Jean Rymer, senior specialist recruiter for Travel at PCS, reflects on some of the key changes in recruitment in recent years, and offers some advice for candidates seeking new opportunities in the job market.
Q: What are the three main things you look for in a candidate?
Jean: Top of the list would be experience and knowledge gained in order to do the job correctly. That is why a detailed and updated CV is so essential. As recruiters that is the first thing we look at when a candidate applies for a position.
The next thing I would look at is the candidate’s attitude. A positive, professional and uplifting attitude is essential. You can have plenty of experience and knowledge but a bad attitude means I cannot sell a candidate to my client. Even where a candidate is lacking in qualifications or experience for the job, a great attitude is often the clincher. I can motivate to the client why a candidate with a great attitude but who is deficient in experience or qualifications might still be a good fit for the company. It is much more difficult to sell someone with a bad attitude. By attitude, I mean passion and enthusiasm for the job. You can have all the experience in the world, but throw in a bad attitude and no-one wants to work with you. It is not easy to hide a bad attitude – this will usually get exposed very early on in the recruitment process, particularly by a skilled recruiter.
Another point I look for is the candidate’s motivation for wanting to find other employment. Any candidate wanting to leave their current company purely for more money is someone we as recruiters stay away from. If a candidate says he or she wants to leave for a higher salary, you can be assured that they are a counter-offer risk and all your time and efforts are wasted on them. This kind of person often uses the recruitment process as a kind of auction. They will jump to the highest bidder Instead I look for candidates who are serious about furthering their careers and looking to grow in their field of expertise.
Q: If you look back over the last 5 years, what would you say and the main changes you have noticed in the recruitment business?
Jean: Clients and applicants have become more demanding in what they are looking for. Clients expect us to find them the perfect candidate (they will wait for longer periods to fill the position) and candidates expect us to find them the perfect job. As a general observation, both clients and candidates are becoming more cautious and circumspect about recruitment. As recruiters we also have to be more thorough in doing background checks. It’s not just about whether a candidate can do the job – personality plays a big role. There is more of a demand in regards to credit and criminal checks as well as qualification verifications.
Q: A lot of companies will be looking for new recruits as we head into the New Year. Is there much demand for recruits in the Travel sector, and what would you say is driving this?
Jean: Yes we have a demand for temps at the moment as it is the last stretch until the holidays and some companies have plenty of last minute travel arrangements that need handled and the amount of staff is not sufficient to do so. Other companies have staff going on leave in December and want temps to fill in for them, so they want them trained and ready to do the job when the permanent staff are on leave. We tend to see plenty of staff movement from February as many candidates have already put in for leave, are waiting for their 13th cheques or performance bonuses that get handed out in December.