Peterborough
Huntingdon

peterborough@recruitmint.com

Peterborough
17 Church Walk, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE1 2TP

Huntingdon
4 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 3TE, 01480 718 333

Attracting the best candidates to come work for your small-to-medium sized business (SME) will take some strategy: strong employer branding, a great candidate experience throughout the recruitment cycle and good pay and benefits.

You also need a strategy that works to your advantage. Finding candidates with the right characteristics that lead to a high-performing company culture.

In a SME there is often a unique sense of team, resulting in a more unified workplace culture. However, this culture could very easily be disrupted if you were to hire the wrong candidate. Therefore, it’s important that you find talent who not only fits but, thrives within your team.

To improve your hiring process, follow these five tips to ensure you’re attracting the right talent to take your company forward:

A Genuine Interest in your SME

In an SME there are obviously going to be less people to help the business reach its goals than a big corporate organisation, with this there are undoubtedly going to be times where employees are expected to go outside the confines of their job description.

You therefore need to recruit candidates who are passionate enough about the business to proactively go above and beyond their role for the good of the company.
When you’re next interviewing potential candidates, try asking them similar question to the below to determine their genuine interest in your company:

• What appeal to you most about working here?
• What do you think sets us apart from our competitors?
• Given what you know about our company, why do you think you would be a good fit?
• Describe a time you were asked to complete a task outside off your job description. What was the result?

Look for key triggers to determine if a candidate is genuinely interested in your business. For example, were they early for the interview? Did they have plenty of knowledge about where your company is going and its history? Did they prepare intelligent questions to ask you?

It’s not just what the candidate says that helps you determine their genuine interest in your company, how they say it is equally important. Make a conscious effort in the interview to read their body language – if they smile as they talk and make eye-contact, then they are probably excited about what you do as a business. If they appear nervous – remember that this may well be because they really want the job. Try to do everything you can to put them at ease. After all, nerves are preferable to a candidate who is aloof, folds their arms and sits back in their chair!

Invest in their own Personal Development

Whilst larger corporates may have the budget to equip every employee with state-of-the art, personalised and up-to-the-minute training programmes, few SMEs have the same resources.

One of the ways you can still compete with these organisations is to hire candidates who have a proactive approach to their personal learning. There are copious amounts of free resources available for candidates to continuously develop such as: podcasts, articles, webinars or YouTube tutorials. To determine their attitude to self-learning, ask questions such as:

• When and how was the last time you proactively learnt a new skill outside of work?
• Can you tell me about an interesting new trend relating to your area of expertise?
• How do you make sure you keep your knowledge up-to-date?

Find Candidates that mirror your Culture and Ethos

When hiring candidates, look for those who place importance on all the things you do. This could range from your company culture, to a sense of purpose and pride in the work they do or the chance to take on new areas of responsibility. Here are some questions you could ask to gauge where a candidate’s priorities are:

• Why are you looking for in a new role?
• What is important to you most when looking for a new employer?
• What motivates you to perform?
• What engages you with a company?

These questions will help identify the candidates who want to stay and progress within your company and won’t be easily swayed should they get an attractive counter offer from their current employer.

The questions that the candidate asks you during the interview can also give you an insight into what their true motivations are, particularly if they ask more about the opportunity itself than material benefits.

Tap into Graduate Talent and More Experienced Workers

More experienced workers are going to need to less training, less supervision and are more likely to stay in the job longer term. They can also help develop any younger recruits you bring on board.

Graduates who are hungry to prove themselves and versatile can prove valuable appreciating assets for SMEs. They will be eager to learn and take on more responsibility, key for any growing SME. It also appears this age-group is waking up to the fast-track career opportunities in smaller firms.

If possible, look to develop relationships with educational institutions in local areas and attend career fairs that they hold.

Hire High Potentials, not Rock Stars

Hiring candidates who have a high potential you can develop to grow within your company can be more beneficial for SMEs as they enter the business a clean slate, rather than coming in with pre-conceived ideas about how things should be done.

They have the right soft skills that ensure success long-term; resilience, initiative, entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, and being able to adapt to change and new challenges. This is who you want to grow into new roles as the company grows.

They’re not “rock stars” because rock stars know their worth and may be looking for the next gig when the grass turns greener on the other side.

Make the Process Even Easier with Recruit Mint

Through our process we will meet yourselves and all candidates face to face, so we can get a true understanding of your company, your culture and where your struggles are. Whilst getting to know the candidates as more than just a CV.

If you’re looking for the right candidate for your company, we can certainly help you find them and help your business grow. If you’re interested in finding out exactly how we can help you, then get in touch on 01733 802300, or submit your requirement.

Increase Employee Loyalty

The days of employees staying at the same company for many years, even decades are nothing but a distant memory. Businesses now need to make the extra effort to increase employee loyalty and retain talent. This is the outcome of a candidate driven market, candidates know their worth in the market and that they can find another opportunity if needed.

Building a business with motivated and loyal employees is the corner stone of any successful business. Growth, high morale, great customer service and profits all follow as a result. Employees who are disgruntled and demotivated will have a direct negative impact, bringing down the moral of the staff and the business.

Many business owners and managers think that employees are automatically loyal, just because they’re getting paid. The truth is loyalty does not have a price. Loyalty must be earned. All the money, benefits or well-structured team building exercises will not retain employees, if you keep treating them poorly. If your company has high employee turnover, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

No one says increasing employee loyalty will be easy. Inspiring loyalty is a tricky thing, it’s intangible. Fortunately, there are some tactics you can employ to increase employee loyalty.

