Blogs

7 Deadly Interview Sins

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Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Caitlin Olszewski

There’s no beating around the bush about it—interviews are scary. All of your achievements, education, and skills culminate and boil down into a firm handshake and a nerve-racking hour in a conference room. Many candidates research and Google interview tactics to help them find success in their next endeavor. We asked our recruiters what some of the biggest interview turn offs were and here’s what they had to say:

  • Sin #1 Sloth: Nothing is worse than showing up late for an interview. Mom’s age old adage, “To be early is to be on time; To be on time is to be late” holds true outside of the dinner table. The rule of thumb here is to be punctual but never be more than 15 minutes early. Think of it this way, your timeliness to show up to the interview reflects how you would treat projects in your job.

  • Sin #2 Pride: A little pride in your appearance goes a long way. Clean up your shave/brush your hair, put some shine in your shoes, and do not overdo it with the perfume/cologne. Basically do not come in with a Duck Dynasty beard or in the clubbing clothes you wore last night (I’ve actually seen it). Also, pro tip for phone interviews: treat the call as if you were being interviewed face to face. Yes, we can hear you flush the toilet.

  • Sin #3 Greed: Do not talk about salary or compensation in the first interview phase. Instead, focus on professional development, experience, and bringing value to your work.

  • Sin #4 Wrath: Something that happens all too often, with no reasonable explanation why, is candidates bad-mouthing their past employers. This raises huge red flags of “Is this person impossible to please? Will they quit the first time they experience something they don’t like? Will they be bad-mouthing us to future employers?” In lieu of shaming former management, simply discuss seeking new challenges or striving for professional development.

  • Sin #5 Envy: One of our recruiters said one of the biggest mistakes one of her candidates ever made was conveying to a client that she really wanted to work in a completely different industry than the one where she was interviewing! Needless to mention, no second interview for her. Make sure you read the job description and convey that you are a viable candidate for the role!

  • Sin #6 Gluttony: Do not ramble or go on tangents. Be sure to answer the question fully and elaborate where necessary but keep the incessant talking to a minimum. If the interviewer needs more information from you they will ask. Stay focused on the interview and the job for which you are applying—leave personal stories at the door!

  • Sin #7 Lust: Many people inquire about how to properly follow up after an interview. The important thing to remember here is not to be overly lustful. A very big red flag is to see five voicemails from a candidate within an hour. Follow up by writing some handwritten thank yous or shoot a quick email if the position is time sensitive. Show interest but don’t be desperate.

CBI Way: Employment Situation and Talent Acquisition

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Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton 

The recent June employment situation released early this month has shed some new light on the workforce changes occurring since the new year. Another 288,000 jobs (predicted) were added in June, marking the fifth consecutive month more than 200,000 were added. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the first time since September, 1999 to January 2000, this has happened, almost fifteen years ago. Additionally, the 1.4 Millions jobs added in the first half of 2014, is also the highest number since the first half of that same year, 1999. Equally impressive is the unemployment rate of 6.1%, which has fallen 1.4% over the past year, the sharpest year-to-year decline in almost three decades, according to the BLS. While exciting, the report not only tells us something about the improving job market, but also speaks to the evolving and challenging world of sourcing and recruiting. In this CBI Way Blog, let’s first discuss the groundwork, sourcing.

ID-10098602More jobs and a lower unemployment rate means less candidates who are actively pursuing a new opportunity. As a refresher, active candidate sourcing is related to those candidates that are unhappy, concerned with their job security, or unemployed, for example. Active candidates are easier to find, as not only are they likely looking for you, the employer, but you are searching for them. Resumes are easy to find and applications aplenty. On the other hand, those candidates which are happy, fully employed, and not thinking about possibly making a move, prove much more difficult to identify, but are often the type quality talent being sought.

Passive sourcing is about generating interest, creating excitement, and establishing relationships, and networking with candidates about the opportunity. Whether by phone, email, or social networks, passive sourcing requires a focus on the candidate. Creating a strategy of who to target, where to target, and HOW to target these individuals is key. Where are they in their career? What sparks their interest? Who may they know? These are some questions that could potentially help with marketing your opportunity and employer brand in the best way possible. Still not interested? Make sure to express your desire to help if they may ever be in the market, or if anything changes in their career. The stronger network you have, the more options available to proactively source and engage the marketplace of talent.

