Do you want to hire a true game-changer? The answer to that question might seem to be "yes" for every new person that you recruit, but there is a particular type of candidate that has recently attracted the attention of HR managers in many science companies for varying departments, including Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, R&D and : the 'purple squirrel'.



These especially rare individuals are associated with a combination of exceptional talent and an often 'maverick' personality type that can make them difficult to manage. While they are therefore not necessarily the best team players, being somewhat unconventional at times, there are nonetheless significant rewards to be had when they are successfully integrated.

At their best, the 'purple squirrel' can bring dazzling new perspectives to your organisation and push it in a decisive and successful new direction - possessing the education, skills and experience to be major innovators. Celebrated businesspeople who have been described as 'purple squirrels' include James Dyson, Philip Green and David Ogilvy.

However, it is many of the unique characteristics of the 'purple squirrel' that can also make them difficult to pick up via the more traditional recruitment methods. None of the three aforementioned individuals, for example, possessed a university degree, meaning that they would have been missed by a more competency-based hiring approach.

Instead, science employers looking to pick up a 'purple squirrel' are advised to apply more aspiration-based search and hiring techniques. To know where to look, it is a good idea to first ask yourself what incredible results you would like your organisation to achieve. You will then be able to start defining the kind of person who could produce them.

Adopting this more lateral perspective will lead you to consider individuals who you might not have ordinarily deemed suitable for your vacancy. However, it is also crucial to understand the very different motivations that 'purple squirrels' can have. Such candidates are much more likely to ask about your company's direction and values than the size of the financial package on offer or how many promotions they could rack up.

The key to finding the elusive 'purple squirrel' is disruptive talent searching, rather than the received wisdom of more established recruitment methods. Land such a candidate, however, and your organisation could be set for a new era of innovation and profitability - just as long as it is willing to adapt in turn to the exciting newcomer. 

Interview Tips for Introverts



Life as an introvert can be difficult enough without the intensified environment of a job interview. Whether a candidate is seeking a role in biochemistry, genetics, virology, pathology or any number of other science fields, there's enough to think about for the interview process without also having to worry about how you will come across to prospective employers.

Introverted job candidates often fear that they will compare poorly to their extroverted peers in such an inherently social situation. However, by playing to their strengths and creating the right personal branding, introverts, too, can deliver standout interview performances that get them hired. Here are some interview tips for introverts. 

Prepare well


This is one of the areas where an introverted job aspirant can thrive. By gathering all of the information that they can about the company and position - in addition to the finer points of their CV and what they are likely to say in the interview - in advance.

By taking steps the day before the interview to practice your answers to likely questions, organise any documents that you will bring with you and trying on your outfit for the interview, you can relieve a significant amount of stress.


Work on the basis of your strengths


It can be easy for employers to make unfair assumptions about introverted candidates, so you will need to carefully consider how to express yourself at interview. Are there certain personality traits, qualifications or skills that you would like to emphasise?

Remember that knowing your strengths as an introvert is one matter, but actually selling them to the prospective employer is quite another. The aforementioned self-assessment should give you a greater awareness of the qualities that you can market to hiring managers.

Introverts, for instance, can be good listeners, so you may wish to explain how such skills have contributed to past projects. You should be sure to back this up with examples of praise accorded to you by previous employers - especially given that as an introvert, it may not come naturally to you to 'brag' about your successes.


Take a confident approach


Though this may seem like the hardest thing to do as an introvert, rather than worrying about how your personality could compromise the interviews against the extroverted competition, try to follow our interview tips for introverts and feel confident in your interview style.

An introvert can easily succeed in an interview context with the right self-branding that helps to show their value as an employee in their own right. By taking the right approach to interviews, introverts can mark themselves out as indispensable prospective employees.  

We hope these interview tips for introverts will help you sail through your next interview. To browse the latest science jobs in your field, take a look at our Job Recruitment page here. 

In a bid to connect employers and job hunters via Twitter the UK’s first Twitter Job Fair took place this week on Tuesday 24th February at the Twitter Headquarters in London - and I was lucky enough to be involved.  

