Tag Archives: Recruitment

Resigning The RIGHT Way…

It’s a BIG decision, resigning.

And whether you’re leaving because of a ‘bigger & better’ opportunity; because your current employer is an absolute b#@$t!@d or because you’re just not content – you need to make sure that you exit in the right manner.

Tendering your resignation is a daunting process.  The stress that it brings on is up there with getting married, buying a house and moving according to some studies from around the world.  Whilst the temptation might be there to tell your current employer precisely where to stick that resignation letter, I urge you to think better of it, no matter how rude/difficult/inconsiderate/abusive/etc they may be.  Not that I’m condoning any of the above, but as my Mum always used to say to me, “two wrongs don’t make a right”, so it’s up to you to be the bigger person and rise above the temptation to retaliate or mouth-off.  It’s paramount to you and your future career that you remain level-headed, because you never know when you may bump in to the person again and, particularly if you’re staying in the same industry, you never know when you might need “friends” (think reference/referee).  Not to mention, in our industry, there is every chance that you will see them at a conference, function or meeting!

With the above in mind, here’s some further advice to assist you through the process:

1.  Plan.  Plan.. And PLAN…!
Get your contract out (or the Award if you don’t have a contract) and make sure you know what your obligations are – what’s the notice period you have to give; are there any restrictions on where you can work next (competition); when is your bonus due; what are your leave entitlements; etc?  If there is a specific date/deadline that you need to hit (for a new role), make sure that you know what it is and make this your end goal – ie.  what you HAVE to achieve when you hand in your notice and verbalise your intentions to your manager.

Make sure you know who it is that you should be handing your resignation in to (your line manager or his/her manager or the GM/CEO).  Also think about your timing and plan for what will get YOU the best result.  Sometimes, due to deadlines, you can’t afford to be picky about the “when”, but in general try to do it when the person that you are going to see is going to be the most responsive, ie.  not in a bad mood; not rushing to another meeting; not under the pump; not leaving to go home; not on annual leave; etc.  I guess ultimately, regardless of how you feel about the person/organisation, try your best to put yourself in the position of the person that will be receiving the news (and the pressure that that may bring) and treat them as you would like to be treated – being considerate goes a long, LONG way!

And plan for point 4 below – the OUTCOME of your resignation…

2 Document Your Resignation in Writing (but deliver it in person)
Your written resignation should be short and sweet.  No ‘War & Peace’ ramblings required here as the important detail gets lost!  Keep it simple:

  • Address the letter properly & appropriately
  • Lay it out properly and DO NOT forget to date it with the correct date as this becomes the date that your resignation is effective from.
  • (Having checked your notice period obligations) Inform your employer of the date that your notice period is effective from (today’s date), the period it is for (eg.  4 weeks) and what the date is that you are terminating your employment on (ie.  the date 4 weeks from today)
  • Thank them (in one or two lines at the most).  Ideally, this shouldn’t be too difficult.  You might like to thank them for their support, guidance and nurturing of you throughout your tenure.  Or you might like to say thank you for the development or promotional opportunities.  Whatever it is though, be sincere and if you haven’t got anything good to say – say NOTHING.
  • And remember:  LESS is sometimes MORE as the last thing you want to do is provide ‘fodder’ for your employer to come back and bash you with (figuratively speaking of course)!

If time permits, don’t tender your letter straight away.  Sit on it for a day or two (change the date accordingly) and make sure you go over the pros and cons of your current role and future opportunity.  Not to say that you can’t go back once you’ve tendered your resignation, but most of the employers that I know tend to take the view of “if you’ve decided to leave, I’m not going to try to change your mind” (in a positive way as opposed to a narky kind of a way)!

3 Personal delivery
When the time comes, have the fortitude, strength of character and decency to resign in person!  It comes down to respect and in most cases, other than the extreme ones, your employer deserves a bit of respect.  And even if they don’t, be the bigger person and show them how it should be done by holding your head high and resigning with dignity and professionalism.  If you do have any feedback, the time to do it is in person (verbally, not in writing remember) and ALWAYS make sure that you do it constructively and in a positive manner.  Hand your letter to the appropriate person, explaining what it is.  NOTE:  from this point, your resignation date is locked in as this is the date that you have tendered your resignation.

If you believe that it is going to be an unpleasant meeting – prepare yourself mentally for this and if appropriate to do so, you may choose to tender your resignation with another person present (or at least nearby), such as your employer’s Personal Assistant or maybe even your line manager.  And whatever you do, make sure that you stay calm, collected, polite and professional, no matter what is said to you (I’m not suggesting for a moment that this will be easy, but stay strong and committed to being the better person)!

4 Be Prepared for the Outcome
This forms part of your planning phase also – so make sure you give this plenty of thought.  Plan how you think your employer is going to react and what actions they might take and make sure that you’re prepared.  Think back to when other people have resigned or have been asked to leave, how did that go down and how did your employer behave?  Give very real consideration to the fact that you might well be asked to clean out your office and leave on the spot, having been locked out of your computer (and any other digital links to the organisation – eg.  phone/tablet/intranet) before you even leave your manager’s office!

Whatever the situation, remain calm and professional and try to take it in your stride, without letting your guard down as you need to remain alert to your rights and the employer’s legal obligations – like pay in lieu of notice or bonus cheques that are owed to you as a couple of examples.

5 Tidy Up Loose Ends
As suggested above, this isn’t always possible – but when it is, leave on a high!  Make sure you’ve cleaned up your desk, office and computer so that it’s ready for the next person and try to finish off any projects or at least leave them at a stage where someone else can pick them up and run with them.  You might even like to leave some basic instructions and/or information for anyone that might need them, like logins to things that need to be kept going, even in your absence.  And don’t forget to inform the right departments (when it’s your job to do so), so that the business can prepare for your departure.

