2014 Retail Social Recruitment & Engagement Report

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Which Retailers are using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to recruit in 2014? In our 2014 report on Social recruitment in Retail we have looked at Follower numbers, activity levels and follower engagement. There are significant differences to how employers use the different social channels and despite the noise suggesting that Social recruitment is replacing traditional recruitment methodologies it would appear that there is still some way to go before that is the case. While many recruiters see LinkedIn as their primary sourcing tool, a significant number are using it for ‘data mining’ purposes only. Indeed, most employers are still relying on the traditional forms of candidate sourcing whether that be through online advertising (print is nearly dead), job board searches and the use of recruiters (in-house, managed vendor or agency). Using the social media channels, for data mining only, misses the real opportunity that social recruitment presents through educating and engaging your prospective employees over a longer period. We have mentioned in a number of blog posts recently that the market is turning. We have been in an employer driven market since early 2008 and while the balance is still, just, in favour of the employer it is changing quickly. While it is a qualitative opinion, I believe it will be a largely candidate driven market when retail recruitment hits its peak in September. As an employer if you haven’t got an engagement / employer brand strategy in place before then you are likely to find it very difficult to attract the highest calibre candidates. You may not have noticed the environment getting tougher yet, but you will, and as the economy picks up and as employment conditions improve (unemployment down to 6.8% at time of writing) you will find it harder and harder. In the last upturn leading up to 2007 candidates did less research, didn’t have smart phones and were probably not checking you out on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. So which retailers are in pole position to capitalise on what is going to be a highly competitive market? At the bottom of the page is a link to our FREE 2014 Retail Social Recruitment and Engagement report which details the top retailers for followers, activity and engagement. Here are a few highlights: Apple is the most followed retailer with Vodafone hot on their heels. As both companies are clearly likely to attract followers for numerous other reasons I think it is fair to say that IKEA are the most followed pure retailer. In reality the top 10 is heavily influenced by Retailers with extensive international portfolios. Bang & Olufsen saw the biggest percentage increase against 2013. Tesco are still the leading careers feed on Twitter which is highly impressive given that they switched their tweets off last August! There have been significant gains for Primark, Boots, Harrods and River Island. Selfridges saw a whopping 593% increase in followers versus 2013. Swaroski, Boots (again!) and Next saw increases on their Facebook careers pages. Indeed Swarovski are currently in a league of their own, with over 18’000 page likes. Once again, Selfridges enjoyed a 710% increase in followers versus 2013. I’m not sure what the recruitment team at Selfridges have been putting in their tea but it seems to be working! Its all well and good having lots of followers but without activity (updates) you can’t have engagement (shares, likes, comments, retweets etc). The top retailer for delivering regular activity was Boots with Home Retail Group (Argos, Homebase and Habitat) just behind. Interestingly the engagement levels were relatively modest and when scored it has thrown up a few surprises. The top retailer for engagement was Onestop, the convenience retailer. Their posts seemed to elicit a very positive response from their followers through some very interesting content. The report has thrown up a number of questions, the most obvious being just how ‘social’ can recruitment ever be? By its very nature it requires a modicum of discretion. We will attempt to address this, and several other points, in a future blog(s) in the weeks to come. Download the latest Retail Social Recruitment & Engagement Report
 

How to write an interview script – with FREE Retail Area Manager Interview Template

We are often asked by clients for sample interview questions for certain roles. This tends to be by smaller companies who perhaps have a small HR function and who have never had reason to write a formal interview process or script. With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to outline how to draw up a standard interview script. It may sound simple but there is more to it than googling ‘top ten interview questions!’ – at least if you want the interview to effectively assess potential candidates! NB. I have kept this intentionally simple. If we were designing this for a client from scratch we would need to go into more detail, designing a competency matrix as the foundation before writing both the job description and subsequent interviews. Why have a standard interview? There is a balance here between making the process too standardised and having an informal process which purely relies on personal opinion rather than hard evidence. If the process is too formulaic, you may miss out on some of the candidate’s less tangible qualities. If you have no process at all, chaos tends to ensue with each hiring manager looking for something different, no audit trail and worst case scenario, questions being asked which are discriminatory or even illegal! Also, a big problem companies face when recruiting is that the people doing the interviewing may have had no interview training and be nervous themselves when called upon to interview. Having a (good) interview script can help give inexperienced interviewers confidence. What are the competencies/capabilities you are looking for? This should be the starting point for any recruitment process. Of course there is more to it than that (culture fit, personality etc.) however at the very least, you need to know that the candidate has the capability to do the job before you factor in their potential ‘fit’ with the company. If you don’t have one already, it is worth drawing up a list of competencies for the role you are recruiting for. These should be a clear guide to the specific skillset required, ideally with key measures for each competency attached. Keep the list brief – any more than 6 competencies and it will be very hard to assess these effectively. Think about what the absolute pre-requisites are and ask yourself “what will the person be doing to demonstrate success in this role” and “how will we measure their success?”. The format should look something like this: Once you have your competency matrix agreed with the key stakeholders, you can use it as the basis for the job description and the interview process. What structure do you want your script to have? For a straightforward interview, e.g. for the first stage of a process before an assessment centre or where there will be a 2 stage process with a structured interview first followed by an OJE or sign off interview at final stage, then I would suggest the following: a combination of a competency based interview and a more fluid set of questions to assess culture and team fit. That way, you will be assessing in a rounded way while still providing a robust audit trail and a consistent set of questions for every candidate. How many questions? This is a tricky one. Ideally, an interview like this should last between 1 and 1.5hrs – anything less and I would question its validity. However, different interviewers will have different styles – some more verbose than others and some more skilled at keeping an interview moving if the candidate’s responses are too long-winded. I would use the competences as a guide and aim to ask 2 questions per competency. This will keep the interview balanced and then you can allow additional time for the more open, culture based questions. What format should it take? Again, simplicity is key here. Having worked in-house and knowing how difficult it was to get any interview feedback from hiring managers at all let alone anything in writing, it needs to be a document which is easy to use. There should be enough space for notes and there should be specific enough questions to guide the interviewer about how much detail they need to give in terms of feedback. To score or not to score It is possible to assign a mark for each question, enabling you to give a total score for the interview. This can be done by apportioning a score per competency e.g. if you have 5 competencies for an Area Manager role, you could assign 4 points per competency, giving you a total of 20 possible marks. The scoring for each competency is based on a scale for instance: 4     Excels in demonstration of capability 3     Demonstrates capability 2     Demonstrates some areas of capability however has some development areas 1       Does not adequately demonstrate capability   If the assessor feels the candidate has excelled in their demonstration of the competency, they would get the full 4 points and so on. This tends to work particularly well when used as part of an overall assessment process. We have created a free Area Manager interview script template, download here:
 

