LinkedIn’s analytics backfires for many employer’s job adverts

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By Jez Styles You might have missed it but LinkedIn’s share price collapsed after their latest financial statement. LinkedIn has been under increasing pressure to increase its revenue streams and, with a slow down in growth to 20% in the fourth quarter from 56% in the equivalent period last year, many analysts are predicting this slowdown to continue with predictions of just 10% in 2018. At the heart of this slow down in growth has been LinkedIn’s over reliance on its ‘talent solutions’ which makes up 63% of net revenue. LinkedIn has attempted to differentiate its ‘adverts’ proposition from the standard job boards and through the acquisition of several firms including Fliptop. Late last year LinkedIn updated its job advert page for premium subscribers to provide further information for prospective candidates on employers. Read more here: http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/15/linkedin-revamps-its-jobs-listings-with-big-data-analytics/ Sounds great right? What happens when the analytics don’t look quite so rosy? And let’s face it, not every company on LinkedIn is in hyper growth. Indeed I happened upon the following advert recently. ***Looks like an interesting position doesn’t it? I might even apply myself… Hang on, let’s just look at those lovely graphs and charts before I do though… Oh! hotel choc 1 It seems that headcount has dropped by 18%, so 1 in 5 employees have left in the last 2 years. Hmmm that doesn’t look good for job security does it? Average tenure is 3 years? Well maybe the salary and package will assuage my concerns… choc NN Well, there are no details about salary and package and LinkedIn tells me that these roles typically pay anywhere from £30 to £59k…which is pretty broad by anyone’s standards. I might just pass on this occasion. And herein lies the rub. The more LinkedIn tries to differentiate and provide more information the more they will expose the ugly truth of recruitment. Not every company is Google or Facebook. Dry analytics will make some businesses look great, a lot very average and many quite unattractive. They don’t tell you about the culture, the people and what it’s like to work for the company. Which means that fewer, not more, companies will invest in LinkedIn’s talent solutions. Which means prices will go up and features will go down on our subscriptions. This means further disenchantment with LinkedIn. And if you want to see the numbers behind what I suspect is a growing trend in user disenchantment – click here!   ***Apologies to the guys at Hotel Chocolat for flagging this, I really like their stores and I’m not entirely convinced these analytics are a fair reflection of their employer credentials. Hopefully this post might lead to a few more, not less, applications!  
 