Oh!  And if you have a uniform (and other company property – such as keys; phones; car; etc), either bring it back dry-cleaned and pressed, ideally on your last day (if you can get away with coming in to work in your own business attire) or within a few days of your departure.  Remember:  the organisation might be permitted to withhold your final payment until such time as ‘everything’ is returned, so get it back promptly.

6 Your Reputation is Your Greatest Asset!  Don’t BURN BRIDGES!
Often, your reputation is all that you can trade on – so make sure it remains a GOOD one!  Don’t denigrate the management or organisation and do your utmost to maintain your output/efficiency throughout your notice period.  Leave on a HIGH and make sure the departing impression of you is not one of a whinging, lazy, good-for-nothing bum, who slackened off in their last few weeks and did nothing but bag the organisation and belittle their manager!

As suggested above, you never, ever know when you might bump in to this person again and if you’ve read my previous blog “Negotiating Your Salary“, you may remember the employee that I had, that went on a rant as they stormed out of my office only to one day, much later on, be applying for a job in a business that I was managing.  Our industry is particularly small and it’s not uncommon for “someone” to know “someone” that knows YOU!  With this in mind, it is so important to keep your reputation in tact and not to burn any bridges.

Hopefully the points above will help you navigate through the stressful process of resigning.  It’s also worth mentioning that, where possible (ie.  when you’re leaving a ‘good’ employer), it’s a good idea to leave the door ajar.  What I mean by this is:  don’t cut all ties on the spot just because you are going.  Make a genuine offer to be contactable should the employer need to ask a question or let them know that you have left instructions for the next person, but they are welcome to call/email you if they require any further clarification.  Leaving on a good note leads to a greater chance of being remembered in a good light and therefore being referenced positively should anyone call about you or in conversations around a table (think at conferences, meetings, seminars, networking events where your “new” or “future” employers are also mixing)!

Good luck!

Interview Question: Do you have any questions for me?

It’s probably pretty reasonable to say that the vast majority, (I’d suggest 99.9%) of candidates know that they are going to be asked at some point in an interview if they have any questions for the interviewer.  And yet candidates often fumble their words and struggle to present themselves in a positive way.

The questions that you ask provide the interviewer with a great insight in to you, and so asking the right sorts of questions can catapult you to the top of the “to be employed” list!  Whilst poorly thought out questions and questions made up on the spot can very quickly highlight some of your deficiencies and push your application down in to the quagmire of mediocrity…….or worse.

Some of the best questions that you can ask tend to be those that have been very carefully planned and learned, but then evolve through information that comes to light during the interview.  What I mean by this is – there is no substitute for doing the research and preparation, but don’t be afraid to “tweak” one or two (or more) of the questions that you have prepared to include facts and information that you have gathered throughout the interview as it shows that you have been listening.  Often, your question can remain exactly the same, it will just be the lead-in that changes.  For example:

(Planned Question):  “What is the organisational structure of the Food & Beverage department? (and maybe something about FT vs Part Time…)“, might become:

(Tweaked Question):  “You mentioned that there are 120 staff in the F&B department.  What is the organisational structure of the department and what sort of breakdown is there between Full Time, Part Time and Casual employees?”

Oh!  And if it helps, don’t be afraid to take a notepad and pen or an iPad/Tablet in to the interview so that you can jot down notes (like the number of staff in the F&B department) as you go.  As a side-note, it is polite to ask the interviewer(s) if they mind if you take some notes during the course of the interview and sometimes, the jotting down of notes can actually buy you that valuable 4 or 5 seconds to contemplate an answer before you open your mouth (as you jot things down, generally people will wait politely for you to answer)…

For questions to really work, it comes down to RESEARCH!  And with the internet at your fingertips, there are no excuses for not being able to gather enough information to ask intelligent and pertinent questions.  To help you with the process, I have listed below a range of the sorts of questions that you could ask in an interview and with a little bit of thought and some manipulation of the details, they’ll provide you with a good foundation for the next time you are sitting across the table from an interviewer:

Ask specific questions about the venue/organisation and what your role would be there:
– What’s their vision for your position?
– In your opinion, what would make me a success in this role?
– Will the role evolve over time?
– What are the top 2 or 3 priorities that you believe would need to be addressed first?  (Let them tell you and finish telling you, then you might like to sum up briefly your ability to address those priorities)
NOTE:  In my experience, candidates often jump the gun in this circumstance.  They do the right thing and ask a good question like this, but rather than stop and wait for the WHOLE answer, they let their nerves get the better of them and jump on in with the “HOW” they can solve the problem or how they have the experience to do the job.  This means that they a) assume the remainder of the answer (it’s never good to assume), b) miss gathering further information (could be useful later on in the interview) and c) don’t show how they can listen (this can send completely the wrong message, when in fact, it’s just because they’re nervous)!
– If legislation has recently affected the industry or if there’s something pertinent in the news, try to tie this knowledge in to a question as it will show that you have done your homework!

What systems do they have in place?
– Are they adequate?  Or do they need updating?
– If they are inadequate, would it be your job to change or develop them?

Who was in this job before?
– Why did they leave?
– Will I be doing the same job as them, or has the role changed/evolved?

What is the company’s management style?

How do you measure performance and how often is it reviewed?

Do you provide any sort of professional development or training?

What is your target market?
– Is this something that you would like to expand?  If so, what are you plans for doing so?

What is the company’s policy on corporate social responsibility?

