11 Apr, 2013

Interview opportunities

After surveyed more than 1,700 employers and revealed the most off-putting traits displayed by job applicants, interview candidates and new recruits. Top of the list of irritations was seeing abbreviated words used within job applications and informality in communications, with some candidates even resorting to text slang and signing off correspondence with kisses.

Of the recruiters surveyed, 82 per cent thought that any kind of abbreviation in correspondence was unacceptable. A fifth of prospective employers would be put off by communications from job applicants signed off with “xx” and 18 per cent felt it was inappropriate to see “LOL” (Laugh Out Loud) used within job applications.

More than half of employers (54 per cent) report that seeing a spelling mistake within a curriculum vitae (CV) immediately deters them from interviewing a candidate. A third of employers polled stated that they had been put off by candidates listing pastimes such as “watching reality TV” and “clubbing”. Fifteen per cent of recruiters reported that they would be less likely to interview a candidate who listed “taking care of my cats” in the interests section of a CV.  Conversely, only 2 per cent of the recruiters reported that they would be put off by a candidate listing “hunting, shooting, or fishing” among their interests.

Nearly three quarters of employers reported that they regularly check the social media pages and profiles of potential employees, 39 per cent verify credentials via LinkedIn and 31 per cent check candidates’ Facebook profiles. Only 27 per cent of employers surveyed do not check Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites for information on job candidates.

Even after making it through the application vetting process, employers report that capable candidates often lose job opportunities by making mistakes during the interview.  Almost a quarter of the survey sample (24 per cent) reported that they would be less inclined to offer a position to a candidate who did not look the interviewer in the eye.  Halitosis was the second most off-putting trait of interviewees, cited by 17 per cent of those surveyed, closely followed by confrontational body language, mentioned by 16 per cent of interviewers.

Commenting on the findings, Anna Taylor, Co-founder and  director, RecruitmentRevolution.com said, “Job applicants have a tough enough time gaining interviews and winning new roles. We hope that this snapshot of employers’ pet hates will help people to be more aware of how they present themselves online, on application forms and in person, so that they make the best impression with potential employers.”

The RecruitmentRevolution.com survey also provides insights to help successful candidates to continue impressing their new bosses. Arriving on time is a major priority: 83 per cent of employers agreed that persistent lateness was the worst habit a new employee can exhibit. Dressing smartly was listed as a desirable attribute by 64 per cent of employers.

Social integration also ranked highly within the survey. Witnessing new members of staff being rude or condescending to junior colleagues was cited as a bugbear for 73 per cent of employers. Conversely, over familiarity was also a source of irritation, with 27 per cent of respondents complaining about receiving social media requests from new colleagues.

While recent surveys have revealed that a fifth of British workers often miss out on a lunch break and regularly eat at their desks, the RecruitmentRevolution.com survey found that 31 per cent of employers polled would rather see their new employees taking a whole hour out of the office.  The length of the working day was an area of contention, with 35 per cent of employers stating that new employees should leave at the contracted time. However, 45 per cent of respondents believe that new recruits should wait until a few of their colleagues have left for the day before going home.

Almost half of employers (49 per cent) believe that it takes a month for new employees to start contributing to their businesses, 23 per cent of the survey sample reported that this settling in period extends to three months.

The top ten most annoying traits exhibited by new employees have been summarised as:

1 Being late for work
2 Being rude to junior staff
3 Surfing the Web or social media sites during work hours
4 Making personal phone calls during work hours
5 Dressing inappropriately
6 Making friends with new colleagues on social media
7 Not helping with tasks not entirely related to their job
8 Having a drink at lunchtime
9 Talking about their old job
10 Sending a joke to the whole office
Credit: onrec.com

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