Category Archives: Uncategorised

Are Your Employee’s Ready For Summer?

Summer has arrived, the sun is shining, and the evenings are brighter. While the rest are planning their summer getaways, make sure that you plan for summer in your workplace. Warm summer day can be a massive distraction for employees. This article discusses the best ways to make sure your employees maintain their motivation.

Summer is full of employees turning off their computers, cleaning their desks and jetting off to a hot destination, so it’s important that you have a strategy in place to cover your company during days off. Ensure all employees pass a handover document, this must be handed over to a manager or colleague who works closely with them on team projects and so on. The document is vital to make sure that work is still being completed and everything is running smoothly.

Arrange after-work barbeques or drinks on a Friday afternoon or lunch picnics in the sun. Taking some time out to let your employees enjoy the good weather will stop them from being demotivated. They won’t mind being in the office on a good day if you give them a chance to enjoy the sun.

As enjoyable as warm weather is, it can also cause heat stress which is considered a safety hazard. Put a policy in place based on a risk assessment which should include putting heat stress measurements in place and creating a plan to keep the workplace at a bearable temperature, this includes air conditioning and filtered water machines.

If relevant to your industry, give out protective clothing and equipment, including cotton body suits and water-cooled suits. This is particularly relevant to those companies that do manual labour. Keep track of the weather forecasts to ensure your employees are prepared.

With temperatures starting to rise and workers getting into the holiday mood. Now is the time to start implementing a policy to prepare for the summer season. This will help to ensure your employees stay healthy and your company runs smoothly during the season of holidays.

Reactive Recruitment Celebrates Fifth Anniversary with A Day at Down Royal

Belfast based recruitment consultancy Reactive Recruitment announced their fifth anniversary and celebrated with a team day out to Down Royal Racecourse.

Reactive Recruitment was established as a consultancy in the year 2014 by two industry leaders, CEO Max Mackin and Group Director Paul Armstrong. Together they accumulate forty years’ experience and their industry knowledge has resulted in fast growth for Reactive Recruitment.

The business now offers opportunities in a variety of sectors, including Sales, Marketing, Finance, Healthcare, IT, Engineering and Manufacturing with plans for further growth. Now in its fifth year, the company have become a leader in Northern Ireland’s recruitment sector and work collaboratively with their clients and candidates to deliver high-end results.

CEO, Max Mackin commented, ‘I am absolutely delighted at the growth we have experienced over the last half decade. We have had a lot of success and each year has seen more developments than the year previous, and we are thankful for that!

However, it’s not all been sunshine and unicorns, it can be hard work running a business. Thank you to everyone who has been involved and dedicated to helping us to get to where we are today. We are extremely excited about where we can take this company over the next 5 years.”

Group Director Paul Armstrong said, ‘It has been a fantastic and exciting five years since we first opened our doors and it seems to have both flown by while also feeling like a lifetime!

I would like to mirror Max’s comments in thanking all of those who have played a part in the business as well as taking the opportunity to thank Max himself for the opportunity in the first place, I’ve not looked back since starting with him.  Genuinely looking forward to the next 5 years and the challenges and rewards that it brings!”

For more information on Reactive Recruitment, visit www.reactiverecruitment.com

 

How to create a CV that will help you stand out from the rest!

Constructing the perfect CV can be a time-consuming process but is worth putting in that extra effort. This will help you gain the unique aspect to make employers choose you. There is no quick fix to tailoring your CV to help you land your dream job, but with some hard work you can put yourself ahead of the increasingly competitive job market.

This article explores some tips and tricks on how to achieve this.

Don’t send the same CV and cover letter to every single job application. Take your time and read each job specification carefully, what exactly are they asking for? Tailor yourself to suit each opportunity, for example if the employer is asking for an experienced sales manager, demonstrate how you have hit targets and managed sales cycles in previous jobs.

If you are moving into a new industry, show how you have proven the desired skills and qualities from other areas of your life experience or previous work experience. Keep it short and concise, rather than using overly long paragraphs. Potential employers aren’t going to spend ages analysing every single aspect of a CV, they want to be able to check over it quickly.

A professional and attractive layout will make it easier to skim read rather than having every unnecessary detail squeezed in. Try and make sure your CV is no more than two pages, this can be done by adding the most important and relevant pieces of information.

Always avoid jargon! Adding in too many buzzwords will have the reverse effect with grabbing the employer’s attention. Yes, you must sell yourself in a positive light but ensure you are doing so in an articulate and professional manner.

Double check your spelling, this may seem like a simple one, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who send their CV off packed with spelling mistakes. Use the technology we must help you spot any grammatical errors and fix them.

