Valentine’s Day is considered to be a day of love, which is celebrated in many countries around the world. But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Stories have it that Valentine’s day originated due to Saint Valentine and his imprisonment due to him performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. During his imprisonment St. Valentine was said to have healed the daughter of his jailer and before his death he wrote farewell to her signed “from your Valentine”.  Ever since this it has become tradition for many to celebrate the love of their families, friend or spouse on this day. However in every country there lies a different tradition due to social and cultural differences, here are just a few examples from around the world.
US – The modern norm in the US for Valentine’s Day includes an exchange of gifts which include cards, flowers, chocolates and candles. Valentine’s Day dinner and dance parties are organized all over the country to celebrate the occasion. Many couples hold private celebrations in homes or restaurants. Another interesting part of Valentine’s Day in US is the celebrations organized by kids. Several schools organize Valentine’s Day programmes where children perform songs, dance, skits and plays. Children also give handmade gifts and cards to their friends and teachers.
Japan – In Japan Valentine’s Day is celebrated in a different way as it is set on two different dates – the 14th February and 14th March. On February 14, females present gifts to their boyfriends or any man close to them. This is then returned to ladies on the 14th March which is named ‘White Day’ when men pamper women who gave them gifts a month before on Valentine’s Day.
Denmark – In Denmark there are three usual acts of showing your love for someone which consist of either a lover’s card, custom of white flowers or the tradition of Gaekkebrey. The tradition of ‘lover’s card’ is the most popular and romantic Valentine’s Day custom in Denmark. White flowers are sent which are called ‘snowdrops’ to friends and lovers. Finally is the tradition of Gaekkebrey, this is when young couples write special love poems, beautiful romantic love notes and some funny poems known as ‘Gaekkebrey’.
Britain – We also found some Valentine’s Day traditions which were rather interesting. Unmarried girls in Britain used to write their lover’s names on paper and put them on clay balls that they would drop into the water. It was believed that whichever paper came up first, that man would be their future husband.
Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions specific to your culture or country? We’d be interested in hearing from you!
Social media has earned its place in the online market as it has grown over time, in 2012 companies and individuals truly embraced the benefits of social media. The positives of social media can only be embraced when networking is used correctly. However when social media is used incorrectly severe consequences can follow, something many companies and employees soon found out.
A recent study with 1,000 employees was conducted by Proofpoint, an internet security firm to see the type of behaviour and actions social media can cause when linked with work. According to this study a number of issues arose due to the misconduct of social media. A substantial 17 per cent of employers reported to have issues with their employees regarding social media, causing 8 per cent to dismiss someone due to their behaviour on sites including LinkedIn and Facebook. 
Many employees have been known to acquire a lack of common sense when using social media particularly when it comes to venting frustration or emotions regarding their job or colleagues. This is usually done by sharing corporate details, or even just making mindless remarks about the workplace.
However it is not always employees facing the wrath of someone as even companies have been known to make mistakes too via social media. Here’s an example of social media being used in the wrong way; Just days before the results of the US Presidential debate, Barack Obamas Grandma sadly passed away. One company insensitively commented on the passing away via social media which was sent to a following of 24,000 saying ‘Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president.’  As the online world spiralled into outrage the company quickly apologised and explained that an employee mistakenly sent the post via the company’s page rather than his own personal account.
Privacy and online behaviour should be a concern of everyone including job seekers. If you are posting freely without any privacy settings and a potential employer comes across any damaging posts they have the authority to potentially not hire you if they feel a sense of a lack of trust or unprofessional behaviour. Although this might be viewed as discrimination and unfair, no law exists that says that companies cannot do this. It is therefore better to keep observations offline; this includes any harming or irreparable comments made anywhere online including emails sent. Yes, emails too!
Social media can be a great advantage, particularly to those searching for a job so why not use it for the positives. Candidates can highlight key skills and attributes to make them shine apart from the many other applicants that may be applying for the same job role.