16 Reasons why Retailers make fantastic Recruitment Consultants: Part 2

16 Reasons why Retailers make fantastic Recruitment Consultants: Part 2 We wrote recently about why we believe retailers make great recruitment consultants (click here). In the first part of this blog we discussed the behaviours that are transferable, here we look at the skills and experience that many retailers acquire that transfer in to a job in recruitment. As I mentioned previously we are actively recruiting for our offices in Surrey and Solihull so if this strikes a chord please get in touch! You can look at our Facebook page or email my colleague Sophie.mackenzie@admore-recruitment.co.uk directly. Skills & Experience Change Management: Following a deep recession and significant changes in technology and shopping behaviour, Retailers have become accustomed to a state of flux within their respective markets. The most successful individuals and businesses are the ones that embrace change and where it is second nature. Within recruitment we have also seen some significant changes to our industry with a lot more to come. As a result individuals with experience of both managing and implementing change are best suited to our market. You know what good looks like: As a Retail and Hospitality specialist recruitment firm we recruit a broad range of roles, typically from Area Manager, Buying manager, HRBP (etc.) level upwards. If you have worked in retail you will know ‘what good looks like’ whether that is due to personal experience of doing the role or working with a range of people in support functions. This experience is crucial when working with our candidate and clients as it allows us to fully understand the positions we are recruiting for and also enables us to truly empathise. Leadership & People Management: Clearly this is a broad and complex subject but in my experience, the two core skills that often leads to a successful transfer into recruitment are; the ability to motivate direct reports, indirect reports and other stakeholders and; the ability to manage performance in a formal and structured manner. Retailers generally learn how to do this both on the job and in the classroom – an option not always available in many companies. Most large recruitment firms promote their consultants into leadership roles on the basis of their ‘billings’ history. Previous experience of managing people is extremely advantageous when your career accelerates. Managing complexity: Retailers are highly adept at managing a complex business, generally with a suite of KPIs, service metrics and reporting, big to-do lists and instructions and changes coming from a range of departments. Recruitment is often perceived to be straightforward but when you are dealing with people it is generally anything but! Stakeholder & Relationship Management: As mentioned above most retailers have to deal with a range of stakeholders with often conflicting priorities. An ability to manage this is often a highly honed skill. Within recruitment we constantly have to juggle a range of stakeholders, the crucial skill being that you have to be able to focus on the end goal and work towards achieving that while satisfying your stakeholder’s expectations! Strategy and tactical development: The degree of exposure and therefore capability will depend on the level that you have reached but retailers learn from very early in their career, at the very least, how to develop a tactical plan on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. This is particularly important in recruitment where you constantly need to evolve. In order to capitalise on market improvements you need a good plan to truly realise the opportunity. Operations Management: Depending on your retail background, the experience you have here will vary. By operations management I am referring to the management of the supply chain and the store operation. Food & ‘big box’ retailers tend to have the most advanced skill-set in this regard. Understanding the cause & effect of moving units from one place to another may sound simple but in high volume environments it can be incredibly complex. It may be surprising but large scale recruitment campaigns can benefit from a similar logical approach to understanding and planning workload. There are lots of other skills you will have acquired that transfer in to recruitment; way too many to mention! So, if you live close to Surrey or Solihull get in touch. We are looking for Recruitment Consultants and Researchers. You may think we pay low basic salaries. We don’t! You may have other negative perception(s) about a career in recruitment; well we are dispelling a few of those on LinkedIn and Twitter. Please follow us and keep an eye out! For details about our current vacancies, please visit us on Facebook  
 

Daring to be Different: the IKEA HR team share their IKEA experience.

IKEA are embarking on an exciting growth programme which of course creates challenges when it comes to recruiting additional resources to support this expansion. A key focus for this recruitment is in the HR team where they are looking to recruit co-workers from a variety of backgrounds. The environment is unique, as is their approach to recruitment which is focused on the person rather than the CV. Crucially, a classic HR background is not a pre-requisite. More important is a passion for people, an understanding of how to deliver strategy and processes within teams and of course, an alignment with the IKEA values. An understanding of the Retail environment is helpful of course, particularly given the scale of the IKEA store operation! However, it is not essential and the team are interested in people from different backgrounds who can bring a fresh approach. As part of the campaign to source HR Managers in Training, we thought it would be useful to talk to the existing team to find out where they have worked previously, how they have found the transition and what their role entails. As you will see from the following interviews, every member of the team brings a unique perspective to their role which we hope will inspire you to consider IKEA as an employer of choice. Thank you to the IKEA team for their support – you can read their stories here:   Dominique Sayce, HR Manager   Debbie Cox, Recruitment and Competence Development Manager   Darren Taylor, Deputy Country HR Manager, UK&IE   Aoife McCarthy, HR Manager, Dublin   Lisa Duxbury, UK&IE Recruitment Specialist   To read more about these vacancies at IKEA, click here
 

Interview with Lisa Duxbury, UK&IE Recruitment Specialist, IKEA

Name:                              Lisa Duxbury Role within IKEA:       UK & IE Recruitment Specialist Biography: I joined IKEA as a co-worker in the Lakeside store working in customer services. After 18 months I joined the HR team as HR Administrator, and then went on to other roles in HR including store Recruitment Specialist, L&D Specialist and HR Generalist. I took part in some internal development programmes to then move on from the store and take the role of the HR Manager in our UK & IE Service Office. I have been in my current role for 2 years. Lisa, how did you find the transition when you joined IKEA? I joined IKEA way back in 1997! I remember getting lost in the store and meeting so many new people in the large store teams. But I remember feeling connected to IKEA very quickly and very soon feeling at home! How does your role of HR Manager at IKEA differ from your previous role? Really having a voice in the People Agenda in your unit! By working alongside the store team everyday and working in a multi functional way we can really ensure that we are making our stores a great place to work. In your view, what are the key skills and qualities required for your role? Openness to learning, being a strong leader and having a passion for developing people. IKEA are known for recruiting the person rather than the CV, what makes someone stand out as a candidate for IKEA? Being open to learning new things, being self aware and being you. I like to see a connection between people and the business together if possible. What advice would you give to candidates attending an interview at IKEA? Just be yourself and be open. What is the biggest challenge in your role at present? Looking after candidates in a good way so whatever the recruitment outcome, everyone has a positive experience meeting IKEA. What will your next role be within IKEA? I’d like to work in the store again! And finally, what is the best thing about working for IKEA? Working with likeminded people who share the same values and passion for making IKEA a great place to work! To read more about the opportunity to join the IKEA HR team, click here
 

