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As a head of HR, I oversee HR strategy and also work with SMEs in an HR consulting role. One of the current challenges in both scenarios is a shortage of talent. Post Brexit pundits predict that when the UK triggers article 50 the shortage of good staff may be further exacerbated. This is good news for all those people who are currently leaving full time education and heading out into the world of work, but how do you as a jobseeker decide on the right employer?

There is a lot of information out there - company websites, social media, LinkedIn,, the list goes on. Do your research, gauge the culture of organisations. None of this effort will be wasted when you get to interview stage as you are likely to be asked “what do you already know about the company?”

Draw up a list of criteria;

  • what is important to you?
  • Consider what is essential, what is desirable?
  • Do the company’s morals and ethics match up with your values?
  • Be honest with yourself, would you be a good fit?
  • Ask a friend or family for their opinions.
The common questions and criteria that jobseekers apply when looking for a future employer may be:
  • Prestigious or less well-known: how important is the name or brand of the company to me and for my CV?
  • Do I want the bright lights and city life or should I stay local for shorter commutes or where I can afford to live?
  • Are the company’s values and beliefs clear and can I identify with them?
  • Are staff valued in the organisation?
  • Does the organisation work with a diverse range of sectors and in areas which interest me?
  • Do they provide a variety of products or services, which may allow me to stay long term and diversify or specialise later?
  • Is diversity and flexibility respected?
  • Is the team representative of the community it serves?
  • Does the company have a strategic approach to continuous professional development or does it just invest in the bare minimum.
  • Does the company have a history? How has it evolved?
  • Is there evidence that the company has a social conscience? Are they are committed to their social responsibility? Do they work with the common good of their community at heart?
As a job seeker, this list will help you decide where you want to spend your time and effort.

Employers take note – if you want to compete with the best you will need to make sure that you do enough to attract ‘the cream of the crop’.

By Rosemary Hedgecock, head of HR at Alliotts