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 toMinimize disruption and keep morale high with a stress-free offboarding processFuture-proof your team from resignations with actionable feedback from the leaving employeeRecruit, reallocate, or restructure? Find the best way to deal with your vacancyThe kit containsAn 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.
25 common retail interview questions and how to answer them
Whether you're looking for a sales assistant or a sales manager, this article outlines the most common retail interview questions and provides answers to help you feel prepared and confident.Retail employees are often the face of your brand and play a key role in maintaining your company's reputation. As such, interviews provide an opportunity to assess a prospective employee's communication skills, customer service abilities, and problem-solving skills. While interviews may vary, most questions will focus on these key areas, as well as the candidate's retail knowledge and relevant experience.In this article, we provide 25 of the most common retail interview questions, along with potential answers to help you identify the best candidate for the job.General questionsTell me about yourselfEmployer: Starting most interviews with this question is an effective way to gain insights into a candidate’s background, past experience, and skills gained from previous roles. Additionally, this question can be extended to help you understand the candidate on a personal level and assess how they would fit in with your company culture. It is an essential question to ask to get a better understanding of the candidate and their potential fit for the role.Candidate: There are several ways to approach this question. To give an effective response, a candidate should start by describing their current role and responsibilities. Then, they can share past experiences that are relevant to the position they're applying for. Finally, they should explain why they are interested in the opportunity. If you need help with your next career step, our expert consultants are here to assist you.Why do you want to work in retail?Employer: When you start an interview with a candidate, it's a good idea to ask them why they want to work in your industry. This question can help you understand their level of passion for the role. If you're hiring for a retail position, asking why the candidate wants to work in retail can help them highlight their experience in customer service, their ability to interact with people, and their desire to help customers have a positive experience. This information can help you assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the job.Candidate: The retail environment can often be challenging, but this question provides an opportunity for the candidate to express their enthusiasm for working in the industry. Answers can reveal the candidate's people skills.Why do you want to work for our company?Employer: It is important to test if they have done their research about the company. You, as a hiring manager, should aim to determine if the candidate understands your brand and vision. Make sure to pay attention to answers that demonstrate knowledge of the company's values and online presence.Candidate: A good candidate should demonstrate that they have done their research on your organization. They should also explain why they value your brand and what they find most appealing about your company, products, or services. Don't forget to pay attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.What makes you stand out? Why should we hire you instead of somebody else?Employer: When answering this question, it is important for candidates to understand the requirements of the role as stated in the job description. While looking for mention of the essential criteria points, it is equally important to pay attention to the candidate’s body language, attitude, and presentation when providing their response. For further details about the recruitment process, our sales recruiters are available to assist you.Candidate: In the retail industry, sales are crucial. Therefore, candidates must demonstrate their ability to persuade the hiring manager of their suitability for the job. By providing a genuine and distinctive response, candidates can establish their compatibility with the company and their potential to enhance an already strong team.What do you know about the products we sell?Employer: It is highly advantageous to interview a candidate who is already familiar with the product or service. This question not only highlights a candidate's ability to anticipate, but also demonstrates that they have invested their time in comprehending the product, its functionality, and how it can benefit customers and clients. Additionally, it helps the interviewer gauge the candidate's level of interest and knowledge.Candidate: It's a great idea to mention a few of the products or services that the company offers, especially during a retail manager interview. Even if the candidate isn't familiar with the products in-depth, having a basic knowledge of the industry and what the company sells demonstrates that they've made an effort to understand the organisation, which makes their application more appealing.What is your greatest strength?Employer: During an interview, there is a question that is commonly asked across most industries. This particular question is designed to help the employer assess a candidate's skill set and determine if they are a good fit for the role. It serves as a way for you to get to know the candidate better and make an informed decision about their suitability.Candidate: It is advisable for the interviewee to be truthful when answering this common question. When asked about their greatest strength, candidates should highlight their ability to work under pressure while maintaining the quality of their work. This would demonstrate to the employer that the candidate's strengths align with the job requirements.What do you consider a weakness of yours?Employer: In retail, evaluating a candidate’s self-awareness is a common interview practice. Look for self-evaluation and improvement.Candidate: It can be challenging to answer this question. Candidates should avoid showing any signs of insecurity, but at the same time, they should not come across as overly confident. Responses that indicate a growth mindset and a willingness to improve may impress an employer who is seeking a candidate that can fit into their organization. Such an employer may see the potential to develop the candidate into a perfect fit for the role.Other questions to consider:What are your salary expectations for this retail job?What three words would you use to describe yourself?What do you hope to learn in this position?Where do you see yourself in five years?Experience and background questionsWhat do you consider good customer service?Employer: