Our blog has moved home!

13 07 2012

Just stopped by to let you know that if you want to catch up with more Talent Management Matters, you can find our new blog site here.

Creative Leadership Blog


It’s been so long…

26 04 2011

…I’ve almost forgotten how to post onto my blog!

First things first, an apology for my silence for what WordPress tells me has been 155 days since I last posted!!!  Has it really been that long?  How time flies!

I wanted to share my news with you, which I hope may help explain why I’ve been somewhat absent.  In around 8 weeks there will be a new member to the team, as I’m over 7 months pregnant.

Suffice to say Maternity and Paternity laws have become topic of the month in our household and I’ve already started a list of intended articles to write for times to come.  Meanwhile, sporadic posting is likely to continue for the forseeable future…


20 10 2010

It’s been over a month since my last post and I’m staggered by the continued activity on my blog and the number of hits! Perhaps it’s the geek in me!

Either way, apologies for my silence, I’ve been exploring the world of in-house recruitment and have been somewhat sidetracked. I shall be back with more posts on Talent Management Matters soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the Halloween season!

Hot off the Press…Our latest Promotion…

9 07 2010

Growing Your Business with an Extra Pair of Hands

Creative Leadership have today launched their new Essential Recruitment Package for Small Businesses.  It’s aimed at helping busy entrepreneurs save time and effort in finding and securing the best talent for their growing business and avoid recruitment costs.

The package, which starts from £199 + VAT includes a bespoke application form, tailored job description, advertising, CV response handling, interview help and offer management, depending on what your business needs.

Speaking about the Essential Recruitment Package, Michelle Fischer, Managing Director of Creative Leadership said: “Given the recent recession, it’s really encouraging to see more and more local businesses coming to us for help with their recruitment and growing their businesses.  For many, it’s the first recruitment they’ve done and so they want to be sure they get it right and also that they don’t waste money advertising in the wrong place. ”

One of these was The Media Bus, a digital training business, who approached Creative Leadership to manage the people side of their business, including Recruitment, when they launched in November 2009.  Darren Nicholson, Managing Director said: “Creative Leadership made our recruitment and staffing matters so easy.  They ran the recruitment for all our roles and the assistance and support that they have given to the company has been first rate and worth every penny.  I would recommend their services to anyone looking for Recruitment and HR Guidance and Support”

Meanwhile, Angela Rowely of AV8Jet, a local Corporate Jet business said “We asked Creative Leadership to help us source the latest addition to our small team in June 2010.  They met with us and helped us immediately with recommendations of where to advertise and how to go about short-listing.  We had a brilliant response to our advert and Creative Leadership helped us to manage the applications and respond to all our applicants.  When it came to interviewing, their Essential Guide to Interviewing was really helpful.  Through the process I was really struck by their professionalism and attention to detail.”

If you’re a growing business and need help with recruiting new staff get in touch with Michelle on 07786 622344 or visit http://www.creative-leadership.co.uk

The Essential Rec Package Flyer – Front

The Essential Rec Package Flyer – Back

How to Interview – Step 9 – What to do if?

14 06 2010

The joy of working with people is that each situation is different, here are some handy hints on What to do if….

…The candidate hasn’t arrived

Give them or their agency a call and find out what’s happened.  It may be the traffic has got in the way or that they have gone to the wrong address.  Either way we recommend you allow them at least 15 minutes to turn up.

…The candidate really isn’t suitable and I don’t want to waste my time interviewing them?

Remember it’s important to leave a good impression of your organisation and to demonstrate a fair and consistent process for all candidates by providing all candidates with the same opportunities.   Therefore, it’s important that you still continue with the interview in all situations.

…I have no evidence?

There may be some occasions where some areas of the role profile or a particular competency have not been probed fully enough or even asked about. In this situation you should use the ‘0’ or “no evidence” from the rating scale.

…I have evidence spanning two competencies?

The evidence that you gather should only be classified under one area or competency, so that you do not fall into the trap of over-interpreting one piece of evidence by considering it twice. Consider the evidence that you have obtained and make a decision about where it is most appropriate.

…I have a similar amount of very good or very poor evidence?

If a particular piece of evidence is very good or very poor, make sure that your rating reflects this. You should be very careful that you do not over-emphasise the importance of just one piece of evidence. Refer back to the whole competency definition, and make sure the rating reflects this whole area.

…All my ratings are in the middle of the scale?

To be objective and fair to all candidates it is important to make use of the whole rating scale. Be prepared to use the 1 and 5 ratings. Remember, someone does not have to move heaven and earth to get a 5!  However occasionally candidates may perform satisfactorily across all competencies, therefore earning a 3 in all areas.

… The candidate is not prepared?

In today’s technologically friendly society, there should be no reason why candidates do not arrive prepared and equipped for the interview. If this situation does arise it is best practice to  ask the candidate if they feel comfortable continuing with the interview, or whether it needs to be rescheduled.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our “How to Interview” Series which comes from our Recruitment Training for Managers programme.  For more information please get in touch with us at info@creative-leadership.co.uk.  We’d love to hear your feedback on how you’ve put our advice into practice.

An Inspirational thought for the day

26 05 2010

We all need a little bit of inspiration and I was sent some yesterday when a close relative emailed a wonderful slideshow.  It’s too good to keep myself so I invite you to grab a cup of tea, click on the link, download the file  and take a read.