What your Business can do to increase Employee Loyalty

Understand what ‘employee loyalty’ means

Employee loyalty is an intangible set of emotions, that make employees feel attached to their current employer, and less likely to seek other opportunities.
To increase employee loyalty, you must increase the positive emotions and decrease the negative emotions that your employees feel.

Understanding that you’re dealing with root emotions, rather than the specific behaviours those emotions drive, it is important to keep you focused on what really matters.

Offer competitive and fair compensation

Employees expect to be paid at their market value for their skill set. If they find a similar job elsewhere with more pay, they will quickly feel undervalued and demotivated.

Employees also expect to be paid as much as their peers who are doing the same work, regardless of whether those peers are better at negotiating salaries.

Invest more time in the hiring process

Hiring the right staff takes a lot of time, but a rigorous process pays off when you find the right person. You need to ensure you pick someone who can do the job, but perhaps more importantly fits your company culture, and mix well with the rest of the team. Through the Recruit Mint process, we meet all clients and candidates face to face to make sure we find the perfect candidate.

Improve Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work in. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals.

Company culture can be a great method of attracting the loyal staff, as it has become a high priority for job seekers. Increase employee loyalty by creating a working environment which people enjoy working in.

Manage Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is an important component of loyalty. Watch who participates during meetings and training sessions, see who does the lion’s share of the work during team projects, get to know your employees on a personal and individual level.

Focus on Continued professional Development

Help your employees grow and develop, not only will this help them feel valued and increase their loyalty, it will also improve their skill set, and make them better at their job. Get to understand what your employees’ goals are, create development plans so they can see that you value them as an employee and an individual. This will actively show that you and the business care about them.

Avoid Micromanagement

Part of earning an employee’s loyalty is showing them that you trust them to do their job. If you’re constantly looking over their shoulder, you’re not letting them grow and develop. While taking charge of everything may seem like a good idea, it’s a sure-fire way to generate animosity and distrust in your staff. Instead, set reachable goals, ensure employees have the skills and resources to get the job done, and give feedback during and after the fact in order to mould performance positively.

Reward Appropriately

Rewards and benefits can be powerful loyalty builders, but they must be appropriate to the action or else they’ll create an impression of imbalance or favouritism. Be sure to reward your employees liberally, but ensure the reward matches the deed and make sure there is consistency, if another employee achieves a similar goal, ensure the reward is of similar calibre.

Empower employees to make choices

Increase employee loyalty by giving employees a sense of freedom and control. You might let employees work from home when needed, make decisions themselves or allow a flexible work schedule to balance family life. Those freedoms show confidence, help employees tailor the job to their needs and make them feel valued.

Show your employees that you care

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one way to show your employees that you care about the causes they care about. Programs such as donation matching, volunteer days, and even product donations that your employees choose have shown to be beneficial to increase employee morale and improve your employees’ loyalty to your company.

By showing your employees that you care, their loyalty to your company will increase as they become more and more involved in programs they care about.

Plan outside team building and brain storming sessions

Apart from your regular work meetings in the board room or boss’s office, organise fun team building, brain storming and motivational seminars and outings. These activities allow employees to get to know one another outside of the workplace and visit locations that they may not normally get to see. Team building events inspire and motivate, resulting in great communication and ideas that will benefit the company.

Celebrate Employee Milestones

Celebrating work anniversaries, birthdays and staff achievements shows that your company values long-term team members. Increase employee loyalty with a meaningful reward program — a small bonus and ceremony in front of peers can go a long way.

How Recruit Mint can help you Increase Employee Loyalty

Hiring the right staff at the beginning can have a massive impact on employee loyalty and reducing staff turnover. Our rigorous 17-step process includes meeting both the client and candidates face to face. For the client this allows us to get to really know the client, understand what they want and what the working environment is like, for the candidate, it allows to get to know them better and gain a better understanding of what they have done in their previous roles, whilst getting to know their personality to determine if they would be good fit for the client.

We are that confident in our process and our consultants, we offer the Recruit Mint Gold Leaf service, with this we provide 6 months guarantee with a 110% rebate during this period.

If you want to reduce staff turnover, increase employee loyalty and boost profits in the process, then get in touch today on 01733 802300 or at peterborough@recruitmint.com. Alternatively, you can submit your job without delay.

Is it time to make a job change?

Everyone gets restless at work from time to time. Whether you’re in your ideal job or working at a job you fell into, it’s not uncommon to hit a restless patch. But, how do you distinguish between a little restlessness and a definite sign that it’s time to make a job change?

You can wait too long to recognize that a job is not a good fit but, waiting can have a negative impact on your ability to make the decision to leave, especially when you get along well with your colleagues. However, sometimes it’s a good idea to make the difficult decision that it’s time to make a job change.

Most people can’t afford to leave a bad job at the drop of a hat, but delaying too long can be detrimental to yourself, the company and their customers. If you are unsure whether it is the right time to leave your job, have a look through the 10 warning signs below.

The 10 Warning Signs it’s Time to make a Job Change

Dread Monday Mornings

Now, we have all been there lying in our beds with the alarm insisting it’s time to get up and start the commute, this doesn’t make anyone excited about Mondays.

