CAREER COMPASS GROUP HIRING BLOGS
Relax grab a cup of coffee and enjoy reading!
Are you a Mid-to-Senior Level Professional working in the "Tech Sector" trying to find a new job, but need to "fly under the radar" so your employer doesn't find out? Are you trying to avoid publicizing your resume for fear of being over-whelmed by the countless amount of emails and calls from recruiters trying to talk you into a opening that doesn't fit? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions then I may have a solution for you!
The strategies I'm proposing are proven effective for individuals wanting to conduct a highly confidential job search to try and move in-between or upward into a technical or managerial position where discretion is important. The strategies I'm specifically referring to is Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc...). I understand most people know how to use these tools already, but I can assure you there is an incredible amount of things these tools can do for your job search that you can't even begin to imagine! Take it from someone who over the last couple years has dedicated themselves to really understanding how to use Social Media for my job. The only boundary Social Media has is the limits of your creativity!
Why is a Job Search Different for Technology Professionals Then Other Professions?
So there are a couple of reasons I really wanted to focuse this blog on professionals working in the Tech Industry. For one, I have spent the majority of my professional work life recruiting, evaluating and hiring Information Technology skill sets so I have a very good understanding of the importance that their abilities and talents directly have on an organization. Therefore I have some specific job search strategies that someone working in technology can leverage to best market themselves. The second and most important reason I wanted to reach out specifically to technology people and folks in management is that their search is very specific and focused, thus making it different and in most cases more difficult.
Believe it or not conducting a search when you are employed is far more difficult than when you are a "free agent" or in between jobs. The reason is when you are employed in most instances, you don't want your current employer to know you are looking. This means you don't have the ability to advertise out to the "free world" that you are looking for a new job for fear of consequences you could face if your employer finds out. The second problem with looking for a job when you are working is the lack of flexibility to interview. In fact having initial conversations with potential employers to do initial inquires are even difficult during business hours when you are working.
Due to the nature of work and the level of difficulties that technical professionals possess make them attractive to many potential employers out there. The training IT people have to endure is intense and very expensive, so if an employer can hire someone who already owns those skills without having to pay for it makes that person attractive to a company. With that said technical people have many opportunities which on the surface sounds great, but if you dig deeper this could be a negative because a lot of these opportunities may not be a good fit at all. For any of us who have taken the wrong job, that could prove to be a disaster. Hence this is a great transition to the main focus of my article, how to leverage Social Media to conduct a confidential job search.
CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Earlier in this article I teased you mentioning the amazing things Social Media can do for your job search, especially when you are trying to "fly under the radar". Social Media really is an incredible gift technology has given us, you can be anywhere in the world and at the touch of your fingertips communicate anything you want and access any information you want. Best of all its free!!!
One thing to keep in mind is that freedom comes with a price. Just as you have the ability to communicate anything you want and research anything you want at the the touch of your finger tips, everyone else also has that power. That is why the first thing you need to do which is what I consider to be the most critical when getting onto Social Media, establish credibility!! You not only want people to take you serious from a professional perspective, but you want them to believe that you have some level of expertise in at least one if not many subject areas. If you can't do this, then there is no amount of technology that will help your job search. The best way to accomplish this is to develop a strong professional brand for yourself that will create "buzz".
When I talk about "buzz" I'm referring to things about your professional background that will make people "stand up and take notice" wanting to know more about you. The way to do that is through your special milestones you have accomplished on the job. As a recruiter one of my "pet peeves" is to see someone take the time to put a profile on Linkedin or Twitter, especially Linkedin and just list your jobs you worked at with maybe a short bullet list of your daily task; "BORING". Being someone in the profession hiring for my job openings, I use social media a lot to find people. If someone doesn't excite me with how they made a difference at their organizations and what they accomplished, I will not give them a 2nd look let alone reach out to them to learn more.
First step, take a note book or type somewhere on your computer where you can make a list of neat things you accomplished job by job. Speak about special projects you were involved with, the role you took on those projects and how they made your department or company better for this accomplishment. Another key thing to cover for technology people is talk about the technology you used and relate it to how it served the business purposes. Some examples might be (task you did to reduce cost/increase revenue/processes you implemented to drive better efficiency). These functions "scream" you are a potentially valuable employee to a future employer.
Target your Search Through Research
Now that your professional branding is created and you have some credibility behind you which will drive people to your profile through key word searches, this is where your search on social media begins. That beginning starts with you identifying organizations that you want to work for. You are working and you have skills that are attractive to many employers, so I beg of you please be selective of where you choose to work for your next place of employment. Take it from someone who has made this mistake in the past, you are better to be mildly miserable at your current employer then to take a risk going to a new company and taking on a role you are not 100% sure is the right move.
What I mean by that is you have built up credibility and tenure at your current company, if you give that up for a new job you are unsure about and it turns out bad that could be a very nasty situation. At least with your current job you should have some flexibility since you have proven your credibility. At a new job you have to prove yourself all over again meaning lack of flexibility to look for a new job if things turn "sour". Now that I have your attention, this is where you want to take your time and figure out the best company to make your next move to. You want to take into account factors that are important to you such as industry preference, company size, initiatives they are involved with that might match up with things you want to do in your career and most important, their reputation with their customers and how they treat employees. Luckily with Social Media which again I stress is free, this information is very easy to obtain and the accuracy of the information is very easy to confirm.
The two tools I think you get the most "bang for your buck" meaning allocation of your time is LinkedIn and Glass Door. First LinkedIn, you can search company profiles and employee profiles to see all company history and the backgrounds of key personnel who run that organization. This is where you can get a first glance to see if the projects they are working on match your skills and things you want to do. Also you look to see if the backgrounds of the people working their share common backgrounds and interest to you. This is the first and most important indicator if this is a possible organization that is right for you. I also mentioned a tool called Glass Door, this is basically Yelp for Companies. Employees can go to Glass Door on strictly a confidential basis and post their true experiences and feelings about working at a company without fear of having their identity discovered. This is where you can learn about specific examples of how a company treats their employees and sure you have to take this information with a "grain of salt", but I have found it to be very accurate especially if comments are in a majority fashion sway one way or the other. If you have 10 people within a year or so time frame saying negative or positive comments about a company and they have worked in various areas of the organization, its safe to say that is probably a trend you will find to be true.
