The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

The Office Snitch: How recruiters dress matters too

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A quick look on the internet will show numerous articles on how job candidates can prepare for an interview. But people hardly dish out advice for the interviewer himself.

So I have decided to take it upon myself to help recruiters, employers and HR professionals everywhere to look their best when sussing out the next big thing for their company. Don’t mention it – you’re welcome.

Chances are interviewers are the first people a candidate meets when visiting the organisation for the first time, so who better to present the company image and brand to the potential employee.

Building a strong employer brand is just as important as everything else on your organisation’s agenda. Not only does it help set the right image, but also ensures that every employee (both potential and current) is on board with the right message and values system.

Earlier this year in an interview with Martin Cerullo, managing director for development in Asia Pacific for Alexander Mann Solutions, he shared employer branding is a psychological contract between the company and staff. He added a strong brand brings to life the company culture, differentiates it from its competitors and builds employee loyalty.

I recently visited DBS Bank’s headquarters during a recruitment drive. What struck me was how every single DBS employee that day was dressed in its corporate colours of black and red. Yet it wasn’t garish or loud. One lady had an all-black ensemble cinched with a thin red belt. Another wore red heels, while a male representative paired a dark red shirt with black trousers. It all seemed so effortless that it occurred to me how easy it is to set a brand and tone without going overboard (i.e. polo tees with the company logo printed tastelessly behind).

When recruiters dress well, it helps boost their confidence and project the right image. Now, I decided to call Audrey Fegen, an image consultant who has styled local celebrities like Nadya Hutagalung, Adrian Pang, and Pam Oei.

“Before we open our mouths to speak, we are already being judged by how we dress, our hairstyle, how much make-up we have on, so first impressions do count,” Audrey said. When I asked her what advice she had for interviewers, she kept it to the point: “Try not to be intimidating”.

Sounds easier said than done. Some quick tips from Audrey include keeping your jewellery simple and wearing an outfit that is as classic and basic as possible so it will not distract the interviewee.

“Gold, silver or pearl earrings are acceptable; bling or dangling earrings are not, “Audrey added. “Keep that for socialising.” But there is more to being a good interviewer than nice clothes and pearls. (If only it were that easy, right?)

Jensen Siaw, principal trainer at Speak for Life Speaking Academy, said it is important the interviewer can project confidence as he is a representative of the company. He said, “Imagine if you were being interviewed for an executive or managerial position and your prospective superior doesn’t sound confident about him or the organisation.”

“Would you still be interested in the position?” Jensen asked. Well, I personally don’t think so.

Turning up for the interview prepared, even if you are the hiring manager, can go a long way in making the process more fruitful and painless. “Ensure that you have read the candidate’s resume, instead of flipping through it as you are meeting him,” Jensen said.

It also helps to prepare some questions that are derived from reading the resume, and not use a list of standard interview questions to help understand the candidate better, Jensen added. For example, adopting a confident posture, such as facing the door while the candidate has his back to it, will help interviewers take on a stance of superiority.

So, as you begin preparing a series some recruitment drives for the New Year to help push your company forward in 2012, keep these simple tips in mind. Dress to impress to remind job candidates who is boss around here.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

October 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

Posted in Leadership, Recruitment

One Response

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  1. Very informative tips. well said first impression is the last impression so our dressing , talking, and hairstyle etc must be impressive.

    singapore IT recruitment

    January 18, 2012 at 11:15 am


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