Category: Posts


Retaining High Caliber Employees

Out of 10,000 respondents in a recent UK survey only 16% of those asked, said that there wasn’t a salary figure which could lure them away and that they were happy where they were.

To try and prevent high-caliber employees from deciding to leave, organizations should ensure that their salaries remain attractive, especially if inflation continues to create a squeeze on pay.

In today’s market, employees may also feel more confident to negotiate their pay, yet overall people are still reluctant to move on a salary alone. A happy and fulfilling place to work relies on much more than just how much people are paid. People-focused employers are striving to create the highest standards in excellent employee conditions and getting creative in terms of motivating and inspiring their teams to retain the talent they need to grow their business. There are many other factors which can be considered, including:

Flexibility and work-life balance

Research by Investors in People (IIP) revealed that just under one-third (31%) of employees would rather have a more flexible working environment, such as the opportunity to work remotely, than a 3% pay rise. A lack of work-life balance is one of the biggest factors for people choosing to leave a job. Reviewing your practices around flexible working and looking for opportunities to support employees in striking the delicate balance between work and home life can have a big impact on staff retention.

Career progression

Don’t risk losing your best employees by neglecting their professional development needs. Let employees have a say in what they would like to achieve by encouraging a two-way dialogue to openly discuss aspirations and further training required. Development plans don’t have to involve additional costs, training could be provided by more experienced colleagues. Where promotions are not possible straight away, look for sideways moves which provide more variety and new experiences.

Reward and recognition

A 2017 survey by Reward Gateway found that 59% of employees surveyed would rather work for a business where they received recognition, over a higher salary job. Try to find ways to regularly remind employees that they are valued and play a key role in the business. Instead of focusing on rewarding staff on an annual basis during performance reviews, look for innovative ways to recognize and reward employees throughout the year.

An inspiring workspace

Arriving at a welcoming and inspiring environment every day will have a positive impact on employee engagement levels. Our physical working environment also affects our ability to work, so spending time and effort on creating a great office space, where people want to be, is a worthwhile investment for productivity. Look for opportunities to create areas where people can break away from their desks to think, problem solve and come up with new ideas, as well as spaces for relaxation and fun.

Overall company culture

The overall culture of the place in which employees spend their time will naturally influence how they feel about coming to work every day. While there are many different elements to developing a successful workplace culture, organizations which have achieved this are all ones where employees feel a real sense of belonging. They understand what the organization is trying to achieve, are inspired by its mission and values and recognize how their role plays a part in achieving overall success. Leadership teams keep employees informed about what is happening and adopt a collaborative approach to fuel discussion and engage teams in a collective vision.

Article adapted from:  https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/competitor-entice-employees/

Onboarding refers to the process of inducting or integrating new hires into the company, preparing them for job success and helping them to become productive, committed and engaged employees of the company and also a genuine ‘team member’. Missing out on this vital part of the hiring process can be a recipe for disaster.

Onboarding / Induction programs:
The list below suggests the bare minimum in terms of what an onboarding / induction program should include:

·         Introductions and meet the team

·         Getting to know people and spending some quality time with key employees/management

·         Company structure, knowing who is who in the zoo

·         History and background of the company

·         Company vision and values

·         Review of all lines of business and company offerings to its markets

·         Company policies and procedures, OH&S

·         Review of the new employees ‘Position Description’ and setting expectations

·         Role specific training, including setting out any formal/external training plans

·         Overview of employee annual appraisals/reviews, what to expect.

·         Systems overview including any internal intranet sites or role specific systems

·         Payroll and personal details

·         Site / office tour.

This whole process should not be completed in a few hours on the morning of their first day.  It should be planned and executed over the first few days, weeks and even months of the employee’s tenure within your company. Plan ahead, fill their diary with invites to sessions covering all of the above.