"Let the Networking Begin"
Ok, you have completed your thorough preparation of short listing some organizations you want to work at that match your values. You have also created a very attractive profile so those companies can gain an awareness of you and see if you match what they look for in an employee. Now you are ready to take the plunge and let those companies know you are interested, "let the networking begin".
Networking, this is where a lot of job seekers make their biggest mistakes. Most people think networking is connecting with others to ask for a job directly. True networking is more passive and less aggressive and is one of those situations where "less is more". Yes you do want to reach out and connect with people who share your same skills or work for a company you are looking to possibly work at, but it is for information purposes only with advertising yourself through intelligent questions is a "byproduct". Reaching out to others should be for the purpose of learning what they like about the company, initiatives they are working on that they enjoy, things they feel the company could improve on and last advice seeking.
People are more likely to answer your invitation and be open to speaking with you if you let them know you are seeking their advice or want to do information sharing. It is ok to say once you have established some credibility with the people you are reaching out to "look I'm looking to potentially make a move from my organization but I want to seek your advice on some places that you feel would be best for me to perform certain types of work". "I notice you are doing some similar things to what I have done, what do you like about your organization". This tactic will get you much further with people because all you are asking them for is information as opposed to a job. Also they gain respect for you because you are coming off as someone who is thought provoking and very serious about a job change as vs. someone just desperate to find a job.
Another way to get yourself known as an expert in your field is joining professional groups in LinkedIn and Meetup in your areas of expertise and post useful information and questions. This is a great way to get yourself known in the industry and advertise your knowledge.
By Steve Rosen Thought Leadership December 12, 2018
Organizations can have the best ideas or products in the world but without great employees and more particular talented leadership to facilitate the process of managing the flow of operations, those ideas and products will die. In today’s economy, hiring the best people is more critical than ever. Entrepreneurs to Large Organizations can’t afford to lose time, money and results from a bad hiring choice (a recent Forbes article by David K. Williams pegs the cost of a single bad hire at anywhere from $25-50,000). “The cost of finding, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is high”, says Williams. When trying to identify new employees there are 7 factors to consider in your evaluation process that David Williams framed “the 7 C’s”.
1. Competent: This is still the first factor to consider. Does the potential employee have the necessary skills, experiences, and education to successfully complete the tasks you need to be performed?
2. Capable: Will this person complete not only the easy tasks but will he or she also find ways to deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity? For me, being capable means the employee has the potential for growth and the ability and willingness to take on more responsibility.
3. Compatible: Can this person get along with colleagues, and more importantly, can he or she get along with existing and potential clients and partners? A critical component to also remember is the person’s willingness and ability to be harmonious with you, his or her boss. If the new employee can’t, there will be problems.
4. Commitment: Is the candidate serious about working for the long-term? Or is he or she just passing through, always looking for something better? A history of past jobs and time spent at each provides a clear insight into the matter.
5. Character: Does the person have values that align
with yours? Are they honest; do they tell the truth and keep promises? Are they above reproach? Are they selfless and a team player?
6. Culture: Every business has a culture or a way that people behave and interact with each other. Culture is based on certain values, expectations, policies, and procedures that influence the behavior of a leader and employees. Workers who don’t reflect a company’s culture tend to be disruptive and difficult.
7. Compensation: As the employer, be sure the person hired agrees to a market-based compensation package and is satisfied with what is offered. If not, an employee may feel unappreciated and thereby underperform.
Steve Rosen is an accomplished HR and talent acquisition professional with more than 18 years of HR and recruitment experience. Mr. Rosen is actively engaged in the local entrepreneurship ecosystem and is a member of the Tampa Bay Wave mentor network.
By Steve Rosen Community October 26, 2018What is the Major Hurdle in Scaling your Organization?
Congratulations, your organization has reached its first major milestone; the company made its first Million Dollars in Revenue! As a growing Entrepreneur, your next desire is probably $2MM, $3MM, etc... However, this is easier said than done. As a newer Leadership Team, Scalability is probably presenting some major “hurdles” for you that maybe you didn’t quite anticipate. The most common challenge for organizations of the Million Dollar Size is lack of bandwidth to generate this additional revenue to grow.
Lack of Sales is usually the 1st problem to be identified. “If we could just sell more to our current customer base while adding just a few more new clients, we could probably double our size within one, two, three years.” This is the most common line of thinking that CEO’s and Founders usually gravitate towards. However, if you really take an extended deep dive analysis into the problem, lack of sales is usually not the culprit. In fact, even if you could line up an additional project or two from your current customers or add another client would you still make more money? This answer may surprise you, BUT NO! The reason is if your current workforce is producing at full capacity and additional resources are not added, your organization can’t generate any more revenue beyond what your resources are producing. It’s impossible to grow as you can see.
What is the Solution?
So now that we have identified a lack of resources as the root cause of achieving scalability for your organization, the next question is how to solve it? These challenges can easily be solved with a Talent Acquisition Strategy. The key is your strategy has to be consistent with a committed effort to keep up with a regular cadence of activities. Even if you may not be hiring in that particular moment, the key is giving the world the perception that you are always looking to hire strong people. So how exactly does this work and what components need to be in place in order to execute this strategy?
The first piece that I mentioned is a commitment to be consistent with execution. Let us compare this with how any organization views their sales functions. Companies don’t stop selling just because they land one or two deals, so why should they stop recruiting for talent just because you hired someone? Believe it or not, hiring is far more volatile than landing a sale. With sales, there are contracts involved binding both parties to the agreed terms. Hiring a candidate for a job does not bind them at all to take the job or even stay in the job once they start. Most States abide by “Employment at Will” Laws meaning a company can let an employee go for almost any legal reason and an employee can certainly quit without giving notice. So would it not make sense to always have your “Plan B…Plan C..” etc… in place just in case?
The other critical component to have in place is either have a dedicated HR Talent Acquisition Department or the very least have a person in place dedicated to ONLY recruiting functions. The mindset of the organization has to be that this Recruiting Resource is to be viewed as an investment to building Talent Funnels. If an organization is thinking, “we don’t anticipate doing any hiring for minimal 6 months probably a year why should we waste the money paying for a Recruiter?” Then as an organization, you could be making a critical mistake. People quit all the time, new projects come up all the time so the smart organizations that think strategically “two moves ahead” are the ones that have a higher success rate of achieving their scalability goals.