In what ways is your company involved in the local community?  (In our industry, there is generally plenty of information about this, so you might want to tailor this with something like:  “I see from your Facebook Page that you are connected with the <so-and-so charity>.  It what other ways are you involved in the local community?”).

It’s worth remembering, that to be amazing at an interview, you actually have to GET an interview and this begins with your application!  Make sure you develop a fantastic resume and that you get it in promptly via the means that they request.  And keep in mind that your research should start before you even send your resume in so that you can tailor your resume to the advert, the organisation and the role.  You should then pick up your research once again when you progress to the next stage and expand it so that it is fresh in your memory for when you get to the interview.  Oh.  And if you don’t get offered an interview, try calling to find out why (again, PLAN your questions) and see if you can gather any advice on how to improve your resume for the next time!  (Don’t forget to read my previous blog “To Call or Not To Call, That is the Question”, & if you haven’t already done so – you can click here.

When you do get offered the opportunity to attend an interview, think about the importance of making a GREAT first impression!  The interview starts the moment you step foot through the door in to the organisation and ramps up the moment you walk in to the interview room.  Dress.  Grooming.  Body Language.  Preparation.  Don’t underestimate the value of caring enough to make an effort – it goes an awfully LONG way!

Something that is all too often forgotten or done with no real thought other than because you’d heard it was the right thing to do is to follow up after an interview with a “thank you”.  There are lots of ways that you can do this with modern forms of communication – choosing the right one is the tough part.  In some (rare?) circumstances, an SMS to the interviewer is appropriate, but choose when and what you’re going to say and think carefully about whether an SMS really is the best way to go!  For example, if you know they are about to walk straight in to another interview, wait until later to send your SMS and try to choose a time when you know/think they’ll be able to receive it without the embarrassment of their phone beeping/vibrating in another interview!  Note:  I would only use SMS if the interviewer has been communicating with you via SMS, if they haven’t, then an email, phone call or even a well chosen ‘thank you’ card might be the better option.  Long story-short, don’t let your interview be the last time they hear from you!  Follow up to assist them to remember who you are and try to remind them of one of the positive aspects/events that occurred in the interview.

Similarly to  following up if you don’t get an interview, don’t forget to follow up if you don’t get offered the job and find out why so that you can use this information for your next interview.

And most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Sometimes, you can do everything right and still not be offered the job – so stay positive and upbeat as it’ll show the next time you speak to someone about a job.  And always remember – there is a great job waiting for you out ‘there’!  So keep honing your interview skills (which can be learned & improved) and stay focused.

To Call, Or Not To Call – That Is The Question

Here at White Now! we receive LOTS of calls from candidates about roles that we have advertised and it got me to thinking…

“…Which calls do I remember?”.

The answer was simple.  Not too many!  I’d be the first to admit that my memory isn’t what it used to be, but I’m not quite ready to be shipped off to “a home” quite yet, so it got me to thinking about why I only remember a very select few calls and what is is about those calls that stick out.

Here’s a list of things in no particular order that come to mind about the calls that are worth remembering and those that fade in to the background.

1. The call has purpose and is not just being made for the sake of being made.
– “Hi, I just called to make sure that you received my application” needs to lead somewhere other than “oh and what’s the salary?”.  We all recognise that as much as the message that the world would like us all to hear is “it’s not about the money”, Jerry Maguire had it right when he said, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!”, only that’s probably not quite the message that you want an employer or recruiter to walk away with.  So, rather than making a call to check whether cyberspace has decided to randomly pick your electronic application to be THE one that doesn’t make it through, PLAN your conversation prior to making it and have a number of points that you want to discuss that happens to include (at the right moment), a question about the remuneration.
– Asking the “$$$ question” is always a difficult one, but it’s one that you need to get used to asking.  Try to tie it in to your planned conversation and be prepared for the question to get turned back on to you – “I’m going to turn that question back on to you, what do you feel the role is worth in your opinion and I’ll let you know if you’re in the right ball park”.  Be ready for this as it’s a great way for the person at the other end of the phone to establish if you have any idea at all about the size and importance of the role and where it fits in to the hierarchy of the organisation, not to mention if you are appropriate.  This sounds a bit harsh, but if you’re looking for a job that pays $200,000+ and you’re applying for a middle management role that is paying in the $65-70,000 range, there is a MASSIVE mismatch before we even get to the point of interviewing…

2. Do some research PRIOR to making a call and map out what it is that you want to tell the person on the other end.  Ideally they are going to want to know:
– Your name (state it clearly and if you’ve got an unusual/confusing name, maybe even spell it for them)
– The state of your application:  “I have just applied” / “I applied yesterday/last week” / “I’m about to apply”
– Which role you’re applying for and ideally include a reference number if there is one
– A VERY BRIEF overview of your relevant experience & why you’ve applied for the role.  This is actually a LOT tougher than it sounds, because standing out from the crowd is tough when all you’re doing is reciting your job roles.  Try to make it interesting and more of a conversation than a presentation!  And try to include words and phrases that aren’t cliched, but that show how articulate and capable you are.
– Use intonation as there is nothing worse than a monotone voice at the other end of a phone conversation.  And speak from the heart as passion and drive will shine through over facts and figures during a verbal meeting.

3.  PLAN two or three main points that you want to get across that you want the employer/recruiter to take away with them and if you can subtly recap them towards the end of your conversation, then do so.  But try not to make it sound like it’s ‘revision’.

4.  Ask well thought out questions that show that you have done some research and that you have thought about what you really want to know.  Good questions will tell the employer / recruiter a lot about you – so put your best foot forward by phrasing questions that show that you’ve done some research.
– Some adverts contain a LOT of information and others don’t!  So remember, we live in the age of high-speed internet and ‘Google is your best friend’.  Type in some queries and see what you can find – there might be financials, YouTube videos, news articles, media releases and goodness knows what else out there.  So let your fingers do the typing and start doing some research EARLY as it will all come in useful if and when you get through to the next stage.

