Category: Hiring Tips
“By S. Chris Edmonds, of SmartBlogs.com”
Is your organization a great place to work?
To know for sure, you’d need information like the percentage of employees that are highly engaged and highly productive, information about the degree to which employees trust their bosses and peers, information about whether employees’ ideas and efforts are consistently validated, and information about how many talented, engaged employees leave your organization every month.
What drives talented people to join your organization or to stay with your organization? Lazlo Bock, senior vice president of Google’s people operations, said in a recent Business Insider interview that pay and perks — like free gourmet meals, services like child care and dry cleaners on campus, etc. — are nice, but they don’t “actually retain people or even attract people.”
Bock continued, “People don’t stay for the money!” Over a third of Google’s first 100 employees still work for the company even after making quite a haul in Google’s initial public offering.
According to Bock, the two reasons that people are attracted to and want to stay with your organization are:
- The quality of people they work with
- The feeling that the work they do is meaningful.
A friend is a project manager at a national health care organization. Brad is a talented player who works well with the wide range of internal customers he interacts with. He’s a strong contributor. He has pride in his work and strives to keep his commitments.
The last two years, though, he’s been frustrated at the lack of commitment and skill demonstrated by his peers. Brad needs reports, traction and completed tasks by his peers to keep his commitments to others across the nation. When his peers don’t deliver what they’ve promised, he’s stuck. He can’t deliver what he’s committed to because others are not carrying their load.
Brad doesn’t feel it’s his role to blame his peers but he doesn’t feel it’s fair that he take the fall when projects go sideways, commitments are not met, etc.
Brad is experiencing a lack of quality of people he works with. He is stuck, surrounded by less capable and less accountable players. Management does not hold everyone accountable for their commitments. Brad is actively looking to leave his current organization due to his frustration.
In another case, I inspired a culture client to learn what employees felt was their organization’s purpose. One of the HR staff toured the facility with a video camera, shooting short interviews of individual supervisors and employees answering one question: “What’s our organization’s purpose?”
The answers were consistent and depressing. Answers fell into two categories: 1) We print catalogs (that was their primary business, after all), and 2) We make money for shareholders.
Those answers are not surprising. Those are the messages team leaders and team members had heard from senior leaders for decades.
As part of their organizational constitution, this plant crafted a present-day servant purpose that significantly shifted people’s view of their work. Their purpose became “our catalogs help our customers have business success!”
The meaning of the work shifted from tactical (we print catalogs) or financial gain for others (stakeholders) to “we help our customers succeed.” This meaningful purpose along with values and behaviors helped boost engagement, service, and results by 30% and more in less than 18 months.
Surround your people with quality players and help them discover meaning through service to others.
“by Meghan Rabbitt, https://www.themuse.com”
There are certain times in life when it pays to look at what you have and be happy with it—rather than angle for a shiny upgrade.
Your old, reliable car fits this bill. So does your perfectly fine tablet or iPhone. (Be honest: Do you really need the newest model with the ever-so-slightly bigger screen?)
For most of us, however, jobs are an exception to this rule.
No matter how much you love your gig, it pays to keep your options open for other opportunities and higher salaries, says Jill Jacinto, Associate Director of WORKS, a company focused on helping women reach their career goals.
That’s not to say you should constantly be in job-search mode, particularly if you’re learning and growing in your current role. But it’s a good idea to continuously try and improve your ability to get a job—even when you’re not actively looking.
As Jacinto notes, “you never know where the next opportunity will come from.”
So whether you’re in full-on search mode, just starting to check out job sites, or perfectly happy to stay put, here are seven simple ways you can boost your hireability in just one week.
Monday: Hack Your LinkedIn Profile
Kick off the week by supercharging your online resume and LinkedIn profile by seeding them with words and phrases people in your industry like to see.
“Recruiters and hiring managers often use automated tools to find keywords in your resume or your social networks,” says Mark Jones, Senior Vice President of Alexander Mann Solutions, a talent acquisition and management outsourcing company in Cleveland, Ohio. “So look for distinct keywords in postings for jobs you’d like to have and are qualified for, and make sure to use them in your resume and LinkedIn profile.”
For example, you might use phrases like “market analysis” and “contract negotiation” for a marketing or sales job. And phrases such as “Securities and Exchange Commission” or “10K reporting” may be good for a financial analyst position.
Just be sure the terms accurately describe what you’ve done, adds Jones. If they do, feel free to repeat them four, five, even six times throughout your profile, especially if you’re going for a position that requires very specific skills.
