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candidates, sourcing
As a recruiter, it is part of my job to know all the information from the candidates regarding their “likes”, “dislikes”, “wants”, “needs” and finally dreams.

Asking the right questions will open the door to know more about the candidate experience and needs. I will be sharing with you the “Magic Questions” that I’m using to gather the most important details about the candidate.

1. Ask for clarification on information in candidates resumes. Sometimes most of the candidates don’t include everything in their CV, as a recruiter it will be the perfect timing to grab the opportunity and ask every single detail about the candidate skills, abilities, and experience. Exploring more into their work experience will help you to match whether the candidate is FIT for the role, both technically and personality wise.

2. Ask for potential deal breakers early on – like the availability, relocation, flexibility, and counter offers. I know it’s too early to ask this question but it will make a big different once you reach the last stage of the interview process. It is always nice to know everything from the very beginning to save time and effort as you go along with recruitment process. This is an ongoing process, as sometimes candidates need or expectations can change during the total recruitment process. Don’t assume. Ask! Remember that we have the JD as our guideline, some roles are looking for a candidate that can join immediately, others are for 2 weeks or 1 month time. When asking the candidates notice period always ask if they can shorten the time.

3. Ask for the current and expected salary package in detail. This is one of the difficult questions to ask as our culture tells us not to discuss salary but it’s a recruiter’s job to know not only the current salary but also the expected salary. By knowing all this thing – it will help you to gauge whether the candidate is beyond the salary bracket offered for the role. Imagine a candidate who is already on a final interview stage only to realize that the candidate wants an unrealistic increase from the current salary. It is also great to know the important reason for the candidate to accept a particular offer. Will it be due to salary or job satisfaction? Or might be looking for stability and long-term goal? Others are looking for a great environment to work with. This kind of questions will help you to measure the needs of the candidate. Don’t be afraid to ask the candidate of their salary and don’t be afraid to say your maximum salary. Be honest and transparent with the candidate.

4. Why are you leaving your current Employer? Nobody wants to seem like they’re bad-mouthing a previous boss or employer, which actually rarely happens on a call thankfully. In general people tend to say they are looking for a better work/life balance, career advancement or salary increase. These are the key motivators.

By asking this question, it will give you better insight into the candidate’s professional history as well as help you to identify any red flags and at the same time identify their wants, needs and dreams, which is what will ultimately make them decide.

What are your dreams?

candidates, future, jobs

I recently spoke about the ‘Jobs of the Future’ at Tawdheef, my advice was to stay open and be adaptable to change. Following the discussion, I wanted to share my perspective on the subject of jobs in the future. My advice to everyone who is worried about their livelihoods is don’t panic.

There are several reasons that I consider the hype about automation impact on job loss to be overblown. The first is statistical – By 2030 the working age population, across the world, will decrease leaving a meaningful skills gap on the supply side. At the same time, as GDP grows, the demand for labour will continue to increase. So we are expecting to see a decrease in the labour force and an increase in demand for people. This is in-line with the World Economic Forum’s latest comments which suggest that there will be a skills shortage.

The second reason I tell people not to panic is history. We have been in similar situations to this before. In the 1960s NASA was using humans who were good at mathematics to manually compute complex equations. They didn’t use machines or tools like we do today. When computers were introduced these skilled people didn’t become obsolete, they re-skilled. Setting a mission like going to the moon not only sets the overall challenge but many other things are invented along the way. The Apollo mission was about putting a man on the moon but along the way, there were some valuable technological discoveries, including:

  • NASA’s digital imaging technology has been used for MRIs, Radiography, CAT scan, Microscopy medicine
  • Renewable energy has been created. Absorbing light when it strikes the surface and transferring it to a semiconductor – i.e. Solar Panels
  • Kidney Dialysis Machine
  • Moonboot helped revolutionize athletic footwear by inventing shock absorption
  • Fireman suits (made from a fabric which didn’t burn)
  • Cool suits
  • First retractable stadium roof made from spacesuit fabric
  • Automatic pool purifier
  • Burglar alarm
  • Programmable pacemaker
  • Cordless inventions like the drill
  • Liquid methane for automotive vehicles
  • Heart monitor

I think it’s important to remember, life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in 5 years.

I get excited by the new opportunities presenting themselves for people to re-skill or up-skill themselves. Blockchain technology is creating new opportunities for those brave enough to take them. AI is both creating new roles, automating functions which are repetitive and add little value to businesses. Fintech is changing the way we bank.

Just as coal miners in the 1980s couldn’t conceive of renewable sources of energy like solar or wind providing us with sustainable energy, we are all coming to terms with the changes that effect every industry in the world.



candidates, digital, sourcing

My recruitment career started in 2009 when I started in the financial services and banking category. Throughout my career I always understood just how critical it was for a recruiter to understand the role they are trying to fill.


Traditionally, recruitment has always been time consuming with no guarantee of success. More recently, following a boom in technology, there has been a move towards digitization & especially digital project management.


This shift has redirected my area of expertise away from filling financial services positions towards digitization. Below are some important factors to think of when looking for your digital project managers. 


Communication skills

This is one of the most important traits for a project manager. They are the link to the client and therefore they must be able to effectively negotiate and use persuasion when necessary to ensure the success of the team and project.  While doing some research I found out that the PMI (Project Management Institute) suggests that a project manager will spend 90% of their time communicating.  