However, this is very different to dreading Monday mornings. If you’re feeling sick with dread every Sunday evening and hoping each week that you will win some money, just so you don’t ever have to go back to your job, then now is the time to look for a new job and get out.

Regularly Call in Sick to Work

Be honest, how many sickies have you thrown this year? If you’ve got a hangover, or just can’t be bothered every now and again then that’s one thing (not that we’re condoning it), but if you’re calling in sick on a regular basis just so you don’t have to face work, then it’s time to start searching for a new job.

Not Reaching your Full Potential

You’ve been doing your role for a couple of years now and you’re able to complete all your daily tasks, and do them well, whilst blindfolded. This lack of a challenge at work can quickly make you start to resent your job and the company you work for. First, show an interest in taking on more responsibility and make your boss aware. If that doesn’t work, then it may be time to take your skills and experience elsewhere.

Hate Your Boss

Whether they make your life a misery with overloading you with too much work, overlooking you for a promotion you deserve, to actual bullying. A bad boss can turn a great job in to a nightmare.

However, they are your boss and making a complaint against them can be a daunting process. If it’s all too much, then you can always make the most of that wonderful moment when you hand in your letter of resignation.

Just Want a Change

Finding a new job doesn’t have to be because of anything negative. It doesn’t mean that you’re not doing yourself and your old employer a favour. Sometimes, you’ve just reached the end of your time with your current job and feel it’s the right time to move on. This is always the best way to leave, on a high, with your boss’ or company’s blessing.

No Progression

Employees want opportunities for progression. Allowing your career to plateau is inevitable when you’ve become indispensable in your present position, that they don’t envisage you doing anything else. So, if you’ve been in the same job for the past three years, and you want to continue moving forward in your career, but there’s nowhere to go at your current company, it might be time to begin searching for a new role.

Not Gaining any New Skills

Employees want work that engages and pushes them. But here, you’re not feeling challenged in any of the tasks that you do, and you’re not learning any new skills. Have you started taking matters into your own hands? Seeking courses, conferences and seminars so you can learn a new skill and stay sharp. Or, even worse, you’ve just become complacent and bored. If this sounds like yourself, it sounds likely the company isn’t serious about investing in your development. Which means it’s time to find a new job, and a company that value you and your personal development.

No Passion and Poor Productivity at Work

If your productivity has started to deteriorate, you no longer produce the quality of work you used to, perhaps it’s because you feel distracted and you’re checking Facebook every five minutes, playing around with Snapchat, or constantly find yourself searching the internet, you might need to look for a more mentally stimulating job.

Sleep Disruption

Do you have difficulty getting to sleep? Do you wake up during the night with worries about your job? Sleep is very important to your health, and job-induced stress can be a major cause of poor sleep. Unfortunately, this can make a bad job seem even worse than it is. Being tired all the time can make everything seem like a challenge. If this sounds like you and your job is having this kind of impact on your home-life and well-being, then update your CV and start searching for a new job.

You no Longer get on with your Work Colleagues

It’s better to leave a job on good terms, so you can keep your past employer as a source for recommendations and as a network connection. It’s also important to avoid being fired if you can help it.

If your unhappiness within your current job is causing tension in the office with your other colleagues, or if you have received warnings about your performance or conduct, then it’s definitely time to move on and start looking for a new position.

What can you do Next?

After going through our 10 signs it’s time to change your job, if you found similarities in your current situation, then unfortunately it is time to make a change. You don’t have to go through the whole process by yourself, our specialist consultants are here to help you every step of the way.

To get the ball rolling, then email your CV to karl.montgomery@recruitmint.com or give us a call today on 01733 802300. If you have an idea of what job you want, then check out our latest opportunities.

New Job for 2019

Over the festive period whilst eating and drinking more than you ever thought possible, the time away from work can make you contemplate your thoughts about wanting to return come the new year.

If you’re already dreading the first day back in the new year, then we strongly advise setting some time aside during the holidays to focus on searching for a new job that will make you feel fulfilled in 2019. Follow our top tips below on finding that perfect role.

Creating the Perfect New Job

The last thing you want to do is start applying for any type of new job you feel may be better than your current one, only to find yourself feeling unfulfilled 6 months in to the new role. We recommend setting some time aside to create your criteria for your ideal new job opportunity. You should consider all the below factors:

• Job responsibilities
• Industry
• Company size
• Culture
• Company history & stability
• Career progression
• Personal development opportunities
• Hours (flexible working)
• Benefits

Once you have identified the characteristics of the perfect new job, you can then move on to the next steps with a clear view of what you want.

Updating your CV & Covering Letter

You have clearly identified what type of role and company you want, it’s now time to update your CV & covering letter. To give yourself the best opportunity of securing the role you should tailor both to each individual role. This is a time-consuming activity, make sure to plan for this when you begin applying for jobs to maximise the possibility of getting an interview.

Registering with recruitment agencies

Allow recruitment agencies to help you find the role, you have identified the criteria for the new job you want and you have updated your CV & covering letter. By providing this information to the recruiter, if they follow the process that we do, they will only contact you regarding opportunities that match your specified criteria.

Applying for Jobs

You should now be ready to begin searching for that new job, shortlisting the relevant ones against your criteria and applying with a tailored CV & covering letter.

It’s important to remain motivated whist going through this process. Remember that not every application will lead to an interview, and not every interview will lead to a job offer. But, by following these steps, when you do get that job offer, it will be for a position that you want at a company you want to work for.

What’s next?

