PointClear Search

Clever Wordsmithing or Just Cause?

 

Read a headline that said something like brands need to worry about culture share suggesting market share was old school. A second headline stating results from the World Value Index asks consumers how aware they were of a brand’s purpose, whether they cared about and supported that purpose, and whether or not purpose motivated them to support the brand. Enso, began the survey in 2016 and only one brand (Amazon) enjoyed a top 10 rank sharing the other 9 spots with non-profits. No surprise there.

As an independent recruiter my firm begins the process learning as much as we can about the client, her/his company, and what makes its products/services valuable to consumers/buyers. Purpose and culture share have been subsets of that initial needs analysis.

It’s clear the time has come to modify the analysis digging deeper to understand the client’s purpose and, importantly, management’s commitment to that purpose. When the going gets tough – like a sharp economic downturn will management hold purpose or make sacrifices to “protect” the bottom-line?

As you read this how much value do you put on your current employer’s purpose and will purpose be a criterion for selecting your next gig?

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Unfilled Employment 2018

 

According to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for 2018 these 100 companies have 160,000 unfilled jobs.

As you know when the Bureau of Labor Statistics announces unemployment approaching 4 percent most economists believe the actual number currently looking for work is closer to zero. So, what happens? Bloomberg News reporters discovered that employers found ways to cope with tight labor markets and still make money. Businesses have pulled in workers from the sidelines – including retirees, immigrants, and the homeless – and retooled processes to use less labor.

I’m guessing, after a quick look around your company, there’s still some empty chairs and maybe a few folks have chucked retirement returning as contract workers but, nothing as radical as the Bloomberg folks discovered, right?

We all know what happens with chairs remain empty for too long. Missed deadlines. Sloppy customer service. Extra hours. Maybe that end of week-tired feeling creeping into Wednesday?

I’m a recruiter so my next statement will sound a bit self-serving. (I’m also someone who spent over three decades in management and filling empty chairs was a priority because empty chairs equal loss in revenue.) If you’re dealing with any of the above-mentioned malaise your management is letting you and your organization down. Get up from your chair, march into the top-dog’s office and ask/demand to know what’s being done to fill the open positions.

If using external recruiters isn’t part of the conversation mention PointClear Search. See, I told you, self-serving and in this instance you’re the “self”.

Manchee@PointClearSearch.com or Roger@PointClearSearch.com

Is Communication Killing Productivity?

 

Before the days of internet driven non-stop, instant communications my employer, WSJ, engaged with Xerox to improve listening skills believing if we became proficient in actually hearing what was being said productivity would increase. And, it did. For some more than others but that’s another story.

I read today around 1/3 of the workforce is so overwhelmed by their company’s communication’s tools they’re thinking of quitting their jobs. Management acknowledges significant loss in revenue to due to missed or poor internal communications – over three billion dollars in annual profits from wasted time alone!

The Dynamic Signal study found that most workers (51 percent) do not feel properly informed by their company, ultimately feeling disconnected (57 percent), unhappy (33 percent) and not valued (76 percent) for their work, resulting in workplace departures.
Being able to listen to others is imperative in the communication process. This means not only listening with your ears, but also being able to comprehend what the person is saying. And receiving confirming feedback.

I’m a recruiter so helping companies find talent is my job but none of us in this profession want to deal with a workforce incapable of managing communications. To management I’d suggest immediately setting basic communications guidelines holding department heads accountable. To HR leadership I suggest all exit interviews probe for this issue reporting progress to senior management. To those faced with a wide array of tools, time demands and that awful feeling of having missed something really important don’t quit but do demand management deliver a workable fix.

A workable fix could be as easy as (a) severely limiting using the annoying, “reply all” response, (a) taking a few minutes each morning before opening one’s computer to make a prioritize TO DO list and, the really tough one, ignoring the internal chatter.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Working for Fun

Let’s say you’re earning over $300k. Again, in the New Year, your quota was raised so to make the same this year you need to sell $360k. Company offers competitive benefits like unlimited paid vacation (on a modest base) and open-bar Fridays. Account Services is on top of their game but are increasingly spread thin putting more pressure on keeping promises and delivering on time.

So, you looked at your 2017 calendar and tax return only to discover some enlightening facts. Like, after taxes, your earnings were $160k. Over the course of this job you’ve had 3 managers and the company has had two senior level house cleanings. Across 52 work weeks you managed 12 days’ vacation and 12 holidays including Cinco de Mayo.

Here’s where the data tells the real story. You average 12.5 hours working each day not counting commuting: 236 days X 12.5 hours = 2950 hours/year roughly equal to $55 per hour after taxes. Now, go find the last plumber or electrician’s bill and take a look at their hourly fee.

