I frequently have conversations with candidates that have been on the job search for a while, often through no fault of their own, and it’s sometimes (understandably) difficult to stay positive.
It’s a numbers game, and although an opportunity might be the perfect job with the perfect company, there’s always some competition. Until you’ve signed the contract there’s no guarantee. Use the above tips to stay positive while you search and you will get your day in the sun!
Job seekers are often ill-prepared for the emotional turmoil that lies ahead when embarking on a job search.
Typically you start out with excitement at the unknown possibilities. However, the decision to leave your current job is never an easy one. Weigh up the pros and cons but don’t get stuck for too long pondering whether it’s the right time to leave and anxiously considering if you’re ready to take that next step.
Next you begin your search for an available position via the newspaper, online, referrals etc. This potentially holds the first emotional dip, as you often get little response from the applications you send out. Of course, it may be that you’ll get fast and furious responses and feel ecstatic. Be aware that this process might take time and don’t give up!
Your first interview… now this is emotional process! A combination of super excitement and fear of the unknown! Remember to breathe.
Waiting on feedback is perhaps the biggest rollercoaster of the whole process. There could even be a constant knot in your stomach that leaps at every beep from your phone.
Depending on the feedback you either end up exulted and signing a new contract or you start the process all over again!
Sounds like fun doesn’t it? There are ways to bolster yourself during the process:
Job searching can be a very exciting time in your life as it brings change. Be sure to make the right decisions that will support you during this process.
Here are some ways you can improve yourself and your leadership skills to help in climbing the career ladder:
It’s up to you to decide how far up the corporate ladder you’d like to climb; then take the necessary steps to get there.
According to Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey, 2014 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social presence before making a hiring decision. Disconcerting if you tend to tweet first and ask questions later.
Hiring managers and recruiters use social media platforms to get an idea of who you are, your personality, what you’ve done and how you might fit within their corporate culture before they even talk with you.
They can see:
In short, while they’re looking for information that could possibly give you an advantage, they are also looking for reasons not to hire you; so it pays to be smart and strategic in your use of social media:
You can also:
Nearly all hiring managers will use LinkedIn for every step of the recruitment process, including searching for candidates, getting in contact, and vetting them pre-interview. In contrast, Facebook is primarily used for showcasing the employer’s brand and getting employees to refer their friends. About two-thirds of recruiters also use the network to vet candidates before or after an interview. Twitter appears to be the platform least used by hiring managers, and is used similarly to Facebook, but with less of an emphasis on candidate vetting.
No matter what the platform, however, the takeaway for job seekers is clear: if you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage. Take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional and share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.
Good luck with your job search! As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
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.
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.
Every time you apply for a job you have the chance to stand out and to catch the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter. However, in most cases yours will be only one in a pile of CVs on the desk of a time-strapped executive so if it is unremarkable, irrelevant to the position or riddled with errors, you stand every chance of being rejected for the position. No matter whether this is your first job search or you are fairly high up on the ladder after a career studded with successes, you will benefit from setting some time aside to put together a professional and carefully considered CV, preferably tailored in each case to the job being applied for.
This may mean cutting back on the number of CVs you send out but a single thoughtful and relevant CV is worth a dozen dashed-off copycat CVs.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll make it much easier for that time-strapped exec to conclude you are a strong candidate:
Get noticed before you even apply. The fastest way to an interview is when someone the hiring manager knows makes a recommendation. So, if you are in this lucky position, by all means spend your time and energy there – it will have the greatest payoff.
Get the basics right. Make sure your CV is neither too long nor too short, 3 pages is generally about right. No spelling or grammatical errors – proofread thoroughly and get others to do so as well. Unless you really know what you’re doing or are applying for a job within a creative industry, don’t get fancy with colours and fonts – it needs to look good but keep it simple and professional. Including a cover letter which says something meaningful about the position and how you are suitable for it, is still a good idea unless you are applying for something in a highly creative sector where an infographic, video or online CV/portfolio would be more suitable than a traditional approach.
Do your research. Demonstrate your interest by using three or four key bits of information that show you have looked beyond the first page of their website.
Know what they’re looking for. In some cases this will be clear from the job description. In others, what the company culture demands will be clear from their values or mission statement. Read a few blog posts, look through leadership profiles and explore their corporate website; make sure your CV reflects that you are a fit. And if you aren’t, be honest with yourself and don’t send your CV.
Quality is better than quantity. It’s preferable not to include long lists of random courses you’ve attended, obscure testimonials or newspaper cuttings etc. Do include details of higher education degrees, such as MBAs, or executive programmes attended.
Tailor your CV for different job applications. Different jobs and sectors require different approaches. Each time you send out your CV, take 10 minutes to adjust it so it’s a closer match to the job posting and what the employer is actually looking for. They can tell how much effort has gone into an application. Concentrating on those accomplishments relevant to the role being applied for, use statistics to demonstrate your impact in previous roles.
Don’t forget to use keywords. Use keywords that will catch the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter (taking your cue from the job description is generally a good idea). The right keywords will also get you ‘matched’ by applicant tracking software.
Always tell the truth. It’s increasingly easy to check up on everything you claim and even if you are caught in a small untruth it will probably lead to your application being rejected.
Follow-up – twice. After you’ve sent your CV, send an email or make a call to promote yourself again. Then again one week later. Often this prompts the recruiter or hiring manager to take a second look and will definitely underscore you as an interested, diligent candidate.
