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February 2018

What do Recruiters look for in a Resumé at First Glance?

By | Blog, Career, Job, Recruiting | No Comments

To get the best talent for the client, a recruiter will spend the time to evaluate resumes in accordance with the target profile. They will look at the resume components that relate to the candidate’s potential to be successful in the client’s organization. They will try to understand both tangible and intangible facets of a candidate’s background in relation to the client’s requirements for that position. Here are 10 specific areas that recruiters look at:

  1. What kind of organizations, teams, and cultures has the candidate worked in (i.e. corporate vs entrepreneurial, teamwork vs individual/expert consulting focuses work, focused on innovation/continuous improvement, etc.)?
  2. Is there any recent time gap in the resume? Could that kind of gap affect the relevancy of the candidate’s skills for the role they are applying for?
  3. If a candidate has focused on contract work, it may appear like job hopping – clarify whether a job was a contract or not by mentioning it in the resume. It could be that for the current job the client is looking for loyalty to previous employers (i.e. 3+ years average) or for someone who can come in and solve a problem and move on.
  4. Amount and relevancy of quantifiable achievements/facts – i.e. for each job, list top 3 achievements, and top 3 activities you’ve been involved in.
  5. The resume should not be too long (more 3 pages), or too short (less than a page), and with just enough info to strike a good balance between keeping it brief and having enough facts.
  6. If you are a recent graduate, fill in the page with the main school, extracurricular or internship projects that you were involved in – what you did and what were the outcomes.
  7. Resumes must be customized for each role in the sense of emphasizing the skills and expertise relevant to the role that the candidate is applying for.
  8. With today’s tools available online, there’s no reason why a resume would not be verified for grammar and spelling accuracy.
  9. Finally, the resume should be structured in such a way that it’s easy to read, without using difficult or unusual fonts (mainly sans serif fonts are easier to read – such as Arial, Segoe UI or Verdana)
  10. Make sure to insert page numbers if your resume is longer than a page. It makes it easy to follow through multiple pages.

Finally, make sure that the resume shows the real you. After all, a resume is a document that shows not only what you did, but what your potential is for your next employer. Use it wisely!

 

How do you make the most out of Working with a Search firm?

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There’s a question that every company will consider when engaging an outside search partner: “How do we manage this search partner so that we make the best of it?

We’ll start by stating the most important part of our answer: the fact that an organization has to “manage” a search firm says a lot about the kind of deal and expectations that were set in the first place! If you have to manage a search firm, then we do question whether they are the right fit for you. Their role is not just to find the best candidates, but to act as a consultant that lays out a clear path to hiring the “needle in the haystack” candidate for you.
The difference between managing a vendor and being consulted by a firm also can be pictured as (1) a very basic buy and sell agreement, or the latter (2) as two partners working towards a common goal. Anything less than a win-win attitude will lead you to an imbalance of benefits in that relationship.

Before you can talk about tools and processes, you need to clarify the conditions of engaging a search firm.
Choosing the right search firm can enable a high return on your investment. That can only happen when communication and transparency are both guaranteed and mutual, which help build trust that doesn’t need to be managed but relied on.

Define what success means for your partnership before starting anything. Aspects such as the conversion of presented candidates into hires, time that a position was opened until a hire is made, cost per hire, etc.

Clearly state your expectation that you need to be in the loop at every stage with clear goals, milestones, and progress. That can take the form of weekly reports and reviews, KPI measurement, as well as feedback from the candidates.
Require that both your team and the search firm team act as one. There’s nothing more confusing to candidates than to be passed around by multiple parties in the process of being interviewed/hired for the same role.

Go beyond job descriptions and resumes. Perhaps one of the most costing mistakes is to reduce jobs to job descriptions and candidates to resumes. Every job has different complexities including who the person will interact with, how, when, etc. It will also be subject and cause to the organizational culture – it will either contribute to it or affect it. When it comes to candidates, resumes are a great start, but beyond those 2-3 pages of summarized experience and skills, there’s a human being. A person with aspirations, wishes, dreams, family, and complex personality.

A search firm partner needs to complement what already works in your process. One of the challenges of today’s labor market is to identify enough candidates to go through your hiring process. The unemployment rate has been at its lowest at 3.8% since 2000. That’s particularly true of the top tier professionals. If your current process gives you the right outcome but not fast enough or doesn’t get you enough hires, then engaging a search partner to help at the top of the funnel can provide you with what you need.

Use technology to fit and improve your own processes. Software tools support all of the above, but important nevertheless. We have seen status updates in ATS client portals, as well as simple and clear-cut summaries delivered via email that worked for everyone involved. A search partner has to provide the client with a few options and go for the one that best reflects the communication preference of the client.
So whether the client organization asks the search firm to use their ATS or the firm’s ATS, or both, is really dependent on the terms of the deal. For instance, a client organization might want to and agree with the search firm to access all candidate profiles that were sourced in the process, not just the ones that were shortlisted or even hired.

To summarize: engage with partners, not vendors, set the right expectations upfront, keep them accountable, have them provide you with options and recommendations.

 

What are the best Answers for “Why Should I hire you”?

By | Answers, Blog, Career, Interview, Job, Questions | No Comments

There are many details one could use to respond to this kind of question — for instance, you could highlight quantifiable achievements that match up to what’s requested of you. It’s a bit obvious but they would not have invited you to the interview as well as the other 15 people who have a similar skill set.

However, one of the things that a recruiter will be looking at (we believe the most important) is how genuine you are. We all have different upbringings, life and work experiences, and personalities. Those, combined, are difficult to mimic. Why did you show up for that interview in the first place?

  • Do you need a job?
  • Are you passionate about what this role entails?
  • Do you like their culture and you think you’d fit right in?
  • Are you excited at the growth opportunity in that position?
  • Does the company have a great reputation as an employer?
  • Etc.

These are all real & true reasons. Pick a few and be genuine about your answer.

Do it with a spin (if possible), again staying true to who you are: how does this job play out towards your dreams, your ambitions, and your career? Think of the long run or the well-known “what do I want to be when I grow up” — how this job is a stepping stone towards that (i.e. 20 years from now), and why that motivates you to master the skills required to succeed in this role. Most employers don’t have unrealistic expectations of keeping you around for the next 10 years or even 5 years.

If you don’t yet have a picture of what the long run looks like, don’t worry about it right then, and stick to the immediate things that really pushed you to apply for this job. 

And finally: interviewers are human and will be prone to being subjective. You might have been bright and shiny at the interview, but if the interviewer had a bad day, that could have just been the only reason for rejection. Pick yourself up, and don’t give up on being who you are all the way through. Adjust the format but don’t compromise the substance.

To summarize: be genuine, paint a broader picture than that job, talk about what drives you to succeed, be genuine about it.