“It’ll make you more likely to land in a recruiter’s candidate search,” Jones says.
Tuesday: Help Someone Else Land a Great Gig
If a valued friend or colleague is on the job hunt, work your network for them.
“It’s a great excuse to reach out to former contacts and put yourself at the front of their mind—while helping a friend, you’re also reminding people what you are up to,” says Beth Bridges, author of Networking on Purpose: A Five-Part Success Plan to Build a Powerful and Profitable Business Network and founder of The Networking Motivator. “It also helps position you as someone who is community-minded, self-motivated, and a great networker.”
If you become well-known in your network for being willing to connect people, pass along job opportunities, and share people’s job searches, there’s a good chance you’ll become the “go-to person” whenever there’s an opportunity.
Translation: It’s a great way to become the first to know about openings, especially those that don’t get advertised.
Wednesday: Assess Your Worth at Work
Get a handle on exactly what and how much you do in your current job so you’re ready to articulate examples of your leadership skills, project management, and other desirable attributes that future employers will appreciate.
Plus, says Jacinto, having these talking points at the ready can also help you in your current role—say, at your next performance review.
So make it a point today to write down everything you do at your job and break it down into different tiers of expertise, says Jones. For example, managing a $250,000 budget is in a different tier than hiring and managing freelancers.
Next, articulate the successes you’ve had that helped the company. Did you produce more than expected given your budget? Do you have a track record of hiring and training interns who go on to get full-time jobs at the company?
And if you are just starting out in your career, Alfred Poor, author of 7 Success Secrets That Every College Student Needs to Know!, suggests writing down what he calls your STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) stories.
Ask yourself these key questions: What was your work situation? What was the task that you were assigned (or identified on your own) to solve? What action did you take? And what was the result, preferably something measurable?
“This is a great way to remind yourself of situations that prove you can apply your skills and knowledge to produce a positive contribution,” Poor says. “And if you don’t have many to reference at work just yet, it’s OK to pull from internships.”
Thursday: Reboot Your Online Reputation
In honor of Throwback Thursday, take some time to start cleaning up your public postings across social media, says Bill Fish, founder and President of ReputationManagement.com.
Start by Googling yourself in every possible way—see what comes up when you type in your name and where you currently live and have lived, and even what pops up in image and video searches. Then do the same using other browsers, such as Bing and Yahoo.
“If you find anything you’d rather potential employers not find, take it down,” Fish says, adding that it’s particularly important to focus on removing anything that makes you come off as negative or a complainer. While you may not be able to completely refresh your online identity, it’s a good first step.
Once you’ve done this sweep, start seeding the internet with what you do want potential employers to find.
You might add a friendly—yet professional—photo to your various social media platforms. “You could also start a LinkedIn discussion or even a new, work-focused public account to share smart observations about your industry,” Fish says. “It can show potential employers that you are on top of what’s happening.”
Most importantly, be your best self. “When you make a good impression online—no matter how brief it is—it can show people who they’ll meet in real life,” Fish says.
Friday: Ask for Props From Trusted Colleagues
Take advantage of a mellow Friday lunch hour to think about former co-workers and managers who’d be willing to rave about you. Then send them a quick email asking for a testimonial, suggests Fish.
“It’s one thing to say something complimentary about yourself,” he says, “but it’s another when someone you worked with pays you the compliment.”
To keep things quick and easy, you could remind them of a success you had while you worked together, or even forward a complimentary email your old boss once sent that you stashed in an email folder.
“It’s important to keep in mind that you may have to remind these people of details, particularly if it’s been a while since you worked together,” Fish says.
He also advises against sending an impersonal “write a recommendation for me” request via LinkedIn. “Odds are you’ll get better testimonials if you reach out to your connections with a personal note,” he says.
Once you’ve gathered your recommendations, make sure they appear on your LinkedIn profile and upload them to your personal website, if you have one.
Saturday: Do Reconnaissance on Wish List Employers
The number one thing you can do to help guarantee that you are among the top five candidates? Be passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about the job and the company, says Jacinto.
So choose one company you’d love to work for and start studying where they are in the market by reading press releases, reviewing annual reports, following the company on social media, and looking for editorials by key players at the company.
“It’s hard to fake it when it comes to authentically understanding a company and the products they offer,” Jacinto says. “So get to know their growth trajectory, the top players, recent product releases, and their competitors.”
