A job search can often drag on, so who could blame you for becoming despondent and dispirited, even depressed? Unfortunately, the more depressed you become the harder it is to keep looking; also, potential employers may be turned off by ‘negativity’. Use these tips to do everything you can to stay motivated during your job search.
Enjoy the process. Job-hunting, while stressful, can be a time of transition and self-development. Reassess your goals, find out what you really want to do and engross yourself in making yourself the best you can be.
Set up the right environment. Creating an area in your home; complete with phone, computer and anything else you need; from where you can run your job search will help you stay focused on the target.
Have a plan and write it down. What type of job do you want? With what type of employer? Concentrate on finding the closest real-world match. Don’t waste your time on “just OK” opportunities unless you really need to, to pay the bills. How are you going to go about finding opportunities? Give yourself goals to meet, such as applying for X number of jobs each week, participating in X number of groups and adding X amount of people to your network. Goals will keep your mind focused on the things that are important and keep you feeling positive about your future. Make your goals realistic and SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) and attach them to a timeline.
Try new (to you) job-search techniques. Go for an informational interview or switch your CV from chronological to functional. A different approach may breathe new life into your job hunt.
Get Specific With Your To-Do List. General job-searching tasks like “network” and “update CV” can be overwhelming and add to low motivation levels. Rather rework your to-do list to include smaller, more specific tasks.
Use your network of contacts. Talk to everyone you know. Break out those business cards you’ve been collecting. Don’t necessarily ask your contacts for a job, but let them know you’re looking for new opportunities. Expand your network every single day. The growth of your professional network is often a better way to measure progress than how many interviews you have each week.
Talk to a small group of trusted recruiters often. They will be able to give you honest, open and relevant advice on a range of job related topics. This could include helping you to tailor your CV and prepare you for interviews.
Prepare, plan and perform at interviews. The more preparation and planning you do for interviews, the better your performance will be. This will also positively affect your confidence and motivation.
Ask for interview feedback and use it wisely. Take feedback seriously and use the positive feedback to keep you motivated. If you said or did something in an interview you regret, remember not to do it next time. Remember not all companies will be prepared to give feedback and some you will never be able to please, no matter how well you think you did during an interview. Don’t take these things personally.
Remember the law of averages. The more calls you make, the more networking events you go to and the more applications you send out, the greater your chances of finding the job of your dreams. However, resist the urge to blanket bomb every recruiter out there. You need to tailor your CV for each job. Sooner or later, you’ll hit the right mark.
Start each day as you mean to go on. Yes, it’s tempting to sleep in but the first 30 minutes of your day dictate how the rest of it will go. Set your alarm as if you were going to work, have a shower and take a walk to get some fresh air.
Socialise with employed friends. It’s a reminder that jobs do exist. Besides, these are the people who are most likely to know about available positions and upcoming openings.
Hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. Find and stick with friends and family who respect you, who like you for who you are, and who are positive and upbeat. Ask for their support. Suggest specific ways they can help you conduct a successful search, from praising your capabilities to editing your CV.
Invigorate yourself through hobbies or sports. These can be activities you already love or, better yet, something new and exciting.
Get some exercise. Exercise produces those wonderful little pepper-uppers, endorphins which are important during this process.
Eat healthy. Make sure you eat lots of fruit and vegetables, stay away from fatty foods and try to limit your alcohol intake. A healthy body generally leads to a healthy mind.
Learn something new. It can be related to your work or something for fun. Learning new things stretches your brain and brightens your outlook.
Volunteer. Fulfilling the needs of others can raise your self-esteem, remind you of how lucky you are and offer potential networking opportunities. You never know what potential networking resource you might find working beside you at a local charity.
Designate one day a week when you won’t think about your job hunt. Take a break. Clear your head. Rest. Relax. Re-energise. Look after your personal well-being. Go for a run, go to lunch with a friend or family member or watch your favorite show, whatever works to recharge your batteries.
Reward yourself. Fired off three CVs this morning? Had a call back for an interview? Celebrate! Giving yourself a reward is a great way to keep yourself motivated and is something to look forward to after a long week. If you’re short on cash then it can be something as little as heading out for a coffee or taking a sunny walk in the park.
Don’t give up. Finding a new job can be a full-time job in its own right. You will need to devote a lot of time and effort to your job search, and keep patiently pursuing it. Even if you do get low at times, don’t give up, keep thinking positively that the next application you complete could yield your dream job.
As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
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The world of recruiting changes rapidly. For hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals alike, keeping ahead of the trends can be truly game-changing.
In this, the last article in the series on corporate recruiting trends, I will be looking at the following:
Focus on candidate experience
For a long time, in a candidate-rich market, the power has been with the employer. We’re now in a candidate-driven marketplace. The skills shortage means top candidates are now in the driver’s seat and the best of them have multiple options. Recruiting must dramatically increase hiring speed, offer a great candidate experience, and shift emphasis away from assessment and towards excellence in “marketing candidates.” This involves the pre-application phase when the candidate seeks to understand the company, the recruitment stage when the candidate goes through the processes and the post application stage when the candidate is given feedback.