Implementing the Talent Acquisition Strategy
The first step, engage in an internal assessment of where you are now and what that next level goal is. More important once you figure out where you want to go, then you want to figure out from a resource and fulfillment perspective what you need to get there. Essentially your organization wants to build hiring profiles that will serve as a blueprint for the type of talent the organization needs to achieve that next milestone.
Second step and this is critical for implementing the Talent Acquisition Process, “go all in” and make the investment in the Hiring Department. This is where a lot of smaller organizations get caught up. It’s difficult to invest money into hiring functions when you don’t always need to hire. I get it but think of it from an ROI perspective. If opportunities come up that can bring your organization instant revenue stream, having the ability to take advantage of that “real-time” far outweighs the alternative which is showing your customer you CAN’T DELIVER. This leads organizations into desperation where reactive hiring activities take place, which then leads to bad hires and we all know the consequences of bad hires!
To be honest it would not take a whole lot of investment to implement this strategy. As a smaller organization, you can even start out with one employee who takes the mold of a Corporate Recruiter. Let this person drive your Hiring Profile Strategy where potentially all they are doing for you is building candidate relationships and pipelining talent. You don’t want to compensate them like a salesperson, however, you may want to have a bonus component in place on how many people they are pipelining that fit the hiring profiles the organization has set up. I would mix into the strategy some corporate branding on Social Media from an HR Talent Acquisition perspective. The messaging should be specific for what the company does, why people would want to work here and some specific information on some of the exciting initiatives the company is involved with. Essentially the company wants to take on a Persona that they are always hiring if strong talent comes across.
The final step is what I term “Storing Your Treasures”, what I mean by that is you want a safe place to save your information. If you have implemented Steps 1 & 2 then you will be generating candidate leads and resumes. You will want to have this stored in some type of Database specific to Recruiting called an Applicant Tracking System or “ATS”. So as situations come up where you need to hire, you now have a virtual “Tickler File” of warm leads to find applicants from. This certainly beats what most organizations do when they need to hire quickly, pay hundreds of dollars to post an online add then have to scramble to find the right people from applicants who apply even though they don’t fit the job requirements. If you follow the system, your recruiter should be always speaking with candidates that fit your company profile therefore when you do have to hire, you will be selecting from profiles where an initial match has been identified.
If you are serious about looking to scale up your business, a Talent Acquisition Strategy might be your “Best Medicine”!
Steve Rosen is an accomplished HR and talent acquisition professional with more than 18 years of HR and recruitment experience. Mr. Rosen is actively engaged in the local entrepreneurship ecosystem and is a member of the Tampa Bay Wave mentor network.
As both a professional in Talent Acquisition and someone who went to College and took many years to pay back my loans, Adam Carroll's movie documentary "Broke Busted & Disgusted" https://www.brokebusteddisgusted.com/the-film/ really moved me! Mr. Carroll is the CEO of National Financial Educators. My take on his documentary, is that in NO Way is he discouraging Young Adults from going to College after High School. However he does intend to communicate a clear message, that before jumping in and accepting the responsibility for the Financial Burden of College, High School Kids need to be strategic and smart!
This means NO More can future College Students afford to just go to College thinking they will figure out their future along the way. My suggestion and I wish I did this for myself back then, was to take High School Senior year to explore career options. Whether that is doing informational interviews, or even doing a non-paid internship if it means getting a real taste at what a potential career would encompass. If that is not possible, maybe consider delaying college for 1-2 years to do some exploring. My message is when you decide to jump in and take the financial responsibility, make sure you make the most of every moment to make it a valuable investment!
With that said, I don't want you to think I'm putting all the responsibility for this on the students, because I'm not! The Universities as well need to take some responsibility for the problem that Mr. Carroll points out. These students are customers of the Universities so if they are taking money for services they are providing, that comes with obligations to make sure the students are getting maximum value for what they are paying for!
So what is the responsibility of colleges and universities to students after graduation ? Do they have any ? Are the schools there to meet their own needs of tuition, over the needs of students to transition into the profession they majored in ?
I want to try to answer this.
I am a Technology Recruiter, and for the most part I place Senior Level Executives in Technology Firms. Recently I have received many requests from Millennials that are college graduates frustrated and needing help because they can't find work in a program they just paid $100,000 or more for. In each situation they are struggling to support themselves forced to take a combination of 2 or more part time jobs just to pay the bills . I try to do my part to help because I truly feel for these individuals so I outsource these requests to professionals that work with millennials in finding entry level positions. The question I have is why does this problem exist and what could be done about it ?
I was without an answer on this . After that I was told about the documentary of Broke Busted & Disgusted www.brokebusted&disgusted.com The title is what most college graduates feel after the party of college is done with . They are broke because they have a student loan that they could not pay back. They are busted with the economic situation they are in, feeling as if they have nothing . They are disgusted, that means they have a feeling of dislike to the schools after they played the game as they were told .
As I was watching Broke Busted & Disgusted, the schools are in on encouraging students to take out these loans. As the students naively think that employment after college is going to allow for the means to payback the loans. In most situations this is not reality.
When i talk to recent college graduates, In each situation I was told the schools do not want to hear from them and that the schools resources is for current students. What they are saying pick a major, take general education classes, pay your tuition, books, supplies and fees and that is it. If you should switch your major, you must take more classes and increasing the expense even more! Some majors do not have a high percentage of placement success for a rewarding career after graduation. This means some college administrators are encouraging students to take classes that have minimal to no value in the professional business world .
What I hear from employers is that recent college graduates generally do not have the skills to qualify themselves in the workplace. This is where talent is overlooked . What is it that students are learning besides what they are being tested on ? This is not what they signed up and paid for.
Is the solution that college is only for those that have the means ? I think not. Should tuition not be so high ? I think so.
A solution I have is that all students need to find a Professional Mentor. This person should not be connected with the school, since most professionals that are employed at schools have not worked in the business world for sometime. The people working on behalf of the Universities who are giving guidance to the students really mean well and they do try. The problem is there are not enough resources to go around, as well as lacking the insights on what the new trends are like out in the Business World. My solution is, if the Counselors really want to do justice on the students behalf they could put their efforts to designing Mentor Programs to help find and coordinate efforts to set students up with Mentors from various Industries. This program needs to start as early as Freshman Year, so that while students are taking prerequisites they can be learning about different career options. This way when Junior Year comes, they are armed with some very updated and credible information to help them make an informed decision when they have to declare a major.
