Continuing our occasional series of interviews with the Be-IT team, here is the incomprarable Zander, who explains how not to impress Microsoft, amongst other things!
Name: Stuart Alexander
Job Title: Senior Consultant
What other jobs have you done apart from being a recruiter?
I worked for a decade with Scottish Widows within their I.T Department as an Operation Analyst. I was ‘Jack of all trades’, master of none but my time there did help me when I stepped into the world of I.T recruitment.
What it your biggest disaster at work (anywhere)?
I once put a massive scratch on what was clearly a very expensive table in Microsoft’s Head Office and then suddenly had a feeling of guilt and sickness before assessing how I could cover it up!
Do you think that techies make good recruiters, and if so why (or if not, why not)?
If the interpersonal skills are good and the character is strong then I think techies certainly can/could make excellent recruiters.
Who in the Be-IT office makes you laugh, and why?
Andrew Finlayson is a funny guy as well as an exceptionally nice one. When you first meet Andrew he keeps his humour well hidden - I thought he was ‘Mr Serious’ but then his little quips come out and they make me smile.
Why is IT recruitment different from other recruiting jobs (e.g. High Street)?
I have had some experience working on projects to recruit Finance. H.R Directors, College Principals etc., and the core skill of recruiting is pretty much the same. It relies on having a good understanding of the client, their needs, the role and what is expected from the incoming hire. I.T presents its own difficulties with the ever-changing technologies.
What is the funniest thing you’ve seen in your recruitment career?
I have interviewed some curious characters over the years and had some truly unexpected situations arise – that is the beauty, if you want to call it that of dealing with people. With a previous company that I worked for they used video as part of the recruitment process. I remember one chap who was concerned that the video may be displayed on television and that his friends and family may be able to see it. I think he over-estimated my production skills.
Favourite food and drink and where in the world would you like to be when you are having them?
Food – has to be curry for me and not too fussed what kind. I like Cider but also a spiced rum. I’m happy to have these anywhere the company and quality of curry are good.
Recommend a restaurant and/or bar for us?
I don’t eat out too much these days as somehow taking three kids with my wife and I creates a different sort of ambience. As for bars, any with characters inside will do for me.
What’s your view of the market just now – where are the real challenges?
Demand for quality candidates who can make a difference to our clients is the real challenge. Certain skills are so rare that it makes sense for those who possess them to work as contractors. This can be challenging when a client asks you to find a number of these people on a permanent basis. This is when clients need to think carefully about what they can offer that will excite potential candidates.
What do candidates need to do better to help you get them a job?
Candidates need to be more prepared to alter CV’s for each role which they are interested in pursuing in order to highlight their relevance against job specifications. They cannot rely on a one size fits all approach to CV’s as hiring organizations cannot be expected to read between lines or make assumptions on skills.
Researching potential employers is a must as is a relaxed, confident demeanour when having face-to-face discussions. Your personality will go a long way.
Favourite (non work) website and why?
Liverpool FC official website. I like to keep myself abreast of what is happening with the Redmen.
Favourite (work) website and why?
Not really a website but it would be Linkedin for me. I have found many outstanding candidates from Linkedin and also valuable information.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
A writing pad. The first letter I would write would start, ‘Dear Gareth, it is with regret that I must inform you of my intention to cease working with Be-IT!!