The Recruiter’s Dozen: 12 Resume Tips to Kickstart Your Job Search

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Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Caitlin Olszewski

Writing your resume for the approval of a hiring manager can always be a frustrating challenge. At Placers, we are often sought after for job application and resume advice. We’ve put together this carton of tricks and tips to take your resume from scrambled to sunny-side up.

  1. Read and re-read the job description. Are you a good fit for the position? Read the job description carefully to ensure that you meet the requirements and would be a viable candidate for the position.
  2. Stay focused. Keep your resume clear, concise, and tightly focused on the job you are seeking.
  3. Market yourself. Think of your resume as a representation of your own personal brand. Market it with strong words and a clean, crisp design that makes you stand out.
  4. Action words speak louder. Use actions words such as executed, administered, and directed when describing your accomplishments.
  5. Put your best font forward. Don’t get crazy or kitschy with fonts. (I’m talking to you, Comic Sans and Papyrus.) Stick with appropriate fonts like Arial or Times New Roman.
  6. Keep it short & sweet. Try to keep your resume to one page if possible. Multiple-page resumes often drown in a sea of candidates navigated by recruiters and manager sailors with short attention spans.
  7. Know the lingo. Use industry keywords and phrases within your resume to attract the experts and put you a cut above the rest.
  8. Make sure it can be copied. Chances are, your resume will be copied and scanned quite a few times while it makes its way to key industry players. Print your resume on 20-24 lb. paper to ensure that it copies clear and sharp.
  9. Wear your heart on your resume. Low on work experience? Be sure to list volunteer work.
  10. Brag a little. List all associations, memberships, and relevant awards.
  11. Habla Español. Knowing another language is what could put you a step ahead of another bueno candidate. Don’t forget to include any knowledge of other languages!
  12. Impress in 10 seconds. The “10 second test” is a term recruiters often use to describe how quickly they can tell if you are a good fit for the job or not based on your resume. This ain’t their first rodeo—grab the recruiter or manager’s attention and retain it using the above steps to find success in your next job search.

Time Has Come Today!

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Whenever I approach my business development day I often feel like I can hear the old Chambers Brothers song in my head with “Time Has Come Today” echoing and reverberating around my office! Time!!!! Time!!!! Time!!! There seems like there is never ever enough of it for doing sales the right way. The song is eleven minutes long by the way—about as much time as it takes to really plan your sales day!

ID-100248281So for you time-pressured folks with sales responsibilities here are my greatest hits:

  • Focus on the right target customers. You may like certain customers and enjoy the conversations. We all have legacy and long-term customers that we are friendly with. The key is to focus on the right type of prospect and to define it.  
  • Have the right service or products to offer. Many small businesses start selling and servicing to anyone that will buy. This pays the bills and keeps the lights on. However, very quickly an organization needs to make a strategic decision with its resources and focus on selling the right size products and services. If your customers buy too little your costs of sales rises too high!
  • Don’t quit on your pipeline. Too many times sales professionals stop following up on leads and prospects. Social media is riddled with articles and blogs on this topic alone. However, we still stop too early. It takes 6 to 10 attempts to make something happen. Too many sales professionals stop after 1 or 2. Is it mental approach or organizational skills? Either way, time is the enemy!
  • Have a plan. Block your time. Be organized and know what you’re doing before you start. Do your research in organized times. When you’re making calls and sending notes do it in blocks. MOST block their time but do not prepare their work!
  • Create balance. Why do some people hit quota and most don’t? Some of it is about how you spend your valuable time. Do you make the extra call or do the extra work? Do you think long term and invest in key relationships? Do you add value to the people you meet and network with? It took me 20 years to become an overnight success! Get it? If you think about today’s or this month’s quota you may win for a month or two—but not in the long run. Sales is a balance of short and long term with activities, with your pipeline and size deals, and in your overall mindset!

Now the time has come! There’s no place to run! Time! Time! Time!

IT Skill Sets Top Hard-to-fill Recruiting Challenges

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What skill sets are you having the most difficulty recruiting?

Staffing Industry Analysts conducted a survey to find out and discovered that IT tops the list for hard-to-fill recruiting challenges. This comes as no surprise to our resident IT staffing guru, Zach Werde.

