To paraphrase Mr. Gump, an interview is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. Sure, you might have certain expectations for the interview to go a certain way, or perhaps you expect to be asked certain questions, but sometimes (read:often) life likes to throw you a curveball and mix things up a bit and you get a question out of left field. Then you’re stuck staring blankly while your brain is switching directions suddenly and the interviewer is left wondering if you speak English or if you’re just dumb. It’s embarrassing, but we’ve all been there.Read More
It’s three o’clock in the afternoon and, among the 754 (I’m exaggerating a bit) “things” you must get done ASAP in your Plant or Department, you lean back in your chair and say to yourself, “Why can’t I fill the this job opening?” Well, Mr./Ms. Busy-Busy-Lot’s-To-Do, this article is a must read. It should help put things in perspective.
- Having unrealistic expectations. When they are looking to fill a position, everyone shoots for the sun, moon and stars in terms of talent. As I tell employers that we deal with, it doesn’t take a wizard to realize that there is a shortage of talent out there and that holds true in all the fields. And here’s a news flash: It’s only going to get worse. When you are identifying skills sets necessary to successfully do the job, you need to prioritize which skills are critical and where there can be flexibility. If you stand pat and require every little skill set, you may never fill the need.
- Lack of commitment. What that means is that everyone in the hiring process has to be “on board” when it comes to interviewing and qualifying potential candidates. Hiring is very time consuming, and when you are trying to do the 754 “things” I mentioned in the beginning, it’s easy for interviewing, and hiring, to fall lower on the list of priorities. It’s not intentional but it easily happens.
- Bureaucracy. Many employers have trouble filling their need or needs because they are stuck in bureaucratic “limbo”. That could be from HR crossing “T’s” and dotting “I’s” and going through all sort of gyrations, or simply waiting for some “mysterious” higher up to give the OK to interview a candidate. Well, as I mentioned in point #1, with a shortage of talent in the market, companies need to be more nimble in interviewing and hiring candidates. When it comes to hiring in this day and age, you must be a Navy destroyer (quicker to turn, quicker to react), and not some big, old, WWII battleship (slower to turn and slower to react).
- Lack of urgency. Read point #3 again. Need I say anything more?
- You think you know it all. When I have a plumbing problem in my house, my wife will say, “Call a plumber!” and my response is always, “Nah, waste of money, I’ll fix it myself.” But after seven hours, 16 trips to Lowes or Home Depot later and countless expletives, I succumb and call the Plumber. The same is true in hiring. I can’t fault anyone in trying to fill a need on their own, but there comes a time where you need to go to a “Pro”- someone who can help identify and qualify talent for your search. Remember, the key is to find a Recruiter who can not only identify, but qualify talent for you. The qualifying is where a good Headhunter can be of immense value.
The next time you find yourself struggling to fill a need, look at the 5 points above, identify which of those you are guilty of and then DO something to correct it. You’ll be surprised how quickly a few changes here and there can help. Happy Hunting!!!
When I moved to Pittsburgh, I faced the daunting task of trying to find employment in a system radically removed from what I considered the norm. No more “good ol’ boy” network. No more getting a job simply because I could breathe. No more starting work the day I applied. Now I actually had to interview, talk to people, and worst of all, answer questions.
I missed out on more than a few great jobs at first because when presented with typical interview questions (or atypical, looking at you Google), I froze, unsure how to answer them. Short range goals? Occupational priorities? Turns out, “having enough money for lunch” isn’t a great short term goal. Well, at least for the interview question. Seems like an important goal to me though.
So don’t be like me, and leave you deer in the headlights stare at home. The next time you go on a job interview, be prepared to address the following questions, even though they may never be asked.
- “What are your short range goals?” When confronted with that question there are many different answers, and you need to answer it in an honest, direct way. One response to that question is to say, “Mr. Employer, I am looking for an opportunity that would allow me to utilize my skills in (fill in the blank), and help a company grow. The simplest way to look at that is to remember that employers want to hire people that can either help a company make money, save money, or protect their good name.
- “What are your long range goals?” The answer to that question should focus on what you see yourself doing 5+ years down the road. It could be eventually moving into a more responsible position, or improving your skills. Most employers look for candidates that have some degree of ambition.
- “What are your occupational priorities?” This is code for what are you looking for in your next position. The answer should NOT be more money or better benefits. The best answers center around growth, challenges, opportunity, and contributions you can make to the company.
- “What are your strengths?” You need to evaluate what your strengths are and how an employer can benefits by those strengths. It is very important that before you go on a job interview that you access what you bring to the table. Remember as we have said before, employers hire people that can either help them make money, save money, or protect the company’s good name.
