Monday, March 26, 2012

Job Search Tip of the Week - Take a Break

Quick tip of the week, but a really important one...especially if you are out of work and aggressively trying to find a new job.

The tip....take a break.  Even if it’s just a day off to relax from the search and refocus your efforts.  I talk to a lot of people who have been laid off and have been on the market for 3, 6 or even 12 months.  And the search is REALLY stressful.

I get it, it’s tough out there and the thought of taking a couple days off from the search seems crazy.  But trust me, your sanity will improve and you’ll probably find that you’re a better candidate with a little less stress in your life.

Got it?  Take a breath, take a break....and recharge.

More later this week, hoping to carve out time for an epic post....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Job Titles Don't Matter

This post is about something near and dear to me...the importance, well, not really....of job titles.  I’ve had a bunch of titles through my career - Recruiter, Senior Recruiter, Account Manager, Senior Engineering Recruiter, Lead Recruiter and even Lead Headhunter...you know, what...none of the matter.  

I talk to so many people who get hung up on the role or the “level” and at the end of the day, none of these things matter.  Jobs are about experiences, growth and compensation.  Titles are just some bizarro HR accounting function so that we know how to keep track of who’s doing what...that’s it.  Here area  few things I’ve heard from people claiming the importance of title...and my response:

My current title is VP of Engineering, I’m a VP - Ok, in theory makes sense right?  BUT a lot of times, a VP at one company is a Director or even a manager at another.  Before you go claiming you deserve a title...make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Being the VP of Engineering at a 50 person startup is much different than being a startup at a Fortune 500.

I need the VP title to have credibility with customers - Um, maybe but I doubt it.  Customers care about products and making sure they are getting a good product.  Pretty sure they don’t care what your title is as long as you can produce what you are selling.

But I have 20 years of experience! - Again, doesn’t matter.  We see all the time in the high tech field CEO’s that are in their 20’s or 30’s.  Years of experience matter (don’t get me wrong!) but they don’t have anything to do w/ title or level at a company.  Companies hire you for what you can do and rarely care how long you’ve been doing it.  Produce and earn a big title.

So there you go, just a few quick thoughts on this whole job title thing.  Seriously, it doesn’t matter...especially if you are looking for a new role.  Find a job that makes you happy, helps you grow professionally and pays the bills.....don't get hung up on the title.

Good luck out there, more soon.  Lots of great stuff coming over the next week or two so keep an eye out for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Job Search Tip of the Week, 3/18/2012 - Keep getting better!

Hope everyone is doing well, Spring is here and generally that means that hiring picks up a little bit before slowing down again in the summer.  With that, I’ve got another quick job search tip of the week...nothing crazy, just advice you can use in your search.

This weeks’ tip....get better.  The most important thing you can do for your career is get better.  Be a better manager.  Be a better leader.  A better employee.  A better interviewer.  Doesn’t matter really but if you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you improve whether it’s via classes, experience or training.  The key is to make sure that your skill set is improving and you’re becoming more attractive to prospective employers.

With a little luck I’ll get bigger post later this week.  Until then, happy hunting.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recruiting Advice from Metallica


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my music themed blogs...so here you go.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Metallica lately, not sure why but the though of James Hetfield giving career or job search advice seemed kind of fun.  Without further adieu, recruiting and job search advice from Metallica:

I can't believe the things you say - “And Justice For All” from “And Justice For All”

When you have an interview that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.   This isn’t always true, but more likely than not you are just meeting with someone who interviews VERY well.  Remember this next time you have an amazing interview and make sure you ask a few hard questions to suss out the truth.

Emptiness is filling me,  To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn, I was me but now he's gone
- Fade to Black from “Ride the Lightning”

Ok, so this is a work/life balance quote.  Don’t let your job take over your life.  It’s not worth it.   If you realize that your job is turning you into someone else....it’s time to re-evaluate. Work to live, don't live to work...life is too short.