5.  Know when to STOP!  Sometime less, is more!  We’ve all heard it said, but often when we’re nervous or don’t have a plan in our heads, we end up prattling on and on and on, only to discover that we’ve lost our way and the whole point of the conversation.  Make your point, move on to the next or shut up!  It really is as simple as that.

6.  Finishing up:  make sure you thank the person for their time and try to finish up with something along the lines of, “Thank you for sharing your thoughts and providing me with all of that information.  This sounds like a great role and one that I am ideally suited for, so you will see an application from me, <Your Name>, in your inbox by close of business today”.

7.  When you send your application through, don’t forget to address the cover letter to whomever it is that you have been told to address it to in the advert (and if you haven’t been given a contact, jump on to the company’s website and find out the name of the President/HR Manager/General Manager/most appropriate person and address it to them) and then address the email to whomever it is that you spoke to.  What I mean by this is that if you addressed your cover letter to John Doe, General Manager of ABC Leagues Club, but you spoke to Sarah Sitizen (intentional type) at the Recruitment Company, then address the EMAIL to her and thank her for her time on the phone earlier today / yesterday / last week and mention that ‘as per your conversation, you are forwarding your application’.

To wrap things up, there’s a time and a place to make a phone call and when done correctly, it can make your application stick out before it has even arrived – you then just need to back up how well you presented over the phone with a solid written application, one that is FULL of achievements and is NOT a long list of tasks…..but I’m now getting on to the subject of another blog, so I’ll leave you with this:  if you’re going to make a phone call about a job, plan it and make it work for you!

GOOD LUCK…

It’s How We Lose That Shows Who We Are!

Recruiting is a funny business!

Whether being done for a small family business, a large multinational or as a Recruitment Consultant – the “recruitment process” provides an insight in to the human psyche.  And let me just tell you, it’s not always a pretty sight!

As a “glass half-full” kind-a-guy, I’d prefer not to err on the negative, unless there is something to be gained from this insight and so in this blog I thought that there would be significant value in sharing a couple of stories, thoughts and observations about what “we” see as recruiters in a niche market.

First and foremost, let me state from the outset that for the vast majority of roles that are recruited, there is only ever going to be the ONE position available.  Obvious right?  Stick with me here, because whilst this should be obvious, it would seem that there are candidates out there that forget this fact and the other closely associated fact that if there is only ONE position available and say 100 people apply, chances are that NINETY NINE of them are going to be disappointed.  It’s basic maths and yet it doesn’t stop candidates from being rude and at times, even abusive about the fact that they didn’t get the job even though (in their not-so-humble opinion), they were the best person for the job.

This leads me on to my next comment:  how can you know if you are the ‘best person for the job’ when you don’t even know who else has applied OR what the employer is actually looking for?  You’re well within your rights to believe that you’re a strong candidate because you have the necessary skills, experience and traits BUT the point is that  – YOU will NEVER know EXACTLY what an employer is looking for.  So rather than “assume” that you’re the best person for the role,  invest the time in your application to make sure that you have the best possible opportunity of getting the chance for a face-to-face interview.  Then, blow them out of the water at that interview and you might just convince them that you’re what they are looking for !

I mentioned above the competition (other candidates) and this is another point that unsuccessful candidates so often miss.  Faith and confidence in yourself is a much needed trait to be successful in the job market, but a misguided belief that your “Sh#t don’t stink” is likely to leave an impression of arrogance and prima donna tendencies.  Neither of which are an attractive proposition for a potential employer.  Remember, you may well be a great candidate, but there is always someone out there that is “better” than you.  Not a better person or even a better employee, but possibly just a better FIT.  Whilst I’m on the subject of “fit”, just quickly – always remember that a good fit goes both ways.  It has to be right for the employer AND the employee, so sometimes you’re better off missing out on a job if the fit isn’t right – it might just be a blessing in disguise!  To put the concept of competition in perspective, I recently recruited for a senior business leader role that attracted almost 70 applications.  Of the 70, there were 25 that could have done the job (admittedly to varying degrees, but they could still have “done” the job).  That’s over ONE THIRD of the candidates that applied, that by rights, could/should have been in consideration for the role!

This is where process comes in to play.  As a Recruitment Consultant, I am adamant about the fact that it is not my job to decide WHO a business chooses to employ.  Ultimately, my client is the one that will have to work with the successful candidate and not me, so later decisions are completely up to the employer (or their nominated representative(s)).  My (our) job is to make sure that we work closely with the employer (our client) and have open lines of communication (for more info on the importance of the employer-recruiter relationship see previous blog: http://blog.whitenow.com.au/2015/05/01/how-to-recruit-a-recruiter/) so that we are able to clearly identify all aspects of the ideal candidate-type in the hope that we can present our client with a range of candidates for consideration that match their requirements as closely as possible.  Obviously a lot of this is dependent on their ability to articulate what it is that they are looking for and our skills at drawing out this information and sometimes the tough conversations need to be had so that there aren’t any “elephants in the room”.  To achieve this, we run a tried and tested methodology that is linked to years of experience and because it is not an exact science, we then sprinkle all this with the tiniest pinch of fairy dust in the hope that it will bring us that magical candidate that fits in to our client’s organisation like a hand in to an old glove.  Coming back to my point specifically in relation to the role where 70 applied and 25 could do the job – as one of those 70 candidates, “YOU” would have NO IDEA what the level of competition is like both from a ‘cold-hard-facts’ perspective (the other candidates’ credentials) nor the ‘intangibles’ perspective (the competition’s alignment to the spoken [and sometimes unspoken] criteria as set out by the employer).  Surely then it is overly presumptuous to expect that you will automatically be on the short list and probably the preferred candidate for the role.

