Monday, 30 March 2020

Will Developed Nations Have an “Attitude Reset” Following Covid-19?

Criticism is easy…..

As a citizen of one of the richest countries on Earth, I consider myself extremely fortunate.
However, I am far from the first to consider that over the last decade or two, we have increasingly implemented our own, voluntary “social distancing”, through the myriad forms of social media we adopt.

There are many positive societal effects that these platforms deliver.  Crowd Funding and the recent minutes applause for the efforts of the NHS are unprecedented, positive outcomes that would have been impossible to choreograph in previous generations.

Currently, social platforms are playing a vital role in ensuring that everyone can maintain critical links with friends, colleagues and loved ones.  Speaking as someone who has seen no-one in person, including my kids, for ten days, I can attest to the value of that!

At the same time, it is hard to deny that they also create less desirable by-products….. The obvious, such as cyberbullying and trolling, online hate crimes and the proliferation of extremist ideologies of all types.  As well as less obvious, but equally pervasive issues, such as inculcating the necessity for instant gratification, or the requirement for constant attention, approval and feedback regarding the minutiae of daily life.  There is also the apparent increase in social anxiety and in some the sense of relative deprivation, due to the onslaught of information regarding everyone else’s apparently perfect existences…..

Online consumerism has irrevocably affected traditional retail and the human interaction it generates, as well as the economic and personal hardships that have accompanied the decline of that sector.

My social skills have certainly suffered as my default mode of interaction has become virtual….. undoubtedly I spend more time alone in willing and voluntary isolation than was never my intention, but it is the outcome nonetheless.

It has been alarming (and also liberating) to witness how quickly all the things we consider immutable and vital to our existence have dropped away in the space of a few short weeks…. Yet the Sun is still shining, the bees are buzzing and as artificial constructs are hibernating, the natural world is springing back to life.

In light of this and the devastation the current situation is wreaking upon so many, let’s hope that when this passes the entitled will feel a little less so and we can all reset our compasses in line with what really matters….. as opposed to what truly doesn’t.


Friday, 27 March 2020

How to keep your mind focused during self-isolation


If someone had told me they were self-isolating two months ago, I would have thought it was an excuse for an extended holiday!  However, today it's more common than hearing 'I'm making a cup of tea'.
It's only been a couple of weeks for my colleagues and me, but I already feel like I'm going stir crazy and miss the routine (and office banter) that we use to take for granted.
So, how can we cope better with this temporary new way of life and remain positive, with a healthy body and mind?

Structure and new routines
If you're like me, then structure and routine keep us fighting fit and mentally sharp.  So, I have continued to keep the structure in my day.  For example, I get up at the same time every day, start and finish work at the same time every day.  I shower, eat lunch, exercise, take breaks, check-in with colleagues, ring my mother and other family members at pretty much the same time every day.
I, like most, can be very distracted whilst working from home, so if I stick to a structure, I'm less likely to be eating chocolate whilst watching Netflix sprawled out on the sofa.  We can enjoy such activities of an evening and at weekends - roll on Saturday!
I've only been practising my new routine for a couple of weeks, but already it feels 'normal'.

Stay Active - keep moving - get some spring sunshine
Currently, we're being told we can spend an hour outside exercising.  For me, this is probably the most important hour of my day.  It really doesn't matter if that hour is spent walking, running, cycling but always try and make that activity outside.  Come rain, sun, hail or snow get out and get some fresh air.  For me, this is just as important for the mind as it is the body.  If for whatever reason you can't make it outside, then choose a workout at home/office.  I've reorganised the office using some light weights, chairs and desks to create a mini exercise circuit. 
There are also plenty of free exercise advice videos on YouTube.

Family, Family, Family and the dog
What a great time to spend more time together as a family.  The one benefiting the most from this period of self-isolation is the dog.  She's never had so much attention from everyone at the same time! In fact, the family has never spent so much time together!  Cooking together, eating together, games together, tv together, exercise together, family debates………………  If you're anything like me, then you'll need some time self-isolating from the family!!

