Posts Tagged 'Recruitment'

#TRULondon and the World of Graduate Recruitment

So I know I’ve written mostly about my students recently – apologies if that’s not what you come here for! Indulge me once more though if you will…

Next week (17th Feb to be precise) some of the Middlesex University Bright Futures committee and I will be attending #TRULondon.  Sadly our attendance wll be a bit limited due to the raft of presentations and work due to be completed that week, however we’re incredibly excited to be coming and will be running a track on Thursday afternoon about what it’s like to be a student tackling the graduate recruitment processes these days. Well. Not me. I have almost finished my BA in Recruitment Practice but, you know, I’m not wholly sure I’ll be done in time for graduation this year… :s

Final year students face some huge challenges at the best of times: Slogging through the toughest year of their studies in addition to job hunting (though not as you and I know it) and often juggling part-time work and family commitments as well.

To you and I, job hunting probably means tweaking your CV a bit and labouring over a nice covering letter. Now this is work enough, but students have it even harder: The application forms for a lot of graduate schemes are projects unto themselves! Highly reflective, essay-style questions that take time and work to complete. If (IF!) you make it through the first round screening then there’s a good chance you’ll have to sit a raft of skills tests – literacy, numeracy and sometimes logic too. Now I’ve never sat any of these for real myself, but I’ve done plenty of practice ones and let me tell you now that all common sense goes out the window when you see a little clock ticking in the corner of the screen and a raft of numbers in front of you! I can only imagine how much more stressful they are when you’re trying to do your best to get onto a scheme with a company you really want to be a part of! Then there’s the interviews, the assessment centres and, if the stars align, maybe a job at the end of it all! I can’t begin to tell you how many hours work go into each and every graduate scheme application.

But obviously there’s not just the big schemes, and that’s often what a lot of students fail to realise and where universities, friends and family can really add some value. All those wonderful SME’s out there who could benefit from a bright, enthusiastic grad and vice versa!

The single biggest hurdle I’ve come across when working with students has been getting them to realise that, no matter what company a person works for, they are just that: A person. We get employees to come in and talk to the students wherever possible and I also like to drag them along to networking events and so on when I can. The feedback is always resounding: They are just normal, nice people! Who knew, eh!? ;)

Aside from taking the fear away a little, the networking is fantastic. It’s so great to be able to talk to and get advice from someone who’s shoes you might like to be in a few years from now. It’s nice to hear real stories and to know you’re not the only person out there who’s found it tough. It’s also great when they identify that, actually, they have friends and family already in the industry who might be able to help them too!

The other big challenge I often face is getting students to see the value of what they do. One girl I spoke to the other week had been running her own dance business for years but it wasn’t even on her CV! Despite marketing it herself, sorting out the finances, taking lessons, working with schools, choreographing and hosting events… She’d mentioned it in passing under Hobbies & Interests on her CV and that was it. All that amazing business experience not mentioned anywhere because she didn’t consider it to be a “real job”, just something she enjoyed doing and that she happened to make a bit of money out of!

We all need to do more to help the next generation of business men and women. Many big companies won’t even come to our university because we’re not Russell Group or one of their target uni’s, and many of the students don’t have the billion UCAS points required to even apply to some of the big schemes due to personal circumstances. I understand why things are as they are, but as one person said in one of the higher ed employability forums this week: How is that not discrimination?!

I hate the term “employability” though. The meaning gets so warped that I don’t even know what people mean when they say it half the time! Judgements are made on so much more than skills and sometimes I think that being employable just means being able to distinguish yourself from everyone else! But these are all the things we will be discussing at #TRULondon this week and we really hope you’ll join us for the debate! :)

In addition to myself, you can meet six wonderful young men and women from Middlesex University, all of whom have done me incredibly proud this year:

Top 100

So 100 was a good number. Not an exact number, but a pretty close estimate. It was the number of attendees the Middlesex Bright Futures Society had at their first event the other week and it’s a number I’m very proud of!

I try not to get overly involved in the day to day running of the society – I have plenty of experience organising events and working in the corporate world. The idea is for the committee to get as hands-on as possible and just use me to bounce ideas off and steer things back on track if needs be (not that this ever seems to happen!) so, while I was involved in the event, I was hardly a key player. From room booking to catering to marketing to inviting corporate sponsors, I was really impressed with the way the committee pulled together to organise such an awesome event! Everyone played a part and played to their strengths!

