Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Resume Checklist

Posted by sweens on November 25, 2015

http://www.procom.ca/news/resume-checklist/

 

This is a list that was made to definitely be checked twice—perhaps even a third time. When it comes to your resume, format and design is a personal preference(although we definitely have some thoughts on the matter), but there are a few standard requirements that demand to be met if you’re angling for employment. So before you submit your CV, check this checklist:

1. Contact details

Sometimes the obvious can be oblivious to some,  but when you’re trying to be reached– you have to be able to be found. Did you get a new phone number or email address since you last applied to a job? Double check and on your resume, include:

Hint: Leave flyguy69@hotmail.com for your friends. Use a more professional email address when addressing a potential employer. Ensure your contact details are fully up to date and your name, phone number and email address are positioned at the bottom of each page. If the first page is misplaced, a recruiter or hiring manager will still be able contact you on the fly.

  1. Headline

Craft a summary with a short statement that outlines who you are and what you can offer. Like a 30 second elevator pitch, this will determine whether or not a recruiter or hiring manager will bother to read the rest of your resume.

 

  1. Experience

In reverse chronological order, include:

  • Company names
  • Dates of employment (including the months against years)
  • Quantifiable achievements

Hint: Don’t just simply list your job description; describe what you did during your employment and how you achieved the desired results. Result-orientated resumes are what recruiters and hiring managers are concerned about.

 

  1. Education

Unless you’re a new grad, leave highschool in the past and focus on the highest level of education completed along with your post-secondary education.

Include:

  • Full name of the post-secondary institute
  • Years attended
  • Degree completed

 

  1. Skills

Read the job description carefully and include any skills you feel would be relevant to the role.

Hint: Don’t just include your technical skills in the summary of your resume; ensure they’re listed throughout the body as well.

 

  1. Extras

This is the section where you can list proficiencies and abilities that include:

  • Licenses/certificates/awards
  • Social media accounts (if applicable)
  • Blog
  • Online portfolio

Hint: It’s awesome if you can bake a mean chocolate cake, but unless you’re applying to work in a bakery, leave that little extra bit on the plate and off the paper.

 

  1. Formatting

We’ve dedicated an entire blog to the proper formatting of a resume. To get noticed by the Applicant Tracking Systems recruiters and hiring managers use, take a look at how to SEO your resume like a pro.

 

  1. Grammar

As your professional first impression, your resume should present you in the best possible light. Proofread it—twice, and then give it to someone else for a fresh perspective. Avoid using slang terms and ensure you use plenty of action verbs.

Your resume is your foot in the door, don’t let it close without being invited in because you left out the basics.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

Five Reasons Why Your ‘Perfect Resume’ Still Isn’t Leading To Job Interviews

Posted by sweens on September 15, 2015

Written by: Caroline Ceniza-Levine

http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecenizalevine/2015/09/13/five-reasons-why-your-perfect-resume-still-isnt-leading-to-job-interviews/

Most job seekers spend most of their time (and worry) perfecting their resume, then submitting dozens if not hundreds of applications online, only to land a few, if any, job interviews. You might even refine your resume based on feedback from recruiters like me, prioritizing the five items on your resume that recruiters notice first. Still no bites? The submitted resume pile is actually not the first (or second or third) place that recruiters look for candidates. In fact, there are five resources recruiters always tap before reviewing resume applications, and these five competitors are why your perfect resume still isn’t leading to job interviews:

Existing candidates

Every recruiter has a vast network of contacts including candidates from previous searches or who have been recommended by trusted sources. Since these are profiles the recruiter already knows, In the interest of time and getting results to the hiring manager quickly, the recruiter will rely on existing candidates wherever possible. If one of these candidates is a match, there would be no need to even review additional resumes.

Employee referrals

At the start of a search, the recruiter will always ask the hiring manager and department at large for referrals. If the manager or team already have someone in mind, this makes a smooth search more likely. At the very least, the profile that the hiring group puts forward becomes the prototype for what the recruiter looks for. The recruiter is more likely to search for matches to that profile, rather than all the submitted resumes. Again, the resume pile for that job may not even be reviewed.

Internal candidates

Many companies encourage employees to move among departments. It mixes up the talent, benefiting the company, and it gives the employee professional development and new opportunities, benefiting the employee. If internal candidates express interest in a position, they may get first consideration. If a match is made internally, the search may never even be posted, or the posting may be quickly taken down before outside resumes are considered.

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Surviving The Personality Test

Posted by sweens on August 26, 2015

Article by:  Tara Weiss  http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/21/personality-tests-interviewing-leadership-careers_cx_tw_0222bizbasics.html

If you thought you were done with tests once you graduated from college, you’re wrong.

Companies are increasingly giving job candidates personality tests as part of the hiring process. But they’re not trying to discern whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. These are specific evaluations–often 200 or more questions–that attempt to get to the heart of your personality, values and the things make you successful … or not. Hiring managers say these tests more accurately predict whether a candidate will be successful instead of solely relying on a face-to-face interview. Plus, they’re standardized so everyone gets the same questions unlike in a job interview.

But don’t worry–it’s not like humans are taken out of the equation. Face-to-face interviews are used in conjunction with the personality tests. With so many seemingly qualified candidates applying for jobs this is another way to find the right one. One reason hiring managers and organizational psychologists like them is that candidates can’t charm a personality test.

Business Basics: Surviving The Personality Test

But can you cheat? Psychologists say absolutely not. The test designers can tell if a candidate is trying to give answers they think the manager wants to hear. “People have no idea what employers are looking for because with personality tests there are no right and wrong answers,” says John W. Jones, president and chief psychologist for IPAT, a company that develops personality tests.

Their recommendation for prospective employees: View it as an extension of the interview and be totally honest.

“If people try to game the system, we jokingly say the person faked their way out of a job,” says John Weiner, vice president of products and services for the testing firm, PSI.

“It’s possible to distort your answers but not possible to create profile [employers] want.”

Most personality tests are given at the same time as the first round of interviews. Glenn DeBiasi, vice president of human resources for Alex Lee, a Hickory, N.C., food holding company, has been giving them for 10 years to everyone from clerks in the grocery store to top-level executives. “Some people are better cut out for the work and the culture,” says DeBiasi. “The better we can do with fitting someone with a job and the culture here, the better it is for the company and the applicant.”

At Alex Lee, all candidates are given similar variations of the test, but what they’re looking for is different for each candidate. “To be a successful computer geek versus someone out there selling the products requires different personality traits,” says DeBiasi.

For instance, to find out about a candidates work ethic they might ask: How often have you had to give up your leisure time to work. Or: If you have plans on a Friday evening and your employer has an important deadline to meet would you cancel private plans?

