Tour de SRS: We are completing a 30 mile trip around the 4 North East universities to raise £1,000 for Team Kenya.

All of us at SRS have benefitted from the many learning and development opportunities available to us. We want those same opportunities to be available for girls and women in rural Kenya, where some cannot afford an education or are forced to marry young.   

Team Kenya’s vision is for every girl in Kenya to have an equal chance to achieve her potential, and they support communities to deliver better education and employment opportunities for girls. We are all very passionate about gender equality and the chance for these girls to have brighter futures.

We want to show our support by completing a 30 mile tour of 4 North East universities, using the bus, the ferry and walking for over 8 hours – come rain or shine! This supports our policy of using sustainable public transport wherever possible and compliments the work we do to improve the employability of students. Most importantly, this tour will remind us of how lucky we are to have access to a free education.

We would love to raise £1,000 to support the education and empowerment of girls and women in rural Kenya. No donation is too small, and will help fund grassroot projects in the communities. Thank you for your support.


SRS Tour

From Learner To Earner - Sophie's first book is announced!

We were delighted to share the news of a project Sophie has been working on this year when we were at the ISE Conference in Manchester.

From Learner To Earner - a recruitment insider’s guide for students wanting to achieve graduate job success is being published by Rethink Press in September this year.

The book has received a huge amount of support from industry insiders with many heads of graduate recruitment providing case studies and the ISE, CIPD, High Fliers, Prospects Luminate, Department for Education and HECSU sharing their data. The book takes students through the journey of finding a job, securing the job and then performing well in it.

Book launches are planned in London and Newcastle so get in touch if you’d like to attend.

From Learner To Earner



Smart Resourcing Solutions (SRS) are delighted to have been confirmed as the chosen supplier to work with the University of Hertfordshire on their award-winning Assessment Centre Experience (ACE) programme for students. 

Having begun as a pilot event in Autumn 2016 for 400 students, ACE has grown year on year to become the largest employability event in the UK. This November will see over 3000 students attend an ACE event at Watford FC’s Vicarage Road Stadium. 

ACE has become well-known throughout the university and is now embedded within the majority of undergraduate degree courses at the institution, giving second year students an outstanding opportunity to take part in a realistic mock assessment centre with bespoke assessment materials directly relating to their degree choice. 

After attending ACE 2017 with a fellow governor colleague, Chair of Governors Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss said: “The whole morning, - team working, presentations and interviews were of the highest calibre and our students were blessed to have such high quality, intense development and feedback from experienced ‘real word’ professionals, I doubt they will ever experience such a transformational event in their future careers. We made a point of expressing our admiration of the assessment training initiative at the university governors board meeting and asked that our appreciation be recorded and minuted.”

Students attending ACE report a huge increase in confidence about applying for placements and graduate schemes and each year brings success stories of students securing jobs. The initiative received recognition from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) in 2018 winning an award at the annual ISE Development Awards. 

Judith Baines, Head of Careers and Employment at the University said: “Careers and Employment at the University of Hertfordshire are delighted that the university recognises the benefits of the Assessment Centre Experience (ACE) and has funded another year of growth for 2019. We expect over 3000 students will attend the experience at Watford Football Club and we are looking forward to working with Smart Resourcing Solutions once again.”

Managing Director at SRS, Sophie Milliken commented: “We love working with all the staff and students at the University of Hertfordshire on what is a really special project with significant impact for the students. The support we receive at the venue from F3 is always outstanding and we all look forward to providing over 3000 students with a brilliant learning experience this year.”

5 Steps to Video Interview Success

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Many employers use video interviews for the initial stage of the recruitment process. It’s an efficient way for recruiters to screen and evaluate candidates while allowing the candidate the opportunity to record their interview at a time that suits them. 

This can be an intimidating process if you haven’t done anything like this before but with a few simple steps you can set yourself up for video interview success.

Step 1 – Test your equipment

Before you start your video interview make sure you are connected to the internet, your camera and microphone are working and your PC or laptop is sufficiently charged. You’ll be surprised how many candidates forget this first step. My favourite recruiter story is where a candidate got mad with the technology during his video interview. He thought it had stopped recording, but it hadn’t and he started to use some very colourful language. Needless to say, he didn’t get through to the next stage. 

