Category Archives: Career Transitions

Job Searching Is Like a Pinata…

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Interview Confusion; HR Questions Gone Awry

Interviews CAN be an opportunity to network…
However, they can also be an opportunity for a company to gain a new customer or keep an existing customer.
I look at interviews as an opportunity to network and stay relevant in my industry.   I was contacted by a well-known Seattle based tech company for consideration of a sourcer position in their corporate headquarters.
My name was referred to this HR Manager by a professional contact. I didn’t apply to the position but agreed to interview.  The only caveat was that I interviewed without the benefit of an accurate job description or  job posting to refer to.
I interviewed with the HR Manager for 20-minutes via phone and his interview questions (in order) were:
“What makes you a good recruiter”.
“What areas of recruiting are your strongest”  (after stating: “no one is good in all areas of recruiting”).
“What was your worst hire”
“What was your best hire”
“Why do you want to work for … (company) “
“Do you have connections at (company name) “
“What have you been doing since February 2009; since WaMu”
“Has ALL your work with Job Spot Seattle and WoVEN been pro bono?”
“Based on what we’re looking for, you’re not going to be a fit for this position.”
He didn’t ask about my experience with and/or methods used to:
  • Measure my recruiting process
  • Track rates of quality hires
  • Determine time-to-fill metrics
  • Identify bottlenecks
  • Improve recruiting and hiring processes
  • Gather data sets for reports
  • Report and analyze data
The above questions would have extracted “measurable” responses.
His questions weren’t focused on extracting experience levels related to: “analytic” “metrics-driven” “data-driven” “numbers and results oriented” and “the ability to convey a market mastery”.  Most importantly, these are not in the job description.

So… What was this HR Manager is looking for? 

Based on his feedback, he was looking for a Sr. Recruiter not a Sourcer.

When I asked for feedback on his determination of “fit” he said

“There are 1000’s of good recruiters out there” and I wasn’t qualified* because I “didn’t show the ability to convey a market mastery backed by facts and data” nor did I “set [myself] apart” from other “good recruiters”.

*These disqualifying requirements were not in the job description, nor did he ask questions that would require such responses.

He said he was looking for an “Sourcer to develop into a recruiter, senior recruiter or staffing manager” … someone who is “analytic, metric driven, numbers focused, and results oriented”. Someone with “proof” of how “good a recruiter they are”

I’ve been a Recruiter and a Sr. Recruiter, among many other things.  Maybe he didn’t read my resume.  Either way, I was almost offended.  But didn’t allow myself to take it personal.

I would not refer anyone from my network to this company or to him because the experience was not positive.

When you contact someone about an opportunity in your organization and they haven’t applied, nor have you provided them with an accurate job description, these types of questions and  judgements are un-called for.

HR, Recruiters & Sourcers should consider each candidate a potential customer.   Even if they are a “fellow recruiter”.

Based on my experience, I wouldn’t do business with this company in the future, either as a job seeker or a customer.

Readers:  What are your thoughts?

If You Can Get a Date, You Can Get an Interview…

If you can get a date, you can get an interview.  If you can get an interview, you can get a job!

Have you ever had a date progress to a long-term relationship or marriage?

Think back; how did you meet that person –  how did it progress to dating?

Likely, its attributed to being available and receptive.

The same is true for getting an interview or job.  Opportunities don’t present themselves unless you make yourself available and receptive to them.

When coaching clients, I often compare interviewing to dating and jobs to committed relationships and marriage.   Dating can result in committed relationships and/or marriage.  Interviews can result in jobs.

The dating best practices found in the previous link are nearly identical to these job search and interview best practices:

1.   Stay positive, regardless of the outcome. Every interaction is an opportunity.  If the interview doesn’t result in a job, that’s ok.  The more you interview, the better you become at interviewing.   Its a learning experience.

2.   Look your best. Wear what makes you most confident and makes you look your best.  Do your hair, shave, trim your nails and tone down jewelry and fragrances.

3.   Relax and have fun.   Enjoy yourself.  Don’t force an outcome. Having a sense of entitlement or expecting something to result from the interview creates tension and can lead to hurt feelings.   Consider each interview a networking opportunity.