Try to decipher this one: When I was a child, people thought I was really cute.

“That identifies good salespeople, because they think they’re fabulously cute,” says Robert Hogan, founder of the test design firm Hogan Assessment Systems.

Another sample question: I take a different way home from work every night

“That gets to a candidate’s creativity,” says Hogan. “The really good ones will say, yes and I feel really guilty when I don’t.”

Murray Barrick, a professor of human resources at Texas A&M University says candidates are more likely to be honest and admit their faults when they’re not dealing with a person. “It leads to more honesty when you’re sitting down with a piece of paper,” he says. “If you’re looking someone right in eye you’re not going to say, ‘I give my best 90% of the time.’ “

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How to Recover from a Car Crash Job Interview

Posted by sweens on August 26, 2015

Article by:  Sophie Deering   http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/recover-car-crash-interview/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Had a bit of a car crash job interview?

At this point you probably wish the world would swallow you up whole, but don’t fret, it’s happened to the best of us. After all, we’re only human and unfortunately things don’t always go exactly to plan.

You may feel like you’ve blown your chances of landing the job, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. It is possible to rectify faults after an interview, but it’s important for you to weigh up whether the error is notable enough to be acknowledged or if it’s best to just move on.

In the heat of the moment it’s tempting to do some urgent damage reversal, but don’t rush into things in a fluster. Take the time to cool down, identify what went wrong and then make a plan about how you can counteract the mistakes made.

Here are a few tips for turning a bad job interview around.

1) Don’t overthink things.

Reliving every little detail of the interview over and over again in your mind isn’t going to change anything, so save yourself the torment! You’ll only make yourself panic more and chances are that some of the things you’re worrying about weren’t even picked up by the interviewer.

The exception to this is if you missed out some crucial information when answering a question and feel that it will make a significant difference to your chances of being hired. In this case there may be something you can do about it.

2) Look at the full picture.

Sure you may feel that there were isolated moments of the job interview which could have gone better, but what was the overall tone? If as a whole you feel that it actually went well, then it probably isn’t worth confronting any mistakes you made and it may even help you to look at the negatives in a more positive light. It’s easy to be self-critical under stress, but the areas you excelled in will probably outweigh your downfalls, so don’t beat yourself up.

3) Send a follow up email.

Resist the urge to apologise for any mistakes you feel you made in your interview, as this will only flag up errors that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

It’s always recommended to send a thank you email after attending a job interview, so why not kill two birds with one stone? If there’s anything that you feel strongly about sharing with your interviewer, such as relevant experience or an overlooked responsibility in a previous role, now is your chance to slip it into conversation.

Before acting, it’s important for you to assess whether the issue is really worth addressing. Is it a make or break situation? If so, you can bring it up as a bit of an endnote to your thank you email; just keep it short. The best way to spin it is that it wasn’t a mistake and rather an after thought that you felt would be relevant to add after reflecting on your conversation.

4) Learn from your mistakes.

Use all of your mistakes as a learning curve. Sometimes these blunders have to occur so that you know what to work on in future, so turn those negatives into positives! If nerves were your downfall, perhaps there are some techniques you can try to calm yourself down ahead of an interview in the future. Whereas if it was a lack of preparation that caused the problem, make sure you do all the required research ahead of your next one! A friend or family member may even be willing to help you practice. Now there’s an idea!

5) Keep calm and carry on.

A lot of the time we don’t recognise our mistakes until we reflect back at an interview once it’s over, however if you notice that you’ve slipped up while you’re still in there, it’s essential that you don’t get yourself in a flap! Remain poised and focus on answering the next question to the best of your ability. If there’s something you forgot to mention, wait until later on to bring it up as you may be able to fit it in with another question being asked. You still have the chance to turn things around, even if you think you’ve let yourself down earlier on, so don’t give up trying.

The same goes for your job search in general. Just because this particular interview didn’t go as smoothly as hoped, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to nail the next one! Put it behind you and move on. The more interviews you go for, the more confident you’ll become.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

Four Ways To Figure Out What’s Going Wrong With Your Job Search

Posted by sweens on August 25, 2015

Written By:  Elena Bajic

http://www.forbes.com/sites/elenabajic/2015/08/20/four-ways-to-figure-out-whats-going-wrong-with-your-job-search/

You’re good at what you do and have plenty of experience, but for some reason, your job search has stalled. The problem probably isn’t your background, especially if you’ve got a solid track record. More likely the problem has more to do with how you present yourself, both on paper and in person. An example of how this works can be seen with the consulting firm Deloitte . They employ about 50,000 professionals – most of them accounting, auditing and tax professionals—and they receive about 500,000 applications a year.

With high competition, every step in the application process matters; opinions are formed at every step, and each interaction is an opportunity to impress or be eliminated from the process.

With that in mind, your best bet is to diagnose the problem and hone in on what needs to change for you to get interviews and get hired. Here are four of the main reasons a job search goes south, and how you can overcome them:

  1. You can’t get a first interview.
    The problem here is your cover letter and resume. A great cover letter can set you apart, giving a glimpse into your personality and motivation for the work—things that can’t be gleaned from a resume. You cover letter should show your personal interest in the specific position for which you’re applying. If you have a special qualification or quality that would make you perfect for the job, this is the time to talk about it. One thing you don’t want to do is summarize your experience—let the resume take care of that; the cover letter is the place for information that isn’t on the resume.

As for the resume, make sure you are using it to outline your achievements, not just list your responsibilities. As much as you can, quantify what you’ve accomplished, like the percentage revenue gain or increase in productivity. The resume needs to clearly—and quickly– show your strengths right at the top, especially those that match the job for which you’re applying. Make sure you’re using key words and phrases from the job posting, to show how well you match the required skills.

2. You can’t get past the first interview.

Time to brush up on your interviewing skills. Start by making sure you research the company, the person with whom you’re interviewing and the job itself. Your confidence and ability to give smart answers to questions during the interview is based, in part, on that information.

Prepare and rehearse a two-minute elevator pitch about yourself and your experience and answers to some common interview questions.  Be very upbeat and positive during the interview, using strong eye contact and a firm handshake. Don’t ask about salary, benefits or vacation time—not at this juncture. (That comes later, when you’re close to receiving an offer.) Most important, ask insightful questions. Your interest in the company and the job will be judged by the quality of the questions you ask.

  1. You can’t get past the second round of interviews.

There’s usually one overriding reason for this: confidence. When you’re nervous or doubting yourself that shows in your body language, but you will inspire confidence in your abilities if you act confident. At Ivy Exec, our recruiters often time work with candidates, preparing them for each step of the process. If you lack confident, faking confidence with “power poses” can really help improve your performance. Try striking a power pose for a few minutes before your interview, and practice acting self confident in front of a mirror.