Since educator’s salaries are a hot news topic did you know a secondary school administrator in Silver Springs, MD hourly mean average pay is $53.41 according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017)? If you’ve read this far and your head is exploding consider having that intro chat with the next recruiter who reaches out and take the conversation beyond money. You might discover there’s some exciting aspects to living with a company you’ve never considered.

Be Curious

Read a piece earlier today about Amazon’s hiring process. You know Amazon – that, “Work hard. Have fun. Make history.” first company (beating Apple!) to reach a $1 trillion market cap. What struck me was the company’s attraction to candidates who are “scrappy in how they solve problems”. Good advice for any company hoping to survive the next market disruption.

Beyond being scrappy Amazon also recommends that the candidate stays open-minded and curious about opportunities at Amazon. For me that’s the “bingo” moment for any candidate hoping to stand out from the crowd of other candidates. Ask great questions. As my business partner says, “Great questions trump poor answers”. And, honest curiosity may open new doors that lead to an even better career move.

Rehires Rock

We all know companies that have a policy prohibiting hiring someone who previously worked for the company. The policy doesn’t address the reason for leaving but, unless there was a serious ethical or legal issue (firing for cause ), people usually leave for one of two reasons: Better opportunity for professional and financial growth or with growing frequency, because they hate their boss. Both reasons are easy to understand and/or identify with.

Let’s consider a couple of good reasons to hire a “boomerang” candidate especially if no bridges were burned when they walked out the door. What really happened? Someone leaves to learn new skills or develop their potential. And if they went to a competitor, they’ve gained a greater understanding of the marketplace. These boomerangs bring a lot to the party if management is open-minded about the possibility of their returning.

Given the current tightness of the talent marketplace that most companies are facing, does a policy of “You can never come back” really make sense?

By Roger Tremblay

A Routine of Good Habits

One of my favorite people, even though we’ve never met, is Doris Kearns Goodwin. She’s a history wiz, a brilliant writer and, in this fake news galaxy, knows how to give a fair and honest interview by sticking to the facts and alerting her audience when expressing an opinion. I read a short piece in Fast Company about how she manages her day and the good habits that contribute to her success and happiness. So I thought I share because who wouldn’t like a better day of good habits built on a simple routine?
Ms. Goodwin rises early – around 5:00 AM – just like most Navy Seals, and uses the time to write and take notes. No TV, no email, and no distractions. Around 9:00 AM she takes a simple breakfast with her husband before checking email and making for a productive day. In the evening she follows FDR’s WWII, “no talk of war cocktail hour” infused with trivia, or live music – anything to refresh and recharge. Before bed she spends a few minutes reading mysteries which help clear her mind and relax.
If she’s on a plane or train it’s, in her thinking, a wonderful, uninterrupted time to “get things done”. And she does. For her, as it was for Teddy Roosevelt, procrastination is a mortal sin. If she starts to put things off she simply thinks of Teddy. I’m adopting this!
I’ll end with her note taking routine – she states Abraham Lincoln was a tireless note-taker who attributed much of his Gettysburg Address to a collection of notes gathered from his roll-top desk.
So, what’s my point? I’m not suggesting everyone should follow Ms. Goodwin’s routine. Perhaps adopting note taking, or early morning uninterrupted creative time might work for you? The point is if you feel a little out of kilter perhaps a simple routine adjustment will make things right. Let me know how it works.

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”.

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.

Don’t Do This On Your Next Interview

stupidity-3

CareerBuilder.com recently polled human resources pros and hiring managers to compile their annual list of interview quirks and missteps committed by candidates in the past year. Here are this year’s “winners” in which a candidate:

Called his wife to ask her if the starting salary was enough before continuing the interview.

Brought childhood toys to the interview.

Said her hair was perfect when asked why she should become part of the team.

Bragged about being in the local newspaper for alleged theft.

Ate a pizza he brought with him.

Ate crumbs off the table.

Asked where the nearest bar was located.

Invited the interviewer to dinner afterwards.

Stated that if the interviewer wanted to get to heaven, she should hire him.

Asked the interviewer why her aura didn’t like her.

Hard to believe, huh? Well, everyone who interviews a lot of people has similar stories. Some even more ridiculous than these.

PEOPLE, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Last week I received feedback on a candidate who was clearly qualified for the position but proceeded to spend the majority of the time talking about what the next opportunity in the company might be. Needless to say, the hiring manager who had an immediate need was not impressed. Chalk up another one for millennial entitlement and self-absorption.

We can and do prepare candidates for interviews. It’s in our interest to do so after we determine a candidate has the experience and skill set for a position and we judge them to be a good cultural fit.

However, sometimes there’s just no accounting for stupidity.