4.  Compliment. Within reason.  Don’t try to hard.  You could end up looking desperate or insincere.

5.   Be interesting and engaging. Stay knowledgeable about relevant news and events of interest to your industry or target company. Build rapport and find out what the other person enjoys doing.

6.   Be honest and forthcoming. With a caveat:  Don’t give too much away. Answer what’s asked of you, then stop.  As in dating,  its not time to share your life story or detail why you’re leaving your job.  Don’t scare them away.

7.  Plan Ahead and be timely. Who’s the interviewer?  What’s their background?  Research the company and their role in the company.  Make sure you have the right address and print the driving directions, job description and your resume the night before.  Your internet could go down the day of the interview!  Give yourself travel and parking time.  Don’t be late.

8.  Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. Give and get support by networking with other job-seekers, encourage each other, share leads, share tips, share challenges, exchange ideas and learning opportunities!

Whether searching for dates or jobs, you’ve probably registered on dating websites and job sites.   Though helpful in your efforts, alone, they won’t get you noticed in a sea of available fish.  It takes more than just a website to make things happen.

When you make meeting new people a priority, you improve your odds immensely.    (click the link for tips on meeting new people)

How do you “Get a Date, Get an interview… Get a job?”  Get out there and make yourself available and receptive to new opportunities.

As Always, Happy Networking!

Terry

Oh, Social Media! LinkedIn Network, Now “Followers”

Copy Cats (my cat)


Did I miss the memo? I must have, because my Linkedin “network”  has changed to “followers”.  I noticed today, while scrolling my groups “members” tab.

Maybe I just didn’t see it before, but I’m sure I would have.  It would have been nice to get a “heads-up” before changes were made.

At least Facebook hasn’t jumped on the “follower” bandwagon… I checked today; my “friends” are still “friends”… that’s a relief!

Don’t get me wrong, followers are fabulous! I’m a follower of many on Twitter; celebrities, social media moguls, stores, brands, sports teams, companies, and average people with random or entertaining tweets.

But Let’s Be Real: @ChrisPirillo @Ellen_Degeneres, @ChrisBrogan, @AplusK or @LadyGaga don’t consider me part of their “trusted, professional network” just because I’m one of thousands (and thousands) of followers.

That being said, my followers aren’t all a part of my “trusted, professional network”, but who cares… I’m not on Twitter to “build a professional network” … I’m on Twitter to “tweet”!

My LinkedIn Network is relationships developed over many years; a trusted network, built from in-person, and/or mutually professional interactions.  In my opinion, the term “followers” dilutes the value of a professional network, something LinkedIn built its brand on.

About.com ‘s Definition of Followers: “Followers are the people who have agreed to receive your Tweets through Twitter. If you add someone else to the list of people you read, you “follow” them. Popularity on Twitter is often measured by the number of followers a person has.”

Is LinkedIn about Popularity? I think not. I don’t wantpopularity” on LinkedIn; I want to be a valuable and respected networking resource for my connections.

Like Twitter, Linkedin has its place; I use both for different reasons.  It’s pointless (and confusing) that Linkedin adopted a term that makes Twitter uniquely appealing to its users.

That’s just me, anyone else care to chime in?

Happy Networking!

Terry

Tweet Jobs & Social Media w/Terry

My LinkedIn Profile

World Map of Social Media Networks; Why Should You Care? Because Its Your Privacy

Techcrunch.com featured the  “World Map Of Social Networks Shows Rise Of Facebook” article on its site today.  

The article, with its brightly colored graphics and corresponding map legend, caught my immediate interest. 

The article took me off task from posting my planned blog post, “Are You Too Networked“, but I’ll get that posted soon.   …

Social Media and Social Networking Sites allow you to “meet” people you wouldn’t otherwise have met.   

It’s easy to feel comfortable when networking online and common to feel like you “know” and can trust who you network with.  On some levels, you probably can.  

Looking at the World Map of Social Networks, shows the depth and potential of strangers with access to your data.