Waiting for the one, The day that never comes
When you stand up and feel the warmth
But the sunshine never comes - The Day That Never Comes from “Death Magnetic”

At this point in the blog, I’m realizing that Metallica is pretty dark...um, yeah...anyway.  This tune is great, and off Metallica’s latest album which normally I’d decry as a sellout but for some reason I’m into this album.  The moral here, at some point your career (and your life really) are on a path that you didn’t plan for...so embrace it, don’t dwell.  When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher....and I recruit for a living.  You know what? I love it.  Take stock of where your career is headed...and enjoy.

So tell me why you've chosen me - Until It Sleeps from “Load”

I’m not a huge “Load” fan but I do like this tune.  The job search link?  Don’t ask why people chose you when you get a job offer.  Take it and do a good job.  Your future employer saw something they liked in your....congrats!

Gimme fuel, gimme fire, Gimme that which I desire, Ooh - Fuel from “ReLoad”

Kind of a dumb lyric but when looking at a job make sure it gives you that which you desire.  Benefits?  Cash?  Growth?  Cool Coworkers?  All of the above?  Doesn’t matter.  Find a job that gives you what you want and you’ll be much happier in your life than if you settle for the first thing that comes along.

We are scanning the scene in the city tonight. We are looking for you
- Seek and Destroy from “Kill’em All”

A classic right?  Here’s the deal, no matter how good or bad your job search is going...someone is looking for you.  Keep searching, keep positive and you’ll land a great gig.

That’s it this week, hope you enjoyed.   I have to admit, I LOVE Metallica but man they write some dark music which is tough for blogging :)

Good luck out there!

Jeff

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tip of the Week - 3/6/2012 - Shotgun or Sniper?

Quick job search tip this week but one I think is really important.  When aggressively looking for a job you should be thinking shotgun approach...but if you are not in a really active search you should be doing a sniper search.

Another way to say this is when you're in a desperate situation and really (like, REALLY) need a new job you should have as broad a search as possible.  Generate as many interviews as you can and find a better opportunity (aka shotgun blast)

When you're pretty happy, but wouldn't mind a change...than an extremely targeted and specific search is in order.  You want to find the perfect gig and upgrade your situation.  (aka sniper or precision rifle)

Make sense?  The key to remember is that you should change your job search strategy based on your situation and make sure you are optimizing for the best possible outcome.

Good luck out there!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Do you have a recruiting strategy? You'd better!


Something that has struck me lately his how many companies simply don’t have a recruiting strategy.  They bring on recruiters and expect the hires to follow.  That might have worked in 1997 before the world was round for us recruiters, but nowadays you have to have a strategy or you’re dead.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

Know the data - Understand how hiring works at your company and the rest will be easy.  Figure out what your interview to offer ratio is and map it directly to how many interviews you’ll need to do to get a hire.  This way, you’ll know what to expect.  People will differ on what a “good” ratio is but I’d argue the right ratio is one that allows you to hire the best people....ideally maybe 4 to 1 (ish)

Pipeline, not funnel - Funnels are for sales-guys.  Pipelines are for candidates. All of your candidates come through different channels - Employee referrals, online applications, events, recruiters, etc etc.  Use all of these channels to build a robust candidate pipeline that allows you to tweak different channels to increase your yield.

Have a process, but don’t be afraid to change it - Process allows you to consistently evaluate candidates across multiple roles/teams.  You need a good process to recruit effectively.  However, you should also realize that as your organization changes, so should your process.  A hiring process that works when you have 100 employees might not work when you are 10,000.  So, be flexible and adjust to things as your company evolves.

Have a comp philosophy...and stick to it - Lots of smaller companies simply pay what they need to in order to attract the right person. Wrong.  Have a philosophy of how you want to compensate people.  Spend the time doing this so when you find the perfect new hire and they ask how you came to whatever number you’ve offered you’ll have an intelligent answer.  

Referrals are your lifeblood - Everyone hires their friends and former colleagues....it’s the way to world works.  So, when you hire someone...hit them up and find out who they know.  Be nice and do it ethically (do not violate non-solicit agreements).  BUT, you’re best hires will come from your referral program so treat them like gold

There you go, it’s a start and by no means comprehensive but when you think about recruiting (or your job search) you’ve got to have a strategy and then work thought the tactics.  Expecting people to just show up and apply.....is not going to work, there is just too much competition for great talent and/or great jobs now.

Until next week, good luck!