Recruitment News September 2016 Part 1

As September sun slips into the office, let’s take a look at the world of recruitment and HR and see what’s been in the headlines recently!

Should Science Take A Back Seat?

First off, let’s take a trip over to the other side of the planet. The recently released report from the Grattan Institute has revealed that in 2015 only half of BSc graduates managed to find full time work after 4 months, 17 points below the average for other studies. In an even more damning revelation, only half of those employed found that their qualification was even important for their job, let alone necessary.

Whilst employment improves over time, those who graduate with a science degree are less likely to find higher level employment compared to their counterparts in technology, engineering or maths.

In further damnation of those BSc graduates it was said, “science graduates are pushing into a general labour market in which they must compete with graduates from other fields”. An assumption which decrees that all science graduates are to be confined to a career in science.

However, I can’t help but feel that this sort of rhetoric is damaging to the perception of science degrees. A bachelor’s in a scientific subject is going to train the student in strict critical thinking, numeracy, report writing and teamwork. Perhaps more than many other subjects. And as we look to the future development of industry and technology, it’s undeniable that companies will require employees whose comfort with technology is matched by their analytical ability.

So employ the science undergrads, I say. They’re the ones for the future!


More Needs To Be Done To Ensure Equal Pay

Speaking to Talk Radio, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Sophie Walker, has claimed that more needs to be done by the government to ensure equal pay for men and women. This comes on the back of a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which concluded that even though the situation isn’t so dim, the wage gap is still present even after decades of campaigning and promises.

The key takeaways from the report:

1)The hourly wages of female employees are currently about 18% lower than men’s on average, having been 23% lower in 2003 and 28% lower in 1993.

2)Only among the lowest-educated individuals has the gender wage gap continued to shrink over the past two decades. The other driver of a falling overall gender wage gap has been an increase in the education levels of women relative to men.

3)There is, on average, a gap of over 10% even before the arrival of the first child. But this gap is fairly stable until the child arrives and is small relative to what follows: there is then a gradual but continual rise in the wage gap and, by the time the first child is aged 12, women’s hourly wages are a third below men’s.

Speaking to Paul Ross, Sophie Walker explained that the government ought to, “take contracts away from companies which have a gender pay gap”. Going on to call for government funded childcare for all children post-parental leave.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Jeremy Corbyn is Ready To Tackle Discrimination

Following on from above, Jeremy Corbyn has proffered one solution to this issue. In order to ensure that both men and women are paid equally, he has stated that a Labour government would tackle discrimination by forcing companies to conduct compulsory pay audits.

A policy already instated by Cameron for companies with more than 250 staff, Corbyn has stated that this would be extended to all companies with over 21 staff members.

According to the Labour leader this is one way to tackle the five things that are holding the people of this country back: inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination.

A topic that is likely to come up time and time again as a general election seems imminent, it remains to be seen whether Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn will actually take action in order to eradicate the wage gap once and for all.


What do you think about the Mona Lisa?

Didn’t see that question coming, did you? And neither do many candidates going for interviews in the competitive worlds of tech and media.

You see, with businesses being inundated by highly prepared candidates with high quality resumes, they are looking for another way to separate out the right employee for them. In many cases this means throwing the interviewee a curve ball which they can’t have a rehearsed answer for.

The guys over at Fire Fish Software did a run down of the most abstract questions, and whilst they might seem risible at first, there’s some smart thinking going on behind the scenes. Let’s take a look at a couple…

What is your favourite 90’s tune?

If your business is about marketing to or working with millenials, then there’s no better candidate than a millenial themselves. But how do you make sure that they’re the real deal?

With this question you are not only finding out how pop savvy they were as kids, but you’re looking for them to think quickly and under pressure.

Advice for candidates: whilst this might seem like a little lighthearted humour, the interviewer doesn’t want to know your favourite song. They want you to relate your answer back to your job and see how the cogs turn inside your head.

Is Batman a Super Hero?

The thing with this question is that there’s no absolute answer, it requires the candidate to reason through why they chose either yes or no. They need to construct an argument for what a superhero is and explain whether Batman subscribes to this description. (I really like this one.)

Advice for candidates: these sorts of questions are a great way to show your ability to reason, as well as your creativity. Impress the interviewer with your thought processes!


Looking For An Internship? London Is The Place!

Having divorced from the word unpaid, the internship has become a way for students to earn some money for their following year studying, as well as a great way to get some much needed experience. And whilst things are often doom and gloom when it comes to money in the city, it seems those seeking internships in London are quids in.

A case study carried out by Emolument – a company specialising in salary comparison – analysed over 1,700 intern salaries in a variety of sectors in both London and Paris. Though the cost of living is 22% lower in the French national city, undertaking an investment banking internship in London is where the money is at.

So let’s take a brief look at the figures for median salary in London:

Investment banking – £41,865

Advisory consulting – £26,000

Tech companies – £23,000


Investment banking – £19,382

Advisory consulting – £17,092

With the basic cost of living covered by around £1,000 a month, interns in the city stand to make some fair savings.


How To Turn That Internship Into A Job

So you took that internship in the city, great! But how do you go from being the intern to a full time fixture?

You’ve already got a foot in the door, so here are the top 4 tips to ensure that you can get your whole body across the threshold.

Be early

Getting into the office just 15 minutes early can do absolute wonders for your chances of snagging that job. For one it shows management that you’re committed and serious about this position and willing to put in the extra work. But it also gives you some time to settle into the working day, preparing yourself for what’s ahead. Much better than rushing in in a cold sweat!

Remember you’re just an intern!

It can be easy to get ahead of yourself, especially after a few commendations from senior management. But don’t let it get to your head! One thing that many employers have spoken to us about is the ‘arrogant intern’, who may be good at what they’re doing but won’t fit into the company dynamic. Be humble, it will reflect far better.

Dress for the job

Sure, you might have your own style and way of expressing your personality, and once you’re employed by the company it might be a bit more relaxed, but for now, dress properly! Look smart and well presented even if you’re just sitting in the office. Appearances are extremely important.

Learn every day

In many cases interns will think it’s a matter of mastering a few simple tasks. And whilst this is part of the job, you need to make sure you’re learning too.

But how do you do this?

Ask questions all the time! Ask them of yourself, your colleagues and your manager. Inquisitiveness is key to progression, whether that’s for you personally, or the company as a whole!


Did You Know?


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About the author…

Nicole Debson
Director & Founder

With 30 years in recruitment, a genuine interest in people and a desire to help forge careers, Nicole has built ABL on the principle of making businesses better and that little bit more international. Seeking to help candidates navigate their career path; to help clients find the ideal employee, her hands on approach is what has moulded our company. Fluent in French, with good Spanish, and a Masters in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, you’ll find Nicole thumbing through her well-worn copy of Jack London’s White Fang, her all-time favourite book.