Anthony Haynes writes: From time to time on this blog we seek to show what goes on in talent acquisition behind the scenes. We do this in the form of interviews with FJ Wilson Talent Services (FJWTS) staff. Here we’re pleased to publish our latest interview, with Frances Haynes.
- What does your role at FJWTS entail, and how does it contribute to the overall process at FJWTS?
My role has two parts: finding candidates for specific roles; and admin support.
When searching for candidates, it’s important that I understand the role and company well, as well as how different jobs relate to each other.
Once I’ve got to grips with the job description and so on, I start looking for people on LinkedIn and other sites. Because of the way they’re structured, I go through a lot of profiles and CVs, and it’s important to keep organised so I don’t lose my place and waste time repeating searches.
So I help source candidates who are likely to be a good match for a given role, based on the information they’ve put online, and then other people will contact them to find out the full story.
2. Somewhat unusually for a recent graduate, you’ve chosen the route of portfolio working at the start of your career. What else do you do?
I’m a Senior Learning Support Mentor, working with 16-18 year-olds who are studying for their A Levels.
Throughout the year, I give advice to students on study skills such as time management and note-taking and also support specific students who have disabilities and special educational needs.
That part of the job changes a lot each year depending on what the needs of the current students are, so there’ll be a big learning curve in September even though my job title will be the same.
3. What do you find are the benefits of portfolio working?
One of the main benefits is that it’s given me a broader set of transferable skills, so when something new comes up in either job I can adapt to it more quickly.
For example, I’ve just got some new responsibilities at the college which mean I’m working with a lot more students in more different ways.
I was trying to work out how to keep track of so many people, and realised I could use a spreadsheet system that’s very similar to the one I use to keep track of potential candidates for FJWTS.
4. What insights has working at FJWTS given you regarding career development?
Now, when I’m updating my CV or LinkedIn or helping a friend, I think a lot more about whether it forms a coherent narrative that a recruiter or employer will understand. For example, sometimes people don’t go and change past job descriptions from present to past tense or they put down three different titles for the same time period at the same company and it’s hard to tell if they have multiple responsibilities or were promoted and if so, when.
These are small things but they can make it really frustrating when you’re trying to get an overall sense of someone’s career trajectory or determine if they have enough, say, management experience for a certain role.
Rather than specific insights, the thing I find most useful is being able to switch perspectives.