Here is some general feedback I, as a recuitment consultant, have had from hiring managers over the last couple of years:
What do you really want?
Are you randomly sending your CV to every single job advertised? Rather don’t. Spend some time considering what you really want out of your career and incorporate this on your CV’s “goal” or “objective” section, and then send selectively to jobs that match your goal.
Adapt your CV to speak to the job you’re applying for
Gone are the days when line managers could spend an hour reading through your 20 page novel. Really look at the requirements of the role and cherry pick your experiences to highlight the parts that are most relevant. Not only will you stand out from all the competition but you will get a call back faster!
Be deliberate about how your experience, personality and skills are a fit for the job. Use industry jargon, make note of your accomplishments and let a bit of your personality shine through. For example: You are applying for a maintenance role, take out your supervisory experience and focus on your fault-finding skills or the machines that you serviced. If you are applying for the supervisory role the opposite is true! Show how many staff you managed; did you get involved in IR/HR issues?
Have a look around
Get inspiration from others in the market. Have a look at the LinkedIn profiles of those in your market and see how well they showcase themselves. Use what you have learned to spruce up your own resumé.
How much did you increase your turnover by? What monetary impact did the product that you introduced have? Give a percentage or monetary value and your CV will look like that of a superstar!
Use the dictionary
Kiss buzzwords goodbye! Ever read through 10-20 resumés? This is what the hiring manager goes through before making a decision. It’s brain numbing to read the same old “I am a good worker,” “I am motivated” etc. etc. Eliminate this kind of thing completely or be creative.
Do you have a life?
Companies increasingly look for well-balanced individuals who can show they won’t burn out from work pressure. List your volunteer work, especially if it’s long term and gives you the opportunity to develop skills your current job may not. However, keep it in balance; having a whole page dedicated to animals in need vs. relevant job experience might backfire!
Keep it simple, please
Using different pictures and colours or too many graphics might be an excellent creative project for you but if your hiring manager is an accountant it might just put them off. Keep it simple, think about who you are submitting your CV to. Keep it professional.
Take your time
Give yourself time to format your resumé correctly. Make sure you read through it a couple of times and have a friend or family member read through it as well. There should be no spelling mistakes, your sentences should make sense and well presented. Usually a job gives you a bit of time before the deadline so you have time to adjust and perfect your application. Rather this than risk sending a CV riddled with mistakes at 2am simply to be the first CV in the manager’s inbox. Interestingly enough most hiring managers only start going through CV’s on the second day.
This method allows you to feel in control of your inbox, deal with important emails and manage your inbox better. Trust me: leaving the office with an empty inbox can be a liberating experience!
The next step is to implement some strategies to manage the flow of incoming email:
Good luck in making these changes. Every small change can make an impact in getting on top of your incoming mail. So the question remains… what are you waiting for?
Constantly stressed and running late? Here’s some good news… According to research being on time or running late might have nothing to do with you! The research, carried out by Jeff Conte and Jerald Greenberg of the San Diego State University and published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, identified two types of people:
Type A: These individuals are usually punctual because they have an internal clock that estimates a minute being 58 seconds.
Type B: These unfortunate individuals estimate a minute as being 77 seconds.
See the difference? Type B is also a little more laid back than Type A, adding to the sometimes infuriating relationship dynamic between the two.
Here are some time management tips to help Type B be more on time and perhaps even improve Type A’s time management skills!
Remember, even a few of the above tips can help improve your time management whether it’s at home or the office.
In this, the second of 5 articles (if you haven’t read part 1 which looked at the widening skills gap and an increased emphasis on planning and future-focus, you can access it here) I will be looking at the following corporate recruiting trends:
An increasingly hot topic: Baby Boomers, the largest generation to ever hit the workforce, are retiring in droves. As they exit the workplace, many Generation X’ers could see increased opportunity, and Millennials are set to overtake the majority representation of the workforce and take on management positions for the first time. Millennials are known to have significantly different expectations of their work experience. Companies face the dual challenge of engaging and retaining newly hired Millennials, whilst ensuring the knowledge and skills of retiring Baby Boomers are maintained.
While many companies are still trying to understand Millennials, some are going to recruit the upcoming generation, Generation Z (born between 1994 and 2010), for internships.
Boomerangs return as a primary source
If you’re not familiar with the term, a ‘boomerang rehire’ is a former top-performing employee you rehire after an absence from your employment. These individuals have proven to be one of the highest sources of quality hires. This is due to the speed at which they can be found (thanks to LinkedIn they are incredibly easy to find), high quality of hire (they were previously top performing individuals) and low cost (they are familiar with the organisation so training costs will be minimized). Boomerang rehires are expected to reach 15 percent of all hires at major firms.
