Resolved to keep your Resolution(s)?

So, we’re already at the beginning of February… Where to pick up? It’s a New Year, and we could go with the old cliché of “New Year, New Beginnings, New Resolutions”, but is there much value in that? You see, I don’t think there are many companies around anymore whose financial year is anywhere close to that of the Gregorian calendar, so is this really the most quantifiable time, at least within recruitment, to make new promises?

At Vertex we were all asked to come up with a New Year Resolution of some sort. We had a number of interesting ones as well as the usual quit smoking wishes. We had people declaring that they would work until 8pm twice a week – which is great on the premise of it, but how productive are you going to be if you are forcing yourself to do so? Why do we wait until a set date to make changes in our lives?

January also tends to be the time when there is the belief that more people are looking for jobs. It is only after stuffing our faces with turkey, opening presents, and drinking a larger then recommended amount of alcohol, (why is it that it is acceptable on Christmas Day to have alcohol when you wake up? I’m not complaining but it just seems like an odd tradition), that we realise how bad our current life and job are, and start to look for new challenges? Is this really true? Some statisticians would say yes, some would say no – the joys of numbers being that you can manipulate them to mean whatever you want (watch the number23 movie starring Jim Carrey if you seek further evidence).

The truth of it all is that the best time to make a change is the day that you realise things aren’t working the way you want. We can all get stuck in a rut far too easily, and often we don’t realise our own entrapment from being so deeply buried inside the situation, and lot in the monotony of routine.

Take a moment now to stop and think about where you are in your career. Ask yourself the following questions:

Did I envisage myself still working here when I first joined?

Am I being challenged to achieve in a way that I want to?

Do I actually enjoy what I do?

If the answer to any of these (perhaps with the exception of the first) is ‘no’, you may need to think about making a change. The truth is that recruiters are here to help. Sure, there are bad apples out there who are only interested in matching a few keywords for a pay-off, and sure, this may seem like a bit of an advertorial cliché, but if you called myself or a colleague at Vertex Solutions we would be delighted to help. In our confidential discussion, we can provide you with a salary comparison and our insight into the market place to see where you could possibly go, and what opportunities are and could be open to you.

So… What are you waiting for?

Check us out on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, or contact Kieran directly on k.scully@vertex-solutions.co.uk

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A Recruitmas Carol

This is a tale of moving with the times, a warning against becoming an observational passenger. I’m sure we have all now read, or watched, the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”, and the message behind it lives as true today as it did when written. This is much alike A Christmas Carol in as far as our story of vicissitude in our main characters life begins with a visit from a deceased colleague on the night before Christmas. (For reason of it being an uplifting Christmas story, we will assume that in this instance deceased means he has moved on to another company.)

Scrooge awoke to find a ghouly being standing at the edge of his bed. He furiously rubbed his eyes to ensure his woken presence, yet the being remained. It was the image of his previous business partner Jacob Marley from Scrooge and Marley Recruitment Solutions. At first Scrooge didn’t believe it. “Why do you doubt your senses?” asked Marley. Scrooge scoffed, “A little thing affects them, a slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheat. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” Marley just stood there in a moment of eerie silence before letting out a spine-chilling howl, so powerful that Scrooge was thrown to his knees begging for mercy. Marley stopped. Then again, silence filled the air. “I am here today Scrooge to warn you, the way you are recruiting is filled with errors, for if you do not change your ways your billings will diminish at a rate of knots. For on this night you will be awoken by a trio of hauntings, each with a message to help you change your ways and prevent your downfall.”

And with that, Marley was gone. “Poppy scotch!” scoffed Scrooge. “I am still one of the best recruiters out there; my ways are right, twas just a dream,” he remarked, lying back onto his duck-quilted bed.

At around 3am a shivering breeze woke Scrooge, and he noticed a figure in front of him. “Oh blooming heck, I need to stop eating cheese before bed!” muttered Scrooge. The gleaming figure smiled as she took Scrooge’s hand and span him around. “I am the Ghost of Recruitment Past; I will show you the failures of your ways.” With each spin the room began to blur away and upon stopping, Scrooge was flabbergasted to find himself back in the office he worked in in 1995!

“What?! Why are we here? I haven’t worked here for almost 20 years!” exclaimed Scrooge. As his eyes darted frantically around the room, he saw what looked very much like a younger version of himself sitting at a wooden desk with a reel of cards, a landline, and a pen and paper in front of him.

“But.. but.. That’s me!” stammered Scrooge. “H-hello? HELLO?!”

“He can’t see or hear you – nobody can,” uttered the Ghost of Recruitment Past.