I want to make this clear I am not Anti-education. I am just suggesting there must be some way to fix and work with the system to do the proper "justice" for Graduates and Alumni.
Steve Rosen-Talent Acquisition Consultant
Generation Z Profile
Recent college graduates are the first of Generation Z entering the workplace. The way they socialize is through texting and social media, as they are attached to their phones. Gen Z do not have a reference of what the world was like before the internet and social media. They are valuable to employers because they have the knowledge to adapt to different technologies and usually would not require much training. What makes them even more valuable as an employee is this is the first generation ever to grow up in a truly Global Society. Because of Social Media Gen Z grew up with limitless avenues for learning and interaction with people their own age around the World. This is going to go a long way in developing their skills to be "Major Players" in a truly Global Economy world.
What Motivates Generation Z
What most people are not aware of about this generation is what motivates them, their personal goals they have and what many of them value in a career. This may come as a shock to many, but Generation Z from a career standpoint are focused on being entrepreneurs through their own self-directed inventions. A lot of them will be going to College with purpose.
Because of growing up witnessing student debt and economic uncertainty they are determined in making post high school education an investment. The purpose is to learn skills that can make an immediate impact in generating a salary, as opposed to their prior Generation Predecessors who went to College with a more abstract purpose for general learning and social interaction. Instead of a more General Business Degree, a lot of Gen Z's will major in newer Business Curriculums that has been developed such as running an entrepreneurial business. In fact a lot of Gen Z's are trading Four Year University Education for Apprenticeships. This way they can learn on the job while earning a salary and then combine the skills they are learning with their "Tech Savy" creative skills to advance the "Trade Professions".
So what is driving this intense ambition from a group of teenagers and college aged kids never seen before from any prior generation? One very interesting theory presented by professionals out there that could make a lot of sense is that they are a product of their parents. Where many Millennials were offspring of the late "Baby Boom" Generation, Generation Z are a product of "Generation X" Parents. What difference does that make you ask? This is where analyzing this particular theory gets very intriguing!
Generation X which is the post "Baby Boom" Generation grew up in a world where the majority went to college and graduated with a four year degree in four years no matter what the major. There was not a lot of strategy for the most part in choice of curriculum. The end goal was to just graduate with a degree and then figure out your profession from that point. The byproduct of that was, an entire generation of over saturated educated graduates entering the workforce all at once without any differentiating skills or meaningful internships "under their belt". This caused a lot of new graduates to stay unemployed for many months going into years. Finally a lot of these Gen X's had to settle for just any job that paid the bills and just settled into doing that for their career. So when they had their Generation X children, they instilled in them the reality that not everybody unfortunately can win at the same time and the "sense of urgency" in "cutting your own career path".
This new up and coming Generation with a "deadly combination" of technology and a fierce ambition is where the organizations who want to stay ahead of the competition need to invest their future recruiting. This is going to require a lot of companies to restructure their jobs to quench that "individualistic thirst" that Generation Z is going to want out of their career. This will not be an easy task for most organizations, which is why the "balance of power" in the recruitment of talent for the first time could be shifting. Now it might be the Startups that soon could have the major talent acquisition edge over the more traditional Fortune 500 Conglomerates for acquiring "Grade A Superstar Talent"!
Career Compass Group has a strong interest in promoting the growth of the Future Generation Z Workforce! I would love to invite current and future Entrepreneurs to share their ideas and innovations with us and our audience through the platform of a Feature Story. Email me at Srosen.firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
Steve Rosen-Talent Acquisition Consultant
So I had the great opportunity and honor to hear James Kane (http://jameskane.com/) who is a world recognized speaker and author in the area of building relationships in business, speak at a conference. I have heard many speakers in my time, but James is the best I've seen thus far!! What made his presentation so special and powerful to me is the way he was able synchronize and demonstrate how Business, Neuroscience and Behavorial Psychology can work together to create a powerful sales strategy. This can be used in literally any business model. He tied it around the power of one word;"loyalty". James Kane is an expert on how to create such a strong loyalty in your brand and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak or expose yourself to what he writes, you are in for a treat!
Without going into a long discussion about the conference, I want to share one unique idea around loyalty that he mentioned. Kane's idea that to win customer loyalty is not accomplished by fulfilling the expectation of delivering the product or service the customer pays for, but in creating an incredible experience. What he was referring to was the process of getting them there that customers will always come back to you for and brag about you to others. The idea is get to know as much about your customers not only on a professional manner, but personal as well. That knowledge will allow you to connect to your customers in such meaningful ways that you can create an "incredible experience" in how you deliver your service.
So enough about James Kane, I hope even though I didn't meet him personally he will appreciate my promotion of him some day!! This entire discussion about loyalty started me thinking on how this could be leveraged on a job interview. If you think about it, an employer pays you to deliver the task you are hired for. We think as society in a whole, that if we complete the job we are paid to do it makes us special and we deserve rewards for that. Folks we need to change our thinking on that, your reward is the money the employer pays you to get the job done. Your reward is the privilege of getting the opportunity to continue to stay their and do your job so you can continue to get paid. Now if you are wanting recognition and real rewards, then ladies and gentlemen you have to focus on the way you do your job and creating a pleasurable experience for your boss by doing it in a special and prideful way!!
Some examples may be: taking initiative to do things above and beyond when you see an opportunity without having to be asked. Also when identifying problems to your boss, make sure you pair that with some possible solutions you came up with OR figuring out a way to take as much responsibility off your boss allowing them to do other things. Folks what you want to demonstrate is not just how effective you are at doing your job, but how you created an incredible experience for your boss in the process of doing the job. If this was the focus of your interview strategy, this would put you "in the conversation" as top candidate for every job you interview for!!
Think about it, as Human Beings loyalty is one of the things we can never get enough of!!
By Steve Rosen
Sr. Recruiter/Certified Interview Coach
In one of my other Linkedin Articles, I wrote about effective messaging and the importance of trying to find something in common with the person you are trying to elicit response from. One of the stronger bonds to find in common with a stranger is being a fellow College Alumni! Linkedin's Alumni Tool is one of their most underused and I believe underrated tools that are tied to the Linkedin platform!
