Arik Filstein 31/05/2011
I have decided to publish this post at this very late hour (03:23 am) for a good reason. One of my good friends, manager of a big company, stopped by my house, and we shared some views on the current recruitment era, the methods and the way.
The conversation took a view at the issue both, from a job applicant´s perspective and from the employer’s standpoint.
The way this conversation developed brought us to the topic that makes me personally very annoyed: “Preparing for a job interview or Job interview tips”..
Preparing for job interviews – Background
Many articles explore the topic trying to supply preliminary answers or prepare the job-seekers in advance to what is expected to happen during the job interview. Putting the cart before the horse, I will state that the recommendations published in the media are very similar, if not repetitive. A significant number of them are based on the principles rooted in the occupational psychology, and the others are derived from common sense.
Many job applicants, especially young ones who have no experience in job interviews, or job seekers who feel anxiety which sometimes even increases above usual in this situation use the Internet in order to work out a tactic of behavior with the interviewer, some imaginary tactic that would ensure the positive outcome of the interview, of course.
Despite the fact that the Internet does provide a lot of data the topic, when one flicks through the articles or any website, one gets a feeling that everybody talks about the same thing and nothing is new or original.
Just for the sake of analogy: “It resembles a situation in a restaurant where the chef’s choice accompanying the permanent menu stays the same every day. The skilled chef doesn’t change the daily tip he prepared and doesn’t take into account that on any particular work day many various diners having different culinary preferences eat in the restaurant.”
It is quite possible that the reason for the chef’s position is that the dish is so good that he doesn’t see any professional need to replace it. Another potential reason can derive from the fact that there is just no other dish, and therefore the dish remains unchanged.
This is the situation at the hot arena of recommendations for “Preparing for a job interview”. The recommendations are fixed and unchanged, and the reason for that is that there is nothing to renew, or “there is no better dish”.
How to behave correctly during job interview
Very simple: Be yourselves! I do not support generalization and have an impression that certain articles on this issue can do more harm than good for certain job seekers since they are designed as a general message, a generic drug for candidates.
I suggest that similarly to having no way for “Winning at Roulette”, there is no way to win a job interview, and not because of probability, but since there is no such professional concept.
Job interview is an event most of which deals with the chemistry between the interviewer and the interviewee, with his suitability to the company, with the educational background of the job applicant and the level of credibility all stages of the interview.
I have written this entire post to convey to you just one insight: there is no article that can teach you what to say and what not, how to pre-program your body language in advance for you to be able to cope with any possible scenario during the interview. No article has the ability to recommend to you what octaves to use when the interview reaches its culmination point.
Dear job seekers:
You know yourselves better than anybody else, and what you need to bring to the interview table is yourselves, and in the last place all the confusing material you have read. Again, be yourselves in the most natural way, so that you feel relaxed during the interview, without prejudice, without theses that have no place in our dynamic world. Be attentive to the interviewer, and the rest depends on you and your suitability to the company.
RIP To Announce the Death of the Corporate Careers Job-Board
by Dr. John Sullivan Jun 6, 2011, 5:35 am ET
5 years ago someone asked if the adoption of internet sites would lead to the demise of job boards. It was a great question, one which forced a number of people to inquire about: “Why would they? What value were they not delivering? How should they evolve?”
Today there are other job boards than there were 5 years ago, some of which are attempting to become more social, just like the social networks are taking a look at how best to serve the use space. As the job boards have demonstrated a stable pace of evolution, corporate career sites haven’t. Yes, the graphics are becoming better and widgets in some places are displaying live feeds from social networking sites, but in the end they offer exactly the same loathed experience they did five years ago.
Corporate career sites have never been compelling enough to capture a crowd. Despite huge advances in content management, content aggregation/curation, and content sharing, most sites remain little more than a thin veil for that ATS-delivered online application. The always informative Doug Berg of Jobs2Web once shared in conversation that all studies have shown someone desperately seeking new employment will ignore all content and go direct to whatever link is labeled having a variant of “apply now.” Knowing this, is it still worthwhile to construct out pricy, glossy career sites no one is watching when other avenues to apply are emerging?
I only say emerging, because studies now reveal that about 20% of candidates find their opportunities via social networking, nearly 30% via employee referral, 25% via job boards, and another 10% via direct sourcing. On average, that equates to 85% of the external candidate pool coming to the applying from an origin point apart from the corporate career site. Increase that university programs, event-based efforts, and occasional agency usage, and it’s pay off the corporate career site is a questionable spend at best.
I’m arguing they don’t need to survive, and I don’t think those who work in the employment advertising world would be sad to see career sites disappear while they really are a huge source of revenue. The standard career site costs a lot and is wrought with problems and shortcomings. Most career site development initiatives begin with unclear goals as well as an much more vague evaluation. If you’re interested whatsoever later on of recruiting, looking at the factors which are resulting in the demise of corporate career sites may help you spot other “dinosaur” practices in recruiting and save your organization millions.
