If you don’t have a powerful and visible personal brand, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in almost every aspect of your professional, business and personal life. Personal branding has become a requirement for anyone looking to grow their business, get a better job, get noticed by the press, take their career to the next level or meet new, high quality friends.
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands — the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual. Everyone has a unique personal brand, whether they know it or not. But what we should all be striving for is a powerful, attractive and visible personal brand. I define that as an online and in-person authentic display of the engaging aspects of your professional and personal activities and interests.
Here are the eight reasons why I tell people you must have a top-notch personal brand if you want to be successful today:
1. Opportunity finds you.
When your personal brand is attractive, customers, clients, vendors, press and even companies looking to hire, will find you and reach out to you. I am the CEO of a new social media platform, and I had them contact me for the job. I didn’t even know the position was available. I have gotten media appearances, writing opportunities and speaking engagements because I get noticed and folks reach out to me.
2. Online networking power.
When you have a compelling personal brand, people find you interesting and desirable, so they are willing to connect with you. I get dozens of new LinkedIn and Twitter connections every day. People look at my profiles, follow me and want to know more about me.
3. In-person networking power.
When I’m at a networking event and I engage others, I have many aspects of my brand to share. It makes me more interesting than the guy who walks up to you and says, “Hi, My name is Joe, and I sell insurance.” I have many facets to my brand, both professional and personal. That makes people want to connect with me and do business with me. I can demonstrate proficiency and have the online assets to back them up on many topics like photography, entrepreneurship, my Man-Up Project and fatherhood, blogging, speaking, social media, men’s health, non-profit work and more.
4. Build your business.
When I had to reinvent and rebuild my photography business in 2007, which was failing because of the rapid decline of film, it was my powerful personal brand that drove much of our success. Customers, clients and vendors are more likely to do businesses with a company when the leader has a killer personal brand. Good examples are Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Fred Smith, Warren Buffet and even Donald Trump — whose personal brand may be bigger than his business. Where would their companies be without their personal brands shining on their company brands?
5. Get hired.
According to SHRM, 84 percent of hiring managers use social media to hire — 96 percent use Linkedin, and 53 percent use Twitter. Many companies post jobs on Twitter before anywhere else. But the most revealing statistic is that 66 percent of hiring managers use Facebook to hire. They are doing that because they are trying to find out more about you than just what’s on your resume. They want to know you as a person and understand whether you are going to fit into their corporate culture.
It’s a logical approach for selecting the best candidates. Candidate A has an impressive resume. Candidate B has a similarly impressive resume, but their strong personal brand shows that they have a blog with articles on topics relevant to the company’s business. They tweet about news and ideas from the industry. They do yoga, run half-marathons, and they volunteer for charity. Who do you think is getting the interview and the job?
6. Make new friends.
A powerful personal brand doesn’t only benefit you professionally. When you are interesting and people can find and notice you, they will connect with you on a personal level. I have had people read an article I have written or see one of my social posts and reach out to me. I’ve become friends with many of them, and I might even admit that I have gotten a few dates from my “attractive” personal brand.
7. Serendipitous success.
When you are out there with your powerful and attractive personal brand good things happen — sometimes just by luck. There have been too-many-times-to-remember when simply being noticed for one part of my brand caused something else to happen. The person who noticed my popular Facebook account and reached out to me — she became my executive assistant. The doctor who found about my upcoming book — we ended up doing men’s health videos together and have become good friends. The senior executive and one of my company’s vendors saw my engaged social media and decided to give my company an exclusive on a new product launch.
Developing your personal brand requires you to find your authentic voice. The process of creating one develops who you are — the unique you — the Me, Inc. When you find your voice, and your audiences start to react positively, that builds self-confidence and self-esteem and allows you to find yourself in a meaningful way.
Following is a list of common mistakes students make in their resumes. Have a look and see how many of these errors (if any) your current resume contains. You may correct them now or in subsequent chapters.
These mistakes have been identified and listed as per what is generally expected in a professional resume in the industry. There may be cases where you may have to follow the guidelines issued by your placement office or recruiting company which may be contradictory to what is written here. In such situations, you have no choice but to follow what is asked by them.
1. The resume file is not named properly:
Have you named your resume file as resume.doc or cv.doc or something similar? This is not only unprofessional but also makes it difficult for a recruiter to identify your resume once he downloads and saves your resume to a folder (Think what will happen if all the applicants’ resumes were named as resume.doc inside that folder).
Correct practice to name your resume is First Name Last Name – College Name.doc. For example, if you are Rahul Rana from IIT Madras, you can name your resume as Rahul Rana – IIT Madras.doc.