Women continue to move into power positions
According to Dan Schwabel, writing for Forbes Magazine, “there’s been a lot of chatter about women in the workplace over the past few years and that conversation isn’t going to die out in 2015, it will accelerate. As more Millennials occupy positions in the workplace, the wage gap will start to close. New research also shows that the top financially successful companies have 37% of their leaders as women and 12% are high-potential women. With trends such as couples not having children, delayed adulthood, and more women attending college, there’s no doubt that we will see more female leaders.”
Look out for the next three articles in this series, which will cover the following trends in corporate recruiting for 2015:
If we can be of assistance in the meantime, please get in touch.
Corporate recruiting has seen many changes over the past decade and as the economy continues to improve, the global competition for talent continues to heat up. All employers are under enormous pressure to stay relevant.
In this series of 5 articles I will be looking at the following corporate recruiting trends:
The skills gap continues to widen
The skills gap continues to widen
Technology and work are changing – will the workforce be able to keep up?
Unfortunately, the gap between the documented number of jobs available and the number of talented workers available to fill those positions continues to widen; a unanimously noted challenge for all HR executives and hiring managers. As the skills gaps widen so too does the demand for the combination of skills. There is also a rise, especially amongst the younger tech-savvy and increasingly nomadic generations, in the fluidity of talent. Restless employees on one hand and a skills gap on the other is not an easy place to be. As a result it will be even harder for companies to hold on to their best people.
The gap should have been addressed 10 years ago, and some steps were taken, but both public and private entities need to increase efforts now if we are going to catch up. Increasingly, the narrowing of the skills gap will be a key factor in determining which nations and economies are the most competitive in the next five to 15 years.
An increased emphasis on planning and future-focus
Knee-jerk recruitment and reacting to past trends will not give businesses all that’s necessary to align and act before the competition catches up. Recruiting shortages and high turnover rates mean we should expect an increased emphasis on all aspects of workforce planning, including talent pipelines and talent communities, supply / demand forecasting, succession planning, predicting employee turnover, and leader development.
There’s no doubt that succession planning is going to be a major concern for companies as more boomers start to retire. One of the ways that companies are handling succession planning is keeping some workers on the payroll. About 65% of workers plan to work for pay in retirement. You will start to see companies hold onto their older workers in order to transfer their knowledge to younger ones.
Look out for the next four articles in this series as we continue to look at the hottest trends in corporate recruiting for 2015.
If we can be of assistance in the meantime, please get in touch.
The most successful companies pinpoint critical success factors for their business and plan their workforce around these core objectives. Line managers identify how their department can contribute to achieving the larger corporate goals and then identify the roles and competencies required. This approach to talent management allows companies to identify which skills they need more of now, which they’re likely to need in the future, and how they address and rectify any gaps. It also allows organisations to plan adequately for talent attraction in a market where power is returning to the job seeker.
Once you have your business strategy locked down begin by looking at the key skills required to ensure business objectives are continuously met. Be sure to regularly review them – your company and industry will evolve and so will the skills required. You don’t want to be hiring ‘key’ people only to see their expertise become redundant within a matter of months. Next, do a skills gap analysis to show where you are exposed. Identifying those gaps early will help your talent acquisition team map the market to determine where that talent currently sits, how big a potential candidate pool there is and where the potential obstacles might arise, e.g. location. At the same time, develop an internal mobility and succession plan to ensure good people are being utilised optimally. Consider the current make up of your workforce: level, length of service, skill set, diversity metrics, potential, performance, ambition. This is not only a great motivator for existing key people but also acts as a retention tool. And then, plan for attrition. By forecasting future leavers it helps leaders plan accordingly for any skills gaps and back-fill appropriately, and in good time.
These are some of the questions to ask during the alignment of talent development to strategic objectives:
Talent acquisition needs to be viewed as strategic rather than operational. It’s essential, therefore, that your talent acquisition team has strategic strength and really understands your business and your objectives. If they do, they can be creative in developing and implementing a variety of sourcing plans defined by the variable parameters that matter most, for example:
Business critical needs
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
The cost of a new hire is significant. The cost of a bad hire is infinitely more: hiring costs + total compensation + cost of maintaining the employee + disruption costs + severance costs + mistakes, failures and missed opportunities. Talent decisions have real bottom line implications and so it’s critically important to examine every step in your hiring process to make sure that, as often as humanly possible, you end up with the right candidate in the role.
