Do you need to recruit new talent?

Are you looking to recruit some of the fabulous new talent that will be entering the job market in the form of University graduates and college leavers?  If the answer is yes, then make sure you have got your basics in order, or here’s how it could all go wrong!

Hiring a new employee is pretty straight forward; but only if it is handled correctly. Many employers however can get it so wrong, which as we know is unproductive for any working environment.

A recent survey has shown that the No.1 reason for it all going so wrong is “not managing the candidate experience”.  This may sound a little fluffy if you do not work in HR or Recruitment, but it basically comes down to communication.  It is important to keep in constant contact with the candidate, providing them with quality information and feedback and remembering that honesty is the best policy. Providing a poor candidate experience can have many negative consequences including damaging comments about your company and lack of faith in the overall brand.

Other reasons the recruitment process can fail are:

  1. Expecting dull job descriptions to attract the right people – This is your chance to sell the position and entice the highest calibre of staff, if you waste this opportunity they will be looking to work for your competitors.
  2. Not taking advantage of employee referrals – a referral means they are pre-screened.  The best companies place nearly 50% of staff through referrals.
  3. Not fully understanding the actual job – If you don’t understand about the job you want them to do, how can you sell it to them or even know if they are capable of performing it?
  4. Using the same recruiting process for different level jobs – High level jobs require a different level of service, knowledge and relationship building. If you want the best out there, they definitely want to be treated that way too.
  5. Making slow hiring decisions – The best candidates are gone quickly, and will probably have more than one offer on the table, you simply can’t afford to hang around.
  6. Assuming interviews are accurate – Interviews are traditionally weak predictors, so poorly executed or generic interviews that do not challenge the candidate, will result in poor hires and put off the right people.
  7. Just using job boards – Only posting jobs on an advertising site means that 75% of the workforce that are not ‘actively’ looking will NOT see them. Make sure that your jobs can be found on various sites.
  8. Not prioritising jobs – Make sure if you are looking for more than one employee that you get the right person first, there is no point getting an assistant if you don’t have the manager.
  9. Not identifying job acceptance criteria – Do you know what the perfect candidates needs to accept the job? If you don’t, they won’t join you.

One last thought… With so many people getting it wrong, why don’t you let HR Revolution get it right for you.  First time.

 

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

Fri fun… 10 things NEVER to do or say in an interview

On my way into work this morning, I noticed a big festive recruitment drive by Tesco – there is no getting away from it now Christmas is coming! Talking of Tesco, here are a few festive facts from them which amazed me –  did you know they will sell 170,000 turkeys, 140,000 jars of cranberry sauce and over 400,000 packs of Brussels sprouts!  So safe to say they will be recruiting a lot of people over this period, so I thought it would be fun to have a list of 10 things never to say or do in an interview, just in case you fancy getting a seasonal job…. not based on personal experience I might add…

Seriously these things do happen and I’m sure they make the decision not to employ a very easy one!!!

  1. Don’t ever answer a call or text in an interview, make sure your phone is switched off and in your bag.
  2. Never swear in an interview, you must remain professional at all times.
  3. Ask for a lift home after the interview.
  4. Smell your armpits on the way into the interview, or indeed during or after.
  5. Tell the interviewer you were fired for beating up your last boss!! not sure this reflects too well on your character.
  6. When one applicant was offered food before the interview he declined, saying that he didn’t want to line his stomach with grease before going out drinking.
  7. A candidate for an accounting position said she was a “people person,” not a “numbers person.”
  8. Applicant took out a hair brush and brushed her hair mid-interview.
  9. Being late.  I think its safe to say your interviewer will not be impressed, whatever excuse you may come up with, punctuality is key.
  10. Ask what is the annual leave and sickness policy is, this will set alarm bells ringing for the interviewer.

I have to say, numbers 3 and 4 are my personal favourites and actually made me laugh out loud picturing it happening!

Remember, the job market is very competitive these days, so don’t ruin your prospects with an ill-chosen comment.

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Be prepared – 5 killer interview questions and why you should ask them…

Here at HR Revolution we are no strangers to conducting a few interviews, some on behalf of our clients for various different roles and some internally for us, but whoever it is, one thing I’m sure of is that the person sitting across the table in an interview is more nervous than we are!!

