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Here at UpLink, we are focused on improving recruitment, because it is broken.  🤷 Data reveals:

  • 30% of job seekers say they have left a job within the first 90 days of starting
  • 85% of people in work say they are unhappy with their job
  • 84% of candidates say the recruiting procedures are ineffective.
    • It takes too long
    • It is not transparent

Getting it wrong is frustrating, time-consuming and costly not only to employees but also potential recruits.  It impacts productivity both in the short term and long term for all concerned.  There must be better ways. 💭 Improving recruitment won’t happen over night, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t posssible.

The current process relies on filtering out candidates on hard and soft skills. However, most graduates have very limited hard skills due to lack of experience.   Recruiters therefore focus on exam grades, university or subjects taken as the best approximation for hard skills. This process is understandable, but flawed as grades are heavily influenced by teaching and school and the university of subject have very little correlation with whether someone will be successful in HR or marketing….

Employers are not measuring a candidate’s aptitude, attitude, cultural fit or future potential. They are obviously very important and such assessments are left for interviews. This is a major issue as only a very small percentage of people will be chosen for interview. However, humans find it really difficult to measure such soft skills – they guess, use intuition, and have no metrics for comparison.  In fact, tossing a coin would prove just as effective more of the time. Additionally, the untrained interviewer is prone to massive bias.

The top biases beings:

  • Similar to me bias – Favouring someone who you see something of you in e.g. background, humour, affiliations, ethnicity, religion, school, etc.
  • Non-verbal bias – Only 7% of what people say accounts for our opinion, the rest is assumed from body language and the sound and tone of voice.
  • First Impression bias – First impressions take seconds. Nerves often lead to false projections.
  • Halo or Horns bias – Downgrading or upgrading candidates on irrelevant preferences e.g. height, haircut, weight, beauty, age.
  • Contrast bias – Judgements are made relative to those assessed either side of assessment not against hiring criteria. E.g. we look favourably on a CV if the previous resume was poor.
  • Conformation Bias – We make early hypothesis, then to confirm and favour information that confirms our pre-existing views. Questions to candidates based on pre-existing beliefs, means interviews gain little new information and are difficult to compare across candidates.

Scary, but its natural, and although most are subconscious the impact is dramatic, unfair and ultimately bad for business.  In this digital age innovation, creativity and flexibility are key areas that allow companies to survive and succeed, yet lack of diversity hinders all of these needs and therefore threatens the very viability of many companies moving forward.

Fortunately, there are better solutions.  🤗 Not the mumbo jumbo science of Myers Briggs but modern data backed tools that can assess cultural and purpose alignment, assess character – aptitude and attitude and predict whether a candidate is a good fit for a given role, team and boss.  These pre-hire assessments deliver:

  • Improved Results – Results are fairer, faster, more effective, more productive
  • Relevant Attributes – Correct testing selects candidates on relevant attributes needed to succeed in the role
  • Contextual – Work best when specific to a boss, team & organisation culture
  • Consistent Output – Information is repeatable and comparable between candidates in real time and over years.
  • Reliable – Far harder to game than the Psych Tests, keyword or sentiment filters

The sooner these solutions are embraced the quicker candidates and companies will gain the moral and financial benefits associated. Better, non-biased, more productive hiring platforms can measure the effect of change, drives commitment and improve corporate culture. 

Have you got any ideas to aid in improving recruitment? 

Let us know, why not give us a call? We’d love to hear from you. 📞


Social distancing now means assessment days and face to face interviews are things of the past. Covid now means on line aptitude tests, psych tests, and first stage video interviews are now the norm.  They are cheaper, quicker, easier and compliant with government guidelines.  However, how someone comes across in person as supposed to in a video is not the same, similarly, how can an applicant assess the working style of a company or its culture when the backdrop is unfocused or their interviewer is wfh?

Love it or hate it – for now it’s reality.  

Luckily for graduates, they have not experienced much else.  They grew up with multiple screens and unified communications.  That said, it’s still key to familiarise yourself with the processes companies are now employing to give yourself the best shot at success.

Online assessments – Testing online is initiated as soon as you apply.  Companies are using software and AI to assess CVs and associated social media accounts (sometimes more than just LinkedIn). Filtering against key words, grades, spelling errors, subjects taken, universities attended, syntax, sentiment, etc just to whittle down the huge number of applicants applying for the limited number of graduate roles being made available this year.

