WORK180’s Carlie Walker knows recruitment from both sides – as a busy recruiter seeking great talent and as a ‘continuous candidate’ trying to find the right fit. Drawing on a journey spanning frustration to jubilation, and connection to disaffection, she offers five tips for how to choose the right employer for you.
When Carlie met Gemma Lloyd and WORK180, something clicked. As a driven BD professional who cares about the product she sells, she could quickly identify with WORK180’s value proposition. And as a working parent used to struggling for balance, the promise of flexibility, inclusion and remote collaboration was very enticing.
I’ve enjoyed my career overall but my growth has been impeded by joining the wrong employers and staying too long. It’s easy to do, particularly when you’re trying to build a career while raising kids at home. When I found out about WORK180, which launched in the UK in 2018, I wanted to find out more. And when I met the team, I was sold.
Indeed, WORK180’s recruitment process, from application to onboarding, was a major factor in persuading Carlie to leave her previous role to join the WORK180 team. She says the interview process was incredibly open and efficient, and the team were very responsive and ready to give feedback throughout:
For other jobs, I was constantly chasing the interviews and the decisions, and I wasn’t getting feedback. I remember one application where I invested a huge amount of time over a long period and got a hollow, standard rejection email. I chased them for feedback for two months.
Carlie says the most positive thing about the WORK180 interview process - and the onboarding which followed – was the friendliness and sincerity of CEO Gemma Lloyd and the team.
“It was incredible. All of my interviews were done using Zoom [video conferencing] yet Gemma made me feel at ease from the start, and she cared about what mattered to me. They even asked for my feedback on the recruitment process, which really impressed me. Before starting, I was also invited to their Christmas party to meet the team. I was so nervous but we all got on so well. I rang my best friends the next day and said, ‘this is the best decision I’ve ever made’. The team at Work180 made me feel included from the start, and that set the tone for things to come.”
The Power of Trust
A few months into her role, Carlie says the opportunity has exceeded her expectations, and she feels truly embedded in the WORK180 team. She works from home, full-time, collaborating with WORK180’s teams across the UK and Australia. Despite the time differences and remote working, she feels 100% connected to her colleagues:
“In all my years of working, I have never felt so welcomed into a team, which is incredible, given that I work remotely. I feel like I’m part of a little family. I’m amazed by how included I feel. We talk by video conference every morning at 9am about what happened yesterday, what’s ahead of us and how we can help each other. Then we get stuck in from wherever we are, chatting through Slack to share and support as required.”
Importantly, Carlie feels trusted by her employer to get the work done, without being micro-managed. At thirteen years old, her son is at a crucial stage, and she says she’s had to take a few days unexpectedly to support him.
In other jobs, you’d think ‘this isn’t a great look’. Here, I know I’m supported and they know I’ll deliver. It’s just a great feel.
Carlie’s Top Tips for Candidates
Carlie’s experiences with WORK180 have made her more adamant than ever about the need to choose your employer carefully, and to be proactive in seeking the opportunity that fits. Here are her top 5 tips for professionals everywhere.
1. What matters to you?
Work out your priorities and what you need for the next 12-24 months. It’s not just about salary. Think about your day to day wellbeing and where you want your job to take you.
2. Do your homework
Research the employer and the opportunity, and make sure it’s right. Ask them questions. Talk to other people – colleagues, friends, family. Get online and have a look.
3. Found a great employer? Be proactive
Don’t wait around for the opportunity to land in your lap. This is too important. If you ‘re keen on the company, you need to push. When you’re on the call with them, book the next step. Show them you want to move this forward.
4. Interview them, be upfront and encourage them to be the same
Too many candidates are still passive in interviews. Ask the right questions to make sure the role you are going for aligns with your values. If you have doubts, vocalise them – if there was something that made you uneasy in the first interview and you get to the next stage, bring it up. Be honest and find out. It’s a two-way conversation.
5. Invite and embrace feedback
You deserve feedback, particularly if you’re unsuccessful. Sometimes, you’ll have to push to get an honest, specific response but it’s worth it. The right challenging feedback could be the key to you getting the net job you choose to go for.
Employers, Listen Up
Carlie also shares some advice for employers who want to attract and hire the best people: be open, engage the candidate and invest in giving feedback.
Introduce candidates to the team they’ll actually be working with. And during the interview, be transparent about the good and the bad points - don’t oversell. Remember that it’s a two-way conversation and that you’re being interviewed too. Finally, show respect to candidates by giving them constructive feedback.
So what’s next for Carlie?
I’ve only just started my journey but I feel energised to advocate for WORK180 and get our brand out there. Meanwhile, I want to get super healthy, and keep supporting my son.
For Carlie, that parental support also means setting an example:
I want to show him that if you set your mind to it, work hard and make the right decisions, you can be happy and successful… particularly if you pick the right employer to build a career with.
It’s great to have you on board, Carlie.
About the author
To help women find a workplace that will work for them, we prescreen employers on flexible working, pay equity, paid parental leave, and more. Find your next role on the WORK180 job board.