Also wherever possible, always send your resume in PDF format – looks very professional.
2. The resume runs into 2 pages or more :
While there is no set rule that your resume necessarily have to be within 1 page but more often than not students’ resumes run into multiple pages either because it contains too many irrelevant details or because the space has not been utilized efficiently. If your resume is more than 1.5 pages long, get your scissors ready. Remember, if Steve Jobs can mention what he did in one page, so can you!
3. Resume follows a 2 column structure :
At times, a few students make their resume in a 2 column structure. Please don’t. Stick to a one column structure as provided in sample resumes. Two column structures make the reading extremely difficult for a reader as it becomes difficult to decide which column one should focus on. Plus it is highly space in-efficient.
4. Your resume contains logo of your college :
There are a few colleges where Training & Placement cells make it compulsory that you put your college logo on top of your resume – in that case you cannot help it. But otherwise, or when applying off campus, you do not need to include the logo and make your resume unnecessarily bulky. Remember, your resume is your advertisement,not your colleges. If you have your college logo in your resume for no reason, delete it NOW.
5. Your resume contains your photograph :
Again, not required, if you have it in your current resume – please remove it. There is absolutely no need of a photo in a resume unless you are applying for a position where how you look matters such as aviation, hospitality, media,films, modeling etc. Else it is quite an outdated practice and unnecessary bulks up your resume file..
6. Your resume contains a very generic Career Objective statement :
If you have a Career Objective listed in your resume, does it read something like this?
“To experience the challenges of a working engineer in a healthy but competitive environment of industry, enabling to extract the best out of me which is conducive to learn and grow as professional, thereby directing my future endeavors as an asset to the organization”
These kind of copy pasted and generic statements serve no purpose other than making it clear to a recruiter that you have no idea of what you want from your career. You should either have a very specific objective statement outlining your interests or have none at all (yes that is OK). An example of a good Objective statement is given
“4th year B.Tech Computer Science student at IIT Madras with excellent academic record and keen interest and practical exposure in the field of information security, especially web applications security.”
7. In your resume, things are not listed in reverse chronological order :
Look at your Academics, or Projects, or Internships, or Co/Extra Curricular section. Does it contain information in reverse chronological i.e. most recent first order? Yes, in each section, you should mention the most recent activity/achievement at the top and the least recent at the bottom. The reason being that employers are most interested in what you have been upto recently and you should make it easy for them to find out that information. If you have written it any other way in your resume in any section, please correct it now.
8. You have mentioned each year’s/semester’s GPA/% Marks in your Academics section :
Not required, just mentioning aggregate marks/CGPA is enough. For example, if you have completed six semesters of your B.Tech degree, you do not have to write each semester’s GPA; aggregate CGPA at the end of 6th semester is enough.
9. You have listed all the courses and labs that you have done till date :
Not required, strike that section off please. At best list 2-3 most relevant courses along with your grades in those courses (if grades were good). If an employer wants to know all the courses that you have done till date, he/she will most probably ask for an official transcript anyway.
10. You have included knowledge of Windows in your Technical Skills section :
Please don’t. It’s like saying you know English alphabets – it’s that common.
When you’re in a stealth job search, you have to be extra careful to keep your job search under wraps.
Here are six mistakes never, ever to make as a stealth job-seeker.
Six Mistakes Stealth Job Seekers Can’t Afford To Make
1. Don’t update your LinkedIn profile all at once if your co-workers are first-degree connections of yours. Do it in several small steps so that the changes to your profile are never glaring from one day to the next. Never, ever use a LinkedIn headline that makes it clear you’re job-hunting. (Currently unemployed job-seekers can do that, but not you!) Make sure your LinkedIn settings specify that updates to your profile will not generate a message to your connections.
2. Don’t go to job fairs where your own company has a booth — or any job fair where you might be spotted by somebody who knows your boss (or your boss’s boss, etc.) Job fairs are not a great job search channel for stealth job-seekers because their success rate for any individual job-seeker is so low and the risk of broadcasting your job-hunting status is so high.
3. Don’t send out a blast email announcement to tell your friends and contacts you’re job-hunting. If you do, somebody on your distribution list is bound to forward your blast email announcement to everybody they know — and the world is small enough that you could have problems as a result. Tell your friends about your job hunt one-on-one or over the phone, and emphasize the confidential nature of your search.
