After a long Easter Weekend, it’s back to work and back to business. Let’s take a look at what’s been rocking the world of employment in the last couple of weeks!

How to Identify the Top Sales Performers

sales performers

When it comes to recruiting for sales staff there’s a great deal more to the process than may first meet the eye. Fluency in two or more languages is obviously an advantage, but you need to really drill down into the personality of the individual in order to get a true sense of how they will perform.

A recent case study from cut-e (an assessment solutions company) focused on their client localsearch. The challenge: identifying and selecting individuals who have the potential to become top sales people. The solution: understanding and recruiting for the personality traits that predict sales success at localsearch.

What indicators did they identify? According to the case study, successful sales representatives are:

  • Less sociable than those who are rated as lower performers based on commission earned, but similar to the international norm. This means that they are less likely to focus on networking and keeping in touch with people.
  • Higher achieving than the low performers but much more achieving than the international norm. Successful sales reps at localsearch are likely to set themselves ambitious goals and will strive to accomplish and exceed sales targets.
  • Less agreeable than both comparison groups, so preferring to work alone and focus on their own projects than low sales performers.
  • Less imaginative than low performers, but similar to the international norm, and likely to stick with conventional, tried and tested solutions rather than look at ways to change.
  • Less autonomous than lower performers but similar to the international norm, and likely to adopt a consensus approach before implementing new projects.
  • More driven by recognition than their lower performing colleagues and the international norm and more motivated by the acknowledgement of their achievements.
  • Less open than the low performers as well as less open than the international norm, and more likely to promise more than is possible in a sales meeting in order to win the client.

Of course, this will vary from position to position and company to company. However, using this information, and devising questionnaires and tests accordingly, HR departments can give themselves a defining edge when it comes to employing the best sales team.

Are You Using Candidate Feedback Effectively?

Ok, so now you know how you can identify the best sales candidates, but what are you doing with the feedback those candidates give you? Or are you doing anything at all? A recent article from Recruitment Buzz elucidated on what candidates can really tell recruiters. Let’s get into it.

An Understanding of Candidate Demographics

When it comes to reaching the right candidate, we can all hold our hands up and say that we’re guilty of making assumptions. Whether it’s approaching 20 somethings on social media simply because they’re twenty somethings, or using certain language to communicate with candidates in specific sectors, we can make simple mistakes with the best intentions in mind.

We can use candidate feedback to challenge our assumptions and give us key insights into how candidates would expect, or perhaps more importantly, like us to communicate with them. This can then be used to construct better recruitment drives in the future.

Understanding the Candidate Journey

By accumulating a lot of feedback you will be able to start sketching out patterns in the candidate’s journey and their user experience. Focusing on asking questions about how they found you, what their application process was like and so on will identify bottlenecks or sticking points in the process.

If you’re monitoring on-page performance metrics, such as where users drop out of forms, or abandon your website, you can start developing a better user experience to encourage a greater number of applications.

Understanding how Your Company is Perceived

When running a business it can be difficult to get a real sense of perspective, to get an objective understanding of how you’re coming across. Perhaps the copy you’re producing doesn’t actually make sense to an outsider? Maybe your values aren’t coming across as well as you think they might…

This needn’t be website focused and can be based on the interview process. The office layout. The way they felt when they walked into the building.

By creating a questionnaire that drills down into how the culture of your workplace comes across you can start thinking about how to attract and retain the best staff.

What Can Employers do to Combat Ageism?

Jeremy Corbyn Equality

A recent research project by Anglia Ruskin University has shown that older job seekers are facing higher levels of prejudice compared to younger generations.

By creating two fictitious applicants, a 28 and a 50 year old white British male, they set out to see how employers responded to each. Having send out 894 pairs of applications to firms advertising for a wide range of roles, each application contained similar information about their physical fitness (through their likes and hobbies) and their mental acuity (through their abilities to speak other languages and use computers).

The results were shocking.

The older applicant was 21.9% less likely to be invited to interview. This was spread across white, pink and blue collar jobs. A shameful statistic about which Dr Nick Drydakis, Reader in Economics at Anglia Ruskin University, stated,

“We find that older people must apply to more vacancies than the young to obtain an interview. Furthermore, older workers are invited to interview for lower-paid jobs, potentially affecting their standard of living.

“Our data was collected after the Equality Act 2010 was enacted. That we still find compelling evidence of ageism suggests that legislation has not been sufficient to eliminate age discrimination.”

