The good news is yes they do, but it is increasingly rare to see a job advertised as a secretarial role without some embellishment (think Team Secretary). Type in PA Jobs London into a Google search engine and over 94 million results appear. Type Secretarial jobs London into Google’s search engine and there are less than 2 million search results. Could the relative rarity of secretarial roles actually mean the remuneration is greater?
Consider this common scenario: it is Friday afternoon and talk in the office turns as always to weekend plans. For many London PAs and secretaries, Friday night is either dinner with a partner or drinks with friends. In the course of discussions, it is natural to reveal who your partner is or the venues where your friends intend to hang out. Inadvertently, you are immediately revealing clues as to your sexuality. If you have hidden your sexuality during the recruitment process and then in the work place, you may now feel unable to join in these friendly conversations on a Friday. Does this make you feel as though you are working in an inclusive environment? Probably not. So is there an alternative?
You arrive at work already tired as you have woken early to complete the chores at home which are necessary for an only daughter in a household of brothers. As you make your way to your desk you watch the men scrolling through their news feeds on their mobile phones. You can’t do this as you are still saving for one. The desk next to you is empty as your female colleague has been removed from her post for drinking alcohol at an office party. You start your working day providing coffee for your male colleagues who thank you with an affectionate pat on the backside. You proceed to your boss’s office, a man, who introduces you to his business partner as “the other woman in my life”. You spend the morning doing work which does not challenge you and wondering whether you can afford the toiletries which are priced higher than equivalent mens’ products even though your salary is half that of the man in the same role. In the afternoon you are interviewed for a more senior role – the interview is abruptly terminated when you struggle to answer yes to the question whether you will be able to work long hours in the evening.
Test your own unconscious bias first by seeing if you can work out the answer to the following:
A father and son are involved in a traffic accident in which the father is killed and the son is seriously injured. The father is confirmed dead at the scene of the accident and is taken to the local mortuary. The son is taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and immediately wheeled into theatre. A surgeon is called. Upon arrival in theatre, and seeing the patient, the attending surgeon cries, “Oh my God, it’s my son!”. The question is, who is the surgeon?
How honest are you when it comes to interviews at your recruitment company? Did you tell your last interviewer about your Bridget Jones moment when you entered the boardroom after a loo break with your knickers tucked in your skirt?
Joking aside, at RMS Recruitment, we believe that honesty is key to the relationship between candidate and consultant and only when that trust exists can the best match between client and candidate be made. It is human nature to omit elements of our work history which don’t show us in the best possible light but there are many instances where it pays to be up front about your experiences, personal priorities and likes or dislikes.
While we are not suggesting that you need to reveal your secret fantasy of working for Justin Bieber, here are a few examples of how to be honest and still shine:
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Purple squirrels is the term coined by the recruitment industry to describe an employer’s perfect candidate: candidates with exactly the right education, qualifications and experience to do the job. Some employers’ insistence on finding a purple squirrel has resulted in some job vacancies being left open for months. And in today’s candidate driven market, holding out for the perfect candidate makes little financial sense. This is even more true in secretarial recruitment where finding the right chemistry between PA and Boss is so much more important than the qualifications on the candidate’s CV. So how do you identify the right chemistry in a candidate?
Times are changing and it seems that some recruitment selection processes used are often very outdated, which means that some of the most enthusiastic and best qualified candidates slip through the net; this is often because they cannot relate to the outdated way that the interview is conducted.
The Chinese New Year yesterday marked the beginning of the Year of the Monkey and it sparked a fun discussion at RMS Recruitment about how your sign of the zodiac affects your career and working relationships. Want to know how your Animal character traits are influencing your working day? First of all, if you don’t already know, find out your Chinese Zodiac Animal Sign using this online tool.
The market for top talent gets more and more competitive every day, which is forcing employers to do as much of the hard work as the candidate during the interview stage. You have to really sell your company and explain why they would want to work for you in order to hire and retain the best possible team and turn interviewees who are not suitable into PR agents for you.