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!!!
You sit down with a prospective employer, you have your shiny resume in front of them, and you expect to start discussing your wonderful credentials. Then, just as you settle in you get, “Well ______________, tell me a little bit about yourself.” With that question you totally freeze, not knowing what to say. Is he interested in your My Little Pony collection? Does he want to know about your crippling addiction to online surveys? That you have an imaginary three legged hamster for a best friend? Probably not. The question is a little trickier than you might think at first.
There is a lot of advice out there on how to handle this question. Some advice has been, “What would you like to know?” Another is, “Well, I was born in a little log cabin in Blah, in the great state of Blahblah.” With some employers we’ve dealt with over the years, either answer could send the wrong signal, and as a result, you have to be careful. Many employers aren’t going to narrow it down for you, and if they do, it’s likely going to end up a boring question about your hobbies. So make sure you take this opportunity when it presents itself.
What we have found over the years is that the best way to answer that question is to say, “Well Mr. Employer, I find myself to be a—,” and at this point, start your sales pitch. What you want to do is focus on the strengths you have that would apply to the job you are interviewing for. Talk about your managerial ability, leadership skills, attention to detail, reliability, etc. Whatever would best tie into what the employer wants. Sometimes it is pure guesswork, but it is a much better way to address that age old question. Every question in an interview is an opportunity to sell yourself. Don’t let even one get away from you.
For you to do this effectively, you must prepare for it, and rehearse it. You may never get asked the question, but as the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, then memorize it. Your mind can go blank when you’re on the spot, and you may struggle to just remember what your strengths are. But if you memorize a list of them, you’ll have an easier time recalling them when under pressure. Before any interview, go over your list, and try to find ways to apply them all to the job you’re interviewing for.
As mentioned above, there is a lot of advice out there, and everyone has an opinion. But, we know for a fact that the approach suggested above does, and has worked. Everytime you speak on an interview, you should be demonstrating some way you’re the perfect candidate. Being ready to tell an employer about yourself in a positive and beneficial manner will only help you nail the interview.
In our introductory episode, John, Dan, Larry and Jason (the Rick Flair of headhunting, Woo!) introduce themselves and talk a little bit about who we are as a company and what direction our podcast will be taking.
Inspired by sports radio and Car Talk, expect a pretty open forum type of discussion about how we can help you find a job or fill one. We try to cover issues facing both employers and employees on matters such as resumes, interviews and the job search. Our company, Glover Staffing Solutions in Pittsburgh, has over 35 years in the recruiting industry, so we have some experience in this area and we’d like to share it with you.
We have a saying at Glover Staffing Solutions, “No one ever hired a resume, employers hire people!” But truth be told, you will not get an interview without a well thought out, well-constructed resume. The first impression a prospective employer has of you is through your resume, and everyone knows that first impressions count. We have seen many candidates through the years with great credentials not get interviews due to their resumes. Below are the six common mistakes we see candidates make that can ultimately lead to them not getting an interview they want.
- Speling erorrs (just kidding). This one is in excusable. It amazes us that with spell check how anyone could have any misspellings on their resume. In my opinion having misspelled words on your resume is a simple case of sloppiness and being in a hurry. Remember as I mentioned before, you have only one chance to impress an employer. Don’t make this easily correctable cardinal sin.
- Objective. Having an objective on your resume is a good thing, but you must be careful that your objective is not so specific that you make get knocked out of the running for jobs. When you have an objective on your resume either tailor it specifically for the jobs you are applying for, or make it generic enough that it applies to any position you are interested in pursuing. Whichever direction you go, make sure your objective is direct and to the point.
- Flow. The best resumes start with most recent experience, and work backwards. Most employers do quick glances at a person’s resume, and they formulate their decision as to whether or not they get an interview very quickly. They do not want to read “War and Peace”. Remember, resumes are advertisements of your skills and accomplishments designed for mass marketing purposes. Do not make your resume confusing to read and follow. Make sure the info is correct AND please pay attention to the dates on your resume. They need to make sense, and be accurate.
- Separate yourself from the pack. Employers like resumes that list accomplishments and achievements. When you include things that you done or do, always add results. Don’t go overboard, but definitely sell yourself. Remember to take the “features and benefits approach” on your resume.
- Length. Employers have told us that a good resume should never exceed 2 pages. If you are entry level, fresh out of college it should be more than a page. Employers like resume that are to the point. As we have said above, say enough to get their attention. Employers generally know after a few moments if they are interested in the candidate, going overboard on the length is a big turnoff.
- Proof read! Never submit a resume that you have not proof read, and if you have read it make sure you have someone else get their eyes on it. Once you have read it, re read it, and once you have done that, put it away for a few hours and reread it.