The myth that the festive period is a slow period in recruitment is as false as the smile on their face when they open your present to find some new socks. Usually job-postings outstrip the number of job-seekers. Use this time wisely to get in ahead of the rest.

We want to help you succeed in finding the perfect role, if you want us to help then click here to register or email your CV to karl.montgomery@recruitmint.com.

Happy hunting!

Self-promote successfully

It’s no secret that in order to move forward and progress in your career, you must self-promote. For most people the thought of self-promoting their achievements and capabilities feels pretentious, self-indulgent and egotistical. However, over the past few years attitudes towards self-promotion have begun to change, with many realising the importance of promoting themselves to fast-track their careers.

The reality is that we all rely on some degree of self-promotion. Whether you want to get a promotion at work, showcase new skills to your manager or start your own business. You need to make people aware of you and your abilities. While we’d like to think that your work speaks for itself, the fact is that usually we have to announce the success of our work to gain any recognition or credibility.

When self-promoting there is a fine line between showcasing your achievements and coming across as arrogant and self-indulgent employee. If you follow our 5 top tips below you will be able to successfully self-promote yourself to achieve your goals.

5 Tips to Successfully Self-Promote

1) Exceed all Expectations and Targets

Every employee when working in a job they enjoy will want to impress their boss, that goes without saying. Performing well and exceeding all expectations and targets is the most evident way to make an impression on your boss, whilst elevating your profile across the rest of the business. This is essentially the part where you let your work talk for you, so take pride in what you do and always ask yourself, could it be better?

2) Communicate your Achievements

As I said your work doesn’t always speak for you, you need to seize opportunities to announce the great work you’re doing. You should never be embarrassed to share your success with your boss and colleagues.

There are tactful ways and not so tactful ways to get your message across to your boss and colleagues. Don’t print off your results and start putting them up around the office or put a copy on your boss’s desk. If you’re receiving positive praise from a colleague or client, then try to loop your boss in the email chain, or if you gained some valuable insight on a project whilst achieving great results, forward on to your team and boss to highlight the insight, but also include the positive praise.

3) Help Promote Others

Sometimes, it can be awkward when you’re blowing your own horn. A good way to overcome this is to use other people’s opinions about you to strengthen your work. By actively promoting the success of your colleagues, this will make them more willing to reciprocate this when you perform well on a task or project.

4) Benchmark yourself

What is a tangible way to measure your performance within a business? To benchmark it against colleagues doing similar work or against competitors. Keep track of internal and external competitors and use it to highlight the contrast between you and others. Prepare a monthly report to highlight your achievement against others, this helps to make your self-promotion more objective and less self-indulgent. Obviously when comparing to colleagues don’t name any names, that will discredit your good work very quickly.

5) Invest in Yourself

A fantastic way to highlight to your boss how keen you are to progress and excel in your role is to invest in your continued personal development. Your company might only have a limited, or non-existent budget for your learning and development, however, there are numerous free methods to build on your knowledge and skill set.

Getting yourself along to industry events or finding free online courses are great ways to start. You could also request to shadow a colleague in another department.

What Next?

You will only self-promote yourself and your accomplishments if you value your job and want to progress within the company. If you’re unhappy in your current role or you’re unemployed, then let us find you a job where you want to shout to the heavens how great you’re doing. Check out our latest vacancies now or email your CV to pet

First Day Nerves

The first day of a new job can be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences during your working life. You’re walking in to a brand-new environment where usually you don’t know anyone else, you don’t know what they’re like, you don’t know what the culture is like and to top it all off even your job role at this point is still a mystery at this stage. All this can lead to first day nerves

However, overcoming those first day nerves is easier than you might think. With a few simple techniques & tips, you can walk into a new office looking confident and feeling prepared for the challenge ahead.

Preparation for First Day Nerves

Preparation is an excellent cure for new job nerves—no one wants to arrive in a new office on day one feeling dishevelled and caught off-guard. Just like your job interview, the impression you give and the impact you make on your first day can depend very much on how much preparation you’ve done.

Research the company again, what do they do? How do they help customers? Who are their competitors? Where do they compare to their competitors? Try to understand as much as you can about the company culture, use LinkedIn to research their employees, what are their interests? What are their job roles? Will they be important to supporting your new role?

Preparation will help you start smoothly on your first day at work, but it also means you’ll be up for the challenge of your first three or six months. Don’t forget you’ll be on a probationary period; in which you’re observed carefully to ensure you’re meeting the standards required.

Bring everything the job asks for – this could be documents such as your passport, P45 and national insurance details. This is a good chance to show your organisation skills, bring a folder to keep all the documentation you’re given, which might involve a contract. Finally, make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

Make Sure you Understand the Role

Amongst all the first day nerves it can be easy to loos sight of why you’re there and what they employed you to do.

Take time beforehand to go over the job description for your new role, remind yourself of your responsibilities and what your day to day tasks will be. That way you’ll be able to go in with a real sense of purpose.

Think about what made you want the job and what helped you land it in the first place. If you’re feeling the nerves kick in, remember that the employer hired you because you were the best candidate for this position. They obviously have faith in your abilities and believe you’ll be a great fit for the role – so you should believe it too.

Don’t Expect to Know Everything

You’ve already passed the biggest test, you got the job. You were the best candidate for the role, but that does not mean you will be the best at the job on day 1.