This tallies with the findings of a recent survey from TotalJobs, which found that 82% of applicants over the age of 55 believed that their age was a disadvantage to their job search. Sixty-three percent of respondents also claimed that they’d faced discrimination due to their age.

So what can we do?

John Salt from TotalJobs offers some considered advice:

“Recruiters can tackle any age bias, whether conscious or unconscious, from the very first conversations with their clients. Highlight the multiple benefits of considering candidates from all ages and backgrounds; a wider talent pool to choose from, the chance to bring a deeper range of experience into the organisation, and the creation of a diverse workplace culture.”

Revealed: The Top Personal Skills Employers Seek in Young People

With more than half of employers saying that young people are eager to learn and develop their skills, we take a look at the top personal skills that employers are looking for from Millennial applicants.

The survey, filled in by over 200 senior managers, found that:

  • 57% wanted applicants to demonstrate that they were learning new skills.
  • Being well-read was important to 47% of respondents.
  • Having a strong interest in a hobby was sought after by 43% of managers.
  • 30% valued candidates that were well travelled, and had experienced other cultures.
  • 34% revealed that having a keen interest in charity and community work was important to their hiring process.

If we’re to examine the results we can see that whilst it might be the CV that actually gets you to the interview, it’s your life experience and charitable sensibilities that will actually land you the job.

The Jobs that Brexit will Make Hard to Fill

Ever since the news dropped, sterling has suffered. Bounced back. Suffered again. Bounced back again. This uncertainty has directly lead to the catering, construction and care sectors all reporting difficulties in hiring staff from the EU.

Industry groups and business owners have squarely placed blame on Theresa May’s inability to make assurances to EU workers making a living in the UK. Official figures have revealed that the number of EU-born workers in the UK fell by 50,000 between October and December 2016, losses felt most heavily in construction, the public sector and banking.

Let’s for a moment take a look at the stats:

A total of 1.9 million people work in hotels and catering. Of which 265,000 are EU-born.
2.4 million people are employed in the construction industry in the UK, 192,000 of which are from EU nations.
Manufacturing employ 362,000 EU-born nationals out of a 3.4 million total.
Out of a total of 4.4 million employed in health and social care, 217,000 are EU-born.
The contribution to UK industry by EU nationals is elementary, but the picture becomes a great deal clearer when we delve a little deeper. Since the announcement of Brexit EU-born applicants for nursing jobs have gone down by 92%.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has revealed that the construction industry could lose over 175,000 employees, 8% of the sector’s workforce.

Laurence Olins, chairman of trade body British Summer Fruits (BSF), said that where a job previously attracted 10 applicants, this year there were only three or four.

We are only starting to see what Brexit could spell for the UK jobs market and the economy itself. And it doesn’t look good.

Research Reveals that Mothers are Paid 3% Less Per Child

New research from Université Paris-Saclay has revealed that on average mothers are paid 3% less for every child they have compared to female colleagues that haven’t had children. Rubbing salt into the wound, fathers show no such correlation.

The study itself examined data from organisations in the French private sector between the years of 1995 and 2011. Childbirth was then separated from other business-specific wage determinants and full-time and part-time work were both taken into account.

Lionel Wilner, Director of Graduate Studies, who conducted the study, blames human capital depreciation and discrimination against mothers for these shocking statistics. Mothers tend to be assigned less risky jobs, and as a consequence are unlikely to receive performance based bonuses. At the same time mothers (especially those with 2 or more children) will find themselves trapped in a cycle of ‘low-wage trajectories’.

Kate Headley Director of HR and diversity consultancy, had this to say,

“This is both unfair and inefficient. It requires further public intervention, including campaigns against discrimination, development of on-the-job childcare, and extension of paternity leave. A paternity leave of the same duration as maternity leave would bring down this gender gap.”

A sentiment that I believe we can all get behind.

About the author…

Nicole Debson
Director & Founder

With 30 years in recruitment, a genuine interest in people and a desire to help forge careers, Nicole has built ABL on the principle of making businesses better and that little bit more international. Seeking to help candidates navigate their career path; to help clients find the ideal employee, her hands on approach is what has moulded our company. Fluent in French, with good Spanish, and a Masters in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, you’ll find Nicole thumbing through her well-worn copy of Jack London’s White Fang, her all-time favourite book.