Remember, a resume will never get you the job you want, but it will definitely either get you in the door or have you on the outside looking in. There is much advice out there on resumes, the six common mistakes listed above are the problems we hear most from employers. If we can help you please feel free to contact, or visit the blog and videos on our website. Happy hunting!
Are you feeling stuck at your job? Like your career is just a hamster wheel, you keep working and go nowhere? You want out, but there’s nothing even close to the horizon, much less within in your grasp. There’s nothing left to do. You’ve resigned yourself to a life of hamstery solitude. But then the recruiter calls! He asks if you’re interested in a position where you’ll be loved. Respected! Venerated even!! (Ok, venerated might be a stretch. But definitely loved and respected.)
But then the bomb drops: You’ll have to relocate to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh?? Who the hell wants to live in Pittsburgh? Didn’t that city die with the steel industry? It can’t compare to your beloved [INSERT CITY HERE].
As someone who has recently relocated to Pittsburgh, I can certainly understand the sentiment. I was from a sunny coastal village in the South, and in my mind, Pittsburgh was as grey as the steel it used to make: grey skies, grey buildings and grey food. It was in the North, a place no less barren and cold, and worst of all, snowy than George R.R. Martin described. And why would I give up the beautiful waters of my island home for three rivers you can’t drown in, only suffocate? Madness, surely.
The fact is, Pittsburgh is none of the things I thought it was. And probably none of the things you think it is either. Well, except snowy. They definitely get some snow, but their road response crews are extremely on point. I rarely have had to drive in snow. No, Pittsburgh isn’t a dead grey city; it’s a city transforming. It’s a wonderful place to live, and in my travels, I’ve never found another place quite like it. So let’s talk about some of the things that make Pittsburgh great.
1) Cultural Activities
Let’s get this one out of the way quick. I have seen some world class museums.I have been to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural history in D.C. and the British Natural History Museum in London. Everytime I go to a new city, the first place I head to is the museum. And I will say this definitively and without pause: The Carnegie museum of Natural History has a better dinosaur exhibit than any of them. It’s awesome and is the major reason that a membership to the museum is completely worth it. The fact that the rest of the museum is awesome is just gravy on the roast. Oh, and there are at least another dozen museums about, a zoo, an arboretum and an aviary. Pittsburgh doesn’t lack for culture.
2) The Food
Pittsburgh has all the ethnic restaurants, including ones most cities don’t even bother with. German, Polish, Italian, Hungarian, Jewish, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Korean, Thai and more; if you like ethnic food, Pittsburgh has you covered. I have had food here I never knew existed. And it’s not just ethnic food. They have things like city pigeon (which I’m assured isn’t pigeon), amazing gyros and hamburgers with French fries on the hamburger. Come to think of it, most places have at least one salad with french fries on it too. There are multiple different delicious reasons to move to Pittsburgh.
3) The People
I’m from the South. People in the South are nice. People in the North are words I would have to censor. I knew this the way you know grass is green and the sky is blue. Then I came to Pittsburgh. Where I was expecting blank stares and icy demeanors, I instead received warm smiles and even warmer welcomes. People here are nice. Like really nice. Sure, there’s the occasional [CENSORED], but you’ll have that anywhere. I’ve found that random people will gladly strike up a conversation with you while you’re waiting in line or riding the bus or just standing on the corner. It really surprised me, but it was a pleasant surprise.
4) It’s a Small Big City
New York City literally has something like 25 million people, and I am using literally properly here. Pittsburgh is nowhere near that big. It’s maybe a million? I have no idea. But not that many millions. And while it is smaller than a mega city, or even a medium city, it still has many of the big city conveniences. It has great restaurants, bakeries and markets. Shopping here is pretty good. The nightlife is hopping, and it’s big enough to get some great concerts and shows through.
5) It’s Booming.
The steel in Pittsburgh might be dead, but technology is booming. Thanks to some major research centers in the fields of computing, robotics and medicine, Pittsburgh is home to some equally major companies. Google has an office here. So does Apple. GNC and Dick’s Sporting Goods are both based in Pittsburgh. And there are plenty of manufacturers located in the greater Pittsburgh area (Thank God; it’s kind of our bread and butter around here).
6) Variety in Location
Whether you want urban, suburban or rural living, you can get it and still work in Pittsburgh. There are plenty of each within no more than 45 minutes of the city. From the downtown access of Heinz Lofts, to the beware-of-cows ruralness of Butler county or the suburban sprawl of Moon, you’ll find somewhere you’re comfortable.
If you have kids, the city of Pittsburgh is really big on education. They have some of the top ranking schools in the state here, from grade school on up. If your kids do well enough in school, they can get a ride through college on the city’s dime. And the colleges around here are no joke either. Carnegie-Mellon has one of the best robotics departments in the nation, and the University of Pittsburgh is reknown for their medical school, plus running all of the hospitals around the city. Speaking of which..