Questions to consider concerning your onboarding process:

  1. Day One – When your new hire heads in for their first day, are they aware of what time, who and where to report to? Are they aware of the appropriate dress code for the job? Have they been told what they should bring with them on the first day?
  2. Does your company make new employees feel welcome? Do you take time to introduce them to the business by having a special sign, welcome messages or a welcome lunch? That first day is a critical moment – it’s important that your employee feels like they are being properly and formally welcomed and valued from the outset.
  3. Have you established who will be responsible for the delivery of the induction for the employee? Is the employee’s manager (you) looking after this or is an HR professional taking responsibility? Or both? How long will the induction last and what will be covered? Have you planned all the parts in to their diary?
  4. Does your onboarding program inspire company pride? – Your onboarding process should make employees feel like they made the right decision in choosing to join the company. Do you inspire pride in your employees? Show off what makes your company great, and involve those individuals who accurately represent all the positives you have to offer
  5. Do you show that ‘new hires’ matter? – Inspiring company pride is not enough. You also need to show employees that they really do matter to your business. Taking an individual and tailored approach to this process will show that they aren’t just on a merry-go-round of new employees, but are individually of value to the company.

Having a solid, structured onboarding program will make a difference and engage your new hires from the start. When you show you’re willing to invest in your employees, you’ll make them feel that they are joining a great team, making them more likely to stick with the job.

The Importance of Appraisals

The Importance of Appraisals

An effective appraisal and performance management process can have a significant impact on an organisation’s culture, staff morale and employee engagement levels – all of which enhance employer brand and support the retention of key talent within a business.

There is debate as to whether traditional appraisal systems are still effective for the needs of an evolving workforce. Organisations such as Deloitte have announced that they are moving towards more ongoing discussions and feedback with employees. Whether it’s traditional six-month reviews and appraisals, or ongoing one-to-ones and performance catch ups, the important element is that there is a clear and consistent approach to performance management and reviews.

A commitment to having appraisal conversations with employees can help to improve the bottom line by aligning individual performance with business objectives. It also supports the creation of a more people-focused culture and an environment in which employees will want to stay, progress and thrive.

Employee recognition and rewards

Appraisals provide the opportunity to recognise and reward employees and to ensure they feel valued for the work that they do. By monitoring performance and progress against objectives employers can assess whether to reward staff with salary increases, promotions or bonuses. It’s also a chance to say thank you and to provide verbal feedback and praise. Rewarding any successes highlighted doesn’t have to be financial. Although money still holds considerable importance, and salaries should be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain competitive and in line with performance, simple and sincere acknowledgements still go a long way towards maintaining employee engagement.

New challenges and clear objectives

Organisations with a great workplace culture are ones where employees feel a real sense of belonging. They understand what the organisation is trying to achieve, are inspired by its mission and values and recognise how their role plays a part in achieving overall success. The discussions which take place during appraisal meetings will help employees to understand how the individual objectives set for them will play a part in the wider business plan. This helps to give employees a sense of ownership within the collective vision and to empower them to achieve the results needed. It’s also a great opportunity to regularly review objectives and to provide ongoing challenges to ensure employees remain motivated by new goals and experiences.

Continued progression and development

Organisations which provide clear progression opportunities are attractive to new recruits and are more likely to be able to retain talented employees by mapping out a career path for them. Regularly looking at performance will help to identify when employees are ready to take on more responsibility. Setting aside the time to discuss an employee’s individual ambitions will also help organisations to spot and develop potential talent and build a strong succession pipeline.

Culture of trust and openness

In today’s fast paced business world, it’s more important than ever to maintain a meaningful, two-way dialogue with employees to help keep talented people within your organisation. One of the key enablers for achieving employee engagement is to ensure that employees have a voice and appraisal and performance review meetings can help to fuel discussion and empower staff to share their opinions. They will feel encouraged to influence innovation by feeding ideas upwards and the relationship which develops from open communication within appraisal systems will help employees to feel more able to approach and discuss any ideas or issues outside of these meetings as well.

