HOK Talent Solutions “Tuesday Tips” Edition 1 – Summer-Autumn 2021

Every Tuesday on our HOK Talent Solutions LinkedIn page we post a ‘Tuesday Tip’. Here are our most popular tips for the first half of 2021. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn to receive the latest tip every Tuesday.


4 Top tips for hiring managers


1. Re-imagine recruitment processes

If your organisation’s policy is to conduct police (and/or other background checks) before making an offer to a candidate, then you just might miss out.

Third-party providers, such as PeopleCheck Pty Ltd – A HireRight Company, are currently advising customers of delays, given the increase in demand.

To counteract this, some clients we work with are issuing employment contracts with a ‘subject to’ clause, as after all, the candidate in question should know if the police check will reveal anything that may prevent them from joining.

Now is the time to re-think and re-imagine recruitment processes to ensure you can recruit the best people to your team.

2. Communicate with your incoming employee

Communicate, communicate and communicate… with your incoming employee.

In this candidate tight market, it’s quite likely that your new hire is still being approached about great opportunities whilst in their notice period. Or, they are dealing with a manager who just doesn’t want to let them go. This can put YOU in a precarious position.

We recommend you be in touch every week during your incoming employee’s notice period – whether that’s an invitation to a team ‘meet and greet’, going out for coffee, providing them with their induction program ahead of time or just calling to say ‘hi – how are you feeling?’

Each ‘touch’ will ensure that the candidate is well on their way to joining you and leaves them in no doubt that they have made the right choice

3. Manage challenging responses

We know we’re working in a candidate short market when every day, we receive responses like these:

“Thanks for reaching out. With economic uncertainty over the short to medium term, I am placing a bigger emphasis on job security rather than my career progression at the moment”

“I’m just calling to let you know that I’m withdrawing from my second interview on Thursday with XYZ as ABC offered me a role today – on the spot!”

“Whilst the role you are talking about sounds great, the other two roles I’m looking at are paying more and offer me better flexibility, but thanks for thinking of me”

If you are hiring #hse talent into your team, how will you respond to each of these scenarios in order to secure the best talent?

4. Attract new talents

Talented #HSE candidates are receiving multiple approaches about #HSE opportunities.

Contractor rates and salaries are on the rise to meet the market demand.

Flexibility to work from home is now a clear expectation.

What is your organisation doing to attract new talent?

Here are our tips:

  1. Review your recruitment strategy. Is the advert you’ve placed enticing or just a task list? And the PD? What’s in it for the candidate? How are you engaging them through the process? Are the interviews a two way street?
  2. If you’re hiring a contract role and have 1 star candidate, don’t deliberate just because you want a benchmark. You have nothing to lose – hire them, because if you don’t, somebody else will.
  3. If you are hiring a permanent role and your policy is to have 5 candidates on a shortlist, be flexible. The market is telling us that 3 on a shortlist is the norm.
  4. Don’t have delays between first and second interviews. If you don’t move quickly, they just may take the other role they’re interviewing for


7 Top tips for candidates


1. Prepare your job interview

When preparing for your next #HSE job interview, take the time to think through the best examples that will showcase your skills.

Choose examples that the interviewer can easily relate to. Eg. if you are interviewing for a health and safety role where you know that the business is driving change, make sure that ALL of your examples demonstrate your ability to deliver change.

When asked for examples to demonstrate your #HSE expertise in areas like investigations, risk mitigation and continuous improvement, your best examples will be those that centre around the organisation’s risk profile, which is easy to guess, even if it hasn’t yet been discussed.

And, use a breadth of examples from more than one workplace, to demonstrate your ability to adapt to different work environments. But, be smart about it, you need to also ensure that they fit the new company that you want to join.

Practice makes perfect! Remember Helen and Rachael are always available to help you prepare.

2. Manage the request for your current manager to be a referee with confidence

In some recruitment processes, hiring managers will ask to speak to your current manager. This can be confronting, particularly if you weren’t expecting it and you’ve not been open with your manager.

If you feel the slightest bit apprehensive, then it’s perfectly acceptable to ask that this only be done once the other references are completed and when you are deemed the ‘preferred candidate’.

And, if your manager tries to counter offer you before you have even committed to the other organisation, remember why you are seeking to leave.

3. Update CV’s and LinkedIn profile

When job seeking, the first natural step is to update a CV, however often LinkedIn is forgotten about and it’s just as, if not more important.

  • What does your LinkedIn profile tell your future employer?
  • Do dates, job titles and qualifications align to your CV?
  • Have you made your opening statement just as compelling as the one on your CV?
  • Is your photo a professional one?

Remember, if you are applying for a role, it’s natural for recruiters or hiring managers to check out your LinkedIn profile, so it’s really important to ensure that you spend just as much time perfecting it as you do your CV.

4. Only include relevant personal details on your CV

These days, it isn’t necessary to include your date of birth, your marital status, your nationality or home address (add the city or suburb if it’s relevant). It’s also old school to include a photo (unless, perhaps, you are a model or actor). And hobbies? Ask yourself whether they will add value to you being selected for the interview.

Your email address, mobile phone number and link to your LinkedIn page (which mirrors your CV with dates of organisations + a professional photo) are your most relevant personal details.

5. Avoid ghosting

Ghosting. When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand. You’ll mostly see them avoiding friend’s phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public. Source, Urban Dictionary.

Recruitment Ghosting. When a person delays communicating with their recruiter with zero warning or notice beforehand. You’ll mostly see them avoiding the recruiter’s phone calls, emails and LinkedIn messages. Source Helen O’Keefe

With a hot #hsejobs market, some candidates are finding that they have more than 1 recruitment process to manage. With some processes moving more quickly than others, they feel unsure or awkward about how to navigate the slower moving role, so they start to avoid calls.

Our advice. If interviewing for more than 1 role, tell the recruiter. You don’t have to name the companies you are interviewing for, but the recruiter might be able to speed up processes, clarify questions or see if there is movement on salary – all so that you make the best possible career choice.

Next time you feel awkward, don’t ghost recruiters – you will gain much more respect by having an honest and upfront conversation. After all, it’s your personal brand that needs the most protection.

6. Answer positively about departing your previous role

How will you manage being questioned over why you made the decision to depart your last permanent role after only a brief tenure?

Naturally, it’s best to answer positively. Be confident. Keep it brief. Don’t let any ill feelings come out and importantly, don’t let your manner change.

A positive response could sound something like this – ‘unfortunately the role and the culture, as described to me, was not the right fit for me to thrive/do my best work. I’ve learned from that experience not to compromise on what’s important to me.’… (and then expect to talk through what is the right fit for you – and of course, align it to the role and the company in front of you).

7. Ask meaningful questions to your prospective new manager

Even if you feel your questions about the role were answered during the interview, there’s always questions to ask that will demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in the company and the people.

Here’s a few to add to your list:

“What will success in this role look like to you?”

“What do you think is the number one challenge to this role succeeding?”

“If you could change one thing about the organisation’s safety culture, what would that be?”

“What personal qualities/values do you seek in your team/s to ensure cultural fit?”

“How do you like to work with your direct reports?” (or, “If I asked your team about your leadership style, what would they say?”)

“I can see from LinkedIn that you have been here for a number of years, what have been the highlights for you in your role?” (or, “you haven’t been here long….what attracted you to the company?”)

“There was an article in the Financial Review about your CEO last month, can you tell me a bit more about that?”

“I read in your annual report that your employee turnover spiked last year, can you tell me about this?”

We are always here to help. Get in touch with us if you need any further advice.

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