Your manager expects you to be unsure of things at this stage, don’t be afraid to ask questions and try not to panic too much if you make a mistake. Minor errors are all part of the learning process, your manager will generally be understanding of any mistakes you might make early on. Just make sure you take accountability for your actions.

Be Punctual and Presentable

You clearly made a great first impression on the hiring manager during the recruitment process, now you need to make a great first impression on the rest of the employees within the business.

Unless you’re 100% sure about what’s suitable, it’s wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to what you wear, it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Once you spend a few days at a new job, you’ll better understand what kind of clothes people wear.

Often on the first day, you’re asked to arrive a little later to give your team time to prepare. But whatever the situation, it’s wise to leave around half an hour earlier than you would to get to work on time.

Be Organised and Proactive

Be proactive and show a willingness to get stuck in. Asking questions and put yourself forward for tasks and responsibilities. Being a self-starter is a great way to make a good first impression, your new colleagues will appreciate your help and your efforts. If you can show leadership or initiative on your first day, it’s a huge positive and a marker for the future.

Familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, find where the coffee machines, toilets, fire exits, etc are. Is there a canteen which provides lunches? Where are the departments that you will be heavily involved with?

Be Professional

This really goes without saying on your first day and should continue for the duration of your employment. Make sure you’re always on time, work hard, avoid distraction and always be friendly and cooperative with your colleagues.

Introduce Yourself

Usually your manager or a colleague will take you on a walk around the office to introduce you to everyone, however in some cases this doesn’t happen. Either way, it’s good to be proactive and introduce yourself to as many people as you can, especially the people who will be crucial in helping you in your role. Although it is not a memory test it always helps to remember as many names as possible.

Take Your Time

The first day at a new job is always associated with an information overload with HR documents, policies & procedures, health & safety, branding guidelines and information about your role and the company.

This can often become overwhelming leading to those first day nerves, so remember to take your time to go through each document and ask questions wherever you’re unsure. There won’t be a test on day 2.

Understand the Culture

For many companies, cultural fit is a hugely important aspect when selecting new employees, so congratulations, the hiring manager believes you’re the right cultural fit for the company. Now you need to find out if the company culture is the right fit for you, so familiarise yourself with the people you will be working with, understand them, what are their interests, hobbies, etc. If you can find mutual interests this can really help forge successful working relationships.

There is also the possibility you will be asked to socialise with your new colleagues outside of work, make sure you go. This is a great opportunity to see people out of the work environment and show your true personality. Obviously just be careful about alcohol and getting too drunk.

Write it all Down

As we said above day 1 is always an information overload day. You’re not expected to remember it all, but it will always help if you have notes to go off. So, make sure you have a notepad and pen ready for the first day. Whether it’s general instructions, login information, people of interest, passcodes or to-do lists, write it all down.

Our Process

Throughout our process we will ensure you’re as prepared as possible for each step of recruitment and induction process, from registration to your first day. If you’re looking for a new job, then check out our latest jobs and let us help you find the perfect role, so you can have the perfect and nerve-free first day.

Alternatively, feel free to send your CV and a brief overview of what you’re looking for to karl.montgomery@recruitmint.com.

Salary Negotiation

How to ask for a Pay Rise

Asking for a pay rise can be one of the most daunting tasks you will come across whilst in employment. Many won’t even approach the subject with their managers for fear of creating an unstable situation. However, we are in a candidate driven market where the demand for candidates outweighs the supply available, giving you a more favourable position to ask for that pay rise.

If you feel you work tirelessly for your company and overdeliver on your targets and their expectations, but, feel undervalued because of your salary, then now is the time to do something about it. You should ask for a pay rise, however, it is a fragile moment and you need to approach the matter correctly. Follow our tips below to make sure your salary negotiation is a success.

Do your Research

In the meeting you will have to justify your worth to your manager and the company. What have you achieved at the company? Do you have evidence of over-achieving on set KPIs? What knowledge and experience do you bring to the role? You will need solid quantifiable evidence for all of these. Have as much evidence as possible to try and remove any doubt from your manager’s decision-making process.

It is important you research what your market value is. Search for job advertisements similar to the role you’re currently in and find out what competitors are paying, this will help you build an overriding picture that you’re being underpaid and if you were to leave you could achieve a higher salary. You can also use the many salary checkers available to give yourself a greater peace of mind that you are undervalued and underpaid.

How to get over your Nerves and ask for that Meeting

When you’re asking for a pay rise you need to project confidence and prove that you are deserving of it. As with any job interview, the key to success is research. The more you do, the more prepared you will be for any question or situation, the less nervous you will be and also appear. By removing uncertainty you allow yourself to be and appear more confident.

Know what you want and what you’re asking for, set yourself a target, either a fixed amount or percentage increase. You also know your manager, try and anticipate what their reaction will be and any objections they might raise to your salary negotiation. If you’re still feeling underconfident, then practice in front of a mirror and practice your argument to friends and family to get their honest feedback.

There are certainly bad times and more favourable times to request a meeting for a pay rise, and there certainly is no perfect time to ask. It is critical to ask at a more favourable time. Do not ask at the busiest times of the week, especially Monday morning, when they will most likely have numerous meetings and everyone will be gearing up for the week ahead, or Friday afternoon when everyone is winding down. You need to target a time of the week when your manager is feeling relaxed and more approachable.

From a business timing point of view, your annual performance review would represent a good opportunity to approach this topic, as would the end of your companies financial year. Analyse the companies processes and your manager’s diary to find the best opportunity to ask for a pay rise.