Support and training

Open discussions on performance can help to identify any problems early and provides the opportunity to explore positive solutions. Managers can look at what additional training and support could be provided to enable the employee to achieve results which they would feel proud of. High performing employees can be supported with further training to help them to progress to the next level in their careers.

Prevention of long-term dissatisfaction

Issues can usually be nipped in the bud before they escalate to the point of someone leaving if they can be raised through appraisal meetings. It is a great opportunity for an employee to raise any worries or concerns, or to discuss any barriers which they feel are holding them back. Taking the time to listen to employees and address any concerns helps to create a happier workforce and will continue to fuel a culture of openness and trust.

About Gill Buchanan

Gill is a founding Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions has worked in the recruitment field since 1988, Sydney, Australia.

Remote and flexible working practices are becoming more common and are often a preferred “benefit” of working at a particular company. Remote working can be considered as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ for staff suffering from stress and depression, or for staff who are unwell. However, this will only work if remote workers remain part of the team and are well-managed.  Working from home can be very isolating, so it’s important that Managers set clear guidelines for what is expected work-wise and reward and praise remote workers like you would other members of the team, even if it is only a regular email.

Practical Steps in the Management of Remote Working Practices

  1. Ensure employees working remotely know what’s expected of them in terms of activity or performance. Agree how they can be contacted and set expectations around communication – i.e. a daily phone call at the start of the day.
  2. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that people are still part of the team and regular team meetings or events should involve everyone, even if this means a degree of flexibility and people coming into the office when they don’t usually.
  3. All team members need to know where everyone is at any one time. This should be visible and recorded in a centrally accessible electronic diary that should break down any barriers that prevent the employee being contacted.
  4. Good communication is essential for flexible and remote working to work successfully and this must be maintained between employee and line manager/teams members. Others need to know the employee away from the office is actively busy working.
  5. Technology is essential – make use of the latest electronic instant messaging tools, including webcams to keep in touch whilst working at home. Working at home can be isolating so this can help maintain an ‘office’ environment – albeit virtual – as well as ensure people are working.
  6. Working remotely shouldn’t make a difference in how people are rewarded or praised for tasks done well or completed on time or ahead of schedule. Equally if people are not completing things on time or tasks are not done as agreed take time to understand the reason and assess if further support or assistance is required so they do not feel completely isolated.
  7. Don’t forget to include all employees on any electronic communication that includes work news, success/wins, activities, company news to ensure that they still feel part of the organisation and are not forgotten.
  8. Finally, make a note of any improvements in productivity and wellbeing of employees, as well as any areas that could be causing concern every three months. It’s important to nip any issues in the bud as soon as you can

Adapted from: Adrian Lewis of Activ Absence (expert in Absence Management)

5 Reasons to Feedback after Interview

Research has found that 83% of candidates interviewed directly by the employer, claim that they have never received any feedback following an interview. This might be due to a worry by the employer over potential legal risks if they give feedback in the wrong way, or they might be concerned about causing offense.  However, not only does feedback aid the candidate’s future job search, it can also provide a positive spin / image for the organization.

Here are the top five reasons why you are encouraged to give feedback after every interview:

  1. A PR opportunity

Word of mouth and personal recommendations are some of the most effective marketing tools for an employer’s brand. As unbiased candidates share positive recruitment experiences – regardless of whether or not they were successful in securing the role – clients could attract even more applicants for future positions.

On the flip side, instances of individuals using a public platform to air grievances about an organisation are increasingly common. If a candidate is left in the dark, organisations risk having to field negative comments on social media, which can be extremely damaging to a brand.

  1. Candidate courtesy

We all know how much time it takes to prepare for interviews, in addition to any tasks or tests that the organisation may require you to complete. It is important that this is recognised and that the candidate is thanked for the time they spent on the application process, because these individuals are already investing in the role. This will also help to boost the client’s reputation. Sharing constructive feedback following any tests is advisable, although overly negative comments could have an adverse effect.

