Networking: Still the Best Way to Find Your Next Job

I am asked all the time by candidates , “What is the Best Method for Me to Find My Next Job?” I am a big believer that candidates need to “cast a wide net”. By casting a wide net, I mean use all available resources such as:

  • Reviewing job postings on sites like Indeed, SimplyHired, and LinkedIn
  • Reviewing job postings on various company career sites
  • Posting your resume on jobs boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Ladders
  • Contacting various recruiters; especially ones that specialize in your area of expertise
Networking: Still the Best Way to Find Your Next Job
Networking: Still the Best Way to Find Your Next Job

However, the number one best method for someone to find their next job is through networking. Networking should include friends and former colleagues to other connections that you may get from these friends and colleagues. LinkedIn is a great tool to build and grow your network as well as stay in touch.

Networking also greatly improves your odds of finding a new position. For example, once a company advertises an opening, either on their career site or a job board, they are generally swamped with resumes. Under these conditions, it is usually very hard for candidates to stand out. By networking with a trusted friend or colleague, you may be brought into a search that has just started, or is not advertised, or is a confidential search. The odds of you being considered for the role have now greatly increased because of the small pool of candidates. In addition, since you would be referred by a trusted source to the hiring entity, this is also huge to make you stand out.

Networking is not just something that you do when you begin your job search. Networking should be a constant endeavor. Many times, candidates are brought great opportunities when they are NOT active job seekers It is valuable to always stay connected with friends, former colleagues, and recruiters.

Ways to manage work stress

Work stress is incredibly common, affecting people in all industries and levels of work. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t experience any work stress at all! Whether you’re just dealing with a bit of work stress, or feel like you are under far too much pressure, these tips can help you. If you feel completely overwhelmed, talk to a professional and/or your employer.

Ways to manage work stress
Ways to manage work stress
  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Leaving things up to chance is a good way to feel anxious and overwhelmed as you will not have the stability and predictability of a schedule.
  • Treat yourself kindly outside of work. If you eat well, sleep right, and avoid stress as much as possible in your personal life, you will be better suited to handle anything work throws at you.
  • Delegate as you can. If you have too much on your plate and it’s acceptable to share the load, don’t feel bad about doing so.
  • Set up times during which you will not be interrupted. Tell your colleagues that you are busy and unable to respond to emails, messages, etc., unless they are highly urgent. Make a plan to deal with any interruptions that come through anyway.
  • Consider setting up specific office hours during which people can come in and talk to you — this leaves the rest of your time free to work without the stress of interruptions.
  • Take breaks, especially if you feel particularly challenged. A quick walk outside or a similar activity gets you away from your desk, energizes you, and changes your perspective.
  • Let go of self-induced stress. If you can worry less about things that don’t truly matter, you’ll feel better.
  • Set priorities and stick to it, make a list of what is most important.

How to manage and work with your virtual Employees successfully

A virtual workforce can be great for your business, cutting down on overhead costs and maximizing on the flexibility of employees. However, there are certainly some management considerations that are far different from what traditional workforces require. When all or most of your staff do not work in the same location, you must adjust your management style.

How to manage virtual Employees successfully
How to manage virtual Employees successfully

The best managers have lots of trust in their virtual employees, allowing them freedom to work individually without allowing the company to be taken advantage of. Assume the best of your employees, remembering that they do not have to be chained to their desks (much like they would not have to be in an office work environment!). Keep an eye on results, and if your employee is missing the target, then you can have a discussion about time management and trust.

Make sure that virtual employees are able to self-manage to an extent. You need virtual employees that are trustworthy and motivated, in order to trust them to do their work without having someone physically there watching. Make hiring decisions carefully.

Keep in regular touch with virtual employees and make sure that they are kept in the loop. Check in with them to discuss their work, and any overall company goals. Be sure to share any good words you have about their projects to keep morale up.

To keep everyone happy, make sure that all of your technology is up to date and capable of handling a virtual workforce. When something breaks or becomes too obsolete to work well, it can greatly hinder the entire workplace. Talk to your virtual employees about what they need to do their job.

With teamwork and preparation, a virtual workforce can be a huge benefit to your company.

5 Steps to Motivate Yourself Daily in Order to Excel at Work

Every job is different, and every job has its own challenges and obstacles to overcome. Staying motivated at work is essential for professional outcomes and overall job satisfaction. When you are having a difficult time, realize that there are often small things that you can do to increase motivation and productivity.

Here are five steps that you can take to be a more motivated employee or employer:

5 Steps to Motivate Yourself Daily in Order to Excel at Work
5 Steps to Motivate Yourself Daily in Order to Excel at Work

1. Try to work closer with or closer to people who are motivated, productive, and demonstrate the attitudes and abilities you aspire to. The people that you surround yourself with can make or break a workplace experience. In every workplace, there are unhappy people who enable toxicity, and productive, positive, motivated people who inspire others and get the job done well, and in time. Which of these colleagues do you think you should you be working with?

