How well do you ‘scrub up’?

People iStockDiversity & inclusion

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to a fantastic diversity event at Bloomberg: ‘Facing the Truth | Ethnicity, the Overlooked Dimension’. They had a brilliant collection of leaders from industry to discuss the fact that although we are more liberal, more open and more tolerant towards ethnic minorities in the workplace, the outcomes for some ethnic minorities have not changed very much at all.

The examples of real-life experience, industry trends and changes regarding ethnicity in the workplace were brought to life and – I must be honest – left me rather astounded. The ongoing headlines raised from gender pay gap reporting go some way to putting D&I higher on the business agenda and only highlight how much is still to be done.

As recruiters we should embrace D&I and influence key stakeholders about the benefits that every organisation would reap with a diverse and multicultural workforce. It is clear to me that we simply aren’t doing enough!

Interview performance

I caught up with a leading FTSE 100 global recruitment head and old friend, and quizzed them on the trials and tribulations of recruiting into an in-house team. What was it that they look for in new talent? How can you perform better at interview?

1. Pace/drive

Their sentiment was that the longer someone has been working in an in-house capacity, the slower and potentially more cumbersome they become. Speed to market, response times and competitive edge are lost, as people become comfortable/lost in the bureaucracy and process that larger organisations are often compounded by. Ability to prove that you can operate at pace and deliver against tough timelines are absolutely key. Your drive and determination is just as important in-house as it is in the agency environment.

2. Stakeholder management

The ability to build solid and effective relationships with stakeholders isn’t a given when it comes to recruiters (although it should be): the drive and inclination to understand your stakeholder, know their business and challenges in their business areas, network and ‘make friends’ with them is an intrinsic part of a top recruiter’s skill set. Showing the extent you have gone to to achieve this and the results gained from that proactivity are often lost at interview.

3. Sales

Key sales skills learnt and honed from the agency environment are invaluable to how you make an impact in the in-house world. Your negotiation skills and ability to influence both up and down will wholly impact how effective you are at getting the ‘day job’ done. The number of people who move in-house because they want to move away from sales is therefore ironic, as in-house recruitment leaders want to see examples of outstanding sales skills and will expect you to utilise these skills on a day-to-day basis.

There you go, three relatively simple approaches to interview that should help you make your mark and secure the role that you are looking for.

Simon Hunt is the chief operating officer of Oakleaf Partnership Executive

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