A crucial aspect of the retail environment is providing high standards of customer service. It is important to confirm if the candidate's response aligns with the company's definition of customer service.Candidate: When answering questions about customer service, candidates should provide examples of good customer service they have received or given in the past. The main goal of customer service is to create a positive and memorable experience for customers. Therefore, providing examples of such experiences will help in giving a strong and effective answer.Tell me about a time when you’ve worked well as part of a team?Employer: It is crucial for many retail jobs that candidates are able to work effectively as part of a team, as the industry relies on collaboration. It is important to assess a candidate's ability to work with their colleagues to create an environment that is conducive to success. Additionally, ensure that you take the time to understand their collaborative work style.Candidate: Employers use scenario-based questions to assess a candidate's practical abilities, asking them to provide examples of how they overcame challenges as part of a team.Can you give an example of a time when you went the extra mile for a customer?Employer: In retail, you want to hire employees who are passionate about helping the customer. Here, you’ll want to find out what a candidate has done in the past to go the extra mile in customer service – offering multiple examples of high standards.Candidate: Competency questions are used to evaluate scenarios where a candidate has interacted with customers. Interviewees may use these questions to highlight when they’ve received praise in previous roles from customers, and what the overall outcome of their hard work was.Tell us about a time you exceeded expectations at work?Employer: Managers are motivated to trust employees when they have positive experiences. To gauge a candidate's motivations and work ethic, it is helpful to ask questions about their commitment to excellence in service and exceeding expectations.Candidate: Hiring managers are seeking candidates who are dedicated to the role. Just like going above and beyond, candidates should highlight instances where they received praise from line managers, customers, or external providers for tasks they were assigned. If a candidate lacks retail experience, they can think of an example from a different job or role.Other questions to consider:What experience do you have in problem-solving to meet the needs of the customer?Can you describe the achievement you’re most proud of?Position-relevant questionsTell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer?Employer: Another frequently asked scenario-based question aims to assess a candidate's empathy, de-escalation skills, and problem-solving abilities. This question can also reveal a candidate's accountability and self-awareness, which are valuable qualities for retail industry employees.Candidate: It is important for candidates to demonstrate their proficiency in conflict resolution. They should provide a detailed account of the situation, including the specific circumstances that led to the difficulty, their approach to resolving it, and the ultimate outcome.How well do you perform in a busy work environment?Employer: Employers in the retail industry are aware of the high-stress nature of the work. Asking questions about performance will help you gauge how candidates handle difficult situations and demanding customers. It is also important to assess if candidates can thrive in a fast-paced environment, particularly during busy periods like Christmas and New Year.Candidate: Being able to multitask and prioritize is a crucial aspect of various retail positions. Candidates should provide instances of successfully working under pressure and demonstrate their ability to stay organized to prevent feeling overwhelmed.Tell me about a challenge you experienced in a past role and how you overcame it.Employer: Gaining insights into a candidate's character and their ability to handle challenges can be achieved through their response to behavioural questions. Pay attention to indications of resilience, adaptability, and a positive mindset.Candidate: It is recommended for candidates to provide specific examples that showcase their skills relevant to the position they are applying for. The most effective answers to this question typically follow the STAR (situation, task, action, and result) technique, allowing candidates to maintain focus and meet the interviewer's expectations.What do you enjoy most about working in retail?Employer: It is crucial to grasp the candidate's motivation for working in the retail industry and provide them with a chance to showcase their personality, drive, and ambition during the interview. Ensuring that the candidate aligns well with your team is important.Candidate: The retail industry can be incredibly fulfilling. Candidates should consider what aspects of their job bring them joy, such as improving their interpersonal skills, the industry's flexibility, the benefits that contribute to a healthy work-life balance, opportunities for growth, or the ability to interact with customers.Other questions to consider:What would you do if the payment machines stopped working on your shift?Tell us about a time you went beyond a customer’s expectations?How do you handle it when your replacement worker doesn’t show up?Tell me about a time that you showed leadership in a previous role.Important things to rememberDuring a retail interview, it is important to keep in mind that the experience can be challenging for both employers and professionals across various industries. Apart from the questions asked and answered during the interview, there are additional measures that can be taken to ensure a smooth and positive experience for everyone involved. Here are some key points to remember when preparing for a retail interview:ResearchWhen interviewing for a retail position, it is crucial for the candidate to have a basic understanding of the products sold, the target audience, and the company culture. Similarly, employers should consider conducting background screenings to streamline the recruitment process.Asking questionsCandidates should take the opportunity to ask questions during and before the interview to gather information that will help them determine if the role and company are a good fit. Employers can use this opportunity to showcase the company culture and highlight the benefits of working for the organization.Follow-upBoth the candidate and the employer have a responsibility to ensure that any further details and next steps are communicated after the interview. Candidates can send a follow-up email expressing gratitude and inquiring about the decision timeline. Employers should also reach out to the shortlisted candidates, whether they were successful or not.