  1. Repeat jobseekers

Candidates might miss out on a role because they lack certain skills or experience in a particular area. However, with a few more years’ work experience they could be a perfect fit. If you offer constructive feedback, it is likely that a candidate will return when they have acquired the requisite skills, securing the employer a tailor-made future employee.

  1. Economic boost

As well as having a positive impact on the individual organisation, feedback will eventually lead to a better-equipped labour market. High calibre candidates will generally be easier to come by if individuals know where their strengths lie and the areas in which they need to improve. As a result, future hiring for all employers may become significantly more efficient.

  1. It’s not time-consuming

Many clients say they lack the time to provide detailed feedback following an interview, but it needn’t be as burdensome as they expect. Notes are often taken during interviews and then circulated. These can be easily repurposed for the interviewee, ensuring that the comments are constructive. Failing that, a quick call with your recruiter can easily be translated into constructive and considered feedback on their behalf!

Adapted by article written by: David Morel,  CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies.

You probably already know that the most expensive aspect of recruitment is the replacement of lost talent that leaves the business for preventable reasons.

When a good person leaves we lose knowledge, it disrupts the harmony of the team, impacts negatively on production levels and incurs the replacement costs, that continue until the new individual is fully up to speed.

Here are 8 tactics that all businesses should encourage in order to improve staff retention.

  •     Recruit the right cultural fit
  •     Align work with behavioural preferences
  •     Provide proper support & Training
  •     Provide and support a career road map
  •     Review regularly
  •     Provide independent creative time
  •     Demonstrate you are listening to what they say
  •     Influence your own environment

Recruit the Right Cultural Fit

Research and statistics prove that more than 80% of people that leave a job in the first year of employment leave because of cultural or behavioural issues, not because they couldn’t do the job. It stands to reason then, that we need to get better at understanding what our culture is and recruit people that fit into it better. After all, these people are more likely to be happier, healthier, more productive and will subsequently stay longer. This for me is by far the biggest influencer on staff retention you can have and if you get this bit right at the very start, you will see measurable differences in attrition, for those in their first year of employment.

Align work with behavioural preferences

Do you actually know what tasks your staff prefer doing and do you capitalise on this, by giving them more of that type of work? People work harder and smarter when they are doing work that they are culturally aligned to do. Give people the wrong type of work and they become frustrated, disillusioned and can become a distraction to the people around them. If you take the time to discover what type of work someone is motivated to do, then you have the potential to get more out of them or potentially move them into an area where they can be more productive.

Provide Proper Support and Training

Employees like to feel valued and one great way to demonstrate this is to invest in them. Helping people to feel like they are developing, growing and extending their capabilities, will keep staff engaged and satisfied that they are not stagnating in the job. Encouraging staff to embrace training opportunities also helps the business by extending the capabilities of staff and widens the available skill sets available to the business.

Provide and Support a Career Road map

Research proves that by providing clear goals and direction to individuals, especially in the early days of a person’s career, will not only help those people to stay focused and productive, but also contributes towards retention. The best people will naturally rise to the challenge of working towards the next step on the corporate ladder. Research into exit interviews has established that over 20% of all people leaving a job indicated that career progression opportunities was the primary motivating factor in deciding to move on.

Review regularly

Monthly reviews or appraisals are an essential element in staff retention. They are a great opportunity to review the work completed in the previous month, contribute to work that they are currently involved with and help to plan, prioritise and strategize the work in the month ahead.

Constructive critique and positive appraisal of good work costs the business nothing and yet contributes more towards job satisfaction than most other elements.

A quarterly appraisal of the individual’s progress against their annual business plan also ensures that good staff not only meet the requirements of the business as well as achieve their individual targets and meet their true potential.

Provide independent creative time

If you have never watched Daniel Pink’s animated video on The surprising truth about what really motivates us, I can recommend it as essential viewing. There is a section in this video that talks about the logic and the advantages of giving staff creative time to express themselves. Having done this ourselves for the last few years I can confirm that not only do the team enjoy this creative time, but they also come up with some really cool and innovative ideas.