4. Don’t respond to “blind” job ads that don’t specify the employer organization’s name. It could be your own company!
5. Don’t go to networking events and tell the people you meet that you’re job-hunting. Network as a consultant, instead. Tell the people you meet that you’re working full-time and available to consult part-time. Get some consulting business cards and give them out. Morpheus Consulting part-time is a great way to get a new job because hiring managers can meet with consultants any time they want (they only need a higher-up’s approval to actually hire a consultant, and sometimes not even then) whereas most hiring managers won’t meet with a job-seeker unless they have a job opening.
Your goal is to let your boss know you’re job-hunting only at the precise moment when you give notice.
Recruiters and hiring managers have always considered conversational skills an important trait in new hires, but a new survey now places communication at the very top of the list.
The recruiting software company, Jobvite, together with Zogby Analytics, has just released its 2017 Recruiter Nation Report. The online survey of 831 recruiters in the U.S. is intended to identify the traits and qualities that recruiters evaluate to make the perfect hire—and the qualities they consider deal breakers, too.
Recruiters were asked the following question: “Which of the following positively impact your decision to hire a candidate during an initial in-person interview?” The question was a followed by a list of ‘subjective traits’ such as: appearance, punctuality, portfolio, conversation skills, industry knowledge and enthusiasm. According to recruiters, the most desirable traits are (in order):
1). Conversational skills (69% of recruiters said this is most important quality they look for in a job candidate)
2). Knowledge of industry
According to recruiters, a candidate’s ability to articulate their ideas effectively in conversation is a measure of their capacity to engage with others, a window into how the job candidate might interact with team members, clients and customers should they be hired.
Interestingly, the survey showed a generation gap among recruiters and the premium they place on conversational skills. For example, millennial recruiters place more of an emphasis on conversational skills than those recruiters over 50. A full 75% of millennials value communication skills as their top priority compared to 60% of those recruiters over 50, who place a greater emphasis on industry knowledge.
According to the survey, recruiters have seen it all— the good, the bad and the downright strange. For example, most recruiters say they’ve interviewed job candidates who didn’t know what company they were interviewing for. And a full 75% of recruiters say they’ve had candidates who dress “too casual,” which is a good reminder to dress a little better than you would for a normal day at the office.
Some qualities are subjective, of course, but the following actions are universal deal breakers, according to the survey. In other words, a majority of recruiters agreed that these actions would automatically disqualify a candidate:
- Being rude to the receptionist or support staff
- Checking phones during the interview
- Showing up late
- Bad hygiene
Communication skills will set you apart in a job interview. As I wrote in a previous article, many recruiters will openly admit that if they had to choose between two candidates with equal credentials, they are more likely to give the job to the person who can communicate better with colleagues and customers. Credentials and experience are no longer enough. Yes, they might get you through the door, but how you present yourself when you’re in the room still counts the most.
The importance of a good employee-manager relationship:
The manager-employee relationships are vital for organisational effectiveness and efficiency.
Q1 Why is what I do important? Q2 What am I accountable for? Q3 How is my performance measured? Q4 How am I performing? Q5 What am I doing to improve my performance? Q6 What support do I need from my manager to improve my performance? Q7 What is in it for me, if I do great, good, average or below expectations?
Why is this relevant and important?
Despite it being basic I have experienced over and again that it does not take place and often it is only performed half-heartedly and this gives rise to several challenges.
Firstly, that the employee leaves the company due to a poor relationship with the immediate manager. Several studies show that the most often quoted reason for leaving a position is the relationship with the immediate manager.
Secondly, the performance or output from the employee is not optimal compared to what it should be.
Thirdly, a poor or less optimally performing employee has a less than optimal effect on the people and processes in the company.
Fourth, you can probably add to the list yourself, but the above mentioned three should be adequate cause for action.
The above outcome is bad for the company as well as the employee, hence worthwhile to ensure that employees and managers jointly have a good understanding of the job and their respective responsibilities this regard
The below outline is compiled of what I have picked up over the years from inspiring people, leaders I have come across and especially some bright HR people in Maersk Line and I have tried to apply the principles in my own work life, both for myself as well as for the people in my responsibility and I hope you find some inspiration either in your role as employee or as a leader.
Please note this is all about structure, not the interpersonal relationship on how we relate and communicate. Without respect and earned trust all structures come to naught, but this structure creates a culture of alignment and communication at the employee-manager level.
The work and job relationship description consists of seven (7) questions surrounding job purpose, responsibilities, measurements, feedback and managing expectations and outcome.
Question 1 – Why is what I do important?
Always start with the WHY! Clarity of purpose is critical for motivation and can be used for guidance, when in doubt how to act.