Explanations why Corporate Career Websites Have become Irrelevant
Much like job boards, some variant of corporate career sites will exist for a long time, but listed here are 20 reasons their value continues to dwindle.
There are superior ways to gather information – using the development of social media, it is now much easier to discover what you need to know about a company and it is jobs. You can study almost anything you want, including things an organization knows are true, but would never admit. Sites like glassdoor.com and jobvent.com provide an insiders view, and Glassdoor even provides you with a preview from the interview questions, interview answers, helpful suggestions, and what to anticipate throughout the procedure. Merely a number of corporate websites provide any description of what to expect throughout the interview. It’s even possible to locate side-by-side comparisons with competing firms on external sites, something you’ll never find on the corporate site.
Outdated – with corporate HR budgets slashed, the design of corporate websites frequently remains unchanged for 3 to five years, during which there’s virtually no content curation. The information online is painfully old, especially compared to the current information that’s available on the web and through social media.
There’s nothing there for the non-job seeker – it’s no secret that 100% of the features and knowledge found on most corporate career sites are equipped for the “active” job hunter. Most career sites provide no value (i.e. learning guidelines, being a better professional) for a working professional not trying to find an instantaneous opportunity to visit.
Authenticity – applicants want authentic and believable answers to their questions, and let’s face the facts, every word on the corporate career website is pure propaganda.
The black hole – with a high rate of unemployment, the volume of resumes that a firm receives stresses the available resources. Since several individuals make an application for jobs they’re obviously not qualified for, most recruiters are unwilling to spend enough time searching the database of those that directly apply.
They’re referral killers – the very best quality hire and volume of hires almost always come from employee referrals, a recruiting channel that is aided significantly by advances in social media. Research with early adopters of social media revealed a substantial fact: when social efforts point contacts back to the career site the time of conversion to an applicant are less than 1:10.
They aren’t mobile friendly – a surprisingly large number of corporate websites can’t be accessed from the mobile device (the strongest recruiting communications tool in the world). Recruiting leaders that ignore mobile ought to be waterboarded. It’s unfathomable that creative agencies still leverage flash based navigation (invisible to many cellular devices) when HTML5 works.
Honesty – potential candidates need to know about both positive and negative factors, but no one in legal or PR would let a single negative bit of information survive on a corporate-controlled site.
Painful to lurk on – the abandonment rate (the area of visitors that leave a site just before completing a profile/application) on corporate websites is 92%. Yes, that is correct. Some from the abandonment could be attributed to lack of compelling content and features, some of it can also be attributed to the large gap in experience between career sites along with other service-oriented commercial websites. The pictures are staged, the videos lame, and the news obviously written by an idiot. Absent are believable stories and compelling reasons why your business is “different.” Zappos has learned how you can tell stories on the site; you should check it.
Painful to try to get a job – often the process of filling out the applying or posting a resume is painfully slow. (Basically can custom order a brand new luxury car with hundreds of configuration options within a few minutes, why can’t I obtain a job in the equivalent time?)
You can apply different ways – even if you decide to apply, it is simple to apply for most jobs without ever going to the site, because the same jobs are for auction on numerous job boards.
Many don’t have the features that candidates want – a significant percentage of corporate career sites lack blogs, videos, podcasts, and also the live chat features that can often be found outside of the site.
You can’t inquire – career sites are equipped for one-way communications. Corporations tell you what they want you to definitely know. The best that most sites can perform would be to offer “canned” answers and questions, yet you can ask a variety of questions “live” and obtain answers on Facebook, Twitter, and Internet forums.
Not global – in a world now covered with global recruiting, most career sites are still primarily centered on the country and the language in which the company is headquartered. Although jobs may be listed based on country, the accessible details about the company’s facilities and jobs is likely to be painfully insufficient.
Diversity is a joke – although every corporate career site mentions diversity and it has the obligatory diversity picture, most never provide targeted information relative to the particular interests and requires of diverse groups.
Use of employees isn’t allowed – many corporate sites provide no employee profiles. However, the ones that do limit access and supply only one-way communications. None possess the courage to provide the whole name from the employee being profiled and a way of contacting them.
The job descriptions are vague – they’re brief, incredibly dull, and they provide little details about the projects you will be working on and also the team you will be working with. Most websites of course provide no avenue for getting additional information about the job, the projects, or even the team. Should you don’t know the correct corporate job title to do the job you are seeking, this may also take an eternity to obtain the right job for you.
No Amazon-like features – on the commercial site like Amazon, visitors gets “prompts” informing you that other people who have purchased item A also bought item B. The “others like” feature whether it was available could alert you about similar jobs that you haven’t considered and other information which you may not have access to viewed.