In later articles I’ll get into detailed specifics about the cover letter, CV and modern variations. The above guidelines, however, are certain to make sure you’re noticed. Good luck with your job search! As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
Its back to work, our brains have already had a couple of weeks to get out of holiday groove. Outside however, the sun is shining gloriously in beautiful blue skies and the sea or swimming pool still glitters in our mind’s eye! So how do we make the most of summer even though we’re back at work? Here are some great tips!
The best accessory since sliced bread, they are easy to keep in the boot of your car and take out at any place you can catch some rays (whether in the park or the braai you’ve been invited to)!
For those not living on the coast this might seem a bit silly – but having handy sun screen, beach towels, a swimming costume and sunglasses keeps you ready for anything! Friends hitting the pool after work? Once you hang up your hat at the end of a workday you’re ready for anything!
Take advantage of our beautiful country and go someplace nice; whether it’s a wine farm trip, or to the local bush restaurant. A nice table outside with a view keeps the happy thoughts flowing.
It’s boring going for a walk alone. Why not share the fun by organising a group walk? Choose an area stimulating for the senses such as your local park, beach promenade, a suburban area that you want to explore… you can be as creative as you choose!
South Africa has some very beautiful areas to explore. Pack a lunch and make a picnic out of it! If you can afford to eat out, choose a patio or deck type restaurant.
For those competitive types this is an excellent way to get out and enjoy the weather. Certain team sports have corporate leagues during the summer months. Don’t like your competitor? Joining a corporate sports league and beating them can be quiet satisfying.
Lots of these groups organise networking mixers, harbour cruises and pub crawls. Not only do you get to enjoy a bit of night life but it’s an excellent way to make networking fun this summer.
Everyone brings something, you get the fire going, and then sit back and relax. Its summer after all!
This is probably one of the worst tips for someone like me as I am a notorious morning grouch! BUT – it does allow for going for a morning run or having breakfast with a loved one before dashing to work. All in all, great ways to start the day.
Nothing is as refreshing as having a short break away. Spend a long weekend in the bush, mountains or at some glorious spa being pampered. Plan the days, and use the public holidays to your advantage.
If you are in the advantageous position of living relatively close to work, make use of arriving traffic-stress free and having had your exercise for the day. Just remember to check for shower facilities beforehand.
Right, I am off to the beach with my handy beach bag and foldable chairs. Enjoy the summer!
It’s a new year, it’s supposed to bring new beginnings right? Still feeling as if you are stuck in a rut? Doing the same things over and over again? Just a little more than 5 weeks in the New Year and you feel as if you are returning to the same old little bad habits that you did not like from the last year…
Time to reinvent yourself! In the spirit of one of the masters in the art of reinventing herself, Madonna, here are some tips to change your environment! From the inside out!
Evaluate where you are
Take an honest look at yourself and really see the situation for what it is. What you are taking away from it and if it really is as bad as you think it is. Remember, sometimes the problem is all in our head!
Identify opportunities your current situation presents
Life is about whether the glass is half full or half empty! Are you focusing on the empty glass? Perhaps it is time to take the tough situation you are facing at work and make an opportunity out of it! Someone once told me that to deal with a problem effectively, you need to view it as you would a big teddy bear! Its HUGE, it’s in your way, and it’s not going anywhere! So what do you do? You hug the bear – you hug it until it melts, and disappears. Tightly! Take ownership of the situation and you will see that not before long the problem disappears and you have moved passed it.
Say Yes! (and No!)
Anybody ever watched Jim Carey in “Yes Man”? It’s a motivational story about a man, stuck in a rut, who goes on an adventure by saying yes to every single thing that comes his way! It transforms his life! I am not saying you should go to this extreme, but perhaps it’s time to think about the opportunities that you are saying yes to.
Same goes for the other way around, if you find yourself unable to say no, overwhelmed by responsibilities for others and commitments that you really should not have made in the first place! Say No! No, I cannot pick up your children as well because driving to your house is 45 minutes out of my way and then I will be late in helping the children with their homework. Set your boundaries!
Change your job
No, I am not saying that to resign is the answer here, perhaps a different way of doing things. Changing jobs takes time, and you don’t want to jump from the boiling water into the fire! If you are bored it might be that you are not stimulated enough! Ask for more responsibility, put up your hand when the next project is up for grabs. Volunteer to organise the next work function! Be creative! You will find that it changes your perspective and changes your attitude by making a positive contribution to your office environment. The possibilities can be endless but it is up to you to sit up and start taking notice!
Start with Why
This is essential. Why are you here? What are you doing here? You can go so far as to ask yourself why you are on this earth!? Combine it! Work and Play does not need to be two separate entities in your life. It could be anything from making people’s life easier or working to provide for your children. Everyone has something special.
365 Days can be overwhelming. Its long, it’s tedious and by the time your reach Christmas the goals, aspirations and fun have all but disappeared into the daily dredge of life and survival! Yuck!! Make life fun by focusing on small things for a short period of time. 30 Days is all you have to do, 30 days of avoiding sugar, alcohol or walking every day. 30 Days of connecting with a colleague, compliment someone or trying different ways of doing things! Once done you can congratulate yourself on a job well done or splurge on the bag of chocolates you have been eyeing at the local supermarket!
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! We spend most of our time at work, more even than we spend with our families or friends! Doesn’t a dead-end job, only living for the weekend, sound absolutely soul destroying?
Come on, you can do it!