My career advice

“Shortlisting for Leightons goes beyond looking at a CV”

Stuart Jackson, recruitment manager at Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care, explains why understanding the company’s DNA is so important for candidates

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What is the one piece of advice that you’d give to someone who wanted to work for Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care?

When you look at Leightons – our history, our quality of service and stellar reputation within a clinical setting – you will find that the bedrock of all this is great people.

Listen, Empathise, Educate and Delight (LEED) is our DNA, running through everything we do, how we treat our patients and each other. As a business, of course we want the best talent, so it is important that you tell us about your achievements and skills, but we’ll also look beyond that to understand relatable experiences that encapsulate our DNA, which makes us a special place to work.

So, our advice is: be proud, and highlight what you can bring from a skills and experience point of view, but also how you’ll bring our DNA to life.

When you’re shortlisting candidates, what’s the very first thing that you look for?

First and foremost, we look for the right skills and experience, according to the role. However, shortlisting for Leightons goes beyond looking at a CV. We try to make it a personal experience and one that benefits both Leightons and the applicant. It is really important for us that the people we hire will ultimately create great experiences for our customers and colleagues. However, what runs alongside that is “how can Leightons work for you?” What can Leightons provide the applicant to enhance their own career?

How important is the cover letter in applications that you receive?

Very. You can only get so much from a traditional CV; a cover letter is a chance for the applicant to tell a greater story. It tells us that the applicant has taken the time to really think about why a career with Leightons is something they truly want.

What’s the biggest mistake that someone can make in an interview for Leightons?

We actively listen to our candidates and want to understand what they can bring to the role they are applying for, and why they want to work for us. It is vital that candidates are able to talk to us about this in their interview.

How do you go about ensuring fairness and equality in your hiring process? Do you have specific programmes in place to guarantee it?

We have a robust recruitment process that not only allows us to view an applicant on their merits, but also a system that allows us to capture candidate equality information anonymously. We ensure everyone has the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments as part of the process, so we can make accommodations as required. We also ensure an equitable interview process.

A new employee is preparing for their first week at Leightons. What tip would you give them to be successful?

Enjoy it. This is a great time for us, as we get to welcome amazing new people into the business. There will be lots of support and development on offer. Meet new colleagues, ask lots of questions, and enjoy your new role with us.

How important is employee wellbeing at Leightons?

We can't stress enough how important this is to us. We are a people business with a genuine focus on the wellbeing of all our employees, and want everyone who works with us to thrive. As well as day-to-day support from within the business, we offer additional support such as a 24/7 confidential Employee Assistance Programme that is completely independent and offers information and advice.