Will AI eliminate the need for jobs?
At the recent Microsoft CEO Connections event, the CEO Satya Nadella compared the impact of new AI technology to the birth of personal computers and the internet, in terms of its potential global impact.While writers, actors, and other artists have been fighting to protect their livelihoods from AI’s threat, Elon Musk imagines what I can only describe as a nightmarish vision of the future where no one works at all (although, as a recruiter, I’m predictably biased about the 'nightmarish' part).The recent Reed/Bloomberg job market report sheds some light on this issue. While AI is a hot topic across politics and business, jobs in the sector have plummeted, suggesting that organizations have lost interest in hiring for new AI job roles.That’s not to say that companies are ignoring AI altogether. From finance to e-commerce, businesses have been integrating this technology into existing roles, allowing them to offer new and improved products and services to their customers. Here at Reed, we’re using AI to help remedy a common problem for recruiters and managers – choosing appropriate interview questions for specific roles. With our AI-powered Interview Question Generator, a task that once took hours can now be completed with the click of a button.Does this mean recruiters and their counterparts in other sectors will soon be out of a job and replaced by AI? Not necessarily. Although AI will most likely cause some jobs to disappear, it will also liberate people from bureaucracy, eliminate mundane tasks, and allow workers to focus on the parts of their jobs only humans can do well.So, while it’s almost certain that AI is transforming the way we work and recruit, I’m of the belief that, for as long as there are people to help, problems to solve and personal connections to be made, there will still be jobs.And, hopefully, there will still be recruiters.
Manager’s guide to offboarding – the complete kit
An employee resignation can be a stressful time - but getting it right is essential to maintaining team performance. This kit takes you through the leaving process step by step, ensuring you cover all of the vital actions, gather valuable information from the departing team member, and keep morale high while minimizing disruption. "If handled incorrectly, someone leaving can result in a missed opportunity - all that information just walks out the door." This kit will help you to Minimize disruption and keep morale high with a stress-free offboarding process Future-proof your team from resignations with actionable feedback from the leaving employee Recruit, reallocate, or restructure? Find the best way to deal with your vacancy The kit contains An expert guide featuring a step-by-step offboarding plan, failsafe handover process, information on effective exit interviews, and how to fill the team skills gap assessment. Time-saving tools and resources include an offboarding checklist, a nine-box succession planning grid, announcement email templates, and an exit interview template.
Sales interview questions: The 10 most common questions and how to answer them
Selling yourself is crucial for a sales role – especially when responding to those sales executive interview questions – because hiring managers will want you to sell yourself as you would their products.At Reed, we have experience with thousands of candidates who are looking for a new sales career, whether they are beginners or experts in the head of sales or sales and marketing director roles – so we have an idea of what sales interview questions you will likely face and how to answer them.This blog is also a useful resource for those in charge of sales talent acquisition who need sales interview questions ideas to find the best people, whether they are looking for sales manager interview questions, sales director interview questions, or sales executive interview questions.Here are our top 10 sales interview questions – and how to answer them:Sales interview questions and answersWhat do you know about our company?This is the most frequent question in a sales interview. The interviewer wants to know if sales interviewees have done their research and understood their organization before their interview.What kind of answers should candidates give?If you are not ready to answer this sales interview question, then the interviewer will think that you are also unprepared for making sales calls. The key to answering this question is doing your homework. Make sure you examine the company website of the business you might work for. You should also look at their social media presence – this can involve sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok, but remember that if the company is B2B-oriented, LinkedIn will probably be an important tool.When answering sales interview questions like this one, think about what drives you and how that drive aligns with the mission statement and employee value proposition of the company you want to join.What kind of responses should you look for as an employer?Employers who pose this type of sales interview question should expect candidates to comprehend their business, what drives it, and how that matches their own values. Ideally, responses would contain examples of a candidate’s research, maybe a reference to some sales leaders, what they have posted on LinkedIn, and how that mirrors the company’s culture. It might also include proposals on how to enhance product sales directly to the customer through social media.Ideally, when responding to sales job interview questions, candidates should be well-informed about your company but also go beyond that and offer constructive suggestions from their research results.How do you feel about making cold calls?This is one of the most common sales job interview questions, as cold calling is a vital skill for the job, especially for sales advisor interview questions. The interviewer will want to learn about your background, self-assurance, and character.What kind of responses should candidates give?When responding to this sales interview question, you should try and show that you are sociable and can initiate a dialogue.If you can provide examples of when you have performed this task before, that can be very beneficial.You could