So, now that we are all a little more aware of some of the obvious, but often unconsidered facts of recruitment, why did I title this blog “It’s How We Lose That Shows Who We Are!”?  Simple:  the candidates that stick in my mind for all of the right reasons are those that are humble in defeat.  Those that thank me for my time and effort and make comment of their understanding of how tough the market it is and how difficult the decision must have been.  Then there are those that remain in my mind for all of the wrong reasons and rather than list some of the negative comments, behaviours and language here, I will simply say that their responses perhaps show their true colours when they’ve been knocked down.

Why?

Well because in business, particularly at a senior management level, it is unlikely that things are always going to be rosie!  There are going to be challenges and adversity and so if it comes to my integrity versus the integrity of someone that cannot be gracious in defeat and I am asked “can you recommend this person”, I am left with the easy decision to tell my client “No.  No I can’t recommend this person because I don’t believe that they would be good for your business or your culture”.

 

“ANYONE CAN BE A GRACIOUS WINNER BUT BEING GRACIOUS AFTER LOSING SHOWS STRENGTH OF CHARACTER” – Donald Lynn Frost

How to Recruit a Recruiter…

How to Recruit a Recruiter…

Engaging a recruiter is meant to take the hard work out of the process of finding the best possible candidate for a role. Pressure should be lifted from Management, the HR Department and for senior roles, the Board of Directors – but this doesn’t mean that you can hand over all accountability and sit down to read the newspaper, whilst crossing your fingers and hoping for the best!

Part of what you pay a recruiter for is that ‘heavy lifting’ aspect of recruitment…..the “grunt work” if you like. A good recruiter should know enough about your business and the savings that you will make by not having your HR function, managers and supervisors tied up throughout the interview and selection process and they ‘should’ quote accordingly. The fee covers the recruiter’s attention to detail throughout the selection process and is not simply a payment for the applicant that is ultimately hired – it is also compensation for the many, many candidates that they sifted through to provide you with a suitably matched and therefore employable applicant(s).

However, there are a couple of details that have to be sorted prior to this equation adding up to the magic number! First and foremost, never take anything for granted… Whilst it would be lovely to believe that all of the candidates referred by recruiters are the best of the best, dropping your guard and not being involved throughout the process based on that assumption may well lead to a poor hire.

In fairness, qualified applicants can sometimes be difficult to find, particularly if the recruiter is being giving a mixed-message about ‘precisely’ what you are looking for, which can be further exacerbated by a fractured Board that cannot agree with one another or a desperate management team that just wants to plug a gap in a roster. However, when you are making the decision to recruit a manager at any level and particularly if that manager is going to lead your business into the future through the strategies that you set, then you need to make sure that you do your homework and hire a reputable, honest and consistently successful recruiter. However it doesn’t stop there! You then need to build a RELATIONSHIP with them so that they learn your business from the inside out and therefore be able to find you the applicants that are going to be the best fit.

If you find that things aren’t quite working as they should and that your recruitment firm is consistently sending you undesirable or unqualified candidates, or you feel that they no longer “get you” or the role, then it is time to re-evaluate the relationship. Here are some suggestions on where to start that process:

Examine Yourself

  • Have you been honest with yourself and each other about what it is that you really need and what you really want?
  • Are you willing to pay the appropriate price to attract the right candidate – both the remuneration package and the recruitment fee? (You tend to get what you pay for on both fronts!)
  • Have you been able to articulate your vision of the perfect candidate – their skills, their academic achievements and most importantly, their cultural fit?
  • And are you satisfied that your recruiter can articulate all of the above back to you in their own words as well as yours?
  • Do you understand your corporate culture and are you able to demonstrate it to the recruiter?
  • Have you been completely honest with the recruiter? Or have you just told them what you think they want to hear?
  • Has the “rhinoceros in the corner” been discussed or have you tried to sweep it under the carpet? In other words, tell the recruiter how it really is, not how it should be and if they’re worth their fee, they’ll find you a candidate that fits (almost regardless of the circumstance) *
  • Are you aware of the name that your organisation has within the industry and are your expectations set accordingly?
  • Are the job descriptions you are providing your recruiting firm completely accurate or are they too general or outdated? More specifically, do they accurately reflect what you want and what you need? More often than not, job descriptions detail skills and qualifications without getting to the core of the person, their values and the job that they will be doing in the environment that they will be doing it in!

* A great recruiter will give perspective candidates a candid summation of the role and the business, knowing full well that painting a rose-coloured picture of the situation will lead to a candidate accepting the job only to resign a month or two down the track. A great recruiter will find a way to wrap up your business, ‘warts and all’, so that perspective candidates are still interested.

If the answer to any of these questions above is a “no”, then you might like to think about addressing the issue before you go out and look for another recruiter. In other words, the problem might be ‘you’ and not your recruiter.

To Become a ‘Great’ Recruiter, You Need Practice………Experience = Practice!

The onus is on you to find the best possible recruitment business for your organisation. This is where we say, “it pays to do your homework” and whilst this is very much the case, it is important to note that you taking a passive approach to your next hire is very different from you having established a relationship with your recruiter resulting in you bring confident in their ability to provide you with the right short list of candidates that meet your specific requirements.

