Is Checking References Worth the Effort?

Q. Is checking a candidates references worth the effort since most companies wont give references anyway?

I conduct references for every candidate I represent for one of our searches. I believe this is part of the due diligence process prior to hiring someone. Top talent have references and can always provide someone either currently in the company or that has left the company. I discovered long ago that CEO’s violate their own policy on references for top performers. They will never do it for anyone else.

It is important to inform the candidate at the beginning of the hiring process that references will be required. Too often companies wait until the end of the process before asking for references. Letting the candidate know that this is not a request, but a requirement up front is critical to getting proper references.

The common belief is that candidates will only give references that they know will say positive things. That isn’t always true. Often it’s not what the reference says, but how they say it that counts.

In our search practice it is our policy that if a candidate can only provide references that will only provide name, rank and serial number that is code for walk away. Top talent have references.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Should We Use Assessments In Our Hiring Process?

Q. Our company is considering using personality or behavioral testing prior to hiring people. What has been your experience using these?

I’m a strong believer is using some sort of assessment prior to hiring someone, especially for key employees. These assessments can add a lot of valuable insight about the candidate. Not all assessments measure the same thing, so it is important to know what it is you want to assess. There are general assessments, ones specific to functional area such as sales, ones that measure intelligence, many assess a person’s communications style, and still others target specific aspects of the candidate’s personality and behaviors. So selecting the right assessment for what you want to measure is critical.

It is also important to have enough peer level people take the same assessment to use as a benchmark. An assessment that shows how the candidate stacks up against the others is very useful information. Over time the assessment will reveal the traits of those hires that are successful and those that didn’t work out. Identifying the traits of both is important when assessing the candidate.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Should I Let Employers Think I am Still Working?

Q. I left my last job in early 2010. Should I show I left in 2010 on the resume or just leave it as Present?

Your resume has to be 100% correct. Showing you are still employed is not correct. I know candidates want employers to think they are still working when they review the resume. I get that, but here is what candidates don’t get when they have incorrectly stated, “present.” As soon as the company calls you and asks if you are still with company you have to reply, “No, I left in 2010.”  Now they know anyway. Plus your future employer is thinking you tried to deceive them. Deception is not a great way to start.

As a recruiter that is what goes through my mind when it happens to me. I’m going to find out anyway. Not being up front and honest only delays the deception and makes it worse.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

How Important are Recruiters in a Job Search?

Q. How important are recruiters in a job search? I have not had much luck working with them.

Working with recruiters during your job search really isn’t a matter of luck as much as it is meeting the very specific requirements our clients want.  The fact is recruiters place a very small percentage of the candidates in their database. So working with recruiters from a candidate’s perspective means there isn’t a high probability they will have a job right for you. Remember recruiters work for the company. That means for every job search only one candidate is going to be hired. Considering on any one search we conduct, we review between 150 and 200 candidates, the odds of any one candidate getting the job is very small.

So here is my recommendation for the candidates I coach when it comes to working with recruiters. Let the recruiters do their job and you do your part. The best way to work with recruiters is to make sure recruiters can find you. That is what recruiters do. We find people. So the higher your visibility in the market the higher the probability the right recruiter (the one with a job for you) will find you, engage you and hopefully place you.  This is why building solid networking relationships is so important in a job search. The more people that know you the higher the odds are you will be referred to a recruiter by one of your networking relationships. Being highly visible so recruiters can find you is the best way to work with recruiters during a job search.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

How Can I Improve How I Interview Over the Phone?

Q. I interview better in person than on a phone interview. What are some tips to improving how I phone interview?

Most candidates conduct a phone interview the same way they conduct an in person interview. When in fact they are completely different and require a different approach. There is no eye contact, body language or a warm friendly introduction and handshake on a phone interview. Usually there is just a cold hello. You only have your voice.

There are basically three things that can be evaluated during a phone interview, energy/enthusiasm, communications ability and a basic understanding of your skills. So you have to adjust to these conditions. Here are some tips: 1) always stand up and walk around during a phone interview. This helps create energy and enthusiasm. 2) You must learn how to use your voice.  Things such as using voice inflection, timely pauses, tone changes to stress points, lowering your voice, speaking slower and enunciating clearly and pacing the speed of the interviewer’s voice are all very important. Not to mention using proper sentence structure and avoiding the word “like.” 3) Since most phone interviews are shorter than in person interviews you must be succinct. You don’t have time to ramble on and on as the interviewer will begin to wander. You should practice keeping your answers to about one minute in length. While you are talking they are sitting there listening. Sitting and listening for one minute seems like five. Since you can’t see them you can’t tell from their expressions if they are bored, losing interest in what you are saying or if they put the phone down and are now checking their email. So you must get right to the point in your answer in order to keep the interviewer’s interest.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

How Do I Overcome Being Nervous While Interviewing?

Q. I have been looking for some time. When I get in an interview I seem to get nervous because I know I need the job. I think the nervousness is impacting how I interview.

