Are We There Yet?

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations, Q4B

 

If you are a parent with small children starting out on a road trip of any length you have heard this question numerous times, even if the trip is just across town. Depending on how old you are you may even remember asking the question yourself when you took trips with your parents, perhaps even last week. It’s as though kids have the idea that we live in a Jetson’s age where everything happens at hyper speed, especially going from one place to another.

On a recent road trip one of my kids asked this question (not two minutes out of the driveway) and after responding nicely I began to think about the question from a business perspective. I asked myself, as a recruiter, are we there yet? Do we use the technology that is available, everything from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogging, etc., to make ourselves better at what we do? Do we use this technology to provide a better service for our clients and our candidates? Are we better recruiters today than those who were recruiting 25 years ago?

As you might guess this was going to be a long road trip and the kids were still asking that question every 50 miles but I was too deep into my own thoughts to be discouraged.

I began to explore this question in thinking about resumes. Over the past couple of weeks there have been some interesting blogs and comments regarding resumes, and whether the whole idea of resumes was in fact Dead. One blog in particular by John Kreiss addressed this quite well. That no resumes are not Dead, that they are still necessary for sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates for both recruiters and hiring managers and that although the way resumes are delivered, viewed and used may be different (hard copy vs. online) they are still very much a part of the whole hiring process.

But resumes have always been a part of the hiring process. Twenty five years ago resumes were sent to recruiters or hiring managers through the mail (Snail) or were faxed. Today they are sent, viewed, stored online, in a database to be used immediately or hopefully later when a new assignment is posted.

So, are we there yet? Is there something more that recruiters can do better with the technology available that would change the resume’s purpose and value from what it has always been but in a new format, to become a source of easy to access information on potential job leads, company information, contacts within those companies, market information, potential recruits, industry trends and so much more?

There is a perception that most recruiters spend no more than 2 minutes quickly reviewing a resume. Whether that is true or not or if it only applies to in-house recruiters and not 3rd party recruiters it doesn’t matter. We can argue over how much time is spent but suffice it to say, recruiters do not spend nearly enough time on resumes that they should. And, yet the technology is there for us to gather tons of great information that would in turn make it possible for recruiters to be more knowledgeable, more productive, more valuable and more successful than their counterparts of 25 years ago.

I have begun to put these thoughts into an action plan for my company, Q4B. We will begin tracking all of the information from company leads, contacts, market intelligence, recruits that we gather from each resume that we receive. I hope that we can demonstrate the value of every resume beyond its initial purpose (candidate info) and very quickly be able to say, We Are There!

Now, I need to make a quick stop before I press on with the road trip. The kids are now asleep so I know that they have gotten the answer to their question, Are We There Yet?

What about you, are you there yet?

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Carmen’s Hot Jobs Vol 1, No.12

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations, Q4B

Over the weekend I had a chance to catch a few good college and pro football games since my home team was not scheduled to play until Monday night. I saw some good games, some close games, some well executed plays and some plays that were highlight reel worthy.

Whenever I watch football or any team sport for that matter, I almost always think about the old adage” there is no “I” in team.” Perhaps because the word “team” is used so often by broadcasters and subconsciously we think of that phrase when hearing the word team, we all know what it means.

 

However, even though there is no “I” in team, in order for a team to be successful there needs to be a whole bunch of “I” attributes that each team member should possess that would help the team reach its goal – to WIN.

Here are a few of those “I” attributes.

  • Individuality
  • Innovation
  • Intensity
  • Inspiration
  • Identity
  • Imagination
  • Impact
  • Impassioned
  • Impressive
  • Inclusive
  • Indefatigable
  • Indispensable
  • Industrious
  • Infectious
  • Influence
  • Ingenious
  • Integrity
  • Intelligent
  • Invaluable
  • Insistent
  • Italian

Ok, forget that last one. I just threw it in to see if I still had your attention. You can add to this list, subtract from this list or make up you own list. The point that I am making is about how many ‘Is” go into to making up a successful team and that contrary to popular belief, there are a whole bunch of ‘Is” in TEAM, especially successful Teams.

Now here is this week’s Hot Jobs List. Each one of these great opportunities will require any interested candidate to possess most (75%) if not all of the “I” attributes mentioned above.