The most important place to start is to ask and answer WHY is the job important to yourself as an employee. Someone may argue that the job is for the company’s sake and not for the employee’s sake, but I think the feeling of meaning, of purpose in one’s job is important for all people and most organisations desire employees with motivation. And frankly, getting up early every morning, commute to work, spend a large portion of your life working; it better be worth your while.
So, why is your job important to you? Is it just the money? Probably not, only you know. Is it a sense of belonging, an opportunity to learn new skills and develop as a person, opportunity for promotion and further development, the creation of good relations, meeting exciting people? Only you know – or do you? For many people it is necessary and a source of joy to belong to a group of people and we must not underestimate the importance of the social relationships in our teams.
Why is your job important for the company? Do you ensure the customers are more than satisfied? Or do you ensure that the people servicing the customers can do this well? You can also ask “What happens if I do a bad job?”, some people, maybe your nearest team-members, rely on you to do a good job or even a great job.
As leaders we work on ensuring the company vision, mission and strategy are clear and understood by all employees and that is very important. But, sometimes we forget to operational this at an employee level, and that may be cause for confusion, uncertainty or even discontent, especially if the employee feels there are discrepancies between the overall vision or strategy and his/her job.
This question is not the job description, but the answer could form the the introduction to the job description.
Question 2 – What am I accountable for?
This question covers the activities that encompasses the job, the required output and the necessary output, perhaps some quality requirements and timeliness. Processes or systems, which the employee is responsible for, and also important relations inside the company or outside.
Matters that will often be described in the job description if such is available.
This is probably the first a new employee is informed about, since it covers what the employee is doing on a daily basis (or weekly, or monthly, or whatever is described), however, even if an employee has worked in the job for a longer time, it might still be worthwhile to revisit this once in a while.
Generally a job description can include items such as:
- Tasks (Example: Prepare monthly reports)
- Specific tasks (Example: Prepare monthly report for submission by 3rd working day of the month, and as a minimum include information on XXX and YYY, by using information from System ZZZ)
- Hierarchical relationships (Example: This position reports to Director of Finance)
- Requirements (The position requires specific knowledge about Danish Accounting standards and IFRS regulations)
It is important that the employee is fully aware of what his/her responsibilities are and at the same time it is important that the job description does not become a straitjacket, but has room for initiative and flexibility in line with changing requirements in the job and the organisation.
When an employee has served a year in a new position, the initial job description is likely no longer complete in relation to what the employee is actually doing and as time goes by the original job description becomes outdated, and as such it makes sense to revisit the job description from time to time.
Question 3 – How is my performance measured?
Or put in another way: “How do I know when I am doing a good job?”.
Do I have some measurable deliveries? For instance some KPIs? Something with timeliness or accuracy. Are there means to measure the quality of my work?
What am I measured on – Quality of my work – Efficiency – Innovation – Adherence to company values – Helpfulness/Being a team-player?
Am I responsible for some large projects to be delivered, by a certain date, within a specific budget or otherwise described.
Can my deliverables be described in relatively short sentences, which describe a future desired state?
How can I ‘objectively’ identify the level of my performance. Inside myself I know my effort level, but how do I know if the hard work results in the right performance?
Some organisations set targets for the following year, however, since the environment and the work tends to change over time, similar to the job description, as mentioned above, then sometimes the targets loose relevance or the targets are fulfilled already mid year, perhaps the projects were easier to finalize, and as such it is important that new targets are set.
Question 4 – How am I performing?
It is one thing to know the responsibilities and the required activities, as well as the expected output, the performance. It is another thing to assess how things are going. Am I performing? And how well am I performing?
The employee has an opinion, but so does the manager, and alignment facilitates a good dialogue.
Firstly, the employee must ensure to form his/her own understanding on the level of performance. Firstly by considering how the performance is measured and whether he/she meets the targets.
Secondly, it is also important to get feedback from the manager to assess the extent of alignment of the employee’s opinion and the manager’s opinion.
One thing is the personal performance, but also in the larger scheme of things, “are we delivering as per the overall purpose?“. For instance the employee delivers well on all personal targets, but overall the department is not meeting its targets, for instance within customer satisfaction, then that needs to be addressed jointly in the team and with the manager. Maybe the targets, or even the tasks, do not properly contribute towards the overall goal, and this must be addressed.
Sometimes there will be a difference in opinion. The employee thinks that he/she has made a stellar performance, whilst the manager will regard it as average. That has got to do with differing expectations or lack of clarity in either responsibilities or performance measurement or reviews. An on going dialogue is the most effective way to manage expectations and create clarity.