Actually, we all need some space
As I'm writing this at the kitchen table, my wife's also in the kitchen on the phone to the bank, my son's asking "what's for breakfast?" whilst watching the tv too loud, and Flossie (our 17 week old puppy) is craving even more attention.  My daughter has the right idea and is locked away upstairs working at her laptop.
With everyone at home it's vitally important we find some space.  Too many people (over a prolonged period) in the same vicinity can often cause tension.  People have different needs for solitude and communication around this is the key to a happy home! 
Take breaks from each other, move to different areas around the house, be understanding, walk around the garden, pull up some weeds, do whatever's required to grab some precious time alone! 

Morning meditation
For many, finding time to meditate can be difficult.  Why not use this period of self-isolation to find time? Build it into the structure of your day - get up 10 minutes earlier, it's a great way to start your day.  I use Headspace and would recommend it to anyone new to meditation.

Turn the flaming news channel off!
When this all started, I found myself obsessed with every news article.  All people talked about was what they'd read or listened to.  Then everyone starts speculating, catastrophising and before you know it, it takes over your whole life.  Of course, it's essential to keep up to date with the latest news, but surely Boris @5 and the News at 10 is enough!!

Positive thoughts bring positive outcomes
Naturally, we're all experiencing difficult and worrying times. Still, we must remain positive.  Negative thinking WILL NOT help the predicament we're in.  As a family, we're using this time to reset, to understand what's really important and bring us all closer together.  If we work at remaining optimistic and positive, it will become 'the norm' in all that we do and keep the body and mind healthy. 
We're all self-wired - sometimes good, sometimes not so good - let's use this time to rewire those positive connections.  From my experience, we'll all start to notice the simple, positive things that used to pass us by.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Five tip-top tips to keep you in tip-top shape while working from home

Keeping healthy working from home
For high productivity levels, it’s essential to stay mentally and physically healthy while working from home. To ensure you are, read our 5 top tips!

1. Make sure you have fresh air and exercise


It can be challenging to make sure you get the exercise that your body needs when you have a comfy sofa together with a lack of desire to get out for a run, walk or bike ride! Whether it be a lunchtime walk with the dog or a morning run, it’s essential to have these activities in the day to help stimulate the mind, keep your fitness levels up and get plenty of Vitamin D.

2. Prepare meals when you can


This is a great way to ensure you’re eating fresh and healthy food, planning variation to your diet, and saving yourself time. Always a good idea on a Sunday evening to get your meals organised for the week ahead, this will also prevent you from finding a ‘quick fix’ from the cupboards…

3. Drink lots of water


Sounds simple but very important! Staying hydrated will prevent headaches, tiredness and slow brain function, giving you the energy, you need to keep fit and healthy.

4. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep


Getting enough sleep at night is essential to allow your body to work on maintaining your physical health and brain function. Having a positive impact on your concentration and productivity.

5. Stick to a routine


It is imperative to have a plan when working from home as it will help with all the above! It will keep you motivated and remind you of everything you need to do to stay healthy in the day. Make sure you have a routine with meals, exercise and work. A routine will help you develop the healthy habits you need to stay in tip-top shape!



Wednesday, 27 November 2019

How to Become a Billionaire - updated for 2019


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

The Richest People’s First Jobs & Education General Trends

80 of the world’s richest 100 people have earned a degree. Exactly a quarter of these graduated with a degree in engineering.


54% of the world’s richest started working in a non-family owned business.


14% of the World’s top 100 billionaires started their careers by setting up their own business.


2019 Trends

Are billionaires getting younger? In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg was the only individual in the wealthiest 100 under the age of 40. In 2019, there are now five top 100 billionaires below 40, with a trend of software entrepreneurs joining the list.

The wealth of China is becoming more prominent in the billionaire list. Over the last 2 years, China has moved from having the 4th most individuals in the wealthiest 100, up to 2nd, only behind the United States.

What type of person is more likely to become a billionaire? New research from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment examines the wealthiest 100 people’s career backgrounds.

