Archive for the Hiring Managers Category

Every Hire Is A Miracle

Posted in Confidence, Hiring Managers, Hiring Trends, Interviewing, Job Search, Motivation, Networking, Recruiter, Rejection, Uncategorized on February 9, 2010 by jcsicareerassist
Your Resume Has To Get Through Here

Your resume is in here

As you can see, it has been a month since our last blog post.  Let this be a sign for those of you on the job market that better days are coming.  We have been working on some hard to fill positions that did not allow me to complete some of the blog posts that I have started.  This post was one of them.  The inspiration for the title came from the fact  that behind the scenes of every job posting, there exists  a complete network that is constantly expanding and contracting, bringing in people and releasing them all in an effort to make the right fit.

Many of you will agree that navigating today’s job market is a mystery. With so many avenues to potentially connect with employers, how can one know which one will bring the results they are looking for? Do you rely on your recruiter, the job boards, and social media or do you stick to your network? And what if you don’t really know how to network? With so much to think about it’s hard to see how anyone gets hired even when the economy is good.

Well the fact is, even if you are the best interviewer in the world and mastered every one of the above mentioned tools and techniques, finding a job is still a miracle when you examine it. Much like the “Butterfly Effect“,  a job opening that ultimately matures into a filled position depends on certain conditions. Most people assume that just because a postion is posted somewhere it means that it will be filled.  This is not always the case.  Unless, the position is open to replace someone who left a mission critical role, many positions are created for other reasons such as anticipated growth, consolidation of functions, or to be solution providers for areas that require some form of process improvement. 

In order to get approval for a requisition, a hiring manager has to make the case that this new role is critical to achieving the goals set forth by the leadership.  Once this is done, they must create a job description to assist them in finding someone that they are not even sure exists. The search ensues using every available resource.  Throughout this time they will receive many resumes.  Some resumes will be close and some will be quite a departure from the criteria.  In the meantime they must interview potential candidates as well as keep the department running.  Each hour that they are interviewing for the right candidate is an hour that they are potentially losing production time or having to work later.

As the process is moving forward there may be several changes made to the requirements, offers can be made and declined, and projections may change based on market fluctuations.  All these behind the scenes situations are directly affecting whether or not a candidate is hired or even interviewed for that matter. Meanwhile many candidates who are unaware that all of this is going on are wondering why they never heard anything back from their online application submission.

Ultimately, most positions are created to keep money and time from being lost or to bring more money in while cutting the time it takes to create the product or service offering.  That means if an organization can figure out a way to get the job done with the resources they have on hand they will hold off on making the hire.  So with that in mind there will always be comparable forces working against a hire as there are working for it.  So do you see why I say every hire is a miracle?

I think this message is important to jobseekers for several reasons, but most importantly, it is for you to have perspective.  One never knows how long a job search will last.  Understanding the process is important to maintaining momentum throughout your search.  There are a lot of moving parts to the recruitment and selection process.  Each of them has to work in concert in order for someone to make it through the entire process.  Multiply this by the number of people applying for the position and you can see that finding the right fit is no easy task for anyone involved.

This is why we encourage candidates to stay the course.  If we thought about all of the people and resources it takes to get eggs to our grocery store, we’d be amazed by every omelette we ever see.  Such is the recruitment process.  The hope is that with this information, you will not let the hiccups of process discourage you in your search, but rather see that when you are called for a phone screen or interview, this dynamic process has come together to give you the opportunity to tip the scales in your favor.  We wish you the best.

Be The Turducken When You Interview

Posted in Communication, Empowerment, Hiring Managers, Interview Secret, Interviewing, Motivation, Networking, Personal Brand with tags on November 25, 2009 by jcsicareerassist

With Thanksgiving here, I decided to get festive in my interview analogies by introducing the Turducken as a model for job seekers to consider the next time they sit down for an interview.  For those of you who have never heard of the Turducken, it is a partially deboned Turkey that is stuffed with a deboned duck that has also been stuffed with deboned chicken.  But that’s not it.  There’s more stuff inside.  The minds who invented this culinary delight go further by filling all of the gaps and cavities with other stuffings.  Just thinking about eating it is intimidating to me.  Talk about more than “meats” the eye.