Do you get regular and clear feed-back from your manager? And how? Regular feedback is critically important for most employees in order to ensure to manage expectations and create alignment on targets, activities and behaviours.
Question 5 – What am I doing to improve my performance?
We can all get better at what we are doing, and we should strive to improve – for our own sake. So what am I doing to improve? In some cases it is a matter of working harder, going the extra mile so to speak. However, in most cases it is a matter of working smarter, not harder.
So, how do I reflect upon my job, my tasks and activities? Can I do it differently, more effectively? Do I need new training? Do we need to change the process, can we get the person who makes my input to make some changes and thereby make my job better? Can I do some changes in my output which is improving the work of the people who uses my work?
You can argue that any employee has two jobs – the current job plus the job of continuously improving the current job. In some organisations that is already included in the job description and measurements.
Question 6 – What support do I need from my manager to improve my performance?
One of the manager’s most important responsibilities is to ensure that the employees can perform and continuously improve their jobs. This requires that the employee has the right competencies i.e. the right skill-set and training to perform the job. But also the right environment, tools and support. Example: If there are challenges in getting the right input from another department, and the employee has tried in vain, then the manager must step in and take action and help to get this sorted.
Sometimes it is easy to help employees to improve performance, say an accounting employee spends a lot of time reconciling, then two computer screens may be a big facilitator in improving performance and perhaps job satisfaction. But it can also be more complex and requiring cross-functional process changes. For instance if an AP employee spends time on locating the purchase responsible on incoming supplier invoices, the solution may be to get the purchasing functions to inform suppliers to put purchaser’s name or department on the invoice.
Question 7 – What is in it for me, if I do great, good, average or below expectations?
The answer to this question is linked to the very first question i.e. Why is what I do important (for me)?
A pay-check is one answer and continued employment could also be one. Some jobs have bonus and incentives assigned depending on job performance, and some companies base salary increments on past performance, so money is one lever that companies use to try and secure best possible performance, although a number of studies show that there is no link between incentive and performance, but that discussion is not the purpose of the article.
Clearly, personal fulfilment from the feeling of doing a good job is important for most employees, but the positive recognition from management and peers is also a motivator for most people.
There may also be opportunities for promotion either into another position or by getting more interesting and challenging tasks and activities in the current position. Both may come with company supported education and courses, which may improve future employ ability and improved CV.
The above primarily goes for above average and great performances. If on the other hand the performance is below expectations and below average, then both management and employee need to do some soul searching.
First consider why the employee is performing poorly. Assuming all the preceding questions have been properly asked and answered i.e. purpose is clear, responsibilities are clear and performance requirements are clear and aligned, then have a conversation about why the performance is poor. Is it lack of skills, poor cooperation in the team, bad attitude on behalf of the employee or something else. On the basis of this it is the manager’s responsibility to put actions in motion to improve the situation, as also clarified in a previous question. However, sometimes it ends up with letting the employee leave the position.
For the employee it is important that the “Why this job is important for me?” is fulfilled. If it is not, then nobody gains and it is a lose-lose situation, because an unsatisfied employee is bad for business. So even if all 6 preceding questions have been asked and answered positively, and the manager has maintained a good feedback loop there may still be dissatisfaction and sometimes it is because the employee changes opinion in terms of what is important, but it can also be matters beyond the manager’s sphere of influence, so the above 7 questions do not solve all things, but it is a good start.
From a managerial perspective I venture that the 7 questions form a strong framework for focused employee-manager conversations, and it will work whether you have weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or annual one-to-one conversations, appraisals, performance reviews or whichever label is used in your organisation. The more frequent the conversation, the more emphasis on questions surrounding the actual performance, but do not forget to bring the other questions into play now and again. The conversations shall consider the employee’s seniority, maturity and competence into consideration, as well as attitude, as is the point of situational leadership.
Whatever you decide as manager, make sure to schedule regular meetings and stick to it, even if there is very little to review, you can always benefit from getting to know your employees a little bit better, so use the framework. You do not want to be in a situation where you only have a conversation with your employees, when there are problems.
Further Reflection – Is this all there is to good people management?
Is this all there is to it? As said above it is not. This is just one tool in establishing a structure towards an effective dialogue in the employee-manager relationship, and a model for analysis of your work-life or the work-life of your employees, which can create a foundation to build on. Other steps deal with creating strong and trusting teams and of improving one’s own leadership towards transformational leadership.
Several thinkers claim, that in order for people to be truly happy at work, three fundamentals must be achieved for the individual – Purpose, Hope and Friendships. This speaks to purpose of company and organisation and individual and the opportunity to improve on the individual’s situation and the social aspects, the sense of belonging.