Pink talks about the 3 primary motivators that lead to personal satisfaction as 1/ Autonomy, in order to drive engagement and self-direction 2/ Mastery, in order to drive and encourage personal development and learning and 3/ Purpose, to drive an individual through the belief that they have in what they are doing as meaningful.

Demonstrate you are listening to what they say

You do not have to act upon every suggestion that your staff make, but it is vitally important that you listen intently. When we speak of company culture, I believe passionately that your company culture is exactly what your staff say about you. Given the right conditions your staff can drive the positive cultural identity of your business.

Many companies demonstrate their appreciation for ideas that are subsequently implemented with rewards or public acknowledgement.

Influence your own environment

It sounds ridiculous to even say it, but Management and the business itself have the power to influence the environment that they want to create. Establish where you want it to be and then establish what will motivate the staff to help make it happen.

It is important to get the existing staff’s input on what environment and culture they would like to work in and if it is realistic and practical a compromise can sometimes be reached to work towards this in return for meeting the businesses goals.

About the Author

Mark Stephens has worked within the recruitment sector for nearly 20 years both in-house and agency side and more recently within the technology environment.

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Smart Recruit Online, the Recruitment Alliance and The HR & Recruitment Resource Library.

Mark has dedicated his time since 2007 researching the online recruitment sector from a user, technology, and candidate perspective and is regularly published and quoted by leading industry publications for his research and personal opinions.

Connect with Mark Stephens on LinkedIn. 

Most students on work experience will never have been exposed to the world of work and most of their knowledge about the world of work will be classroom-based.  Work experience tends to mature individuals allowing them to make more informed choices about their future career.  Therefore the main benefit of providing a student with work experience is to assist them in making the transition from the world of studying to that of work.

But how can this benefit your organisation?

  1. It helps your other employees

Placing a student with an employee helps to boost your team’s morale as it shows them that you trust them enough to be responsible. It also helps your employees develop their own supervisory skills which will help you and them should a senior position arise that they could be considered for.

  1. It’s good branding for the company

Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing out there – and it’s free. Your company’s reputation for investing in young people will be ranked quite highly.

  1. It doesn’t cost you financially

That doesn’t mean you can take advantage of a free workforce and exploit them, but most people understand that work experience is just that – experience. Some companies do offer to pay for travel expenses or provide lunch vouchers.

  1. Enthusiasm

Most people on work experience come with a bag full of enthusiasm and positivity and often brimming with new ideas.  And this in turn can rub off onto existing employees.

  1. It’s a great recruitment strategy

It’s easier to spot talent when you can see them in the work place.  There is nothing stopping you from eventually offering them a permanent role.  Young people are also like sponges and will soak up what they learn at your company. This can reduce your cost of bringing in more experienced, skilled professionals.

(adapted)

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement, a sales and marketing executive search firm based out of New York City. He is also a writer for Forbes. Follow Ken on Twitter @Ken_Sundheim.

 

The theory that recruiting great employees is highly difficult is true, but what if your firm was making the recruitment process more complex than it had to be?

Almost 1 out of every 4 decisions that a small to mid-size company will make during a recruitment process will hinder their chances at staffing competitive talent. The consequences of these actions can result in a myriad of ill-fated outcomes ranging from higher salary costs and wasted time to losing competitive applicants altogether.

Firms that are unable to streamline the staffing process on a regular basis are probably prone to committing one or more of the following 6 deadly sins of recruiting:

1) Not Following the Google Rule of 5:

Up to a few years ago, Google would have employees go through a 12 – 14 meeting process. This would result in dreadfully long staffing cycles, loss of top talent to competing internet companies and overall inefficiency when attempting to recruit employees in the masses.

In 2011, Google switched its recruiting approach to limit each applicant to 5 interviews. If Google can hire an engineer in 5 interviews, there is no reason why your firm should not be able to hire your personnel in 3 or 4.  Prolonged time is the enemy of great recruiting.