Here are some suggestions on the sorts of things that you can do to make sure that you are choosing the best possible recruitment company to represent your business out there in public. (Remember: candidates, your competition, your shareholders and the general public will be judging your business and its level of candidate care. So ask yourself, “are you comfortable handing over that sort of responsibility to just anyone?”).

  • Speak to your peers: word-of-mouth advertising is one thing, but obtaining a nod of approval from someone that you trust is invaluable. Ask around to see who those that you respect have used and if there is a recruiter that is the obvious leader in your particular industry. Then ask yourself “WHY?”. Don’t fight the facts! If there is an obvious leader out there, find out why and talk to them – there’s probably a very legitimate reason that they’re leading the pack and we can guarantee you, it won’t be because of price!
  • Ask for testimonials: any company worth its weight should be able to quickly and easily provide you with a comprehensive client list, along with reputable references and testimonials. If they can’t you need to ask yourself why they can’t.
  • “Pick up the phone Reg”: once you’ve got a client list and some testimonials, for goodness sake, CALL THEM!!! But prior to doing so, make yourself a list of pertinent questions that you are going to ask so that you get the best value out of the call.
  • Avoid “lapdogs”; you are looking for a recruiting firm, not a manicured poodle that will perform circus tricks at the sound of your voice. If a recruiter doesn’t ask questions, dig deeper into the requirements for the position and challenge your thinking, move on as all they are interested in is their fee. And remember: none of us have ALL of the answers, so sometimes, just sometimes, someone else might just have a better (cheaper/more effective/simpler/etc.) solution than you! And it might not always be the most obvious. A great recruiter will walk away from their fee if they can see a cheaper/free result that will better suit the client and knowing full well that the longer-term result for them will be a relationship that is built on trust, honesty and integrity.
  • Approach a recruiter that is a specialist in your industry. Someone that knows and understands the specific challenges faced and the skill sets and qualifications that are required. Not to mention the personal qualities and traits that make people successful within the arena in which your business performs. They’ll also likely know those candidates that have erred on the side of the law that makes them a threat to your business or those that are not necessarily looking, but would be ideally suited.
  • A quality recruiter will want to know why the position is open or better still, already has a good idea why it is open and they should be able to demonstrate that they have a basic understanding of the requirements for the job and a willingness to learn more.
  • A great recruiting firm will communicate regularly, informing you of progress
    (or lack of progress); they will return your calls and will be available to receive yours. In other words, they will make time for you and your business and be available when it works for you and not just them. In the hospitality industry, weekends and evenings are often a great time to conduct interviews, so ask the recruiter when and how they would usually conduct this part of the process and what hours they are open from and to.
  • BEWARE of recruiters charging a percentage of a salary as their fee ! A great recruiter will charge a flat fee for their recruitment and be confident that the fee charged will cover the full range of work involved for that particular level of recruitment. Be aware that those recruiters charging a percentage of the successful candidate’s salary may attempt to push the candidate’s salary up simply to increase their fee.

Returning to the point under the heading above; Examining Yourself, it is important that an organisation that is relying heavily on a recruiter to source, vet and recommend key staff, should also be willing to make an investment in developing the relationship by inviting that recruiter in to their business. Investing your time in your recruiter is like investing your time in your staff – the better they all get to know your business, the more successful they will be.

Thinking this through further: as organisations we invest hours and hours in to developing relationships with suppliers, vendors, financial institutions and of course our customers. Wouldn’t it therefore make sense to invest the same level, or even a greater effort in to developing a relationship with your recruiter whom you rely so heavily upon to provide staff who will lead your business in to the future (eg. a General Manager or CEO)? So why not encourage a sense of partnership with your recruiter and measure the results of your efforts. Make sure that you keep a constant line of communication open with whomever you are working with and discuss successes and failures as no one learns anything in a void.

This guide has been put together based on a combined 50 years’ worth of recruitment experience. The White Now Team between them have recruited for over 2,500 industry clients, most of whom return again and again; whilst having placed in excess of 6,000 managers and team members across the Club Industry. With testimonials available from venues small, medium and large, White Now has established itself as the leading recruiter within licensed Clubs, Hotel Groups and Casinos and this has been achieved through the relationships that have been forged with its valued customers.

If you are considering any sort of recruitment or would simply like to open up the lines of communication to begin building that unique club-recruiter relationship, please contact Toby Kennett, CEO on 02 9807 186 or mobile 0411 777 329 or email info@whitenow.com.au. For more information visit www.whitenow.com.au or follow us on Facebook on www.facebook.com/whitenowwiz

Are you CRAZY or CLEVER to you use an 18 year old to run your Facebook and Social Media strategy ?

crazy

Are you considering putting on someone to look after your social media ?
Are you wondering what type of person would be best to run your social media ?
Are you looking for advice on what type of person to hire ?

When I hear the following words come out of one of our clients’ mouths,

we have a great 18 year old who loves Facebook and said that she is very keen to run our Faceboook page”

………I shake in my ugh boots and hope that they have really thought seriously about this decision.

Being very aware of how to effectively run a company’s social media strategy, my immediate priority is to make sure that I am advising clients in the best possible way to ensure that they are positioned to highlight their brand in the social world in the smartest and most professional way whilst making sure that they eliminate any possible risks that may leave themselves open or liable for legal action or bad PR.

The decision on who should manage your social media channels is not actually ever about the age of the person, but what skills, experience and dedication they bring to the table. When saying ’18 year old’, I don’t mean the age, but really I am trying to make a point that so many people think that the younger the person, the more socially savvy they are. They may be socially savvy with their friends but are they socially and business savvy ???