Are you using your social media profiles to the best of their ability?
 http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121120210129-2967511-the-top-5-corporate-twitter-disasters-of-2012 http://www.cuindependent.com/2012/11/09/facebook-can-hurt-chances-for-employment-aid-in-job-search/38016
Technology VS Human Interaction.
Technology, what would we do without it? The vast development of technology has enabled businesses to accomplish what was once considered unthinkable. With travelling being more accessible than it’s ever been, to the invention of the internet; the rise in global technology is allowing businesses to connect at an easier rate than ever. Nevertheless, the power of technology can be lost in value almost instantly in virtual space if you aren’t articulating human interaction alongside it.
As a multilingual recruitment consultancy we liaise with candidates and clients across the world so technology is something we value greatly. However, in saying this it does not detract our attention from having real human interaction. Whether communication is over the telephone, via email or face to face meetings with clients or candidates we as a consultancy can provide it.
There are further downfalls with the rise of technology which is automated services; having to speak to a robot like voice rather than a real person. Recent research from our candidate’s shows that they believe the ‘human touch’ is a necessity in today’s job market rather than CV’s collecting dust virtually online. If recruitment consultancies articulate the balance of technology and human interaction everyone (businesses and applicants) can benefit. Further to this consultancies can (particularly in the on going economic crisis) be a great asset to companies and candidates looking for the right person to hire. In August 2012 Eurostat estimates that 25.466 million men and women in the EU-27, of whom 18.196 million in the euro area (EA-17), were unemployed.  With the current economic crisis employment rates are at their highest in Europe making it very difficult to find a job. It could be argued that with the help of consultancies unemployment rates could drop as recruiters can filter the right candidates with the skills and attributes needed for job positions while the business hiring can focus on the interview process.
Top tips when working with a recruitment consultancy; be truthful about your experiences, credentials, income, career goals and reasons for leaving your prior employment.
Our Japanese desk took some clients to the recent Hyper Japan event – and what a successful day it turned out to be. It was the first time the event was put on so we had no idea what to expect but had done our research and looked forward to seeing and hearing all about Japanese culture – we weren’t disappointed!
We had a great time! We got to sample some great Japanese food – octopus ball and one of my favourites, sushi; we were even shown how to make it by a top sushi chef! We listened to some great music and our clients seemed to enjoy it as much as we did! So why did we go to the event and why was it being held? Continue reading
You may have read in the news recently that we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Japanese speaking roles in the financial services sector. We have found that the roles we recruit for in this sector are largely determined by the stability of the market, to see so many coming our way is a clear indication that the recovery is in full swing. We are also hearing from our Japanese clients that the strength of the Yen is encouraging more companies to invest in Europe.
However it is apparent that Japanese companies are not just looking for employees that can speak the language; equally as important is the ability to understand the culture and the way business operates. Candidates are now required to understand the pace of business in Japan and also how to interact with people. In fact there is a well known story of a multi million pound business deal in which an American supplier did not present business cards to Japanese managers in the correct manner, and toyed with them throughout the meeting. A major sign of disrespect in Japanese business culture, the deal fell through!
It is important therefore for applicants to understand a country’s culture– just speaking a language will not always get you the job.
We are always interested in hearing feedback from our new starters about their first few weeks at Euro London. Here are profiles of a couple of our new consultants and don’t forget if you like the sound of life at Euro London, we are still looking for extra members of the team so get in touch with Dawn on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook page to learn more!
Laura Heaney works in our Manchester office:
How did you hear of ELA?It was a personal recommendation from a friend who had temped through ELA.
First impressions of ELA?I went to Salford University Career fair and that was really good for me as a newbie to get out and talk to candidates and some potential clients. Almost every candidate that came to speak to me wanted translation and then I spoke about what other opportunities are out there and people were amazed to find so many different career paths that would involve languages. I am also running the Race for Life in July with some colleagues which will be a nice team outing and for a good cause.