  1. You made it to the final rounds but didn’t get an offer letter.

During negotiations over salary and benefits remind those doing the hiring how the company stands to profit from your skills and experience. When it comes time to talk turkey, make sure you’ve done your research and that you know what your skills and experience are worth in the current market.  Remember to look at the big compensation picture—don’t focus only on the base salary. Compensation can include valuable options that aren’t related to salary, including a flexible work schedule or tuition reimbursement. And if the role you’re applying for suits your long-term career goals, that may trump your short-term financial goals.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

Dear IT Recruiters…This Is What We Want From You

Posted by sweens on July 4, 2014

I came across this article on LinkedIn this morning  by Nicolae Andronic and thought it was really good. Check it out here or on LinkedIn by clicking here.  

 

Dear IT recruiters,

As a person working in IT, I know we’re a spoiled category of employees these days, but you’ll just have to adapt instead of convincing us that we shouldn’t be.

We, the IT guys, are being bombarded with job offers, the same way you are probably bombarded with a lot of generic CVs. You probably have a system to eliminate most of them, the ones that don’t attract you. For us, it’s the same with the job offers. Most of them look the same, only the name of the company is different. This makes your job of getting the attention of the potential employee a lot harder, so I’m writing this to make you understand what we expect from you during the recruitment process.

Job description

The most common mistake recruiters do is to create a generic job description, the same that they used for years, and spread it on all communication channels. Even if, for example, I’m not looking for a job I’m still seeing at least five of these job descriptions everyday. If someone is looking for a job, they will probably see 50 per day. All the same, generic and lacking information we really care about.

So, what I would suggest is to give up your current template and create a personalized one for each individual position that you’re recruiting for. What we want to see is:

  • testimonials of current employees about the company and the job. We want to know how’s the working environment, what’s the stress level, how are the colleagues, where you eat at lunch, if the chairs are comfortable and so on
  • one or two CVs of current employees working on the same position as the one you are hiring. We want to be the ones to decide if we fit the profile or not
  • map of the office location, related to transport system and also cafeterias and restaurants. We want to know how long it will take us to get to work, where we could eat at lunch, if the neighborhood is dangerous etc.
  • pictures from the office. We want to see if the office is crowded, if there’s enough intimacy, enough lighting etc.
  • details about technologies that are used (including version numbers!). We want to know that we’re not going to be using “dead” or old technologies. Some information might be confidential. We understand, but at least explain this
  • details about projects. How long does an average project last? Are there development or maintenance projects? How big is the team on an average project?
  • extra benefits: gym membership, meal tickets, private healthcare, technical training
  • who are we going to report to. We want to know the position, but even better, the actual person
  • what are the steps of the recruitment process and how long it’s going to take. Probably you are not the only recruiter that we’re currently involved in a recruitment process with and we want be able to set our priorities.
  • what’s the work schedule. Is it flexible? How often are extra hours required? How long is the lunch break?
  • if the employment type is different from the usual work contract. We might not be interested in freelancing, creating an “one-person company” or others.

 

You probably consider that most of this information should be presented to the candidate during the first interview, but you don’t have this luxury.

 

LinkedIn

 

  • Put a profile picture and a profile description where you clearly specify you are a recruiter – We usually don’t accept persons without a profile picture as contacts. If you don’t specify you are a recruiter and after you try to recruit us, we feel we are being tricked.
  • Don’t put a link from BullHorn Reach. We usually have a lot of recruiters in our LinkedIn account and seeing the logo of this company makes us consider it as spam, so we completely ignore your post.
  • Don’t put the same announcement every two days. Yes, you are constantly hiring or you didn’t find someone in a long time, but do you think that seeing the same announcement every day will make us want to apply? You’ll probably going to say that you want to reach to the new people you added in the last two days on LinkedIn. See the solution for this bellow.
  • Address people personally, in a personal message. Talk explicitly to us, no copy&paste. Explain what you saw in our LinkedIn profile that made you want to offer us this position.
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn features. Present us on LinkedIn to one of the people from the company in order for us to discuss directly with an employee.
  • Don’t be dishonest. You put an announcement for a specific job. I come to the interview and after that I get a response that I wasn’t accepted, stating that although I was perfect for the job, the company chose someone else. No problem, but two hours later you post on LinkedIn that you are still searching to fill that position. Do you think I ever want to work with you after that?
  • Don’t get too personal. Don’t “like” my posts. We don’t want our current employer to see that we have a good relationship with a recruiter.
  • If you ask for references and we agree, don’t ask for the person’s phone number or e-mail address. We only share his/her LinkedIn profile with you.
  • If I ask you to stop calling me and delete my contact info from your database, please do. We have our reasons to ask this so, we’ll only get mad if you’ll call again.

 

Cold calling

 

  • Describe only suitable positions. If you see we have 10 years of experience in Java development, don’t call us to propose a “middle Java developer” position.
  • Describe only suitable positions – again. If you see we have 6 months experience on Magento 5 years ago, but haven’t touch it since, why would you offer us a “Magento developer” position? Would you be ok if we asked you if you wanted to quit your current job/carrier in order to spread flyers on the street because you have done it during high-school?
  • Don’t ask for references if we don’t have a personal relationship. Why would we spam our friends with a job offer that we rejected AND from a person we don’t know?
  • Don’t be mysterious. If you’re telling us that you are recruiting for a company, but won’t tell us its name, we’re not interested. I know some of your clients request confidentiality during the first step of recruitment. Convince them it’s stupid!
  • Don’t exaggerate the benefits you offer. We’re smart people and we smell bullshit easily.
  • Don’t talk with us using a personal touch, just because it’s cool and this is how IT people talk. We don’t know each other. I’m “Mr. Andronic” for you, not “Nicolae”.
  • Communicate on the same level. You want to hire a 30+ yo senior developer? Don’t make us talk to a 20 yo junior recruiter.
  • The same rules as above are applied also for LinkedIn “cold” contact.

Interview

 

  • If it’s going to be a technical interview, try to make it as similar as possible to the real job. Maybe even keep the interview in the actual office where we will work.
  • Give us two or three possible interview time intervals to choose from: morning, noon, evening. We don’t want to take a vacation day just to come to your interview.
  • Explain exactly how do we get to your location, what to expect (closed doors, no parking spaces, etc.), who to ask for. Leave a phone number in case of emergency.
  • Nothing described in the interview should be different from what was described in the initial job description.
  • Don’t ask us to come to the interview if our profile doesn’t fit with your job requirement, but test us anyway. Especially if you want to test our French language skills, if we said we didn’t know French. It’s embarrassing.
  • Don’t compare us with other candidates, that were better and asked for less money. We don’t care. Keep it to yourself and hire those guys. We don’t care.
  • Don’t make us sign any documents similar to NDA’s. We won’t.
  • Do a small tour with us within the company office. Show us where everything is. Toilets included.