- “What are your weaknesses? The classic answer to that age old question is to address weaknesses that tie into your strengths. An example would be, my strength is my ability to multi-task, and my weakness is, I multi task so well that at times I take on too much.
- “What kind of money are you looking for?” The best answer to that question is to say, “Mr. Employer, I am open and flexible. I am looking for the right opportunity.” It is best to avoid blurting out a figure. If you do you may under sell yourself, or knock yourself out of the running.
These are the big questions you’re most likely to run into while on an interview. They’re pretty standard. If you interview with someone who thinks they’re smart, and asks you weird questions, just stay calm, think about the question, then try to present yourself in the best possible light. Remember, they’re only asking these questions to see how you react under pressure. So don’t give them the satisfaction of cracking like an egg.
Just like Arnold and Danny in the movie Twins, even though we are in the same family and can be accused of all being the same, all Recruiters (AKA Headhunters) are different. When an employer decides to engage with a recruiter, there are a few factors they must consider. It amazes us that very few employers ever ask us anything about our firm, our markets or our expertise and what we do to earn our money. What we do constantly hear, however, is “How much will this cost me?”
I know that price is important, but service and success should trump cost. In this day and age where talented people are in short supply and high demand, employers need to consider utilizing firms that can deliver, not firms that claim to deliver. Not all attorneys and doctors are the same, and not all recruiters are the same. The next time you talk to a headhunter regarding a search assignment, these 3 tips may help:
1. Ask the headhunter how long they have been in the business, and what is their area of expertise. Tenure alone is not the key. It is their knowledge, skills and your comfort level with them that’s important.
2. Find out the firms “recruitment process”. Ask them questions, such as: What do you do for your fee? How do you find candidates? Do you recruit them, Monster dive, go to job boards? How do you earn your fee? Do you interview the candidates? If they say, “Yes we do”, have them explain the process. Find out if they qualify candidates on such things as counter offer risk factor, compensation requirements, reasons for leaving, and sincerity. You want to work with recruiters that take pride in their work, and truly earn their commissions. It amazes me how employers pay headhunters at the same rate, but every recruiter performs the search process differently. Ask yourself, “What am I getting for the fee I am paying?”
3. Identify their follow-up process with candidates and with you. I would think that you would want a recruiter to give you candidate feedback after interviews. Believe it or not, you as an employer may find it useful in the deal making process.
In closing, remember to dig a little and choose your headhunters as wisely as you choose your next hire.
Last week, we discussed the eight most common applicant interview mistakes. You may have sat back and chortled a bit as you read it, recognizing many of the mistakes from your own experience in interviews. Well, today the shoe is on the other foot. We’re going to talk about the mistakes that interviewers make repeatedly. And trust me, it’s more common than you think. Read More
Once upon a time, in a land far away manufacturing was booming, and then it slowly died off. Well, manufacturing is back, but it’s a different type of manufacturing. We are not talking about your father’s or Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller manufacturing, but a highly automated and an ever changing technology driven manufacturing. Employers and job seekers need to understand and adapt, or both will become as extinct as the steel industry on the Southside. In order to stay ahead of the game there are a few points that everyone should consider:Read More
Hiring processes are a riddle. They have become elongated and as a result employers are finding themselves losing talent. It is hard enough in this day and age to find top-tier talent, but to find them and lose them to delays is silly. Employers often use the worn out adage, we won’t hire the first person we interview!Read More
Ben Franklin had a saying for just about everything. Whether all of the quotes attributed to him are truly his seems pretty unlikely, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. Below are a collection of W.T. Glover aphorisms (I finally figured a way to use this fancy word, and if you don’t know what it means, well, as my dear mother use to say…LOOK IT UP!) that will help both applicants and employers as they go down the path of looking for or filling a job. Remember, neither are ever easy! Some of these should already be familiar to people who read our posts.Read More
In my 3 plus decades in recruiting, with a bulk of it being in manufacturing, I have seen many changes and trends, both good and bad. Below are some idle thoughts from what, on rare occasions, is an idle mind. This is my perspective on what is going on in manufacturing, and what employers should think about.Read More
If you go to most recruiter’s websites, you won’t find testimonials. They don’t want other recruiting agencies to steal their clients away. At W. T. Glover, we proudly display our list of testimonials right on the site, because we’re not worried. Our clients stay with us because we’re so good at what we do, not because we hide their names from the public. We trust them and they trust us.Read More