Use these tips and you will be on the right track to developing a fantastic resume, helping you with your next career move. For any more advice give Reactive Recruitment a phone on 028 9009 9211 or email us over your CV and we will be happy to help!

Guide Dogs NI Urge For More Support To Help Increase The Amount Of Dogs Available

Reactive Recruitment joined forces with BlackFox Solutions to help Guide Dogs Northern Ireland by giving them a substantial donation. This is to help with the availability of guide dogs available to those in need and are encouraging others to do the same.

Guide Dogs NI are encouraging people to make donations to improve the decreasing percentage of dogs and emphasise that every little counts. There are around 1,4000 guide dogs trained in the UK every year, and many considerations that go into the matching process between a dog and their owner, including details such as tone of voice and age.

Kerri McCartney, Marketing and Events Manager at BlackFox Solutions and Reactive Recruitment commented, “I came across an online article highlighting the long wait that those in need of guide dogs have to face before being matched. I felt something needed to be done so I mentioned this to BlackFox & Reactive CEO Max Mackin and within minutes we had decided to make a sizeable donation to help try and make a difference. This is one of the great things about working for a company that has such a strong moral compass, that we can help charities like Guide Dogs with the fantastic work they do. I hope our donation will urge other companies to raise awareness of the importance of their social obligations and to donate also.

The Guide Dogs volunteers work tirelessly to help those in need, and we have massive respect for them and what they do.”

Paul Armstrong, Group Director at Reactive Recruitment said of the experience, “It was humbling to see the fantastic work Guide Dogs NI do and we are delighted to be able to support them as they support so many locally.”

Guide Dogs Northern Ireland have many options for you to offer your support, donations, volunteering and signing up to My Guide. This is a guiding service that matches trained sighted volunteers to people with sight loss who need support getting out and about. While someone is waiting for a guide dog, or may not wish to have a guide dog, a My Guide partnership focuses on achieving a set goal, this could be around building confidence, increasing physical fitness, working towards a guide dog partnership, or tacking social isolation by assessing local communities, hobbies or pastimes.

If you would be interested in doing your part, get in touch with them at MyGuideNI@guidedogs.org.uk or find out more online: My Guide

There is also the ‘Use Your Senses’ 5K run in Stormont Estate on 1st June. For more information, see here: www.guidedogs.org.uk/uysbelfast2019

Candidate Interview: Ryan Brown Talks About His New Role, Shells Out Advice To Others in HR and Why He Loves Belfast!

What attracted you to this role and company?

I was attracted to the role as I am passionate about HR and couldn’t wait to start working after completing my degree to utilise the skills and knowledge I have learnt. I felt Sensata would be the perfect place for me to do this – as its such a large company, the culture is great, the opportunities for personal development are endless. I’m also really interested in what Sensata does and I can’t wait to see what direction the company takes in the future.

Tell us three qualities you need to work in the HR industry? 

Communication skills, empathy and listening. You need to be able to put forward your point of view if you’re looking to implement a change in the policy or procedures, you need to be able to communicate with those above you and those who the change will affect. When people come to you with a problem you need to be able to empathise with them and put yourselves in their shoes and you need to be able to come up with a solution to help with their issue.

Tell us about yourself and career to date.

Regarding education, I did Geography, Business Studies and ICT at A Level in Portadown College. I then went to uni to study BSc Business Management at Queen’s University, and I am currently in my final year. I have 6 years experience in the work place, most of this is in retail environments such as Currys PC World and Tesco, along with over one year’s experience in Human Resources as an HR Placement Student at Belfast International Airport and now I’m moving into a HR Administrator role in Sensata which I’m looking forward to.

What made you choose this role as a career?

My placement year out of uni really was the beginning of my passion for Human Resources. I think a lot of people don’t realise everything that HR departments do and just how important they are for any organisation, no matter how big or small. This is what made me choose this role – being able to make a valuable difference to the employees of such a large organisation is really rewarding for me personally and I can’t wait to get started in my new role.

What do you think of Belfast as a working city?

I absolutely love Belfast and I think it’s fantastic how much it’s thriving in terms of business among other elements. It’s come on a lot and it’s great to see!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to have developed and grown my knowledge and understanding of all of the different elements in the field of Human Resources, possibly having specialised into one specific area. I would also like to be in a managerial position with more responsibility to ensure I’m constantly pushing myself to the best of my ability.

What advice do you have for aspiring HR professionals?

Always listen, ask questions and keep learning. This was invaluable for me during my placement year and really helped me to succeed in the role and so I’m hoping to further my knowledge in my new role by doing the same. Everyone is always more than willing to share what they know so this is a fantastic way of expanding your own understanding of a particular issue.

How did you find our service at Reactive Recruitment?

