Get the most out of interviewing candidates



Interviews

We appreciate that an interview gives you the opportunity to rate a shortlist of candidates against one another but, be aware, in a candidate driven market you often need to sell your organisation too. Its becoming more important in Data and Analytics recruitment to create an engaging and professional experience for candidates to ensure your organisation passes their interview too.

So what is the best way to get the most from your interviews in a candidate driven marketplace?



Have a consistent set of benchmarks


Use the right type of questions

Consider the STAR technique

Be considerate with your timing

Sell the role!



Have a consistent set of benchmarks

Use objective measures and work to a set interview format. This will ensure that whoever conducts the interview, the information obtained will be consistent

Develop a set of questions that are asked in each interview, Competency Based Interviewing is commonplace nowadays. This method gives structure to an interview which benefits both you and the candidate.

Try to keep the number of interviews per candidate to a minimum. Only in special circumstances should you add additional interviews into a particular candidates recruitment process, but avoid this wherever possible.

Use the right type of questions

Use questions that will delve into an individual’s ability to do the role, not information that could wrongly influence your decision. Using competency based questioning helps to avoid subjective views having an impact on your decision. Have a scoring sheet to mark candidates against the key attributes that are important to the specific role and business will help.

  1. Consider how they match up against your company values.

  2. Do they have experience of working on similar or transferable projects?

  3. Do they have the required level of SAS or SQL for this role?

Consider the STAR technique

Another type of interview technique is STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) which again ensures you obtain all the relevant information about a specific capability that the role requires.  As well as giving structure to the interview, which is good for the candidate, this format is said to give a good insight into future on-the-job performance, for example:

  • Situation:  Candidate is asked to give an example of a recent work challenge/objective set.

  • Task:  What did they have to achieve?

  • Action:  What did they do to achieve the objective?

  • Results:  What was the outcome and did they meet the objectives?

If the candidate is being interviewed by other people in the organisation, arrange to review all feedback once all the interviews have taken place, this way you are not influenced by other people’s opinions before you meet the candidate. And ensure that the candidate is not kept waiting between interviews. Have someone co-ordinating the meetings to ensure everyone keeps to their allotted time.

Ensure your questions are clear and not double ended. Ask one question at a time and wait until you have received a satisfactory answer. Don’t over complicate the interview by asking 2 questions at once or asking ambiguous questions.

If competency based interview or STAR techniques don’t give you the level of information you want, consider including a test of some type, in addition to a formal interview. If this is your preferred method – you must let the candidate know they will be expected to sit a test, if so then they can prepare properly.  Its worth considering however, that introducing too many stages can lead you to miss out on good candidates in a candidate driven market.

Be considerate with your timing

If you know early on in the interview that the candidate is not suitable, they should still be given a fair interview. Don’t cut the interview short after 10 minutes s if you decide they aren’t the one – remember the candidate experience. The Analytics market is a small world and you don’t want the candidate telling their colleagues and industry contacts about what a bad experience they’ve had.

At the other end of the scale, if an interview is likely to be long, let the candidate know this in advance. Giving an approximate interview time of 1-2 hours is better than saying an 1 hour and have it run over. Manage their expectations as they may then be under pressure to get back to work, which could affect their concentration and how well they present themselves in the interview.

Sell the role!

And lastly, if you like a particular candidate, then sell the role to them while you have a captive audience. Give them ample chance to ask questions and really focus on promoting the role and company, maybe even give them a quick tour of the business. Above all, let them know that you are an employer that is genuinely passionate about this opportunity. Remember, they are likely to be speaking to other companies who are doing just that, so don’t let your business go unnoticed.