You might even consider signing up for their services or downloading the company app to get a true feel for what it offers—so you’re able to genuinely express your thoughts on the brand when you do land an interview.
Sunday: Research Career Development Ideas
Spend a couple of hours on Sunday morning looking into helpful continuing education offerings or certifications that will not only improve your skills but also help make you look like someone who values staying on the cutting edge of your career.
If you don’t have the bandwidth in your schedule for ongoing classes, you can also look for industry conferences to attend or even one–off courses that’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments.
“It’s a great way to show an employer that you’re committed and eager to grow,” Jacinto says, “and a fantastic way to network with others in your industry.”
“by Jorg Stegemann, http://www.kennedyexecutive.com”
Much later than the US (as tradition has it), most European countries have left the economic crisis. Here at Kennedy Executive Search, we see double-digit growth in our offices in Benelux, The Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy. I hear the same when I talk to executive search firms in UK or Scandinavia.
Classical mechanisms set in: Candidates, especially best talent, move faster and become pickier. Here in France, 94% of candidates on management level (“cadres”) are in the job, do not read job ads and employers feel they need us headhunters to find these candidates and to convince them to move.
Employers also feel – often painfully when their best talent goes away – that they have to be better in attracting and retaining.
Here come 5 tips to make sure your dream candidate accepts your offer and not the one of your competitor:
- SAY the right things: The interview process is stress, both for the candidate and the interviewer. Expectations are high and everybody wants to make a good impression. Make sure you give and get all the information that is essential to determine if the match between job/ challenge and candidate/ motivations is promising enough to encourage it to be a success. Do not oversell your company, the potential of the post or the level of responsibility. The result will be frustration during the first months. Do not undersell it neither. Prepare your notes like for any other important meeting and write down what are the key elements you want to get through to show your candiate a realistic picture of what could await her/ him here
- ASK the right things: Q&A in the interview have two objectives: attract the candidate (point 1 here above) AND determine if s/he is the right fit . What do you want to see in any person you lead and how can you put this into a question? What are the internal decision-making processes and behavior related to this that work here or not? Why did people fail in the past and what is the key learning on future recruitments? Frame all this into 2-3 questions around “the science” (hard facts) and 2-3 around “the art” (the soft factors such as values, personality, culture).
- See your candidate again and say and ask the right things again: In my experience, you should see a candidate two to three times. People change from the first to the second interview and this is of course not good. Have the candidate come back, maybe involve someone else or try to see each other in an “informal” environment like after work drinks to see how they behave (of course, there is informal part when you hire someone but pssst, this stays between us).
- Take a reference: the reference is for me, if well taken, one of the most reliable means to assess a candidacy. If your feedback after one hour interview is good, that is fine. Better talk to someone who has worked with him/ her for several years to see if you are right or not. In my career, I have interviewed approx 2.500 candidates and guess what, they all told me they were great and no candidate ever said “Frankly, I am below average”!
- Make the job offer the right way: Congrats! You made it! Or not? An offer badly made can kill the motivation of the candidate and I have seen candidates who felt offended and turned the job down. And the employer did not understand why. Read on how to “Make A Job Offer That NO ONE Can Turn Down”.
- Be fast: I do not agree with the first part in the saying “hire slowly, fire quickly”. Time always works against us in recruitment. Always, always, always. I have heard clients telling me “if he is really motivated, he will wait”. But in the meantime, there might be another job coming around the corner. Or a better one. Keep the momentum and if you have no doubt, seal the deal. As said before, trust your guts when hiring: “yes” is “yes”, “no” is “no” and “maybe” – is “no” : if you have a doubt, don’t seal it and call a good headhunter, e.g. one of our offices!
As a hiring manager, there are essentially three things you should know: 1) is the candidate able to do the job (skill set)?, 2) does s/he want to do the job (motivation) and 3) will I get problems when I hire her/ him (conduct)?
According to different sources, up to 40% of senior recruitments are a failure and will be gone within 18 months.
Do your homework and be better than your competitors, not only in R&D, customer service and quality but also in talent attraction!
” by David Lumb, http://www.fastcompany.com”
Hiring is often a long and arduous process, and hiring the wrong person can cost a company and employees and managers lost time and money.
Which is why noticing potential red flags on resumes and in interviews is important. A red flag is any behavior arousing suspicion that a candidate is wrong for the job and/or will not be a good fit within the company. For example, spelling errors indicate that the candidate doesn’t pay close enough attention to their work, while delays in candidate communication indicate that the candidate is less interested in the position or does not respect others’ time.