“Why am I here?” quizzed Scrooge, grouchy and confused.

“You are here to see how things were. Do you remember this? A pen, a piece of paper and a spinning reel of cards? This was your world; this was how recruitment was done. The book filled with paper that you sit on, that is a phone book. Back in 1995 phone books were your only way of finding somebody’s number. You had no computers. The newspaper on your desk is full of clippings of companies looking for staff, and the post contains responses received from keen applicants. Do you see the phone… DO YOU? There were no mobiles: this was all you had. This was how it was.”

“Why are you showing me this?!” snapped Scrooge impatiently. “There is no lesson to learn here! I was here, I know how it was!”

“Yes, you were here and you had to do it all this way. But this was when you were committed, driven. This approach to recruitment was a novel tool, and you had to work for your money. The challenge drove you forward. What part of you then do you see in yourself now?” challenged the Ghost.

“None, fine, you’re right.” muttered Scrooge. “Can we go home now?”

He hadn’t even realised he had returned to his bed and a world of sleep, that was until he was awoken again by that same shivering chill to see another ghouly being shining in front of him.

“Let me guess, you’re the ghost of recruitment present?” Scrooge asked, sarcastically. “Where are we going now, eh?”

The spirit smiled, ignoring his mood, then took him by the hand and on a spinning journey to his office of today. On his desk sat a state of the art computer, 2 monitors, a telephone, hands-free kit and plentiful jobsites logged in.

“Do you see how it is now? You have a PC which contains all the information you could ever need: every phone number, every company, and everybody in a job or wanting a job at your fingertips. We have Tim Berners Lee to thank for making your job so much easier, but what do you do? You sit at your desk complaining that nobody answers their ‘bloody’ phone, that all candidates you speak to have already been spoken to about that position, that every company you call has a PSL and won’t let you on, that with every deal you live in the fear that the candidate won’t pass the rebate period, and that companies will only work at 15%. You search on jobsites and stare at the CV’s for tens of minutes, saying you’re not sure if they are right instead of picking up the phone to call them, actually talk to them; on their mobile, no gatekeeper, nothing stopping you. But instead you just whinge and whine and complain.”

Scrooge was about to protest, but the Ghost of Recruitment Present cut him off.

“Adjust to the times Ebenezer! Adjust or watch everyone else pass you by. Sure, computers are hard work for an old man like you, but you make no effort to learn and improve. You are your own worst enemy.”

“I get it, I get it, can we just go?” declared Scrooge, exasperated.

Again, he hadn’t realised that he had been whisked back home or that he had fallen back asleep until the breeze woke him one again to see the final Recruitment Ghost.

This time, the ghost wasn’t smiling as it took him by the hand. Scrooge blinked, worriedly. They went to the location of his recruitment empire, but all that remained was rubble. “Wh- what? Where’s my office? What is this?” spurted Scrooge. “I- I don’t get it… Where is my office? Why aren’t we there?”

Scrooge looked around, aghast, as he saw men in suits passing by on their hover boards (the year was 2015, just 3 years from today).

“Do you remember that grumpy old git Scrooge?” guffawed one.

“That guy who didn’t react to the times? Haha! Yeah, he may have been a decent recruiter in his time, but he just couldn’t handle the technical enhancements.”

“Do you remember what he used to say?” said another.

“Haha, oh yes. How could anyone forget?

‘Social Media – what’s the point? Forget about Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Xing. All you need is a phone and you’ll be fine! Social Media is a waste of time: nobody cares if I write a blog or not. I’m still the best.’

 

Little did he realise that every company in every town were looking for the recruiters that knew their market; that used all tools available; that wrote informed blogs… If he’d been able to stay with the times he would be riding a hover board now like us big shots instead of mumbling by on some battered down spacehopper!”

 

The men in suits cackled like three witches, and zoomed off into the night sky, leaving a trail of laser light and shattered naïveté in their wake.

 

With that, Scrooge broke down in tears. “I get it… I get it now. I should be grateful for what we have today. I should stop complaining, stop being lazy, and become proactive. I should embrace social media and all that comes with it, otherwise I will end up burnt down like my precious offices.” He sniffed away a rogue tear from his suddenly softened cheek.

 

“Take me home. I want to go home,” he said 3 times as he clicked his heels together (oh wait, wrong parody!)…

 

And that is where our tale ends, take from it what you will. But this Christmas, as you sit by the log fire, surrounded by family in your lovely house, take a moment to treasure it. You have it all now – right now. Adjust to the times so that you will have it for the future.

With that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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