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Senior Consultant Reed Middle East, Dubai
With over 20 years of HR and Recruitment experience, specializing in Talent Acquisition with 15 years in Dubai, Vrinda worked as Project Lead and Expert for turn-key recruitment project solutions for luxury Retail, large and local banks based in UAE and Telecommunication Companies in Africa.
Senior Researcher Dubai
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The power of your personal brand and how to build it
Personal branding is the practice of creating, managing, and influencing your own brand. Everything you want people to know about you is your personal brand. While you can’t control how others perceive you, you can take strides to ensure you highlight the best parts of yourself. It involves taking control of how you present yourself to the world and making sure you are seen in a positive light.The adage ‘It’s not what you know but who you know’ isn’t exactly true – it’s more about who knows you and how they see you. It’s not only professional accolades that help professionals progress in their careers, but who they are as people as well. Just as a company works to promote its business to clients, customers, candidates and employees, to stand out from competitors, individuals can also market themselves to employers and other professional contacts in their network. Your experience, expertise, values, personality and everything that makes you unique can contribute to your personal brand. How to build your personal brandHere are some tips to help get you started and keep up the momentum: 1. Define your target audienceKnowing who you want to reach with your personal brand is essential for success. Research your target audience and consider what kind of content, tone and style of communication will resonate with them. 2. Set yourself apartYour brand must be an honest representation of yourself if you are to highlight your unique skills and traits. Think about the qualities and experiences you can use to set yourself apart and emphasise how you’re different from others. 3. Create a compelling messageWhat values do you stand for as a person? Creating a tagline or mission statement is a great way to articulate your personal brand in a concise, memorable way. Your message should be one of positivity and optimism. 4. Build an online presenceSocial media is essential for building an online presence. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for your target audience and start creating content around your personal brand. You might decide to build your own website as well – some use this as a way of showcasing their portfolio of previous work and their ‘about me’ page. 5. Be a thought leaderSharing your knowledge with others adds value to your social media profiles and people will recognise you as an authoritative voice on a subject and a trustworthy source of information. 6. Be approachableWhile you want to show your professionalism, you don’t want to overdo it by using jargon or words that most people wouldn’t use in everyday conversation. Using language that shows you’re a person and not a corporate robot will help others identify with you. 7. Be consistentIn order to ensure your brand is successful, you need to be consistent. Keep your message and branding consistent across all your platforms and maintain an active presence. This shows your authenticity and builds trust in your audience. 8. Keep up with trendsTo ensure your brand stays relevant and cutting-edge, you must be up to date with trends and know what people are interested in now. Stay abreast of industry news, what your competition is doing and check in regularly with your contacts. 9. Monitor your progressSet goals, track your progress and measure the success of your efforts. Use analytics tools to analyse the data and adjust your tactics accordingly. Everything you do must be intentional and have a purpose. 10. NetworkNetworking is essential to building a successful personal brand. Develop meaningful relationships with your peers in the industry and look for opportunities to collaborate. 11. Take constructive criticismMost people will shy away from criticism they don’t want to hear, but it’s useful for improving your personal brand and adjusting your strategy. Listening to your audience is another way to connect with them and keep learning. Building a strong personal brand takes some work, but it’s worth it in the end, allowing you to unlock new opportunities and set yourself up for success. To find your next opportunity, or the perfect professional to join your team, contact us today.