16 reasons why Retailers make fantastic Recruitment Consultants: Part 1

16 Reasons why Retailers make fantastic Recruitment Consultants: Part 1

So, cards on the table…

The retail & hospitality market is back in growth and we are recruiting! We try to avoid selling ‘stuff’ on this site because we have always seen it as our way of giving something back to the communities that support us. This time though, we believe that you, the reader of this blog, are the type of person that we want to recruit for our business. You may already work in recruitment, if so that’s great you are welcome too and we would love to talk to you about why we believe AdMore is a great place to work; or you may be a retailer. You might be just starting to think about doing something different. I’ve been there. When I left HMV in 2007 I got in touch with my now colleague Sophie Mackenzie and said “I love Retail but I want to do something different, I’m just not sure what.”

So let me tell you, whether you are an Area Manager, Store Manager, Buyer, HRBP, Property Manager or any other role in Retail why you should think about recruitment…and hopefully AdMore.

I will split this over two posts as I want to talk about Behaviours first and then Skills:

Behaviours

Resilience

I am not sure I need to explain this one given the rollercoaster most retailers have been on over the last few years. To be fair even in the good times it isn’t easy. There is rarely any respite, no rest period and little time for reflection. Retailers get two days off a year. When your average person is enjoying their May Day Bank holiday, Store managers and their teams are working harder then ever. It isn’t any easier further up the ladder either. Preparing for a 7am Monday morning board meeting, trying to shore up some shocking Like for Likes late in to a Sunday night certainly requires some resilience – and not just for the individual but for their families too. In recruitment we are often on a rollercoaster too - good and bad news comes every day, not always in equal measure.

 

High energy & Results Orientation

These days pretty much everything that a retailer does is measured in some way. The larger chains have engaged in some very detailed time and motion studies to increase productivity and that only serves to ratchet up the focus on results. Retailers live and die by their numbers. Even customer service scores and employee surveys are often boiled down to a single number. Are you above average? Did you top the region, the company or the industry? As with previous points, where Retailers really impress, is their ability to combine an orientation towards ‘getting a result’ with doing it the ‘right way’ – through their people and with customer at the heart of their decision. Oh, and with vigour, passion and good humour! We recruiters are also results orientated, the good ones keep the customer at the heart of what they do…

 

Customer & Service Orientation

We have all had poor experiences in a shop before but on the whole the service offered, in my opinion, is far higher than in other industries. The reason why I believe this is of particular importance is that the provision of service is generally one of many tasks that frontline and back office support retailers have to provide. Remaining focused on the customer when you have a refit taking place, maintenance issues, conference calls from head office, an audit, stock deliveries and a multitude of other tasks in your in-tray is both an art and a science. This isn’t just applicable at store level either, the demands being placed upon Directors and CEOs has reached stratospheric levels with an increasing uptake of Social Media. I have spoken to numerous Directors recently who are increasingly dealing directly with customer issues, in real time over Twitter…24/7.

Many of you will have experienced a bad recruiter before, often forgetting who their customers are (not just the client). Recruitment is changing at a similar pace to retail and the firms that keep a good service ethic will be very successful.

 

Self motivated

Retail is a very, very, very tough industry. Success or failure is often on a knife-edge. You have to be able to take the knocks and enjoy the wins. Most managers, regardless of job function, are highly self-motivated in retail. Recruitment also requires a high degree of self-motivation.

