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Archive for July, 2009

Heading for graduation?

July 14th, 2009   By   Filed Under: Candidates

Let’s now fast forward to those students who are part way through their degree and will be looking to start work in a year or two years time……

Do you have 1 or 2 years left on your degree? Now is the time to be thinking of your career!

Key is the consideration is that the jobs market is highly competitive, so you need to be able to stand out. How do you stand out as a graduate? Yes of course, the institution you study at and the grade you attain help recruiters assess your ability but there is a lot more you can do.

First up, have you considered internship? During those long summer vacations, why not work for a games company for 3 months and gain a real insight into working life. EA Internships place you on a live game team and hence give you really meaningful work on a game that will ship to millions of people…plus you get paid and most importantly you get you name into the game credits. You will also gain some vital contacts and build your network. If you are good you may even get a job offer for when you graduate.

Now imagine if you are the recruiter and you get a selection of cv’s. All are similar ie they come from great Universities and have strong grades but one cv has the added value of an internship. Which would you prioritise for interview?

HR rallies against retirement age

July 14th, 2009   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers

Most HR management professionals (64%) believe the mandatory retirement age causes a loss of valuable knowledge and talent, according to a survey from TAEN – The Age and Employment Network, and the Employers Forum on Age.

And of those that had removed the mandatory retirement age, more than three quarters viewed it as a positive step.

Chris Ball, chief executive of TAEN, says”The survey shows that the arguments against repeal of the national default retirement age (NDRA) do not correspond with reality. Most employers, even those that have mandatory retirement ages, say it is of no help in dealing with under-performing employees. Yet this was a major reason for the NDRA when the regulations were introduced.

“Similarly, while organisations with mandatory retirement ages say it helps their succession planning, those who have got rid of mandatory retirement say they get on fine without it.”

Security of postgrad courses sought by graduates

More than three in five graduates are contemplating further study due to the tough jobs market, according to figures from

The survey shows that 15% consider a postgraduate qualification is “essential”, 16% “beneficial”, while 13% did not think they needed a postgraduate qualification, but would still like one. spokesperson Mike Barnard says: “Postgraduate study is becoming increasingly popular among graduates who are taking a look at the harsh realities of finding a job this summer and realising they need to beef up their CV or face an uncertain future. Employers have fewer vacancies but more candidates applying, meaning they can be picky when choosing their graduate employees. If the skills don’t match up, a CV will go straight in the rejected pile – it’s that simple

The human face of recruitment

July 8th, 2009   By   Filed Under: Employers

I’m sat in a coffee shop, something I notice myself doing more and more, partly as it gets me out of the office but also a reflection of my work pattern that has significantly changed since the ‘R’ word arrived. Now some recruiters I talk to are all up beat, it’s about opportunity etc. etc. they have never had it so good and that may be true. Certainly my work in talent pooling, acquisition strategies etc. has increased but there are no two ways about it, on the front line, getting people into jobs has died and died dramatically.

Now before we go down the woe is me route, it will be ok, I have been around the block, have diversified into appropriate high value consultancy (but can cope with more, hint!) and do see the change in economic climate as an opportunity but in this profession I am in the minority.

When you dig a little bit deeper though, there is a slightly different story to tell, yes it is tough, but it is really that clients have changed their behaviour. More and more there is a move to an inhouse approach, talking direct to candidates, missing out the unvalued middle man recruiter.

For me this is an interesting move, for years clients have used recruitment organisations to fill the volumes of jobs they had, managing the process and supply chain rather than actually knowing how hard it is to attract talent, assess talent and successfully recruit the talent. Suddenly they are in the firing line and good news for us recruiters is that at last in some cases they actually appreciate how tough it is.

The perception has always been that recruitment companies did some advertising, got some CV’s and just emailed them in and to be fair, some did and still do. Those of us that have taken a value based, professional route know there is so much more to it and now some of those clients actually realised it.

In the main it’s the volume that has killed them, an organisation with a strong brand and access to a good pool of direct sourced talent can easily find themselves swamped. They don’t have the qualifying and assessment mechanisms in place that their recruiters used to have and they are drowning, often delivering a poor service to their candidates and because they are direct, damaging their employee branding. Not good for you, me or anyone.

The solution, well obviously in an ideal world they would come and talk to me but in reality these clients need to reassess their approach to the market and dare I dare I say it act like an agency!

When the ‘R’ word is over I will still be here to help my clients with the critical hires they will need to grow their business but I am here today to help get your inhouse capability on track, think like an agency, proactively manage the process and deliver the results you need yourself.

Martin Dangerfield

Kid Entrepreneurs Build iPhone App

July 8th, 2009   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Two young brothers turn their school math lessons into an iPhone app

One of the positive sides of a weak economy and the resultant lack of jobs is the huge increase in people starting their own businesses and following their dreams. One of the interesting ways to do this, can be in the form of your very own Apple App development. We’ve always thought that you need to be a real techy to understand how to build an app and thought that it was beyond our horizon as a result. We were very pleased to read the article below, written by Alexandra Cheney for Looks like it’s not just tech guys who get to do this…

Owen Voorhees may seem to be an unlikely tech entrepreneur, because he’s just 11. But for the past nine months, he climbed a mountain of self and parental doubt, overcame unfamiliar programming languages, and pored over college-level computer science textbooks…all to develop his own iPhone application. Last month, his app, MathTime, debuted in the App Store and quickly rose to No. 13 in the paid, educational apps section.

The premise of MathTime is simple: It takes the old-fashioned flash-card “mad minute” drill idea and adds a new-media twist. Players can practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on the phone by quickly solving problems with two taps of the phone: one to show the problem, one to display the answer.

“I thought it would be cool,” says the Hinsdale, Illinois, native. “It’s really cool to make something work, to make a little money, to do something like this and see it up” on the App Store.

After Owen established the basic premise of the game, his 9-year-old brother, Finn, designed the mathematical symbols in Photoshop. Once the design was done, the boys pitched the program to Apple.

“Nothing’s impossible if you don’t know it’s impossible,” says John Voorhees, Owen and Finn’s father, who created an app account and provided a bank account for the boys. “He dug into it all by himself. I didn’t touch a line of code.”

The App Store has more than 35,000 iPhone applications and games available for downloading. “These two kids are unusually young to have done that, but the development environment is so easy, novice programmers with good ideas can now develop something compelling,” says Matt Murphy, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Murphy also manages the iFund, a $100 million fund devoted to investing in start-ups that create apps for the iPhone.

Murphy believes the billion-dollar iPhone industry will keep growing. MathTime, a 99-cent application, was downloaded 141 times in a day. “It started booming,” says Owen, “I woke up, and I was like, ‘I’m an entrepreneur now.’”