Thursday, 28 June 2018

How Many Candidates Should You Interview?

You’ve created the perfect job description and been inundated with CVs from hundreds of potential recruits. But how many of them should you interview? 

Too many and you’ll be wasting your and their time, too few and you might miss out on the perfect candidate. 

Here, we’ll explore the interview options to help find your ideal new starters -

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Brief article on how to conduct a panel interview

A panel interview consists of two or more people sitting together to ask a candidate questions.

Typically, your panel might consist of someone from human resources, the hiring manager and an employee from the hiring department. But what are the benefits, and how do you lead a panel interview? Here, we’ll explain why it’s a useful tool in your recruitment armoury.

Read more here:

Monday, 25 June 2018

How To Answer The 'Tell Me About Yourself' Interview Question

‘Tell me about yourself’ is a question posed by nearly every interviewer, yet research from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment suggests that it is a question that a vast amount of people struggle with: on average over 33,000 people in the UK search online each month for answers or guidance on answering the question (Google Keyword Planner, 2018)

With this in mind, sales recruitment agency, Aaron Wallis, has collated a series of hints and tips for getting the most out of the common interview question and performing to your best ability.
Be prepared 

As ‘tell me about yourself’ is such a common interview question, there’s nothing silly about writing down your answer and saying it in front of the mirror, or practicing your answer with someone you know. Whilst it can be good to have a rehearsed answer, it's also worth bearing in mind that you don’t want to sound like you’re reciting it from memory. Be prepared to appear confident but natural.

Structure your answer

The best answers to the question give a brief overview of you and your experience, without taking too much away from the later stages of the interview.

Begin by outlining your current or most recent role and describing the skills or attributes that you bring or brought to the position, ensuring these will be relevant to the job you’re going for. 
Finish up by saying while you’ve enjoyed your work, you’re excited for the fresh challenge this new opportunity brings, and why.

Consider what you want to get across

A common pitfall is mentioning too much about yourself that may either cause you to waste time during your interview or lose the natural flow of the conversation. Chances are that your interviewer has already studied your CV, so does not need to be told about every job you’ve ever had, or what your exam results were – even if they were straight As. 

Avoid the irrelevant or controversial

Similarly, although you might be a cycling fanatic or a keen cook, this can be totally irrelevant at the start of the opening stage of the interview. In the majority of job interviews, avoid talk of family, pets and politics.

Get ready for the following questions

If you’ve introduced yourself well, your interviewer is going to be impressed and keen to delve deeper. He or she will want to explore your experience, strengths and weaknesses further, but will do so under the impression you’re a good fit for the role. Make sure you can back up your initial answer with examples or anecdotes. So, if you said: “In my current role I have increased sales by broadening our customer base,” just make sure you’re ready to answer follow-up questions later in the interview like: “How much did you increase sales by?”, or “How many extra customers did you bring on board, and how did you find them?”

Robert Scott, Managing Director of Aaron Wallis said: “Often the simple questions can be the ones which are the most unnerving if you haven’t considered what you might say. Generally, it can be a good idea to plan out the interview in your head from the very start to the very finish. It’s never a bad thing to be overprepared!”

For a more detailed guide on answering the ‘tell me about yourself interview’ question,
please visit:


1 Data from Google’s Keyword Planner, looking at average monthly searches for queries relating to ‘answering the tell me about yourself question’ from June 2017 - May 2018 in the United Kingdom

Sunday, 25 February 2018

How Did The World's Top 100 CEOs Get To The Top?

What Makes a Top CEO?
The Education & Career Steps of The World’s Best CEOs

  •  42% of the world’s top 100 CEOs are between the age of 56 and 60.
  •  98% of the most influential 100 CEOs have a degree, with 36% of them earning a degree in a business-related subject
  • Only 4 of the world’s biggest companies have a female CEO, 96 are male
  • 28% of CEOs have a career background in operations, 25% in finance

What type of person is more likely to make it to the top of a multinational business? New research from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment suggests that people who people who have a career background in operations or finance are the most likely leaders.

