Recruitment Tips

This week we have some tips for employers and job hunters in connection with our classified website

Michelle Murphy of Collins McNicholas Recruitment has advice for employers seeking to whittle down and obtain the best candidate for a particular job.

Ms Murphy says following the job specification and clarity on the criteria being sought in a potential candidate is key. The number of jobs lost in the recession means those out of work are now more open to applying for a variety of roles. Employers have come to expect a larger volume of CVs for advertised positions. The recruitment expert says ranking CVs is a helpful way to begin the shortlisting process. “They could be ranked A, B and C. For example the A category may have all the skills and experience necessary. The B category will be strong candidates who may just fall short on one of the criteria while the C category unfortunately do not fit the bill and will receive a formal letter of regret.”

Ms Murphy says having a fine tuned and transparent interview process will make for a much easier selection system. A fair scoring structure will ensure that unsuccessful candidates are aware of the reasoning behind the decision. “Competencies like teamwork, communication skills, leadership skills are crucial and must be zoned in on during the interview.”

It certainly pays to be personable. A candidate may tick every box when it comes to education, skills, experience, etc, but something that is exceptionally important is that a person is a good ‘fit’ for an organisation. “Employers should always be on the lookout for someone who will get stuck in and bring that bit extra to a role - enthusiasms, drive and hunger. However it is essential a person integrates well in to a team.’’

Collins McNicholas Jobs of the week:

Supply chain manager operations;

French customer service - order specialist;


Niall Toland of HAYS gives job hunters some tips about how best to prepare and present a CV.

It is absolutely vital that CVs add value to a candidate. The cardinal rule is to ensure that spelling and grammar are correct. The number of CVs received by employers means that such simple, amateur errors will ensure a mistake prone document is placed at the back of the queue. Spell check and proof the CV and give it to somebody else to do same.

The document will ideally be about two pages long and simple, concise, and easy to read. Mr Toland advises candidates to keep underlining and italics firmly to a minimum. He believes bullet points keep a CV looking structured.

List work experience in a chronological order, beginning with the most recent employment. Include the employer’s name, the position held, dates worked, and a brief description of the role. Mr Toland says it is important not to leave gaps in your CV. “For instance if you took a year out to travel, make reference to that, because questions will arise otherwise.”

If you are a graduate who may not have much work experience, highlight the skills acquired on the course and any work experience undertaken. The expert says when it comes to education, use common sense in what detail to include. “If you have a master’s degree, your Junior Cert results are not important in the grand scheme of things.”

Put in a personal summary/ skills summary to give potential employers more of a feel for what you have to offer. Most companies want CVs submitted electronically so make sure it fits the format of a word document. Finally, this may sound simple but ensure your contact details are correct and you are using an up to date e-mail address.

HAYS Jobs of the week:

Manufacturing engineer;

Mechanical & electrical co-ordination CAD Engineer, Athlone;


Ronan O’Sulllivan of Cpl Recruitment outlines the three most important questions that candidates should be ready to answer at a job interview.

1. Describe your biggest success in your career thus far.

This is an opportunity to talk yourself up and highlight your most positive attributes. Describe a situation where you showed skills that are required for the job you are seeking.

2. Describe a failure in your career to date?

This can be a tricky question that candidates are unsure how to answer. Have a prepared answer and ensure you can turn the negative in to a positive.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This can be another tricky one. The advice is to think of your career as a compass and be aware of the general direction you wish to travel. A blank look and a shrug of the shoulders will not suffice.

Mr O’Sullivan’s general advice is to study the STAR interview technique -think about the particular Situation, the Tasks which were required, the Action taken, and the Results achieved. He believes this methodology is a big help with structuring a logical answer to most interview questions.

One final tip is to listen carefully to the question, answer it to the best of your ability and then stop talking. “Nerves tend to get the better of people and they can start to waffle. There is nothing more off-putting. Silence is a great prompter for an interviewer.”

Cpl Jobs of the week:

Senior mechanical design engineer (Limerick );

Manufacturing engineer;


For a comprehensive list of jobs available from Collins McNicholas, HAYS and Cpl along with many more roles, visit


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