After the interview

 

  • Always give an answer in the defined interval, even if it’s negative. We don’t want to lose other opportunities because we’re waiting to hear from you.
  • If we’ve been through the recruitment process and got rejected, we want to know why. Not generic bullshit, but precise reasons. If it’s technical and we really liked the company, we might get better on the specific technology that we’ve failed and re-apply. If it’s about the money, we might reconsider and ask for less (or more).
  • If you want to hire us, tell us exactly how much time we have to consider your offer.We probably have more than one offer and want to choose the best one.

 

Best regards,

Guy of the IT crowd

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

Job Interview: Why Only 3 Questions Really Matter

Posted by sweens on March 31, 2014

I read a great article today by Bernard Marr and wanted to share it with everyone.  The full is below or you can view it online at:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140331030822-64875646-job-interview-why-only-3-questions-really-matter?trk=tod-home-art-list-small_1  

I’d also recommend giving Bernard a follow on LinkedIn:  uk.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr

 

Job Interview: Why Only 3 Questions Really Matter

Even for the most fearless amongst us, job interviews can be nerve wracking. In order to give us the best chance of success we tend to prepare for many of the difficult questions we anticipate, questions like:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • What are your key strengths and weaknesses?

Of course, you can never predict how an interview will go and what questions you will get. You might get an interviewer who fires one tough question at you after the other, or one that turns the interview into a more comfortable, natural two-way conversation. Preparing, therefore is difficult. In most cases we practice the answers to a long list of possible questions. The problem is that this can leave you over-prepared and as a consequence your pre-conceived answers can come across a bit robotic.

From my experience, there are really only 3 questions you have to prepare for and you can link most of the interview questions back to these three. Preparing for these three questions also means you can answer most questions more naturally, simply by referring mentally back to your preparations for these three questions.

Basically, any interviewer wants to establish 3 key things:

  1. Have you got the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job?
  2. Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and the company?
  3. Will you fit into the team, culture and company?

However, during the job interview, the interviewer might use many different questions and angles to get to the answers. If the interviewer doesn’t get what he or she wants from one question, they might ask them in different ways. Or they might probe from different angles to test for consistency in your answers.

Here is what’s behind these 3 questions:

1. Have you got the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job?

Think about the key skills you might need for the job you have applied for and assess your own level of expertise and experience in that context. It makes sense to identify the more specific or technical skills that your potential employer might expect as well as some more generic skills such as being a good communicator, having good IT skills, being a team player, etc. Once you have prepared for this question it will help you answer many different interview questions without getting sidetracked into talking about things that are not relevant. Remember that you want to demonstrate that you are aware of the key skills, expertise and experience required to do the job and that you have what it takes to perform it. Always go back to the key skills, expertise and experience when answering scary (and sometimes silly) questions like:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your greatest strengths / weaknesses?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • Why do you think you are right for this job?
  • What do you think the main challenges will be?
  • Etc.

2. Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and the company?

Any potential employer wants to know that you are interested in the company and excited about the prospect of working there. You therefore want to demonstrate that you have researched the company, understand its strategy, current performance, structure, market position and products and that you can’t wait to join them. For most, you will have done your homework before you even applied for the job, but if you haven’t then check out the ‘about us’ section on their website and search for the latest strategy documents, annual reports, key statistics as well as the company history. Show that you know them and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and company. Here you might also want to think about your ambitions and how they fit into the company you have applied for. You can then use the insights for answering questions such as:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • What do you think our company is aiming to achieve?
  • What do you know about our products and services?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Why do you think this job is right for you?
  • What motivates you?
  • Etc.

3. Will you fit into the team, culture and company?

This final key question is about your personality and your style and how you as a person fit into the team and culture of the company. Companies have different cultures, which translate into different ways of behaving and working. It is important to make sure you fit in and don’t feel like a fish out of water. In fact, it is important for the company as well as for you. Again, hopefully you will have done some research prior to applying for the job. Sometimes, it can be tricky to find detailed knowledge about the company culture, in which case you simply talk about your assumptions and why you feel you fit in. One relatively new website that offers a glance inside companies is Glassdoor. The site is still in it’s infancy but provides a growing amount of data and information about what it is like to work for different companies. You want to map the culture of the company or the team you are planning to join and compare this to your personality traits, style and behaviors. Again, once you have done this you can use it to answer questions such as:

  • How would you describe your work style?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • What makes you fit into our company?
  • What makes you a good team member?
  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  • Etc.

Of course, any interview is a two-way process. In the same way the interviewer wants to find out that you are right for the company, you need to assess whether the company is right for you. Each of the questions can be turned around so that you can assess:

  1. By joining this company, will I make best use of my skills and expertise and will they help me to grow them further?
  2. Is the company excited about having me work for them and will they give me the necessary support?
  3. Is the company culture the right fit for me so that I can flourish and be myself?

If you ask relevant questions from your point of view then this will make the interview more balanced and create a more natural conversation.

I hope this is useful? Please let me know your thoughts and share any comments you might have on the topic.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

5 types of social media posts that recruiters hate

Posted by sweens on October 10, 2012

By Michael Sebastian | Posted: October 10, 2012
 
 
Looking for a new job? You’re not alone.A new study from Jobvite found that 69 percent of employed Americans are looking for or are open to taking a new job, up from 61 percent last year. Among the entire U.S. workforce—which includes the currently employed and the unemployed who are looking for work—the number of job-seekers jumps to 75 percent.

Those mulling a new gig should realize that the Internet is where many hiring managers do research about prospective candidates, and that today’s audacious Instagram or bawdy tweet could be tomorrow’s red flag for a potential boss.

A July Jobvite survey of recruiters ranked five types of content shared on social networks that created negative reactions among hiring managers:

References to doing illegal drugs—78 percent of recruiters reacted negatively.

Posts/tweets of a sexual nature—66 percent reacted negatively.

Profanity in posts/tweets—61 percent of recruiters reacted negatively.

Spelling/grammar errors in posts/tweets—
54 percent reacted negatively.

Pictures of consumption of alcohol—47 percent reacted negatively.

References to membership in professional organizations and volunteering and donations to charity stirred the most positive reaction among recruiters.