When I heard about the Turducken just recently, my mind went straight to the thought that like this meal, there’s always more to people than what is on the surface.  So keeping with the whole Thanksgiving theme, I thought that it would be a good idea for people on the job market to think about what they are grateful for–the gifts, skills, and talents that they have honed over the years.  Think about what kind of services you can provide to an organization–all of the things that you possess on the inside that are not made visible by a resume or online profile.  The next time you present yourself, be the Turducken.

This may sound like a strange analogy at first, but just imagine that someone asks you to cut the Thanksgiving “bird” and to your surprise you find a duck, and then in that duck, you find a chicken.  If that’s the first time you’ve seen such a thing, you won’t soon forget it.  And, more than that you are going to tell others about it.  That’s what candidates need to go for when they interview.  You want to pleasantly surprise the first interviewer so that they will tell the next person in line and on and on until the whole company gets to know you.  We’ll be talking more about this approach to the interview process in our upcoming webinar, The Anatomy of the Interview Process on December 9, 2009 at 12PM.  In the meantime, I suggest candidates take time  this holiday season to focus on what cannot be seen and working with others on how to share that with others.  If you can get one person talking on your behalf, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Handling Non-acceptance

Posted in Hiring Managers, Job Search, Rejection, Uncategorized on August 20, 2009 by jcsicareerassist

When it becomes clear to most people that they were not accepted for an opportunity they were hoping for their first instinct is to feel rejected. It tears into their self esteem and it takes away some of the momentum vital to a successful job search. Understanding  that there are inherent challenges to finding and securing an ideal opportunity, we’d like to offer an alternate way to look at your job search.  Rather than seeing yourself as rejected, try thinking that they just simply accepted someone else. 

Of course, because human beings are social by nature, it is quite normal to feel the sting of a group not choosing to include you.  In more tribal times, rejection by our group threatened our survival and despite the do-it-yourself world we now inhabit, some of that still lingers. 

So how can we overcome this feeling when we are out there hunting for a job and are feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  Well the first step is to realize that you cannot be rejected by someone who does not know you.  If that statement is unclear, look at it this way.  Have you ever met someone who says that they don’t like a food that they’ve never tasted?  Enough said.  It may sound strange, but true rejection is something you earn over time.  In the case of not landing the job, it can just be circumstantial, timing,  or just the fact that someone else more suitable was accepted.  Either way, it’s not personal even if it feels that way.

Now here are some steps you can take to turn your focus away from feeling rejected and towards thinking acceptance.