Seven strategies to ensure your tech recruitment process is inclusive for all
Inclusivity, and diversifying your workforce, are the best ways to organically expand your talent pool and increase the longevity of your employees.Here are some of the key dos and don'ts of inclusive recruitment:What is inclusion and diversity?“Without inclusion, diversity is doomed to fail.” Devi Virdi, Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Centrica. Inclusion is the act, and diversity is the result. Inclusion and diversity (I&D) is now recognised as an essential part of business. It’s not just a tick-box exercise or a ‘nice to have’. Once your company adopts an inclusive culture, the more diverse your company will become.Diversifying your workforce has many positive outcomes, such as better employee wellbeing, productivity, and longevity. Creating an environment where people can bring their full selves to work can significantly increase employee attraction and retention because people will recognise your company or team as a place where they can love Mondays.There is also a strong business case for it, which is often overlooked. In the UK, for example, according to inclusion and diversity champion INvolve and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, discriminatory pay practices cost the economy £127 billion in lost output every year. That means, there is a high return on investment in inclusion training and preventing discrimination and closing pay gaps.Seven steps to an inclusive recruitment processRethink your fundamental requirementsThere are certain roles for which neurodivergent people would be perfect, like data analytics roles, but the barriers to entry include requiring “excellent interpersonal skills” or being a “team player.”In this case, professionals with conditions like autism are far less likely to apply for those roles because they do not believe this applies to them, despite being more likely to have the focus and skills needed than a neurotypical person. Employers must rethink what the fundamental requirements for the job are and consider whether your advert reflects this.Develop grassroots talentDoes the perfect candidate really need a degree or five years’ experience, or could you find someone with the right mindset and potential and train them with the skills you need?Or, if someone has the right skills and experience, but their soft skills are lacking, they may benefit from a mentor to build their confidence.Watch your languageFor employers to receive more applications and make the process accessible to everyone, you must be conscious of the language you use in your job adverts. Using inclusive language is an easy way to indicate that everyone is welcome to apply and be considered, if they believe they are the right fit for a role.Gender neutrality is a simple way to ensure you don’t limit your talent pool and unintentionally alienate suitable candidates. One way to avoid this is to use online tools to eliminate gender-coded language from your person specifications, job descriptions and adverts which often go unnoticed.Remove barriers to entryThe placement of your job adverts is an often-overlooked consideration. Those who place their ads in tech magazines that require paid subscriptions might be excluding groups from lower economic backgrounds, for example.Employers must also ensure that their application forms are inclusive of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities etc. by including an “Other” or “I’d rather not say” option, to give them space to tell you who they are if they wish to. It must be optional, or you could end up forcing someone to come ‘out’ prematurely.Create a diverse interview panelThe first impression of your team takes place at interview and a lack of diversity could impact a professional’s decision to accept your job offer. It would benefit employers to think about how diverse their hiring panel is and do their best to represent the variety of people in their company.Conversely, you must not over-correct and cherry-pick the same few people to be the ‘face of diversity’ or to hire certain people just to fill a quota in your company – no one wants to be tokenised or seen as a ‘diversity hire’.Ask the right questionsSome employers don’t know what they legally can and can’t say, or ask, in a job interview. Training should be provided to each hiring manager to ensure they understand the dos and don’ts of interviewing. Generally, an interview question is illegal and discriminatory if you couldn’t ask everyone the same question.One example that comes to mind is asking a woman if she is pregnant or thinking of having a baby one day. You couldn’t possibly ask the same question to a cisgender male candidate, which makes it discriminatory to ask of women. Asking everyone the same core set of questions will give your interview a good basis for objectivity.Negate any biasEveryone has their biases, but these should not influence your hiring decisions. Business leaders should ensure their hiring managers receive sufficient training in unconscious bias so they can identify their own biases and make more informed hiring decisions.Working with a recruiter such as Reed, where CVs are anonymised before being sent over to you can also help here. It means you can make a decision on potential employees without being swayed by certain information available on their CV.
How to write a CV
In recruitment, we're always dealing with resume – but how do you write a good one?A resume is a professional life story. When you meet a new person you don't tell them everything that's ever happened to you – so why would you do the same with a prospective employer? Your resume should be a concise and relevant account of your skills and experiences.A rule of thumb is to focus on the last five years of your work experience, unless you feel something else particularly relevant from before that time needs to be mentioned. So if you're talking about the part-time shop assistant job you had twenty years ago, use that space to write about your more recent endeavors.Information to include when writing a resumePersonal Details– name, email, contact phone number and addressPersonal Statement– optional, but a good opportunity to tell an employer about your suitability for the jobWork Experience– clearly list your job title, time in the post, responsibilities and the name of your organization. Voluntary experience is also relevant to includeEducation– all formal qualifications and any training and development undertakenHobbies and Interests– keep it brief, and relevant to the job you're applying for"Share how you went above and beyond"The devil is in the detailRelying on your job title and organization and a line or two from your job spec isn't enough to make you stand out, in the competition for jobs. Here's a common example of a line on someone's resume:"Administered email marketing campaigns"If you want to sound more impressive, add in a bit more detail so the recruiter can get a better understanding of what you did and what you're able to do. For example:"Administered three weekly targeted email campaigns to a database of 46,000 subscribers"See the improvement? We can go one step better – share how you went above and beyond. The more you can demonstrate this, the more impressed a hiring manager is likely to be. So now we have something like:"Administered three weekly targeted email campaigns to a database of 46,000 subscribers, improving open rates by 25% over a three-month period by undertaking analytics of subject lines."You might not have this amount of detail for every element of your work, but ensure you do use what you can, as it shows a good level of professionalism and will set you apart from other candidates.A few notes on resume presentationKeep your resume to a maximum of two sides of A4, and laid out in a logical order with your most recent and relevant experience first.Choose a simple and professional font, and ensure there are no spelling errors or typos.Ensure it includes your basic contact details so a prospective employer can get hold of you.