The format for the first event was kept as simple as possible. As it’s the first year of having a Bright Futures Society on campus at Middlesex University, we needed to hammer home what the society was about and what the students can get out of it, rather than being too creative early on. So the format was simple: Three corporate speakers, talking about their company, their experiences and what they look for in graduates when they’re recruiting.

Thanks to Julius Kessy and Kenneth Izevbigie, we ultimately had a rep from Centrica, one from the ACCA and two from IBM. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed all three presentations! I suppose that was a little presumptuous of me, but it’s true…

Both Centrica and IBM sent employees who were former students at Middlesex, which was an excellent move. The students identified instantly with the speakers and it was great to see such success stories taking the time to come back and spread the word to current students! It was also lovely to see Joakim Feltborg again, having worked with him the previous year – oh how the tables have turned! :)

Centrica surprised me with the versatility of their scheme. They only require a 2:2 (fairly unheard of) and have no hang-ups about UCAS points – something which I am quite passionate about for a variety of reasons! They judge applicants almost entirely on the calibre of their application and where they are at in their lives now. I thought this was an incredibly refreshing approach and, as the presenter was clearly passionate about the company and the graduate scheme, this only made them all the more appealing!

ACCA surprised me because I’m not an accounting/finance person and, while the information wasn’t particularly relevant to me, they still managed to keep it interesting and informative!

IBM, frankly, left me very much wanting to work for the company! They had sent two reps – one on the graduate scheme and another on her placement year there. They did an energetic tag team presentation, covering all areas of the company, schemes and company culture.

We had over 75 student attendees in the end (I say over because, although 75 signed in, there were quite a few who sneaked in through the back and side doors of the lecture theatre without registering), plus a range of lecturers and careers/placement staff, plus myself and the committee, which totally to something in the region of 100 attendees in the end. I don’t know how this compares to other societies, but I thought it was an excellent number!

We are planning our next event to be a more hands-on affair with some business games and the like. There is lots to do between now and March but I have no doubt the committee will do a sterling job! :)

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If you would like to meet the Middlesex Bright Futures Committee, we will be leading a track on graduate recruitment at #TRULondon on Thursday 17th March. Come along and say hello!

The Future’s Bright…

So it was @thesourceress who first introduced me to Bright Futures some 6+ months ago. I have to say, I fell in love with the idea straight away. It’s a simple but clever concept which is totally symbiotic. Graduate recruiters get to meet, eye up and potentially headhunt the up-and-coming talent, while keeping their finger on the pulse of generation Y. At the same time, students get to network with corporates, get noticed, build their employability skills, gain experience and have fun. CLEVER!

Basically throughout the year the Bright Futures committee for each university organises a range of activities and workshops which are attended and sponsored by the Bright Futures corporate partners. And there are some big names involved, including all of the Big Four, BT, Tui, Nestle, and so on. Bright Futures themselves also have regional events where committee members can learn valuable skills (it was networking at the one I went to the other week, and very good it was too!) from corporates and external trainers to really help build confidence and make their society a success. They also run competitions throughout the year for all society members to take part in, with some excellent, employability-focussed prizes. From my side of the fence if nothing else, it is a very professionally run set-up which really achieves what it sets out to do.

Anyway. I umm-ed and ahhh-ed for ages about setting up a society. It’s a student-led thing (which technically I am) but my issue is that, as a non-full timer (and some *cough* 10+ years older than the majority of students) I don’t really have many student friends, as such. What I do have, however, is a core of bright, proactive final years who I advise on employability two days a week, so it was to them I turned.

I ought to have known better really. I invited all those proactive enough to have taken up my invite of coaching/support/whatever-you-want-to-call-it over the summer holidays to meet with me and discuss the society and how they might like to get involved. I knew they wouldn’t all turn up (it was technically still holiday time, after all) but, as it was, eight did. I thought that I was going to have to harangue them all in to joining or at least playing a part, and that I would end up doing the lions share of the work. As it was, every last one of them wanted to join the committee and roles were actively (though thankfully not physically…) fought over. I even bowed out as President so that one of them could take the helm!

I have been humbled by all eight of my fellow committee members over the last couple of months. They are resourceful, commercial young men and women, full of ideas and all working their butts off to get good degrees, apply for graduate schemes, work part-time jobs (in some instances), be good parents (in other instances) AND run our busy little society. They have helped one another out with all sorts of things and worked so well as a team, focussing on strengths and positives rather than weaknesses and negatives. We have nearly 100 fully paid up members so far and nearly 300 further students have registered their interest with us. Our first event will run before Christmas and I’m really looking forward to it! :)

Some of my blog posts are a bit hard on the students. Some of them are ranty, I know. This one is not.