2. Keep the big picture in view. Knowing the bigger, overarching purpose, and recognizing how your work is linked with that purpose can help when you feel frustrated.

3. Stay positive, and pay attention to that little voice in your head! If you constantly tell yourself ‘I’m miserable’, you will feel miserable. If you look at the positives, however small or random they may seem, you will appreciate them and as a consequence feel better about your day and your job overall.

4. When taking big projects that seems overwhelming or impossible, try to break it down into series of smaller, more achievable steps. Make a list of all things that you need to do in order to start tackling the big project. The challenge will seem much more achievable when you break it down!

5. Be good to yourself. Eating nutritious foods, getting physical exercise daily, and taking regular breaks for stretches and fresh air can change your overall outlook, as Alexander Pope said: “Strength of mind is exercise, not rest”. In addition, make sure that you also note your achievements and successes, and find a way to share them with your work colleagues, friends, and family members.

The Value of Engaging a Boutique Executive Search Firm

When most people think of the Executive search industry, they think of the big name firms. These large firms typically cater to the Fortune 500 world. While there is value in working with a big name firm, unless you’re a Fortune 500 company, I don’t feel that you will get the attention that justifies the large fee that you will pay for the service.

Engaging a boutique executive search firm may be the answer because you generally receive a better level of service, expertise, and fee structure. How so?

The Value of Engaging a Boutique Executive Search Firm
The Value of Engaging a Boutique Executive Search Firm

When you engage a boutique executive search firm, you are dealing directly with the person who will conduct the executive search and also be the one who will reach out, screen, qualify, and submit the candidates for your consideration. At a large executive search firm, the work may be directed by a senior level partner, but a majority of the work is done by lower level employees who are less connected to your company and probably less able to articulate to the candidates what you are looking for in the role.

Boutique executive search firms generally specialize in just a few industries or type of roles. Large firms’ expertise tends to be very broad. Boutique firms tend to know their industries very well and, therefore, have some strong connections with a variety of candidates. Boutiques firms typically work on fewer projects, devoting far more time and attention to each one. Large firms have many ongoing projects and will not be able to devote the necessary time required for tough searches.

Boutiques have higher search completion rates than big firms. Completion rates at big search firms are generally in the 60% to 65% range.

Bigger is not always better in executive search. In many cases, client service suffers by using a large firm. Boutique firms tend to know their clients much better and are interested in building long-term partnership arrangements.

What’s happening to Obama Care?

President Obama’s signature legislation will go down in history as his signing into law what has become known as the Affordable Care Act. This was done to bring on board all those who don’t have health insurance, and to make the health system a more simplified arena for all.

Why are things still so wrong?

Six years into his presidency, and there are major criticisms of ObamaCare.

What’s happening to Obama Care?
What’s happening to Obama Care?

1. Millions of Americans Stand to Lose Their Health Insurance. The president emphatically told everyone “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Not exactly true. More and more middle-class people will see their health coverage not get extended, and they will have to join the ACA.

2. An individual mandate system means that ALL Americans are mandated to have health insurance. It has been argued that this goes against everything free America stands for.

3. Health Care Coverage Will Change No Matter What. Even if you continue to get your health care insurance through your employer, they will have to conform to new federal benefit standards, like it or not. These upgrades will cost more; hence, higher premiums for you.

4. Health Care Costs Have Increased. Now, while you may not be able to see your favorite doctor anymore, the costs of office visits, lab tests, procedures, prescriptions, and everything else is increasing. Monthly premiums have also increased as well as yearly deductibles, which mean you pay out of pocket until that threshold has been met.

Other problems have been identified by critics of the Act, such as who pays for what, procedures that are not paid for and once were, who makes the medical decisions and no savings seen for the majority of American middle-class families.

This landmark legislation is also the first of its kind. Obama has begun the process of trying to bring an equitable form of health care to all Americans, and it is still going to take some time to iron out the wrinkles and get it right.

Candidates: Be Aggressive in Your Job Search

I speak with many candidates each day, and I am surprised how passive that the candidates are in the job search. When looking for a new job, most of them think only to contact a recruiter or search various job posting sites. While I recommend all of these steps, I also mention to the candidates that they need to take a more aggressive stance to their search. One cannot just follow these passive steps, then sit back and expect to get job screening calls from the recruiter or a company.

Candidates: Be Aggressive in Your Job Search
Candidates: Be Aggressive in Your Job Search

My recommendation to candidates is to treat your job search just like a sale person would treat sales prospecting. Here are a few recommendations:

1. Develop a list of your “target” companies; either local or nationwide. These companies may be competitors to your current or past companies or companies that you feel could use someone with your skills and experience.
2. Once you compile your target list, then search LinkedIn and look at profiles of people who could be potential hiring managers for someone with your skills and experience.
3. Craft a cover letter that is fairly specific for each company and potential hiring manager and send the letter in a LinkedIn Inmail. You should also attach your resume in LinkedIn Inmail.