Here’s what SIA found: “Across all occupational categories, the skills most-frequently cited as difficult to recruit were those associated with managing and modifying company-wide enterprise software –SAP was commonly mentioned, as were other enterprise software providers. It’s notable that this set of skills was the most-frequently cited recruiting challenge in both 2014 and 2013. The second most commonly cited IT skill recruiting challenge was Java, which was likewise frequently mentioned in our 2013 survey.”

To learn more, we talked with Zach who says, “I love working on SAP & Java roles. That’s kind of my bread and butter, especially SAP.” We asked him why these skill sets are so difficult to recruit. Here’s what he said:

“The short answer is supply and demand.

The long answer, there is simply a huge shortage of IT workforce in the United States — especially on the niche, complicated roles like SAP, Salesforce, Java, even .NET, etc.  For these types of roles, somewhere between 1 out of 10 and 1 out of 100 of the available candidate pool are Unites States born citizens that randomly decided to become an SAP Business Objects Consultant or something like it. And the other 90 to 99% of the work force are not US born citizens.  They are foreign nationals working in the US with an H1 work visa or EAD that allows them to live and work in the US — because the US has a shortage of available workforce.

After this, it gets really complex, but the bottom line is in order to successfully staff for these positions you need to understand the market and also how to navigate third party employers. Why? Because all of the people that have these skill sets are essentially “owned” by the people that hold the H1 work visa and you have to go through them to find the talent.”

So there you have it. You knew they were difficult roles to staff but now you understand more about why they are hard-to-fill positions. And why you need to connect with people like Zach. Are you having IT staffing challenges? Connect with us at Placers today.

Results are based on findings of Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2014 Contingent Buyer Survey, conducted in April 2014, and reflect the opinions of buyer respondents from 175 large (1000+ employee) companies.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Peggy Eddens, CHRO of WSFS to Guest Speak at Outside-In Seminar

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Talent Strategy: How Employee Engagement Pays Off

The talent experts at the Outside-In® Companies have teamed up with Peggy Eddens, ‎the EVP of Human Capital at WSFS to present at our July Talent Seminar!

WSFS Bank Human Capital under the direction of Peggy Eddens has seen employee engagement climb to new levels of success. The institution is serious about customer service and research shows a high correlation between the engagement levels of employees and the satisfaction of customers. During this workshop you will learn about the unique, targeted approaches that are being employed to influence employee engagement at WSFS.

Further, you will gain insight into how talent strategy can have a dramatic impact on the financial performance of the firm. While other banks did well to weather the storm during the recent recession WSFS grew market share and improved financial performance. This vibrant program will give participants new tools to focus on people as the competitive advantage of the firm.

Join us and take the first steps to developing a new talent strategy playbook.

Get your ticket on Eventbrite today!

7:30-8:00 AM     Enjoy breakfast and coffee and meet some new people!

8:00-8:45 AM     Talent Seminar Presentation by presenter, Peggy Eddens

8:45-9:00 AM     Q&A

This Talent Seminar has been submitted for HRCI credits.

About Presenter: Peggy Eddens, WSFS

Peggy H. Eddens was appointed Executive Vice President and Director of Human Capital Management in 2007, and named Chief Human Capital Officer in 2012. Prior to joining WSFS, she served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Development at NexTier Bank in Butler, Pa from 2003-2007. Her financial services career began in Pittsburgh at Mellon Bank where she held a variety of training and human resources management positions for over a 20 year span, culminating in her role as First Vice President and Regional Human Resources Director for Citizens Bank following the merger. She received her MS in Human Resource Management from LaRoche College and her BS in Business Administration from Robert Morris University.

Peggy is very community involved and serves on the Junior Achievement (JA) of DE board and is a member of the JA Leadership Council. She is also on the board for Delaware Humane Association (DHA) and chairs the DHA Personnel Committee. She is a member of the University of Delaware Employer Advisory group and has served as the program director for the University of Delaware School of Continuing Studies for the Strategic Human Capital Certificate program. Peggy also serves on the Events Committee for the Little Sisters of the Poor. She volunteers as a guest presenter for various local colleges and has been a key note speaker for affiliated organizations, across the country.

Peggy married her high school sweetheart, Greg and they have two sons. She and her husband live in Hockessin. Her hobbies include bird watching, walking, reading and shopping! And Peggy is a die-hard Steelers and Penguins fan too!

Have questions about Outside-In® Seminar / Talent Strategy: How Employee Engagement Pays Off? Contact us.