You’ll also get some of the best medical care in the country in a Pittsburgh hospital. As of 2013, UPMC is ranked 10th nationally among the best hospitals (and second in Pennsylvania) by US News & World Report and ranked in 15 of 16 specialty areas, including eight specialties for which UPMC placed in the top 10. This does not include Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC which ranked in the top 10 of pediatric centers in a separate US News ranking. They’re not only cutting edge, they’re at the forefront in developing new technologies to save your life.
You can’t talk about how great Pittsburgh is without mentioning the sports scene. The Steelers are a fantastic franchise even in their off years, and the Penguins are pretty good too. I can’t speak to baseball, but apparently the Pirates aren’t terrible either. But that’s not to say you have to be a Pittsburgh fan either. At least with three major sports teams, you’ll at least be able to go to games, and occasionally your team may come to town too. Better than you’d get in Any City, Wyoming.
Pittsburgh is a city, and like every city, there are drawbacks too. Public transportation is only good when you don’t have to be anywhere. The Department of Transportation could be faster, unless they are also the ones who plow and salt the roads, in which case, God bless them. But seriously, the shortest distance between two points in the city is always under construction, making traffic really suck sometimes. And surprisingly, just because you can see a place doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to get to.
But these are all minor quibbles in the face of the positives I mentioned above. I’m not sorry in the least I relocated to Pittsburgh. I’ve met some great people, eaten some great food, and when the inevitable heart attack happens because of said food, I know I’ll be in great hands.
At the time of this writing it is hard to believe that there are about 50 “work” days left this year. The 4th Quarter always flies by very fast. A common myth in employment is that NO ONE HIRES during the holidays. Nothing could be further from the truth and this myth can be quickly, if not easily, dispelled with a quick trip to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site of the U.S. Department of Labor. Good luck finding it from their main page, but a Google search provides all the information you need.
According to the BLS, from 9/13 to 12/13, gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments were 7.3 million, an increase of 290,000 jobs from the previous quarter. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment gain of 745,000 jobs in the private sector during the fourth quarter of 2013. In fact, gross job gains in Q4 2013 were higher than all three prior quarters!
So clearly, the idea that companies don’t hire in the fourth is a fallacy. The jobs are definitely there. Over the years our firm has had historically good 4th quarters, but you have to be willing to hustle.
4 Things to Keep in Mind:
1. Applicants generally find it easier to make interview around the holidays. There is more flexibility to get away if you need to meet with an employer.
2. Candidates like to make a job change as you approach the new year. It is in some ways very symbolic of getting a fresh start. New job, new year, etc.
3. Companies have staffing budgets that they need to use, or if they don’t use it they may lose it for the next year.
4. Employers also find it easier to arrange interviews for the themselves. Some find their schedules lightening up, so that they can meet candidates.
Looking to make a job change or pursuing a new job is exactly like the good old dating game made popular in the 60’s. Your goal is make yourself as desirable as possible so employers want to hire you. the job market is as competitive as always and only the most desirable (and there is that word again) candidates get offers and eventually hired. in order to put yourself in a position to get the job you want these 5 pointers should help.
How to Get That Date!
1. List accomplishments and achievements.
When looking for a new opportunity everyone should take some time to evaluate their careers: where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going. Employers want people that have accomplished “things” and that can do as many of these 3 things as possible;
- Make money
- Save money
- Protect the company’s good name.
Make sure you can give examples of as many of those three items as possible the next time you are on an interview with an employer. Also make sure you make it a point of illustrating with examples as many of those points as possible on your resume.
2. Buff your resume.
Make sure your resume goes beyond telling an employer what you do on your job. A good resume must also list accomplishments! Anything that can separate you from the pack of other candidates. You want to get yourself noticed, much like the contestants on the good old dating game.
3. Clean up your act.
Make sure you are as well groomed as possible, and please pay attention to the details. Shine your shoes, comb your hair and present the image an employer would want to hire.
4. Stay connected.
Utilize social media tools such as Linkedin and Facebook to make sure people know who you are and where you are. They are marketing tools that can give candidates a tremendous advantage in their search if used properly.
5. Don’t ignore a recruiter.
A good headhunter is like an elephant…they never forget! It is wise to listen to a recruiter the next time you are contacted and if at all possible help them with either a referral or some direction to go on their search. You never know when you will need one of us. It is wise to keep on our good side.
Good luck on your job search. and if you need a little help, we’re one of the oldest executive search firms in Pittsburgh!
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.
You just applied for a job. You and like four thousand other people. But lo and behold, your resume was pulled out and you now have an interview. Now there’s only ten people or so to worry about. You’re a personable fellow, right? You’ve got this licked! You go in confident, fully expecting an offer right then and there. Instead, it becomes like a bad one night stand, and they’re shoving you out the door and promising to call you “later”. Read More