Top CV writing tips

By Sophie Mackenzie, AdMore Recruitment

With the New Year looming and positive news regarding the economic outlook, many of your thoughts will undoubtedly be turning to your career and how you can move it forward in 2014.

Time, therefore, to get your CV up to date. But where do you start?

Here are our top tips for writing your CV - for more detailed advice, please see my previous blog How to write a CV

Beware the over-use of boxes, lines, tables and borders. All of these may cause issues when your CV is sent via email or loaded onto a system. Using a simple Word format with the use of Bold and bullet points to break up the text which will make your CV easy to read.

It’s all about you

In my opinion, CVs should be written in the first person and from your perspective rather than in the third person. This I’m sure is open to debate however as it is a personal synopsis of your career, who better to ‘narrate’ it than you!

Get the length right

As a general rule, a well-written CV should fill 3 pages and only go beyond this if you are at a very senior level. If you are at a senior level and have a CV of two pages, I would bet your bottom dollar that you are selling yourself short. Tips to maximising space:

  • Keep flowery prose to a minimum
  • Use clever formatting (font size, narrow margins etc.) and bullet points to avoid large blocks of text.
  • Be economical with your language without missing any salient points.
  • Leave out the words Curriculum Vitae at the top of the page. Your name will suffice and this will save you a valuable line of text!
  • Keep address details in the Header or Footer or at the top of the page.
  • Keep personal interests brief - one line is fine to give someone a flavour of your interests outside work.
Go back in time

Your CV therefore, should always be written in reverse chronological order. That is, your current or most recent role should appear at the top and descend backwards in time as the readers progresses down the page. Equally, as you go back in time to your more junior roles, the level of detail should also decrease and you can revert to list format. You need to make sure you prioritise space for your most recent and relevant roles.

Contact details

There is a worrying trend of people not including their contact details. I won’t go on about this. Suffice to say that if you don’t include your telephone number, you are unlikely to receive a call inviting you to interview!

Also, a word of caution, if you have a particularly ‘cheeky’ email address, for example saucysoph@hotmail.com,  you may want to reflect on what message that sends out to prospective employers!?

Give it substance

Layout and format is nothing without decent content. Ensure that you give sufficient detail about your role, remit and responsibilities. List your achievements but make sure you back them up with tangible facts eg. figures, awards, testimonials etc. Using the STAR/CAR format will help – click here for more information

Beware of clichés and repetition.

Cliched CV phrases crop up time and time again. For example "Passionate, hard-working and results-oriented team player with strong communication skills."

Try to avoid generic adjectives listing soft-skills like this. Instead, make an impact through using interesting language in particular using ‘action’ words like demonstrated, initiated, supported, motivated to describe your experience and achievements.

Be wary of over-using the word ‘I’ particularly at the beginning of each sentence/bullet point. Try to vary the construction of sentences as follows:

  • Having worked collaboratively with head office project teams, I was instrumental in the launch of a new store format, having full accountability for the critical path in relation to its delivery in stores.
  • I initiated a new best practice for stock-control across the region which resulted in a 15% decrease in stock loss.
Accuracy and integrity 
  • Ensure that any dates listed are accurate and if there are any gaps in your work history, that they are accounted for eg. June 2011 – Oct 2011 Travel to India with Oxfam.
  • Note also that lying on your CV is likely to result in issues further down the line – there are numerous examples of people having lost their jobs after it has been discovered that they lied or ‘embellished’ their CV.

Education and Qualifications

Education should be listed in reverse chronological order starting with your highest qualification. Ensure that if you have a Degree, it is visible.

Check and check again

Please check and double-check your CV for spelling or grammatical errors. I cannot stress how important this is. Cue previous rant in my blog It’s really not that difficult.

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Social Recruitment in Retail – infographic & report

Social Recruitment in Retail

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