I use two approaches with the people I coach to overcome this very common issue. The first one is lots of preparation and practice. We spend a lot of time preparing and then conducting mock interviews. I also insist that the candidate write out answers to frequently asked questions. Writing out the answers is critical. When you write the answers it forces you to think differently. It also helps you crystallize your thoughts on the question.  Writing out the answers and the mock interviews gets the candidate very comfortable and confident. Confidence is part two. I teach candidates that they must interview as if they had the best job in the world and didn’t need the one they are interviewing for. This changes the candidate’s mindset in the interview. Now they act completely differently. Their body language improves, they no longer appear desperate, the questions they ask are more probing and sometimes a little challenging, the answers are on target and complete, they demonstrate to the interviewer they are well prepared just as they will be once on the job. Managers want to hire confident people. Having this level of confidence is what gets them over the nervousness.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Consulting While Looking for a Job

For most, consulting while looking for a job is a double-edged sword. On the one hand you are working and generating revenue. On the other hand most people stop conducting their job search during this period. What they have actually done is accept a short-term full time job. So when the job is over in three to six months they start their search again. This causes the candidate to keep starting and stopping their job search. What happens if the ideal position becomes available while you are working this short-term position? Generally, you will miss it.

If you are going to take a short-term position, I recommend making it clear to the company your goal is to find a full-time position. In order to that let them know up front you may have to leave for interviews, networking events, or other issues surrounding your primary goal of finding a job. Consider requesting a work week of four ten hour days instead of five days. This will leave you one day a week to work on your job search.

I believe there are enough ups and downs in a job search without trying to ramp up a new job search every three to six months.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

How Do I Avoid The Ups & Downs in my Job Search?

Q. I find looking for a job has many ups and downs. Is there a way to avoid the peaks and valleys?

One way might be to find an accountability partner. A good accountability partner can help keep you on track and focused on your job search. Their role is to hold you accountable to a schedule and plan. With the people I coach, I find that it is very easy for candidates to get distracted causing them to lose focus on the goal.  An accountability partner’s job is to make sure you create an effective job search plan with daily and weekly goals. Then hold you accountable to those. They are not there to let you make excuses about why you couldn’t get them done. Good partners will bring a tough love to the process. They should be someone you trust, have experience helping people with job search issues, someone willing to be completely honest with you, a person that will listen when you are down, but knows the best way to get you feeling good again is by having you make progress in your search.

You should meet at least weekly with your partner to review the progress you have made and layout what you will do in the following week.

Here is a link to a discussion on what an accountability partner should do and how to select one. http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com/careerblog/2011/01/04/1-step-to-turbo-charge-your-search-in-2011-part-1/

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Should I Hire a Firm to Market My Skills to Companies?

Q. I have been contacted by a firm that promises to market my skills to companies. They claim to have many contacts with local companies. I’m not sure it is worth the cost. Any recommendations regarding using someone to market me?

I have two words for you, BUYER BEWARE. Too often these firms claim a lot and deliver very little. Since they contacted you, that is a red flag and you need to do your research. These firms always spring up in times of high unemployment.

Some things to consider before writing a check include: Are they claiming or even implying they will find you a job? If this is even implied, run and run fast. Do they claim to have access to the “hidden job market?” Have them provide references of other candidates they have worked with that are now working due to their help. If they are as good as they claim they should have a list of raving fans.  You should speak with people currently in the program. Contact the Better Business Bureau to check on any complaints. If they claim they have companies they work with regularly ask to speak to someone at the company. Don’t accept any excuses for not being able to do this. Do they offer a money back guarantee? Ask to speak to someone they actually refunded the money to. Don’t accept that they have never had to give a refund. No one is that perfect. Is the full fee paid up front? Finally, you should write out a list of expected results you want them to deliver and over what period of time they will deliver these results. Make them very specific. If they don’t meet them then they agree in writing to refund your money.

I know too many candidates that have fallen prey to these firms. There are good ones and many excellent professionals, but be careful. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true. It probably is.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Job Search Mistakes: Putting all your eggs in the Job Board Basket

FREE Job Posting Graphic Job Search Mistakes: Putting all your eggs in the Job Board Basket

Why do so many candidates focus their energy around responding to job board advertising. Here’s a great quote from an article I recently read:

“It’s a crap shoot at best, with success rates of landing jobs running at about 2-4%. Compare that to a success rate of over 60% for ‘word-of-mouth’ referrals.”

The article comes from a guest posting discussing 3 job search mistakes by former recruiter David Alan Carter. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s just part of being human. But if you’re in between jobs, you can ill afford too many of them.

 

80-90 percent of the jobs available – especially at the executive level are HIDDEN! They are never advertised on job boards. The only way to uncover them is through referrals of your network. If you’re building a powerful job search network capable of generating an abundance of job leads and referrals, you’re doomed to a CRAPSHOOT in your job search.

 

What’s your next step?

 Barry Deutsch

To see the full article, please go to www.greatresumesfast.com