Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What candidates want from the hiring process

Just like a real estate market, sometimes it’s a candidate market and other times it’s an employer’s market but certain basic things need to be respected. We hear concerns from candidates after interviews. And it’s not just complainers who speak out but ‘A’ players as well. Whether you offer the candidate the job or not, they will become ambassadors to your brand by how they felt they were treated. Here is some of what they want from an interviewer:

1.       A well prepared interviewer
Sometimes the candidate will tell us that it was obvious that the interviewer had not read their resume before the interview. This makes them feel unimportant. When you read the resume thoroughly you will probably spot some things that you want to focus on during the interview, thereby making it a richer experience for all parties.
2.       Your attention
They want to feel that you are there in mind and body so answering emails and the phone is distracting and takes away from the momentum. I once had a client book airline tickets while interview. Talk about wasting everyone’s time.
3.       Feedback
Good or bad, everyone wants to know their performance especially since they want to improve. Complete honesty is actually a gift. My advice to the candidate is bite your tongue and listen well. You don’t have to agree but if someone is taking the time to offer feedback, this is a form of caring. Someone who is indifferent to you will not take the time.
4.       A process that moves forward in a timely fashion
In the interview process “no news is good news” does not hold water.  The interviews must take the time that is necessary but those that drag on and seem to never finish is a source of frustration for candidates. In addition, the candidate then starts to think “if this is the interview, I can imagine what it’s like to work there”.
5.       Desired
Candidates want to feel desired. I am speaking about the ones that you want to hire. They want to be wooed, they want to be sold (not too much). I believe the employer wants the same thing too. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a compliment to a candidate that you like. Perhaps being a poker face is part of strategy but don’t let someone you really like walk away not knowing how you feel. It’s not a power struggle, it’s a delicate dance.

As the great Maya Angelou once said “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel”

Happy selling

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What is a great client and how to spot one if you’re a recruiter?

Not all clients are created equally and being able to spot a great one makes the job of a recruiter so much more enjoyable and easier. Here are some habits of great clients.
1.       Gives feedback
A client who gives complete and timely feedback is loved by their recruiter and candidate. Most candidates want to know why they did not get the job and so does the recruiter. All feedback is good because it helps me as your recruiter get to know you. You’re in that sweet spot when you meet someone and you know right away that they will fit with your client; even if you don’t have a mandate. It’s like you’re symbiotic with your client. Imagine how much faster and smoother recruiting would be if I knew what you liked and did not Mr/Ms Client?
2.       Takes the necessary time
Great clients take the time to fully explain the role to you. If you can’t be bothered to work with your partner, how do you expect your partner to deliver? A great client will invest the time and energy because they know that as a recruiter you are their ambassador and will be able to “sell” the position to Top Talent. People want to know stuff about culture, management style and soft skills and the best way is to take the time with the recruiter to explain and perhaps show them around the office. We’re not asking for a day but perhaps an hour.
3.       Their honest and up-front
These things ties in with giving feedback. We know that “stuff” happens, companies change management, head count is cut or something just does not click. We’re adults and can take the truth. We’re here to help.  If you know that you’re management style is that of a micro manager, let us know. We’ll find the person who thrives on that trait.
4.       They a have a sense of urgency
We love clients who have the same sense of urgency that we have; as long as it is realistic. We want you to hire quickly but with the correct candidate. We both need to strike a balance between quantity and quality.
5.       They’re nice to work with
How does one qualify the nice factor? They don’t take themselves too seriously, they admit when they’re wrong and want to get to know you as a person. Let’s face it, people buy from people and we’re selling people as recruiters. The job is stressful and fast-paced but with a great client, you want to work that much harder for them.

Happy Selling

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Common feedback from Sales managers about sales candidates in interviews


We see hundreds of sales candidates working as a sales recruiter and always seek out the opinions and feedback of our sales managers who do the hiring. Here is a list of the common feedback that we get from hiring managers. This includes Sales Manager, Sales Vice Presidents and Human Resources.