With this in mind, we ask our clients the following questions about the person that they want to hire or appoint to look after their social media;

“Does this person have the experience and skill set that includes all of the following?
1. complete understanding of the legislation and regulations surrounding your business;
2. complete understanding of your business’s overall values and business strategy;
3. superior communications skills that are both mature and social so that they can reflect your brand;
4. depth of experience using higher level customer service skills and etiquette;
5. the ability to handle your business’s public relations and/or media relations in sticky situations;
6. the ability to manage a complaint so that it does not escalate, whilst ensuring that your brand stays true;
7. the ability to manage a crisis at any time whilst thinking on their feet;
8. a level of humour that can appeal to all followers without offending anyone;
9. the ability to understand and interpret the analytics and measurement tools that come with social media;
10. the ability to turn opportunities into business revenue;
11. the ability to turn prospects into customers;
12. the ability to work within and in line with a social media strategy;
13. the maturity to separate business from personal ‘Facebooking’;

We then ask “is this the person you would trust to stand up in front of the whole of Australia with cameras and microphones in front of them and let them talk about your business whilst being fired questions and complaints about your business with no notice at all ?”

If your social media person does not come with these skills you could be setting yourself up for a legal or a public relations nightmare.

It’s actually not about what age the person is at all. I just wanted to make a point that just because a person loves Facebook or says that they are great with Facebook, does not mean that they can represent your brand professionally on the world stage.

We have so many examples of sticky situations or possible PR nightmares that have arisen that had to be handled with the expertise of highly effective, aware and savvy marketing/customer service people. We have been able to save many businesses from disasters by assisting with social media strategy. Trust me, you need a person who can truly represent your brand professionally.

DO NOT HIRE SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTIVE FACEBOOK USERS. Use the list above to see if your social media person has ALL of these skills !

You can call us at Social Media Now for advice any time if that helps on 0417 223 286.
Socially yours – Jenny (Social Media Now)
www.socialmedianow.com.au

Your Image at Work – Does it Matter?

Poor old (or is that young?) Gen Y, they are in trouble again for not understanding the rules and dress codes for the workplace and taking a too casual approach! Isn’t it okay to wear a t-shirt, Havianas and have the band of your undies showing, when you are meeting clients? Does it affect your ability to the job? Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg (facebook founder) LIVE in a hoodie? And he’s a Billionaire!

Ettiquette and dress codes have definitely relaxed in recent years. Some of us can remember a dress code at work that included skirts, not pants for women, only black or navy suits for men and NO coloured shirts and women required to wear stockings all year round.

While it is great that some of those rules have relaxed, for many there is still the expectation you will present a certain way at work and after all, first impressions DO count. Plus, many bosses (and customers) are either Baby Boomers or Gen X with a different perception of what is the right dress code for work. Some companies have resorted to hiring Image Consultants to advise staff on the appropriate dress code. This was usually spelt out in the past when you were hired. If your workplace has a uniform much of this dilemma is solved, although ‘policing’ the wearing of the uniform, including name badges and appropriate makeup, hairstyles and jewelry/piercings may still be an issue!

So who is right? Well if the person making the decision about your pay rise, hiring or promotion is from the ‘Baby Boomers or Gen X’ generations, then you probably will need to dress to suit their expectations to get the pay rise, job or promotion, rightly or wrongly. One way to look at it is that the Company ‘pays you to present a certain image’ to the community/clients, so at work you dress the way they expect and leave the ‘self expression’ for your spare time. Another school of thought says ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’ and that will help you take the next step up.

If image doesn’t matter, why do organisations have uniforms? Qantas and other large corporations even go to the expense of employing Fashion Designers to design their uniforms. Imagine an Airline Steward in hoodie, baggy jeans and thongs giving the safety demonstration, how would you feel – safe, confident, sure they could do their job?

While the way we dress may not effect our ability to do the job (other than in the case of PPE and safety clothing) it can effect others’ perception of our ability and therefore whether or not we are hired, promoted or given the pay rise. So maybe image is worth thinking about.

Job Application, Resume and Interview Tips

Helpful TipsThere are plenty of ‘What To Do’ and ‘What Not To Do’ tips for job applications, resume writing and interview skills out there if you care to look and most will say much the same thing including us at White Now:

  • Be active in your job search and keep a record
  • Network
  • Write a cover letter for EACH job application you make
  • Address the selection criteria in the advertisement
  • Have more than one Resume tailored to each job/industry you are applying for
  • Keep your Resume professional and only include information relevant to your ability to do the job not your date of birth, religious beliefs or hobbies
  • Include achievements on your Resume for each role
  • USE SPELL CHECK!
  • Dress professionally for job interviews
  • Practice your interview responses – BE PREPARED
  • Plan your travel to your interview

Amongst others…..

Most of these are probably ‘common sense’ to most people, but then ‘common sense’ isn’t necessarily ‘common’ to every one!

Some tips will also be quite subjective, whether or not to include your photo on your Resume, for example. Personally, I am not a fan of this, but some will recommend it – personal choice I guess. Please, do make sure it is an appropriate photo that presents you in a professional light and suitable for the job you are applying for.  A photo of you skiing may not be the best representation of you as a professional, committed manager.

So the advice you do get can be conflicting. The thing that is important to remember is that your application letter and resume is likely to be the first impression the recruiter will gain of you and like it or not, FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT! Especially if the recruiter has received 100+ applications and they are looking for a reason to exclude, rather than include an application.

Therefore: make sure you create a great first impression, use spell check, get a trusted person to review your application/resume honestly, check details of the contact person, company and position you are applying to and make sure the documents are presented professionally and that they are easy to read.

Your resume is a marketing tool for YOU, so think about how you want to market yourself to potential employers.