When you’re in the Meeting

  1. Get Comfortable
      Our surroundings can often influence our demeanour and our decision making. If you Manager is sitting at the top of your boardroom table, they will be more inclined to act in an authoritarian way. If you can, take your Manager to a more neutral and relaxing part of this office.
  2. Explain why you deserve the Pay Rise
      You are asking the company to pay you more money because you believe you’re worth the extra investment, you will have to justify this extensively. Use clear examples of how and when you have gone beyond your job description, make sure to use any situations where you’ve taken initiative, improved business processes or helped support the wider team. Where possible quantify your success, perhaps you exceeded your targets by X amount. If you can attach a monetary value to yourself it will make the salary negotiation easier.
  3. Keep your boss on your side
      If your efforts to get a pay rise are not working out how you had hoped, it is important to keep the relationship with the Manager as positive as it was when you both walked in. Do not burn any bridges because you did not get the outcome you wanted. Remain calm and professional, reaffirm your commitment to the job, the company and your desire to do well.
  4. Listen to the Answer
      If your boss decides not to increase your salary after your best salary negotiation efforts, be gracious and ask for feedback. What should you be doing differently, and how can you improve your performance in the role? You want to be in a position where if not this time, in a few months after continuing to perform at a high standard, your Manager will be open to another discussion. Approach your meeting as a chance to learn and change your work prospects so that, even if you lose this battle, you end up winning the war.

What to do after if your request is rejected

There can only be 2 outcomes from this meeting, either you get the pay rise or you don’t. However, there can be many different reasons for not getting the pay rise.

The most common response will be that the company are already over budget and there is no extra room for your pay rise. If your Manager believes you’re deserving of the pay rise because of your performance, but there is no budget, be persistent with your goal, set a timeframe for a review of the situation and continue to work to your current level. Then you will be in a very strong position come your review date.

If the feedback you receive is a bit more negative, and your manager believes your performance does not warrant a pay rise, as I said above remain professional and calm. Find out what you can do to improve your performance and set some clear and achievable targets.

If you are in a situation where there is no spare capacity in the budget, explore other options that will benefit you, such as, working from home more, extra training and certifications, gym subsidy, extra holiday, etc.

If they cannot offer you the pay rise or provide any other incentives to retain your services, it may well be time to explore other opportunities in this candidate driven job market.

If you have got to this situation in your current position, Recruit Mint will be more than happy to help in any way possible. Either give us a call on 01733 802300 or register!

Improve your Linkedin profile

How recruiters and head hunters view your Linkedin profile

As a software developer/engineer, you get a lot of InMails from recruiters, right?

Recruiters love Linkedin. We live on Linkedin.

Your Linkedin profile is basically an online, interactive CV. If you want the chance to be headhunted for a new role, you need to make sure your profile sells you properly! You may not even know you want a new position until a head-hunter presents it to you, so you need to make your LinkedIn profile attractive!

Terminology

Linkedin Profile – your personal page – unless you make this private, anyone can view your profile.

News Feed – the main home page of LinkedIn, where any of your connections’ activity can be seen. Your own activity will also be present on your connections’ news feeds.

InMail – internal messaging/communication on the site.

So what are recruiters looking for?

Headline

e.g. Sarah Arthur – Technology Consultant at Recruit Mint. This should state your current job title, or the way you refer to yourself as a professional. For example: Senior C# Developer at Lloyds Banking Group or Junior Web Developer at JP Morgan. NOT Software Developer. This is too vague and won’t encourage recruiters to read further into your profile.

Personal Bio

You have space on your profile to write a few lines (or as many lines as you wish) about who you are, what you do, what you can bring to a business and what you enjoy (professionally).

As a recruiter, I would recommend you keep this clear and concise; what is your background, what is your specialism, what do you enjoy and main skillset/tech stack? This will be similar to the profile section on your actual CV.

E.g. I am a C# Developer with 9 years of commercial experience in a variety of sectors, including finance and automotive. I currently work for (*company*) as a Lead Developer working on (*project*) and manage a team of four developers alongside my hands-on development work.

Skillset: C#, .NET, ASP.NET, MVC, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3 etc.

Work History

Recruiters need evidence that you have worked in a similar role to those they are looking to fill. So, when you list your previous positions held, you need to be a little more specific than ‘Software Developer’…was that Java? C#? Python…? You also need to make sure you have tagged the company correctly so that the recruiter can see the types of companies you have worked for.

Each role you list on your Linkedin profile needs to have a brief explanation of it – this doesn’t need to take long. Some people simply list the tech stack they used at each firm, others mention more details such as how many people they managed and/or the projects they worked on. It is up to you how much detail you go into, but a recruiter won’t contact you if they don’t know what experience you have.

This also applies to your educational history. Link the correct educational organisations (i.e. don’t just type ‘Sheffield Hallam’ but tag the university page – it looks more professional and like you’ve given it some thought and care) and write a brief line or two summarising your course/experience there.

If you are a junior in your field and don’t have much by way of work experience, be sure to mention any voluntary roles you have had such as ‘President of Coding Club at Sheffield Hallam’… or ‘Volunteer at Django Girls’ and write a brief description of what that volunteer work entailed. It is also important that you spend more time on your personal bio and education sections as these are your selling points!