The service really was second to none – Mark kept me involved every step of the process and kept me informed with any updates he had about my application. I had two interviews and an assessment centre for the position and Mark rang me before each one for some final words of encouragement and to wish me good luck, which really helped settle my nerves a bit and was a lovely touch.

Would you recommend us?

100%. The process was quick and painless from start to finish and I can’t thank Mark enough for all his help and support. I would definitely recommend and have already to some of my friends!

Give us a fun fact about yourself!

I have a three-year-old Golden Retriever called Bailey who I love taking for hikes in the Mourne Mountains!

Ensure All Your Company Meetings Are Effective

Although they are a necessary element of daily working life, there have always been concerns over how workplace meetings may hinder employee productivity. Small talk, connection issues and latecomers all contribute to meetings becoming long and tedious. There are techniques that can help improve communication during meetings to ensure each meeting is more of a help than a hindrance to your company.

It starts with ensuring that each of your meetings start with a sense of purpose. This can be defined via a handout, email or discussed from the outset. The agenda will help keep the meeting on track, preventing employee’s becoming bored or restless. As well as an agenda, you should send an email around explaining the reason for the meeting which means everyone walking into the meeting will be aware of the set aims and objectives.

Ensure the meeting doesn’t go on for too long by setting a time limit, all employees should know what the meeting is about before. They will know whether it is to solve a problem, discuss a project or to talk about new business opportunities. This will help speed the process along while still getting an effective outcome. Attendees are more likely to stay motivated if the meeting doesn’t drag on.

Ask all employees to comment on the meeting procedure and reinforce that you want them to come forward with any ideas or suggestions they may have on improving the set-up. Employee’s will appreciate your efforts to listen to them and will be more pro-active if they see their suggestions being put into place.

Implement a policy that doesn’t allow people to be sitting on their technology toys instead of listening to what’s being discussed. If employees are surfing the web, emailing or surfing the web then they won’t be taking in anything else. Meaning the only result of their attendance will be wasted time, have a no tolerance policy for this.

Ensure every meeting ends with a discussion for what the next steps will be. There is no point in ending it with no set plan on how to achieve the objectives or solution to a problem, it should end with deciding who will be responsible for what, deadlines and any other aspects that need to be confirmed.

Most meetings can be a motivating and a valuable asset to your company. All you have to do is follow these steps and put in effort to make sure they are all this way.

Top Tips for Interviewing Candidates

We’ve all been there, trying to fit in an interview with a potential employee into an already jam-packed day. Even if you have endless deadlines, problems with projects or back to back to meetings, it’s important to take time before an interview to prepare questions and consider what questions the candidate may have for you. Here are some tips to ensure the process runs smoothly from start to finish.

Use the job description to help you implement a list of questions that relate directly to the responsibilities of the role. Make sure to ask behavioural type questions, for example, ‘tell me about a time when you found a solution to a problem/faced a challenge in the workplace?’ Analysing their real-life experiences will give you a good indication of how they will perform.

Train senior members of the company hierarchy to be able to interview effectively, having them in the interview with you will help you decide on the best candidate as you can get their perspective as well. This will be useful if you’re not able to interview as you can allow trained staff to be the interviewer and trust their judgement.

Always review the candidate’s C.V. before interviewing them, this will help when choosing questions as you can ask about the work experience listed and the university they attended. This will give the interview a more personal feel and shows the candidate you have taken time out to ensure the interview is productive.

Outline the interview process for the candidate, they will be nervous so this will help them relax. Start by giving a company description and then mention the job role. Don’t give too much away about the company as you want the candidate to prove that they have done their research, so after briefly talking about the company ask them what they know about their company.

Make sure to cover all your questions but allow time for the candidate to talk about everything they want to. Remember, the candidate is deciding whether they want to work for you, just as much as you’re deciding whether you want to hire them. Be professional, articulate your company’s mission clearly and have a good tone of voice.

 

 

 

When Reactive Recruitment Met Up With InspecVision’s Colette Johnson

We sat down with Colette Johnson to chat about being a woman in the world of Engineering, travelling around the world for trade shows and her plans for the future! #iREACTED

What is your role in InspecVision Colette?

My role is quite varied and HR is one of the things that falls with me. It’s important to understand exactly the role you are recruiting for.  We normally need somebody who understands that at the heart of it we are a small business and the role is going to stretch a bit further than maybe it would do within a bigger company.

We’ve found that the people that have thrived with us have enjoyed this type of variety and also having more control over their work and what they do day to day. It also means that every day is different which is a benefit.

How would you describe the company culture?