So, we want to help you, the interviewee to calm your nerves and be confident, and the biggest part of that is being prepared. Your potential employer, will pick up very quickly whether you have come prepared by asking lots of questions about the company like, “so tell me what you know about us?” or “what did you think of our website?” or maybe, “who do you think our biggest competitors are?” and of course they would, they want to know that you are genuinely interested in working for them. This leads me nicely on to one of the most important question they will ask you… “Have you got any questions for me?”…

This one question will really show whether or not you really want to be part of their team, so please do not answer like this… “no I think you’ve already answered all my questions” or even worse just sit there like a bowl of jelly spluttering out the odd “err” and “um” followed by “nope, all good”!! What are you thinking!!! The interviewer has just seen how unprepared you are, and no matter how good your experience, you just don’t cut the mustard! So, let us help you.

Stand out from the crowd and ask questions that show you’ve prepared. To get you started, HR Revolution have compiled 5 questions that we would liked to be asked:

  1. How would a member of your team describe working here?
    How the interviewer answers gives a good insight into the company culture and working practices, it should fill you with enthusiasm, if not you have to question if this really is the right role for you.
  2. If I’m successful what will my first month look like?
    Shows that you are keen to get off to a great start in reaching your objectives and helps you determine how the good the onboarding process is.
  3. What makes someone successful in your team?
    This will give you a good idea of what your new employer is expecting of you in your new roll and it should be a good indicator of how they would like to see you perform and what you should be concentrating on.
  4. Can you explain how performance will be measured for this role?
    Shows that you understand and accept that you will have responsibilities that you will be accountable for and that you want to succeed.
  5. What do you like most about working for this company?
    Helps you get a better insight into what it’s like to work at the company. If the interviewer can’t answer this straight away, then maybe warning bells should sound.  They should love a question like this, as it will give them a chance to talk about themselves on a personal level and why they love their employer! After all you don’t you want to work with people that love what they do!!

Good luck, this is your chance to demonstrate you have given the company and role real thought and hopefully leave the interview with a great impression of yourself as the right candidate for the job.

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5 abilities you should look for in all employees…

At HR Revolution we pride ourselves on recruiting great employees and talent, even if I do say so myself! Here are the top 5 qualities we look for in individuals regardless of job role:

1. Positive Job Attitude

An employee’s enthusiasm for their job shines through, to managers, to employees and to clients. It is desirable for every employer to have employees that know what they are doing and enjoy what they are doing. This is one of the strongest elements that an interviewee can convey to a potential employer at an interview; their passion is something a CV can’t always portray.  If an employee is visually enthusiastic about learning everything there is to know about their particular job, this person will go far. A strong work ethic also impacts on the morale of fellow co-workers

2. Good Problem Resolution Skills

Every job role comes up against problems, it’s inevitable.  The scale of these problems can vastly vary according to the level of the role, but never the less as employees we all need to have some degree of problem resolution ability. Solving problems are a big part of every job and having skilled problem solvers in the workplace is a valuable asset and should be looked upon and appreciated as such. How do you solve common and not so common problems in the workplace?  Does the employee keep a cool head while in the solving process?

3. Conflict Resolution Ability

How employees deal with conflict inside the work place is one thing that reveals their overall attitude.  Does the employee get involved in multiple work place relation conflicts? If so, then why?  Does this employee get along with just about everyone they come into contact with?  How they resolve minor professional conflicts will also give you a perspective as to how they will fare in more serious conflict resolutions.

4. High Quality of Work

Errors, mistakes, mishaps whatever you call them, can be costly in business. We are all human and as humans we do on occasion make mistakes, but a good employee will learn to reduce mistakes to a minimum, through a combination of careful reviewing, double checking and experience. But high levels of quality can be a combination of accuracy, attention to detail, work experience, good research and a positive job attitude and pride in the work they produce.  The quality of the finished material is an important factor in seeing what their overall work ethic is.

5. Adaptability

The ability to adapt to situations, new tasks, unexpected changes in tasks and work load and the general changes every workplace experiences is a vital ability for all employees. All businesses change, the world is changing all the time and good employees will have the ability to manage change, through a natural ability or a learned one. Without adaptability we become the person on.