As an employee what is your take on the 7 questions? Can you answer these for yourself and does it make sense for you? Is there anything you will change from now on?
As a manager what is your take on the 7 questions? Have you ensured that your employees have clarity of purpose in their roles, the employees understand how you evaluate their performance and do you perform regular feedback to the employees? Is there anything you will change as a result? Or do you subscribe to a different way of managing the important employee-manager relationship?
Recruiters may seem intimidating, but they genuinely want the best for both candidates and the company. Good recruiters want you to have the best experience possible during the application and interview process–but even though they want the best for you, there are some things that they just can’t share.
To get to the truth, we reached out to Omer Molad, CEO/founder of Vervoe, a recruiting company that replaces face-to-face interviews with online simulations for small- and medium-sized businesses. Molad built his business on the premise HR hiring is painful, and he has unique insight into the frustrations and insights of recruiters.
Here are a few of the secrets that Molad says recruiters won’t tell you, but really want to.
1. “We Could Have Gone Higher If You Had Negotiated”
Salary negotiations are like a game of poker–both job seekers and recruiters are trying to maintain control and win the hand. “Very few (if any) recruiters will be so bold as to say, ‘We took advantage of you and we don’t value you highly,’” says Molad. In fact, there is often a salary band or range that recruiters have for each role. Their initial salary offer is very rarely at the top of their salary band, so base pay–as well as benefits like vacation days, work hours, etc.–can usually be negotiated.
Glassdoor’s chief reputation officer, Dawn Lyon, says, “An offer is an offer, and very few employers expect you to take the first one out of the gate. So come to the table expecting to negotiate. Don’t just ask for more, but do so intelligently, with real numbers to support your argument. Use your research to put together a case for more base salary or a signing bonus, because if you don’t ask, you most definitely won’t get it.”
2. “Don’t Go Overboard With Buzzwords, We Can Tell”
It’s smart to include keywords in your resume and to come off as knowledgeable about your particular industry. However, “Don’t try to look smarter than you really are,” says Molad unabashedly. Authenticity is key. Recruiters and employers want your personality to shine–not your ability to throw out words and phrases like “synergy,” “move the needle,” “ROI,”feed the funnel,” etc.
“It’s not about specific questions or answers that stand out, but rather the candidates who display a great deal of passion about what they do that really stand above the rest,” says employer Academy Sports + Outdoors.
3. “You Never Had A Chance After That Bad First Impression”
Your mother was right: First impressions are everything. And according to Molad, few recruiters can get past a bad first impression. Unreturned phone calls, poor manners, and clumsy interviews will all hurt your chances of moving on to the next round. Hiring managers and recruiters will bite their tongues, fighting back the desire to say, “We just don’t like you,” says Molad. However, take it from us: You must really dazzle if you’d like to make up for a rocky first impression.
“Interviewers often care more about the likability of entry-level candidates than whether or not they’re actually qualified for the job,” says career coach Peter Yang. “This is because the person interviewing you will often also be your future boss and mentor, so it makes perfect sense that they would want to hire someone whom they personally like and want to work with. A strong interview performance means establishing a strong connection with your interviewer. Try to show off your personality instead of just answering questions robotically. You can even get a bit personal if you’d like to.”
4. “Your References Were Not Very Flattering”
If a recruiter or hiring manager had doubts about you, they won’t let you know if unflattering references just confirmed their doubts, Molad says. “Your references should talk about your strengths in specific situations– not just basic information,” adds HR expert Jordan Perez. “[References] should be ready to provide examples of actual projects where you exceeded expectations. Your reference should easily cite one or two situations that highlight your strengths.”
“Bad references can ruin your candidacy as much as good ones can strengthen it,” says Sam Keefe, digital marketing manager at AVID Technical Resources. Her advice to ensure that only the good shines through? “Give only references who will say positive things about you. Work hard to build good working relationships with coworkers and bosses.”
5. “I Back-Channeled You, And Found Out The Truth”
Backdoor references, or back-channeling, is one of the sneaky ways hiring managers and recruiters gather more information about you–it refers to when employers reach out to mutual connections in order to get their honest opinion of you. “This phenomenon is even more prevalent in the last five years or so because of LinkedIn’s growing popularity,” says Keefe. “Even if you choose not to give anybody there as a reference, backdoor references can reveal the skeletons in your closet. Backdoor references can be especially common when you’re looking for a job in sectors like tech.”
