job description

Exploring the Undiscovered Career Move

There was a piece in USN&WR citing a career consultant who urged employees to always be on the lookout for new opportunities even those who are happy in their job and well paid. Unfortunately, across various fields of marketing communications, job security is rare. How rare? About as rare as chicken’s teeth. Good people find themselves laid off for reasons beyond their control and, typically, not for lack of performance.

As recruiters, we always look first to the people who are happy, successful and not actively looking for their next opportunity. These are considered by many as highly desirable “A” players. When asked, most CEO’s say when moving through the hiring and interviewing process, they look first for character and integrity because those are traits you can’t teach. And, those traits are shared by the people who are better adept at dealing with a steep learning curve.

So, you “A” players, the next time you get a call from a recruiter, it might be worth a few minutes to listen and learn about the offering. Who knows, it could change your life and, it only takes a minute or less to reply, “I’m not interested at this time but, let’s stay in touch”.

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SAVE THE DAY

It’s very frustrating for a professional recruiter to be called in to “save the day” tasked to find a new hire in an extremely short period of time after an internal search failed to produce any acceptable candidates. Professionals are good at what they do is because they take the necessary time and effort to conduct a thorough search and that doesn’t happen overnight. The most desirable candidates are usually gainfully employed and are not looking for other opportunities.

To find top candidates we start every search with a “blank page” not simply relying our extensive data base. To fill the “blank page” we conduct a thorough needs analysis discussion with the hiring manager and anyone else involved in the hiring decision to fully understand the ideal candidate’s profile covering both soft and hard skills.

So the next time you hear or are tempted to say, “We’ve never had any luck using recruiters” or “We can do what you do so you’re not worth the money” consider this. It’s true, there are bad recruiters out there just like any other profession but the good ones know their value and earn appropriate and fair fees. Most of the elite members of the executive search profession have a solid business education defined by years of experience, continue to be trained in new search methodologies and are dedicated to professional excellence.

We’d like to think that PointClear Search is included in that group.

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

social-media

The December 4th issue of the New York Times carried an article by Patrick Gillooly in the Sunday Business section entitled “Why You Need Social Media” Mr. Gillooly puts forth the proposition that a well executed social media strategy is critical for career advancement. Full disclosure: he is Director of Digital Communications and Social Media for the career site Monster and he openly admits his bias.

Reading this article made me question my own preconceived notions. As a recruiter, I live and die by LinkedIn. I use Facebook for keeping up with an array of non-business friends and relatives across the country. So when I think this is a common practice in the business world, I am extrapolating from a sample of one. And don’t get me started on Twitter.

I think Mr. Gillooly makes a good point when he says that excluding yourself from social media means you may not be staying on top of the opinions and workings of people who can have a very dramatic impact on your life and career. By embracing social media, we can create career opportunities from simply expanding our networks, improving our knowledge and exposing ourselves to jobs we may not have otherwise considered.

So, please join me in taking the first step. Go to https://www.facebook.com/roger.tremblay.1690?fref=ts and take a moment to like my company page https://www.facebook.com/PointClearSearch/?pnref=lhc

I guess even us old dogs can learn new tricks.

Happy New Year,

Roger Tremblay

 

Time To Get Serious About Hiring.

BigBen

This week THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ran a piece in the Personal Journal section titled “The Six-Month Job Interview – The Hiring Game: Surviving The Job-Interview Marathon”

The article described, in detail, the long, drawn-out process that some employers put prospective candidates through before they are hired.  From this recruiters point of view, some of it certainly makes sense but, much of it is just plain poor business practice. In the marketing communications space where we work, the reality is that the demand for top-tier talent far outstrips the supply – it’s a buyer’s market!

On more than one occasion this year, after being thoroughly vetted by us, PCS delivered a really top candidate to the client for an initial interview.  The interview goes well, there is a promise of a second round of interviews with, perhaps multiple participants, and then the whole process drags on for days, weeks and, sometimes, months.  Perhaps scheduling multiple interviewers is difficult, maybe the daily demands of the company require immediate attention or, heaven help us, the hiring manager and the HR manager have a different opinion on the urgency of filling the position.

But, the end result is always the same: the candidate gets frustrated and tired of waiting, has other suitors who act quickly and accepts another job.  As a result of feet dragging our client loses out on a potential valuable employee.  We go back to square one. And, the former future star possibly has a less than favorable opinion of “Glacially Slow, Inc.”.

Most of the companies we deal with say, “our people are our most valuable asset”.  You would never know it from their hiring approach.

How Do I Know I’m Working With The Right Recruiter?

Innovation

As a candidate I’ve worked with some very talented recruiters. I’ve also had conversations with recruiters who were clearly only working for themselves. From a candidate’s perspective here are five questions you should ask yourself.

1. Is the initial conversation with the recruiter focused on you, your career goals and needs or, is the recruiter hard selling the job he/she is trying to fill?
2. Does the job presented by the recruiter fit your personal and career goals? Does it fulfill your immediate and long-term needs?
3. Can the recruiter provide meaningful insights into his or her client company’s business model, culture, leadership, and competitive advantage (verses he/she lazily directing you to the client’s website suggesting you “check ‘em out and let me know what you think”)?
4. Has the recruiter set realistic expectations with you about the steps in the hiring process and timing?
5. Are you receiving regular communications regarding your status in the hiring process? And, timely replies to your inquiries?