Direct sourcing makes a website less necessary – like a higher area of corporate hires come from direct sourcing approaches (where recruiters proactively identify and target individuals), you will see less requirement for unsolicited applications.
Uniformity and consistency drive away innovators – it is a common recruiting goal to attract the innovative and inventive. Unfortunately, the amount of consistency and uniformity is so pronounced on corporate career sites that a person with an oz of innovation or creativity inside them will realize right away that this organization doesn’t tolerate variations and diversity. What on the page could possibly say innovation, however the monotonous page design and site layout sends a clearer message of massive corporate restrictions.
There are lots of defenders of corporate career websites, the majority of whom possess a financial curiosity about their survival, but even they cannot ignore the overwhelming evidence that suggests the cash allocated to them may be better spent on other channels of communication/engagement. If you still buy into their value, you should be ready to evaluate and prove their effectiveness at obtaining the people you need to affect really do so, since the great majority of popular website metrics tell the alternative story.
Whether you acknowledge it or otherwise, the glory times of the corporate career site are over.
Arik Filstein, 22/05/2011
The global economic crisis has not spared the employment market, and has not hesitated to neglect candidates who’ve been discharged from their jobs despite many years of dedicated, invested work, and love for their organizations.
On the other hand, the “waiting rooms” of the job seekers, the same ones who’ve been let go from their jobs, have become more crowded, while the competition for nearly any job has become fiercer than ever, and the gap between the supply and demand has reached new peaks.
With these as the background facts, while the routine continues and forges ahead along with our personal current obligations, there’s a tendency to try deceptive methods in order to secure a job interview, impress the interviewer, and qualify for the final stage.
Do the ends justify the means? The answer is single-handedly, no!
Walking down the narrow path that divides the truth from falsehood can make the job interview an uncomfortable situation, accompanied by a sequence of illogical statements and declarations. In such a situation, it is likely that it won’t take too long before the interviewer brings the interview to a halt and writes a note to himself, on your resume, somewhere along the lines of: “this candidate has severe reliability issues”.
Is this the impression that you’d like to make? Of course, the answer is “no”!
Allow me to share with you, as someone who happens to have participated in hundreds of job interviews, that I’ve often heard candidates say things along the lines of: “I’m exactly what you need, I’m intelligent and calm, loyal and efficient, and know all of the players in your company’s field of business…and…sometimes I can be a little bit nervous…but that won’t interfere in my performance”. This is certainly a large variety of personal declarations and facts.
Once, I interviewed a candidate for a sales position who made sure to mention, more than once, that he personally knows the contact people of one of the company’s biggest clients. I then asked to tell me the names of the decision-makers that he knew, and what the nature of the relationship that he had with them was. The silence was unbearably loud, and I wasn’t surprised. The candidate was embarrassed, and I knew that his claims held no water.
Some approaches may disqualify potential job candidates.
The attempt to create a self image that does not accurately represent who you are can permanently disqualify you from any position at the organization. The company’s database will contain very specific details about you, including the reason your candidacy was disqualified. Therefore, if you try to apply for a job with the company in the future, it’s likely that your short lived “love affair” will be well documented.
The role of the recruiters is to be flooded with inauthentic statements in order to prevent unhealthy staff for the organization that they’re protecting at all costs. Remember, there is a big difference between how you perceive “rounding corners in an interview”, and how the interviewer perceives it.
Don’t misinterpret your inner sense during the interview, thinking that everything is going well and that the mask you’re wearing can work wonders as well as Jim Carey’s can – it doesn’t inform or teach you of very much, and usually the professionals’ opinion papers are internal, and you’ll never know of their existence.
In order to put the strategy that I’m espousing in the correct proportions, I should mention that there’s a certain degree of tolerance towards potential candidates, based on the clear knowledge there’s always a natural act/sale, based on the premise that the candidate is applying for the position, and wants to be accepted and begin working.
I, personally, love to see a candidate’s passion, even if there is an iota of rounded corners. At that moment, each candidate is his own salesman. However, be careful not to cross the red line. Once you’ve crossed it, the only question remaining is when the interviewer is going to end the interview.
It’s all subconscious
The financial pressure, and the familial pressure that accompanies it, sometimes produce irrational motivations, which we will call “survival actions”. “There’s nothing to lose, so it’s worth a shot”. The combination of the strong desire to get the job and the pressures mentioned above, put any inner-strength to act correctly and with healthy logic to the test.
A failed job interview or interviews doesn’t have any reflection on your potential. Even if months go by where it seems as though nothing is going as planned or expected, you should never lose hope, and, more importantly, you should never reject your own personality, and try to be anybody other than who you really are. There are times when certain candidates’ profiles are not suitable for different positions, and the subsequent rejection has nothing to do with a rejected personality, but rather has to do with the need for a very specific candidate. Therefore, it may be that you have to partake in a large number of job interviews before the real thing happens, but I’m sure and convinced that you’ll eventually reach your natural place, and until then, I’d strongly encourage you to continue to be interviewed naturally and honestly, and most importantly, not to lose hope.