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Looking to recruit some fresh new talent…

Are you looking to recruit some of the fabulous new talent that has recently entered the market?  If the answer is yes, then make sure you have got your basics in order, or here’s how it could all go wrong!

Hiring a new member of staff is pretty straight forward; but only if it is handled correctly. Many employers however can get it so wrong, which as we know is unproductive for any working environment.

A recent survey has shown that the No.1 reason for it all going so wrong is “not managing the candidate experience”.  This may sound a little fluffy if you do not work in HR or Recruitment, but it basically comes down to communication.  It is important to keep in constant contact with the candidate, providing them with quality information and feedback and remembering that honesty is the best policy. Providing a poor candidate experience can have many negative consequences including damaging comments about your company and lack of faith in the overall brand.

Other reasons the recruitment process can fail are:

  1. Expecting dull job descriptions to attract the right people – This is your chance to sell the position and entice the highest calibre of staff, if you waste this opportunity they will be looking to work for your competitors.
  2. Not taking advantage of employee referrals – a referral means they are pre-screened.  The best companies place nearly 50% of staff through referrals.
  3. Not fully understanding the actual job – If you don’t understand about the job you want them to do, how can you sell it to them or even know if they are capable of performing it?
  4. Using the same recruiting process for different level jobs – High level jobs require a different level of service, knowledge and relationship building. If you want the best out there, they definitely want to be treated that way too.
  5. Making slow hiring decisions – The best candidates are gone quickly, and will probably have more than one offer on the table, you simply can’t afford to hang around.
  6. Assuming interviews are accurate – Interviews are traditionally weak predictors, so poorly executed or generic interviews that do not challenge the candidate, will result in poor hires and put off the right people.
  7. Using Job boards alone – Only posting jobs on an advertising site means that 75% of the workforce that are not ‘actively’ looking will NOT see them. Make sure that your jobs can be found on various sites.
  8. Not prioritising jobs – Make sure if you are looking for more than one employee that you get the right person first, there is no point getting an assistant if you don’t have the manager.
  9. Not identifying job acceptance criteria – Do you know what the perfect candidates needs to accept the job? If you don’t, they won’t join you.

A final thought… With so many people getting it wrong, why don’t you let HR Revolution get it right for you the first time, download our free guide to recruiting talent below….

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Invited to an interview? 8 tips on what NOT to do!

Has anyone been watching “The job interview” on Channel 4? No… well if you are looking for a job, you should, it is a fantastic guide on what NOT to do in an interview!  Ok, I’m being a little unfair as there have been a couple of people who came across very genuine and likeable, even if a little out of practice at interviewing. There are some though, that seriously just need to a) get some manners and b) use a bit of common sense!

We have blogged before with interview tips and do’s and don’ts, but for those that missed it, here are our top tips on what not to do if you want to land your dream job.