Compelling offers become essential
In today’s marketplace where top candidates get multiple offers, the offer generation process must be radically updated. This means that sign-on bonuses, exploding offers, and identifying and meeting a candidate’s job acceptance criteria will become essential once again. In addition, hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals will need to update their skills and approaches for creating compelling offers and selling in-demand prospects and candidates. Relearning how to successfully combat counteroffers from a candidate’s current manager will also become essential.
A shift in focus from headcount to total workforce costs
Insights into salary or direct compensation only tell part of the workforce cost story. To understand the real impact to the business, organisations will expand their analysis to the total cost of the workforce.
Increased emphasis on retention and workforce planning
In the improving economy, retention challenges will arise as workers become more confident in exploring new jobs. At the same time, as unemployment drops, there will be increased competition for top talent. Organisations will look beyond recruiting processes to improving hiring outcomes. They will increasingly have strategies in place to identify top performers at risk of leaving and provide visibility into how compensation, performance and engagement impact retention. HR will shift from reacting to hiring demands to proactively planning the workforce, identifying critical resources, forecasting turnover and developing more accurate hiring plans based on delivering talent for critical business strategies.
As always, if we can be of any assistance please get in touch.
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All too often staff retention issues are addressed only when a valued employee is about to leave by offering them an enticement to stay. Then it’s back to business as usual. A far better approach is to understand what your employees want and need and make a strategic decision to proactively fulfill those needs. Talent retention is critical for two very important reasons:
To retain your best people, implement the following best practices:
Bonus tip: Conduct stay interviews so you can find out exactly why employees have remained with the company and what it would take for them to leave.
Of course, sometimes turnover is inevitable. People move. They change careers. They get a better offer someplace else. However, if your employees feel valued and excited about working at your company, and fairly compensated, they’ll not want to go elsewhere.
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
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Interviews are as harrowing for Hiring Managers as they are for candidates: many aren’t sure how to get it right to ensure successful hiring of the best possible person for the role. Becoming a practiced interviewer is a skill like any other, which takes training and experience. Here’s some advice.
Understand what you need. Identify the critical business need you want them to solve, along with the experience, qualifications, and credentials you require. Be prepared to talk about the role, how you will measure success, what’s worked and what hasn’t, how the role has evolved or changed.
Prepare in advance. Take the time to properly screen the CV. Candidates will pick up if you have no knowledge of their background, pay attention to where they’ve worked, the positions they’ve held and their accomplishments. Look beyond facts and figures: read between the lines to get a sense of the person’s interests, goals, successes and failures. Do a quick survey of social media to see what their online presence tells you about who they are. If you find someone in the candidate’s network that you know, make a note. They could be a good reference.
What do you really want to know about this person? What skillsets do they bring to your department? Will their skills complement or challenge you? Can they take what they know and apply it in your role? Determine how you will identify the person with the right personality, interpersonal skills, and interests. Be prepared to talk about things that are specific to your department, your management style or the company. Give specific examples that have been problematic with previous employees to see how they would respond to these issues.
Develop a set of questions with help from HR, your peers and your employees. Come up with questions in four categories: fact-finding, creative-thinking, problem-solving and behavioral.
Create an agenda for the candidate’s visit. Start time, introduction, position details, company information, interview with manager A, interview with manager B, tour, lunch, closing time. Give the candidate the agenda so they know what to expect.
Know yourself. Are you a quick study or do you need to spend two hours with someone to get a good feel for who they are? Allocate enough time to get what you need from the meeting. Do not allow yourself to be rushed or distracted.
Interview the candidate in person whenever possible. If you must do it over the phone, try using video-conferencing.
Take away the nerves. There are interviewers who like candidates to feel uncomfortable to see how they perform. This is seldom conducive to a good beginning. Rather spend the first few minutes chatting about a neutral, safe topic so they feel more at ease.
Take notes during the interview. Note highlights and things you want to follow-up on later. Pay attention to whether the employee is taking notes as well.
Pay attention to non-verbal indicators. Both during the interview as well as how the candidate acts before and after questioning. Are they flustered or poised upon arrival? How does the candidate treat the reception staff? What does their body language communicate?
Make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation. The key is to listen slowly. Pause. Give the conversation room to breathe. The more you know about the candidate ahead of time, the more you can ask questions that give the candidate room for self-analysis or introspection.
Ask open-ended questions. Why are you here? What do you like about our company? What is our competition doing that we’re not? What about the role appeals to you?
