Archives for category: Management

So you have been looking for a new gig for a while and finally you find one that is worth checking out.  You get on LinkedIn and see if you know anyone in your network working there now or even in the past.  You find out the company is indeed a place you could see yourself in the future and continue to take the next steps.    You ask your colleague to make an introduction for you with the hiring manager and you also apply online through the company website.

All of this assumes of course you actually HAVE a LinkedIn profile which you have been building as well as the fact you are utilizing the relationships you have been cultivating.  If however, for some reason you have not then please let me know and I would be more than happy to assist you.

Well your colleague makes the introduction for you through LinkedIn and your previous experiences coupled with your complete LinkedIn profile land you a telephone interview with the hiring manager.  It’s only 30-45 minutes, but you are certain you will wow her and she will want you to come in and meet the rest of the team right away.  As with most telephone interviews, this is just to screen you to see if you would be a fit with the team, to make sure your skills on your resume all match up, and what type of personality you have.  This is often done by an internal recruiter, HR, or someone else, but since you showed the gumption to seek out the hiring manager she decides to perform the phone screen herself.

Right away you know you are moving on to the next stage in the process.  You did your research and aside from the colleague making the initial introduction, you tell the manager about the multiple similarities the two of you share which you found out by following her on Twitter.  You tell her how your background is a perfect match for what they are looking for and how you would be able to come in right away and make a difference and how much value you bring and this and that and everything else.  And on and on and on.

While all of this is ok in moderation, that is the magic word at this stage of the game.  MODERATION.  You may be very well suited to have an immediate impact. But how do you know exactly what this organization is looking for or even this particular group?  More than likely you know what they do and what they are looking for by the job description, but all too often even the hiring manager doesn’t TRULY know what is needed so chances are slim you have any clue at all!

Again, I am not against selling yourself to some degree, but just make sure you don’t over do it.  In fact, I encourage you to sell yourself!   Interviewing is about you selling yourself and your skills while the company sells themselves and the opportunity.  In theory.  And while many have the misconception that a great salesperson is someone that talks a lot, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  They DO talk a lot, but if they are doing it properly, they are asking questions or if they are answering questions, they are keeping it brief.  When you are talking the entire interview of course you think it went well.  As humans we love nothing more than to hear our own name and our own voice.  So if YOU are doing all of the talking you think everything is going well and you are a shoe in for the job.  Again, this is wrong.

Almost 100% of the time when someone calls me after their interview and tells me they aced it and they are certain it will go to the next level or they will get the job I know I need to find someone else to fill the position.  There are times where that isn’t the case, but it’s rare.  Confidence is great and all, but you spent the whole time talking and didn’t give the manager the chance to get to really know you and build rapport.  In sales (and interviews) building trust and rapport is so important that you can toss everything else out the window if you don’t have it.  That is why I say it’s great in moderation, but just make sure you are having a conversation, not a monologue.  Ask how she progressed to the current position.  What drew her to the company when she first started?  Something!  When you actually converse it allows you to uncover some of the needs possibly not mentioned on the job description which will allow you to speak of your unique attributes and how they relate to the position.

One of the main, if not THE main reason for speaking too much is being excited and/or nervous.  Trust me, I am quite guilty of this.  This is why the importance of practice interviews is a constant subject when performing searches on interview preparation.  By knowing what you are going to say, you are able to listen more and when the time is right sell your skills which will in turn enhance your chances to beat out the competition. 

So next time you finish up an interview, look back and ask yourself if you did all of the talking.  If your answer is “yes,” it may not be the best idea to start writing your two weeks notice.  If the answer is “no,” it’s still not the best idea to start writing your two weeks notice, but the odds will be stacked higher in your favor and you may be that much closer to your next great opportunity!

What do you think?  Have you been in this situation before or know someone who has? Please leave me some comments below and remember if there is anything I can do to help with any of this please let me know as I am more than happy to assist with the difficulties of the job search.

After the job report this morning, I think it is safe to say that if you are able to secure an interview with a company you better take full advantage of the situation.  In my world as a recruiter, I have come to expect the unexpected.  I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore by what I hear from interviews, but I do deal with people and well, people are unpredictable!

With that, I thought I would share with you a recent situation we encountered.  This candidate is interviewing for a higher level job, paying in the upper $100K range and would be working in a management capacity.  One would think to get to that level in your career you would have to have your head on straight and know what you are doing, as well as be able to read situations correctly and act accordingly.  One would think…

Describe your management style…


To which the candidate responded  – “My employees love me. I make sure they have cookies, and cake and happy hour and stuff like that all the time.”  (Granted, I am sure most of us would love that as well, it probably isn’t the best way to conduct yourself in an interview.)

There were other questions asking the candidate about situations and relating to the potential position, but there was also another where the potential employer asked the candidate to describe their dream job and to speak about their passion to which the candidate replied “I’d like to be a tour manager for a rock band.”  Again, I am sure the person was just being honest and that sounds like it could be a pretty fun job, but I doubt it was what the person giving the interview had in mind, especially coming from a person of such “high caliber.”
There were a couple other odd answers as well, but that is enough to help prove my point.  Even though the job market is slow in certain parts of the country and having the chance to interview doesn’t come nearly as often as you would like, it is one thing to be yourself, just keep it within reason.  You may feel this is your one and only shot to leave a lasting impression.  And it is.  You just want to make sure the impression you are leaving is a good one where you don’t come across as immature or crazy or any other negative feeling.