  1. Don’t be late – We shouldn’t really need to tell you this as everyone knows this is probably one of the worst things you can do;  first impressions and all that.  So do whatever it takes to arrive in plenty of time, even if that means being ridiculously early and going and grabbing a coffee somewhere to prepare. That leads me on to the next point…
  1. Not being prepared! There really is no excuse for this, the internet is a wonderful thing and there is literally nothing you can’t find on it, company size, organisation charts, company turnover and most importantly a companies ethos. Remember they will ask you questions based on it, so do your homework.  And please, please, please, remember the name of who is interviewing you!  Sound silly, well in one episode of the above mentioned programme the interviewer asked “what’s my name” to which the interviewee replied “err, ooh I’m sure I know it, I’m not very good and retaining information”… Really!!!
  1. Don’t underestimate the power of body language – after all it is telling the interviewer a story of its very own! I bet your mum told you to sit up straight and not swing on your chair, and she was right! You need to look interested and engaged not lazy and uninterested. Enter with a smile, a firm (but not aggressive) handshake and maintain steady eye contact, and watch for how they are reacting to you, as they are giving off signals too.
  1. Don’t tell porkies! Of course you want to showcase yourself, but remember to do this based on the skills you have and not those you don’t. For example, don’t tell them you are fluent in French when really you scraped a C in your GCSE, how embarrassing would it be when they strike up a conversation and all you can manage is Oui Oui mon petit fleur! The chances are if you land the job you will be asked to demonstrate these wonderful skills and if they aren’t quite as true as you have said, well you’re going to look a bit silly aren’t you?!?!
  1. Don’t go on and on and on and … oh you get the picture. Keep your answers short and relevant and know the point you are trying to make, if you just ramble on for the sake of saying something, the interviewer will quickly switch off and you will forget what you were answering in the first place. Preparation before the interview will help you have some answers ready prepared, allowing you to speak clearly with confidence.
  1. Don’t be rude… Like I tell my kids, pay attention when someone is talking to you! Checking your watch or your phone constantly is just not acceptable behaviour. And just think about the way you are talking and how it is coming across; don’t interrupt and be argumentative if you don’t agree with something just listen and formulate your response appropriately.
  1. Don’t insult or criticise your current employer. It really is not professional to talk about how rubbish your boss is, what they do wrong or why you hate them so just don’t do it. If they ask you why you are looking to move jobs, talk about the positives of the new position or career progression, not about how you can’t wait to get out where you are “cos it does your head in!”.
  1. Not asking any questions – Please, whatever you do, don’t make “what is the salary and holiday allowance” the first one!  Interviews are as much for you to decide whether you want to work for that company, as it is for them to see if you are right for the role.  So again be prepared and have some well thought out questions ready; some examples might be asking what they are looking for in the new hire, or how do you see the company growing and how will this role contribute to that? They show that you are genuinely interested in being part of and contributing to a growing business.

Lastly I would say, be yourself, if you get the job surely you want to know that was partly down to them liking you as a person as well as your skills, try and be a bit more confident in the interview and show some of your winning personality.

And a parting note, make sure you follow up. I’m not suggesting you start becoming their stalker but an email to thank them for their time, reiterate that you are the right candidate for the job and you’re happy to answer any further questions… Just don’t come across too desperate.

We hope the above tips are helpful, so good luck and go nail that interview!

Why not download below our FREE guide “21 commonly asked interview questions” and be as prepared as you possibly can.

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Now lets get you a winning CV…

So you have decided that you are going to go out into the big wide world of work and you’ve got your online presence looking tickity boo (we hope you read our blog, Finished full time education, what next?) so what now? Well, as we’ve said competition is fierce, particularly among graduates and that first impressions are extremely important.  So now it’s time to concentrate on your CV, and you need to make sure it is looking great and really jumps out of the pile, for all the right reasons of course!

We see lots of CV’s here at HR Revolution, for all sorts of job positions, but whether you are going for intern position or the top spot of CEO all CV’s should follow some basic rules.

Here are our top 5 things which should play a part in your CV:

  1. How does your CV look?

It’s not just about the content; it’s about how you have presented it! You want it to look clean cut and professional. A CV that’s crowded with text doesn’t look attractive. These days, CV’s are initiated through email so make sure the format is easy to read on screen. No funky text formats, stick to Arial or Times New Roman. No funky, floral borders and keep your text a readable colour!

  1. Long profiles

Now we’re all about profiles, a paragraph giving the employer a taster to what your personality is like, your job role, what you are looking for next etc… But… people don’t need your life story! Keep it short and sweet, a paragraph is more than enough! Put as much personality in as you can (keeping it professional!); give the employer a view as to who you are and what would attract them to bringing you in for an interview.

  1. Grammar and spelling

This is a real bugbear; there is nothing worse than getting a CV through with mistake after mistake. The actual experience is good, but the spelling and grammar just puts you off… Double/triple check; get your friends/family to check that there are no spelling/grammatical errors in your CV!

  1. Irrelevant information

Potential employs don’t need to know how many children you have, your wife/husbands name, how much you weigh… you may also be proud you won the village pub quiz of the year… your potential employer may not be so engrossed! Keep the CV about your career history, educational background and personality.

  1. Unexplained employment gaps

Were you travelling? Looking for work? On maternity leave? Save yourself and give an explanation! It can be a real put off seeing unexplained gaps on your CV – it makes people nervous so be sure to outline the reasons why.