Meanwhile, 23 percent of job-seekers said they’ve been asked for social media information during a job interview—a touchy topic that’s moved some states to enact laws preventing employers from requesting login info from job candidates.

Other findings

Survey respondents indicate that social media is a key factor in finding a job, with 76 percent of job-seekers saying they’re using social media to find work. One in six respondents credited online networks for helping them land a job.

Nearly half (49 percent) of job-seekers have used Facebook for what the survey calls “career gain,” which includes making a professional contact, finding a job opportunity through a contact, and asking a contact for help in the job search.

Just 38 percent use LinkedIn for career gain—a surprise because recruiters refer most to this social network, according to the July Jobvite survey.

Despite its recent dip below 8 percent (a four-year low), the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high in the U.S.—not to mention that 61 percent of job-seekers say finding a job has gotten harder in the past year.

The September survey included 2,108 American adults, of which 1,266 were part of the workforce.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

LinkedIn Profile Photo? 5 Things NOT To Do

Posted by sweens on October 9, 2012

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/linkedin-profile-photo-5 

If you’re reading this article, the chances are you will already be on LinkedIn. Today’s tip sheet post is about a key part of the profile that all us have spent either too much or too little time thinking about – the Profile Picture. This post is about why you need to have one, and 5 basic rules on what not to do once you’ve decided to put it up. Let’s get started.

You need a profile picture


In today’s socialised and connected world, anonymity is in full retreat.
While we all care about personal privacy, it’s incongruous to opt in on
being on social networks, and yet be there not showing your face.
Humanising your account through a profile picture is the first step in
an exchange of information that you tacitly agree to by being on the
platform in the first place. And it communicates a great deal – by
simply having a profile picture, it’s telling the reader that you
actually use the platform, that you not a spammer with zombie account
and that you are serious about networking with others. You don’t need a
Hollywood smile, Terry Venables perma tan or a Donald Trump hair weave –
you just basically need to be you.

Now here are 5 things to avoid when selecting your photo.

 

1. A Non Human Avatar

This is not War of Warcraft. Putting a comedy/fantasy/sci-fi avatar on a professional network like LinkedIn is telling the world that you value your imaginary life more
than your professional life – its not the kind of image that will
encourage employers or recruiters to give you a call. It’s the digital
equivalent of turning up to an interview with a Bart Simpson tie on –
your attempt at comedic differentiation will succeed only too well, but
in a way you did not intend and with consequences that will not be in
your interest.

 

2. The Body Shot

The dimensions for the average profile picture is approx 150 x 150. In other words, they are thumbnails, designed to display a human face, not your Olympian physique. I’m sure
you look great in the ball gown or in that muscle Tee you like wearing,
but that’s not the point of this photo. It’s about your face. If you
must, I think it’s OK to have head & shoulders but any more torso
and you will reduce the resolution on your face making you difficult to
identify, whilst also raising questions as to you are selecting a shot
of your body when everyone else is going with the head shot.

 

3. Special Effects

You can do wonderful things with image editing software; emboss your face, X-ray your outline, put everything into sepia or reverse it all into film negative. Do none of these things
on your profile shot. It may look great – if you are in art school –
but there is a time and a place and this isn’t it. Remember the primary
reason why the photo is there in the first place – to humanise your
profile. The viewer needs to be comfortable that you are a real person,
that you use the system and that you pass the freak test. Embossing your
face in gold will probably not help you achieve any of these
objectives.

 

4. The Over Pose

I think I’ve just invented a term. Think David Brent and you’ll know what I’m reaching for here. Profile photo’s on LinkedIn should communicate personable plus professional – wearing a
white collar and smiling at camera is all you need to do. Anything more,
any attempt to add ‘character’ or gravitas and you will be entering
dangerous territory.

 

5. Change It All The Time

If LinkedIn is a online shop window for your skills, it will do you no favours to be switching your image around every day. The more you use LinkedIn, the more people will identify
with your image and too much change might well have damaging effects on
the nascent online relationships that you have been developing. Clearly,
there is an ethical imperative for currency – it won’t do to have a
picture that is no longer looks like you in real life, but if you’ve got
an accurate, up-to-date shot, stick with it.

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13 things that really annoy people on LinkedIn

Posted by sweens on October 9, 2012

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/13-things-that-really-annoy-people-on-linkedin 

Great post, written by Firebrand Marketing Director Carolyn Hyams,

Almost everyone I’m in contact with through business is on LinkedIn these days (and if you’re not, you should be). It’s a brilliant, professional, online business networking site and a place where you’re expected to promote yourself through your own profile and other areas of the site. Having said that, I consistently hear people moaning about a number of things that their connections do that really annoys them.

Since my post on 18 things you should not do on Twitter was so well received, I thought I’d share my candid thoughts on what you should avoid on LinkedIn.