My thought is that any potential hiring manager who receives such an Inmail would be very flattered and, in more cases than not, reach out to have an initial conversation. Worst case if there is no current opening, this overture will result in a good future contact and potential networking source.

In short, I feel that candidates would be pleasantly surprised to see how much more traction that they get on their searches.

How to Discharge an Employee Gracefully

Having to let an employee go has got to be one of life’s most distasteful chores. Especially, if it’s not on the employee’s radar; no one wants to make another person’s life more difficult.

However, there are times when you must fire someone or let them go. If you want to do it right, then read through this article. There are ways to discharge an employee gracefully.

How to Discharge an Employee Gracefully
How to Discharge an Employee Gracefully

Have a Little Empathy

Think about what this will do for this employee once they are told the company no longer needs their services. It doesn’t matter if the person is being let go due to poor performance or from downsizing; their reactions will vary, from anger to embarrassment to showing fear all in the same moment. Don’t make a difficult situation harder than it has to be.

Schedule Time for Laying Off

Be sure you have all of your paperwork in front of you, when you are terminating an employee. There may be questions from the person being let go, and it’s always good if you have the answer right there. If you have a layoff coming down the line, let people know the truth, as soon as possible.

Let Them Down Easy

For some people you are laying off or terminating, you may be able to offer assistance or resources concerning filing for unemployment or what to do about health insurance. Trying to make a termination a little better, can often result in a world of difference for the person being let go.

Be a Gentle Listener

Finally, let the person being let go react to what’s happening. There may be a range of emotions, but it’s your job not to counter with any rhetoric; just provide a listening ear, and guide them to thinking about new opportunities outside the door.

5 Steps to Reduce Employee Turnovers

Companies usually experience difficulty retaining employees for the long term. Gone are the days where you stay with a job until retirement. As baby boomers begin to retire, many places of business are looking to reduce their turnover costs.

Here are 5 steps to help you do this.

5 Steps to Reduce Employee Turnovers
5 Steps to Reduce Employee Turnovers

1. Hire the right people. This may seem like a no-brainer, but nepotism and who-knows-who may still rule the day in many businesses. Ensure that people you hire are right for your company and their future goals. Be clear about job descriptions; it will only benefit you and the new hire.

2. Have a company that is employee-friendly. Employees are your most valuable asset; when there is a chance to include them in decisions, do so. Also, encourage an open-door policy, and mean it. Employees want to know that their voices are heard, and make a difference. Lastly, reward and recognize employee’s who deserve it.

3. Your business should be monetized as one. Develop base pay scales, and also, variable rate pay scales as well as long-term incentives for compensation, bonuses and financial plans your employee’s can join over time. There should be standard vacation and insurance packages, not a hit-or-miss policy.

4. Possibly consider alternative work schedules. Can some employees benefit from working at home or four days per week instead of five? Are there incentives to working in your company? Trips or events, tickets to sporting venues, etc? A happy workplace is one in which more people are likely to stick around.

5. Fire people who do not or will not fit in. It’s unfortunate and inevitable that not everyone will be the right fit for your company. You will know when this happens, so be sure to let them down easily, but weed out those who are pulling you and your goals down.

Engaging Applicants in Your Company’s Resume Database

A company generally receives many resumes (both solicited and unsolicited) from applicants who want to work for that company. In many cases, the applicants’ resumes are stored in the company’s applicant tracking system. Hopefully, the company’s internal recruiters are continually mining the ATS database as they receive openings to fill. Maybe your applicant tracking system has a search agent function that automatically attaches potential applicants’ resumes in the database to open requisitions.

Engaging Applicants in Your Company’s Resume Database
Engaging Applicants in Your Company’s Resume Database

Another great way to engage your applicants as well as build your company’s employment brand is through the use of an e-newsletter. The content of the e-newsletter should contain stories of new product or service releases, real-life stories of what life is like at your company told by your employees (both new hires as well as long-term), as well as a link that directs the e-newsletter readers to current job openings at your company. The e-newsletter should be sent out on a monthly basis; at a minimum, once a quarter.

The e-newsletter should be send via a system that permits you to track statistics such as any bounces (because of bad email addresses) tracks if the e-newsletter was opened and what stories or links were read. This data will help you to refine your content for future newsletters. Each e-newsletter should be archived so it can be accessed via your company’s main web site (preferably in your Careers section).

The use of an e-newsletter should not only improve the quantity but also the quality of resumes that your company receives. It is certainly well-worth the effort.

For Recruiters

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