The following Middlesex University Business School students are on our Bright Futures committee. If you are looking to recruit a graduate next year, I strongly recommend you start here…

President – Kenneth Izevbigie (also on Twitter as @Kenny_I)
Vice President
Julius Kessy
Treasurer
- Kevin Izevbigie (also on Twitter as @KevinIze)
Secretary – Mansah Gbesemete
Events Co-ordinatorMartina Stromkova (though you’ll have to wait an extra year for her as she’s only a second year)
Public Relations - Dominika Bzdyra
Corporate Liaison OfficerJaspal Jassal (also on Twitter as @JaspalJassal)
Corporate Liaison OfficerNatasha Tsoka

He’s Just Not That Into You

So Mr J and I watched the movie He’s Just Not That Into You the other day. Bit mainstream compared to our usual selection, but I like a chick flick every now and then. I have to say though; I wasn’t impressed with this one! 

Now I’m not much of a feminist, but the women in this movie give women everywhere a bad name, in my opinion. Needy, obsessive, untrusting, etc… Regular bunny boilers, frankly! Not that the men fared much better: Heartless, cheating users the lot of them!

What I did take away from the movie though was a lesson about expectation management and realising you are probably not the exception and are far more likely the rule. The opening sequence covers this well by highlighting how well-meaning friends and family always help us to look on the bright side: If he didn’t call you back it’s probably because he likes you and doesn’t know how to act. Maybe he’s married, but you can’t choose when or who you fall in love with and maybe he’ll leave his wife and you’ll both live happily ever after. Etc etc etc. You can imagine the rest! 

But anyway, I got to thinking: This exact same situation applies to today’s students. I blogged  recently about my expectations of them but what about theirs? There is no one person responsible for managing their expectations: We all play a part. We tell our kids to work hard and they will get a good job. Same with our teachers and lecturers – Get good grades and you will get a good job. Same with peers – ooh you’re so much cleverer than me; you’ll be fine! But plenty of students work really hard, get really good grades and still end up in entry level / retail positions when they graduate. And the reality may not be as depressing as the press implies. And there may be employers still struggling to find candidates of the right calibre for their graduate schemes. But it is tough nonetheless and no-one ever tells them quite HOW tough it might be. No-one tells them they might have to consider starting out in a more junior position and on a lower salary. No-one tells them they’ll probably need to be flexible when they start out and work their way up. No-one tells them.

There are those who ought to (deserve to?) succeed more than others and there are those who succeed against the odds. And sometimes I wonder whether the reason for this is expectations. Maybe sometimes those who should succeed don’t because the reality of the world of work and finding employment has just totally floored them.

But who’s to blame? Well, in my humble opinion, we all are.

Don’t be a Smug Git

So I like to think I’m reasonably tolerant of cold calls from recruiters. They are calls that I myself sometimes have to make and I hate when people give me  the run-around rather than just saying from the word go that they’re not interested. But you know what? If you’re going to cold call any company, then try and retain some form of professionalism and don’t be a smug, arrogant git!

The website of my recruitment-related employer often attracts agency phone calls. We’re very niche and, while we do often recruit in-house, we also recruit for external positions and, if you don’t look at our website properly, it can be an easy mistake to make.

Of course; if you read the website properly it’s screamingly apparent…

So anyway, yesterday I had a phone call from an agency (who shall remain nameless… for now!) touting for business. I didn’t have to, but I took the call. The guy made his pitch, spoke about a specific role we were advertising for, told me how he had looked at our website (looked perhaps, but not read…), and asked whether we’d be interested in utilising his services. Though he had read the job ad, he had clearly done no further research on the company. He didn’t understand what we were or what we did. I explained that we wouldn’t be interested and why. I explained what the company is about how we work. I was, in my humble opinion, perfectly polite, friendly and helpful – if you know me then you’ll know it’s not generally my style not to be.

At the end of the conversation – clearly annoyed by his lack of success – he opted to take the sarcastic, smug approach and closed with “Oh, I see. Well in that case, I suspect the job you’re advertising is for XXX company – thanks for the heads up on that!” [Note: For this to really work, when you imagine him saying it in your head, you have to imagine a really smug, stupid voice and, at the end, a really fake, self-satisfied laugh]

Well there was no need to speak to me like that. And, actually, it wasn’t for XXX company at all…

…But thanks for the lead! ;)

Disappointment: A Dish Best Served Cold

So I guess some of you who know me know I have a complicated employment set up at the moment. Regardless, one of my jobs involves working with university students, some of whom I have written about before. I don’t work for one of the redbrick / Russell Group uni’s; I work for a London-based one with a lot of international students, and it’s a great place, IMO. There are a lot of hard working and dedicated students who have fought tooth and nail to get there and who will go far.