Flexible working: The education sector in the Middle East
In recent times, there has been a growing trend towards flexible working arrangements across various industries globally. The education sector in the Middle East is no exception.Flexible working options are becoming more popular as educators want to improve their work-life balance.In this blog, we will explore the benefits and challenges of flexible working in the education sector and how it can positively impact both educators and students.The rise of flexible workingGone are the days when a rigid 9-to-5 schedule was the norm for educators. With the advent of technology and a shifting mindset towards work-life balance, flexible working has become increasingly prevalent.Flexible working gives educators more control over their schedules, making it easier to manage personal and professional commitments. Benefits for educatorsWork-life balanceFlexible working options enable educators to better manage their personal and professional responsibilities and also reduce stress. Whether it's attending family events, pursuing hobbies, or simply taking care of their well-being, flexible working allows them to maintain a healthier and good work-life balance.Increased job satisfactionBy offering flexible work arrangements, educational institutions show their commitment to supporting their educators' needs. This can lead to higher job satisfaction and overall employee morale. When educators feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work, which can positively impact their teaching and interactions with students.Professional development opportunitiesThe flexibility of working hours or remote working can provide educators with more time to pursue professional development opportunities. This could include attending workshops, and conferences, or enrolling in further education programs. By investing in their growth, educators can enhance their teaching skills and stay up-to-date with the latest educational practices.Benefits for studentsPersonalized learningFlexible working arrangements can lead to personalized learning experiences for students. Educators can adapt their teaching methods to cater to individual needs and varying learning styles. This tailored approach can foster a more inclusive and engaging learning environment, resulting in improved academic performance and student satisfaction.Enhanced supportWith flexible working, educators can allocate additional time to provide students with the support they need. This could include one-on-one sessions, additional study resources, or mentoring programs. By being more available, educators can build stronger relationships with their students and better understand their unique challenges.Challenges and considerationsWhile flexible working offers numerous benefits, it is important to acknowledge potential challenges. Communication and coordination may become more complex when educators are not physically present in the same location. Educational institutions need to ensure efficient communication channels are in place, utilizing technology such as video conferencing and collaboration tools. Moreover, monitoring and evaluating educators' performance may require a more outcome-based approach rather than relying solely on traditional metrics.Need help finding talented teachers for your school, or looking for your next teaching role? Get in touch with one of our specialist education consultants today.
The cyber security jobs that are in-demand
In an era of increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, it requires a highly skilled team to effectively counteract them.Research from the University of Gloucestershire has revealed that companies across the globe are facing digital risks as a result of the pandemic and the adoption of hybrid/remote work models.In 2021, there was some variance in the attack types used when breaching organisations, according to AGG. In the Middle East and Africa, the main attack type observed was server access, making up 18% of attacks. Cyber-crimes continue to grow from the following types of attacks:Phishing – these attacks aim to trick, pressure or manipulate people into sending information or payment. This is the most common cyber threat facing businesses and individuals.Malware – an unapproved software that gains computer access to disrupt or damage systems. These attacks were up 358% compared with 2019.Ransomware - a malicious software that locks systems or network access until a payment is made.Unfortunately, ransomware is the main attack type, around 26% of attacks in Europe. It means it’s even more important to protect your business. The increasing advancements in technology have created a significant need for professionals with expertise in cyber security.So, which roles are in greatest demand in the cyber security sphere?Cyber security traineeThe role of cyber security trainees involves performing crucial tasks related to technology and data security. These tasks include organizing digital resources, evaluating the company's IT policies, and researching new security strategies to enhance existing systems. By offering this role, businesses can empower teams to identify and address cyber security risks within the organization.Cyber security engineerCyber security engineers create and implement secure network solutions to protect against cyber threats and hacking risks. In larger organizations, they typically assume technical-focused positions, handling sensitive data regularly.When hiring for this role, ensure candidates have industry knowledge in corporate systems, technical systems, and data security. This knowledge will assist in managing competing demands effectively.Cyber intelligence analystThis position focus on finding weaknesses in IT networks, using digital tools to collect information and evidence, and analysing possible threats to critical security systems. Additionally, it involves generating threat assessment reports and providing