 

Empathy

In Retail and Hospitality you have to be able to empathise, you have to empathise with your customers, your colleagues, your team, your line manager, his/her line manager, your colleagues in HR, your suppliers, your shopping centre manager…the list goes on. Great retailers manage to maintain a balance. Great recruiters do too - telling a redundant candidate that they haven’t got the job that they desperately wanted requires tact and a huge dose of empathy.

 

Ownership & Accountability

With highly visible KPIs, strong processes and structure comes accountability. With accountability comes ownership! This swings both ways, when you are doing well you will receive the plaudits…when things are not going so well you will be held accountable. Retailers understand this relationship between success and failure and they own their results. You only have to listen to a politician on the radio to realise what a fantastic attribute this is! Recruitment is the same, some people over complicate what we do but in essence we are paid to get a result (in the right way). If you are working a retained assignment there is no room for failure, you have to own your work.

 

Urgency & Pace

I suspect that this is the most under-rated behaviour of all. Retail has always been a fast paced industry, driven by consumer demand, trends & perishable product. Quite simply, if you do not ‘get it right’ first time you will lose a sale to the competition. You snooze – you lose. With the onset of Social Media and internet shopping the urgency of delivery has become even more important. Most retail jobs are highly task focused and great retailers are able to prioritise, Urgent vs. Important, and deliver a result with pace. Having recruited for a number of organisations in other industries, Line Managers often talk about the need for an injection of urgency and love the pace that retailers operate at.

 

Drive & Passion

The beauty of the Retail Industry is that anyone can enter and anyone can do well. Of course degrees and other technical qualifications will help but if you have high levels of drive and you are passionate about what you do, you WILL be successful. The same is true of recruitment.

 

So, if you live close to Surrey or Solihull get in touch. We are looking for Recruitment Consultants and Researchers. You may think we pay low basic salaries. We don’t! You may have other negative perception(s) about a career in recruitment; well we are planning to dispel a few of those over the coming weeks on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Please follow us and keep an eye out!
For details about our current vacancies, please visit us on Facebook

 

 

Retailers – here's to a cracking Christmas!

I know exactly where I was on November 29th 2004 – I suspect you probably don’t!

 

I know this because it was the release date for Band Aid 20 and I was running a store for HMV in London. I suspect most other current and former HMV employees will also remember as it’s one of those ‘once a decade’ releases you don’t forget in the entertainment industry.

 

At various times of the year and on key dates I can’t help but reminisce about my time in retail – about what I enjoyed and perhaps more importantly, what I learnt at the time. I spent close to ten years in retail which is a shade longer than I have been in recruitment and so I still tend to think of myself as a Retailer first and foremost.

 

Consequently, when key dates come around I can’t help but think about the fun times and as I say, what I learnt from the experience. Big product releases always created a great buzz in store and at Head Office. There was always a palpable sense of excitement both from the customers as well as the staff. I particularly enjoyed the buying element (we bought 70% of the stock at store level) and really driving specific products. When Band Aid came out my team really got behind the release and they felt like they were giving something back every time they sold a single. It really brought the team together and if I remember correctly, they sold around 10,000 units in the first week. At the time it was an extraordinary achievement given that most singles were selling a couple of hundred at best (that was when the physical music market was really starting to tank). It really brought the team together too and gave a lot of people a sense of self-belief, in that if they really bought in to something (in this case it had a charitable basis), they could over-achieve and significantly outperform our peer group. As we know in life, success breeds success.

 

I have a great job now but I don’t mind admitting that I miss the buzz of retail. If you have spoken to me before you’ll have sensed that. Retail is a fantastic industry and while it is a tough job I’m sure you will agree with me that it is highly rewarding.

 

This coming Saturday used to be the first really big one in the lead up to Christmas when I was at HMV and generally signalled 6 weeks of utter carnage!

 

For those of you in Retail, good luck!

 

Phones 4 U – you will be missed

As a recruiter I can’t think of another Retailer that has as divisive a reputation as Phones 4 U. Sure, there are strong opinions about the people that work for Tesco, Boots, B&Q, Debenhams or M&S, positive and negative. Indeed we recruiters are absolutely guilty of making assumptions about people that work for certain companies. If you have only worked at M&S there is a good chance that you are great at managing politics, you will have managed large teams in a complex environment but you are also probably somewhat process driven.* If you work for Aldi or Lidl** you are paid above the market average to work LONG hours and you have little autonomy in comparison to other Retailers – you are however highly sought after.