6. “We Already Gave The Job To an In-House Employee”
Unfortunately, it’s perfectly legal to advertise a job that is almost certain to be filled by an insider. In fact, some research has shown that internal hires generally perform better than external ones. However, “phantom jobs” can be downright annoying when you’re looking for a new position. Even though federal labor rules don’t require employers to post openings, many HR departments require roles to be listed on a job board for some period of time to ensure a fair hiring process. Therefore, Molad says, don’t expect recruiters to come right out and say, “It was a beauty parade to show management we ran a process, but it was a sham and you were never really considered.”
A recruitment agency helps job seekers find employment,while also helping a company find the perfect person for the job they are advertising.
Companies will hire a recruitment agency so that they do not have to sort through, possibly, hundreds of applications for a job. These days, there are more and more people applying for the same position and companies do not have the time to sift through that many applications. They will therefore hire a recruitment agency to take care of this part of the process and to whittle the number of candidates down to a manageable level. Business owners and executives do not have the time and, in many cases, do not have the skills to find the perfect candidates, so outsourcing to a recruitment agency may be the best solution.
There are a number of benefits to using recruitment agencies for employers and potential employees; below are just a few:
- Using a recruitment agency saves time. The hiring process can be very time consuming, and especially the initial stages of sorting through applications. With so many people applying for the same position, it is understandable for a company to want to avoid this part of the process. Running a company is time consuming enough without having to take time away from this to sort through large numbers of CV’s and application forms. Giving a recruitment agency the task of creating a shortlist of candidates for a position in a company is good business sense.
- Some companies will use one recruitment agency to find the best person for their available position and will not advertise anywhere else. Failing to use recruitment agencies means that some candidates will not see these fantastic job advertisements and may miss the opportunity to work in a fantastic company with an excellent package.
- Not only will recruitment agencies have the best jobs, they may also have access to the best candidates. Companies will benefit from the fact that a recruitment agency may have some of the best talent already registered on their books and it could mean finding the perfect candidate sooner rather than later.
- There are many levels to the hiring process, including sorting through applications, interviewing, screening, and reference checks. A recruitment agency can take care of all of these steps bar the actual interview. By passing these processes to the recruitment agency, a company can ensure that it does not have to worry about calling previous employers for references or checking up on qualifications, etc. These jobs can all be taken care of by the agency before the interview, and that will give the employer peace of mind that the person they are interviewing has already passed the necessary checks.
- A recruitment agency will want to make sure that the person they recommend for the position is the best person for the job. They will therefore be meticulous in their vetting process and will only choose candidates that they feel will do the job to the best of their ability. This gives employers the security that the candidate should be a good fit for the company.
- A good recruitment agency can be used repeatedly for available positions within a company. Once they have found a successful candidate for a company, the company will feel confident that they will be able to do so again and it will take the worry out of the process. It means that when new positions become available, the agency will have the details they need and can find the perfect candidate as soon as possible.
- Good recruitment agencies will work with both the client and the candidate and will try to help the candidate to make a good impression on the potential employer. This can be hugely beneficial to job seekers who are nervous about their interview.
Locating the Best Recruitment Agency
When it comes to recruitment in Inverses, HR Recruitment Services have access to some of the best positions and the best talent. We can help job seekers find the perfect position and can help employers to find the ideal candidate.
I’m learning the art of hiring. And every time I run a search for a client, I learn the craft a little more. Now that we have interviewed over 10,000 interviews, I’m beginning to ask three basic questions about job fit as I assess a candidate for a particular job.
When I sit down with a candidate, I can tell pretty quickly if they’ve thought long and hard about the role and if it’s a good fit for them. It’s not that I’m smarter than anyone else; I just have a lot of reps under my belt when it comes to reading people quickly.
When I’m interviewing a candidate, these are some of the main categories I’m listening for in order to see if they are just applying to any job that comes their way or if they are intentionally thinking about job fit.
- Has their previous experience prepared them for this role?
I participated in the #AskForbes twitter chat a couple weeks ago. One of the questions that got a ton of engagement was about hiring for education versus hiring for experience. While I do think education is important and and can be immensely helpful, I would choose experience every time.
I believe size and scope of previous experience is one of the key determining characteristics for success in a future role. As the saying goes, “Past performance is the best indicator of future behavior.” While a few business writers might disagree, I’ve seen this truth played out time and time again.
It’s also important to note that the saying is “past performance,” not past success. In fact, I love asking people to tell me about a time they failed and what they learned from it. Hearing their story helps me understand what behavior they displayed when they failed. Did they take responsibility, fix the failure, and grow from the experience, or did they blame-shift and play the victim?
