Posts tagged: recruiting

Why Grit, Not IQ, Predicts Success

I wish someone had told me this when I was in middle/high school.

I am thinking of two mid-30′s business leaders.

One went to Yale and had a lot of advantages in life. He’s good looking in an Abercrombie kind of way, soccer star… you know the type. The other is also good looking (by that same standard) and athletic. He has a degree from a state school. His parents are teachers.

If IQ or ‘what college you attended’ or grade point average were the measures of success – the Yalie should win. But  something else is really at the heart of  business ‘success’ and it relates to:

– whether you see obstacles as opportunities or things that slow you down.

One way to to learn about obstacles as opportunities — is to grow up WITHOUT advantages. This builds grit and grit builds success. I wrote a post a few year back about people who failed time and again. Michael Jordan and Ulysses S. Grant. I had a college professor tell me I’d never graduate from college. Haha. I showed him.

Bottom line is — if you think that people who went to Ivy League schools are automatically successful, I ask you to think again.

As a country, we are suffering from ‘elitism fever’ (we think we’re better than others) – but deep in our hearts we know – the American spirit is grounded in pure grit. So next time you go to hire someone, why not ask… what obstacles have you overcome to be here? That might tell you everything you need to know.

Image credit: Elia Locardi

The Most Important LinkedIn Page You’ve Never Seen…

July 2006 Scavenger Hunt"most exotic animal for your location"Happy FIRST Birthday Tai Shan, Born July 9, 2005 Tai Shan Holds Zoo's Hopes, Public's HeartStaff Birthday Wish: Longer Stay for Cub, 1By Karlyn Barke...

LinkedIn (LI) is my favorite social site. Why? Because they built a ‘professional’ social site that truly adds value.

Initially, LI gave users something valuable.. an electronic Rolodex. The site helped us understand to increase the value of our already valuable connections (and gave us tools to use them more effectively). In my recent post, ‘Because Every Job is Temporary…” I discussed the fact that we all need to be looking for work — all the time. Therefore, building a network, helping others and keeping our skills up to date are critical.

Then they made it problematic for people to ‘spam’– if you said you didn’t know someone… they got bounced from LinkedIn temporarily. When they said they valued our privacy, they meant it (unlike some others…)

Once they gave us this tool (for free), they then helped us to build connections across industries, interests, commonality — with groups etc.

So, what’s this page I’ve never seen? It’s called Talent Solutions and it is part of the LinkedIn Recruiter offering which is only visible to companies that pay to use the sourcing and hiring tools. Recruiters can see all your information, but you can’t see them. Think no one is watching you? Think again. If you are actively adding to your skills, building your connections, interacting with people and posting your blog/slideshare/other content regularly, then you are the kind of candidate many recruiters are looking for.  The real reason you should care about LinkedIn… explains more.

Like the Panda in the picture… you have to work for your food, even if the tree is right in front of you.

Photo Credit: Tai Shan, National Zoo Panda dbking

Career Advice: Give

This blog is a rant.

I’m probably getting old and cranky (ok, not probably) but I am tired of people who want ‘help’ — get it through the generosity of selfless people and then boom – they take and take and largely never give back. All the ‘takers’ just stopped reading! I didn’t really expect to change any ‘takers’ but I am hoping to get to the ‘matchers.’ (read on!)

In his research-based book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success Adam Grant (Wharton School)has identified three types of people — givers, takers, and matchers. Matchers return favors tit-for-tat (they care above all about fairness), Takers try to tilt most things in their own favor (focus on themselves), Givers are generous (focus on others).

Most people are givers in their personal relationships. Interestingly, at work, people change. Grant notes,  “An extraordinary number of people who are in a giver mindset at home are a matcher or taker at work.” Only 8% describe themselves as givers at work because most people think “givers are chumps who will fall behind in the game of work”.

Grant’s research shows that givers are among the most successful people in business and may also be the happiest. “There is powerful evidence,” “that givers experience more meaning in their work than takers or matchers.”