also stress how even though results may vary on a cold call; doing research on the individual and business you are contacting can be very helpful.What responses should you look for as an employer?Employers should seek candidates who can reply to this sales advisor interview question in a confident, friendly, and optimistic way.The reply should always be yes, even if they have never done the task before. This is, after all, their opportunity to sell themselves.What are your strengths as a sales representative?This is one of the questions to ask in a sales interview that will really allow the candidates to showcase themselves. It’s an opportunity for interviewees to discuss the main aspects of their previous achievements and how they relate to this new role.What kind of responses should candidates give?When responding to this sales interview question, candidates should not only praise the work they have done before but describe what abilities and traits they have that have enabled them to accomplish their objectives.If you did hundreds of cold calls a day to reach your goals, then brag about it.If you created a smart email campaign to target specific people, then this sales job interview question will let you explain how and why you did it – and how your strategies can work again for your potential employer.What responses should you look for as an employer?Hiring managers should seek candidates who can sell themselves and demonstrate how they have excelled in the past, especially if they are asking sales executive interview questions.Realistically candidates should mention how they have a passion for solving problems, can be empathetic when talking to prospective customers, and know how to seal a deal.The past can indicate the future, and if you are a hiring manager asking this sales interview question you will get a sense of how candidates perform and how they are likely to tackle and meet your organization’s sales targets.What drives you?When it comes to questions to ask in a sales interview, in this case hiring managers want to understand what motivates a candidate – why do you want to work in sales, what about this job and our company excites you?What kind of responses should candidates give?Candidates should try to align their responses to the goals of the company they want to join. Of course, salary and bonus are going to be significant motivational factors, but it is important to expand any answer beyond that.A good answer to sales interview questions like this would be to emphasize how you exceed your quota and aim to improve your personal best results.What responses should you look for as an employer?As an employer, with such sales interview questions and answers, you should seek candidates who can explain why they are enthusiastic and driven.In response to this question, you will need to ensure that interviewees are being truthful and genuine and can come up with two to four things that are really important to them in a work environment.This answer shouldn’t be about money, it may be a minor factor, but candidates should talk about topics such as their career goals, diversity, company culture, work environment, targets, personal motivators, and teammates.What are you looking for in your next job?Sales interview questions – whether they are for sales executive or sales advisor positions, are often similar to those you will face at most job interviews – and this question is a good example of that.Interviewers ask this as they want to ensure you are a great fit for their company.What kind of responses should candidates give?Candidates responding to such sales job interview questions, should use their understanding of the company they are applying to along with their own interests when answering this question. If you are asked this sales interview question, you could mention workplace culture, tools that are provided by that company or management styles.You may also want to think about addressing the hiring company’s standards, goals or work environment in your response.What responses should you look for as an employer?As the interviewer for a sales role by asking this question you will be looking for insight into your potential employee’s reasoning behind leaving their current role and their hopes and ambitions for the future.In response to this question, you should look for clear responses – everyone knows what they want – whether that be more job satisfaction, more learning opportunities, or a cooperative team culture. From your interviewee’s response, you should be able to determine whether they are a good match for your business and how they can add a new dimension to your team.What do you dislike about sales?This is a sales interview question that will challenge those applying for both sales representative and sales executive roles. Along with questions to ask in a sales interview such as describing your weaknesses, or how you have solved a conflict at work, this can really make a candidate think.What kind of responses should candidates give?Anyone who is asked a sales interview question about what they dislike in sales should be honest and candid in their answer – but be sure to balance the negatives by talking about what you enjoy about the job.There are positives and negatives in every role and field, so being honest is important, but this is another chance to talk about why you applied for the position.What responses should you look for as an employer?We all know that sales can be a high-pressure industry – this may be a common theme in response to this question. However, hopefully, your interviewee will emphasize how they cope well with pressure.In response to this question, you need to look for your candidate to discuss both sides of the issue. Mentioning their negative answer but offsetting the answer with more positives. Obviously, anyone who tells you why they simply don’t like the sector may want to consider changing their career path.What are you seeking in your next role?This is a very typical sales advisor interview question that aims to find out if the candidate has a positive, proactive attitude. Hiring managers are looking for people with a growth mindset, who can really contribute to their team.What kind of responses should candidates give?For people