As for P4U, well I probably don’t need to tell you what the stereotypes are about the people that work(ed) there. Aggressive, hard, sharp, commercial, pace driven, black & white and highly results orientated. Most experienced recruiters will be fully aware that, broadly speaking, there are indeed two stereotypes, the first is of the guys who were at the business in the early days through to around 2012 and secondly, the guys who were at the business after this point. There are of course a lot of people that straddled these two eras. The working culture at P4U prior to 2012 was edgy and highly aggressive with a horrendous staff turnover in triple figures. Just to be clear, this is the market perception and is not true of everyone that worked there. Post 2012, that turnover had reduced to less than 35% (I am happy to be corrected on that figure), which is relatively healthy in comparison. Indeed the business had one of the best apprenticeship schemes in retail offering fantastic careers to school leavers.

I have represented candidates from P4U throughout my recruitment career and whenever submitting a candidate with said business on their CV I have always had to justify their presence on the shortlist. In fact I could probably reel off a fair few people who have carefully erased their often short P4U career from their CV…but that is another story! However, I have always known that when I have picked up a brief for a sales driven candidate whom will drive change quickly I have known where to look. You know what you are going to get with people from P4U, they know how to sell and they know how to manage sales people. They are relentless, motivated and work at pace. In a growth economy this is essential. More and more of the briefs I am picking up from clients are for candidates that can drive growth, there is little mention of cost reduction at the moment. Like M&S and Tesco, P4U has provided a happy hunting ground for companies looking for a leader with a particular edge.

Indeed I have spoken to a few contacts that have, perhaps for the first time, had the honour of working with people from P4U in the last two weeks. They have been stunned by the quality of the people. I suspect that the old reputation of P4U people will be steadily replaced by the truth; P4U has been a breeding ground for high quality talent. The loss of this talent pipeline will be keenly felt in the years to come.

*This is the stereotype in the market and not always true!

**This is the stereotype in the market, currently, albeit one that has softened in recent years.

 

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In 2014 what is the most important thing Retail candidates must demonstrate at interview?

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The retail recruitment market is now moving at its fastest pace since 2007. I can’t back this statement up with statistics (other than overall unemployment is now down to 6.8%) but I have spoken to a lot of employers and candidates recently and they have all said the same thing, it is much better out there. In fact it is dramatically different to this time last year. Candidates whom were struggling to get an interview previously now often have anywhere from 3-5 processes. Clearly this creates a new problem, what roles do you go for…another blog for another time!

Despite the fact that the market is shifting, it is still, just, an employer driven market. I stated in my previous blog that I think this will have tipped in the candidates favour by September. In the meantime employers are still relatively cautious with interview processes usually running over several stages, psychometric tests common place and the assessment centre used liberally to work through volume.

However, regardless of how employers are approaching their selection there is one trait/behaviour/characteristic that they all want to see.

ENERGY

As retailers pull out of cost cutting and look to growth they will need a different type of leadership. The vast majority of retailers have taken a battering over the last six years and while in the main the fittest have survived there is still a big job at hand. The rate of change has been fast over the recession but few retailers have a genuinely joined up multi-channel strategy or have truly embraced the range of technological resources available. The high street isn’t dead either and there are a lot of chains looking to expand again. This is only going to increase as the economy improves, confidence returns and retailers look to invest again.

As a result employers are looking for candidates with the drive, passion and desire to support this growth. They need ENERGY.

I think I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have asked candidates to demonstrate energy at an interview, a bit of fizz as a client said to me last week. So how do you demonstrate ‘fizz’?

1)      Talk with your hands.

2)      Use positive body language, lean forward, keep a good posture at all times.

3)      Vary your pitch, tone, volume and pace of talking.

4)     Talk about things, when relevant, that you are genuinely passionate about.

5)      Drink a coffee.

6)      Ensure your eyes are ‘sparkling!’ Get a good nights sleep and if you are still looking a bit tired then try some eye drops.