  1. Watch the news sparingly. This doesn’t count if you are trying to check the winning lotto numbers, but other than that, choose your news wisely.  If you notice that you feel less energized by watching the news, turn it off.  Now isn’t the time to feel low.  Just think about it this way.  If the news is bad enough someone is going to warn you about it and if it is good news, it won’t get much coverage in the mainstream anyway. So instead of watching the news to confirm your worst fears, look for information that is going to add value to your day and to the people you encounter on your job search.
  2. Stop taking the outcome personally. As I mentioned above, true rejection is something you earn over time.  Unless you worked for them before, a company does not have enough information to reject “you”.  It is akin to someone you met once  or twice at a networking event not staying in touch.  It’s rarely you.  Making a hire is a tough decision and in most cases there’s only one opening.  Most people aren’t getting hired for it.  You’re part of the crowd.  If you are making enough of an impact to earn a personal rejection by everyone you meet then you are going to need to hire someone to help you.
  3. Focus on the things you can change. Chances are that whether the company calls to let you know their decision or not, you will eventually have to move on and you won’t be able to change their minds. This means you are going to have to rely on your assumptions for feedback.  So assume, that if you are certain that you were qualified for the position but you did not get a second interview, then your presentation did not communicate this effectively.  What can you do about it?  If you made it through numerous rounds of interviews and didn’t get hired, you can assume that it is not your presentation skills, but rather the person hired seemed to be a “better fit”. It’s probably only a matter of time for you, but you could work on showing your openness. Work on radiating a welcoming presence.  What steps can you take?
  4. Become a cheerleader.  This is serious. When you hear other people’s good news, allow yourself to get excited about it.  If you can let other people’s bad news take you down, why can’t you let their good news lift you up?  When you hear about someone getting a job, see it as a sign that things are picking up.  Ask them about their experience and genuinely listen.  The more people you congratulate on their success the better you will feel and if you can help them succeed then even better.  Someone will remember it when you least expect it.
  5. Choose to be bettered by this experience. This mindset may not put money in your pocket immediately, but it will pay dividends over time.  No one can stop you from learning but you.  Start a journal if you need to, like Tim Johnston in Diary of a Job Search.  Become an expert in what it takes to manage a job search and then share it with others. You never know where it can lead you and at a minimum it will reduce or eliminate the lethargy common to typical “post and hope” job searches.
  6. Get the word “rejection” out of your mouth and out of your mind.  Notice that this post is titled Handling Non-acceptance.  The fact is for any given position, someone is going to be accepted.  Everyone else is not accepted.  If you choose a meal off of a menu are you truly rejecting all of the other entrees.  No you are not.  You are accepting one of them.  This simple shift in perception can actually change your entire attitude over time.  You will be able to go into an interview and say to yourself, “someone is getting accepted for this position and it may as well be me.”  Who knows, you might be right.  It definitely beats thinking, “I can’t handle another rejection.  Please pick me.”  Which of those two mindsets is more empowering?

What Not to Expect From a Job Search

Posted in Hiring Managers, Job Search, Networking, Personal Brand, Uncategorized on August 3, 2009 by jcsicareerassist

At its core, the job search is a communication process.  It begins with a simple question like, “Where can I find a job that will allow me to make the best use of my present skills while accomodating my desire to grow professionally?” From there you begin having numerous conversations with people in and out of your network until one day you find your answer.  At the end, the opportunity you take may or may not match what you originally hoped for.  What determines that is the accuracy of the expectations you began with.

Deals are made when expectations align.  Until that point, the parties involved must be willing to paticipate in a dialogue and at least one party must be accomodating enough to alter their expectations to a certain degree.  It’s the nature of sales and it is the nature of the job search.  Many people forget this in their job search efforts and as a result they can find the whole process very discouraging.  Expectations can work for you and against you.  The key is to be flexible and–need we say–realistic.

Here are a few common expectations that people contend with when on a job search.  Give these some consideration as you work on finding work. 

  1. “No one is hiring, but I might as well try.”  This is a terrible way to start a job search and definitely will not work in your favor or any potential employers for that matter.  A lot people inaccurately believe that they can avoid disappointment by setting low expectations.  That doesn’t make sense.  This doesn’t avoid it, it just spreads it around.  If you do manage to land an interview, just think how disappointed a hiring manager will feel after spending their time with a person that doesn’t even seem to want the job.  They will be glad to see you go and won’t even consider you for the future. Make it your business to at least leave them with a smile.  You never know where it can take you.
  2. “Any company would be crazy not to hire me because I am worth every penny.” Confidence is attractive, cockiness is not.  There is a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking but, as many people have found, the job search can be particularly humbling for some people.  A lot has changed in the past few years.  Companies, like everyone, are trying to do more with less when they can and in many cases a position that would have paid $100k last year may be only willing to invest $85k for the same role today. This is just one factor among many to consider.  We’re not saying to not try to go for what you think you are worth.  Just remember that flexibility is your friend.
  3. “All I need to do is get on these social networking sites and I’ll snag a job.” How awesome would that be?  The fact is that while there may be some stories of lottery winners on the social sites, most of us are going to have to work for a living.  That means putting time into your online profiles is the only way it is going to bear fruit.  Give to the culture and it will give to you.  That’s the basic tenet.  Just posting, “I need a job” as your status update without ever contributing to the value of the communities is going to yield the same results in kind.  That’s just the way it is.
  4. “I have so many ‘friends’ on line that finding a job will be easy for me.”  When it comes to networking, the first thing you want to ask yourself is whether your house is made of brick or straw.  There are very few people that are able to maintain thousands or even hundreds of meaningful relationships.  And those who are able to do so have chosen to make it a lifestyle and not just when they need help.  So know which one you are, before you make this assumption.  Because as Einstein said, not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.