responding to such sales interview questions, it is important not to dwell too much on what is wrong with your current job. Instead, focus on what you have gained from it and how you are now eager to advance.What responses should you look for as an employer?Interviewers want to hear from someone who is focused on the opportunity in front of them – what they can offer to the role and how that will benefit the company, and vice-versa. A hiring manager would want candidates to talk about how they are looking for a new challenge or adventure, and where they can apply the skills they acquired at their current employer to achieve goals for the potential new one.You should pay close attention to your interviewee’s response looking for signs of trouble in their last position – are they leaving because they had a bad relationship with their manager, or are they looking to work for you because you pay more? If their answer is based on dissatisfaction in their last role, you may want to explore this further, to ensure they are going to be happy working as part of your team.Hopefully, your interviewee will also give you insight into what most attracted them to your job role – they may have applied because they saw something unique or appealing about your company, This has the potential to give you insight into how effective your talent acquisition strategy is.Tell me about a time you achieved or were proud of yourself?When it comes to sales interview questions and answers, you can’t go wrong with this classic. Interviewers ask this sales job interview question as they want to understand your drive to succeed – and what your greatest accomplishments are.What kind of responses should candidates give?Candidates should first describe the situation they were in and any problems that needed to be solved, before going on to say what they were assigned and what their objectives were. The next step to answer this sales interview question is to talk about what action you took.Do this step by step and explain why you did what you did at each stage. It is, of course, essential to then say what the result was.What responses should you look for as an employer?Hiring managers should expect candidates to remember that they are interviewing for a sales role, so any answer should be relevant to that sector. You will want to look out for a time when a candidate was determined, and reaped rewards as a result of their actions. If an interviewee has data to support what they are saying this will help provide a close to perfect answer.How would your coworkers describe you?This sales interview question reveals how well a candidate can assess themselves, and also gives hiring managers a sense of how they would fit in with their organization’s culture and existing team members.What kind of responses should candidates give?A good response would see you showcase your abilities and positivity, by talking about how coworkers always praise your perseverance or how goal-driven you are. It is also important to stress how you enjoy the company of your colleagues, how you collaborate well with others as part of a team, and that you enjoy working in a positive and friendly environment.What responses should you look for as an employer?When answering this sales jobs interview question, employers will want to hear how someone will adapt to their culture, and how they can adjust to the environment around them. Being part of a team and getting along with other team members is essential.How did you close your biggest sale?This question is likely to come up whether you are asking sales executive interview questions, sales director interview questions or sales manager interview questions. This is another opportunity for interviewees for sales roles to sell themselves and talk about how the work they have done has led to tangible success.What kind of responses should candidates give?Sales interview questions like this are testing you for examples of your sales achievements. A good response could include details of how you worked with a customer who was unsure about making a purchase and how you convinced them to do so.What responses should you expect as an employer?This sales interview question is asking for a concrete example of success, supported by data and information as to how the outcome was achieved. It is a great chance to discover the true skills and knowledge of the person you are interviewing.Reed has a proven track record in finding sales professionals who boost company performance, as well as the experience and expertise to help sales professionals take their next career step. Contact one of our specialists today.
Employment referencing: best practice tips for employers
A recent poll conducted by Reed Screening revealed that 78% of employers identified reference checks as the most time-consuming aspect of the recruitment process. In this piece, Keith Rosser, the Director of Reed Screening, provides valuable advice on how to streamline the referencing process.In the current aggressive job market, it's crucial for employers to make well-informed hiring choices to strengthen their team.Employment referencing is a vital component of recruitment; it offers employers a straightforward and efficient method to confirm a candidate's qualifications and experience. By reaching out to previous employers, recruiters can verify the authenticity of a resume, evaluate the reliability of a prospective new hire, and ensure the effectiveness of the recruitment process.Although it might appear mundane, the act of referencing can offer profound understanding into an applicant's background, work habits, and appropriateness for a position. Nonetheless, it's crucial to bear in mind the legal and ethical implications involved.Understand referencingThere are primarily two components that most companies consider as part of an employment reference check: employment verification or a basic check (confirmation of dates and roles from a previous employer) and substantive referencing or an enhanced check (detailed feedback on the individual's behavior and proficiency). Even though there's no legal or regulatory requirement, many companies choose to perform only basic checks, but it's advisable to be aware of both.When requesting references from applicants, it