7)     Smile, smile and smile. Laughing helps too.

If you feel you can’t really demonstrate energy in your interview, you are probably applying for the wrong job! Everyone excepts that you shouldn’t try and be someone that you are not but this is your one chance to impress a potential employer and convince them of your energy and drive to perform. Make sure you take that opportunity.

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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
 

Top 10 tips: Writing a Retail Business Plan for interviews

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The last few months have seen a significant improvement in market conditions and the volume of vacancies is increasing significantly. However while the pool of immediately available candidates has dropped sharply in recent months there is still some strong competition coming from ‘passive’ candidates entering the market for the first time in several years. As a result it is still important that you approach every interview process you enter with energy and focus. We are finding that Retailers are increasingly using business presentations as a useful tool for judging the calibre of candidates. Presentations provide a huge amount of insight in to candidates, covering your capabilities in research, written communication skills, verbal communication skills, analytical capability, financial and commercial acumen, leadership / management style, key focus areas, strategic thinking, detail…. The list could go on and on! The temptation in any recruitment process is to focus on the interview but in reality the presentation will often be the element that can set you apart from other candidates and therefore determine your success. We have compiled a few tips, some very obvious, that might help you prepare your presentation. 1. Read the brief. Read the brief, Read the brief and keep reading the brief. It is all too easy to take the presentation in the direction that you want to go but ultimately does it answer the question? This is both the easiest thing to get right, but often the first thing to get wrong. Revisit the brief title throughout your preparation and after each draft to ensure you are on track. 2. Keep your slides to a sensible number. We have all heard of the saying, death by power-point, but it is well versed for a reason! The number of slides required will depend on the presentation time allowed and the information you are required to present, as a rough guide you should allocate 2-4 minutes per slide. A useful tip might be to include additional information such as a PEST or SWOT analysis in to an appendix rather than the body of the presentation. This allows you to demonstrate methodology and perhaps detail without killing your presentation. 3. Keep text to a minimum and break it up. Text heavy presentations tend to miss an opportunity in that you will fail to demonstrate a multi-skilled approach to communication. People have different preferences in how they absorb information and it is best to vary the presentation of your slides; pictures, graphics, diagrams, graphs and charts will have a greater impact that just text. Slides with text should have no more than 3-5 bullet points. You can take additional notes with you to act as a prompt. You will lose the interviewers if they mentally ‘wonder’ off while reading a text heavy slide. 4. Ask a peer or recruiter to review each draft. It is crucial that you seek advice and support throughout your preparation. Depending on the circumstances of your application you should try to get someone with knowledge of the interviewer to review your presentation. They may be able to provide some insight in to style or specific preferences. Take on board any feedback and act upon it. 5. Cover the obvious Key areas. People, Profit, Product. It is crucial that you relate this to the customer throughout your slides and verbal presentation. 6. Know the business you are presenting to: In order to get the right tone you should be mindful of the company’s vision, values and mission statement. It is also important that you have read any press releases or industry press articles about the business. If a company is doing well they are likely to be looking for a different candidate than a business that is issuing profit warnings. 7. Be mindful of confidentiality. In all likelihood during your research you will pick up confidential information from conversations with various people. It is important to strike a balance between demonstrating an intimate knowledge of your prospective employer and putting people in an awkward position. Where you have any concerns it might be best to keep some points for verbal reference only. 8. Punctuation, spelling & Font. The devil is in the detail and a failure to get this right could undermine your entire presentation. I recently presented to a client whom picked up on what he thought was a spelling mistake, he became quite fixated on this and it was quite disconcerting. Fortunately the spelling was correct but it serves to show that you need to be confident that you have covered the detail! 9. Judge your audience. Is humour appropriate or perhaps something highly creative? If you are presenting to a fashion retailer then the style and imagery will be critical. Likewise some people just want it to be very simple. Either way, ensure you understand what the interviewer’s preferences are. 10. Structure, structure, structure. Ensure your presentation has an introduction, perhaps detailing the brief, the body of the presentation and a conclusion. The main body should flow from slide to slide. I would be interested to hear any other tips that you may have. Get your FREE CV Template