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  • Opportunities to meet like-minded professionals
  • Give & receive referrals and business advice
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  • Relaxed informal atmosphere
  • For established businesses and start-ups
  • Informative presentations
  • Breakfast - choice of cooked or continental
  • ...all for only £10 per week
This is what makes Business Village
. . . a meeting of minds - not just businesses
Business Village Meets
Every Thursday from 7.30 until 9 @ Campanile Hotel, Delta Business Park, Swindon
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Members' Blog Feed

These blog posts are written by our members and syndicated from their own websites. Clicking a link will take you to their website.

Well done to our quiz winners

Well done to the winners of our quiz, the Swindon Museum of Computing. They romped away to beat off stiff competition from 19 other teams, and won a T-shirt and bottle of wine for their efforts. The event was in aid of Banks BHG’s charity of the year, Julia’s House, which is building a children’s hospice[…] Read more »

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Swindon Town fined after auto enrolment foul

Swindon Town football club has been fined £22,900 by the Pension Regulator for failing to meet its workplace pensions “auto enrolment” obligations. In a statement published on its website, the club said it is “unfortunate” that it has been fined by the Pension Regulator. The Robins’ pension woes started back in 2014 when it failed[…] Read more »

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Top 10 tips for successful interviews

If you have a job to fill, the way to go about it is to interview at least one person and ideally several.


Maybe not.  It depends on the interview.  Because research has shown that unstructured interviewing has as much chance of selecting the right person for the job as tossing a coin. 

If you select the wrong person, you’ve lost a significant sum in advertising costs, agency fees, interview time, training time and costs, internal disruption and lowered morale. Plenty of research has shown that the cost of getting it wrong is two or three times the annual salary of the individual.  

If the interview process casts you or your business in an unfavourable light as an employer, it’s likely the applicant you want for the role will turn you down.  And the others you interviewed will pass on their negative impressions to their friends and family.  You may even lose customers and local reputation.

Here are our top tips for identifying the right person for the job so that you have a significantly better chance of selecting the right person than tossing that coin. 

And when you’ve found the right person, how to make sure your offer is accepted:

1     Analyse what you’re looking for and how you’ll recognise it.

2   Screen out the no-hopers before interview so you use your interview time effectively

3   Plan beforehand which parts of the individual’s CV you’ll focus on and core questions for all applicants. Structuring the interview does improve its ability to predict performance in the job.

4   Bring out the best in each applicant with good listening and questioning

5   Make sure you don’t ask illegal questions but face up to sensitive ones

6   Assess what you hear objectively and analytically against the requirements for the job. Gather information systematically in order to predict how the applicant would be likely to perform in the job. 
7   Screen out any personal, irrational biases: 
  • The self-fulfilling prophecy effect – making up your mind about an applicant in the first few minutes then spending the rest of the interview confirming you were right by the sort of questions you ask and the non-verbal feedback you give the applicant.  The first impression becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • The stereotyping effect – assuming that particular characteristics are typical of members of a particular group. Some people even make stereotyped assumptions about people with red hair.
  • The halo and horns effect. Once interviewers rate candidates as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in some aspects, they often replicate this judgement across the board, reaching unbalanced decisions.
  • The similar-to-me effect – where the interviewer gives preference to candidates they perceive as having a similar background, career history, personality or attitudes to themselves.  The result is a team of clones of the manager.
  • The personal liking effect – making decisions on the basis of whether they personally like or dislike the candidate. 

8     Let applicants demonstrate to you what they’ve found out about the company and what they want to know about the job.

9     Use ability tests and personality profiles to supplement your judgement at interview.

10    Communicate the decision within the timeframe you gave the applicant.

Recruiting doesn’t have to give you a headache or damage your company’s image, but you do need to be prepared, in control and know what you’re looking for. 

Need help with an upcoming recruitment exercise? – defining what you’re looking for and how you’ll recognize it, wording the advert, questions to ask at interview, coaching in interview skills, decision making? 

Email The Human Resource on enquiries@thehr.co.uk to arrange a no-obligation chat and download our free Expert Interviewer’s Guide.

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“We have two or three strategies that we can use this afternoon.”

The quote is from someone connected with a sports team so perhaps I should have expected a linguistic howler or two, but aside from the amusement that the words afford there is a serious side for this individual was talking about just one element of his team’s approach to the event. What he meant was […]

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New director for independent Wiltshire recruiter 24-7 Staffing

Word Worker press release An expanding Wiltshire-based recruitment company has appointed a new director to the board. 24-7 Staffing have named Paul Squires as associate director. Paul joins co-directors Julian and Melody Thompson at the helm of the business, which they set up in 2004. The growing company has a head office in Chippenham, a […]

The post New director for independent Wiltshire recruiter 24-7 Staffing appeared first on Word Worker – making words work for your business.