How do you know whether or not your talent selection system is working for you? The following points are good indications:
I came across this list compiled by The Partnering Group, which outlines the 10 questions you should be able to answer yes to for each of the key steps in the talent selection process (line management can be considered subject matter experts):
|Selection Criteria||Do you conduct a job or competency analysis to identify key criteria?|
|Are subject matter experts involved in the analysis?|
|Is the job / competency analysis conducted and reviewed regularly?|
|Selection Techniques||Are structured selection techniques used to evaluate job candidates? If so, are the techniques designed based on a job / competency analysis?|
|Are subject matter experts involved in the design of the selection techniques?|
|Are the selection techniques validated following legal guidelines? If so, is the validation study documented in a technical report?|
|Is the scoring process determined based on the validation process?|
|Are hiring managers trained on the selection process?|
|Onboarding & Development||Do selection results inform the onboarding process?|
|Do selection results inform the talent development process?|
In developing job descriptions remember to take into account your organisational talent profile – certain qualities and attributes will fit better within your culture and with your corporate values and will better drive your business strategy forward. Have a look at your current top performers – their qualities are likely to be good predictors of success. It’s important, also, to evaluate the whole person, not just their technical skills. Behaviours, motives, values and personality traits are just as important.
In today’s competitive climate it’s essential to ensure alignment between employee skills and the company’s culture, values and business direction. If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.
Mankind has long been fascinated with what, exactly, makes one person emerge as a leader over others. Personality? Character? The situation? It’s only been since the mid 19th century or so, however, that we have formalised this fascination into theoretical exploration. Early leadership theories focused on what qualities distinguished leaders from followers, while subsequent theories looked at variables such as situational factors and skill levels. Eight major theories, commonly categorised by which aspect is believed to define the leader the most, have emerged:
Originally proposed by Thomas Carlyle in the 1840’s, the Great Man theory assumes that leadership is inherent; that great men are born not made – they are destined from birth to emerge as leaders. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, and leaders were often ascribed the qualities of mythical heroes.
Great Man theory did much to establish and reinforce popular support for trait-based leadership thinking then, and for many years afterwards.
Similar to Great Man theory, Trait theory assumes people are born with inherent traits, some of which are particularly suited to leadership and those with the right (or a sufficient) combination of the right traits will make good leaders. The focus is on discovering what these traits are, often by studying successful leaders. Indeed distinct traits DO arise in the profiles of effective leaders and in the way that followers desire to be led; however, this does not alone adequately explain what effective leadership is or how it can be developed.
General acceptance of trait-based leadership theory remained virtually unchallenged for around a hundred years.
Behavioural theory offers a new perspective – that leadership is based on definable, learnable behavior: leaders are made, rather than born. This theory looks at what leaders do rather than who they are. This implies that anyone can learn to be a leader simply by learning how to behave like one: a remarkable shift. Behavioural theory divides leaders into two categories: those concerned with task and those concerned with people.
This theory suggests the ideal leadership style is one that takes others into account. The assumptions, as summarised by changing minds, are:
Situational theory proposes that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables. Different styles of leadership may be more appropriate for certain types of decision-making. For example, in a situation where the leader is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of a group, an authoritarian style might be most appropriate. In other instances where group members are skilled experts, a democratic style would be more effective.
Similar to Situational theory, Contingency theory proposes that success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation: there is no one best way of leading – a leadership style effective in some situations may not be successful in others. The main difference is that Situational theory focuses more on the behaviours the leader should adopt, given situational factors (often about follower behavior), whereas Contingency theory takes a broader view that includes contingent factors about leader capability and other variables within the situation.
This theory bases leadership on a system of reward and punishment. Transactional leadership is often used in business: when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished. Additional assumptions are:
The essence of transformational theory is that leaders transform their followers through their inspirational nature and charismatic personalities. They inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations to work towards common goals. Overall, they balance their attention between action that creates progress and the mental state of their followers. Perhaps more than other approaches, they are people-oriented and believe that success comes first and last through deep and sustained commitment.
The leadership field has made great strides forward since the 1840’s in uncovering whether leaders are born or made, how followers affect how successful leaders can be, how some charismatic leaders build up societies and others destroy them, as well as what impact leading through technology has on individual and collective performance. Where leadership theory and research will take us over the next decade is indeed intriguing.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
One in four CEOs indicate they were unable to pursue a market opportunity or had to cancel or delay a strategic initiative because of talent challenges, according to recent research from PwC. The study also showed that one in three is concerned skills shortages will impact their company’s ability to innovate effectively.
