated directly to what we needed for the position."
"A candidate gave me a thank-you note right after the interview."
"One woman didn't just recite her skills -- she provided many examples of her work."
"The candidates I recall most are the ones who were persistent in calling to make sure they got the position."
"An entry-level job applicant arrived for the interview in a three-piece suit."
"I am impressed when a job seeker arrives on time and is well-dressed. It's that simple."
The Moral of the Tale
Despite all the fancy gimmicks and CVs, really it just comes back to the basics:
- Be on time for the interview
- Dress in professional attire
- Do your homework on the Organisation
Survey undertaken by OfficeTeam
Family Business Workers Are HappierJuly 2012
Employees of family-owned businesses are happier, more loyal and work
harder than employees in other companies or in public sector
A study for the Unquoted Companies Group found that employees in these companies put in such long hours that they effectively work an extra day every week. More than 20% of UK workers are employed by family businesses.
Source: Professional Manager - Chartered Management Institute
Working from home could make staff more productiveJune 2012
Working from home could make staff happier and more productive, a study on flexible working by O2 has suggested. The study, which involved 2,500 members of O2's workforce working from home for a day, revealed that 88% of staff believed they were as productive at home as at the office, and 36% believed they were more productive. O2's electricity and water consumption fell by 12% and 53% respectively, and 1,000 fewer cars were parked at the office.
Staff saved a total of 2,000 hours of commuting time, with 16% saying they used their extra time to sleep longer and 14% spending it with their family.Source: FSB/Cobweb Information www.cobwebinfo.com
How the AWD has affected NI businessMarch 2012
Now the dust has settled and we have hit the three month milestone after the Agency Worker Directive (AWD) became active in Northern Ireland, we ask Matt Tanner, Recruitment Manager at Kennedy Recruitment, about the impact of the legislation on NI business.
What do you believe the impact of the AWD has been on business?
the Initial concerns, the impact doesn’t appear to be as severe as
first anticipated and therefore the overall effect for the majority of
businesses has been fairly minimal.
However, from an agency point of view, the legislation has had a significant effect. It has increased our levels of accountability and we need to ensure that all of our paperwork is in order at the start of the contract such as what benefits are available to the temporary worker from day one and then after 12 weeks.
Agencies now must obtain crucial information from our clients in order to determine what the pay rates will be once the 12 weeks continuous employment has been met.
Although this doesn’t appear on the surface to be a particular issue, frequently the employer will need advice as they do not have a definitive answer on the post 12 week pay rate if the role is unique within the organisation.
Do businesses understand how the AWD affects them or is there confusion?
still believe there is a significant level of misunderstanding both
from Clients and Workers as to how the new legislation affects them.
The main changes are around the 12 week qualifying period and also the
fact that 2 different types of contract can be operated – Pay Parity
Contract and Regulation 10 Contract (also known as a Swedish Derogation
contract). This can be very confusing for both clients and temporary
workers, who are often unable to determine the length of time they will
need a temporary worker for.