1.       The candidate did not try to close me.
This is a sales interview so the hiring manager would like to see what he/she is getting before they hire. This is not the time to be humble; there will be time for that later. Of course, the delivery is important. You must know how to read your interviewer, understanding timing and then deliver; similar to a comedian. 
2.       There was no fit.
As they are interviewing, they are trying to imagine if they would buy from you and if their clients would buy from you.  Are you a warm person that their clients would like? Likability is hard to describe but you know it when you see it. People buy from people so in sales it is more important than a role where the employee does not interact with outside customers.
3.       The candidate was  “all about me”
I know this sounds like it contradicts with #1 but it’s that fine line between  selling your virtues and selling what you bring to the table and how you can help that prospective employer.  As a candidate, you must show interest in the company, job and the person interviewing you. This is often referred to as emotional intelligence and more and more companies are looking for this in sales candidates.
4.       Candidate spoke about money way too early in the process
I have said it many times that money should be brought up by the interviewer first not the interviewee but I still get feedback from clients that the candidate jumped into inappropriate conversations about money too early. This looks like you’re in it just for the money.
5.       The candidate did not look or sound the part
This is one of those delicate subjects. We’ve had everything from wearing jeans to salt stains on the bottom of the pants.  They look at everything. Are you corporate enough, are you messy, and are you sharp in dress and word? I have heard it said “dress for the part you want, not the one you have”. One more comment on appearances; I have never had a client tell me that a client was overdressed.
6.       The candidate could not articulate the sales process
This is a big one because most people believe that past success is a predictor of future success. Clients were looking for sales candidates who could articulate why they were successful and how they qualify prospects and move them along the sales pipeline.
7.       Candidate did not do their homework
You know that the question will come, so why are so many candidates ill-prepared for “what do you know about us”. This question is important for several reasons; it shows the interest level of the candidate and shows how much preparation they will take before going to a client. There’s no excuse for not doing the very basic homework and consulting their website. I have had candidates go to suppliers and customers of their prospective employer and report back what they found in the interview. Can I just say that the hiring managers were blown away by that kind of preparation?
8.       Body language was off
We’ve heard from clients that some sales candidates did not look them in the eye, took over their desk, slouched in their chair and other things that were inappropriate or made them uncomfortable.

Most of these mistakes are easy to correct if you know what the client is looking at and looking for. Govern yourself accordingly and Happy Selling.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

5 Signs that it's time to look for a new job.

5 signs that it’s time to look for a new job

1.       You dread Mondays
And Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays but love Fridays.  If you no longer derive joy from your job, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions. If you have a pit in your stomach on Sunday nights, then this is a sign that something is wrong. According to a recent poll ( 64% of Canadians either love their job or like it. Lots of people derive joy from their jobs, why not you?
2.       You no longer care
You feel less and less engaged. You feel like a number and are treated as such. If you are no longer putting in the time and effort to do a great job, your motivation might be waning.  What you need to do is try to identify why this is happening. Is this temporary or has this been happening for a long time? If it’s temporary then perhaps it’s fixable but if this is permanent and long-term, then a hard decision must be made.
3.       You are spending more and more time on job boards
If you are on job boards during the day instead of doing your job that is a clear sign that something’s wrong. Many employees will go on a job board out of curiosity but when you are actively searching, this goes beyond curiosity. Of course, if you are applying to those jobs then you have probably mentally “checked out”.
4.       You are being left out of important meetings that directly concern you
If you find yourself outside looking in you need to find out why. If your previously invited to certain meetings but now “it’s no longer necessary that you attend”, you may be getting shut out. Has something changed? Has upper management changed? Has your performance suffered?
5.       You have been given an ultimatum
If you are on performance plan that is impossible to meet, then the writing is on the wall. If your boss has given you written warning of what needs to happen by a certain date, be sure that this is very loud warning bell.

There are ups and downs in every job. If there are more ups than downs then you’re probably ok. If you are living several of these 5 points then there is a problem that needs addressing. Remember what you loved about this job when you took it. Can you get back to the joy? Donb’t wait until it’s irreversible.

Happy Selling