Now I’m not that old (though I concede I’m getting on a bit now), but I do sometimes feel that there is a huge dividing chasm looming between the students and myself when it comes to attitude. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go to university. Maybe it’s cos I’m Gen X (just!) and they’re Gen Y. Maybe it’s our backgrounds. Maybe it’s nothing as complex and it’s just the way we are.

I always try and offer more help than I am asked for when it comes to the students. If someone comes to me asking for help with their CV then they will get that and more. I can’t make them act on my LinkedIn, networking, work experience, whatever tips, but I can give them the chance to see that there’s more they can do to make themselves stand out and be as ready as they can when it comes to job hunting. Some work closely with me throughout the year and use me for all I’m worth. Others see me once and I never hear from them again (though I always follow up with emails).

This year was the first year any of my students had graduated though and, honestly, I was a little disappointed! Now it’s not true of all of them, by any stretch of the imagination, but the number who simply vanished off the face of the earth post-graduation was astonishing! Though the big employers may know roughly how many graduates they’ll be looking to recruit from year to year, SME’s often have no idea until maybe a few months before. The decision to hire anyone, graduate or not, is not taken lightly. Lots of people came to me looking for graduates – more than I had hoped or anticipated. And the biggest disappointment to me was that some of (what I’d thought were) the best, most inspired students, who I had worked with for most of the year, were too busy travelling/holidaying/chilling out to bother applying for these jobs! Jobs where, in some instances, I could genuinely put in a good word for them if it were appropriate!

The whole concept still astounds me! To go through three years of studies in order to get a good job and then, when jobs are perhaps at their ripest for picking on the graduate scene, to have a break… Well. I don’t get it, frankly! And it makes me a bit sad, because when did attitudes get so lax?!

But much respect to those who do still keep in touch with me and who are committed to their job hunt. Those who, day in and day out, apply for jobs, stay motivated, and do all they can to put themselves out there. It is those who will succeed, and it is those who make my job so very worthwhile! :)

More Un- Stuff!

Photo courtesy of Tristan Greaves

So you’re all up to speed on my TRU Source experience now, I trust! And so to days two and three! In case you missed them I have a selection of decent photos here, and some rubbishy mobile ones here. Or they’re on Facebook too.

My first taste of an unconference was TRU London I in November of last year. It was totally different to TRU London II in many respects. For a start, I think the venue has a big impact on the feel of an event: TRU I was in a massive atrium-style room in the Barclays Building at Canary Wharf, and had little pods where the tracks were held. The pods were too small really and the acoustics for anything non-pod were pretty abominable so I think Bill and Geoff were right to change venues. TwitJobSearch provided the Soho venue this time, but having the rooms so far apart did make it feel a little less joined up though, IMO. I didn’t always know what was going on where and, if you got a bit bored or fancied a change, then it wasn’t quite so easy to sneak off elsewhere, as office security was fairly tight! I did, however, feel the big room was very conducive to networking. There were plenty of seats, a Twitter Fountain of #trulondon tweets, refreshments and so on.

Track-wise, I also felt that things were a lot more interactive this time. At TRU I it felt to me as though it was mostly the track leaders doing the talking, but at TRU II there was a lot more interaction and opinion sharing, which was really nice.

I attended a variety of (official) tracks including:

  • The Candidate Experience
  • The Future of Recruitment
  • Recruiting Communities
  • Employee Vs Employer Branding
  • Sourcing
  • Social Media Circus

As well as some more unofficial ones including:

  • The Unattending Track (a personal favourite!)
  • The Pub Track

And I also attended an HR Happy Hour radio show with Steve Boese and met a ridiculous number of wonderful people from the UK and overseas - some of whom were new to me and some of whom were familiar in name and avatar if nothing else! To me, while the learning and sharing of ideas is obviously key, a big part of this kind of events is about the networking and that is one area in which TRU London II delivered 100%!