can be extremely advantageous in certain situations to go beyond simply verifying employment history and job positions. If necessary, it might be more effective to pose open-ended questions to the reference to gain a deeper insight into the applicant's strengths and weaknesses, work habits, collaboration skills, and overall job performance.This method can provide deeper insights into a candidate's personality and skills, enabling you to make a more educated choice when hiring. However, a simple reference check is sufficient and can be performed digitally to speed up the recruitment process.Reed Screening carried out a study on 100,000 job references, revealing significant problems in the reference process, such as:Volume – out of the 100,000 references requested, only 61% were received.Veracity – among the received ones, 31% had inconsistencies compared to the information given by the candidate.Value – 81% of the references received only included the employment dates.Verification – 65% of the referee data provided by the candidate was incorrect.Verify authenticityExamining a candidate's employment history is crucial to confirm the accuracy of the details provided by the applicant. If they are hiding information from a prospective employer, it can lead to serious repercussions.This could lead you to doubt the candidate's honesty and integrity, potentially delaying your hiring schedule and necessitating a restart of certain stages of the recruitment process, which is both time-consuming and costly.Make sure the reference is genuine and not concocted by the applicant. Ask for references from official company email addresses or phone numbers to verify the referee's identity, or use instant referencing – a method that utilizes payroll and open banking data to confirm employment dates and salary details. This can help deter fraudulent references.Lately, there's been a surge in recruitment scams and so-called "reference houses": websites that appear authentic with seemingly real email and phone contacts, designed to provide counterfeit references for a fee. It's crucial for companies to enhance their strategies to combat this issue by conducting IP address verifications of online references, automatic searches against recognized reference houses, and pre-validated legitimate business addresses.Traditional reference systems that merely streamline the reference procedure are unlikely to detect systematic fake references which, in the end, are employed to conceal something from the applicant's employment history.Make security a priorityTraditional procedures are frequently conducted through email, posing a risk of personal information being dispatched to an incorrect email address or being compromised. Numerous protective measures are implemented to prevent this, but as this data is exchanged in emails and documents, it becomes increasingly vulnerable to fraudulent activities and data leaks.Employers need to be cognizant of and adhere to United States data protection and privacy regulations, like GDPR. They should obtain permission from the applicant to reach out to their references and manage their information. It's crucial to be clear about the reason for the reference verification.Respect confidentiality and be objectiveEx-employers might not always be willing to disclose information about a candidate's performance due to privacy agreements, which should be honored. In such situations, you might need to request the candidate to provide a different professional reference, or you might need to determine if you're willing to take a chance and move forward.Refrain from forming presumptions or personal opinions based solely on the feedback from references. Keep in mind that references might have their own prejudices or incentives. Use the information as a component of the decision-making process, weighing it against other elements such as work history, qualifications, and training.Ask for recent referencesFor a precise assessment of a candidate's present skills and work approach, seek references from their latest employers.The reference provider should be authenticated to ensure the reliability of the data, along with verifying the specifics of the candidate's employer - this helps to discard any misleading information, thereby minimizing the potential for mistakes.Cross-check the informationFraudsters may easily hide accurate information when reference verifications are not implemented. The ideal approach would be to incorporate a comprehensive evaluation of cross-checked data provided, and additional scrutiny of any suspicious inconsistencies or warning signs in the interim."Remember to look for inconsistencies and discrepancies, as this can provide valuable insight into a candidate's honesty and integrity."Keith Rosser, Director, Reed ScreeningDon't forget to search for inconsistencies and contradictions, as these can offer crucial understanding into a candidate's truthfulness and integrity. Despite having a digital procedure, it's still deemed as a best practice to verify the information.Develop a reference policyImplement a well-defined policy for reference verification that details the procedures and criteria for performing the checks. This policy should be uniformly enforced for all applicants to guarantee impartiality and adherence - whether the process is manual or digital.For all resumes, it's crucial to scrutinize the employment history, proof of employment gaps, and references - this includes examining the provided dates and demanding clarifications for any deceptive details - as this is vital to uphold and foster a more secure work environment for everyone.Instant referencingEmployment referencing is a crucial tool for employers to make informed hiring decisions. Failing to conduct proper checks can put you at risk of financial or reputational damage.Instant referencing platforms automate the process of collecting and verifying employment references, which is faster and more efficient than traditional methods. These platforms provide quality data directly from your candidate’s past employers, enabling you to make better hiring choices.To learn more about how our instant referencing technology can accelerate and streamline your hiring process, get in touch with one of our experts.