Tell us something about your home town? I come from a small town called Wilmslow in Cheshire where lots of WAGS live! Continue reading
We like healthy banter and that’s exactly what we have in our offices at the moment. With the World Cup well under way the competition is not just on the pitch but in our offices as our employees from all over the world cheer on their respective teams!
In our London office, staff are supporting no less than six World Cup teams: England (of course) but also Japan, Holland, Germany, Italy and France. As a multilingual recruiter we ensure all our employees speak more than one language enabling them to test the skills of candidates and recruit the best talent for clients – no surprise then that we have supporters from a large proportion of World Cup teams.
So along with the media hype surrounding the World Cup we are hearing about it on a daily basis and it has created healthy competition amongst our consultants. Who are you and your company supporting – can you beat our London office with six teams?
We were featured in CITY A.M today giving our top tips for interview techniques now that hiring is on the up. We know how important it is to succeed at interview so if you want some good advice take a look at our article and find out more!
I recently came across a funny video that someone had posted on Twitter about bad things said at job interviews. It certainly amused me and put a smile on my face at the end of what was a busy day.
Here at Euro London we spend a lot of time with our candidates going through possible interview questions and provide them with an interview guide so they are as ready as they can be when they come to the actual interview. This puts them in a good position for their interview – which – as we all know can be pretty daunting. Here are our top tips for success at an interview:
- First Impressions Count – Dress professionally even if you know the company has a casual dress code. After all it is better to be too smart than too causal!
- Time Keeping – Never arrive at an interview late, it is advisable to enter the building about 10 minutes before the interview.
- Research - Ensure you know as much about the company as possible – it is inevitable that you will be asked. The more you know the better your chance of success.
- Show Enthusiasm – ensure you smile and make plenty of eye contact with your interviewer and always speak clearly and in a confident voice, no matter how nervous you may be.
- Body language – Sit up straight, avoid slouching and try not to fidget too much – this will make you appear nervous and distract the interviewer from what you are actually saying.
- Listen – This is often forgotten as candidates are too worried about selling themselves. Make sure you listen carefully to the questions asked and don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question.
- Ask Questions – many candidates fail to ask questions and miss the opportunity to find out valuable information about the company. Prepare some questions in advance – the questions you ask indicate your interest in the company or job.
I hope these tips are useful and although they may seem obvious it is surprising how many candidates don’t get the basics right!
It seems that even in a recession, some companies are struggling to attract and retain talent – but not for the reasons you may think.
It makes sense that clients have become fussier in this tough economic climate (which reports suggest that we’re moving out of now – let’s hope they’re right.) With so many more candidates on the market, clients now have the upper hand and they want as much value as they can get. Whilst recruiting for trading / broking houses over the last few months, I’ve seen a growing trend for clients asking not just for professional and experienced candidates, but ones with their own transferable client lists. Because that way the candidate can hit the ground running and start generating revenue as soon as possible, can’t they?
Well, it’s not proving to be that straightforward. The problem seems to be that many agency brokers don’t have an in-house research department – a service that will look at market trends, what people are investing in, market prices and publishing research and advice on issues in this area. But many companies want just that – an agency that offers a full brokerage service. I recently had one candidate who was offered a job in this area and had their own client list that they could use in their new position. After talking to their clients about the new company, many were not happy that they wouldn’t be working with a company with its own in-house research department that could offer the fully incorporated package. Although the candidate ticked all the right boxes for the job, their new employer didn’t meet the criteria required by the candidate’s clients. Despite being offered above average commission and bonuses, the candidate ended up declining the position.
Organisations may think that financial rewards are enough to retain talent in a recession but it seems that this remains a secondary concern. The bottom line is without the best service offering, companies are losing out on the best talent – and with talk about the upturn increasing, this is something that they cannot afford to do.
Entry by Maurice Christie of the Euro London banking and finance team