  • Network Information Security Manager – If being near the Big Apple excites you then consider this position. Or apply if you are a Frank Sinatra fan.
  • Mobile .NET Developer – A great contract position that will make you feel good because the company’s service helps others feel good.
  • SQL Server Developer – If you help develop more than one SQL Server does that make the first one you developed a PreQL? Apply and find out.

If you are interested in the Hot Jobs above click on the link and apply through our Talent Hub. We will respond quickly and we will value your time. At Q4B candidates are our customers too.

And remember after reading this blog be sure to Like, Retweet, Pin it, and +1 this post. You never know who is going to see the positions and think that it is the perfect position for them.

 

Next week I plan to discuss another favorite old adage of mine, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Til next week!

 

 

Politicians and Recruiters Make Strange Bedfellows

By Jennifer Brownell, Managing Director, Q4B

I got my political fix over the last few weeks that should carry me for a while, at least until the debates start. I watched some of the proceedings from both conventions, read the analysis from some political wonks that I follow and caught snippets of video from a few of news shows. I like being informed. I am interested in the issues and am willing to listen to those who want my vote as they attempt to explain their solutions, their vision, their qualifications for the job that they want to be elected to.

I will make my decision (maybe I already have) based on a number of factors the least of which is party affiliation. I want to see the best qualified person elected. I want to make an informed decision and I think that every voter should want the same. Otherwise any election for any office becomes more American Idol and not what our founding fathers envisioned.

During both the conventions there was a good deal of chatter about the vetting process. When I heard this phrase repeatedly I all of a sudden realized how similar that this process used in the political arena was to the process that recruiters use.

The Vetting process is employed by a political party to look for and uncover any and all issues, scandals, misdeeds, skeletons-in-the-closet events or relations that might pose a problem for a particular candidate and potentially make him/her unelectable in the eyes of voters. It is not used to determine proper qualifications for a particular position/office but it is sometimes used to determine the candidate’s positions on certain key issues how aligned and in agreement those positions are with the party or in some cases a running mate.

Recruiters have their own Vetting process and it is called the reference check. Good recruiters use the reference check to verify much of the information that the candidate has supplied during the interview and use some of this information when making a presentation to a hiring manager.

The true reference check is much more than dates of employment and title of position held. A true reference check comes from the candidate’s peers, supervisors, customers, suppliers and includes such things as verifying RFL (reason for leaving) a job; type of employee; type of co-worker; college degree; rehirable or not; strengths and weaknesses; recommended fit for position to be filled; and if and when there is not a strong reference, advising the candidate not to use that reference in the future.

All of this information becomes part of the candidate’s history that the recruiter could use in presenting the candidate to the hiring manager and to provide evidence that this candidate is the right candidate for the job. Additionally, if during this vetting process information surfaces that suggest some issues such as scandals, misdeeds, skeletons-in-the-closet events that would pose a problem with the candidate being hired then the recruiter can decide to not represent the candidate or take other action.

Recruiters also use a vetting process in determining the clients they would want to work with. Or do we just take a job order from any company that has an open position that is somewhere in our market space? How you answer that question goes a long way to defining what type of recruiter you are and what your client’s perception of you truly is.

Good recruiters struggle with vetting their clients but in the long run they know that it is worth the struggle. Before deciding to pursue a prospective client recruiters should do some research and gather as much information about the company, profitability, market position, number of open positions, history of layoffs, viability of product or service, BBB reports, Hoover’s info, references from former or current employees, references from customers. More information can be gathered in the needs analysis portion of the process where recruiters can get a sense of how cooperative the hiring manager will be, how much HR or internal recruiters will be involved, commitment to the recruiter’s process for interviewing candidates, commitment to quick feedback and access to those involved in the interview, complete specs for the position and a signed fee agreement.

If during the course of your upfront research and the needs analysis you discover anything that would cause concern, anything that would make you think that this may not be a good engagement then make a decision. Cast your vote to either go forward with the assignment or decide not to do business with that company and be professional about it.

The recruiters vetting process allows the recruiter to provide the best qualified, interested and available candidates for the most cooperative, appreciative and long-term clients.

Now, if that only could work in the political arena.

My next blog will be about another phrase I heard repeatedly during the conventions, Fact Checkers.

Til then.