Ask follow up questions. Listen to the initial answer and then ask why. Or when. Or how a situation turned out. Or who actually did what. Or what made a success difficult to achieve, or what was learned from a failure. Follow-up questions take you past canned responses and into details, both positive and negative.
Answer as many questions as you ask. Great candidates are evaluating you, your company, and whether they really want to work for you. Give them time to ask and answer thoughtfully and candidly.
Describe the next steps. Explain what you will do and when. Few things are worse for a candidate than having no idea what, when, or if something will happen.
Contact references and conduct follow-up. Don’t just contact the references the candidate provides. Check out the people in the candidate’s network or your own if you know someone in common. A terrible candidate may wish you hadn’t stuck to his/her list of references, but a great candidate never will. Have human resources follow-up with any fact-checking or background items you noted during the interview. And watch for the candidates’ follow-up: they should send a note thanking you for the opportunity and offering to provide any additional information you might need.
Conduct one more interview. Even if you think you’re sure, give yourself one more chance to be absolutely positive you’re making the right decision.
Make an enthusiastic offer. Show your enthusiasm. Express your excitement. In a great employer-employee relationship there is no upper hand. The right candidate will be just as excited to come on board as you are to welcome them.
That’s the perfect way to start.
If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.
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Companies operating globally or wanting to attract employees from different cultures, age groups and job functions need to move beyond a ‘one size fits all’ approach to their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and their talent branding.
Before we delve deeper here’s a quick review of EVP, according to Brett Minchington, international employer brand strategist and author, ‘Its a set of functional and emotive associations and offerings (e.g. career development, salary, friendly working environment, etc.) provided by an organisation in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation.’
Whilst there’s been much focus over the past few years on companies developing a single EVP, the trend is towards organisations developing segmented (or subsets of the global EVP statement) EVP’s which are relevant to the various segments within the business. While you should leverage core messaging across all job types, it’s important to recognise that different candidates have different motivators. Just as marketers target different customers for different products, companies need to target different segments for different roles and will require different messaging for these segments. For example the EVP for a graduate hire may be focused on career development, friendly work environment and opportunities to grow with the business; whereas an experience hire may be seeking an employment experience which offers high salary, work flexibility and the opportunity to work with thought leaders. Engineers may want to hear about what they’re going to build, and the advanced technology they’ll learn about and use, while sales people may want to land big deals and earn large commissions.
A sound approach is to develop a set of core EVP statements and then, aligned with the needs of each target audience, define which should be stressed for each market. Create job-specific sourcing profiles that include the specific recruitment messaging that will appeal to your target candidates. This will help you get passive candidates interested by articulating “what’s in it for me?” in a more tailored way.
The key is gathering detailed candidate and employee insights through research. A sound EVP strategy must begin with understanding the needs of the different target groups. Market intelligence is critical and should be the foundation of your branding strategy. You need a deep understanding of what motivates workers in each of your markets and critical talent segments and insight into what competing employers are doing to win talent.
Lastly, to be successful the EVP must be credible which is why it must always be tested. The purpose of testing is to ensure that all categories of current and potential employees find it appealing. Testing also tells you which elements of the EVP need to be ‘turned up’ or ‘turned down’ to appeal to different groups. Testing should take place with both internal and external employees.
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
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The path to leadership isn’t an easy one. In the past, managers were expected to maintain the status quo in order to move ahead, but today’s leaders are expected to be visionary. Through good times, stressful times and terrible times, great leaders must be both learners and teachers, foresee paradigm changes in society, have a strong sense of ethics, and work to build integrity in their organisations. Here are some key qualities that good leaders tend to possess:
Beyond these basic traits, leaders of today also possess traits which help them motivate others and lead them in new directions:
Great leaders always have a definite purpose and a plan for attaining it. They surround themselves with talented people who share their vision.
If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, please get in touch.
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In essence, workforce planning is simple: ensuring there are the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and at the right price to execute business strategy. However, because it’s all about people and because it takes a longer-term look, in practice it’s much harder than it sounds.
As Dilys Robinson of HR Magazine puts it: understanding workforce demand is notoriously difficult. Priorities shift, managers get distracted and the economy does unexpected things. Added to this there’s often a lack of strategic direction, poor quality data, the battle to get workforce planning on the senior management agenda and to get the organisation thinking long-term, along with the difficulty of extracting sensible demand forecasts from managers.
Common problems include:
The end result is that workforce forecasts look remarkably similar to the existing picture, even though managers, often admit that their existing workforce profile is far from ideal.
Success Factors, in the paper Workforce Planning Pitfalls, outlines 6 common pitfalls to look out for when beginning the process of workforce planning:
Workforce planning will continue to grow as a critical element of business success. Understanding how the process works, how to demonstrate its impact and how to avoid common pitfalls will enable organisations to focus on what really matters: having the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and at the right price to execute business strategy.
As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
Previous articles in this series:
Resources: Overcoming the Challenges of Strategic Staffing