The research suggests that engineering graduates are most likely to become billionaires, and if you want to become one of the world’s richest you should start your career as a software developer or in a stock trader role. Furthermore, you are far more likely to make the top 100 list if you are a graduate as 80% of the top 100 has 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 the type of their first job, which gave the following job roles as the top 5 results:


Starting Job Role
Count of Job Category
(Total = 54)
Engineer
8
Stock trader
8
Software Developer
7
Salesman
6
Analyst
5

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 = 80)
Engineering
20
Finance & Economics
12
Business
12
Sciences
4
Philosophy
3

For the full results of the study, please visit: https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/news/top-100-billionaires-2019.aspx

Rob Scott, Managing Director at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment said: “In 2019 we are seeing a shift in old-money wealth from minerals and resources to a new generation of billionaires from software entrepreneurship. It’s unsurprising that highly educated and technically experienced entrepreneurs are making their way to the top, with a degree being a great basis for the start of your career.”

Thursday, 29 August 2019

What Does Smart-Casual Really Mean?


The most common dress code in today’s climate seems to be ‘smart-casual’. When what you wear has a big impact on your confidence and productivity, it’s clearly important to get it right! How well do you understand what smart-casual means? Today we’re undressing it!

Smart Casual for Men
Smart casual menswear gives men a lot of freedom to use different colours and fabrics all year round to match the weather! Here are some options: 

When it comes to smart casual for men, you can’t go wrong with a smart shirt and chinos. Chinos are a great fabric for comfort and breathability but are tailored enough to ensure a smart and professional first impression. Dress this outfit up with watches and simple jewellery. Boat shoes are a good match for this look.


This look definitely sits at the more casual end of the spectrum. Tee shirt or polo shirt fabric paired with tailored or skinny jeans in formal colours such as black, navy and grey are also safe casual wear options. As long as you avoid ripped jeans, blue jeans and bright coloured tops, this is a smart and respectable look!


Sticking with jeans, this smart casual look includes layering and accessories, and whilst it takes liberties in some areas such as the sports trainers, it dresses up in other ways with the blazer jacket. This complicated smart casual attire can be broken down into tailored jeans and a colourful suit jacket to match the trainers over a simple white tee shirt. Practical, colourful, but definitely smart casual! 


This look is for the office fashionistas! Pair a shirt and monotone jumpers work with tailored jeans or chinos and accessorise to show a little personality. Check your company policy on hats and jewellery but definitely prioritise a smart watch and either a bold tie or bow tie. 


Smart Casual for Women

These looks look fantastic and professional but are simple enough to achieve! We’re going to break down some smart casual looks for women.

This bold look is both fashionable and formal and has perfectly achieved the smart casual balance.

It might look catwalk complicated but it’s super simple – tailored textured trousers, a soft white shirt and a statement jacket!

This look provides comfort but professional approachability and is great for layering warm clothes in the colder seasons.


For a more casual outfit, try wearing jeans, a monochrome tee shirt and a cardigan. Much like the men’s casual outfit choice, this look depends on monochrome colouring but super simple fashion pieces. Dress this look up with accessories such as necklaces, bracelets and watches and you’ll have achieved the right balance!


If you’re looking to achieve a look that means business, whether you’re a manager or out in the world networking, we recommend going for a smart casual look that is business on top and casual on the bottom.

This look uses a button up shirt, a smart tailored blazer jacket, jewellery, black jeans and Chelsea boots to achieve the perfect managerial outfit that’s as stylish as it is serious!
When it comes to dressing smart casual for women, we recommend you acknowledge the two key elements, of which you always have to achieve one – formal pattern and colour and/or traditional silhouette.

Today’s fashion is testing the limits by using formal print in casual cuts and casual prints in formal cuts. This plaid monochrome jumpsuit definitely adds some personality to the office!


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

How to conduct an effective video interview – a short guide for employers

Video interviews - a guide for employers

Employers are, quite rightly, increasing their use of Video Interviewing as the technology usually is free, and most people these days have a reasonable data connection at home. It can save time, money, unnecessary travel, and, when conducted effectively, can form an essential part of your recruitment process.