Carmen’s Hot Jobs, Vol 1, No. 11

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations, Q4B

One of our consultants who manages all of our Social Media channels recently forwarded a blog post from John Jantsch, the author of The Referral Engine and Duct Tape Marketing. The post posed the following question, “What makes the work you do worth it?”

In gathering some research for his new book, The Commitment Engine, Jantsch posed this question to a number of people and discovered that there is no right answer and there is a distinction between those who could give their answer off the top of their heads and those who had to think about it, or asked to get back later with their answer. Those who could answer right away seemed to have a deep commitment to some purpose that made the work that they do worth it. Those who could not immediately answer seemed to have no purpose for the work that they do.

When I asked myself this question, I immediately thought of how much of a difference I make in peoples lives; how much I contribute to the success of the candidates that I place and the companies who have hired our great candidates. The work that I do also allows me to help provide for my family, my family’s future and affords me the opportunity to give back to my local community and to pursue a number of interests away from work. It does all this because I get paid well to do it.

I am considering posing this question to my candidates when I interview them. It would I think elicit a much different response than asking the standard questions, “What was your reason for leaving your last position (assuming they are no longer with that company)? or What are you looking for in a new position, why are your looking?”

Asking “What made the work that you are doing or were doing worth it?” would tell me a lot about the candidates interests, his/her commitment to their work, how much value they place on being paid for what they do and what type of work would motivate them, really allow them to thrive in the right environment.

I would also want to see how quickly they respond to the question, immediately or delayed. That too would give me some insight into their commitment to some purpose that made the work that they were doing worth it.

Now, ask yourself this question. Was your answer immediate or delayed?

Chances are pretty good that if you are in the recruiting business and good at what you do your answer would be immediate and similar to mine. Ours is a profession that for those of us who do the work well can provide a great deal of worth.

Any candidate who is reading this blog should ask themselves this same question. It just might give you a whole different perspective on the work you do, or the work you would like to do. And remember if I interview you I will be asking you this question. Be prepared!

Now here are a few Hot Jobs for this week and as you might imagine it will be well worth your time to look at them.

  • Global Information Security Manager – Think investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings for global clients all depending on your Information Security expertise. Awesome!
  • Senior ERP Project Manager – And no, you won’t get this job just because your first name is Wyatt. You will need to come prepared to show your PM skills as well.

That is it for this week. If you are interested in the Hot Jobs above click on the link and apply through our Talent Hub. We will respond quickly and we will value your time. At Q4B candidates are our customers too.

And remember after reading this blog be sure to Like, Retweet, Pin it, and +1 this post. You never know who is going to see the positions and think that it is the perfect position for them.

Til next week!

 

Remoteness Makes the Worker More HEP!

By Dan Ridge, Contributing Consultant, Q4B

I was thinking about the whole idea of working remotely after reading Q4B’s Rookie Recruiter’s Blog of last week, A Remote Recruiter in a Virtual Company and how far this way of working has come.

Years ago I was asked to do some consulting for a local staffing firm whose founder I had hired years before at the search firm I was managing. He learned the business, had some success with us and then went out and formed his own search business. He was way ahead of his time, always looking to add more value to the relationships that he and his staff developed both on the client company side and the candidate side.

At the time, 20 years ago, he asked me to conduct a survey using his client database, to get a sense of how companies and specifically hiring managers felt about workers telecommuting, or working remotely.

His purpose in conducting this survey was two fold. One, he was gathering information that might become useful in presenting hiring options to his clients; and two, he was doing something very different than any of his competitors, he was acting more as a consultant than as a recruiter, exhibiting more interest in what the hiring managers opinions were regarding their work environment and types of workers hired, than in just asking for the job order.

As I said, he was way ahead of his time. And the results of the survey were interesting. Of the 250 some odd hiring managers that I surveyed, the vast majority (over 90%) felt that even though there was emerging technology that would allow remote workers to access and share company databases, files and programs, there was a matter of TRUST. Some of the comments and questions were: “How do I know that they are really working? If he is here in the office then I know that he is working. Sometime I call meetings during the day and I need her to be here. The job requires handling sensitive information; I don’t want it to go out of the office. I don’t know who she is talking to. At least when she is here I can pass by her desk and overhear her conversations.”

And there were so many more, but you get the picture, 20 years ago the concern was TRUST or lack thereof.