Photo

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, it is not the place for mirror selfies, Snapchat filters or group photos. Be sure not to have inappropriate items in your photo such as alcohol etc. A simple head and shoulders picture is just fine.

Endorsements and Recommendations

Ask your colleagues to endorse you for skills and write honest recommendations. Having positive recommendations on your profile is a great way to modestly boast about your superior skillset!

Links

If you’re happy to share, mention your GitHub or portfolio link on your profile.

Overall, recruiters are looking for information. If we can see from your Linkedin profile that you have experience relevant to a role we are trying to fill, then we will make contact with you. You may be the best candidate in the world, and actively looking for a new role, but if your LinkedIn profile holds very little information, you won’t be getting an InMail from us!

Check it regularly!

Get the app

Set up notifications

If a recruiter sends you an InMail about the perfect role you won’t know unless you check!

If you want to be kept updated with our latest opportunities, then follow us on Linkedin here, or, register today!

NB – If you’re worried you may get bombarded by recruiters looking to steal you away to a new role but you’re not interested in moving on from your current company, simply state something to the effect of: e.g. Note to recruiters, I am not currently looking for a new role, OR, Recruiters – I am not looking to move on from my current company at the moment, I will remove this message when/if I decide to move on.

Good luck and happy LinkedIn-ing!

How to write a Professional CV

Top tips on how to create a Professional CV for Software Developers

In this article we will show you how to make a professional CV for people looking for work as Software Developers; however, the below tips can be utilised across most industries to help create your best CV.

How to lay out your Professional CV

The aim of your CV should be to portray yourself as the best candidate possible. Don’t make the recruiter or hiring manager work too hard to find the information they want. Hiring managers and recruiters see dozens of CVs a day, and so you must make the important information stand out!

This article should help articulate all the professional CV do’s and don’t’s for those in the software industry.

Format

Honestly, recruiters generally don’t really care what your CVs look like. As long as it is neat and tidy and contains all the information required, then fancy fonts, text boxes, pictures, diagrams and colours are all a bit irrelevant.

NB – If you work in UI/UX/Design then a bit of flare is expected – but don’t go overboard.

Photos – most recruiters recommend you do NOT include a photo of yourself on your professional CV. This is due to the simple fact that your appearance should not be a factor when it comes to offering you a job.

Personal Details

Address

You don’t necessarily have to list your entire address but the town/city in which you are currently based in vital. You should also state where you are willing to commute to – for example, you may be based in Peterborough but more than willing to stay away in Bristol during the week, or perhaps even relocate. However, if you don’t mention this on your CV then recruiters may not consider you for the role as it appears you are too far away.

VISAs

If you have a VISA to work in the UK, regardless of what type it is, you should state it on your professional CV. You should also state your VISAs expiry date if applicable. This includes (but is not restricted to):

  • ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • Tier 2 Dependent
  • Tier 2 General
  • Tier 4 (Student VISA)

You can get more information about VISA restrictions and requirements at
https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

If you do not require a VISA because you are a British National or EU Citizen, state this on your CV.

Contact Information

ALWAYS include an email address. This should be a professional email, for example;

  • joe.bloggs@gmail.com

NOT

  • rockstarbloggs86@gmail.com

It is vital you include a working mobile number on your professional CV. You’d be surprised how many mobile numbers are incorrect on an applicants CV or simply not there! Make sure it works, make sure it is on your professional CV. Also, if you are restricted answering the phone, feel free to mention something along the lines of:

Only available for calls between 11am-2pm and after 5pm.

OR

I have limited access to my phone during the day, I would recommend emailing me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Blogs/Portfolios etc

If you have a GitHub account PUT IT ON YOUR CV! This is vital. Almost every client we work with at the moment asks to see examples of candidates’ previous work. If you are not able to show projects from your work experience due to confidentiality agreements, then still use the site to display your own personal projects. It doesn’t necessarily matter if your work on GitHub is well presented, as long as it is there. You will always come out looking better than a candidate who cannot demonstrate any of their skill because they do not have a GitHub account!

If you do not use GitHub specifically but have a portfolio etc then include this link in your CV.

It is also worth mentioning if you drive/are able to commute by car as not all roles are accessible by public transport.

Profile

Check your spelling! I think you would be surprised just how many CVs get rejected due to a spelling error in the first few lines! If you are unsure of your spelling, or English is not your first language, get someone to check it for you!

You should include a few lines at the top of your CV to briefly explain your background (commercial work experience) and what you are looking for in a new role. This does not need to be an essay. For example:

  • Having worked as a C# Developer for 9 years, in a variety of industries, I am looking to build on my skills in a new role. I have led teams of developers for the last two years and mentored juniors, but particularly enjoy hands-on development. I am looking for a challenging position in the Cambridgeshire area that will allow me to advance my skillset, using the most up-to-date technologies.

OR

  • I have worked commercially as a Java Developer for 6 years in the financial industry, however, I have a desire to move into a position as a Python Developer. I have completed (*online course 1*) and (*online course 2*) as well as researching the language in my own time. You can see much of my work on my GitHub account (*LINK*). I know my commercial experience and knowledge as a Java Developer will transfer well into a Python Developer position and I look forward to starting a new and challenging role. I am happy to relocate for the right role.

Skillset

Simply list your skillset. Focus on your top skills/technologies. There is very little point mentioning skills you haven’t utilised in a number of years. For example:

Languages: A, B, C
Frameworks: X, Y, Z
Frontend: D, E, F
Database: G, H, J
Environment: K, L, M
Etc…

This section should make it easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to quickly see your main skills at a glance. If they see what they are looking for they are more likely to continue reading into your career history. So, make this section easy to read, clear and simple.