The more time an organization lets a candidate linger, the more time that individual has to get another job offer, receive a raise or go back to school. Also, when you let a candidate at the final round of an interviewing go out to other companies, they tend to interview with more confidence and become more desirable. When you find an apt job seeker, losing hiring momentum is a sin.

2) Searching for that Perfect Candidate:

We tell clients that shopping for candidates is like shopping for cars. The more requirements they have, the more you pay and the fewer choices you have.

In 10 years of recruiting, I’ve never seen the perfect candidate. I’ve seen a solid candidate write the perfect resume, but am yet to see the “perfect” candidate. Perfect candidates are not hired. Rather, they are molded through leadership and training.

Look for potential today and determine whether they can be the perfect candidate tomorrow. We recommend you analyze the future earnings power of that individual rather than where they stand at the given moment. What an individual achieved yesterday will not yield any revenue. What they can do tomorrow can make all the difference in your organization.

3) Crossing the Line from Under Compensated to Under Appreciated:

Some clients whom we work with have a corporate culture of making low initial offers to candidates. This is intended to cushion any financial blow that a counter offer may bring. While this sounds good in theory, there is a breaking point. Once an offer dips below a certain number (typically anything equal to or less than they are currently earning) that candidate feels under appreciated, under valued and highly insulted.

The psychologist and philosopher William James once wrote to a student:  “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

You can’t renegotiate someone’s ego.

4) The First Choice or Nothing Scenario:

Whether it’s football, business, chess or just about anything else, life needs contingency plans. A mistake that our recruiters often prevent companies from doing is to not pick a second option. When hiring, firms aren’t always going to get their first choice – the smart ones have a 2nd place.

The companies who have trouble are the ones who start the search process from the beginning hoping to find another #1. Often they come up short and waste an extra 3 months while doing so. It’s a fact: Candidates will get other jobs, decline offers or stay where they are. Nothing ever goes 100% smoothly when recruiting and sometimes your contingency plan will turn out to be a gem.

  1. Not being able to sell the job:

Part of recruiting is selling. If a hiring manager can’t make a job enticing, they won’t attract top talent. We’ve had clients that have tried the approach where they attempt to scare an applicant by telling them every undesirable aspect of a job only to find that the candidate doesn’t want to stick around for the good parts.

When staffing employees, you should be selling in an honest manner, touching on the negatives, but also focusing much on the positives of the job.

7) Using too many recruiters:

Often, firms will go out and hire a dozen contingency recruiters to represent their firm. From their perspective, the more the merrier.

What’s alluring is that they only pay on performance which seemingly mitigates risk. Sounds great until a firm realizes that they have 30 or 40 cold-calling recruiters whom they don’t know nor have they spoken to poorly representing their company to potential talent in the open market.

 

Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies and sometimes it’s the small mistakes that make all the difference. Since recruiting is an imperfect science, we must strive to extract any additional difficulties from the process.  Have a plan, keep in the mind what you should not be doing and enjoy a more productive, intelligent and competent workforce.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Firing an Employee

Adapted from:  Sophie Deering, Senior Account Executive at Link Humans

No matter what the circumstances are, letting an employee go is never going to be an easy decision to come to or task to undertake and unfortunately as an employer, it’s something you will most probably have to face at one time or another.

To make sure things go smoothly, here are a few suggested do’s and don’ts of firing someone.

  1. DO consider your decision fully beforehand

Make sure that you are 100% certain about your decision and that your reasons behind it are completely justified before moving forward with the dismissal.  As soon as you have come to your final decision, act quickly, so that you don’t allow it to drag on and negatively affect any other employees or the running of business.

  1. DON’T fire someone without warning

There’s nothing worse than just springing it upon someone out of the blue! If the employee is being let go on the basis of poor performance, make sure that you hold a meeting before taking action, to let them know about your concerns and allow them the chance to turn things around. If the employee’s performance hasn’t been up to scratch, then you should consider issuing a series of warnings before the employee can be dismissed.