'Aine Cane, Reporter on the Careers Section for Business Insider writes a nice short piece on this (http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-linkedin-alumni-tool-2017-1). I recommend taking a look at if time permits, it's well written! 'Aine's perspective is for job seekers and how this can be incredibly valuable to make potential job connections with members of their school alumni. However, for my piece I'm going to take a different perspective. I want to share some valuable strategies on how the Small Business and Entrepreneurial Community can also utilize Linkedin Alumni for their advantage.
The search functionality works very similar to the main page, however in my opinion the layout and functionality of this page is set up much more clean and user friendly! In the top right corner is a drop down to choose your University then directly below that are 3 drop down categories giving you options for graduated/attended, start year and end year. If you go down a little more, the tool allows you to design your search as granular as you like. It allows you to sort your alumni by three areas (where they live, where they work and what they do). As you can see from a business perspective, this can be incredibly invaluable in helping you construct a list of potential customers that attended the same University as you. More important, the Alumni Tool provides you with endless information about your fellow alumni! This is critical when designing a strategy to approach these people for potential business opportunities. This is where I will spend the remainder of the article covering.
For anyone selling a product or service, I think Linked did an amazing job designing this product that can compete with any paid marketing list out there, best of all its free! Depending on your product or service, this tool can narrow down your demographic searches pretty thoroughly with the flexibility to do it anyway you want. This will help you design a unique and powerful message geared toward that specific demographics' interest. Of course the secret weapon with the message is you can lead in with the commonality of attending the same school. Let me present an example to really illustrate how this can be powerful!
Example: Let's say you designed a product for coffee drinkers who wanted to make their own fresh cold brew coffee out of the convenience of their own home. You can use the tool to narrow down a few different demographic categories based on their age, region they live in and what they do for a living to connect with them through a message that you know will pique their interest. So for example if you want to find people in your age category that you might of graduated with. An effective strategy might be to establish the relationship of "we went to school together and graduated together, I would love to catch up to see where you are at now and what you are doing after graduation". That approach is harmless and will usually elicit a response back. Once connected and the relationship is established or re-established, introducing your product in a non-threatening manner will be easy.
To my Small Business Capitalist and Entrepreneurial audience, to be honest with you I think this the most valuable tool I can introduce to you in helping you build your business! Stay tuned for more tips in future articles.
Steve Rosen-Talent Acquisition Consultant
Joan V. Out of Minneapolis writes,
"Dear Recruiter I need help. I've been in the Accounting Profession for 20 years now and I'm bored I want to do something else completely different. In fact just over the last few years I discovered I'm a people person and want a job that utilizes my personality but Accounting is all I have ever done. Any suggestions?"
Joan actually I do and it starts with you. I know the first thing people tend to want to do is jump back in and go to school but that is the last thing to do. First figure out do you like Accounting but need something that quenches your thirst for being an extrovert. If so maybe look into being an Accounting Recruiter where you can talk to people all day but still utilize your accounting knowledge.
Or if you want to completely do something that leaves Accounting behind take a notebook and do a job journal where you list some key attributes or skills you would like to use in a job. Then run a search on one of the job boards with those skills to see what jobs come up. If something interest you I would then use Linkedin or your network to find out who is doing that job and set up an informational interview. That person can give you some insights into what that job is like, how to get into a job like that and any other suggestions. If you like the job I would see if there is a way to do some side projects even for free just to get some experience.
Joan the biggest roadblock to switching careers is experience. If you can find a way to get applicable experience even if it means doing some project work for free. That will help eliminate what seems like an impossible feat and make it manageable.
Hope this helps and stay tuned for our next "Dear Recruiter Help" story!
For anyone unfamiliar, the term “Headhunter” has long been a staple term in the Recruitment Industry to describe someone who goes out and runs searches for organizations trying to find talent for Strategic and hard to find Job Openings. Prior to the induction of the “Digital Age”, these individuals were a highly sought after premium that provided an invaluable service to Organization Hiring Managers who needed to hire tough to find talent. These individuals would literally cold call into companies blindly without any resources trying to recruit people out of their current employers. The way these individual “Headhunters” would infiltrate competing organizations to find people was an “exact science” mastered by very few.
Now here in the New World of “Digital Age” the invention of the Internet and Artificial Intelligence, finding people for anyone who is not working in Recruiting is not only possible but actually very easy. Therefore the need for the “Headhunter” I won’t say went away but it definitely shifted things around. With the Internet it was believed that mass "Email Marketing Campaigns" driving candidates to apply for jobs into a Company Owned Database was not only the best way to find talent, but the most cost effective. In addition to Digital Technology, another methodology that organizations believed would be an alternative solution to hiring a "Headhunter" was outsource the entire Recruitment Function to a Country with cheaper labor cost.
Hiring Managers I'm here to tell you, its time to get re-connected with your "Headhunters" if you have not already. Something critical has been overlooked, the Recruitment and Hiring Industry has and always will be a People Business. Job changes are a very emotional decisions for candidates, even when it comes to leaving a job that they are not happy with. Even though the Internet and AI applications are great ways to find people, they are not equipped to deal with the Human Element of guiding a candidate through the "emotional roller coaster" to make the decision of leaving their current company to take a new job. That takes patients, understanding and counseling through those emotions that technology will never be able to replicate or replace from a Human Being. Plus the messages candidates receive through AI campaigns come off very generic and "cookie cutter" without regard for selling or "schmoozing" a candidate on a company or job to attract their attention. A really good "Headhunter" has the art of "schmoozing" a candidate and getting them interested in a job change down to a "science".
Earlier in the article I mentioned a shift of the role of the "Headhunter". The discoveries I made about missing the human element to recruiting, organizations also have made that discovery. Therefore for more critical searches they have gone back to utilizing "Headhunters". Actually Companies have taken it a step further. They are hiring their own "Internal Headhunters" called "Sourcers". The role of the Internal Sourcer is to do nothing but build pipelines of critical talent for their organization they work for and do Talent Acquisition Marketing. "Headhunters" great news, as long as companies hire Human Beings they will need you around to not only find these people but persuade them into a job change!
Steve Rosen-Sr. Recruitment Consultant
Now take what I’m saying with a “grain of salt” because I always try to see the opportunity in every situation! What the government workers are going through in not getting paid due to the shutdown is awful, however could it be turned into an opportunity?