Sustainable plastic packaging: opportunities for science
Not long ago, it was an industry that made lots of packing materials. Consumers wanted goods wrapped in plastic and cardboard. Now the opposite is the case – the result of shocking news headlines, public protests, and warnings about the planet’s future.Plastic packaging alternativesScientists are looking for ways to make materials that are good for the environment. They are studying different materials like algae, fungi, and plant-based polymers. The aim is to create packaging that works like plastic but doesn't harm the environment. Nanotechnology allows for smart packaging that protects products, stays fresh, and reduces waste.Moreover, progress in recycling technologies is moving fast. Circular systems repurpose and recycle packaging materials, which is encouraging for a sustainable economy.These innovations lessen our need for new materials and the strain on landfills and oceans, but they are expensive. Research institutions, governments, and industries must collaborate to invest in scalable, affordable technologies – exploring new materials and production methods.Subsidies and incentives can motivate businesses to use sustainable practices, making it financially beneficial for them in the future. Setting industry-wide standards and certifications can guide businesses in making informed choices about their packaging choices.Consumer choice and brand reputationCost is the main reason some companies that make or rely on packaging are hesitant to change. However, the truth is that others simply refuse to acknowledge or value the importance of making changes quickly.Young people want sustainability and are asking for more from the government, employers, and shops. The "cancel culture" era has given consumers the power to make industries support their cause. In a new era of "cancel culture," consumers understand their power and force industries to join their cause.Public campaigns and education can teach companies and consumers about the environment, encouraging them to support eco-friendly trends. Promoting responsible use in workplaces empowers people to help the cause and create a positive brand reputation. Choose products with eco-friendly packaging to reduce waste and environmental impact.The science of packaging: ideas and innovationScience has improved recycling a lot. The environment's issues provide opportunities for research and development, even though they are concerning.Science has made significant advancements in recycling. The challenges faced by the environment offer opportunities for research and development, despite being worrisome.Similar to how the pandemic accelerated medical progress, the environment also requires attention and will lead to unforeseen changes. Scientists and researchers are in great demand, particularly those with the vision and skill to create rapid change. STEM education is more important than ever.Using less plastic in packaging is necessary to protect our planet for future generations. It's not just a trend, but a collective commitment. Investing will create new eco-friendly packaging, impacting science, manufacturing, and marketing in a chain reaction. Across the board, these challenges present hope and opportunities.Contact our team of recruiters for skilled professionals or career opportunities.
Interview questions to ask candidates - and what their answers mean
A good interview should be planned using a mix of different question types. They should always be adapted to the specific qualities you’d like a candidate to show relevant to a particular role. These questions should give you insight into their strengths, weaknesses and how well they will fit into the team. Here is a selection of the main types of questions to ask when interviewing.The standard competency questionThese are the most common type of questions to ask when interviewing, and will usually start with the phrase along the lines of “Can you give me an example of when you…”. They can be adjusted to suit whichever skills you’d like the candidate to tell you about, for example, delivering excellent customer service, resolving a conflict or influencing a senior stakeholder.Competency style questions are good for when you want to find out about specific competencies or skills the candidate has, and how they have used them to resolve previous situations. Good candidates will often plan responses to these and should give clear, thought-through examples.Look for evidence in their answers that they can give you a clear situation, the task at hand, the action they personally took, and the (positive) result of that action - the STAR method.The follow-up questionFollow-up questions allow you to get more detail, and look beyond the glossy prepared answer, which, although sounding impressive, may cover up a lack of detail or personal involvement. Asking good follow-up questions allows the candidate to engage on a higher level, and have to think on the spot a bit more, as they might not be as prepared for one of these.The curveball questionIf you really want to test a candidate’s ability to think on their feet, throw in a curveball or two. These can be completely unrelated to the job but may be an extension of something on their CV or relate to current affairs that you’d like them to comment on or explain to you. It will test their decision-making under pressure, and the ability to articulate an unprepared response, which can be very important in some jobs.The hypothetical situation questionSome love and some hate these, but they can be seen as a very good example of testing rational thought and logical reasoning quite quickly. Such questions are normally along the lines of asking the candidate to imagine they are in a certain situation, and then asking them to make a decision, based on information and parameters provided.The “describe yourself” questionThese can come in many forms, and you can ask candidates to imagine what their previous boss or co-workers would say about them, or just to sum themselves up in a few words. This will show whether a candidate can empathize with another person’s point of view and express it, or their ability to give a succinct answer when only a few words are required.