Pick me! Insight from WWF International’s Talent Acquisition Manager Laurence Najem

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For the past seven years, Laurence Najem has been recruiting talent from all over the globe for WWF International. Today on EcoLogical, she answers a few questions every potential recruit for WWF should know.

1. How many CVs do you reckon you’ve reviewed? How many candidates have you interviewed?

This is a tough question! It is true that I have been through quite a number of applications.Over the past few years I would say around 7,000. For interviews, we usually do a first round of phone interviews and then bring in a smaller number for face-to-face interviews. Overall my estimate would be around 350 interviews since I started at WWF.

2. What makes someone stand out from a large pool of candidates?

The experience and background are definitely the basis. However, it is then the fit for the organization and the team that will make the difference. We are looking for candidates that really believe in what we do at WWF and that adhere to our values.

3. Any dos and don’ts for CVs? For interviews?

A CV will reflect the personality of the applicant, as well as his/her knowledge or lack of expertise in designing it. Depending on the role, it’s really worth investing time in doing a good layout, this will also tell us if the person is comfortable with IT tools. Highlighting your interpersonal competencies can also be a plus.

For interviews, we use competency-based interview questions. The aim for us is really to get to know the candidate as well as to possibly assess whether he or she will be a fit or not for the organization and the role. To do that we try to create an open atmosphere and we expect interviewees to be open about what they bring, but also what they expect from the organization.

4. What are the characteristics WWF looks for when it hires new talent?

Besides the technical capabilities that differ from one role to another, we are looking for candidates that are keen to work in a very international environment, that bring different multicultural backgrounds and that are eager to contribute to the work the organization does.

 5. Be honest, do you read the covering letter? If yes, why?

Yes, I do read them, usually after going through the CV. As much as a CV can tell you about the factual experience, the letter will give us some insight about what is really behind the facts and, most importantly, what is their motivation for the role and organization.

6. Anything else? Tips, opinions, things candidates should know before applying to WWF?

I would advise candidates in their applications to make the link between what we are looking for (the job description) and the experience they bring in as well as put forward their interest in working for WWF!  Having been here for a few years now, I think it is a great organization to work for and a place where you can make a contribution at your level.

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