If you made the cut, the next step is often an online test. These test typically will be designed to assess character traits, measure IQ, numerical and verbal skills or job-specific competencies. 

These tests are automated with nominal time being spent by any human to assess the quality of the filtering – the intent is to further reduce the number of applicants to actually be interviewed as cost effectively as possible.  Most know it’s not perfect but it’s fast and relatively cheap.

For those applying its really difficult to prepare as the number and type of tests being used is bewildering.  We would recommend a) taking the UpLink quiz to gain insights into some of the common elements and understand how you will be presenting yourself b) secondly, its always worthwhile to research the company, how it presents itself and dig deeper to get a sense of its purpose and culture as their values are often key in defining direction or something to align your input to.  

Virtual interviews –For those who failed to reach this point, contact the company and ask for feedback – there is no point accepting the faceless corporate black hole that has mined you for data to then receive a meaningless thanks but no thanks email with no feedback.  Even if they reel off platitudes dig deeper and ask for a profile of those who made it through to interview by sex, university, race, subject taken and their rules for data retention of your data!

Congratulations, if you have managed to navigate through a maze with no map.  It would be silly to stumble over something basic at this point.  We suggest you familiarise yourself with the video platform to be used; Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams, WhatsApp etc. Login in way before the call and check the basics.

  • What you look like (lighting, backdrop, formal dress with no zig zag or stripes that will hinder the video compressor, also don’t hold your mobile if that is your device of choice, fix it to something so they don’t see a continually moving image or viewpoint change as you swap hands or rest it on the desk.
  • Audio is clear (microphone sensitivity is good, no background noises)
  • Network connectivity is good
  • Remove all other distractions (pets, mobile phone, your mum screaming “Lunch” etc)

Remember it’s a two-way conversation they know a lot about you, but all you have to go on is their marketing spin they present on their social channels and website.  Don’t hesitate to dig deeper into the culture, management style, rest of the team. the boss and other key elements that will define whether you can and want to succeed in their environment.

Review all of your notes, the job spec and your research on the company.  Take one last look at your UpLink profile for ideas and insights about what is important to you. Have your questions at the ready and relax. 

Last tip, Smile – people warm to people who smile.

Good luck.

Questions? Feel free to get in touch.


Let’s talk about getting a Graduate job…Exhausted from re-writing your CV with relevant content specific for every role and then creating heartfelt covering letters to potential employers?  

To then hear nothing back. It’s not right, not fair, and so soul destroying. We feel your pain.  

Hopefully, we can help you get your career off to a great start. 

The graduate job market is never easy, however, care of Covid and the resulting economic impacts, it has got a lot worse. So how do you stand out from the crowd, reduce your stress, and land a job that is right for you?  🤷 

The following are tips, tricks, and insights to help you land a job– so if companies aren’t beating your door down through UpLink try the following in the meantime 

1. Use Jobsites 

Recruitment is big business – let others do some work for youJob sites are not just for people looking for a job. Employers and recruiters use them too to find potential candidates – so upload away. It won’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes. The probability of success is low but infinitely more than if you don’t post.  

Similarly, make yourself a LinkedIn profile for all the same reasons. 

2. Use graduate recruitment agencies 

Another place to try to increase your odds of landing a job are recruitment agencies – especially those that specialise in graduate jobsThis will give you access to some vacancies that are not advertised elsewhere as some companies chose to use only agencies as their means of sourcing new employees.  

Agencies get paid for filtering and filling vacancies, not by you but by the recruiting company – so again – let them work for you and increase your chances still furtherWe should flag that there are some agencies that try and charge you for them to find you a job – we don’t suggest you do this.  

3. Tailor every application for the role 

You may be doing this already but we highly recommend that you modify and create unique CVs and covering letters for every role you apply directly to. Yes, it’s really easy to drag and drop the same documents to everyone – however, however, this only compromises your chances.  

Yes, it’s a pain, yes it requires research, yes it hoovers time – but you are up against people who are doing just thatSo, if you want to compete, guess what?  

Tell potential employers all about yourself AND tell them why you are perfect for the specific role, in their companyStudy the job spec, their social presence, their annual report, look up Glassdoor reviews etc – do your research and then modify your base CV and CL to match.  