  1. Don’t lie — you will be found out. And it will be embarrassing. After all, look what happened to former Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson.
  2. Don’t send an invitation to connect stating that you’re a “friend” if you don’t know the person. People hate it and won’t accept.
  3. Don’t be lazy when sending invitations to connect. I get really irritated when people can’t be bothered to write a customised message to me when asking to connect. It makes me think they’re just trying to connect to as many people as possible, rather than looking to nurture a professional relationship. Unfortunately, on some LinkedIn pages like on “People you may know” (and on an iPad and smartphone), LinkedIn sends invitations to connect, without giving people the opportunity to customise their message and without warning. Cringe! LinkedIn should fix this.
  4. Don’t forget to read a person’s profile before sending them a personal message to connect. Don’t send the same message to everyone. True story: I received an invite to connect with a message asking to meet me for a coffee to explore a potential partnership. When I wrote back saying “What do you mean by potential partnership?”, the person wrote back, apologising and admitted that they didn’t read my profile properly. I guess no coffee then?
  5. Don’t use a logo as your profile image. No exceptions. LinkedIn is a professional networking site — people to people, not people to logos. There is a different place on LinkedIn to add your company logo, overview etc. called Company Pages. Here’s an example of Firebrand’s company page.
  6. Don’t use anything other than your full name on your profile. There’s an option to use your first name only with an initial for your family name, but why would you do that? It looks suspicious. I’ve seen spammers do this often. And whilst I’m on this subject, don’t change your privacy settings to “anonymous” when you’re looking at other people’s profile. It makes them feel like someone is stalking them.
  7. Don’t boast too much. Although LinkedIn was primarily built as a business networking tool, no-one likes to see you constantly talking about yourself or your company. Every now and then is okay. Like other “social” sites, sharing interesting information you’ve found is appreciated – even if you didn’t originally find it or write it yourself. And don’t forget to credit your source.
  8. Don’t overdo your status updates. Your status updates appear in the newsfeed of all your connections, so if you are constantly adding status updates through the day, it’s going to annoy those who are regularly on LinkedIn. My personal recommendation would be a maximum of 3 per day – spaced out over time. Try using the Buffer App to schedule your updates if necessary.
  9. Don’t add ALL your tweets to your LinkedIn status update. If you share all your tweets on LinkedIn during the day, we get back to my point about over-sharing updates and it will irritate your connections. Secondly, many tweets will contain @Twitter handles, hashtags etc — This might irritate people. Having said that, LinkedIn actually picks up ‘@’ handles and links them to Twitter profiles and hashtags convert to LinkedIn searches which can be quite handy. However my advice would be to make an effort to customise what you’d like to say on LinkedIn to encourage engagement and sharing.
  10. Don’t post links or your updates to every single group you belong to. Think about what you are posting and decide which groups would be interested in what you have to say or joining in a discussion. Warning — many groups don’t like members posting links to other blogs/websites. It comes across as a promotion masquerading as discussion. Some prefer pure discussions/questions. Have a read of the group rules to make sure what you are posting is appropriate.
  11. Don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar. Think of Twitter as a “cocktail party” and LinkedIn as a business conference and customise your messaging accordingly. On LinkedIn, you are expected to use good grammar and not make spelling mistakes. And certainly, using “u” “r” or “gr8” doesn’t cut it. You can get away with this a little on Twitter because of the character limit, but trust me, you will be “professionally” judged on LinkedIn.
  12. Don’t believe all LinkedIn recommendations. Seriously, at the best of times, LinkedIn recommendations are dodgy. To quote Firebrand CEO, Greg Savage in a post he wrote on LinkedIn “How can we possibly take LinkedIn recommendations seriously when they are mostly solicited, reciprocal, and worst of all – self-published! If you don’t like what they say, even in nuance, you don’t approve it.” Most recommendations tend to be a “LinkedIn tit for tat recommendation love-in” — simply reciprocal requests. If you’re doing a reference check on someone, don’t go by their LinkedIn recommendations, call up their referees instead and ask all the right questions.
  13. Don’t add a connection’s email address to your email database without asking permission. Just because they agree to connect with you, it doesn’t mean they want to receive your email marketing. They will report you and your company as a spammer. Likewise, don’t treat LinkedIn as an email database and email your connections every bit of news you can think of. They will remove you as a connection.

Have I missed anything? Please share your LinkedIn “pet hates” as comments to this post.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

3 Interview Questions That Reveal Everything

Posted by sweens on July 26, 2012

  – http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/3-interview-questions-that-reveal-everything.html 

Employee fit is crucial. Here’s a simple way to know if a job candidate is right for your business.

Interview Clipboard

Interviewing job candidates is tough, especially because some candidates are a lot better at interviewing than they are at working.

To get the core info you need about the candidates you interview, here’s a simple but incredibly effective interview technique I learned from John Younger, the CEO of Accolo, a cloud recruiting solutions provider. (If you think you’ve conducted a lot of interviews, think again: Younger has interviewed thousands of people.)

Here’s how it works. Just start from the beginning of the candidate’s work history and work your way through each subsequent job. Move quickly, and don’t ask for detail. And don’t ask follow-up questions, at least not yet.

Go through each job and ask the same three questions:

1. How did you find out about the job?

2. What did you like about the job before you started?

3. Why did you leave?

“What’s amazing,” Younger says, “is that after a few minutes, you will always have learned something about the candidate–whether positive or negative–that you would never have learned otherwise.”

Here’s why:

How did you find out about the job?

Job boards, general postings, online listings, job fairs–most people find their first few jobs that way, so that’s certainly not a red flag.

But a candidate who continues to find each successive job from general postings probably hasn’t figured out what he or she wants to do–and where he or she would like to do it.

He or she is just looking for a job; often, any job.

And that probably means he or she isn’t particularly eager to work for you. He or she just wants a job. Yours will do–until something else comes along.

“Plus, by the time you get to Job Three, Four, or Five in your career, and you haven’t been pulled into a job by someone you previously worked for, that’s a red flag,” Younger says. “That shows you didn’t build relationships, develop trust, and show a level of competence that made someone go out of their way to bring you into their organization.”

On the flip side, being pulled in is like a great reference–without the letter.

What did you like about the job before you started?

In time, interviewees should describe the reason they took a particular job for more specific reasons than “great opportunity,” “chance to learn about the industry,” or “next step in my career.”

Great employees don’t work hard because of lofty titles or huge salaries. They work hard because they appreciate their work environment and enjoy what they do. (Titles and salary are just icing on the fulfillment cake.)

That means they know the kind of environment they will thrive in, and they know the type of work that motivates and challenges them–and not only can they describe it, they actively seek it.

Why did you leave?

Sometimes people leave for a better opportunity. Sometimes they leave for more money.

Often, though, they leave because an employer is too demanding. Or the employee doesn’t get along with his or her boss. Or the employee doesn’t get along with co-workers.

When that is the case, don’t be judgmental. Resist the temptation to ask for detail. Hang on to follow-ups. Stick to the rhythm of the three questions. That makes it natural for candidates to be more open and candid.

In the process, many candidates will describe issues with management or disagreements with other employees or with taking responsibility–issues they otherwise would not have shared.

Then follow up on patterns that concern you.

“It’s a quick way to get to get to the heart of a candidate’s sense of teamwork and responsibility,” Younger says. “Some people never take ownership and always see problems as someone else’s problem. And some candidates have consistently had problems with their bosses–which means they’ll also have issues with you.”

And a bonus question:

How many people have you hired, and where did you find them?

Say you’re interviewing candidates for a leadership position. Want to know how their direct reports feel about them?

Don’t look only for candidates who were brought into an organization by someone else; look for candidates who brought employees into their organization.

“Great employees go out of their way to work with great leaders,” Younger says. “If you’re tough but fair, and you treat people well, they will go out of their way to work with you. The fact that employees changed jobs just so they could work for you speaks volumes to your leadership and people skills.”

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How Come Recruiter’s Never Call Me Back? CAUTION: SPOILER ALERT – IT’S YOU!

Posted by sweens on June 5, 2012

Posted by Dan Levine on June 1, 2012 at 9:38am

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/how-come-recruiter-s-never-call-me-back-caution-spoiler-alert-it

What Recruiters Are Looking For When They Contact You

Most successful recruiters do not waste a lot time with anyone who is not a fit for their clients. You were called (or emailed) initially for a very specific reason, either:

1.  You have the skills or experience required for a job

2.  You work for a client competitor

3.  Someone gave your name as a reference, or

4.  Your LinkedIn profile insinuates that you may be a good match.

That’s about it. Other than a few one-offs, these are the reasons you are being contacted in the first place.