The article and detailed map, released today on http://www.techcrunch.com, shows the “depth” and reach online social networks have across the globe.   http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/21/world-map-social-networks/

There are risks when networking reaches this magnitude.  To avoid potential “security & privacy risks” use common sense safety precautions. 

One suggestion: don’t share your private/personal data unless you know who you’re sharing it with.  

On a side note, Twitter allows users to have multiple accounts with different user-names.   (a point to ponder).

Want To Protect Your Identity & Privacy on Social Networking Sites?  Take a few of these precautions.  They may seem rash, but could help protect your privacy. 

Do Not Disclose or Use Your:

Birthdate

Home or Work Address.  Use a location central to your area

Work, Home and/or Cell Phone Numbers (I use my Google Voice Number instead)

Primary e-mail (especially if it includes your name or birthday year etc)

Specific dates, ie., dates and times of vacation or business travel

Mother’s Maiden Name, Spouse or Significant other’s Full Name, and/or their Places of Employment

Family Names, Children and/or Next of Kin Full Names

Drivers License or Social Security Number

ID Card Style AvatarsPhotos like those on State or Government issued ID Cards.   In other words, make it hard for identity thieves to create a convincing / real-looking fake ID. 

Additional resources:

Each Social Networking site has its own Privacy Policy Page.  Read and understand it before joining.  

Registering for membership on a site isn’t as serious as applying for credit or filling out an employment application. 

Ask yourself;  Do they really “need” all that personal information?   

I’m not an online security and risk prevention professional, but I’ve safely used online social media since 1998.  

I also draw from my past military training when navigating the social media landscape.

For more info, check out this article on protecting your privacy: http://www.businessknowhow.com/security/opsec.htm 

Stay Safe & Happy Networking!

Terry

http://twitter.com/Twitr_Recruiter

http://www.Job-Spot-Seattle.com/

To Pay or Not to Pay? I Say “Not” … Would You Pay For a Job?

LBLI’ve seen a recent trend in job-seekers paying search firms and/or recruiters for job-placement and even job fair attendance.

Although it’s an “employers market”, I strongly advise against paying for placement.

In my 13+ years as a Recruiter (Agency, Executive & Corporate) and Business Development Manager, none of my “competitors” or peers has charged fees to job-seekers. The most reputable search firms, placement agencies and recruiters charge the company, not the job-seeker.

“Paying for placement” and/or job fair attendance is an unwelcome fad, resulting from a poor economy. In my opinion, it shouldn’t become the “norm”.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

I recently read and highly recommend the book: “Laid Off, Laid Low; Political and Economic Consequences of Employment Insecurity. Available at Amazon.com

Happy Networking!

Terry
Job Spot Seattle
“I’m Tweeting Jobs & Resume’s” – Tweet with me!
Job Spot Seattle; “Seattle’s Online Job Network Since 2005”
Job Spot Website
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This question is also posted on LinkedIn Questions

What’s In It For Them? Your Next Employer, That is…

Out of work or looking for a better job? Times have changed dramatically when it comes to landing a great job with a great company.

Not long ago, it was an employee’s market, when sometimes all you needed was a personal connection or referral.

Now, its an employers market. For example, just today, I saw a job posting for a Sales Support Representative. The first requirment on the list of qualifications was a Bachelors Degree.

This is just one example of how the current job market benefits employers. With so many people “looking”, employers can afford to be highly selective when it comes to applicants.

Gone are the days when a company must broaden the pool of applicants it considers or rush to make an offer for fear of losing the “top” (and sometimes only) candidate to a competitor.

Not so long ago, it was common for Candidates & Job-Seekers to ask employers: “What’s in it for me?” Perks/Benefits, Sign On Bonus, Equity, Counter-offers, etc.

The tables have turned and now employers want to know what’s in it for them if they should decide to hire you.

What can you do? Don’t give up! Think about what you bring to the table and sell those skills to your employer of choice.

If you don’t know where to start, this article offers some great tips: Need a Job?

Happy Networking!

Terry
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Job Spot Seattle & Job Spot West Coast

WoVEN; Women Veterans Empowerment Network

Related Websites:
Job-Spot-Seattle
WoVEN
Job Spot Seattle on Yahoo!
Job Spot West Coast on Yahoo!

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