A study into the most influential 100 CEOs in the world has investigated whether there is any trend between your first career steps and how far you progress. The research suggests that it is near impossible to make it to the top of one of the largest businesses without a degree, 98% of the top 100 CEOs are graduates. Of the 98 graduates, the most popular degree type was business (36%) followed by engineering, accounting for 23% of the graduate CEOs.

The breakdown of the top 5 degree types for CEO graduates can be seen below:

Degree Type
Count of CEOs
Accounting & Finance
Computer Science

The research also looks into the age and gender of the largest companies’ CEOs. 96% of these CEOs are male, with only 4 of the largest businesses in the World having a female CEO.

The average ‘Top CEO’ age is 59, with by far the most prominent age group being between 56-60, accounting for 42% of the CEOs reviewed. The top 5 age groups can be seen below, out of 96 CEOs with publicly available information of their age:

Age Range
Count of CEOs

Finally, the study reviews the career backgrounds of the most powerful CEOs, grouping their career backgrounds into concise categories. 54% of the ‘Top CEOs’ have a career background in either finance or operations.

The top 5 career backgrounds can be seen below:

Professional Background
Proportion of CEOs
R & D
Data Analysis

For the full results of the study, please visit:

Rob Scott, Managing Director at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment said:
“In 2018 we are seeing that it is near impossible to lead a big business without being a graduate and that earning an MBA can be a real advantage to progressing your career. Starting out in an operations or finance related field can give you the mindset and strategic thinking which is necessary to make it to the top.
It’s also unsurprising how many CEOs in our study have worked in a sales role at some point in their career, teaching you the communication skills to manage staff and negotiate large business deals.”


About the research
The study was conducted by Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, researching the CEOs of the world’s largest businesses based upon Forbes data.

Research on the CEOs came from a range of sources, mixing Wikipedia data with reports from publications and outlets to collate the first career moves and education of the world’s most powerful CEOs.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Aaron Wallis Conducts Study Into Fastest Growing Brands 2017

The Fastest Growing Brands of 2017
(Out of the 100 most valuable brands in the World)

·       The women’s fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing topped our study, doubling their ‘search interest’ between 2016 and 2017. Gucci and Louis Vitton also appeared in the top 5 climbing brands out of the 100 we reviewed.
·       A number of Chinese brands scored very highly in our study including Tencent, Maotai, Baidu and Hauwei, who all grew their search interest by over 10% year-on-year.
·       There is a trend of eCommerce brands growing in search interest, with big names like Amazon and Zara also appearing in our top 20 brands by search interest increases.

Which brands have grown the most in presence in 2017? New research from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment suggests that PrettyLittleThing, Tencent (WeChat) and Gucci have grown the most in brand interest this year.
The study uses weekly indexes from Google Trends to measure ‘search interest’ - where search-engine data is aggregated around a topic, or in this case a business, to reflect changes in searches and discussion. Weekly data from January 2016 to November 2017 was collected and averaged – comparing the average search interest score of 2017 with the same time period of 2016.

We have segmented our results into B2C and B2B brands as follows:

10 Fastest Climbing Global Consumer Brands

Relative Search Interest - 2016
Relative Search Interest - 2017
Louis Vuitton
China Mobile
Ping-An Insurance

10 Fastest Growing B2B Brands

Relative Search Interest - 2016
Relative Search Interest - 2017
DHL Express
Rolls Royce
United Parcel Service
China Construction Bank

For the full results of the study, please visit:


About the research
The study was conducted by Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, collecting weekly search interest data from Google Trends. 100 of the most valuable brands in the World were reviewed using Global search volume data.
Average search interest data was compared from two time series:
01/01/2016 – 19/11/2016
01/01/2017 – 19/11/2017

Monday, 18 September 2017

Our Study Into The 100 Richest Billionaires

Billionaires’ First Steps:
The Richest People’s First Jobs & Education

·       75 of the World’s richest 100 people have earned a degree. Of these 75, 22 studied a degree in engineering.
·       53 of the World’s top 100 billionaires started working in a non-family owned business. 19% of these billionaires started working in a salesperson role and 17% started working as a stock trader. 
·       17% of the World’s top 100 billionaires started their careers by setting up their own business.

