Hints from HR: Becci Drummond, HR & Business Operations Manager, Brand Chemistry
One of the biggest concerns, when finding a job, whether you are a first timer or a seasoned job seeker, is “experience.” Most job ads, if not all, would list “experience” as a requirement. Of course for a first time job seeker, this is next to impossible, and for a seasoned seeker, are these experiences adequate, or even relevant?
Becci Drummond, HR & Business Operations Manager of Brand chemistry, says not to let this hold you back, “In every role you walk into, even if it has the same job title and description as your last, there will always be stuff to learn and places to grow. Be honest and open in where you don’t have current experience and make it known that you’re a keen and quick learner.”
In JobGetter’s “Hints from HR” series, we aim to bring these job seeker concerns out in the open and ask for expert advice.
Read on to get more valuable job search insights from Becci…
Brand chemistry helps b2b brands engage, acquire and retain customers, by creating deep, human connections that move customers along their buying journey.
With a national client base, and strong foothold in b2b tech marketing, they are fanatical about client success, scientifically rigorous with data, positively alchemistic with creativity. And, the people behind the business are their secret sauce.
They’ve got ‘em all: from dancers to linguists, yogis, rockabilly rollers, animal lovers, wakeboarders and musicians. The Brand chemistry team believes that being savvy and having the ability to play, think, and look after your fellow team members are more important attributes than the letters after your name, or how many job titles you’ve churned through in the last ten years. And they come from all walks of life but all have something in common: an immersed-in-their-craft, sleeves rolled up, can-do, and can-always-improve mentality. Self-described as “possibly erring on the side of nerdy,” they are inspired by the latest and greatest in their industry. Their constant testing and measuring new techniques, tools and technologies keeps their days interesting and just that little bit challenging.
What was your first job?
My first job was working in a greasy-spoon cafe cooking up bacon and eggs for brekkie.
How long have you worked in HR/recruitment?
I got my first taste of recruitment 14 years ago when the business I was working for went through rapid expansion and we tripled my team in just a few months. I have played the hiring manager in many of my roles since then, as well as HR. In the last couple of years, I have focused my attention more in HR consultation for small businesses and joined Brand chemistry as their HR & Business Operations Manager just over a year ago.
When you were 9 years old, what did you want to be when you “grew up?”
I always wanted to be a disco dancer!
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love that my job is so varied and the work I do is meaningful. I love making sure that every person in our business feels good about their job and the work they do. Whether it is giving clarity to a job description, creating a functional and fun office space for the team to work in, being a sounding board to help someone with a solution to a problem, or generally being a chief fun maker. Oh – and getting to go disco dancing at Christmas 😉
Hints from Becci
What I look for in candidates:
I am a big lover of the cover letter! This is a chance for a candidate to show their personality and is the ‘why’ of their application – showing us things that a resume alone cannot. Once I am drawn in and have a greater sense of who the person is, then I am looking to see that a candidate’s experience and skill set are relevant and a good match for the job.
To me, the most employable skills a candidate could have are:
A proven commitment to ongoing learning, and contribution, coupled with true grit. Such an adaptable and positive growth mindset is the biggest asset to a growing business.
My advice to applicants who want to stand out:
I think you can get creative with your resume, but ensure that the creativity is there to emphasize the key points. We have a philosophy in the agency that a creative’s job is to hold the audience’s attention for as long as it takes to get the message across. A creative fail is where the creative takes attention away from your key selling points. But a cool, graphic or interactive resume that does this well will definitely capture my attention and imagination.
Something you might not know about working for Brand Chemistry:
We are lovers of all Asian cuisine and have a nominated (internal) lunch consultant that helps us all get a nice healthy break and feed at lunch time! You can often find us hanging out round the break-out table eating food, talking about what we had last night, what we’ll eat tonight, etc…
The biggest mistake you could make:
Turning up late for interview without a really good excuse. I am old-school about showing respect for others’ time I also believe that how you conduct yourself in an interview is representative of your best self. If this doesn’t cast you in a good light, you’ll never get the job. My tip is to turn up to the premises 10 mins ahead of the interview – announce yourself at five minutes, and be happy to wait until your interviewer is ready.
The first thing I notice about a resume:
How clearly and well-presented a candidates information is laid out.
The first thing I notice about a candidate at an interview:
How confidently they handle themselves when greeted; a friendly warm smile, eye contact, using your name and firm (not floppy!) handshake on introduction really sets the tone for the interview.
Questions a candidate should never ask?
What do you guys do?
I expect a candidate to arrive researched and prepared and wanting to work with us as much as we want to work with them. We want to employ people who really care about what we do and feel aligned with our ethos. It makes coming to work more fun for all of us.
Don’t shy away from asking:
Questions about workplace culture, and values. Recruitment is a two-way street – you need to feel confident that the culture is something you can fit happily into, so you can feel excited about what you will be doing, and who you will be doing it with.
Don’t let this hold you back:
Not having experience in all aspects of the role. In every role you walk into, even if it has the same job title and description as your last, there will always be stuff to learn and places to grow. Be honest and open in where you don’t have current experience and make it known that you’re a keen and quick learner.
What I want to know about you as a person:
I want to know that you’re honest and transparent, that you are confident but not cocky, which manifests as being not scared to ask a question, or say you don’t know the answer. I want to know that you’re positive and solution-oriented and passionate about your work.
What homework I expect you to have done before the interview:
Always know who you are meeting, what role they play in the company and what the company does as a bare minimum.
My advice to a candidate who wasn’t successful:
Often it is not that you gave a bad interview, but that another person was just a better fit for the role. Celebrate and take what you can from your experience, if there were areas you think you could have done better then polish them up for the next interview. If you thought you could not have done any more, than reflect on why that job was not for you, and go get em’ at your next high-fit interview!
If this Q&A with Brand chemistry’s HR & Business Operations Manager has sparked your interest in working for this Employer of Choice, check out the video below…