<< By Kat Heague >>

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Why A Good Work-Life Balance Is Better for Business

Contrary to American sitcoms, work life balance isn’t about sitting in coffee shops contemplating life and complaining about work. However, there are plenty of jobs where you can work from or in a coffee shop. The rise of virtual, remote, and contractual roles has contributed to the demand for work life balance. But, sometimes, in our tech-led world, where business can follow us anywhere, the balance becomes more about setting boundaries. It’s about putting down our mobile phones, closing our laptops, and dipping our toes into other waters.  Where Does Your Country Fit on the Work-Life Balance Scale? European countries have been leading the way with work-life balance for some time, with the Netherlands topping the list at number one. With the UK sitting at number 29 out of the 38 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), what’s tipping the scales? 13% of British employees work 50 or more hours per week versus 0.5% of people in the Netherlands work those long hours. The average Brit is therefore only setting aside 14.9 hours for leisure and personal care (including eating and sleeping) a day versus those in the Netherlands who dedicate 15.9 hours. Countries in the Nordics work a maximum of 48-hours per week. However, the reality is significantly lower, with the Finnish working an average of 36.2 hours a week, the Swedes 35.9 hours, Norwegians at 34 hours, and the Danes just 32 hours.Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland have become renowned for fostering optimal work-life balance. But, though the Netherlands sits at the number one spot on the OECD, the Danes top the list as the happiest in the world. The Danish welfare model, characterised by quality of life and a good work-life balance offers: Flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities. A high degree of flexibility at work – often including adaptable start times and the ability to work from home. Lunch breaks are often at a designated time each day, enabling colleagues to interact, eat together, and get away from their desks. There is a minimum 5 weeks’ paid holiday for all wage earners. The Danish welfare society is characterised by quality of life and a good work-life balance. Work-life balance for the Danes is a healthy balance of priorities. As important as career and ambition is, are is just as important to balance life outside work (pleasure, leisure, family, and health). This understanding of balance not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality table, it also contributes to a generally high standard of living. Further research shows 33% of working American adults work over the weekend and on holidays. This, in turn, has led 66% to say they don’t feel they have a good work-life balance. One of the main drivers contributing to the need to always be “on” and available is 24/7 technology.  For example, if an employer emails, texts, or rings an employee at dinnertime, the employee often feels compelled to answer straightaway. While 57% of those surveyed feel technology has ruined the family dinner, 40% believe it is okay to answer an urgent call or email at the dinner table. So, it comes back to boundaries and not feeling guilty about ‘switching off’ for a few hours or a few days to ‘recharge’. What Companies are Doing to Improve Work-Life Balance  Nordic businesses remain at the top of the list for best work-life balance. Though much of it is dictated by strict Nordic Labour laws, companies outside the Nordics are beginning to take pages from their playbook.  At a business in Helsinki, Finland, employees are encouraged to go home on time at the end of their day. Often this falls around 5:00pm, though leaving earlier to say, go to a child’s sports activity, is always a guilt-free option.  Like many European businesses, employees also receive five weeks of paid vacation each year. Everyone gets stock options and teams are small with the ability to make autonomous decisions. The theory: this team is closest to the project, they know what is best for it. No management approval required, but only to help share in lessons learned. Many Nordic businesses have shortened hours and a focus on family. By putting family first, businesses report improved productivity and innovation, less absenteeism, and reductions in staff turnover. Other benefits can include: Ability to leave work 30-minutes early to pick up kids from school or take them to sports practice Ability to use sick days to take care of sick children Businesses regularly offer gym memberships, event discounts, leadership classes, and team-building exercises as well as opportunities for employees to take courses and further their education. At one business, in Sweden, for example, employees have access to a leisure centre and recreational activities such as fishing, tennis, and swimming. Though everyone has their own definition of what work-life balance means to them, it can be difficult to follow without government mandates, like in some European countries, or if you’re a small business. Our UK and Europe Salary Guide showed that, with over 98% of respondents working full time, at least some flexibility is now expected. We found that 53% of respondents work at home at least one day a week, and 56% have flexible working hours, highlighting that these ‘benefits’ are now becoming the norm.  Harnham Life As a business, we try to both reflect, and the lead the way with, developments that we see across the Data & Analytics industry. From ensuring our consultants leave on time two days per week to participate in pursuits outside work, to offering one fully-paid Charity Day per year, we place emphasis on creating an environment where our teams feel like they have a good work-life balance. By building a culture where a consultant can set up a book club or arrange a night out on the town, we have formed a business where employee welfare is prioritised.  Though everyone has their own definition of what work-life balance means to them, it can be difficult to follow without government mandates like in some European countries or if you’re a small business. The important thing is to do what’s right for you and sometimes turn off your phone, close your laptop, and meet up with some family or friends in that coffee shop.  Whether you’re looking for a permanent position with more benefits, or the freedom of a contract role, we’re here to help with your job search.  