But there are more subtle red flags that might make you uncertain about candidates for reasons you can’t pin down.
If the candidate gives an evasive answer, keep asking the same questions, says Rikka Brandon, a corporate recruiter since 2003 who branched into private recruiting in 2014.
“There are red flags that you can neutralize by asking more questions and digging into them until they aren’t a problem anymore,” says Brandon. “You want to keep digging into the candidate until they feel confident with their answers.”
Keep pressing candidates until they go off-script. The point is to push them in different ways to decipher how they will handle various parts of the job. You want to be sure that your candidate can think on their feet and won’t just stare at you open-mouthed, says Brandon.
There are some red flags that Brandon considers lighter offences—mere “pink flags” compared to more serious neon-red deal breakers like embezzlement. For her, a pink flag could be a candidate that switches jobs every year. Do they get bored easily? Chafe under certain management styles?
More middling red flags could be an inappropriate email address (like ‘sexkitten66@gmail’ Brandon suggests), inappropriate social media profile pictures, or not having a voicemail. These all imply a lack of business savvy and awareness of what is appropriate for the workplace.
But what Brandon sees as more blaring red flags are people who repetitively post on LinkedIn that they’re “looking for a job”, someone who is everywhere, looking for work and likely ready to give the “right” answer in interviews. This makes it more difficult for recruiters to deem whether the person is a good fit for the position; worse, the person might be so desperate that they obsessively follow up via email or phone every few days asking whether they got the job.
Poor spelling and grammar on resumes are commonly deal breakers for recruiters, but there are other things to watch out for when reviewing resumes. Devinne Gordon, HR manager for recruiting firm Naviga, sees 50 resumes a day and often dismisses candidates after 30 seconds of reading.
In Gordon’s experience, candidates that do not list their dates of employment next to each position are almost always hiding something—usually embarrassingly short employment stints. She advises that resumes should be formatted well and easy to read.
An overqualified candidate might seem like a blessing, since it’s common to list high qualifications on a job post in hopes that recruiters attract powerful candidates. But there can be problems with accepting a candidate with a ton of experience. An experienced person in a lower-paying job might be bored, or want more money or freedom. This might push the candidate to leave within a year, Brandon found in her years of recruiter experience.
“If the perfect candidate applies who is willing to take the job for $75,000 when they had made $150,000 before, that should trigger some concern. When we’re a little bit desperate, we shove those concerns to the back of our mind,” says Brandon. “But people should be leery. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
The really simple way to avoid hiring a candidate that might leave for a higher-paying job is to check their compensation and salary history. If it’s drastically different from the position they just applied for, be wary.
“People assume ‘overqualified’ means ‘old,’ but the overqualified candidate could be a 30-year-old person who was a sales leader that’s now applying to the front desk,” says Brandon. “That’s a huge change of responsibility that you want to dig into.”
There are general red flags, but the best way to find more is to know your particular industry well. Know your industry’s metric of success and ask candidates exactly how they’ve scored, says Brandon. Some industries are easier: for sales jobs, ask for a candidate’s numbers (how much they sold, for which accounts, and how quickly). Every salesperson should know their numbers, says Brandon, and should have a handful of customer references that can speak to the candidate’s selling style. For marketing, a recruiter should want to know a candidate’s spending and return on investment numbers. Bottom line: If the candidate is evasive, keep asking.
“A lot of hiring mistakes happen when a recruiter takes a candidate’s first answer. You want to move from a Q&A into a conversation. It’s where you take your industry knowledge and compare it to what they’re saying,” says Brandon.
Gordon interviews candidates for mental health positions, which attracts people from many different backgrounds. Accordingly, Gordon prioritizes any experience in the mental health field over long experience in other related fields (many come from labor and delivery), and even prioritizes mental health experience over superior education degrees.
But most important is a candidate’s compassion, says Gordon: The way that a mental health professional approaches patients is huge.
Finally, when trying to hire the best candidate, it’s important to avoid the red flags without inadvertently discriminating. It’s a legal gray area, says Brandon. To avoid discrimination, she advocates initial phone interviews, which weeds out ill-qualified candidates without exposing the candidate’s age. Only after the phone interview does Brandon advocate moving on to a Skype video interview.
