Demystifying Recruitment: #AskARecruiter

Contractors Professional & Managerial Tips & Tricks
Kymberly Tupai
Hands up to ask a question

Once a month, for the past several months, a group of recruiters and HR professionals have been facilitating a meet-up under the guise #AskARecruiter. The purpose of these regular meet-ups is to demystify the recruitment process for those either gearing up to apply for a new job or going for a new position in their current company, while providing valuable market insights.

I’ll first start by saying that meet-ups aren’t just for fan groups, outdoor enthusiasts, community activists and support groups anymore. And they’re not just for sales people trying to pitch their companies either. They are useful gatherings which create an atmosphere to share experiences and learn from each other.

Earlier this week I found myself sitting on a panel with 5 very talented and naturally opinionated (in a good way!) HR professionals. Three key points that we all agreed on was that it is incredibly important to be prepared, be targeted in your approach to your job search, and to partner with recruiters who value you.

In speaking with attendees afterwards, the session was hugely valuable in terms of hearing from their peers that their frustrations are all the same, as well as learning from the professionals what works, what doesn’t, and how to overcome the obstacles they may face.

I’d like to share the key topics that arose from our discussion, which you may also find helpful in your job search.

How can I get a job if I have no work experience, and people will only hire based on experience?

Try volunteering. There are many organisations and groups which require volunteers in order to function. Think large events that need people to usher, or a small business who might need help working on a website but don’t have the budget to afford to pay someone – if you have a skill, utilise it! Not only could this potentially open doors for you in the organisation you volunteer in, it is also a way to showcase your commitment and skills, and gain someone who could be used as a referee for future positions.

Do you have any tips for a successful job interview?

In short – this can’t be answered in short. But here are 5 tips the panel discussed:

  1. Make sure you have proof and evidence of your experience through examples of achievements, successes and projects.
  2. Answer questions directly, rather than just focusing on selling yourself. It is common for people to get so caught up in talking about how great they would be at the position they are interviewing for, that they completely forget to answer the question which was asked of them.
  3. Be specific in your answers. During interviews, we are looking for individualistic answers – use “I” statements to highlight individual achievements rather than inclusive or collective achievements.
  4. Use the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
  5. Just remember by the time you get invited in for an interview, you have already satisfied most of the criteria for the job you applied for – RELAX! By this stage, most interviewers will be looking more at your personality and ability to fit into their team’s culture.

How can I “powder over” details in my work history?

You can’t. And even if you think you can, you still can’t. Eventually, the recruiter or the person who hires you will find out. In this day and age there shouldn’t be a need to gloss over anything on your resume. As humans we are evolving and moving quicker than ever, and as recruiters we are expecting to see less and less “long-serving employees” coming through. Be honest, it is important for the person you will potentially be working for to understand your reason for leaving roles – they will need to ascertain whether or not they can provide what you need, in order for you to commit to the long term with them.

If I follow all of these tips, will I be successful?

Will you get a phone screening call? Will you get a job interview? Will you get a job offer? Will you be successful? Will you get a promotion? It is all in your hands. At the end of the day, as much as others can support and provide information – it is in your hands, and you are the only one who can really impact your own success.

At the end of the evening, the panel shared their key takeaways for job seekers:

  • Be authentic in your job search, your interview persona, and any social media profiling.
  • Make sure you are qualified for the jobs you are applying for.
  • Have your tools ready, and keep them current.
  • Be targeted in your approach to job searching – this should be a 40-hour per week, full time job if you are not currently in employment.
  • Understand the Kiwi culture and beliefs – we like to hear ‘I” statements in interviews, rather than the inclusive “we” that you may usually speak in due to cultural differences.
  • Get creative! Look for things that make you stand out from the crowd. Ask yourself, why should they hire you.

Thanks to everyone who came along, shared a story, or asked a question!

#AskARecruiter Event