The organisation wasn’t perfect on day one, but by day two it felt as though things had been ironed out. I actually much preferred day two for a variety of reasons – for a start it felt more relaxed, there were less people so it was a bit less chaotic, and it just felt more… well… unconferency! I also won a Flip Video Camera from Jobsite which increased my seratonin levels somewhat! :)

So it was a busy few days, all in all, and there’s too much content to talk about for one blog post, so once I’ve assimilated everything and tried some new ideas out I’ll report back on my learning from my three days of TRU events. In the meantime though, there’s a few little thank you messages I’d like to pass on:

Thank you…

  • To Bill Boorman and Geoff Web for organising the event;
  • To Jobsite for my Flip Cam;
  • To Peter Gold for sharing (IMO) the most excellent ideas, all of which I intend to use;
  • To Matt Alder and Sara Headworth for the never ending and highly amusing soundbites at the Unattending Track;
  • To my twitter buddy Mervyn Dinnen for keeping me in a constant supply of lattes, smoothies and diet cokes, despite receiving not one drink in return! (Next time it’s on me – promise!)
  • To everyone who RT’d my copious tweets;
  • To all my non-recruitment Twitter followers who didn’t unfollow me!

See you next time! :)

Unlearn

Photo courtesy of Craig Fisher

So last week was, for me at least, three days of TRU events; all arranged by Bill Boorman and Geoff Webb. First of all there was TRU Source, and then there was two days of TRU London. And what a fab three days it was!

But let’s start with TRU Source, and I’ll do a separate post for TRU London…

Wednesday saw me hauling my suitcase up some narrow stairs in an office in Covent Garden (actually, that’s somewhat of a lie – Brendan Murphy carried both mine and his bags most of the way up… What a gent! :)) to be met with a room overflowing with people. The group was split into two and (on the grounds that there was no way I was lugging my bag back down the stairs, plus it seemed unkind to ask Brendan to do it for me again having only just got it to the third floor) I stayed put!

We started the morning with Marie Journey and Jim Stroud. What a pair! Now I hate to get all gushy, but I have to say, TRU Source was an excellent event IMHO and I loved everyone there. Both Marie and Jim just had this unsurpressable energy and passion for sourcing, combined with an infinite knowledge of resources. I’d cleverly left my notebook and my netbook in the bottom of my suitcase so resorted to taking notes on the back of my old shopping lists until my kindly neighbour lent me half his notepad (and believe me I needed it!)

We broke for lunch early (Marie was hungry!) and had a chance for networking and chit chat. I got my first hug from Jim Stroud (the first of many, I might add – he’s such a hugslut!) and then Geoff Web did a bit of ad libbing and a Q&A session with us while we waited for the second session to start.

The afternoon brought with it a change of faces and we had another fantastic session with Katharine Robinson and Irina Shamaeva. Irina is, like, the goddess of all things boolean and was a fountain of search knowledge! Katharine was the UK sourcing representative and had oodles of useful rousources for us to look at. She also started the session with an excellent example of why you should be searching for people and not for CV’s – only two people in the room had current CV’s online! And there must have been over 20 of us!

I’m not even going to begin to tell you everything I learned because a) it will take too long b) you should have gone yourself, and c)… well there isn’t a c), sorry. I have to say though that I thoroughly enjoyed the day and came away feeling at least 5 IQ points more intelligent than I went in!

TRU Source was, IMHO, rather overshadowed by TRU London and I think that was a real shame. While TRU London was a fantastic event, TRU Source was an unsurpassed learning experience and I think it deserved it’s own moment of glory. Despite spending some six hours with five of the best sourcers out there, I also felt we’d hardly scratched the surface, and this was emphasised on Friday when I attended the TRU London Sourcing track and found I was still learning a raft of new skills!

I hope that Bill and Geoff run more UK sourcing events because I think there’s a lot we recruiters can learn. Next time, though, maybe we need a two day event for TRU Source by itself!

The Problem with Short-Time Working

I suppose I always knew this day would come, I just didn’t realise quite how soon it would arrive. For those of you who know me or who follow my blog with any regularity (and rest assured, you are loved!) you’ll already know that I currently split my time between two jobs. There’s my “proper job” as a recruiter in the construction industry, and my “freelance job” consulting with a university on graduates and the buzz word of the day: Employability. This came about because my “proper job” had to put me on short-time working just under a year ago due to the recession. I held off looking for any other work for a long time in order to avoid the complications that have now arisen… Plus, you know, it was nice being a part-time lady of leisure for a while (albeit a poor one)! But here I am… Between a rock and a hard place.