Back to my rant. I have probably met one on one with 500 people in the past 5 years. Many people thank me and that’s all I ask. But there’s a whole segment of people (both men and women) who act like they’ve never met me when I see them later. They are so focused on themselves… they don’t even remember meeting me! Often these are the same people who.. didn’t offer to buy the coffee (when they asked to meet me), never asked me one question about myself, never bothered to write an email saying thanks or following up in any way. In the tug of war of life — are you helping to pull for the greater good or shoving people out of your way?

Ok. I’m done.

Photo credit: Navy & Marines in tug of war   NYCMarines  (I wouldn’t bet against any of these fine human beings)

Tweet That Job: Recruiters Love Twitter, Do You?

If you are a job hunter and you are not using twitter, perhaps you want to think again. Why? Check out this article, Top 5 Twitter Apps for Recruiters.  If you’re one of those people who still thinks twitter is stupid, then skip this post. If your mind is open, keep reading.

If recruiters need automated tools to help them post their jobs to twitter… then it must be worth checking out.

Let’s run through a few of the reasons WHY recruiters use twitter:

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy
  3. It has broad reach
  4. It separates out the ‘dinosaurs’ from the people who get it

I hear this from some job seekers.. ‘but I have all this experience… they should want to hire me for that, not for whether it tweet or not.”

This is true… you do have excellent experience… but so do lots of other people. And those people have updated their skills, are engaged with the world and want to be connected and learn new things. Argue with me all you want. It doesn’t change the facts.

My friend Charlene Kingston has an fantastic eBook to help you get started. Twitter for Beginners. She also has awesome tools, eBooks and online sessions for small business people. Check it out. She rocks.

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants – The War is Over

At work, the war between the kids (20 somethings) and the old people (50 somethings) is over. The kids have won.

For those of you who think this isn’t true, let’s consider the facts.

– The workplace is officially  BYOD – Bring Your Own Device… in a short 5 years the IT department has gone from “we don’t support that” to “we’ll help you get your job done on whatever device you need.”

– Bye bye Blackberry– 5 years ago, in “Corporate America” — the Blackberry was  the go-to device. Their market share has fallen from 41% to 10%.  A person no longer needs a big corporation’s network and device to be mobile & productive.

– Letting technology do what it does best is a win/win. When we can use technology to remove distance barriers between people…e.g.  online learning, online petitionsFacebook and collaborative tools like Google docs, dropbox and flickr– we substantially improve productivity and outcomes.

However, we need to keep pushing on the very important HUMAN side of the equation. The things machines can’t do (and likely never will) are the keys to making this new digital, “cyberspacy” world work for all of us.

These include:

- Empathy, Passion, Listening, Respect, Courage.

Listen to Marc Presnsky (who first talked about digital natives and immigrants in 2003) talk about the responsibility of educators in using technology. We can all learn from this.

Photo credit: familymwr -eye of the holder

6 seconds = How Long Your Resume Gets Looked At…

Have you ever been on the hiring side of a resume? It’s not fun.

You often feel like this guy. Overwhelmed by ‘paper’ and buzzwords that don’t tell you anything.

Before you spend more time and get more opinions about your resume, check out this article, “How Recruiters See Your Resume…” Take a look at the heat map associated with this article.

It tells us that the more structured your resume, the easier it is for those 6 seconds to be productive and get you into the consideration pile vs. the no way pile.

The goal of the resume is to… wait for it… get you an interview! Be sure to think of it that way. It’s not to document your entire work history.

By the way, how’s your Linked In profile? Do you have 300 connections? Do you belong to several groups? Have you uploaded your PowerPoint presentations? Do you answer questions? Make sure you include a live link to your Linked In profile from your resume.

Now go forth and streamline that resume!

Image credit: Career Insider

Interview Question… How Weird Are You?

Maybe you’ve heard of a company called Zappos. In 1999, they began selling shoes on the Internet.  I remember thinking… no one will buy shoes online. I was wrong! In less than 10 years, Zappos hit $1Billion in sales.