When a recruiter calls you, they generally have a structured way of seeking the answers they need:

1.  Does the candidate’s core competencies fit the client’s needs?

2.  Are they successful?

3.  Do they have any motivation to make a change?

What many candidates are not realizing is that everything you do and say and how you do and say it is being calculated: Here are some examples:

1. A Recruiter calls or emails you about a position and you immediately ask, “Who is the client?” because you’re too busy to speak.

What you should do: Set a better time to speak with the recruiter later that day. Tell them whether you are open or not to making a change and look forward to the next conversation if there should be one. If you have zero interest in making a career change, tell them this upfront, but let them know what type of opportunities you may be interested in down the road and a time frame to follow up. For example, “Thank you for thinking of me, but at this time I am on pace to make quota and have lots of irons in the fire and a great pipeline. However if you do come across an opening in Senior Management, I’d be willing to listen, but not until September when our fiscal year ends.”

 

2.  A Recruiter emails you a description of a job opening and you reply only with…………..“What’s the comp package?” 90% of the time, the recruiter will not reply back with the figures. You’ve just told the recruiter that money is your only motivator and you only will give them your time if you know what the compensation package is first.

What you should do: If money is the biggest factor in making career decisions, you’ve probably moved around a lot or haven’t had much tenure in one place. It’s OK to be money motivated, we all are, but remember a recruiter needs to know certain things first before talking about compensation. Most clients give recruiters a fair range of base salary, commission structure, sign-on bonus, equity, etc. There is no way to determine what the actual package will be if the recruiter doesn’t get the information they need. If you are the ideal type of “A Player” that the client is looking for, this usually means you are paid higher than an average person in a similar role. Discussing your current salary and on-target earnings (with the recruiter) can only help you obtain the dollar amount you would need to make a change. And always remember to have your quotas and performance clearly stated on your resume, so it’s easy to refer back to them.

Retained search firms train recruiters to look for these signs and use their time wisely. It is important that you build a mutual trust and respect with a recruiter. This comes solely from good communication. Pick up the phone and call instead of sending one-line emails, you should know that you’re not the only person being contacted. Call back when you say you’re going to call back. Send your resume when you say you’re going to send it. And finally, if you want to show your ultimate respect to a good recruiter, give them a solid referral if you’re not interested in the opportunity personally. By doing this, you become a valuable partner to the recruiter and most likely will be put to the top of their list to contact should something open that fits what your looking for.

So think twice about how you respond to the recruiter next time she calls– it might be the call that can change your life!

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

Seven “Non-Negotiables” to Prevent a Bad Hire

Posted by sweens on June 1, 2012

by David K. Williams and Mary Michelle Scott

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/7_non-negotiables_to_prevent_a.html?awid=6669892819319634195-3271

The costs of a bad hire are staggering. A recent survey by Career Builder reports more than two-thirds of employers were affected by a bad hire last year, according to AOL Jobs. Of nearly 2,700 employers surveyed, 41% estimate a single bad hire cost $25,000; a quarter estimate a bad choice cost $50,000 or more — not to mention the demoralizing effect of the issue on other employees and on the new hire. Losing a job is one of the most stressful events a human can experience.

To avoid that, when we make hires, we screen candidates using a list of personal characteristics we call the Non-Negotiables. First there were four. Ultimately, we’ve expanded the list to seven. These are the characteristics that have become the primary criteria for hiring decisions — things we value even more than skills and background. When we add people to our nearly 100-person company, these criteria are non-negotiable.

The seven Non-Negotiables are Respect, Belief, Loyalty, Commitment, Trust, Courage and Gratitude.

Ideal hires bring traditional and job-specific capabilities and high proficiencies in these seven core traits. However, in many cases, the Non-Negotiables have led us to make what others would consider “unusual hires.” The result, for our company, has been near-zero turnover — and many employees express the desire and willingness to stay with us for life.

It took us a few years before we fully embraced the concept of the Non-Negotiables as an explicit hiring goal. We always sought individuals with high character strengths and strong work ethics. In HR parlance, we looked for “athletes,” and we talked about assessing the right fit through a strong “gut feeling.” Since January 2011, we’ve gone further: We’ve now articulated these traits as full and formal requirements for the people we hire. Granted, it is more difficult to identify and assess character traits than concrete skills — however, the strategy we are using thus far seems to be meeting success. We ask potential candidates to tell us about situations where they have exemplified each of the non-negotiable traits. Because each candidate is interviewed by multiple leaders, we compare assessments on each of the traits. Later on, we may also move to an actual scoring system as well.

We also ask the same questions of the individual’s references — not the references they list on their resume, but of their former co-workers, associates and bosses that we identify independently, and who are in a position to speak open and candidly about the candidate’s strengths (or weaknesses) in exhibiting these traits. Clearly, it’s not an exact science — but we are finding the ways to become more precise as we grow.

At times focusing on this non-traditional hiring criteria leads us to hire people with unusual backgrounds. When Kevin Batchelor — now one of our two VP’s of Engineering — came to work here, he was not a programmer at all; his degrees were in theater and anthropology. Now, eight years later, his software designs are winning awards. John David King — now our EVP of Sales and Marketing — had no prior background in leading a sales organization. He had heart, spirit, and character, coupled with a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in communications.

We’ve filled our developer ranks largely through a partnership with Utah Valley University. We started by looking for interns — the right people with the right characteristics who wanted to learn how to code. One of them was a firefighter, one an electrician, and one was in the culinary program. Some were programmers by training, but only interested (or so they thought) in programming Internet games.

We have a strong community focus — of our near 100 employees, 40 are or have been interns working on flexible schedules to allow them to finish their degrees.

Our approach is contradictory to most conventional management wisdom, which suggests that hiring managers focus on relevant skills and experience. But it is working for us.

Our company has no shortage of talent because we’ve trained the people we bring in with care. Our employees are respectful of each other, and as a company we strive to be respectful of others as well. In a competitive $1 billion software market we are collegial — we list our competitors’ offerings along with our own products on our Facebook page, and we applaud their successes along with our own.

Our hiring strategy has built a loyal base of employees during a time when the typical career path is to “keep the options open” and to be at least periodically shopping around. Our strategy will continue to be the right one for us. Perhaps it could work for other organizations as well. We look forward to your opinions and thoughts.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

Benefits of Using a Recruiter

Posted by sweens on April 26, 2012

Posted by Evelyn Amaro on April 19, 2012 at 9:30am – http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/benefits-of-using-a-recruiter

Why should I use a recruiter?