Arik Filstein, 25/05/2011
What causes good employees to become unmotivated?
Corporations are constantly asking about the reasons why their efficient, high-performance employees suddenly become just the opposite.
According to studies that have been carried out, the situations and behaviors that most discourage company personnel are lack of opportunities for growth, broken promises, and unequal treatment.
Other factors that can also decrease worker enthusiasm are being assigned to an uninteresting position, or finding that salaries as well as recognition and status are limited.
Below, we will examine each of these demoralizing situations in particular.
A classic situation involving broken promises is seen when a manager tells team members, “Look, the company is growing, we’re hoping to do more hiring, and those with the most seniority will become supervisors.” However, months or even years go by and still nothing happens.
Another common case is when the next raise is promised, but when the date arrives the answer is “Yes, your raise is coming, but we have to wait a little longer, sales have gone down.”
When excuses like these are frequently heard, personnel lose faith in the promises they have been given, and in their possibilities at the company as well.
Lack of opportunities
Another common custom in business environments, which may be a major cause of lost motivation, is the hiring of new outside personnel for management positions without allowing the company’s current employees to apply for the job.
The opposite scenario can be equally harmful when, for example, the boss asks a supervisor to apply for the vacant position of Director of General Services, without considering whether the supervisor actually desires or wants to take on these new responsibilities. Later, to avoid bad feelings, the supervisor accepts, but lacks enthusiasm.
Encouraging employees to take new positions that do not interest them can cause frustration, and the company may also lose the ability to apply their talents in other areas.
To avoid this type of error, it is important to evaluate an employee’s personality before giving a promotion. Some people perform at their maximum in more solitary work, where they have less contact with other colleagues. However, when put into leadership positions where they must manage other personnel, the same level of performance cannot be achieved.
On the other hand, if an employee is genuinely interested in advancement, but does not yet possess the abilities needed for the new position, it may be necessary to provide training.
It is always a good idea in the area of human resources to take the aspirations of existing employees into consideration when filling a vacant position (as long as they are genuinely interested in the job), and only afterwards to consider external candidates.
A classic case of false expectations is when an applicant with an impressive resume is hired and promised, “You will be head of the department.” On first day of the job he realizes that the department consists of just himself and one assistant.
Another easy way to cause loss of motivation in a worker is to say, “Here is your office, we wish you great success in carrying out your duties”, while failing to clearly indicate what those new duties actually will be.
Even when an employee has worked at a company for years, it is always necessary to provide an orientation process, to ensure that he or she is clearly aware of the objectives of the new position.
Lack of support and communication
Every employee needs to have access to a supervisor or boss to listen to his or her concerns and to help correct any kind of unusual situation.
Sometimes an employee will advise his or her boss that a project needs some changes, but these observations are not taken into account and the project turns out badly. It is even likely that the boss will say, “But you never told me there was a problem”.
If this happens repeatedly, the employee may become discouraged to the point of shutting down and saying things like, “Why should I say that there is a problem if nothing will be done about it?”, or, “I don’t care what happens”. In this way, the worker will stop being committed to the company’s success, and of course, how can employees keep going forward with enthusiasm if nobody supports them, nobody listens, and nobody cares what they think?
Recognition helps personnel feel motivated in the way they carry out their duties within a company.
However, it is necessary to consider how such recognition is granted, and not to let it become just a routine. Many companies put up framed photos of their employee of the month in their reception area, but it seems to always be the same employee, or else the manager gives the employee their certificate, takes the photo, and then never even says hello afterwards.
Simply knowing the names of the personnel, and thanking or congratulating them in a sincere manner, can be an important form of recognition in itself.
For them yes, for you no
A common example of a situation that causes loss of motivation is when a company announces that it has decided to cut costs and therefore that raises will be eliminated, or even that coffee will be available for employees only in the morning (once it is finished, no more will be made). However, new personnel continue to be hired at high salaries, and international executives maintain all of their privileges.
Employees will perceive these details as injustices, and say, “There are no benefits for us, but for the others there are.” This can have a bad effect on the workplace environment.
Another case is where an employee stays until late into the night finishing up a project, but the next day arrives late and automatically receives a penalty in their pay.
Direct supervisors, who are aware of what each employee is doing, must recognize when each one goes the “extra mile”, so that workers do not feel as though their work is unappreciated.
In summary, it is important for managers and executives to analyze their own actions and show consideration to the employees they supervise, in order to avoid damaging the motivation that is so necessary for any company to reach its objectives.
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