You can get daily tips on ‘What NOT To Do’ from Wiz Whitenow on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/wizwhitenow – there is a new Wiz’s WOT NOT every day to get you thinking and maybe even make you smile! Check it out!

If you would like to chat for some advice please call the White Now Team in the office or check us out on the website at www.whitenow.com.au for lots more information and positions vacant!

Out with the Old and In with the New!

The end of a year is certainly a time for reflection on what has happened this year and what we would like to do differently or how we would like to be different in the new year.  So, many of us will make New Years’ Resolutions for the year ahead and there will be plenty of articles appearing in newspapers and magazines with advice on ‘how to keep your resolutions,’ such as;  write them down, tell a friend, post them on the fridge or even register them on a website www.newyearsresolutions.com.au

Apparently 69% of Australians make at least one New Years’ resolution yet less than a quarter actually stick to achieving our goals!  One suggestion I saw recently is to only make short term resolutions (say 3 months at a time) rather than for the whole year, then review them regularly and make the next one – could work.

Along with the old year we want to get rid of the old us, our old job, our old habits and bring in new, fresh and exciting ones!  Resolutions tend to be around improving our fitness, health or appearance, becoming better people, giving up smoking and other bad habits, saving money and getting that new job.  Having worked in recruitment for a number of years I have certainly seen an increase in both ads and applications for jobs,  occuring in the ‘New Year’ and this is certianly true here at White Now.  Whether this is due to holidays and festivities finishing, people making New Years’ resolutions to get a new job, or a combination of both, I’m not sure!

For me, I am still deciding on what my New Years’ resolutions will be and how I will ensure I achieve my goals.  I’m sure straight after Christmas I will swear off food and alcohol – but I doubt that will last long!   Then all of a sudden it’s Easter and life is busy and nothing has changed and ‘what were those resolutions again?’

So good luck with any resolutions you make, may you achieve your goals and may 2011 be everything you want it to be!

To Close or NOT to Close – THAT is the Question !

I have had the pleasure of writing job ads as part of my roles for over 20 years now.  Ads for CEO’s of large businesses; ads for Process Workers within Manufacturing companies; ads for bar attendants in overseas hotel properties; ads for administration people in Clubs – you name the positions, I (and my fab team) have written a job ad for it.  Like any skill that you aquire, you spend time tweaking and developing it.  You strive for ways to continually improve on it.  You ask others how they think it can be done better.  You search deep inside for smarter ways and more articulate ways to appeal to the right people.  You make sure that the ads are written with both the business AND the applicants in mind. You keep front of mind that to discriminate in any way is neither appropriate nor in the best interest of any of the stakeholders.  In summary, it is a skill that develops over time – it is a true skill.

Don't Apply - You're Too Late
Don't Apply - You're Too Late

In saying all this, in my 20+ years of writing job ads, I have never felt ‘comfortable’ with putting a closing date on an ad.  I am much more comfortable putting an opening date on the ad or in some way letting the applicant know when the job was listed if possible.

I have had many discusssions with people, including the White Now team about the pros and cons of putting a closing date on an ad. Basically the ‘pros’ that people seem to head towards the employer or recruiter wanting to organise their lists of applicants without the problems that arise when new applicants come in late, and to schedule interviews without any hassle.  

For those who know me, I am the queen of scheduling, organisation and making lists that people always take the mickey out of me for.  For an example, I have a shopping list printed out on A4 paper 52 times (one for each week of the year).  This shopping list is divided into three sections; Supermarket/Fruit and Veg and Butcher. The supermarket list is divided into aisles and if I need an item that week, I actually know what aisle it is in and write it in that section of the list.  This list matches our weekly menu planner that I write on Saturday morning so I don’t buy extra items and don’t have left overs.  Now THAT is an example of how my brain works. Sad but true !

With that in mind you would think that I am in favour of having closing dates on ads to be SUPER organised – well, my behaviour is exactly the opposite.  White Now always recommend AGAINST closing dates on ads  (but of course if our clients want us to put a date down for their own reasons we always respect their decision).

Why am I not in favour of closing dates I hear you ask ? In my opinion, there is no point in ‘closing off applications’ until the very end of the process. By naming a closing date you are basically saying NO to a number of people who actually WANT to work for your organisation.  If I had people WANTING to work for our organisation when I put an ad up, I would happily accept their application at ANY time !

Think about the people that you MAY lose by simply saying – bad luck, you missed MY cut off date.  Remember that it is YOUR cut off date.  You perhaps did not take into account that the ideal person could be on leave, dealing with the death of a friend or relative, caring for a sick child or … who knows what ?  This person, that has not yet had a chance to see your ad MAY just be THE best candidate, MAY just be THE perfect match and MAY just have THE GOODS to take your business further than you could EVER imagine. Surely you would want to interview them or at least include them in a short list !

So, in my opinion, to put a closing date just so that resumes can be sorted and interviews scheduled makes no sense when you may be excluding the best resource for your business ie: the best person.

At White Now, when we are recruiting for a role, the role is open basically until a person is offered the position – in other words, when there is a ‘bum in the seat’.   We know that that is the best service that we can offer our clients – doing ALL that we can to ensure that the best people are able to apply for a job EVEN if they did not see the ad when it first went live.

This opinion is that of mine and White Now only.  Who knows what is right and what is wrong with this topic ? Everyone has their own personal reasons as to why the choose to advertise or not advertise a closing date.  What I DO know though, is that closing off an ad just because the advertiser/recruiter wants to schedule their time to suit THEIR needs, just seems crazy. But who am I to say that – I am the one who has shopping lists divided into sections in order of the aisles in my local supermarket !

Have a fantabulous day  and remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said; “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.”