We would consider our hierarchy to be reasonably flat, the managers work alongside the rest of our team. Our Managing Director Jan is very involved in the R&D side of things and drives that but also helps the rest of the team. At the same time we have our Senior Electrical Engineer working right alongside everyone else., including new recruits. This gives all our employees the opportunity to learn and progress as they work with more experienced team members. We feel more in touch with what’s happening and as we grow and continue hiring, like we have done in the past 18 months we will continue to maintain this culture.

We are a family business and have always been cautious in terms of planning our growth, anything the business makes, it goes back into the company to help it thrive.

So, have you noticed most of your growth since moving to Belfast?

We started in Larne in 2005 at the LEDCOM premises and we experienced a period of growth and had outgrown the unit we were in, so we moved up to Belfast and have been here since 2012.  About two years ago we changed our distributor in the US and they’ve really driven sales in the states over the past two years for us and the expansion we’ve experienced is really responding that market. Our growth has been slow and steady but that’s because we want to be secure in what we are doing.

What are your future plans and objectives?

We are always keeping an eye on our distribution network and how we sell our products. So, in terms of that we are looking at different ways to get our product to market and are looking at things such as re-branding or joint projects with other companies. These are long term objectives which we hope will drive growth significantly.

How long does it take to assemble one of the products?

Depending on the size of the machine, it takes us about four weeks to get the raw components in and will then take about two weeks of assembly and  camera calibration.

Do you get the opportunity to travel often?

Yes, we do, a lot of our trade shows are in different countries. The next exhibition is in May in Germany and later in the year we will go to our American distributor who has an open house. It’s good for brand awareness and to meet distributors. Each exhibition lasts usually from Tuesday to Friday and we must be there for a few days before to be prepared. I really enjoy going to them as you get a great flow of people and it’s great in terms of market research.

What is the thing that motivates you at the start of every working day?

I find it really rewarding to work in a family business, feeling that I can contribute and help it grow. I do something different everyday and I like that variety in a role. I think because there is that family dynamic that my role is more varied than it would be. I like ticking my list of tasks throughout the day and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I’ve completed everything at the end of every day. I have learnt so much and have been given the time and space to do so, for example before starting this job I had never been to a trade show before whereas now I can organise us attending exhibitions.

If you could say anything to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?

I would probably tell myself to a different degree (laughs) I did an arts degree, far off from what I’m doing now.

How did you get into the role you’re in today?

I started off as a pension’s administrator, I was getting married to Jan and we were planning a move out to the suburbs. So, I decided to help Jan start this business and the original intention was to work with him for about a year and help him get it off the ground and here we are 14 years later! I grew up on a family farm, always helping out, so that whole aspect of this business really appealed to me. Although we do have to take work home with us at times, that’s part of owning your own business I suppose and it’s all very rewarding.

How have you found the service at Reactive?

I’ve really enjoyed working with Reactive and found them to be a good partner in terms of helping us grow our workforce. They have always been very responsive because sometimes my needs have changed alongside the job role as I’m looking for someone who is multiskilled. I have always appreciated the type of feedback I have received and look forward to continue working with the Reactive team in the future.

How to Make the Most of Your Company Intern

Most university students are constantly on the lookout for work experience in a work industry of their choice. It gives them a fantastic insight into office life, the do’s and don’t of the dream job role and the skills and qualities they will need to succeed in their chosen industry. Some business leaders find it difficult to find the right balance between providing the intern with valuable experience and making the most of them in the workplace. There are aspects of taking on an intern that must be thought about before and after the process. Here are some tips to help you make the most of hiring an intern.

Although the internship process is usually a temporary process, this doesn’t mean that they can’t positively impact your company. Hiring a motivated intern will be a breath of fresh air for your workforce and most will bring new ideas and perspectives to projects. When interviewing a potential intern, ask yourself questions such as ‘will this person fit in with my team?’ Will they be confident working with a team of experienced workers?’ These types of questions are just as important as the university they go to or what grades they got in school.

Be prepared before the process starts, assign them a company mentor who will guide them through tasks and projects. Aim to delegate a substantial amount of work to the intern, if they don’t have enough work, they will become unmotivated and will soon be more of a hindrance than a help.

Make the intern feel as though they are being helpful, this means giving them more to do than coffee runs. Allow them to speak up and sit in meetings to get the full experience, invite them to work lunches and after work drinks. Giving them a chance to prove themselves will enable you to assess whether they could be a good fit for becoming a permanent part of the team in the future.

Once the internship has ended, ask the intern to fill out a feedback form and review their experience with the company. Have a meeting with the intern’s mentor and gauge their thoughts on how beneficial the internship was for both sides and what progress the intern has made. In the feedback form make sure to ask them what they liked, what could have been done better and their thoughts on your company’s culture. This helps you be aware of any changes that need to be made for next year’s internship.