For more insight on this topic check out this blog on job search timing expectations from someone at Monster.com.

Hiring Managers Need You

Posted in Hiring Managers, Job Search, Networking, Resume, Service, Uncategorized on July 6, 2009 by jcsicareerassist

For most candidates on the job market, getting to the hiring manager is like getting to the the Great Oz.  Everyone wants to see him, but in order to get to him or her you have to go through a great journey.  Also like in the Wizard of Oz, the hiring manager will likely remain a mystery until the end.  And once you meet them, you wind up seeing that they are person just like the candidate that has been searching for them.  Understanding this is where your opportunities lie.

In the job search, there is an overwhelming tendency toward having a one sided view.  Many seekers put out enormous amounts of energy to find a job that is right for them without truly thinking about whether or not they are right for the job.  They study tips and network for opportunities with organizations that might  not really be what  they are truly looking for and as a result they come across unconvincingly to the interviewers that will eventually introduce them to the hiring manager.  Not to mention they are drained from efforts that seemt o go nowhere.  What this blog offers is a way to make every effort useful.

We’ve already established in previous blogs that every hire reflects upon those that agreed to bringing the person on board.  That is the first thing to consider when engaging with interviewers.  The second thing is to remember that in most cases you are being interviewed because the organization has a legitimate NEED to hire someone with skill sets similar to yours.  There is emphasis on “need” because this word denotes that the candidate has an opportunity to be of service. 

Earlier we mentioned that like the Great Oz, hiring managers are people too.  Somewhere along the way they have a boss, shareholders, or customers that are looking for them to bring them a solution to their problem.  And as a candidate for a particular position you have an opportunity to be that solution or contribute to them finding that solution. That amounts to being of service.

For quite some time there has been talk about how the culture is shifting from being self serving to serving others–from competition to cooperation.  This is the essence of networking and relationship building.  It starts by asking the question, “How can I be of service?”

At first this idea may seem counterintuitive for people looking for a job, but if you really think about it, your odds of finding an opportunity that suits you can be dramatically increased by taking this position.  To put into perspective, consider the following:

  • If you begin to refer others for a position that you were not selected for it is a good way to stay in contact with the recruiters and hiring managers until they come across something that does match.
  • If you are keeping out an eye for others they will eventually keep an eye out for you as well.  It always helps to have others looking on your behalf.
  • As you learn about the needs of companies, you turn your job search into an intelligence gathering mission making you sharper as you move through your search
  • By helping other job seekers as well, they can share their experiences with you and give you insight on companies that you may be interested in or possibly never heard of.
  • By helping recruiters find people, they may be able to connect you with other recruiters that could lead you to other opportunities.

These are just some of the benefits of adopting a more servant oriented approach to your job search.  Another added benefit is that you will be able to measure success by more factors than whether or not you land one of the first few positions you interview for.  Seeing your search from this perspective can also have an effect on how you approach your resume. (For help with your resume register for our free webinar at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/804459466.)

As you start to make your goal to help hiring managers achieve their goals you will soon see that reciprocation is a very powerful ally in your job search–possibly the most powerful–and that it will contribute greatly to your lasting success.