We also highly recommend that your CV focus’ on achievement – i.e. how you made a difference. Nobody wants just to read where you went to school and what results you got. So definitely include a personal statement and by all means steal from your UpLink profile.  

4. Ask connections about job opportunities 

All too often it’s not what you know, but who you know that makes a difference as lots of vacancies are filled each year through connections. Funnily enough, it comes down to money againCompanies typically give a small bonus to staff if they can recommend someone they know for a role. The bonus is typically less than they would have paid a recruiter and it means the potential recruit comes with a recommendation before they even walk in the door.  

Do we agree with this process – does it increase the chances of a good fit – no. However, it goes on a lot. So, go for it. Don’t feel shy about asking people – if they get paid, they should be thanking you! 

If you know someone who works for a company you’re interested in, ask them to recommend you. But don’t stop there, use LinkedIn to find out if people know have connections also so you can spread your connections further – friends and family are happy to help and their connections, if they put you forward, will probably earn a bonus – still everyone wins.  

5. Want the job  

In this present climate there are fewer graduate jobs than normal, and many seem tempted to apply for every opportunity that says ‘graduate’However, two thirds of your waking hours, Monday to Friday, will be in work so make sure you won’t be miserable it will impact your productivity, attitude, and long-term opportunities.  

It is one thing is to be out of your comfort zone and another to be a zombie, so do your research. Those who know what to expect and are enthusiastic stand a far better chance of getting the role.  

6. Consider your options  

As highlighted above some seem to apply for everything – however, the reverse is true – some just apply to an extremely limited number of roles as they “know” what they want. This strategy has its downsides too. 

Filtering your search by job title, location, salary, or specific vertical is going to severely limit your chances of landing a job. We advocate, especially at the start of your career building career collateral – assets, knowledge, skills, contacts, brands – that will serve you well into the future. So, think again, cast your net wider and consider dipping your toe into affiliated or associated sectors.  

7. Think about startups  

Start-ups often don’t have the budget to sponsor graduate schemes or advertise widely about open positions and therefore are often overlooked. If you can find such opportunities it also means the competition for such roles is going to be less than well-advertised positions. That said, for those who can cope with change and embrace hands on experience they can offer some remarkably diverse, interesting opportunities, and increased early responsibility. The only downside is you will wear multiple hats, and small companies will typically lack the formal structured trainee programs many corporate graduate schemes have.  

8. What would make you more employable 

Standing out is not easy – especially when many of your competitors might have higher grades.  

Firstly – we at UpLink are all about this. IQ and grades are only a small fraction of the pictureSo, pull out your UpLink profile and sell your strengths!  

We would also recommend doing some relevant work experience or getting a free or low cost online qualification in an area related to your chosen path. 

9. If it needs it – clean up your social media 

Scary fact but nearly 1/3 of employers reject candidates based on something they found on them online. Nobody is saying you must look professional in all your online content; however, we are suggesting you look twice at it.  Anything that could be misconstrued, or appear disrespectful should be removed.  Post more of you being kind, compassionate, helpful, trustworthy and all those qualities that make you – you.  

10. Taking time out 

The market is really bad, make no mistake. In the UK unemployment is at its highest for more than a decade.  

However, taking time out and getting away has some value too.  

  • Getting away from home and college builds independence, shows character and broadens your horizons 
  1. When limited money is coming in and you are fending for yourself it drives you to be more responsible and self-aware and certainly improves your budgeting skills 
  1. Going further afield post Covid gives the opportunity to learn a new language and improves your interpersonal skills.  

Overall, take the positives as they come, getting away allows you to illustrate what a positive adaptable employee you will be. 

11. Keep motivated  

Easily said, but keep at it.  

Getting your dream immediately isn’t realistic – it takes time, hard work, some luck. In the meantime find some other gigs to earn some cash, volunteer and take some online classes to add depth to your CV.  

If nothing is happening, talk to others and take input on your CV and covering letters and make changes accordingly.  

12. Hopefully, interviews will follow 

Don’t stop nowHaving put all this work in to get to the next round you need to focus on the next steps.  

Many employees will put you through a psych test. Take a look at UpLink’s personal feedback. If there are any issues go read about what these tests are, what they look for and how they workWe don’t believe they do a good job, but to fail on this filter would be annoying.  

Many employees will also ask for a video interview. Do the prep work well before – don’t rush to set up your phone or laptop. It’s key you consider your backdrop, the lighting, the audio quality, and network performance. Don’t leave it to chanceSame with how you look – don’t wear your PJs – well certainly not above the waist.  