Step 2 – Location 

Choose your location wisely to minimise distractions and close the door. You don’t want to be put off by your cat walking across your laptop or someone interrupting you during the interview. You also don’t want your video interviewer to experience the unexpected. A recruiter shared their experience of when an interviewee’s girlfriend walked behind him stark naked in camera view – they definitely weren’t expecting that. 

Step 3 – Dress to impress

Dress for the video interview as you would if you are attending a face to face interview. Making a great first impression is an important part of the recruitment process. Recruiter stories never cease to amaze me, I’ll never forget the one where a candidate changed his outfit during every question of the video interview. He started in a suit and finished wearing a snorkel and swimming trunks. Memorable yes but not for the right reason.

Step 4 – Preparation and practice

As with any type of interview, it is important to prepare for ultimate interview success. Research the company, study the job description and consider the type of questions you may be asked. Our STARR technique worksheet over on our Resources page will help you structure each answer in a systematic way. Be concise with your answers as you will have a limited time to respond. Many candidates are cut off mid-sentence before they have answered the question and equally, there are just as many who have not used the full time available. Both of these will impact your score, so make sure you fully answer each question (without rambling!) and use the time available to expand on your answer using the STARR technique.  

Step 5 – Be polite 

It is essential to remember your manners at all times! Be polite, smile and avoid using slang. I hear countless recruiter stories of candidates who have dropped the F-bomb during their video interview. Swearing can be considered as poor judgement and can seriously jeopardise your chances of securing your dream graduate role. 

So, there you are, my top tips for video interview success.  


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5 Assessment Centre Myths and How to Overcome Them

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Does the thought of an assessment centre send you running for the hills? Assessment centres can be an intimidating process if you don't know what to expect and can occasionally send your imagination into overdrive. Fear not, as Rachael’s myth buster blog will help calm your nerves and sort the facts from the fiction. 

1. The assessor is scary

Your assessor will do everything they can to make you feel at ease during the assessment centre. Just because they are your assessor it doesn't mean that they aren't nervous too. Embrace the experience and demonstrate active listening skills through positive body language, eye contact and verbal affirmations. 

 2. I can’t prepare for an assessment centre as I don’t know what to expect

Preparation is key to assessment centre success. Although you won’t know the topics of the exercises that you will be taking part in there are some common factors you can prepare for.

Interview: Study the job description and practice interview questions in advance using the STARR technique with family and friends. Familiarise yourself with your CV so you can talk about your experience and really sell yourself. Ensure you have your killer question ready to ask at the end of the interview. 

Group Exercise: Remember this is a time-sensitive group task. Keep track of the time available and work with the other members in the group making sensible, balanced and fact-based contributions to achieve the desired outcome. If there are some quieter members in the group who have not shared their thoughts or opinions, consider how you can encourage them to contribute towards the group discussion. 

Presentation: Build structure into your presentation by including a clear introduction, content and conclusion. Consider how visual aids can support your message and practice your presentation in advance to help you become less reliant on your notes. Be confident, with plenty of practice you’ve got this!

3. The assessor is aware of my experience from my application form and CV, so I don’t need to cover that

Your assessor can only assess you on what they see and hear during the assessment centre and will score you based on your performance during each exercise. Forget what they might already know and use the STARR technique to fully answer each interview question to achieve maximum points.

4. I have to take charge of the group discussion to get noticed by the assessor

You will gain points for demonstrating your leadership strengths during the group discussion, but it is important that this is done in a collaborative and supportive way. Many candidates have been marked down for dominating the group and talking over others. Think about how you can demonstrate your strengths without alienating other candidates. Assigning roles at the start of an exercise based on skills, strengths and experiences build structure into the group task and ensures everyone has a part to play towards the end result.

5. Being assessed by an assessor is off-putting

It’s easy to think your assessor will be off-putting but once the exercises are underway, you’ll soon forget that they are there. The assessor’s role is to assess all candidates and score them based on their behaviours and contribution. Try to relax and enjoy the experience. It’s only natural to feel nervous but don’t let this get in the way of your performance on the day. Remember to smile and let your personality shine through. 

So, there you are, my top five assessment centre myths that you no longer need to worry about. 


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