 You are at your desk, or at home watching TV when you get a call from a recruiter who has found your contact information using the many secrets of the trade (sorry – that’s one secret I intend to keep). Before you hang up the phone, remember that recruiters can hold the keys to the hidden jewels of the job market. Use them and they may just open the door to a new career opportunity. I am not saying this because I am a recruiter, because I’m not – I just work for them. What I have learned working behind the scenes is the important role a recruiter can play in a persons career path. Even if you are not looking now, you may need their help later, so this applies to those who are blissfully happy with their careers, as well as those looking for a new opportunity. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should use a recruiter. Look for Part II: What to expect from your recruiter on Thursday.

  1. Hidden Job Market. I said earlier that recruiters hold the hidden jewels of the job market, and here they are – undisclosed jobs. Many times, especially with Sr level positions, companies have confidential roles that are for restricted eyes only. Companies then turn to recruiters for help with these positions. You cannot find these positions listed on Monster, or the various other job sites on the web. Imagine – your dream job may just be a recruiter away. This point goes hand in hand with #2.
  2. Connections. Recruiters have clout with hiring managers and sr. level executives – many of us do not. You send your resume to numerous companies, and post your resume on various job sites to no avail. You still haven’t heard a peep. Recruiters have the connections to not only get you in the door, but also get feedback – whether positive or negative – rather quickly. Think of how many others are applying to the same job you are…tons. Hiring managers and HR personnel simply cannot and do not have the time to review every resume. A recruiter can guarantee that you won’t be just another resume in a pile; you will be sent to Sr manager who will review your resume. Don’t you love recruiters just a little bit more now?
  3. Expertise. Are you underpaid? Overpaid? Are you ready for a Sr role? Are your technical skills up to par? There are a number of questions that can help you make an informed decision when it comes to strategic career planning, and a recruiter is a great resource to utilize. They can help you find answers and ask questions that will guide you to the right job and the right steps to take in order to advance your career. Best of all, this information is free, unbiased and essential when determining your position and worth in today’s job market.
  4. End Game is the same. You and your recruiter have the same goal, and that is to make sure you are putting your best foot forward, meeting the right people, and hopefully getting you an ideal role that is a perfect fit for both you and your future employer. Their on your side. This leads me to point #5…
  5. Long-term ally. Let’s say you found a recruiter, you find a job (whether it was their role or not), and you are now perfectly content, remember this may not always be the case. Come 3-5 years down the line you may decide to try your hands at a new company/role again. Or you may spend the rest of your days in the company you are working for, but may need advice when it comes to compensation, employee rights, etc… You now have an ally that is there for you to utilize. Recruiters (meaning legitimate, professional recruiters) are in it for the long haul. They are in the business of building relationships with both candidates and clients, and making sure both parties are equally satisfied. Therefore you not only gain a new role, but you also gain an important ally to guide you through your current and future career path.

So the next time a recruiter calls you, you just might want to pick up the phone.

Posted in Recruitment | Leave a Comment »

The Counteroffer: Why and How to Avoid This Losing Proposition

Posted by sweens on April 26, 2012

Posted by Gregory Saukulak on April 25, 2012 at 4:28pm

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/the-counteroffer-why-and-how-to-avoid-this-losing-proposition

When an employee informs their supervisors of their resignation, they are sometimes confronted by what is known as a counteroffer – an employer’s “rebuttal” to the resignation in the form of a proposed salary increase or other perceived benefits

Many misinformed professionals have no hesitation in considering a counteroffer.  In fact, many will reason that a salary increase in their present position alleviates certain difficulties or concerns they have in their current role.   Additionally, submitting to the pressure of a counteroffer might simply feel like the easiest thing to do in an uncomfortable situation. For instance, the counteroffer may be incorrectly perceived as an easy way to acquire a monetary promotion and enables you to bypass the adjustments associated with transitioning to a new organization. In reality, although a counteroffer may seem like a tempting, even flattering quick fix for many employees, its acceptance should be avoided in order to protect your long-term career interests.  

If you are among those professionals who, following the announcement of your resignation would consider a counteroffer, you may want to reconsider your decision. The list below details the most important reasons why, once you have stated your decision to leave your current organization for a new opportunity, you should not back down, even if tempted by higher pay:

You’ve Wasted Your Time
You have already applied considerable effort in obtaining a better opportunity, motivated by some particular dissatisfaction within your current role. Why give that up? By accepting a counteroffer, the only “benefit” you’ll enjoy after all that effort is a higher salary. Meanwhile, you’ll remain unhappy with your manager, colleagues, responsibilities, the organization itself, or whatever it is that initially triggered your decision to leave.  And that higher salary may only be an upfront piece of any future raise you were going to get.  Thus, your future raises will probably be greatly diminished.

Professional Relationships Will Suffer
You are going to significantly tarnish your relationship with both your supervisors and managers. Management may feel as though you pressured them into offering a higher salary, especially if your continued employment with the firm was important to them for the accomplishment of certain key objectives.  As a result of these strained connections, you’ll be placed at a disadvantage in terms of receiving recommendations or referrals in the future.

Poor Implications for Promotions
The acceptance of a counteroffer implies that you are willing to take on additional responsibilities that you may be unprepared to handle. Unlike an organic promotion, your salary boost won’t be prompted by a display of outstanding performance or someone else’s resignation. Furthermore, you most likely won’t be considered by management for other promotions if the only way that you are able to obtain one is to admit that you have been offered a job at a higher salary.

You Won’t Be There Much Longer
Statistics show that employees who accept counter offers won’t remain in their current positions for more than one year.  In fact, according to US News, between 70 and 80 percent of those who take a counteroffer will leave the organization within nine months.  In this case, you’ll need to begin your job search all over again.

Now that you understand the rationale behind rejecting a counteroffer, you should know how to avoid the proposition in the first place. Before you even approach management to let them know that you are going to resign, you have to be absolutely grounded in your decision to take the offer at the new firm.  Any doubts will leave you vulnerable to the temptation of a counteroffer, so be sure to constantly remind yourself of why your decision to leave is the best path for your career. To solidify your decision about leaving your current position, put it in writing for management in the form of a resignation letter. The letter should include your intended last day with the firm, as well as a statement of the fact that your decision is final.  Finally, you must reiterate the definitiveness of your resignation in person. If the inevitable counteroffer is made, you can politely decline while stressing that the opportunity – not the salary – offered by the new position is best for your career.  

Clearly, the resignation process will sometimes be difficult for professionals given the frequent use of the counteroffer tactic by employers. The bottom line is that accepting this type of proposition will only amplify your original job dissatisfaction and lead to your eventual resignation or termination.

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