At the Graduate Jobs and Placements Fair we sat down with a few employers to get their perspectives and advice on the application process, and a little bit about their own career journeys. Continuing our series, we chat to Rachel Johnsen, Talent Acquisition Team Leader at Computershare, a financial services firm in Crossflatts, West Yorkshire which also has branches across the UK and internationally.
What characteristics and skills are you looking for in a good candidate?
We are looking for people who demonstrate certain behaviours and competencies; one of the key things we look out for are people who really have the customer at the heart of things, somebody who’s really customer focused and will go out of their way to do the right thing for the customer. We also look for people who can demonstrate real resilience and flexibility as we are a company who undergo change on a huge scale all the time, and employees frequently move between projects, which is challenging but it means loads of opportunities to learn and develop.
We also like people who demonstrate a strong work ethic, with the desire and determination to want to do well and to learn and develop, so if you can get that across in your application, CV and interview it’s something that really stands out.
And in terms of the application process, have you got any advice on what do you think makes a strong application?
There’s no right or wrong way to go through an application process, but my advice is to be proactive about it. As an organisation there are times we advertise roles and we are inundated with many many applications, and the applicants who really stand out to us are proactive in chasing us up. Even if you submitted an application through a CV portal or an online application, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the phone and speak to people who are actively recruiting for the role. It can be just this one thing that differentiates you from other candidates, so create your own opportunity by picking up the phone and speak to the recruiter or the hiring manager. It will bring your passion to light and show that you are genuinely interested in the role, so don’t just wait for employers to come back to you – get yourself out there!
That’s interesting, so even if the application is online, you’d encourage candidates to contact the recruiter.
Yes, our team of recruitment specialists and HR people are waiting to speak to the candidate anyway, so if you can bring that forward and make sure you’re considered, it’s definitely not a bad thing. It might just be that you have a conversation and you find out about another opportunity or you really demonstrate that you got the right skills for the opportunity you’ve applied for.
It might not work for all companies, but I don’t think it would ever be looked at negatively, so it’s definitely worth a go.
Lastly, can you tell us about your career journey?
I graduated University having studied English with Media, and if I’m completely honest I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with that, I just knew that I wanted a relatively well-paid role. I was really open and applied for a number of roles which had the potential to develop and could use the customer service skills I’d developed working in jobs alongside University. I fell into a recruitment agency position, which was a very interesting and challenging start to my career that taught me the value of keeping the interests of your customers and stakeholders at heart.
I stayed in recruitment for a number of years and transitioned to working with young people and apprenticeships, setting up interviews for apprentices and getting employers on board. I set up my own business doing this for a couple of years before returning to recruitment.
I joined Computershare in 2017 as a recruitment specialist and within one year was promoted to manager of the recruitment team. Out of everyone I’ve worked with, Computershare has been able to offer the best opportunities for development and progression, and as a global employer there are opportunities coming up all the time across the world, so the scope for development is fantastic.
Thanks Rachel! You can find out more about careers at Computershare on their website.