Key Fraud Trends: How to Stay Safe in the Changing Fraudscape

Sharing and collecting data is part of our everyday lives. Whether our information is shared over social media, e-commerce sites, banks, or elsewhere, this can open up risks.  2017 saw the highest number of identity fraud cases ever, an increase in young people ‘money muling’ and higher bank account takeovers for over-60s. Whilst overall fraud incidences fell 6%, these cases highlight just some of the changing trends as fraud issues stem more from misuse than ever before. Dixons Carphone, Facebook and Ticketmaster are just three cases you may recognise from a string of high profile data breaches this year. Technological advances, more accessible and available data, coupled with an increased sophistication of fraud schemes, makes it more likely that data breaches and fraud attacks will become regular news items. But how is the fraud landscape changing and can technological advances be advantageous in detecting and reducing fraud? Identity fraud increasing for under 21s In June 2018, Dixons Carphone found an attack enabled unauthorised access to personal data from 1.2 million customers. It’s now been uncovered that the number is much higher, closer to ten times initial estimates. Whilst no financial information was directly accessed, personal data such as names, addresses and emails enable fraudsters to fake an identity. Younger fake identities are used more for product and asset purchases which typically require less stringent checks, such as mobile phone contracts and short-term loans.  In 2017, Cifas, a non-profit organisation working to reduce and prevent fraud and financial crime, reported the highest number of identity fraud cases ever. Under 21s are most at risk seeing a 30% increase as they engage more with online retail accounts. Whereas previously identity theft would manifest itself in fraudulent card and bank account activity, it’s now being used to make false insurance claims and asset conversion calling for stronger detection in these industries.  Young People Used as Money Mules This age group aren’t only being targeted for identity theft; there’s a 27% uplift in young people acting as money mules. ‘Money muling’ is a serious offence that carries a 14-year prison sentence in the UK. In most cases, younger people are recruited with the lure of large cash payments to facilitate movement of funds through their account, taking a cut as they go.  In a world where young lives are glamourised and luxurious goods are displayed over social media, this cut can be particularly appealing. Whether aware, believing the reward outweighs the risk, or unaware a money laundering crime is being committed, deeper fraud controls are needed across social media as much as bank accounts. This raises the question as to whether banks should be linking social media to customer details to stop money laundering early on? Increased bank account takeover for over 60s Cifas also reported an increase in account takeovers for over 60s for the same period. Seen by fraudsters as a less tech-savvy and therefore more susceptible demographic, over 60s are increasingly being targeted with online and social engineering scams. The same features which can make some over 60s a target for these scams, can also mean that account takeovers are not immediately noticed and reported, posing yet another difficulty for fraud monitoring and prevention. Vigilance and proactiveness is key. Here are three tips to get you started: Never give personal or security information to someone who contacts you out of the blue, either online, on the phone, or face to face. Always phone and check with the company first. If you make the call then you know you can trust the person on the other end. Check with your bank to see if they offer an elder fraud initiative such as a monitoring service that scans for suspicious activity and alerts customers and their families or educates seniors on types of scams and how to avoid them. When in doubt about something, delay and seek a second opinion. Check with your local library, government offices, or non-profit organisation for more top tips to stay safe from scams and social engineering.   Industry approach Traditionally, financial services organisations have been at the forefront of developing fraud controls; they are often the ones most impacted by the financial risk (the monetary cost of the attacks on their business) and regulatory risk (ensuring their business is adhering to regulations and controls). However, with modern day trends and the changing nature of fraud, all industries need to be focused on reputational risks and prevention. Single big events like Facebook and Dixon Carphone’s data breaches can have a far-reaching impact.  But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Monzo, an online bank, which bills itself as the future of banking has stepped up the game when it comes to their customer’s security. Upon reports of fraudulent activity on customer cards, they took immediate action to correct the problem. Then they took things a step further, introducing digital analytics to help identify trends and patterns. As patterns emerged, Monzo then notified both the breached business and the authorities. Perhaps a cross-industry collaborative approach is needed as, after all, fraudsters are collaborating. By doing so, businesses will become more proactive, rather than reactive, and can put measures in place to stop potential fraud. If you’ve got a nose for numbers and want to help secure the reputation of businesses the world over, we may have a role for you.  To learn more, call our UK team at +44 020 8408 6070 or email us at ukinfo@harnham.com