However, we hear from both employers and candidates the trouble that they’ve had in having a smooth communication. Typically both employers and candidates do not plan video interviews as well as face-to-face meetings, and consequently, time is wasted trying to get the process going. In this quick guide, we provide employers with quick tips to ensure that their video interviews are as professional as possible. 

This includes:
  • The benefits of video interviewing
  • In which situation should you use a video interview?
  • Critical steps to conducting an effective video interview
  • Common pitfalls and things to consider
Click here to access the free guide to conducting video interviews for employers.

Video interview tips for candidates to ensure that they perform their best at a Skype or video interview can be accessed here: https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/candidates/advice/how-to-succeed-in-a-skype-sales-interview.aspx

Monday, 12 August 2019

A Quick Guide to Aptitude Testing

A five-minute guide for employers on Aptitude Testing and how for a relatively small outlay they can significantly help improve your hiring success rates.  

What are Aptitude Tests

The guide includes:


  • What is aptitude testing?
  • The benefits of aptitude testing candidates
  • Types of aptitude tests
  • How to help put candidates at ease
  • How aptitude tests are evaluated
  • The Golden rule of Aptitude Testing


For more information and to read the free guide visit: What are aptitude tests

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Ethical Practice When Interviewing

A quick and easy to read guide on how to ensure that your interview process is ethical and straightforward tips on how to mitigate against 'unconscious bias'. 

The guide contains four tips, used in all public sector recruitment processes, to ensure that you implement an ethical recruitment process.

The guide can be downloaded here:

https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/employer/advice/ethical-interviewing

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Managing Employees Through Their Notice Periods

Notice periods are a two-way street. On the one hand, they protect the business, giving it time to replace a departing member of staff.

On the other, it allows the employee a time and/or financial buffer if the company wants to part ways with them.

In this article, we’ll examine notice periods and how you as an employer should use them when a member of the team resigns.

https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/employer/advice/employee-notice-periods

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

How to WOW in a competency based interview using the STAR method

Competency-based interviews have been around for a while now and are reasonably commonplace with companies that have a planned recruitment process.

However, every time that we mention to a candidate that their meeting will be competency-based, you can almost hear an audible 'shiver' descending through their spine. 

This has always been a decent page on our site, but I re-read it recently and felt that it needed sprucing up.

So, we've reviewed the page and expanded upon the commonly used STAR method to help candidates prepare for the type of questions that they will be asked.  Hope that it's useful!

How to WOW in a competency-based interview using the STAR method

Monday, 10 September 2018

Logic-Based Interview Questions For Employers


Brain teasers to source the brightest candidates

Logic-based interview puzzles are becoming increasingly popular in recruitment processes to help employers find the brightest candidates and gain insight into a candidate’s thought process.

Brain teasers are particularly popular in the tech sector, where employers want to find the most logical candidates who can help them advance with their next innovative product launch.

Famously, Google is very keen on logic puzzle interview questions, even ceasing to ask some of their more difficult questions as “they were too tricky”. More recently, tech giants like Airbnb and Facebook have adopted logic puzzle questions to find the right software developers to keep them ahead of the competition.

Integrating logic based interview questions into a recruitment process can be a great opportunity to see how a candidate thinks on their feet. It isn’t necessarily about getting the answer right but more of a measure to see how they apply logic and question the information provided. 

Too often interviews rely on evaluating the achievements of a person’s past, which is important, but logic-based questions can be a great indicator of how the candidate deals with the problems that are placed in front of them.

With this in mind, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment has collated a series of 3 great logic puzzle questions for employers to work into their recruitment processes. For more information click on this link: https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/employer/advice/logic-interview-questions

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

How To Resign & Resignation Letter Template

I was asked earlier for some tips on how to resign and what a resignation letter should contain.  We did already have an article on our site but I decided to expand upon this and include a sample template.

