Working Heads: a new job hunting experience

Posted on the 9th September 2019

This month, at CXK we launch a trailblazing employability project to support unemployed people in Kent and Medway to find work.

As an organisation, we have more than 20 years’ experience working to help individuals to build the skills and confidence they need to find work, or a learning or training opportunity. We run many youth employment programmes and work with adults of all ages providing careers advice and guidance, focusing on those that are hardest to reach in society and furthest from the job market. What that experience has shown us is that many people find it difficult to represent themselves well using a traditional written CV.

Writing a CV requires a certain set of skills that many simply don’t have, or don’t have access to. The ability to write well and get across key attributes is a challenging task. There is the challenge of getting your qualifications and experience across in a clear and succinct way, which can be difficult enough, but what about those softer skills?

How does a person communicate their confidence, assertiveness, charisma, people skills? Skills that might make them stand out over and above another candidate. That’s a very difficult thing to do. And the result, unfortunately, can be that some individuals have great difficulty standing out with a written CV, and struggle to get that first ‘foot in the door’ – an interview.

Employers, meanwhile, are missing out on a pool of good quality candidates. Candidates who are well suited for the role, but who simply struggle to get that suitability across on paper. Simply, potentially good employees are slipping through the net because the application and CV filtering methods just don’t account for the fact that many of the most valuable skills an employer is looking for just can’t be articulated in writing.

So we came up with Working Heads.

Working Heads helps jobseekers to create a great first impression and access employers in an engaging and innovative way through video. The programme supports jobseekers through workshops which take them through that process of creating a video CV with impact. During the video – which is never more than 90 seconds in length – the candidate provides answers to three key questions designed to give an insight into their soft skills and personality. Questions such as: What is your best skill? What job do you see yourself doing in 2 years? What inspires you?

The video CV is then uploaded to an online portal, as part of a jobseeker profile, which is then accessible by a network of local employers looking for candidates to fill existing job opportunities. Jobseekers are also supported through workshops to identify their skills and qualities and to present themselves professionally in front of potential employers. Further workshops will be offered to review how job searching has progressed and offer peer support and learning from the process.

From an employer’s perspective, the portal provides quick and easy access to a pool of work-ready candidates that they might ordinarily never meet. The video format of the CVs allows them to not only learn about a candidate’s experience, but to make a more accurate assessment of their personality and soft skills. This give the employer the ability to make a quicker decision about how that candidate might fit the role and within their team – before deciding whether to invite them to interview. They access a wider pool of candidates, strengthening their ability to develop a more diverse workforce, and to meet equality, diversity and corporate social responsibility objectives.

Our experience of getting people back into the workplace has shown us that there is a gap to be filled; a need for another kind of tool which supports jobseekers during that first step of making a job application. However, Working Heads does more than just fill that gap.

The Working Heads project seeks to improve the economic situation of our target groups, giving them the tools and networks they need to integrate better into society. It provides participants with the opportunity to develop contacts with employers, and the opportunity to give peer support, revisiting the programme to share their successes and learnings, and in doing so further building on the skills and experiences that help them to achieve better social integration.

We’re excited to support the social integration of those furthest from the job market across Kent and Medway.

Any individual or employers wanting to receive details about Working Heads should contact: Anthony Hollingdale, 07725 445477, anthonyhollingdale@cxk.org or visit www.workingheads.cxk.org

Read more posts...

Collaboration is key to address community equality

As we enter Communities Week, I have been reflecting on the speed at which the world around us is changing. It feels that the word ‘unprecedented’ is used frequently to describe the pace of change;...

Posted 12 Sep 2019

Andy Melia smiling at the camera. He is wearing a navy jacket and a blue shirt with no tie.