Now fast forward 20 years, and the perception of the hiring manager regarding remote workers has changed dramatically.

In a recent article by Scott Edinger, founder of Edinger Consulting Group, the following question was asked:

“Who is more engaged and more committed to their work and rates their leaders the highest?”
A. People who work in the office
B. People who work remotely

Edinger’s company used this question as part of a 360 degree survey for their client. If you answered “A” to the question you would be wrong. The vast majority answered “B” and here are some of the reasons that Edinger discovered.

• Proximity breeds complacency – Just because you work in the same space as your boss or your employees doesn’t mean that you are engaging with them on a regular basis – the possibility of communicating is so easy that it is often taken for granted.
• Absence makes people try harder to connect –As a leader managing remote employees you go out of your way to connect with them as often as the work or job requires. As a remote worker you go out of your way to make sure that you are heard even though you may not always be seen.
• Leaders of virtual teams make better use of tools – The use of video conferencing, IM, email, Google + Hangouts, SKYPE and other forms of communication are not just a requirement for staying connected but a requirement for becoming a true leader. Put it on your resume.
• Leaders of virtual teams maximize the time spent together – Maybe it is because some services like Webex or GoTo Meeting have set time requirements for meetings, leaders and remote employees are more conscious of time spent together and tend to accomplish more in the same amount of time than office counterparts. Time is valued, fewer if any distractions are tolerated, more is accomplished.

These are just some of the reasons why many companies are currently allowing for remote workers and why those not doing so should consider it.

Yes there are jobs that cannot be done by a remote worker; jobs that require face to face customer engagement, manufacturing jobs, transportation jobs, many healthcare jobs, the list goes on. But if the job does not require the physical presence of the worker day in and day out in an office setting then having remote workers makes a great deal of business sense.

So, as a business leader, hiring manager what would you prefer workers who are HEP or not HEP?

That is Happy, Engaged and Productive!

I know what we at Q4B would want, HEP! HEP! HEP!

 

Carmen’s Hot Jobs, Vol 1, No. 10

By Carmen Lapham, Director of Recruiting and Operations

Let’s face it; Labor Day needs a make over. It no longer carries the same significance that it once did. There was a time when Labor Day was celebrated with speeches, parades and picnics honoring those who worked, the laborer. Most people today probably don’t even know what Labor Day is meant to celebrate. And beyond the historical significance of the day itself, it no longer signifies such things as the last day before school starts with some schools starting as early as August 1st;  the last day that swimming pools are open or the last day that those fashion conscious among us can wear white.

So what happened to Labor Day? Where did it lose its significance? Why isn’t it still celebrated like Independence Day or Memorial Day or even Groundhog Day?

I was pondering these questions while I was out with my family and a few friends doing my part to keep the Labor Day tradition alive. We packed a picnic lunch complete with a great selection of some fine crafted beers brewed by some local laborers; we listened to some speeches by my husband and his friends regarding the best place to picnic and the best way to get there without using Google maps or asking for directions; and we paraded around several great locations until we settled upon a shaded hilly spot close enough to the stage where young local musicians were covering some of the great Woody Guthrie tunes.

A Great Labor Day! But those questions kept nagging at me the whole time. Could Labor Day have lost its mojo because unlike two of the other days, Independence and Groundhog, there was never a movie made about it? Or could it be that unlike the other day, Memorial there was not a significant auto race or a major (sort of) golf tournament played that weekend?

I am not sure what the reason is but I have an idea that might help to bring the first Monday in September back to its glory days, back to being a day that is truly celebrated by all. We need to rename it. We need to call it Career Day, a day to celebrate those who are working, those who have been working and are now looking for work, those who have been working and are now retired or only seek part time work and those just entering the workforce. It would be a day to recognize workers of all types and honor them for what they are doing, what they have done and what they would like to do.

Those of us in the recruiting business could spearhead this movement and organize job fairs, seminars and discussions about job search, career management, career planning, career coaching and involve our own clients in the process.

We could come out from behind our desks, take off our headsets and for one day join the ranks of the masses who are yearning for any and all information regarding work, labor, career, job search, interviewing, offer acceptance, negotiating, resumes as product literature and performance profiles that only we, as seasoned professional recruiters, possess.