The article can be found here: https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/candidates/advice/resignation-letter-template

Friday, 24 August 2018

How to Get an Entry Level Sales Job

You may have discovered that your personality type is perfectly suited to a sales position. Sales jobs, despite the stereotypes, are not best carried out by people who are pushy, aggressive, and egotistical in their approach to dealing with customers. In fact, the best salespeople are modest and humble. In addition, if you are the kind of person who is highly conscientious (responsible and reliable), people-oriented, achievement-oriented, curious, and never discouraged by a challenge, then sales could be the right career path for you.

Finding a high-quality entry level sales job with good prospects can be a challenge. But there are many things you can do to make you an attractive candidate. Recruiters will want to see that you have the necessary experience and skills to excel in the position.

Work Experience

During 6th form, you’ll most likely get the opportunity to gain some work experience. If you want to increase your chances of getting an entry level sales job, then it’s worth specifically looking for short-term placements (usually 1-2 weeks, but sometimes longer) where you can get some sales work experience. Many larger companies, such as Microsoft, Nestle, Nissan, and Unilever offer summer placements.

If you’re still in school or studying at university, then it may be worth looking for part-time work. This would put you at a significant advantage over other candidates applying for an entry level sales job. There are plenty of jobs in retail, hospitality, and telesales available on a part-time basis. For instance, you could get relevant experience by working as a retail sales assistant.

Internships

Another option is to do an internship. These will also be a short-term commitment (usually ranging from a few weeks up to a few months), so they can easily be done during the summer holidays (if you’re at school or university) or after graduation. Some internships are longer term. For example, big companies like Microsoft and Nestle – as well as offering work placements – have opportunities for one-year industrial internships in sales or customer management.

Other recruiters offer internships in sales, marketing, or general management that act as a fast-track to graduate sales positions. Before agreeing to an unpaid internship, it’s important to find out, firstly, whether you can actually afford it. Many unpaid internships are full-time and based in London, so take into account all of the costs involved. Also, you need to figure out whether the internship is technically legal. You’re entitled to the minimum wage if you will be:

·         working set hours
·         doing work that would otherwise be done by an employee
·         working unsupervised
·         working under a contract (whether implied or explicitly expressed)
·         working to deadlines
·         managing staff

Basically, when you see a listing for an internship, or you’re interviewed for one, if it seems like you’ll be doing work which you would normally be paid for, then you probably should be paid for it.

Attending relevant networking events is another way to give you important insight into what a sales job is like, as well as help you to build essential skills, such as communication, active listening, and rapport building.

Skills That Look Good on a CV

Whether you do an internship, a work placement, or a part-time job, there are certain skills you can develop that will make you an ideal candidate for an entry level sales position. These skills include:

·         Communication
·         Product knowledge
·         Active listening
·         Rapport building
·         Teamwork
·         Negotiation
·         Networking
·         Customer service
·         Marketing
·         Management
·         Public relations
·         Persuasion
·         Public speaking
·         Presentation skills

Remember, though, you don’t just want to list these skills on your CV without any evidence to back them up. That’s easy, generic, and unimpressive. An employer will want to know specific examples of how you developed these skills, put them into practice, and achieved results and progress because of them.

A Relevant Degree

Earning a degree that is related to sales is not necessary to get you an entry level job. But it can give you a massive leg up. After all, the graduate jobs market is highly competitive. According to one Master Avenue’s 2018 survey, the degrees most likely to get you a sales job include Economics, Business Administration, and Marketing.

If you’ve already got a degree under your belt and it doesn’t really tie into sales, don’t worry – there’s no need to go back to university and pay for another degree. There are plenty of free online courses to help you gain the knowledge that will make you a prime candidate for an entry level sales job.

Ultimately, employers are looking for graduates who have relevant experience and who show commitment to their career progression. It is expected that 32% of a recruiter’s entry level sales jobs will be taken up by graduates with previous experience of working for that company. This means that getting a work placement or paid internship at a company you would love to work for will give you the best chances of landing a fulfilling and promising entry level job.



Guest Post: Sam Woolfe writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs. He is particularly interested in self-development, psychology, mental health, and the future of work. Most of all, though, Sam is passionate about helping people find work that is meaningful and fulfilling. You can follow him on Twitter and find more of his work at www.samwoolfe.com.