Clearly, the skills shortage has now become an ongoing concern. And this is exacerbated by a number of factors, including aging populations leaving the workforce and the fact that current candidate pools are more selective – often with several job offers.
The candidate has become king. As Forbes magazine puts it: (Since the 2008 recession) Companies have reduced costs, restructured, rationalized spending, and pushed people to work harder than ever. More than 60% of organizations tell us one of their top is dealing with ‘the overwhelmed employee’. This year the power will shift: high-performing employees will start to exert control.”
Never has it been more important to take control of how your company is seen as an employer.
For most organisations, recruiting is a tactical operation – a series of things that take place resulting in qualified people getting hired. It is mostly reactive. To ensure that your company has a chance at hiring the best people to successfully operate in a global, competitive environment, you will need a strategic plan coupled with appropriate resources and tactics. This plan should provide a comprehensive blueprint for not only who your organisation should recruit, but also for when, where and how that recruitment should take place. It should of course be aligned very closely to your organisation’s overall business strategy, taking into account any planned changes of direction.
Your plan needs to encompass a solid employer-branding component, the foundation of talent attraction. In today’s age of radical transparency, organisational values, integrity and ethical standards matter to customers and shareholders but most importantly, to current and potential employees. Marketers have for decades used tools to build brand awareness, loyalty and trust to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Now HR practitioners are being increasingly called upon to use similar marketing skills to win the hearts and minds of employees.
Companies must sell themselves as employers. In the age of the information avalanche, candidates can and do conduct extensive research on potential employers – especially in-demand candidates – and they have the ability to access the opinions of past and present employees, together with all those candidates previously having gone through the interview process with that company. Employers are affected on two levels: 1) Identifying and broadcasting the employer’s differentiating factor is crucial, and 2) Conveying the employer’s culture in and beyond the office is critical to employer brand fulfillment.
At the core of a successful employer brand is a clear employee value proposition or EVP, which defines what the organisation would most like to be associated with as an employer and defines the “give and get” of the employment deal (the value that employees are expected to contribute with the value that they can expect in return). EVP’s have become closely related to the concept of employer branding with the EVP being used to define the underlying “offer” on which an organisation’s employer brand is based. An EVP must be unique, relevant and compelling if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement and retention – which is ultimately what your employer brand aims to do.
In the coming months I will be writing more in-depth on employer branding and EVP’s as well as how to design an effective talent attraction strategy.
Until then, ask yourself: Do you know what attracts people to your company? As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
What we want as employers is simple: to find the right people, keep them happy and have them stay. However this seems to be increasingly challenging to achieve: young employees want more career growth; people change jobs more often; the work environment in companies has not kept up with the outside world; management doesn’t always understand how to motivate younger people; an aging workforce; the skills gap and the resulting fierce competition for talent.
According to Gallup research, only one in eight workers are actively engaged at work and likely to be making a positive contribution. The signs of a disengaged workforce are myriad: missed deadlines, poor customer service, careless (and costly) mistakes, and employees who count the minutes until they can leave for the day. Statistically, according to Gallup, in companies with a disengaged workforce, employees take 37 percent more sick days and the inventory shrinkage rate is 28 percent greater.
Ultimately, this is what you risk if your employees’ engagement level is low:
By way of contrast, companies with highly engaged employees outperform those without by 202%, product defects are up to 41 percent less common, and safety incidents happen 48 percent less often.
And naturally, companies with high engagement levels have 25-65 percent better retention rates than companies with low engagement. Unfortunately most companies feel they have a long way to go. According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends Report 2014 (in which executives rate “retention and engagement” their No. 2 priority):
An alarming number of executives rate themselves or their companies as either “weak” or just “adequate” in several key retention capabilities:
Employees are an “appreciating asset,” as Josh Bersin puts it: the longer they stay with a company the more productive they are and the more they add value. Our focus as employers, however, cannot solely be on retention or “holding people here.” Better to keep people engaged through measures that build commitment, align employee goals and experience with corporate purpose, and provide engaging work and a culture of development and growth. In other words, we want people to stay because they want to, not because they have no other alternative.
Ultimately the most successful companies are those that know engagement and retention are more than just buzzwords. They have a common sense of mission, a deep respect for their employees and put time, energy, and money into building a highly engaging environment.
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.