What’s even more amazing about Zappos is their culture. It begins and ends with customer service. I mean real service. Sad that a focus on the customer is so unique.

But the real magic of the organization, according to CEO Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”) is in the hiring. When interviewing at Zappos you might be asked,

“What’s your theme song?” or “How weird are you?”

By asking these questions, Zappos finds out if you’re flexible, creative, funny and interesting.  So would you want to work in a place where these were the interview questions?  I would.

I’ve often said I’m a little too weird for the normal people but too normal for the weird people. So add this (maybe) to the list of interview questions to prepare. What’s your favorite interview question?

Photo credit: Miss Communications.com

Pay Me To Interview, Pay Me to Work.

Oh my but the world of job search is changing in so many ways, I feel like my head is going to explode.  This article, “How Real Time Web Changes Job Search,”is jammed full of ideas, websites and concepts relating to job search.

If you are in HR or looking for work; you need to read this article. Here are just few of the highlights:

- On Twitter alone “more than a million tweets about job openings go out every month from 6,000+ employers and 7,700+ job channels via TweetMyJOBS.com

- The traditional job board is disappearing and being replaced by ‘direct sourcing’ which is when hiring decision-makers “identify, reach out to, engage, and convert” only the highly desirable candidates. Passive candidates become the new gold. The better your digital footprint, the easier you’ll be to find.

- Job sites are adding “Who do I know”? buttons to their sites so you can see who you know at a company without going to Linked In.

And one of my favorites… Paid Interviews.com. It actually pays candidates when they successfully interview (read: get hired) and has a virtual water cooler feature which is “a place for candidates to talk about their past employment experiences, it’s like Amazon product ratings, but for companies. It’s a place where you can get unbiased answers about employers around the world.”

If you’re a company with a lousy culture… the good old days might be evaporating before your very eyes. Between sites like paidinterviews.com and glassdoor.com and social networking; hiding is going to get tougher. Ahhh, transparency. Welcome.

Photo credit: http://itaysworld.com/blog/2009/03/03/funny-money-but-of-the-real-kind/

No Fishy Handshakes Please

Last week I was speaking at a big event and had the pleasure of meeting many people. I was, however,  unhappily struck by the number of people who don’t realize the negative impression of their fishy handshake.

What do I mean by a ‘fishy’ handshake? Well, when you offer just the fingers of your hand or when you fail to grasp the other person’s hand and shake it with confidence; you run the risk of having people think you are weak. This especially goes for men shaking hands with women. It is disrespectful to barely shake hands with a woman. It makes them think that you don’t think of them as equals.

You’ve probably heard the story about why we shake hands, i.e.,  to show that we have no weapons in our hands. Aside from the way we dress and eye contact, our handshake is another very important signal of our confidence.

When you shake hands, please, oh please I’m begging you, look the person in the eye and give them a gentle but firm handshake. This isn’t a strength contest but it is a chance to make the other person sit up and take notice of your positive manner.  So ladies,  put your hand out there and shake firmly. Guys, do the same. it’s so important!

Photo Credit: Ads of the World

The Coming Battle for Talented Employees

It may be hard to believe but many Human Resource professionals are gearing up their recruiting efforts. While the economy isn’t exactly humming, the job market is heating up and companies are actively looking for ‘bench strength.’  In a 2010 survey titled, Job Seeker Nation, it was reported that we are rapidly becoming a nation of ‘free agents’ who are continuously alert for opportunities. And by the way, this is a good thing. Try this on for size…

I know keeping up our skills is hard and that trying to make sure we’re networking and connecting is a pain. But consider the alternative. “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less,” said General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army. He wasn’t referring to the job market but, it does apply.

Each of us needs to be thinking about being a proactive career manager. Are you diligently building your network? Are you getting training? Are you actively discussing key aspects of change in your field?  Do you read blogs that are relevant to your industry? Are you out of your comfort zone?

I want to be one of those people that companies are willing to fight to recruit. How about you?