What type of person is more likely to become a billionaire? New research from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment suggests that people who start their career in a salesperson role are more likely to hit it rich.

A study into the richest 100 people in the World has investigated whether there is any trend between your first career steps and how rich you become. The research suggests that engineering and business graduates are most likely to become billionaires, and if you want to become one of the world’s richest you should start your career in a sales or stock trader role. Furthermore, you are far more likely to make the top 100 list if you are a graduate – 75% of the top 100 have earned a degree.

The research into first career steps looks at the billionaires who started working in an organisation that was not their own, or family owned. These billionaires were then grouped into type of first job, which gave the following job roles as the top 5 results:

Job Role
Count of Job Category
(Total = 53)
Stock Trader
Software Developer
Analyst (Varied)

The study also looks at the top degree subject by type, which gave the following degree categories as the top 5 results:

Degree Type
Count of Degree Studied
(Total = 75)
Finance & Economics
Computer Science

For the full results of the study, please visit:

Rob Scott, Managing Director at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment said: “Today we are seeing that nearly all of the top people in business are graduates and that a degree can be a great first-step into preparing you for your career ahead. It’s also unsurprising how many of the top 100 billionaires started working as salespeople, which can give you the communication and negotiation skills which are vital to succeed.”

About the research
The study was conducted by Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, researching the top 100 richest people in the world based on Forbes data.
Research on the billionaires came from a range of sources, mixing Wikipedia data with reports from publications and outlets to collate the first career moves and education of the world’s richest people.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Pros and Cons of using Social Media to Recruit

Social Media - there's no denying it governs everything consumers do. It's a valuable means of communication, and brand dissemination, between businesses and their market.

Most potential candidates and applicants for sales jobs will, too, use social media, and as of such it may be increasingly tempting to use social media to recruit sales staff.

LinkedIn seems to provide the best blend of business and social media - allowing individuals to display their experience, but it to has its caveats. To help you conquer the world of social media recruitment we've compiled a quick pros and cons list of social media & LinkedIn.

For a more in-depth guide on how to properly utilize social media check out 'How to Recruit Effectively with Social Media'.

Social Media Pros


Social Media recruitment is free, it costs nothing to go onto candidate profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (presuming they're public not private) and have a root around. While this doesn't equate to reading through CV's etc. it does allow you gain further insight into a candidate's life without spending any extra pennies. Here's our FAQ on Recruitment Costs.


As mentioned just above; using social media when recruiting can let you understand a candidate's personality, and how they behave outside of work. This can indicate if they're a party animal, if they share lots of interesting news - or even if they often say undesirable things for all to see. Do remember, however, that while someone may act one way in their personal life - it may have no impact on their professional capacities, it's about judging character in both realms. Remember, social media isn't enough to give insight into personal qualities - but the right interview questions can be.


By far the best advantage of social media is that it offers platforms for candidates to really be creative. There have been many stories of applicants using websites as innovative portfolios and CV's - but on social media people can constantly showcase their creativity. Social media permits recruiters to see if applicants are passionate about projects/interests and if they have talents which are harder to communicate in a CV or cover letter.

Social Media Cons

Discrimination Issues

It is illegal to discriminate for reasons of age, race, religion, gender, physicality, health, marital status, and more  (check out our article on discrimination law here). If a candidate has reason to suspect you've discriminated against them based on what you've found online you could be in trouble. Not only would you be liable to charges, but you could also have misinterpreted what you've seen. What is depicted online is not always the whole story, nor is it completely representational of a person's character.