  1. DO let them know in person

Realise that you are dealing with a human being with emotions and rights. By no means should you break the news on the phone or via email. It’s important that you arrange a face-to-face meeting in order to show them respect and respond to their reaction appropriately.

  1. DON’T get someone else to do the dirty work

It is unprofessional.   The news should come from someone who knows the individual and is qualified to properly explain the reasons for their termination.

  1. DO give them a full explanation

You can’t dismiss an employee without having a justified reason, so you must be prepared to explain exactly why you are letting them go. Prepare what you are going to say ahead of the meeting, so that you provide them with all the information they need to know, as well as the appropriate paperwork.   You must also inform the employee of any rights or entitlements that they may have.

  1. DON’T do it in front of an audience

Don’t let the person know in a public place, or in front of any other colleagues, as they have a right to privacy and should have the opportunity to process the news before others find out. Arrange a meeting that is in a neutral and private location, free from disruptions, such as a meeting or conference room.

  1. DO allow the employee to ask questions

it’s important that you allow them to ask any questions they may have about why they are being dismissed and what happens next. Emotions are likely to be running high and different people will react in different ways, so give them the opportunity to voice their thoughts. Provide them with honest answers, however avoid getting into a debate about the situation or allowing the conversation to get heated.

  1. DON’T get personal

The reason for firing the employee should be entirely related to their performance or the needs of the business. It is important that you keep your emotions in check and explain the decision without sharing any of your personal thoughts about them as an individual or involving any grievances you may have.

  1. DO show the individual respect

Show the individual respect and demonstrate discretion. It’s likely that they may become upset or angry, but try not to get defensive or enter an argument with them. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and allow them to react to the news in the way they feel fit (within reason). The best approach to take is to be kind and sympathetic towards them, while expressing your regret that the employment didn’t work out.

  1. DON’T end on a low note

There’s no need to burn any bridges if possible, so try to end your conversation on a positive note. Thank the employee for their contributions during their time at the company and wish them luck in the future.

 

The end of the interview has arrived and here comes the closing “Do you have any questions?” line.

Many candidates are unprepared for this part of the interview. It’s a common question and one that you should consider as part of your interview preparation. Have a list of at least 6 questions which you’ve prepared in advance of the interview. Because some will be answered during the course of the interview, have more than you think you need as back-up.

Write them down. There is nothing wrong with making notes in advance and using them during your interview. It’s not cheating – it shows an employer that you have taken the time to prepare and have given serious thought to the role and organisation.

Try not to go with run-of-the-mill questions like:

  • When do you want someone to start?
  • Why is this position available?
  • When will I hear from you?

None of these standard questions show any kind of research or preparation or demonstrate genuine interest in the role.  Don’t ask questions that make you sound as though you’re only interested in yourself, such as:

  • Do you close over Christmas/New Year and will I be paid?
  • What’s your policy if I use up my sick leave entitlements because my kids are sick?
  • Do I have to attend networking functions outside normal business hours?

And never use the dreadful “You’ve already answered my questions”. Show some initiative!

Try to come up with questions that provoke thought and demonstrate your keen interest in the role. These will help trigger your thinking:

  • If I was successful how do you see me contributing to the corporate goals you’ve mentioned?
  • How do you see the first 3 months in this role?
  • How will you measure my success?
  • What do you like about working here?

Be careful asking questions about promotion. For instance, if you were to ask if there are possibilities for advancement, you would need to be careful not to give the employer a feeling that you wouldn’t stay in the role. So instead of asking “What are the chances of promotion and how long would it take?”, try something like “In 2 to 3 years, if I’ve met the objectives of this role, how do you see a path for advancement?”

Other questions you could ask include:

  • What are your company/department goals for the next 12 months? If I was successful how do you see me contributing to these goals?
  • Your values and culture are described on your website, but I am interested in how you would describe them.
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • Will there be an induction period? How do you see the first week in this role?
  • What kind of people do really well in your company?
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