Welcome to Harnham's New Home

After months of planning, building and fine tuning we are delighted to introduce you to our new website. We’ve worked tirelessly to produce an innovative new mobile-first site designed to give you the best access to our array of hundreds of jobs and industry-leading expertise.  Here you’ll find all the information you need about who we are, our specialist teams and how we can help.  So come on in, take a look around, and get in touch if you’d like us to help with your job search or hiring needs. 

Disruptive Dynasties: From Wimbledon to the World Cup

A Royal Wedding. World Cup 2018. Wimbledon. The last few months have seen a whirlwind of activity in the UK. A few years ago, who would have predicted a royal wedding to an American actress? Or the upset at Wimbledon in both the women’s and the men’s finals? And, of course, who could forget England’s unprecedented run or France’s leap to World Cup victory with their 4-2 win over Croatia. With such significant shocks at both the World Cup and Wimbledon signal, we have to ask ourselves; is this a turning of the tide?  Federer is still reaching for his 21st Grand Slam title. Serena Williams reached the Wimbledon finals a few months after having a baby and having suffered a pulled pectoral muscle. Both dynasties on the grass faced opponents breathing fire, hungry for the win. But whilst The Championships led to some unexpected results, it's the World Cup 2018 that really shook the boat.What Data and Predictive Analytics Taught Us We’ve all done it. Making predictions based on historical data, the always was, and the dynasties of a well-oiled machine, is our best way of guessing how our favourite competitions will work out. We think ‘if Team A has played this way, that way, or won year-on-year’ then surely, it will be that way again. But sometimes, as Steve Lohr points out:“Listening to the data is important … but so is experience and intuition.  After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?” Perhaps one of the reasons for this year’s lack of predictability has been that the best performances have come from unexpected sources. Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar Jr. all under performed in Russia, leaving room for Croatia’s golden generation to shine and France’s youthful side to make their mark. This explanation is supported by FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup Doppelganger tool, which offers a look at the statistical footprint of every player since 1966. From this, we can see that the breakout performances of 2018 were from teams that, with the exception of France, you may not have expected at the beginning of the tournament; Belgium, England, Mexico, and Switzerland:Kylian Mbappé, France, 19 Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, 25  Kieran Trippier, England, 27 Hirving Lozano, Mexico, 22 Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland, 26 Kylian Mbappe, at 19, is the youngest and the first teenager to score in a World Cup since Pele in 1958. With further breakout performances from players such as Russia’s Aleksandr Golovin makes it clear there’s room to grow, giving new life to recruitment trends. Even in football, diversity is key. The Best is Yet to Come Like this year’s Wimbledon upsets, the 2018 World Cup suggests that there are new dynasties in the making. Though France has just claimed their second ever World Cup trophy, this is only the beginning for their current squad. According to TransferMarkt.com, of France’s top 13 players, only two are older than 25 and, at 19, star player Kylian Mbappe is the first teenager to score at a World Cup since Pele in 1958. The future is looking bright for Les Bleus. Looking Beyond the Obvious Whilst we often use predictive analytics in sports, sometimes we need someone who can see beyond the obvious trends and analyse what unexpected events may occur. If you’re interested in analytics and ready to take the world by storm, we may have a role for you. We specialise in Junior and Senior roles. To lean more, check out our current vacancies, call our UK team on +44 20 8408 6070, or email us at ukinfo@harnham.com. 

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