Falsified Personas

Leading on from the last point, candidates can manipulate their social media output - making them appear far more desirable than, in reality, are. For example, an individual could share hosts of news articles on their Facebook - making them seem educated, without ever having read them. They could present themselves as composed and professional through their photo/media uploads - when they might not be. Take everything you see with a grain of salt.

Encourages Oversight

Using social media also overlooks relevant experience, it will never equate to a CV's capability at detailing an individual's experience and history. If you do choose to use social media in your recruitment campaign make sure you balance it by giving due diligence to applicant CV's, cover letter's, and references. Using social media is never enough on it's own - it won't give you a holistic idea of whether a candidate is suitable for your business. For more advice on analysing applicants, check out how to shortlist candidates.

LinkedIn Social Media Recruitment Campaigns and their impact

In short - it doesn't ultimately change the face of recruitment. But it does add another recruitment
channel, and it is an incredibly useful tool for recruitment.

LinkedIn has two major facets which alter the recruitment game:

Personal Profiles

Personal profiles are the basic user account on LinkedIn these let users market themselves towards other users, and companies. They can act as an extended CV, detailing employment history, skills, and personal qualities and interests. Skills can even be commended by peers to add credibility to claims.

Pros of LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn profiles are beneficial for recruitment because they allow for recruiters to ascertain an individuals skills and interest, and employment history, at a glance. This provides insight, and also validation to their claims. For a first impression its an incredibly useful tool - and can be used to reach out for candidates who aren't applying for roles actively should you wish to headhunt. Profiles also detail an individuals connections (people they've digitally networked with) - to see if they have any useful contacts, or if their contacts are spammy - suggesting they have little credibility and try to offset it with masses of useless contacts.

Cons of LinkedIn Profiles

Contrastingly so, LinkedIn profiles can contain falsified information, or have skills reviewed by peers - boosting their image to one above their genuine capabilities. As of such recruiting from LinkedIn has to consider alternate routes of validation - using references, checking CV, and always interviewing a candidate. Should you look at a candidate they will also get a notification to say you've been on their profile - which can be troublesome if you wish to remain unknown.

Company Pages on LinkedIn

Company Pages, albeit still in their early stages, are community facing pages for brands and companies. Allowing a business to share information with it's following, and must exist for users to claim they have worked there - all decent employers should have one of these pages. If a user claims to work for a business, and it doesn't have a page it would suggest the business doesn't exist, or isn't savvy enough to use LinkedIn. But maintaining one has pros and cons for LinkedIn recruitment.

Pros of Company Pages

Having a company page on LinkedIn allows you to interact with professionals in your market - allowing for you to work on your brand, and getting it into relevant spheres. Create and share the right content on LinkedIn and you can position yourself as an expert in your field. Perhaps, more importantly for recruitment you can post job roles on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has its own job posting system - allowing candidates to apply to you directly - however this is severely limited in function, and is typically a good way to create a longlist of candidates before slimming it down.

Cons of Company Pages

Company pages are also a burden - if poorly maintained it reflects negatively on your business, damaging your brand identity. Job postings on LinkedIn only allow for users to apply using LinkedIn's own 'quick apply' - which uses the information on a users profile to make an ad-hoc CV and allows user to type a brief cover letter. This means the information you get is rarely specialized, and provides a general overview - not helping at all to determine candidate suitability.

As of such using LinkedIn to post jobs cannot be relied on to find and recruit a proper candidate, it needs to be combined with traditional methods. Using a recruitment agency is often the best way, as they know the best circles in which to post jobs and to longlist candidates - and then shortlist them to deliver you a tailored selection of the best candidates. Recruiting alone, or purely on social media prevents you from getting the full picture, and while it can provide incredibly useful insight into an individual's creativity and talent, it's best to use it for a closer interrogation of already shortlisted candidates.

To find the perfect professionals for your business a recruiter can often provide valuable assistance, critiquing and shortlisting candidates to save you time and expense. Fortunately, Aaron Wallis do just that - better than anyone else,  see what we do here.