Yesterday my “proper job” said that they’d like to increase my days from three a week to four a week. I am genuinely really pleased – though it’s partly due to the fact that another member of staff has left, it’s great that they’re in a position to ask me rather than letting the days go as “natural wastage,” and hopefully-maybe-possibly it means the beginning of the end and an eventual upturn in business for us. But I only started the university work a little over three months ago and I’m deep into it now. I sincerely doubt it could cope with just one day a week’s attention. In fact, I was only saying the other day that it could do with more really.

So here I am. Contractually the recruitment job can ask me back at any time, however I did ask permission before taking on the freelance work and it’s not fair to just walk out on the university. But what to do?! My recruitment job can still only offer four days a week and is still not as secure as it once was. But the freelance work, while guaranteed for another two months (and possibly to be extended a further six on top of that) is still freelance and is not really any more secure itself.

The university were kind enough to take me on on very flexible terms due to my situation and I enjoy the work – it’s a new, interesting challenge for me and really good for my professional development. I don’t want to burn my bridges with them. But, likewise, my employer has been flexible about my getting another role and has kept me on where others have fallen by the wayside. I love the company and everything they stand for. And I don’t want to burn my bridges with them either!

So what to do… Until I can speak to the university later in the week I don’t really know where they stand on the issue but, presuming they’d still like my services for two days a week, I’m not really sure where that leaves me. The worst thing is that I don’t even know what I want really. I like both jobs. A lot. And I like working for both companies. And I actually enjoy splitting my week in two, too!

I always knew this day would come. I knew that taking on a second job would ultimately end up complicating things and it was for exactly this reason that I shied away from finding one sooner. But in the end I didn’t really have a choice. And now I have to lay my cards out on the table for all to see, and see where the tide takes me…

The Darker Side of Recruitment

Though recruitment has various dark sides to it, the biggest for me is dirty old men! (Let’s not be ageist now, men can be inappropriate at any age!)

In my (main) job, I work almost exclusively with men; a large percentage of whom are between 50 and 60. Generally I like this demographic – they’re a flirty bunch, but with values. And by that I mean that they’re mostly happily married, respect that I too am married, and are just having a bit of harmless fun if and when they say something risqué. If at any stage I was to give them the impression they’d made me feel uncomfortable they would totally mortified, stop instantly and apologise profusely. But that never happens because they know the difference between cheeky and inappropriate. They consider themselves to be charming and, on the whole, I agree… Though I concede my feminist values may be a little lax compared to some!

There is, however, a very small percentage of men who really make my skin crawl. They don’t know when to stop and have no mental filter which tells them not to make totally inappropriate comments. You know the type, I’m sure – the planet’s still riddled with them, sadly. They give good men everywhere a bad name!

I’ve encountered a few of these types over the years, but last year I had a real corker. A gentleman we’d registered some time before (with no issues) contacted us looking for work so I gave him a call to update his details and speak to him about a couple of relevant roles. Well. What can I say! I’ve got a fairly unshakeable disposition and am not easily lost for words, but this fella left me speechless! I was asked, amongst other things, my height, weight, what I was wearing, whether I was single, how I’d feel about a dirty weekend on the continent… The list goes on! He even sent me an email starting “Hi Sexy”! Thankfully I got him off the phone reasonably quickly and had a good laugh about it afterwards. What did upset me though was that, while I can take it on the chin and see the funny side, there are a lot of people more vulnerable than me, and that call could have seriously upset someone. Now he may be from a different generation (he was a little older than the demographic mentioned earlier), but my Grandad is 92 and even he knows stuff like that is downright wrong.

The sad thing is, we can choose not to call him again, but he’s still out there somewhere upsetting the female population. And really, who can stop him?! The best we can do is tell it like it is, so these are my tips for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation:

  • Be firm, not submissive. You need to make it quite clear that the behaviour is inappropriate. Your marital status or anything else brought up is irrelevant.
  • Say what they’re doing out loud to them – call it what it is: Sexual harassment. Be blunt about how you perceive their actions.
  • Don’t laugh it off or try not to hurt their feelings.
  • Don’t be drawn in to the conversation. Stick to your guns and be repetitive if you need to.
  • Talk to your colleagues / manager about the incident afterwards. Others need to be aware.

NB. I hope any men reading don’t think that this is a sexist post because it isn’t meant to be. I’m well aware that the female of the species is equally capable of being inappropriate; I’m just posting from my personal experience.


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About Me

Over ten years’ recruitment, employability, HR and sales experience in both the private and public sectors. I've worked in construction recruitment, FMCG headhunting, and in higher education on the employability agenda.

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