It would be a national day of information and celebration that no other special day could rival. And the next day we would have job orders to fill and pools of talent from which to source.

“Carmen, Carmen the show is over we need to get the kids home and you have a big day tomorrow.”

Oh well, it seemed like a good idea. I wonder if Hallmark would be interested in producing a line of greeting cards for Career Day!

Now here are our Hot Jobs for this week and they are worthy of celebrating.

  • Senior JDE Project Manager – If you thought all PM jobs were alike, think again! Great internationally recognized Oracle consulting firm promising as much travel as you have always wanted.
  • Junior Security Engineer – A job with real security and the only difference between the Junior and Senior position is that only one of you gets to wear the Green Lantern’s Ring and the Senior picks which one!

That is it for this week. If you are interested in the Hot Jobs above click on the link and apply through our Talent Hub. We will respond quickly and we will value your time. At Q4B candidates are our customers too.

And remember after reading this blog be sure to Like, Retweet, Pin it, and +1 this post. You never know who is going to see the positions and think that it is the perfect position for them.

Til next week!

A Remote Recruiter in a Virtual Company – Or Further Reflections of a Rookie Recruiter

By Jennifer Copley, Rookie Recruiter, Q4B

I knew when I began working earlier this summer that the job might only be temporary. I had always had plans to move from my home in Denver to my dream city, Portland, OR (sorry Peyton) and pursue employment with my dream company (think sports apparel, sports marketing and Mr. Knight if you are reading this blog please give me a call).

I was all set to pick up, load up and pack up all of my earthly belongings along with some great homemade fudge (thanks again Mom) that would make the twenty-two plus hour trip bearable. I wasn’t set yet to leave my “temporary “job. And I also wasn’t set up with another job, temp or not, once I arrived in Portland.

Then it happened and it happened quickly and quite naturally, as though it was always meant to be. I know that I have mentioned how great an experience I have had in this job as a Rookie Recruiter, and all because of the two great bosses that I have had the privilege of working with, learning from and being mentored by. To say that they both rock as bosses is an understatement.

As I was discussing my move to Portland with one of my bosses and my fears about moving to another city without immediate job prospects, I was offered an opportunity that I never would have expected. I was asked if I would like to continue doing what I have been doing, recruiting for Q4B, on a part time basis. OMG Yes!

So, here I am in my dream city, working out of my virtual office, a very trendy coffee shop not far from where I live and feeling as though I never left Denver thanks to the great technology that we use, namely Skype, Google+ Hangouts and our always on always connected ATS.

I have already been able to see some of the benefits of working remotely and to think of some of the many benefits that were afforded me while working in our office in Denver with my bosses and staff.

Here are some benefits of working in an office.

  • You can develop as an employee more efficiently. When you’re onsite you can learn from other employees and receive more efficient training.
  • Work environment feels like more of a unit and team when you work onsite.  It makes you feel like you belong and directly increases your productivity when you see others around you working hard. You want to be a part of that functioning team
  • More manageable workloads.  If you have too much to do it is easier to physically show your boss that you either need more time or help from a co-worker
  • Real time experience- Working with others to complete a related goal makes workers more efficient- more efficient workers save the company money.

Here are some of the benefits so far of working remotely.

  • You can choose your work space. Office table, patio table, or in my case this morning- coffee shop table
  • I don’t have to sit through rush hour traffic
  • I can surround myself in a work environment that suits my mood.  Some days I am in the mood for classical music, other days I feel like lip-syncing to Justin Bieber in between screening candidates.
  • I have enhanced my communication skills with my bosses.  Frequency and clarity so there is no miscommunication

As I was putting this list together it became very clear to me that this opportunity that I now have, working remotely for Q4B, would never have been possible had I not worked in an office environment first.

Maybe this is my “rookie” side showing but without some very intense training, mentoring and critiquing on the part of two very talented, dedicated and passionate bosses (did I mention that they rock?) I would not be doing what I am doing today and would certainly not be reaping the benefits.

I sometimes feel like the fledging eagle that is now spreading her wings and learning to fly on her own, knowing full well that someone is out there watching over her.

Thanks bosses, I won’t let you down.

Now, what song would create the proper mood for sourcing candidates for that Reservoir Engineer position I am trying to fill?

Maybe the Bee Gees’  How Deep is Your Love….maybe.