Unlike an in person interview you also have the opportunity to prepare loads of notes and reminders of things to bring up – they can all be stuck behind the camera and easily read 😊  Take a look at your UpLink profile to think about what is important to you and prepare your questions accordingly.  

Remember to smile.  

Hopefully, we have helped. Good luck. We know getting a Graduate job is difficult. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. 

This is a question you’re asked from the moment you start forming sentences. 🤔  Young children might say they want to be a firefighter, an astronaut, a footballer, an influencer, a YouTuber, or a teacher. Few express an interest in being a cloud computing administrator, a market research analyst, a compliance officer, or a quality assurance manager. Not surprising really. Even though there are millions of jobs, kids only know of the ones they encounter in their everyday lives. Interestingly, most job titles that were commonplace 20 years ago don’t even exist today! 

So, even though you may be just starting out on your career, it’s not surprising that most new graduates have no idea what they want to be. Contrary to media influence, that’s perfectly fine. New Graduates often feel pressured to know exactly what industry and job role they want to go into before they have even graduated.They have had so little exposure to the possibilities. At best they might be familiar with the jobs their parents and relatives door those portrayed in movies or television.  🤷

In the not too distant future, you need to find a job to support yourself. One that not only pays to cover your costs but is sustainableWhen we say sustainable, we aren’t even talking about the planet, we mean one that you can continue to do that has a degree of job satisfaction to inspire you to continue. Another fallacy we’re often told growing up is that all you need is money. When realistically, money is only a small part of job satisfaction and overall happiness. A role that makes you unhappy, will reflect heavily on your future and those around you. For more information about monetary motivation in the work place, check out our recent blog on the very subject

Yes, times are hard, but your possibilities are endless and include options you have never even heard of. The opportunities of the future will depend in part on the planning put in today with tomorrow in mind. 

So, what is this planning work? 

  1. Talk  🗣️

Strike up conversations with anyone and everyone: teachers, tutors, parents, relatives, friends, and their parentsExplain your predicament, frustrations and concerns and ask how they got where they are, what they do and what strengths help them succeed.  It is vital you create and expand your own network.

2. Question your own talents 🙋

As with the subjects you enjoyed and excelled in at in school, you need to delve deeper. Was it the topic, the teacher, your classmates, the work style, or all them or other things that brought these subjects to mind? 

To be fulfilled and happy many things need to align. The diagram depicts what makes for an ideal job – x marks the spot. 

As highlighted above, don’t limit your explorations to careers that exist today. Consider many of the underlying trends occurring as the world, companies and markets digitize. Even the jobs of yesterday such as lawyers. solders and doctors won’t be the same during your career – all will morph into something completely different with drones, AI, and the advancements in technology 

As you think about your options, explore what skills and education you will need to be successful in the careers that interest you. 

3. Put your foot in the water.  🌊

 Find out more. Use your contacts, and extended network to find out if your assumptions are correct. Take on temporary work, voluntary work, internships to find out more. After graduating people give you license to test different scenarios, options, verticals, and roles. You are not expected to have your career figured out right awayEven those that knew what they wanted to be often pivot and change directions.  

Every journey starts with a single step.  

4. Assess the Competition 🤔 

It’s too easy to follow everyone else. So many graduates apply for graduate schemes or “trendy” companies that the number of people applying for every opportunity is in the hundreds. You may get lucky but we suggest you spread your bets.  

Also, many believe themselves to be creative and think themselves ideal candidates for graphic design – unfortunately those that make a decent living in this area are not necessarily those who are the most creative, they typically are those with the highest turnover, those that hustle and are naturally good a selling their capabilities – put like that, does graphic design have the same appeal? 

 5. Multi Stage Life  ✅

Those graduating today probably won’t retire at 65. Medicine is so good today that many will live way beyond what their parents and grandparents did – so the 3-stage life of school, work, retire, is not sustainable in Western society. As such many graduates moving forward should expect more than one career. Retraining later in life for new opportunitiesSo long as you continue to learn not only about yourself but also new skills and stay salient to what is required your career may have many more sides than you expected.  

All in all, the reality is you will most likely change career paths a few times before you find something that truly makes you happy. Despite what social media makes it look like, remember, the majority of people are in the exact same position.