If your answers are “yes” you’re working with someone with a genuine interest in furthering your career. Congratulations!

2016 Resolutions

 

I resolve to do a better job for my clients by:

  • Learning as much as possible about my client’s company and culture.
  • Forwarding as many exceptional candidates as the market provides.
  • Telling my clients what they need to hear as opposed to what I think they want to hear.

I resolve to do a better job for my candidates by:

  • Learning as much about my candidate’s character and integrity as their experience and skill set.
  • Keeping them in the loop on the hiring process with regular communications.
  • Providing them with realistic expectations and thorough preparation for interviews.

And, I resolve to continue to ALWAYS tell the absolute truth to both parties.

Get Professional. Start Your Career.

Character vs Tech Knowledge

Lately I’ve received a number of referrals looking to break into anything digital. After reviewing a bunch of resumes and checking out social media profiles here’s my response to a young, honors graduate from a top tier Boston area private university, currently working in finance and planning to relocate to NYC.

Dear Candidate,

Here’s some advice (listed below in no particular order of importance).
LinkedIn
• Grow your contacts
• Replace your photo with a professional head-shot
• Add your resume’s narrative to each job emphasizing results, milestones, innovations, etc.
• Ask employers and associates for recommendations – important!
• Include any fraternal, athletic or college associations noting leadership positions
• Add professional groups that reflect your career objectives
• Add individuals to follow – again reflecting career interests or leadership qualities that you expect to emulate
Your Resume
• Add any volunteer experience – current or past (should also be included on LinkedIn)
• Education – your resume and LinkedIn don’t match. Edit to match
Your Career – I’m going to assume you’re interested in all things digital, right? OK, so I suggest considering the following:
• Start with leader companies – places that offer internal training, mentoring and rapid career advancement – the start-ups will always be around and for every story about hitting it big with a start-up there’s scores of untold failures.
• Think about where you’d like to be 2-3 jobs from now. Find some folks who have those jobs – reach out, tell them you’re green and would like to buy them coffee just to learn what they know and how they got to where they are now. Sometimes magic happens.
• Consider Internships if you’re not fixed on a specific job type. Try to get those that pay (important for NYC living) and offer a duration of 6 months (takes 90 days to find the water closet).
• Join NYC groups and associations that reflect your career interests. Network. People will recommend those they like for jobs in their company (sometimes they earn a bonus for recommending new hires)
• Get involved – volunteer – another great networking environment plus it makes you feel good and keeps Karma happy
• If digital is your passion check with the Interactive Advertising Bureau for information on earning certifications that align with your interests and the marketplace. Sign-up, study, and get certified.
Social Media – make certain all social media reflects the professional you – you can certainly be fun loving, active, etc. but ditch the stuff you might not want to explain to your Grandmother or clergy.

I’m confident anyone reading this might have a suggestion or two so keep the advice flowing. Might just add a few Karma credits!

Do Resumes Matter Any More?

Steve Jobs

 

Each week we receive and review scores of resumes. Remember the 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film starring Clint Eastwood? “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. That title describes today’s resumes.

To limit the bad and the ugly remember a resume reflects education, experience and occasionally skills. Be certain to align this chapter of your story with social media including LinkedIn. Hiring managers scour LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, which reflects what you believe is worth sharing about yourself. Are they reflecting the real you? Is the message positive and consistent?

What matters to hiring managers is personality, intelligence and drive. Are you driven to use your brains to acquire the knowledge that will assure your success and help grow the organization? Are you someone who earns respect among peers, clients and management? Culturally will you fit in?

What, in addition to a well-crafted resume, does one need to get in front of the hiring manager (and, past the gatekeepers)?

Consider telling your story with a short, well-written semi-biographical narrative. How did you overcome a huge hurdle? How do you lead? How do you deal with opposing views? What passion is behind seeking the next career move?

A great narrative separates you from the crowd, wins the interview and leads to the all-important chemistry question. Is this the job I can’t wait to start every morning? And, from the hiring manager’s view, is this someone I want to spend 8 plus hours with five days a week?

So, write a great resume, make certain social media reflects the real you and then tell a story that piques the interest of your potential next boss.

Help Wanted!

https://i0.wp.com/photos.gograph.com/thumbs/CSP/CSP409/k4094448.jpg

All job descriptions are not created equal. Many are written by HR managers who are not always in sync with the needs of the hiring manager. Many are the classic definition of a camel: a horse designed by a committee. Often they are a “wish list” of what several stakeholders want in the future employee. But every once in a while, we see a job description that is short and to the point. It includes a brief bio on the company, the job requirements and what the expectations are both short and long term. All good recruiters, after seeing a job description, will have a discussion with the hiring manager about what is needed in the optimal candidate. This Needs Analysis is usually a fairly lengthy conversation about what attributes a candidate must have in order to be considered by his/her future manager.

Last week I had the pleasure of talking to a hiring manager who was able to articulate exactly what he was looking for in a candidate. When I asked him what are the three most important qualities he wanted the prospective hire to have, he was able to spit them out without hesitation in clear, simple language. I left that meeting thinking to myself, “I wish they could all be
that way.”

Writing job descriptions is usually an acquired skill. It’s not taught in most business schools. But, the necessity of producing a job description that will attract the best candidates as well as position the company in a positive way is paramount to a firm’s strategy of assembling human capital who will achieve the long term objectives of the organization.