There is a large gap in the market place for U.S homegrown technology workers at all levels. The unemployment rate is at near record level lows of under 4%, forcing businesses big and small to go overseas to import talent and even outsource projects. Organizations are quickly discovering that these solutions are expensive, problematic and causing long-term issues. To thrive businesses need to invest in organically growing their technical talent. Unfortunately, there are various reasons such as high “barriers of entry” among others, creating a lack of interest in the U.S workforce to train for these type of careers.
Thanks to organizations such as Suncoast Developers Guild (SDG) out of St. Petersburg, Florida https://suncoast.io/ investments in growing technical workers on U.S. soil has become a priority. Organizations like SDG, which was started by Jason Perry https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonlperry/, are beginning to pop up all over the country. These are organizations built by people who have a passion not only for technology but to help others succeed in this field as a career.
SDG is set up as an alternative to a standard educational setting for people who want to pursue a career in technology. Students come from diverse backgrounds and educational experience. Whether they are getting a jump start directly after high school, starting their desired career after college, or marking a career change, they have the opportunity to do so without racking up the expenses of a four-year university. Programs such as SDG can take what would be 1-2 year investment of the students time and condense it helping get them job ready. In non-profit organizations, such as SDG, the tuition to attend the program is invested back into the programs to constantly improve on the experience.
So now getting back to the government workers who are being directly affected by this shutdown, maybe this is the “universe” telling you now is a great time to consider a career change! There are programs out there to help subsidize this investment. At very least it’s something to consider because if this shutdown happened once what is the guarantee it wouldn’t happen again? Do you genuinely want someone else controlling your career?
Steve Rosen-Career Consultant
If you are in the Talent Acquisition Business and you think a strong or attractive job description is enough to help "land you" that hard to find Enterprise Sales Person or Software Engineer that most organizations covet, than think again! The reason being, no matter how much effort goes into differentiating a job description in the end Job Family Descriptions have to be standardized. Therefore a job description for the same role will look very similar among most organizations.
So then the question is, if our job description doesn't attract those candidates our organization's way what will? The answer to that is a "one-two punch" of Employer Branding alongside creating an Amazing Candidate Experience that will stick in a Job Seeker's Mind!
Organizations spend a lot of time and effort crafting their marketing message and brand to their perspective Client Niche on Social Media and their website. That same effort needs to happen from a Employer Branding standpoint when trying to hire and more important even if you are NOT trying to hire in that moment in time. The reason, candidates have a perception that the same job among most organizations is going to be very similar so in order to select a company to work for they need something special, and in most cases that is NOT always money. In fact when candidates were asked why they chose one organization over another. They say they will choose to go work for a company that offers growth opportunities, passion for the product/service or flexible work/life balance over more money.
How Do Organizations Create a Great Candidate Experience
So what can a Company do to create this amazing candidate experience? Mainly, it has to be a team effort involving other employees to help sell the company as a great place to work and create an upbeat vibe! Here are a few tips to get you started:
Steve Rosen-Recruiting Consultant
Tara A out of Indianapolis writes…“Dear Recruiter Help!
I just found out I’m going to be losing my job due to a layoff and I have not written a resume in over 10 years where do I even begin to start?”
“Well Tara don’t panic I have an easy to use format but the first thing to focus when writing this resume is this is your branding tool to market yourself to employers. So when writing the resume you don’t just want to list what functions are of your job you did, but in what capacity you performed those activities such as how you performed and what you accomplished.
My suggestion before writing the resume is get a note book and start listing out your accomplishments, special projects you were on and what your role was. The reason I suggest a note book is so that you can brainstorm without worrying about the grammar and it will be in front of you. Once you do that then you can write the final draft of your resume.
Now as far as the outline, since you have so much experience you want to emphasize that over education because experience is what sells an employer. Here is the Format I suggest (see below).
1. EXPERIENCE: LIST YOUR (COMPANY/JOB TITLE)
2. NEXT LINE LIST YOUR ROLE SUMMARY
3. ACCOMPLISHMENTS: PUT IN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS IN BULLET FORMAT
4. NEXT LINE LIST IN BULLET FORMAT WHAT YOU DID IN AN ACCOMPLISHMENT
5. REPEAT FOR EACH JOB
6. EDUCATION: THIS GOES LAST AND ALSO INCLUDE SPECIAL SKILLS BELOW
Tara that should give you a good place to start good luck on your search! One last thing I want to leave you with, view this as a new opportunity to do something new and exciting instead of focusing on the negative of losing your job. Employers pick up on your attitude so if it’s a good one, they will be more interested in hiring you!
Video Resumes are a great way to get a job applicant's "foot in the door" for any type of job, but especially for Critical Roles to a Company such as Sales, Technology, Leadership, HR and Marketing! What a 3 minute clip can accomplish highlighting a Candidate's background in a very vivid and visual way to an employer far outweighs a multiple page Written Resume.
If you really want to create it but don't know where to start, no problem! I will highlight in a few easy steps the way to construct this for anyone. Best thing about it, with the powerful video capabilities of our smart phones it won't even require you hiring a Professional Video Person unless you want to.
LETS GET STARTED!
1) "Dress For Success"-You want to simulate an Interview Experience. That means dress professional just like you would for an interview and film it in a quiet and office type setting in your home to keep it professional looking.
2) Keep it to 3-4 minutes long NO LONGER. In fact I would keep it closer to 3 minutes because you want your audience's attention span as much as possible through the entire thing.
3) Contents to include:
-60 Second Elevator Pitch summing up your professional background with a couple of unique "tidbits" about yourself which will grab your audience's attention. It's ok to include personal information about yourself as long as you make sure to use Professional Etiquette when doing it. HINT: Those personal items can be tied to what drove the passion for you to work in the professional field you want to work in.
-Talk about your passion for the role you want to get into such as why you are passionate about it and what excites you. This is different than the Field mentioned above as now you are talking about a specific role.
-Discuss briefly your career progression that got you to this point in your career.
-Discuss briefly 1-2 projects in a quick summary that were career accomplishments.
-Discuss what you brought to the table to your past employers in a similar role and how that will make you an immediate value to your next employer.
-Last, give a quick couple of action points on what you would do in your first 30 days if you were hired to set yourself up for success. Employers love to hire people that are proactive and show they have a planned vision for success.
If this format is followed, this will give anyone a great start to creating a successful Video Resume with the end result of attracting a Hiring Manager's attention so they call you in for the "real interview"!