There’s another way to avoid discrimination liability when evaluating candidates: Don’t cyberstalk them. The internet has opened the doors to social media lurking, but bigger companies have exposed themselves to risk when their recruiters have checked up on a person’s Facebook profile and learned their marital or parental status—factors that could affect whether they hire the candidate. If the candidate can determine that a company looked up their Facebook profile, the company could be opening themselves up to legal liability, says Brandon.
“by Andy Sellers,https://www.linkedin.com”
Most jobs are never advertised publicly. In fact, it’s been suggested that as many as two-thirds of all new openings are filled via the so-called ‘concealed’ jobs market. How, though, can you make sure that you’re part of this marketplace and not missing out on new opportunities? Simple: networking.
Networking – interacting with others in your sector or industry to exchange information and develop contacts – needs to be done consistently at all stages of your career, but can be especially beneficial when you’re looking for a new position.
Through good networking you might, for example, meet the hiring manager for a firm and hear about an unadvertised position, re-engage an old contact who can put in a good word for you, gain some insight into the best ways to apply for a role, or hear about possible consulting opportunities.
The most successful networkers build genuine relationships with their contacts and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ to ask ‘How can I help?’ which makes people want to help them out as and when they can.
Good networking, therefore, requires a bit of effort. Here are our six strategies for making the most of your connections and ultimately network your way to a new job.
1. Start Early and Network Consistently
By starting early, it reduces the chance of becoming desperate nearer the time of needing a contact. If you only appear on the scene when you need something, experienced networkers and businesspeople will be able to sense your desperation and expediency so will be less willing to network with you.
The best networkers engage with their contacts consistently throughout their career. By networking when you have no ulterior motives, you can start to construct genuine relationships and build a reputation among your contacts for being generous rather than self-serving.
2. Get Out There and Attend Events
OK, there is clearly a practical hurdle to successful networking: finding meetings and events where you can connect with relevant people in your sector. Once upon a time jumping this hurdle meant coughing up big bucks for conferences and paid-for events. Not anymore. In the big cities, but in London especially, there are literally hundreds of opportunities to network.
Check out MeetUp.com under your industry or sector and you’ll find a huge range of events ranging from panel events and workshops to informal coffee shop meetups (a search for ‘Marketing’ meetups in London this week returned over 50 results, for example).
You should also be regularly checking the websites of relevant professional bodies (e.g. the Chartered Institute of Marketing), large consultancies (e.g. Econsultancy), LinkedIn groups and sector-specific recruitment agencies for upcoming events. Our next event is in September, so watch this space for more information on that!
3. Create a Personal Elevator Pinch
To make sure you get the most out of your encounters you should have an idea of what you are going to say. Ahead of attending any networking events take some time to understand what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you possess.
Use this information to prepare a 30-second personal summary about yourself so that you can quickly and articulately sell yourself to new contacts and clearly explain how you can be of assistance to them.
4. Make Sure You Listen More Then You Speak
There will be value in everyone you meet and it your responsibility to discover what the value in each person you talk to is. Ask questions and actually listen to their responses. The chances are that the vast majority of people you talk to, whatever their position or title, are going to have some valuable tips or information.
You can’t go wrong if you follow the six simple rules in Dale Carnegie’s timeless: How To Win Friends and Influence People
#1 Become genuinely interested in other people.
#3 Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
#4 Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
#5 Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
#6 Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
5. Connect People Within Your Network
Once you actually start to listen to people and understand what they can bring to the table, you’ll start realising how one person in your network may be able to help another. Make it a point to connect people you feel have something of genuine value to offer one another.
When you go out of your way to make potentially promising connections, you’re doing your part to make your network a success. You want potentially useful contacts to think ‘this person is really valuable’ so that they feel positive about you and eventually may be willing to help you with your job search and career.
6. Follow Up and Follow Through With Your Word
All of your networking efforts risk going to waste if you don’t follow up! If you told someone that you’d d be in touch, then do it and reiterate your intention to support them in any possible way you can. If you promised to introduce someone to a person you know, take the time to do it.
These days, of course, LinkedIn makes it so much easier to connect, and stay in touch, with contacts you meet at events. Make sure you look up the people you’ve engaged with and add them to your network via a short personal message.
Don’t just add people to your network and then forget about them, though. Take some time every month to go through your contacts and consider whether there is anyone you could meet up with, share useful content with or connect to another member of your network.
Successful networking takes a little effort, but the rewards from doing it well are worth your energies. Connect with 3Search via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all of our new jobs, blogs, and networking events.