recommendations for the company to address these risks. When evaluating candidates for this role, important qualifications to consider include CREST Registered Threat Intelligence Analyst and GIAC Cyber Threat Intelligence (GCTI).Penetration testerPenetration testers, also called ethical hackers, use the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers who carry out software attacks. However, penetration testers have explicit permission from system owners to conduct their tests. Their objective is to assist organizations in enhancing security by identifying and resolving vulnerabilities, thereby minimizing the risk of an attack.When hiring a penetration tester, look for candidates with a relevant degree or strong knowledge of computer operating systems. Also, consider candidates who have experience in an information security role.Security analystA security analyst is responsible for overseeing the security of company systems, detecting and investigating any unauthorized or illegal activities or attacks. They analyse and improve security measures, review security products, and use advanced analytics to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities for a company.Network engineerNetwork engineers have the responsibility of creating, setting up, and managing an organisation's digital communication network. Their tasks include establishing wireless networks, devising digital communication methods, and enhancing cyber security measures.Network engineers are crucial in companies that use computers, data, or digital information.Cyber security consultantCyber security consultants evaluate security issues, assess the risks and implement solutions to defend companies' networks and computer systems against threats. Simplified: They analyse security systems and adapt protection to changing IT environments.Make sure you’re offering competitive salaries to secure the talent you desire.Security architectA security architect is responsible for designing and implementing security measures for systems or services, as well as maintaining documentation related to security. They also develop complex architecture patterns and security strategies for new technologies to safeguard data.Security architects have to keep leadership teams informed about ongoing projects and update them on progress and challenges.Cyber security managerCyber security managers are responsible for overseeing the flow of information in and out of an organisation's information network. Their responsibility is to oversee network operations and handle the infrastructure supporting them. Their role is crucial in ensuring the security of company data and software.Are you looking to grow your IT team? Contact one of our technology recruitment experts today.
Interview questions to ask candidates - and what their answers mean
When conducting an interview, it's important to ask the right types of questions to get the most out of it. To achieve this, you should plan a mix of different question types that are tailored to the specific qualities required for a particular role. The questions that you ask should provide you with insight into the candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and how well they'll fit into the team. To help you achieve this, here are some of the main types of questions to ask during an interview:Standard competency questionsThese are the most common types of questions to ask during an interview. They usually begin with a phrase like "Can you give me an example of when you...". You can adapt them to suit the skills you'd like the candidate to tell you about, such as delivering excellent customer service, resolving a conflict, or influencing a senior stakeholder. Competency style questions are useful when you want to find out about specific competencies or skills that the candidate possesses and how they've used them to resolve previous situations. Good candidates often plan responses to these questions and should provide clear, well-thought-out examples. In their answers, look for evidence that they can provide a clear situation, the task at hand, the action they personally took, and the positive result of that action using the STAR method.Follow-up questionFollow-up questions allow you to go beyond the glossy prepared answer and get more details. They also allow the candidate to engage on a higher level and think on the spot, as they might not be as prepared for one of these. Asking good follow-up questions can reveal a lack of detail or personal involvement that may be hidden by a prepared response.The curveball questionIf you want to assess a candidate's ability to react quickly and think critically, give them a challenging question or scenario that may not necessarily be related to the job they are applying for. This can be based on something they've mentioned on their resume or something current that you'd like them to provide some insight on. This will test their ability to make sound decisions under pressure and to communicate their thoughts effectively, which can be crucial for some positions.The hypothetical situation questionThese types of questions can be polarizing - some love them, while others hate them. However, they are an effective tool for quickly testing one's rational thought and logical reasoning abilities. Typically, these questions involve presenting a hypothetical scenario to the candidate and asking them to make a decision based on the information and parameters provided.The “describe yourself” questionJob interviews often involve questions that require the candidate to describe themselves in a few words or imagine what their previous boss or co-workers would say about them. These questions can take different forms, but they serve the purpose of assessing the candidate's ability to empathize with others and express their point of view concisely. It's a way to test the candidate's communication skills and see how they respond in situations where they need to be succinct.