Nothing Beats a Good Fit

Nothing beats a good fit. It just feels right. When placed properly, people thrive, impacting their team, company and the industry as a whole. Sound lofty? The power of a proper fit illustrates why a candidate thrives in one environment and struggles in another. The fit is a good match for a company’s culture, team dynamics, candidate’s personality, purpose, skills and natural abilities. A successful placement is about more than matching a resume to a job description. I acknowledge the invaluable chemistry between candidate, company and team. Finding talent is the easy part, something that every recruiter should be able to identify. Most of my time is spent focusing on fit.

When partnering with HR professionals and hiring managers I help them understand what they need and want from their future team member, leader and employee. This is not always easy. Often times we have one of two views; a highly conceptual notion of who this person is and how they will add value to the company or a detailed list of skills and qualifications. Neither is wrong but both are incomplete. In addition to a list of qualifications and desired skills I believe in understanding a brand’s heritage, company culture, team dynamics, consumer, and aesthetic. Finding the fit all begins with understanding and discernment. Part of my job is to help HR and hiring managers develop a comprehensive picture of the person that will be most successful in their given role and ultimately contribute to the success of the company.

As an industry leader, executive, or CEO what are your goals and ambitions for your company or brand? I’m guessing you have a list of outcome focused goals. What about human capital? Who in your company is thriving and who is struggling? Who is missing? As we begin to look at our list of goals the answers are found in the people, the employees. What could your company accomplish if each team member was maximizing their potential and thriving?

Why does the Fit exist? I believe that when people are in the right environment (for them) they will naturally impact their team members, company and the industry at large in a positive way. They will be loyal, content and they will thrive.

I help hiring managers and human resource professionals take a holistic approach to determining who they need to attract, both qualitative and quantitative aspects. I encourage candidates to develop a sense of self awareness, know their purpose, strengths and to actively pursue personal growth.

Next week we’ll talk about how to get there. How do I find the Fit?

In the meantime, here are some questions to get you thinking…

What are your goals and ambitions for your company / brand? What types of people do you need to attract to your company to be more successful? How will your company’s human capitol impact the industry?

Manage Your Email Like a Boss

EmailKing-e1399318580645 Ever feel like your email inbox is taking over your life? Consuming all your time and preventing you from getting your real work done? You’re probably a lot smarter and more organized than this recruiter and that’s never happened to you. Prior to my recent email ban (more on that later) here’s how a typical morning transpired.

9:00am: Sit down at my desk, green tea in hand. Open my email. I typically receive upwards of 100 messages a day. First, systematically deleting all the junk, promotions and requests from Nigeria.

Next, move onto the stuff that requires minimal reply thought. It’s early still. Better check LinkedIn and accept requests to connect, check Twitter and my FB page for notifications. Now I’m totally sidetracked on the feeds. What’s Cara Delevingne wearing? Better click on the link to view the whole story.

10:00am: time to respond to emails that require a more thoughtful response.

Now it’s 11:00am and not a single item on my to-do list has been scratched off. The act of checking the off list items brings me great satisfaction and the unscathed list now looks more daunting. Feeling rushed and unproductive.

Surprise! Structuring my day in a way that is email centric is totally unproductive! Over the past few months I’ve completely changed my daily agenda.

I scan (notice I didn’t say check) my email on the way into the office for any urgent messages that require immediate attention. Don’t worry I’m not driving. Typically there are less than 5 and if I’m really honest with myself 4 can wait.

First thing I do is review my to-do list that was prepared the day before I left the office so I know exactly what needs to be tacked and in what order.

I complete the top two priorities first with no interruptions from the phone or email. Turning off the volume on the ringer and disabling the outlook notification sound does a world of good.

By noon I’ve completed at least 2 top priority tasks and I’m now ready to check my email. I’ll only allow myself to respond to the most critical and urgent messages. This usually takes less than 30 minutes. Back to the task list. I’ll check my email again at 5pm and clear out my inbox completely. I find that purging my inbox at the end of day goes faster since I’m motivated to wrap up the day.

You see, I discovered that I was using email to avoid the truly important tasks. The projects that would move me forward instead of treading water in a river of emails. Maybe you cannot believe that someone would actually work this way. Or maybe you can relate. All I know is that I will no longer allow email to dictate my day. Instagram, that’s a different story.