The Twitter Job Fair 2015 initiative made careers-related advice and news accessible to Twitter users all over Europe. The concept was first launched last year in Germany and was very successful. This year the Twitter Job Fair was held several European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

 

 

The UK’s Twitter Job Fair, worked with over 50 businesses in the UK including L’Oreal, John Lewis, GSK, Nestle and British Gas. These well recognised companies along with key careers spokespeople gave UK tweeters the opportunity to seek careers advice, find out about job vacancies, get job application/interview tips and ask careers-related questions using the dedicated #YourJob.

 

My thoughts

Confidence in the job market right now is higher than it has been pre recession. So with confidence in the market more employers are hiring and more people are switching jobs. The Twitter Job Fair was a great way to show people how to use tools readily available to maximise their chances to look for jobs and assess their future career. As somebody who runs a recruitment business and has been in extremely competitive application and interview processes, it was great to be able to share career tips, advice and my experience and knowledge of how businesses are using Twitter to recruit. There were some great questions!

 


What are the benefits of using Twitter?

  • Provides people with the opportunity to communicate directly with a wide range of companies and services for information
  • Allows people to engage with businesses and potential employees, and find out more
  • Smaller companies are able to reach new and varied potential employees that they wouldn’t normally have been able to communicate with through traditional channels (print, TV, radio)
  • A quick and simple way to share news and discuss shared passions with like-minded people
  • A great way to raise your business and personal profile and is the quickest way to get the message out about you or your company and it's absolutely FREE!

With more and more recruiters posting vacancies on a daily basis, Twitter users in the UK and across the world are embracing the digital platform as an alternative way of seeking employment. So if you haven’t already signed up, make sure you do! The process is very straightforward, all you need to create an account is an email address and a password, and you’re ready to go! Your dream job is probably being tweeted at this very moment. So what’s stopping you?

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for a science job, technology job or engineering job, make sure you visit our Twitter page @Hyperec_HRS  our recruiters are always busy posting the all the latest vacancies.

And just to prove using Twitter really can help with your career, our very own Marketing Officer found her job at here Hyper Recruitment Solutions through our Twitter page!

If you missed out here is the timeline from my Q&A session: https://twitter.com/TwitterUK/timelines/570277201275551744

 

January has been a busy month. Your New Year’s Resolution - to "get that dream job". You've been busy sending off CVs and now the hard work is paying off, interview offers are starting to come in. Congratulations on making it through to this stage. 

You've researched the company’s background, looked over the job description and rehearsed your answers to questions you think you are likely to be asked. Great! This will certainly help you in the interview. But did you know? The language you use in your responses may well be the deciding factor on whether or not you are successful.


You arrive for your interview - are you ready?

Dressed in your smartest suit, you arrive nice and early. You tell the receptionist you’re here for an interview. You’re feeling confident and proud of yourself. There’s not doubt about, it you've worked hard to get to this stage, but it’s not over yet. Just one more hurdle to overcome, the actual interview. This is probably the most daunting part of the whole recruitment process. So, whilst you’re sitting in reception waiting to be called, why not use the time to fill your head with some last minute positive thinking. 

 

 

Do you know WHAT to say and HOW to say it?

From the informal to the formal there are many types of interviews, but one that you are likely to come up against is the competency-based interview. Ever heard that "Tell me about a time when…" question? It probably sounds like a simple question but during an interview it’s so easy to forget that answer you've been trying to memorising for the last few days. Don’t worry, we've all been there. When this happens we end up missing out key details and usually give a really unstructured answer.

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions we always encourage our candidates to use techniques like ‘STAR’. This model will really help you to formulate a structured response, which will in turn ensure you give a well thought out answer.

 

 

Here are some examples of how can you use this model to ensure your responses are structured and positive.

 

Talk about challenges

Interviewer: ‘tell me about a time when you failed at a task”

Avoid using phrases like “I’ve never failed at anything before” or “I never make mistakes”. We've all faced challenges both professionally and personally. These responses simply show that you are lying. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are not only capable of dealing with difficult situations but you've actually learnt from the experience.

Candidate: “When things didn’t quite go to plan, I made sure I…so next time…”

 

Talk about weaknesses

Interviewer: ‘Do you have any weaknesses?”

It’s a fact; we can’t be good at everything so there will something you’re not good at doing. When you’re asked this question, don’t focus on how bad you are – turn a negative into a positive

Candidate: “I would like to learn…” or “I…to overcome this challenge in the past" or “I asked a colleague to help me.”