Do you know anyone with some “different” interview answers?  Leave them in the comments section below and share with the rest of us!

This is to all the managers, directors, C-level executives and anyone else with an interest in the company they own/work for.  If there is only 1 blog of mine which you read, make it this one.  I am here to help you avoid me.

Recruiter, talent acquisition specialist, headhunter, call me what you will, but at the end of the day, what I do is all the same in the eyes of most people.     I target the top talent in your company and I try to discover any source of dissatisfaction in their current working environment.  This usually doesn’t happen on the initial conversation, and it may take months before any true tidbits pop out, but they will.  It may just so happen that I call them on a Friday afternoon after they have an argument with you or you have dropped a bomb on them that the deadline for that project which once finished will give them the bonus they have been waiting for is now Monday morning and they may have to do some extra work over the weekend.  Jackpot!  Now that the plans for the weekend with the family have to be altered, other little instances which in the past were tolerable and minor at most now become larger than life.  This is where your top talent is now interested in learning more about coming on board to help build a new team in this company with cutting edge technology.

Meanwhile, you have already checked out for the weekend and made your way to the beach.  Sure you had some clients to meet on the way, but in all reality you were heading that way in the first place long before the appointment was set.

2-3 weeks ago, your top dog wouldn’t have even picked up the phone, now you may be doing some searching of your own on top of the fact that your special project probably won’t be receiving all the attention you had initially hoped.  Now with the abundant amount of information floating around and the ease at which someone can call or click and get an interview within no time it is more important than ever to make sure you are treating people in your organization from the bottom up with the respect they truly deserve.

Remember that huge lay off you had last year?  Dan (who was already overworked) had to pick up the slack for his three friends that you let go.  It was a tough decision I know, but you just had to do it.  Dan felt lucky you kept him and kept trudging along telling himself that since he is doing the work of 4+ people, he will be rewarded for it once things turn around.

Well it has now been a full year since you let Dan’s friends go and they have since found new, better jobs  making better money than they were before on top of a better work life balance.  That’s what everyone wants these days right?  Well it’s what Dan wants at least and seeing his friends have it while he does his work plus what they used to really is getting to him.  It may sound like Dan is out the door already, but if you get there before he does you may have a chance of stopping him.

It’s no secret money talks, but it might be a secret that money isn’t always loudest.  Lifestyle (flexible hours, work-at-home etc.), training and development, career tracks and promotion are other major factors people consider when checking out what their counterparts are up to these days.

How is that budget coming along now that things are picking up?  Dan has done a great job carrying the extra weight and your department now is swimming with their head above the water again.  How about a little bonus, or even better, a salary bump for ‘ol Dan’s efforts?  Maybe even a free flex day?  Are you back on track to hire someone else? Did Dan want to be in management someday?  This would be a great time to bring in someone for him to mentor.

Being able to do this would of course mean you need to know your employee’s and what makes them tick.  Let’s say you don’t.  I can still possibly save you.  Do you have a LinkedIn account?  How about Twitter?  Facebook?  Are you connected to Dan on any/all of the above?  For simplicity sake we are going to say you are connected via LinkedIn.

I watch LinkedIn like a hawk.  You know those updates that come across your screen every time you log on? “Mike updated his experience.”  “Sharron updated her education.”  “Becky updated her expertise.”  Yes, it is possible and actually probable that Mike has more experience today than he did yesterday, but it’s highly unlikely that is what he is updating.  Couple avenues here for Sharron as she possibly added her education to expand her network to people with whom she went to school.  (To network!) And maybe Becky DID just complete her 10,000th hour of work and truly IS an expert.  Again, lets just say that none of these people did just gain anything, in fact they had it all along.

A great way to be found for a particular job is to have the same title as your target position.  If I wanted to move on as a recruiter, that would be my title.  Headhunter, same thing.  As I mentioned, it is all the same most of the time and can just change from company to company.

So let’s say you notice Dan has updated his LinkedIn profile.  You look at his production and the past couple weeks it has dropped a little.  You know he is working night and day and you know he is underpaid for the work he does.  Chances are if he is updating his profile he is already contemplating checking out.  If you truly value him and want to keep him, RIGHT NOW would be the best time to look into one of the above mentioned perks.   Big or small may not even make a difference.  What WILL make a difference is you noticing his efforts.

This is a case where “a little can go a long way.” As long as you are sincere.
On top of updates in profile, new connections to competing companies may be a sign your top gun is about to take flight.

Right now more than ever is time to recognize what REALLY makes your company successful and that is the people.  More often than not, people don’t leave companies, they leave people.  If someone had to take on more responsibility or their job title has changed up a little bit, now would be a great time to make sure they are happy with their present situation.

To me it makes no difference, but I did say I was here to help.  If you don’t call Dan that’s fine because I sure will!

Did this hit close to home?  Leave a comment below and tell me about it!