 

Photo Credit: Zebra Techies

Interview Prep, Step by Step

picture of interview I’ve had a lot of requests to publish my interview preparation guides. I send a rather lengthy (sometimes overwhelming) interview preps via email to each candidate prior to an interview. I try to warn them ahead of time but the response is always the same, “that’s, um, comprehensive.”

What can I say, I like to be thorough. Why not provide candidates with the opportunity to put their best foot forward?

So without further disclaimers here’s my interview preparation guide. Sorry, this isn’t funny.

GENERAL QUESTIONS AND PREPARATION ITEMS

1. The job of the first interview is to build value in yourself and build rapport. Provide examples of your current and past experience, your expertise, knowledge of the industry and connect with on a personal level.

2. Why do you want this job? Prepare this answer ahead of time. Focus on the positives that x company and this role has to offer as opposed to saying anything negative about your current employer. Examples might be the growth opportunities, company culture, etc.

3. Relocation (if applicable): x company is aware that the opportunity, compensation and logistics have to be right for you to make a move. If it comes up, stay focused on the positive. Stay away from saying things that would lead them to believe you truly would not relocate if all the elements aligned. They are unlikely to take you seriously as a candidate. You don’t want to cut yourself short in the process.

4. Compensation: I doubt that compensation will be discussed on a first interview. However, if asked what you are looking for in compensation here is the proper way to answer.

“I’m currently earning x$ base + x$ bonus. Total comp= approximately x$. I’m very interested in this opportunity and I’m sure x company would make me a fair offer.” THAT’S IT! No need to say another word, first person that speaks in negotiation loses. It’s understood that candidates expect an increase in pay to make a move and relocation. The interview process is all about building value in yourself, not negotiate. Your job is build value in yourself, build rapport and my job is bridge any gaps at the time of offer.

5. Top 2-3 strengths AND weaknesses. Think about these ahead of time so you’re not caught off guard.

6. Take a look at the company website to familiarize yourself with the product, aesthetic and consumer.

7. Highlight your accomplishments: Prepare at least 3-5 accomplishments you are most proud of.

BEHAVIORAL BASED INTERVIEWS

The most popular style of interviewing used by HR and hiring managers is Behavioral Based Interviews. This is based on the premise that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. For this reason, it’s critical to provide current and past examples of your experience as opposed to your opinion. Giving examples provides proof that you can not only do the job but you’ve done it or you’ve had the experience. Hence, you can hit the ground running.

Examples to prepare for: This is where I insert the key requirements or skill set the hiring manger is looking for. It’s typically something that’s not on the job description. This provides the candidate with specific examples to prepare for.

Special Instructions: Here’s where I include tailored tips based on the candidate’s strengths or weaknesses as well as the hiring manager’s personality.

Attached: I always attach the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile. This provides the candidate with some background on the interviewer. You’d be surprised how often there are mutual connections. This is a great way to warm up the call quickly and establish rapport.

Verbal Preparation: Finally, I always offer the candidate the opportunity to connect by phone prior to the interview. Typically there are questions about how to answer a specific question if it comes up.

Sound like a lot of work? It can be. But remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Fun With Words

buzzwords to stop using Maybe I have an abnormal sense of humor but when I read this article on the top 15 words hiring managers never want to see on your resume, I had a good, long laugh.

According to the article more than 2200 hiring managers compiled a list of 15 words they consider to be among the worst terms to have on your resume.

The complaint stemmed from the lack of substance that say nothing of your experience, achievements and personal successes. So why do we use these generic words on our resume? They seem like a good idea at the time and they’re probably even true.

But, I’m going to take it one step further and argue that there may also be some unintentional, undeserving negative meanings attached to the overuse of these generic phrases.

The next time you update your resume consider a hiring manger’s translation of the most annoying key words.

 

Best of breed

Not to be confused with Best in Breed. Woof. Woof.

Go-getter

That guy from Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Think outside of the box

Exempt from the rules.

Synergy

Cannot work independently.

Go-to person

Drama queen.

Thought leadership

Big ego.

Value add

Are we selling Happy Meals?

Results-driven

Look at me. Look at me.

Team player

Does not play nice in the sandbox.

Bottom-line

Doesn’t care about the people only numbers.

Hard worker

As opposed to lazy?

Strategic thinker

Cannot be bothered with menial tasks such as email or meeting invites.

Dynamic

Multiple personalities.

Self-motivated

Does not require adult supervision.

Detail-oriented

Cannot see the big picture.

 

Photo Credit: Slideshare