In conclusion, my last piece of advice is this. Rehearse a couple times before shooting your final video, and play it back to see what it looks like. Great thing about video is you can shoot it over and over until you get it exactly how you want it.
Feel free to let me know any comments or questions you have. Hope this helps!!
Steve Rosen-Recruitment Specialist
This is the First of a series of "How To Recruiting Strategies" designed specifically for Smaller Organizations with limited HR Resources to successfully hire which is critical for scaling their businesses.
What is an Avatar
For anyone unfamiliar with the term "Avatar" in the Business World it refers to the profile that fits what an organization deems as their "perfect customer". However the term is universal and can also be used in the HR World for describing a organization's ideal employee.
For the strategic roles within an organization such as Sales/Marketing/Technology/Leadership it would be smart for an organization to determine what their Ideal Employee OR Avatar would look like. The reason being these are the roles that put a brand on your organization to their client base and helps drive success!
It has been proven over and over again that organizations who hire based strictly on skills without considering whether that person fits the particular company culture will have a higher turnover rate. The reason is even if someone can do the job, when they don't fit or don't like the company culture they won't be happy and if they are NOT happy well I think you can guess the rest of the scenario.
How To Create Your Company Avatar
-Determine which Job Families or Roles are critical to your organizations success
-Conduct an analysis of your current staff in those roles to determine the strongest players
-Create an Avatar which is a deeper dive than General Profiling on a personality type that fits that position. You want to determine all of the characteristics of that employee including personality type so that you have this mold of exactly what a perfect Sales Employee or Technology Employee looks like in your organization only. The goal here is not to be general on what any organization looks for in the role. It's what they look like for your company based on successful employees you have. This is important!
How To Use Your Avatar To Recruit For Your Organization
-Now that you have your Avatar Blueprint of what your ideal employee looks like this will set the tone for your Employer Branding Strategy
-Based on knowing your Avatar's Deep Thoughts and what they like, that information can be used to craft specific messages on your website, your Social Media and your Job Descriptions. This will help increase the rate of people your organization is targeting will respond.
-Knowing the characteristics of your Avatar will help you determine where they are located, what they read, what Social Media Platforms they are on etc..
-Craft a message that is specific to them letting them know your organization is doing strategic hiring for a critical role to the organization and that you wanted to make a connection for near term or future opportunities. The goal of the message is you want to get to know them before you pitch them about a specific job. DO NOT fall into the mistake that most recruiters make with sending a job description assuming that will attract the candidate.
-Companies that build rapport and relationships with their Avatars will find it easier to get their message return rate raised.
Hope this article helps and please let me know what you think. Stay tuned for the next article in the series!
Steve Rosen-Recruiting Consultant
James CEO of XYZ Company in Austin, TX writes...
"My name is James and I own a 5 year old Technology Consulting firm specializing in Medical Applications. We just hit our first milestone of $1mm in revenue and have been given additional project work which is great. However the problem is we need to hire critical tech talent in order to "ride the wave" and scale, however I know we don't have the "deep pockets" of bigger organizations to compete. I have spoken to a couple of candidates that are definitely interested in coming to work for us because they like the idea of working for a small company and like our mission. However I know I can't pay them what they are worth."
"Help Me Recruiter" what do I do?"
James first of all thank you for writing in I appreciate you writing in and sharing your issue! It's one that a lot of organizations of your size have so you asking will also help others in our community! The easy answer to that question is you don't play a game you can't win and don't compete with those organizations on trying to "one up them" on paying a higher salary.
Now that doesn't mean James I'm telling you not pursue the talent you need and want, you absolutely should! You just need to play to your organizations strengths. Here is what I mean.
First of all you want to find out other motivating factors the candidate has in selecting a "new home". If money is their top motivating factor, then James that is a candidate you DON'T WANT to pursue. Because even if you could give them the salary they are asking for. More than likely another firm will come in with more money 6 to 12 months down the road and they will leave you anyway.
Next you want to evaluate what makes your organization special to work for? Being a smaller firm you can offer more flexibility in work/life balance such as working from home or generous PTO. Work/Life is a very important factor to employees. Also being a smaller firm there is far less layers of management . Therefore the employee has more autonomy to do the type of work they want to do and have their efforts more visible at a higher level then in a large silo organization. Also being in a smaller firm opportunities to "wear different hats" gives employees the opportunity to expand their skills and maybe move into a different area far easier then in a larger organization.
James I can go on and on with the examples but I think you understand, find what makes your company special. Then when you are interviewing candidates hone in on what is motivating them besides money. If you can't find anything else I would decline them immediately in the process even if they are a "Rock Star" that you covet.
As mentioned earlier even if you "go all in" and can land them, chances are you will lose them in less than a year because someone will throw "outrageous money" to lure them away and if you are relying on them in a critical project that could be more devastating then never having that employee in the first place.
Once you find what motivates them this next step I know seems risky but it makes your organization look classy. I would say to the person, "so and so we are very interested in your candidacy and potentially see you as someone we want to bring onboard. However to be honest, with your skill sets I know you are going to have a lot of interest out in the market which will probably pay you way more than what we have budget for. We would love to compete in salary for you and would so without hesitation if we could. However being honest with ourselves we can't do that, but here are some other perks of working for us." Then James you start making your case. You would be surprised what that type of honesty and vulnerability does with a candidates emotions. If they can work with the salary you can afford, they would rather work for an organization like yours than a larger firm that will just throw money their way.
James I hope this helps and hang in there and good luck hiring that person to keep your business growing!
Hey guys if you like this article and think it helps or want to ask me another Hiring Question, feel free to write me at email@example.com.
I would love to hear from you! Until next time, Peace out!
"Help Me Recruiter"
Shay out of Buffalo, NY writes....
"Hi my name is Shay and I'm a Director of Sales for my firm. My employee who is a Pre-Sales Engineer and one of my most valuable employees for the past 5 years is going through a Career Crisis. She wants to do something completely different and move out of our area. The problem is she is my best Pre-Sales Engineers and I can't afford to lose her. She has this amazing knack of making a new client feel good about our product and has helped our sales team close some pretty big deals! I have thrown more money at her the past couple of times which has sufficed her appetite for doing something different, however more money is not working anymore she really wants to pursue getting into product development.
If I lose her to this other area of the company I'm going to be in big trouble this could impact us closing future deals without her insight and knowledge of our product and communicating that to customer prospects. "Help Me Recruiter" what should I do?"