The important thing to remember, is what is your USP (unique selling point)? Why are you the best person for the job?  Now think about how to market yourself. If you’re looking to break into a very competitive market, what have you done that could support that…. Voluntary work, organising events for local groups, these additions will help you shine, just remember to keep it relevant, there should be a reason behind why you are telling them.

And there you have my guide to getting it right!

We hope our CV tips help you put together a winning document!  Why not get ahead of the game and download our FREE First Impressions guide so you’re fully prepared when that interview invitation drops in your inbox!

Psst… why not let us help you with your CV??  We’re giving 15% off our CV template pack, with code CVP15 so head over to our HR Revolution Shop now… Just Click HERE … no one needs to know you had help with your fab new CV!

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Finished full time education, now what…

So your time of learning has come to an end, whether that’s school, college or university you now have some big decisions to make.

Trying to work out what to do with your life can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be.  There are a fantastic amount of choices available to young people now, so jump on board and don’t miss out on the many opportunities you have.

The thing to also remember is if you didn’t get the grades you wanted or go to university, there is still so much, for example did you know that to be an air traffic controller you don’t need a degree and that’s quite a cool job!

Apprenticeships are a brilliant way to get into the industry you want and better still, you get paid while you learn, which for many may be a much better alternative to an expensive university education to gain a qualification that you don’t use.

Then there are plans for ground-breaking reforms to technical and professional education (TPE), which will set England’s system on a par with the best in the world.  The reforms will focus on simplifying the currently over-complex system, working in direct partnership with employers to ensure the new system provides the skills most needed for the 21st-century economy. Vocational routes into work are no longer seen as second best.

http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk is a great website for help and guidance on apprenticeships and other routes available if you are unsure which path to take.

Whatever you decide on, you will be up against some fierce competition, so you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Your online presence needs to be top notch, so take a look at all of your social media accounts and get them looking less “free, single and ready to mingle” and more “career path ready!”.

Remember LinkedIn, is the Facebook of the corporate world, so this should be your first port of call, as it will be for potential employers.  Your profile needs to be so much more than your name and schooling information, it needs to be “all star”.

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What I Wish I Was taught at School…..

 

It’s World Teachers Day 2015 today! Now whether you loved or hated school, or now as adults whether you think teachers have it easy or not, we should remember they do look after our little darlings for more than 6 hours a day, and take it from a mum who barely survived the summer holidays doing exactly that, I applaud them!

But it has made me think about what I learnt at school, I mean have I ever actually put Pythagoras theorem to the test, err no but I do like to think that my grammar is good, I can work out what discount I’m getting when the sales are on (invaluable!!) and I can get by when ordering a coffee with sugar when I ever pop to the continent so all in all I did ok.

But there are so many times I have said “well they don’t teach you that in school do they!” I mean there are things in life that I could have really done with being taught about! Like….

DIY – The Truth!
I’m not talking anything crazy just a few basics….
When I was at school we did wood work and DT (design technology) which basically involved making a keyring out of melted plastic or a junk model of the Eiffel Tower using odds and ends of wood, NOT something I’ve had much call for since!! No what I would have liked is for them to have taught us the truth behind flat pack! How to really read ‘picture only’ instructions where slots A and B are always the other way round, that there will ALWAYS be one extra screw left over to make you feel like you have done it all wrong and will collapse if you put the slightest pressure on it AND that no matter what they say it is NEVER a one man job (unless you have three arms!)

We should have had “A Useful Tips Lesson!”
If they just gave you one a week that would be over 500 useful little nuggets you’d leave school with! Covering the basics like …

Drinking on a ‘school night’ really IS a bad idea, you may feel fine the next morning but there is an enormous wall that will hurl itself at you around 11am which will leave you feeling that you will never possibly survive the next 6 and half hours without a duvet, Panadol extra and perhaps a power nap!

If you spend all of your wages in the first week, you will not have any money for the next three weeks!

Never allow your picture to be taken when you look your most stupid by someone with a smart phone!

Don’t give yourself the email address bigboobbrenda@loveme.com it goes on application forms you know!