 

Leave a positive lasting impression

When you walk into the room make sure you introduce yourself and shake hands with the interviewer. When you leave, thank the interviewer for inviting you for an interview. End on a positive note, why not mentioning something you came across during your research? Simple things like this will ensure the interviewer has a positive impression of you.

Candidate: “I noticed that you have a company football team” or "it was great to meet the team, I think I would fit in well."

Bottom line, when it comes to interviews knowing what to say and how to say it is critical. Using the right language will ensure you deliver a lasting impression and a positive experience. Remember as I always our MD Ricky Martin always says #thinkpositivebepositive. Good luck!

For more interview advice and questions please visit our website.

Described by Claude Littner as an ‘Australian Ricky’ - but did he live up to the reputation? 

 

It’s been another entertaining series of The Apprentice this year and no doubt we were all on the edge of our seats watching Bianca Miller and Mark Wright battle it out in the final task. I am sure most of us would agree that both candidates deserved to be in the final.

After a grueling 12 weeks, Mark Wright was finally crowned as the 10th Apprentice winner. And it came as no surprise; Mark showed himself to be a worthy candidate throughout the process should be congratulated on his outstanding performance. 

I am really looking forward to seeing another Apprentice winner embarking on a career in ‘selling a service’ as opposed to a commercial product. Mark’s business idea involves digital marketing and search engine optimisation to help push small and medium sized businesses up online searches. I can appreciate Mark’s business aspirations in terms of providing a service to clients/customers as similarly, my business idea was to offer a service.  

Mark should be respected for what he has achieved. His desire to start up a new business in a very competitive market place in another country was an extremely brave decision. I can completely relate to how hard it is to start a business in a crowded market place. However sometimes, its challenges like these that drive you even further to achieving your goals. 

I absolutely love watching The Apprentice and it’s no secret that year was especially exciting for me. I could never have imagined that I would be sitting on the opposite of the desk as the interviewer – when only two years ago I was an interviewee! It was a surreal experience for me. Having been a candidate myself, I can really appreciate how gruelling and intense the interview experience must have been for the remaining five candidates. 

Advice for Mark 

Lord Sugar has not just invested in Mark’s business idea; he has invested in him as a person. Mark has showed some incredible attributes throughout the 12 week process. He came across as having the right ‘people skills’ that Lord Sugar is looking for. Lord Sugar invests time and money in people who show they can commit to making their ideas happen. And having interviewed him myself, it was clear he not only had relevant knowledge, skills and experience he genuinely had the passion and drive to succeed. For those reasons, I am confident he will be successful. 

Final thoughts 

I graduated as a Biochemist back in 2006 and this fuelled my passion for a career in the Life Science sector. I then spent over seven years working in the recruitment sector on behalf of the science community. I really enjoyed working in the recruitment industry, talking to clients and candidates from the science field supporting science jobs / careers. 

At that moment in my career, I felt I had reached a point where I had the relevant qualifications and experience to set up my own recruitment agency. Those who know me, know that science is a subject I am extremely passionate about. My goal was to set up my own recruitment scientific consultancy. So in 2012 I applied for the Apprentice. Wow! What a life changing experience that was.

Winning the Apprentice and receiving that all important £250 cash injection from Lord Sugar meant that my dream became a reality. I was able to finally set up my own company, Hyper Recruitment Solutions. Two years on my ambition to develop the landscape of science recruitment and make a positive impact to the Science & Life Sciences industries is a reality. It just shows that with hard work, commitment and dedication you can achieve your goals. 

The movement you hear the words “You’re hired” your life instantly changes. I wish Mark every success with his new company and welcome him to The Apprentice family! Oh and Mark - don’t forget to think about HRS when you need to recruit for your future sales workforce - just give one of our friendly recruitment consultants a call and we will find the right people for you ;)

My advice to anyone who is thinking about setting up a new business, is to never give up on your dreams, always follow your passions. If you fail the first, second or third time, don’t give up. Think positive and keep going.

So if you’ve been inspired to follow your business dream why not apply for next year’s Apprentice. Think you’ve got what it takes to be Lord Sugar’s next business partner? Apply now what have you got to lose? 

 



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