Shay first of all I want to thank you for writing in and seeking my advice. This is a very common problem companies have. It's the danger of having a "rock star" employee and putting all of your "eggs in their basket". Shay being completely honest with you and I know you won't want to hear this, but you are going to lose this valuable lady either way. Money is no longer motivation to her, its doing something new with her career and you have no choice but to respect that. Sure you could probably just ignore her wishes and even block her but then she will "sow her oats" within another organization. Trust me if she is as valuable as you say she is then your organization doesn't want to lose her.
With that said Shay I have two pieces of advice for you. First, acknowledge her desire for the change and go one step further, support and be an advocate for her getting into that new role as quickly as that can happen. Trust me she will be so appreciative how you and your organization are treating her that she will want to reciprocate back! Then you can negotiate with her to lead the charge in not only finding her replacement but training the next person.
Now Shay don't make the mistake that I have seen many companies make. That is they won't let the person switch to the new internal job until their replacement is found and relatively trained to step in. Essentially what that does is hold your employee "hostage" which frustrates them to the point where they don't care who backfills them as long as it is someone that sets them free. Thus they endorse a poor hiring choice. You don't want that "my friend" trust me! Instead here is how I recommend handling it thus my second piece of advice.
I would look to try and fill this role with an internal employee if at all possible and here is why. For a Pre-Sales Engineer role you want someone who knows your organization, who believes in the company mission and even more believes in your product. This is a person who you want communicating to new potential customers. So I would work with your current "rock star" and ask her to help you find that person internally. This will incredibly motivate her to help you out for a couple reasons.
First, she sees that you are committed and trying to backfill her as quickly as possible, and in most cases its quicker with an internal. Second, the fact that you want to provide someone else in the organization the same opportunity she is given to do something different will make her loyal. Thus she will be motivated to make sure that she is leaving you in good hands and will want to pick the best person in the company possible. Last and this might be the best outcome of all. She is still with the Organization and happy to be a part of it! Now you don't want to go to this "well too often", but you can always "pick her brain" for advice. If she goes to another organization that option is not there.
Remember that not only for Shay but any other Hiring Manager out there who is afraid to lose there valuable employee!
If this article is something you find helpful or want to engage with me on more questions please let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Rosen-Recruiting Consultant
You are a professional and comfortable in your current position. You have been with your company for a lengthy amount of time. You have not searched for different opportunities. You like it where you are.You find an email that says, your manager needs to speak with you. Her assistant, contacts you in person and verbally repeats the email you have read. You say “what is this about” and she would not say why.
You enter the meeting with your manager. You are told, you have done nothing wrong but, YOU ARE LAID OFF. You are unemployed and find yourself in transition and this was not your decision.
What is the way to proceed after you hear you are laid off?
Do not emotionally overreact . This is likely very hard not to, try to be professional about this. The outcome could be a letter of recommendation, potential hiring managers would take this in consideration. Before you begin your career search and take out your resume, take some personal time to assess your situation and what your goals are. If you are not over being laid off, it reflects on an interview. If you take any offer and you are hired, this is where bad career decisions usually take place.
Do not let this define who you are. You are not the only person that has been laid off. Make a plan and achieve it. If you are stuck at this point, here are some suggestions.
Update your resume and your linkedin profile in the following fashion:
Using Linkedin - Have a complete profile with details of accomplishments and projects you managed.
Using Workfolio - This is a personal branding online resume that attracts hiring managers.
Using Social Media - Have a professional profile, to impress hiring managers by sharing your professional knowledge through Blogs.
Using Glass Door - Search and Research what employees are saying about the management of the way they treat employees. This tells you if this is a business that meets your career needs.
Network at meetup events, etc. - Connect with professional that are like you. They are your best advocate to refer you in to their organization
The solution is not allowing being laid off to take an emotional toll on you. Take the perspective that this gives you an opportunity to do something completely different or better than what you had!
With a focused strategy, you are setting yourself up for success!
Steve Rosen-Sr. Recruiting Consultant
Leadership is rarely taught in school. All business problems are a result of a lack of leadership. The solution is leadership training. The fact is, professional leadership is teachable to every employee and employer.
What is Leadership?
A Leader establishes a clear vision of goals, provides the proper information, knowledge and methods to manifest that vision. Good Leaders proactively facilitates as well as balances the conflicting interests of all employees and employers.
Once you learn and use leadership skills, it transforms your professional life, your personal life and increases your happiness. When you commit to developing leaders within your organization, company goals are achieved.
Let's take a look at why lack of leadership is the cause of all your business problems.
An effective leader is proactive and takes personal responsibility for the situation they are in and reaches company goals. The fact is, most leaders are reactive and irresponsible and do not make a difference. Your company requires effective leaders starting from the top down to entry level employees and interns. Leadership and Management are different, this is why.
Management provides the proper information, knowledge and methods to manifest that vision as does leadership. After that they are different. The characteristics of effective leadership are:
They want to thrive and make a difference. They use compelling communications skills to win over new accounts and manage difficult clients. They worry as much as you do, and stress about the results of a spreadsheet.
Leadership has 3 characteristics :
These characteristics are teachable, when practiced and developed the results achieve a high level of accomplishments.
Having confidence in leaders solves problems. They value different viewpoints from employees. The results have a shared outcome. Leaders are selfless, they want what is best for themselves and everyone else. They create the ‘win-win’ situations we all strive for. They facilitate these wins from having an ability to generate confidence (this is rare). They have learned to effectively communicate clearly to show everyone around them they earned the confidence to lead.
To achieve this, it is in the leader’s emotional Intelligence. This is where leaders manage their negative emotions, recognize negative emotional traits in others. This signals them to speak effectively and persuasively to people experiencing a broad range of emotions. All business problems, are solvable when leaders work towards a solution. It is that simple, it requires an effort to learn leadership skills. It takes work and an honest introspection on what skills and traits you are currently lacking. From there, you build a Leadership Development Platform to improve your skills and start thriving and succeeding!
Steve Rosen-Sr. Recruiting Consultant
If you want retention of good employees at your company, this is a list of what makes employed professionals want out. Note to Bad Managers, the problem is YOU. The fact is good employees leave bad managers. Employees want good leaders that can help them not only be productive, but grow!
Why Employees Leave Your Organization:
Steve Rosen-Sr. Recruiting Consultant