Search Results for: how to get a job

What it’s Like to be… an SEO Strategy Lead

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about what I want to be when I grow up* and I realised I really enjoyed making my How To Get A Job series last year – and that recruitment is a pretty interesting subject.

With this in mind, I wanted to go a little further down this rabbit hole and look into the different areas of work people can go into. I had a fairly rural upbringing and when I was a kid, everyone’s parents were very basic jobs – teachers, secretaries, police officers etc. I look at my friends now and realise that I have so many people doing really amazing things, so I decided to question them! [Read more…]

Don’t Be A Dick When Recruiting Young People

The other day at work I was scrolling through LinkedIn when I came across this video. A young man was sat on a sofa, uncomfortable in his suit, looking down at the camera apparently sat on the coffee table. He was holding up signs, Love Actually style, with words to tell a story. He explained that he has applied for a job at a loan company and has been asked to make a viral video as part of the recruitment process.

The video had thousands upon thousands of views and likes, with hundreds of comments, one of which was an explanation of the company he’d applied for, saying that they are a payday loans company who target students, young people and the vulnerable who wouldn’t be able to pay the loans back. In a way it made sense that they would want to make all these applicants do viral content to promote to their friends – supposedly their target audience.

I’ve no doubt that if he’s not in the lead for the role then he’s as near as dammit to it, but I couldn’t help feeling really sad that he’s been made to jump through such hoops for he job – that didn’t seem to be marketing related at all.

There’s so much discourse right now about how to hire the younger generations. How to attract them, how to attract the right ones. How to deal with their youthful qualities once they’re there. There’s more to young people than throwing some beanbags on the office floor and waiting for them to arrive.

Young people are coming out of education ill equipped to get jobs. Schools are targeted on exam results and so that’s what they push for, leaving little time for anything else. Work experience is usually the first thing to go when schools want to be more economical with their time and finances, and very few have the opportunity to have mock interviews or CV writing sessions with external people. No offense to teachers, but having someone come in to do these things is crucial; it allows students to experience talking with an unknown adult, making a first impression from scratch and also get advice straight from the people who might hire them.

So students are coming out of education equipped with certificates proving that they can study, but without the skills needed to work. Then, the come face to face with hiring managers like the one I met a couple of weeks ago. During an event where businesses and careers initiative people discussed working together, a middle-aged man raised his hand to speak his mind; “we hired a load of apprentices, but they turned up late all the time! We did a study! They were the group out of our whole office who turned up late the most! Young people are SO LAZY!”

Seeing red, I politely put my hand up then laid into him pretty heavily, but it’s a sad fact that young people will be coming up against people who think the worst of them like this, before they’ve even opened their mouths. How many adults do you know who have negative misconceptions about teenagers?

Hundreds of people apply to entry level jobs; the internet has made it easier to apply but harder for hiring managers to find the person they want to hire. So, mass interviewing techniques have become common, with assessment centres, personality tests, presentations, games and role play exercises being used to whittle down 200 applicants to a manageable group. Long gone are the days when you can give a nice first impression and someone will take a chance on you; you have to jump through all these hoops just to get a look-in.

Then there are the viral videos they make them do. The chap at the top of the post isn’t the first time I’ve heard of people having to make a video as part of the application process. My brother, when applying for a part time job at a nationwide roast dinner chain restaurant, was asked to make a video as well, and this was a few years ago now. It’s the height of laziness; they don’t want to (or can’t?) see all these people in person so get them to make a video to see if they have charisma, but also by asking them to make the video viral it’s free advertising.

It’s just one more hoop young people have to jump through.

If you want to hire the next generation into your company, here are my tips:

Judge them on what they’ve done outside of school. This is a surefire way to find out what they’re interested in, whether they have ambition, whether they are driven. There are lots of things they could do – learn to code by themselves, do Duke of Edinburgh, join a club, start a club… By doing these things it shows that they don’t just sit in front of the tv when they get home, they’re striving for more.

Don’t expect for them to be the final product. Even at 31, I’m not my final product, and I’m sure you, at whatever age you are, are not either. Instead of coming down on them for their mistakes help them overcome them.

Leave your bias at the door. If you are one of the people who think that young people are young and entitled, please consider spending time with them. Your friend with the teenage son? Sit and chat with him for a bit. That school nearby? Ask if they need your help. Volunteer at a youth club.

Young people don’t want beanbags. They want to be treated with respect and to live fulfilling lives.

Have you heard of a stupid hiring practice for young people? Let me know in the comments!

 

What Progressive Politics Looks Like to Me

Progressive Politics

I’d never considered myself the type to get into politics, until I met Bridget. A lovely councilor I know through work, when I asked her how I could make more of a difference, she told me I should look into politics.

Following that conversation, I joined the Liberal Democrats, and looked into what other things I could get involved with. Bridget kept throwing events my way, such as the LibDem MP training, which looked really up my street but had a really intimidating application process that I was a bit much for me at this point in time. [Read more…]

Is Expat Still My Identity?

That Facebook memory thing is a pain. I joined Facebook in 2005, my first year of uni (back when you needed a university email). That’s a lot of years of memories to show me, and while it’s nice looking back on times gone by, boy do I feel old.

Memories informs me that it’s been around 8 years since I lived in Japan, and 5 years since I was in Germany. I’ve been in the UK 3 1/2 years and I can’t believe it. I came back to settle down, career up and live a more fulfilling life, and really it’s taken me 3 1/2 years to get somewhere near that. [Read more…]

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