How to come up with instant excuses without looking like you’re lying – I know that’s a bit mean, but helpful right!?!

Google is NOT the place to go for medical advice

What are all those symbols on a washing machine?!?! Can I not just stick it in and press on!

How to live with someone, and cope when they just won’t put their plate in the dishwasher, their dirty clothes in the basket and the toilet seat down… And breathe!

Know when, even though you are 100% right, just to keep it to yourself!

And Small talk, I mean how do you do it?!?! Is there a list of generic questions that some people get given that they just reel off? It’s just so hard and I always just seem to be saying “so…” and that’s it…. Awkward!!

Anyway that is probably enough from me, and you get the picture… But if there are any teachers out there reading this, I don’t suppose you can slip these little tips into the national curriculum, you would be helping generations from future hardship. Just a little Life Skills class here and there would do wonders!

Is there anything you wish you had been taught but hadn’t?? My colleague said “how to make a million before you’re 30! 🙂

Whilst looking on the web around this topic, I found a lot of students that have just left school are all saying the same thing that they wish they had more help with how to look for a job, write a CV and have an interview, which is something we can help with, so get in touch if that’s you!

Teachers We Salute you!
The HRREV Blogger

Let me guess….you dread telling someone that they have been unsuccessful for a position within your company?

Let me guess….you dread telling someone that they have been unsuccessful for a position with your company? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. So why do people harbour this deep rooted fear towards giving feedback over the phone? Probably because there is a negative stigma attached to giving and receiving feedback. But ‘feedback’ is being looked at all wrong and it doesn’t have to be this way…

Telling someone that they are ‘unsuccessful’ is not actually giving feedback, it is just the outcome. If you give people details on their interview performance, you are instead telling the person how they can improve, so they can do better next time. Whether they need some additional experience and/or exposure, or just some feedback on how they perform in an interview situation, it is 100% more effective for candidates to get feedback directly rather than to sit around wondering what on earth they did wrong! Sure, there are candidates out there who are ‘not the best’, but by giving them feedback we can make them that little bit better.

If a candidate has physically come in to meet with you, then calling them directly is a must, as it will show them that you value you the time they took to come and meet with you. It will also portray a professional company image #freeemployerbranding. And let’s be honest, a phone call can be as quick if not quicker than writing feedback in an email. We just need to get rid of the fear of the phone!

The first step in becoming more confident with issuing feedback is being armed with the facts. If you have a proper recruitment process and a good interview question guide, then you should have no problems issuing a valid and factual reason as to why the candidate is not successful. “We don’t feel you are the right fit”, will not cut it. It can seem a little personal and a candidate has the right to read into it. They can even assume in extreme cases that you are not moving forward due to discriminative reasoning. The word ‘feeling’ really has no place in any feedback setting. Facts should be presented.

 “The other candidate we interviewed was stronger” is also right up there in most hated reasons for being declined from a position. If it actually is the case, then there will still be a clear reason why the other candidate was chosen over the one you are declining… so write it down and let the candidate know why the other was hired instead of them. Beware of using this as an ‘excuse’ for not selecting a candidate if it is not the entire reason they have not been successful. You don’t want to give unsuccessful candidate/s the false impression that you would in fact hire them if the other candidate fell through and the job became available again. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way… just remember, it’s important to be honest.

Here are some examples to help you build confidence towards giving ‘over the phone’ feedback.

“We thought you had some really great experience surrounding customer service and sales however when it came to our questioning surrounding prioritising a changing work load, you unfortunately couldn’t provide us with a strong example of when you have worked with changing priorities and how you dealt with them as a result and this is such an important aspect of the role. I know interviews can be a little nerve racking so if it was just nerves that got the best of you my best advice would be to take your time and ask to revisit a question if you can’t think of an example straight away.”

“We thought your experience was fantastic however during the interview your confidence towards your work didn’t come across the way we would have liked. Within this role you will be dealing with some very strong personalities which you would need to manage daily and because you couldn’t demonstrate enough conviction in your ideas and approaches, we don’t have the confidence that you would be the best match for the team. I understand if it was just nerves however this has affected the outcome in this instance.”

Emily M, HR Revolution blogger