Client relationships

It is important that the candidate enjoys this part. This will help to establish if this role and client is a good fit for them. You want to see that fire in their belly when they talk about their most exciting clients and how they went the extra mile for that client. Someone who is not passionate on working with their clients is never going to be good in this role. 


Meeting deadlines

Find out how they met their deadlines and managed these within the timeframes set.  Ask what tools they use to track their projects and how they managed the clients’ expectations. It is important to gauge their personality – are they fiery and temperamental? This will not work at all in this role or in many but it’s important to get the balance here. A strong PM will be able to push back but in a calm and assertive way. If this is them – great, this is what we want!


Listening skills

A great PM will be an excellent listener, who will listen to their stakeholders and clients. You can determine this when you are interviewing them. Do they listen well when you talk, do they interrupt you? Do they give good eye contact and show interest in what you are saying?  You can also check their tone and body language. How are they coming across? Some PMs are very set in their ways and this is hard to change. They must be able to focus on being able to accept criticism and being self-aware.


Look forward to going to work

When you talk to your candidate you must get a good feeling from them that they believe that project management is an exciting challenge that’s critical to success. Good PMs will view this as a career and not a job. Great project managers plan, manage and handle the details that let others relax.

There are obviously more traits to look for when trying to source solid project managers, but these are my top 5 that helped me in my sourcing. I hope it helps you too.



A final note from me – over the years I saw many CVs that where excellent on paper and the ‘oh yes I do this and that’ type candidates BUT when I actually met them, their skills and persona’s did not match up. Therefore it is very important to meet all your candidates before submitting them to the hiring manager. Just remember any candidate can be amazing on paper!!


As a recruiter my favorite part of the job is when I start working on a new placement & candidate resourcing.

The thrill of matching a specific candidate with their dream job and knowing that in the process I have satisfied a clients expectations is a great feeling in itself but as an extra bonus along the way, I get to meet and speak with so many wonderful and interesting people, who all have a story to tell and who all have dreams of their own.

That being said, when I first started as a recruitment consultant, reaching out to new contacts was a little nerve wrecking. The thought of rejection or not having all the right answers scared me, until I learnt that with the right preparation and process there is nothing to be worried about. We are all people and most people love to talk, especially if they are talking about something they are passionate or curious about.

When I reach out to someone for the first time, I always try to follow these simple steps, which I refer to as my “Sourcing & Connecting Best Practices”

1. The Planning part

Think about what you want to search for – make sure you know what you are looking for and who you are looking for. – Analyze the job description – Review the Company profile – Ask questions – and then construct a good approach. What do I talk about I start by putting together a Personalized message, learning a few things about the candidate’s profile through research. Do they mention any hobbies or specific likes? Maybe something we can bond about that I also like.

2. Be unique

The first approach has to be unique, as even the subject line will determine the factor whether your email will get opened or not. So I try to make it interesting, positive and short. Long messages have a slower chance of being read. People are busy and I have to respect that.

3. Get the person

The purpose of making my first connection The purpose is not to get your CV. I want to get you.

My soul purpose is to introduce myself and build some rapport. It normally takes me a couple of interactions to get a read on someone. You can get a good feel for a person’s energy just from a couple of messages via email, social media but the most valuable interaction is alway; the phone call. Sometimes I call just to say hello and make an appointment to talk at a later time that is more convenient. I find that not talking business from the moment go gets me the best responses for people. Sometimes it takes me 4 personal interactions before I start asking the “Magic Questions”.

For me Recruitment is about people, so keep it simple and be personal. What’s the worst that can happen? I make a new friend.

If you what to find out about my “Magic Questions” read my next blog 😉 or call me!

Tech savvy candidates are in higher demand than ever. What’s the right move for you?

2018 has gotten off to a flying start when it comes to Digital and Tech employment opportunities. Technology hires are booming throughout the Middle East, and especially the UAE, are leading the push to prepare themselves for the future.

Seasoned companies are implementing Digital Transformation projects at a pace never seen before. Startups are blossoming at an accelerated rate, setting new trends and offering a fresh choice of opportunity for tech thirsty candidates. It’s exciting times all around for both employers and employees.

That being said, meeting your own expectations, can be daunting for both parties, if you don’t know what you truly are looking for.

As an employer you may be thinking; who? What are the latest skills and trends we need to be looking for to keep us ahead of the game? How can we attract the best talent and how do we keep them engaged and motivated at our company?

As a tech candidate seeking a fresh challenge, I recommend you put some serious consideration into the following and prioritize what’s most important to you.

In no particular order;

New Tech: What new skills can I learn if I change jobs? What am I truly passionate about and will the new company provide me opportunity to better myself?

Job satisfaction: What type of projects excite me? Where will I be able to utilize my full skillset and keep myself motivated and eager to get out of bed in the morning and head to work?

Work – Life – Balance: What type of company culture and environment brings the best out in me? A startup might bring quicker career advancement and financial rewards, than my current role, but may well require more work effort and dedication. Do I truly have the time and heart to commit myself?

Remuneration: How important is a salary increase compared to job Satisfaction or a better Work – Life – Balance?

Title: Does the job title matter to my long-term career goals?

These are all valid questions, which we all have different answers to depending on circumstances. Once you have figured out what truly matters to you, the hunt can begin.

If you decide to engage a recruitment company in your search, make sure to clarify these points to them. Being upfront about your expectations, not only saves all parties time and but also heightens the chance of matching you with that dream job.

If you don’t know the answers or simply aren’t sure which direction to go, drop us a line at Searchie & Searchie or come in for a chat. We’ll figure it out together.