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The move from annual return to confirmation statement

When the last Government embarked upon its ‘Red Tape Challenge’, one of the proposals was to simplify companies’ filing requirements. All companies are currently obliged to file a return annually with the Registrar of Companies giving detailed information in relation to the company, its shareholders, directors and share capital.  However, in many cases this simply[…] Read more »

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Persons with significant control

From 6 April 2016, all UK companies and LLPs will be required to maintain a register of “persons with significant control” (“PSC”). The idea is to improve transparency of corporate structures and to discourage the use of complex corporate structures for criminal activities. Each company will be required to keep a PSC register at its[…] Read more »

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Naff interview questions

Some interviewers adopt favourite questions that – while not actually illegal and discriminatory – are cringe-inducingly naff and corny.  The applicant’s response (perhaps after an inward snigger) will contribute nothing to the task of identifying whether the person can do the job.  Not only can a bad interview question take your interview wildly off course, it may also put you in a negative light in the mind of the interviewee.

Here are a few to avoid:

  • Tell me about yourself —it’s far too broad.  What you need to know about someone relates to work so provide a clear starting point: then the response might tell you what you were hoping to find out. Try an alternative such as “What led you to choose this career path?”

  • What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?  This is such a common question that applicants have either answered it multiple times before or have read articles on the best way to answer it. Either way, it will give you absolutely useless answers. So what if a person says they can deliver on time or is a perfectionist? You’ll never really know whether it has any basis in fact or whether the applicant has just listed points Googled from a “best answers” cribsheet.       Instead you could ask about a story of failure which will more genuinely tell you the person’s weaknesses rather than simply asking about them:  “Tell me about a time you failed at a goal you needed to achieve.”  A good interview question extracts information indirectly. 
  • Where do you want to be in five years? — The truthful answer might be on a beach in The Bahamas after winning the lottery. The answer you’ll be given will probably be a platitude like “to have progressed within your company into a management position” or an equally ‘interviewer pleasing’ answer.  Or even “I want your job.”  Instead, ask “Which of your skills do you hope to develop over the next few years to help you take a step up in your career?”

  • What can you do for us that others can’t? — Isn’t that your job as the interviewer to figure out?   The candidate won’t know about the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors, so will generally resort to an answer related to their work ethic.  Instead, “What makes you the ideal applicant for this role?” will give you much more useful answers.

  • If you were an animal, which one would you be? — This used to surprise candidates, but many will now be prepared for this amateur attempt at psychological analysis as it’s been widely communicated as laughable on social media. If you’re looking for a lion (or someone who shows leadership) then ask a more direct question about their leadership skills.

  • What salary are you hoping for? — This is something that can be discussed before or after a job interview, but not during as it’s not right to put your interviewee under pressure to commit to a figure on the spot.  You could however check what the applicant is earning currently or how much they earned in their last job, to give you a point of reference if you decide to make an offer.

Another type of question to avoid is the Leading question where you imply the answer you want in the question, e.g. “Can you cope?  Are you a good teamplayer?  Leading questions inspire meaninglesss answers.  If you ask a question where the answer you want is obvious, you will hear what you expect.  It will add little to your understanding of the candidate – so why waste your time?

The Human Resource helps managers to find the right new recruit – sorting out exactly what you’re looking for and how you’ll recognize it, wording the advert, questions to ask at interview, decision making. Download your free Expert Interviewer’s Guide and contact us on enquiries@thehr.co.uk. 

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What Will FCA Regulation Mean for Claims Management Companies?

Following the independent review of claims management regulation, the Government has announced that the regulation of Claims Management Companies (CMCs) will transfer to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The date for the transfer will be announced “in due course”. So what exactly will this mean? In 2014 regulation of the Consumer Credit Sector moved from …

The post What Will FCA Regulation Mean for Claims Management Companies? appeared first on Regulatory Finance Solutions.

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Upping the fight against financial crime

“A firm must establish, implement and maintain adequate policies and procedures sufficient to ensure compliance of the firm, including its managers, employees and appointed representatives (or, where applicable, tied agents) with its obligations under the regulatory system and for countering the risk that the firm might be used to further financial crime.” FCA Handbook, SYSC …

The post Upping the fight against financial crime appeared first on Regulatory Finance Solutions.

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