Inspirational Thoughts

I particularly liked the message  “The most important thing in this life is to help others to win. Even if that means slowing down and changing our own race.” and would love to hear your thoughts on what you take from the link too.


How to Interview – Step 3 – Preparing for the Interview

8 04 2010

Continuing with our series on How to Interview and following our last two posts How to Plan to Recruit and How to Shortlist and CV Sift, today we’re focussing on the key preparation needed before the interview itself.

Just like Baden Powell said, it’s crucial that you are prepared for the interview and here you’ll find 5 simple stages to help you.

Stage 1 – Background Information

In general terms prior to the interview, it’s important that you know:

  • Has the job the candidate has applied for been advertised?  If so when and where? Have a copy of the advertisement for reference.
  • If the applicants have been shortlisted? How was this done?
  • Is this the first or second interview? Who saw them first? Get a copy of any notes before meeting with the candidate.
  • What is the interview format? Will you be undertaking all or part of the interview process?
  • What is the next stage in the interview process? Are further interviews, assessments or tests planned? When will these take place?

Information on the Candidate should be available through their CV or application form.    Checking these prior to the interview will help you to maximise on your time.

Stage 2: Scheduling

In most cases you will be interviewing more than one candidate. It is therefore essential that you plan and schedule the interviews into your diary effectively to allow sufficient time for each candidate.

Remember you will need to build in time to check all relevant information before each interview as well as write up your notes between interviews.  Time needs to be scheduled for these activities, in addition to the time allocated for the interview process.

It is important to bear in mind that the time allocated for the interviews needs to be consistent so that all candidates have the same opportunity to demonstrate their skills. It is the responsibility of the interviewer to keep control of the time.

Try not to cram too many interviews in to a day.  Interviewing is tiring!  You need to ensure that you can approach each candidate fairly, and give them your best attention.

Stage 3: Structure and Planning your Questions

To be effective, it is essential that the interview is well organised and has a structure. If not it will be unfocused, may overrun and, most importantly, not be fair and consistent for all candidates.

We recommend therefore that you put together the following for each of the people you are meeting:

  • Each Candidate’s CV
  • Individual Sheets of the questions you plan to ask
  • Any notes that you have (agency/telephone interview)
  • A copy of the Role Profile and details of benefits offered

This means it will be close to hand for you on the day and again, will save you valuable time.

Consider what you’re going to ask and set a clear framework for the interview which will help you to:

  • Obtain a comprehensive coverage of information
  • Systematically gather information
  • Be fair to all candidates
  • Control and manage the interview
  • Achieve the identified outcome

You should also think about general questions in the areas of:

  • Why are they applying to work for you/with you?
  • Why do they wish to work in a particular department?
  • What interests them specifically about the job?
  • Why are they leaving their present employer?
  • Are they applying for any similar jobs or are they different?
  • When may references be taken up?

Stage 4: Information for the Candidate

The interview is a two-way process.  It’s as much about a candidate wanting to work for you as you wanting the candidate to work for you.  Therefore it’s advisable for you to have given some thought to the information you will give to the candidates at the interview.  You should have information available on the organisation, background, size, services offered, and number of employees. It is also important to provide the candidate with information on the department and the job itself, together with details on benefits and terms and conditions of employment.

If it’s possible, it can also be useful to show the candidate the actual environment that they will be working in.  This can help them to actually visualise what it will be like to work there.  To do this, allow time to show the candidates around and also perhaps identify some people for them to talk to.

In a competitive recruitment market, time spent on giving information to candidates can be a critical factor in deciding which job offer to accept.

Stage 5: Preparing the Environment

This is possibly the most overlooked of all the steps in this process, where meeting rooms may not be available or are often booked in advance and only vacated immediately prior to the interview itself.  Time spent getting this initial stage right however can make a key difference to the interview itself creating the right impression of both yourself and the organisation.  It is for this reason I recommend you always interview a candidate in an interview room.

Interviewing in the Office

The room itself should be clean, light and airy and free from debris. Make sure that any business sensitive materials have been removed and that phones have been unplugged to avoid interruptions.  Create an open layout for the interview, for example it is better to sit around a corner of a desk rather than sitting face to face as this can create a barrier between the candidate and the interviewer. However it is important to make sure that there is a reasonable distance between you to ensure that you are not invading personal space.

Think also of the practicalities, are there enough chairs, do they creak or wobble, is the candidate’s chair lower than the interviewer’s?  In addition, make sure that the light is appropriate, bulbs don’t need changing and that the sunlight is not directly in the candidates eyes.

Interviewing outside of the Office

If you are meeting a candidate in an external environment, ie a hotel or café, it’s important that they are prepared for this.  Some candidates may find it hard to open up about personal situations if they’re in a public location and therefore you need to always conduct your interviews in a private room which you will need to book.  Just as if you’re meeting people in an office environment, it’s critical that the establishment you are using to interview in is aware of your requirements, particularly where you may have a number of candidates scheduled in for the same day.

All of this seems common sense, but think of the impact on the candidate if the environment is not conducive to what will be a fairly lengthy meeting.

Finally, I hope this has helped you to consider what you need to do when you’re planning your next interview.  If you’ve any questions, please get in touch on 01202 853647 or email us at info@creative-leadership.co.uk

Watch out for the next step – Diversity in Recruitment.