Career History

Reverse-chronological order – put your most recent position first and work backwards through your work history.

If you have worked for a lot of companies (this is common for contractors) then set yourself a cut off (such as 10/15 years). You generally don’t want your CV to go on for pages and pages, 3 pages max. Then include a simple line such as I am happy to provide details of my work history prior to 2007 on request.

Keep it neat – For each position mention the following:

  • Company
  • Dates Worked
  • Job Title
  • Skillset used
  • Brief explanation of work – mention the projects you worked on and your role in these projects

Make sure the format is the same for each role.

References

It is perfectly normal to withhold your reference information on your CV and simply write – References available on request.

Here at Recruit Mint, we will help any person to find their dream job. Our IT specialists are well versed in what clients want from candidates, so if you’re looking for a new role as a Software Developer or any role in fact, then please either get in contact now or register today.

Job Hopping & Your Career

Does Job Hopping affect your Future Career Prospects?

Job hopping is becoming a frequently used term for job seekers. Is it a Millennial trait or is that an unfair generation stereotype? Previous generations would seem to follow their status quo of longevity equals job security and career progression. We live in an era where that is, in part, no longer true, some would say that job-hoppers are more likely to provide innovative ideas and help companies break the mould. But, how do employers look at job hoppers?

How would you define Job Hopping?

Job-Hoppers are essentially job seekers who change roles and sometimes careers more often than not, if we were to quantify it, they tend to be people who take on a new role for two years or less. An individual can leave a job for an infinite amount of reasons; however, we can categorise them.

The Opportunist

These are the individuals who opt to change job or career regularly, as they deem the job to provide a much better opportunity for them, whether that is because they believe there is more progression there, a better work culture or perhaps better benefits. Whatever the reason they believe ‘the grass is greener’. These are typically workers in the early stages of their careers who are yet to decide where their future career lies.

The Unlucky Hoppers

These are job hoppers where most of the hops are down to situations out of their control. This could be company takeovers, redundancy, or relocation amongst others. Some careers are destined to job hop, such as project-related roles (IT contractors, construction workers), time-related roles (events-based work).

Regardless of the number of roles the individual has had they should be able to explain why they moved and what they achieved in their time at the company.

The Strugglers

The final categorisation of job hoppers is ‘The Strugglers’, people who are struggling to find their feet in a position and within the working world in general, unsure of direction and what best suits them.

Their CV will evidently show a pattern of situations where the individual would have struggled to set in and explain these by stating bad management, colleagues, or experiences.

The Benefits of Job Hopping

The majority will perceive job hopping negatively when they see it on your CV, however, there are several reasons why you should consider changing your job regularly:

  • Development of Skills
    • Moving jobs can be an excellent strategic decision, it can allow you to over time make yourself more employable by learning different skill sets helping to enable you to climb the career ladder.
  • Building a strong network
    • How many times have you heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. Well by moving jobs it can allow you make new connections and build a network you may well need later in your career.
  • Become more adaptable
    • Adaptability means more able to deal with change, if job hop then this indicates you make changes more frequently than others and are successful when bedding into new teams, companies and surroundings.
  • Find the right career
    • By changing jobs and careers it allows you to try different fields and areas of work. Which in turn will allow you to find the career you’re most suited to and most importantly enjoy.

What does Job Hopping look like to an Employer?

The recruitment process for any company or recruitment agency costs time and money, therefore employers will generally look for potential employees who appear to be loyal and stable to allow them to get the best return on investment. Some of the negatives associated with job hopping are:

  • No long-term focus
  • Unsure what you want
  • No loyalty
  • Risk of poor performance
  • Lack of direction
  • Are you a quitter?
  • Shallow experience

If your CV does portray job hopping it will raise questions from your potential employers to find answers to the above, you should expect this in your interview process. However dependent on the company they may look favourable on job hopping. If the company operates in an agile fast-moving environment, then an adaptable job hopper may be more aligned with company and their culture than perhaps someone who was in their last role for 10 years.

How to Overcome your Job-Hopping CV

There are some steps you can take to ensure that the negative impact of your job-hopping is minimised as much as possible:

  • Explanation
    • You have the perfect opportunity in your CV to briefly explain why you left your position, answer the inevitable question before the interviewer can ask it.
  • Type of Work
    • If you have moved around because you are a contractor, then take the time explain this on your CV.
  • Describe the impact you had
    • Emphasise the impact you had on your team and the company if you genuinely positively affected the company you worked for, explain what it was you achieved. Whether that was set a record for sales, reduced staff turnover, whatever the achievement, say what it was and how you did it.
  • Have a strong summary
    • Use this to show how many years you have in the relevant roles, if you then say how you’re looking for a long-term position and want to grow at a company.
  • Don’t include everything
    • It is perfectly acceptable if you worked in one position for 2 years, then 3 months at another one followed by a year at the next company, to leave the short-term position off your CV. Also, include only the relevant positions for the role. With this, your CV looks tailored and shorter, and if the interviewer does bring up the gap you can explain it.

At Recruit Mint we will work with every candidate that comes to us and because of our extremely close relationship with our clients we can help explain the reasons around the frequent job moves. So, let us help you today, job hoppers and all. All you need to do is register.

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