I’m not looking for someone who has a 100% success rate doing the exact same role. I’m looking for someone who has a track record of positivity, problem-solving, and growth when facing new challenges.
- Have they developed themselves and the people around them?
Not everyone on your staff needs to desire to lead a team. Every team needs both great leaders and great followers. However, I would argue that now more than ever, soft skills are vital to becoming an irreplaceable team member.
When I’m interviewing a candidate, I’m looking for someone who genuinely enjoys helping people find solutions, because whether you work for a church or for a tech startup, ultimately, we’re all helping people find solutions. I believe this so strongly, that “solution-side living” is one of the core values at my company.
I see way too many people make the mistake of judging a candidate solely based on output. While results are important (see my point above), I believe that it’s invaluable to hire team members who value people and investing in them.
- Does the organizational culture match the candidate’s wiring?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times: Culture trumps competency every time. When I’m interviewing a candidate, I’m looking for someone who has researched the organization, evaluated its culture, and has the self awareness to know whether it matches their own wiring.
Questions like, “This is a well-established organization of fifty years. I like to move pretty fast. Do you think that will be a problem?” or, “I’m big on systems and processes. I noticed this is a young company. Do they have sustainable systems and processes in place to support long-term growth?” show me the candidate is being discerning about the organizational culture and whether or not it would be a fit for them.
Both the employer and potential employees need to spend a lot of time and energy assessing culture fit in order to ensure it’s a good fit for both parties. If a culture fit isn’t there between the company and the candidate, both parties should have the wisdom to walk away.
The more a candidate can honestly evaluate their own experience and articulate it to me, the more realistic the expectations of both parties are throughout the interviewing and hiring process. If you look for candidates who are intentionally considering culture, chemistry, and competency fit throughout their job search, you’re much more likely to hire people with the discernment and soft skills to help take both them and your organization to the next level.
While it’s a given that the workforce is in a state of constant change and always has been it’s quite fair to say that today, it changes faster than ever. In this culture of rapid change fueled by generational shifts and technological advancement, human resources departments have their work cut out for them. From sourcing the best talent and developing it to be even better, to driving leadership and navigating the tricky waters of the “gig economy,” HR faces more challenges than ever. Here are some of the largest concerns facing today’s human resources:
The Gig Economy Is Growing
The last few years have seen a shift in the way that people work a shift that will only continue. Freelance and contract-based work are at an all-time high, and the portion of the workforce made up of such contingent workers is expected to reach 40 per cent by 2020. The reason is two-fold: for the contingent worker, they make more money per hour, and for the employer, they spend less on labor. But this presents a significant challenge to human resources. The talent pool, for one, is harder to navigate. Additionally, if companies are not careful about properly classifying contingent workers, they may find themselves in a difficult situation come tax season.
Creating a Powerful Team
This issue sees some overlap with the growth of freelance and contract work. Crafting the best possible team has always been a prevalent human resources concern a team that includes top talent in their fields, that can communicate and collaborate and succeed together. When you add a growth in the gig economy to this, it becomes more challenging. How do you make the best team, when a portion of that team works remotely? This is likely to be an ongoing challenge for human resources, one that will require true dedication to solve.
Streamlining HR Management
With the job of human resources management becoming more complex over time, any opportunity to make it more efficient is a welcome one. By taking advantage of new and powerful purpose-driven software programs, human resources managers are empowered to take their work to the next level without having to put in hours and hours of overtime. Integrated software solutions that combine human resource management, customer relationship management, and more, can be an incredible asset.
Whether the talent you are looking for is full-time, freelance, or contract-based, getting your hands on top talent is going to be a major issue moving forwards. Holding onto that talent in an incredibly competitive job market will be even harder. Today’s workforce is seeing shorter and shorter tenures at jobs and the reason for this, at least in part, is that people are less willing than ever to tolerate low levels of job satisfaction. So in addition to being able to find great talent in your sector, you also have to be able to offer them an attractive position, and work consistently to maintain high qualities of job satisfaction.
With shorter and shorter tenures at jobs, you’ll also see fewer people staying in one place long enough to grow into a leadership role. This is a major issue for human resources, and one that can’t be ignored. It’s of great importance to not only recognize leadership potential in people but to develop those qualities, nurturing them so that they grow and mature. By investing in leadership development, you not only make employees more invested in their work, but you create powerful leaders who go on to do great things.
To stay relevant in an increasingly new and constantly evolving job market, human resources managers need to be certain that they face these challenges head-on while being ready to adapt to new models and paradigms of work. But then again, hasn’t this always been the case? As previously stated, change is the only constant. How you navigate that change is how you define your future.