We’re all on track to live to 100. This, according to…me! (supported, of course, by what I read about and see all around me)

As such, people are going to work longer for two reasons;

First, they will need to in order to fund a very long retirement and possibly ailing health during their post-work years.

Second, they will want to because even if financially secure, they will want to continue working versus living a retired life for upwards of 40 years. There is only so much travel, bridge, gardening, etc that one can do.

The speed of change is happening faster than anyone living has ever seen. People are being sideswiped by the speed of change because many have already moved from pen/paper to computer, landline to smartphones, bank tellers to (now outdated) ATMs and then some. They (including me) all slowly but surely adapted to new realities, but the pace is picking up. And, jobs and requirements of the workforce are changing. Radically. We have seen this already and what is forecast to be come due to AI alone, confirms that we need to brace ourselves for more learning and adapting.

So, we got this, right? I’m saying yes, we do!

If you’re not keen on ‘new’, start warming up to it…we can do this. We all have to keep adapting and supporting each other, our colleagues, our communities and working together to learn and remain relevant to the workforce AND to the world around us.

Agree?

 

 


As a manager, you need to hire people. If your hiring process and job descriptions are dull and stuffy (and let’s face it, most are), I suggest you freshen up the approach.

Here are some suggestions;

  • You manage it? Own it.
    • Identify what is needed for someone to be successful. Forget about the “nice to have” stuff, just put together a job description based on what is needed for you and your team to hit the business objectives. Everyone will agree they are a team player, so no need to mention it. It is implied that people can interact with others and this will come out in conversation.
    • Review profiles WITH HR so they can see which profiles you gravitate towards. Do the first few screening calls with HR so they can learn how you interact with the candidates and what you ask so they can be better equipped to find suitable candidates to present to you.
  • Say things like who you are, what you do and why you’re hiring
    • “My name is Kathleen and I am the manager of the Customer Success Team. We have 7 people on our team and we interact with our customers via chat, email and phone during regular business hours. Due to  a boom in business, we are looking for two new people to add to the team (OR “…due to one of our colleagues moving on to new adventures, we have an opening on our team”…you get where I’m going)
  • Give them some context regarding what they would be working on
    • “We have exciting projects underway including a new app which will offer more touch points to our customers. You would be part of this exciting initiative and in helping us with customer adoption”. 
  • Explain the hiring process and then stick to it. You are a leader. Show candidates that you lead responsibly and that you value their time.

Be transparent. Use real talk. If you aren’t sure how best to do it, ask you mentor.

 


I meet managers and business leaders with a common challenge. They have people on their teams who they describe as ‘average’.

When I dig a little deeper, I often find that description of ‘average’ is really due to the players being ‘yes’ people. When you lead a team of ‘yes’ people there is not a lot of creativity that flows because the team is busy doing what the boss wants versus what the business and customer needs in an ever changing business landscape.

If you find things getting stale on your team, look at who you are working with – are they ‘yes’ people? If so – and they may all be good contributors – just make a note not to hire a yes person next time around.

Shake it up. Your customers and shareholders need it.


Candidates post negative experiences regarding hiring processes and then, like an oil spill, others jump right in to recount their sob stories.

I don’t understand what we gain from this.

Can we take a step back here and consider the following;

First, HR is typically understaffed. Which business do you know that has enough people on the HR team to handle the overall work load and fill the open positions? Of course they fall behind!

Second, businesses often have hiring managers who are not great at creating job descriptions nor great at interviewing and assessing candidates. Can we all agree…that isn’t easy?

Third: Businesses continuously throw themselves curve balls. Today’s urgent need for Project Managers is easily sideswiped by tomorrow’s urgent need for Customer Service reps. But what about all the effort that went in to sourcing the Project Managers? As telephone operators use to say…”please hold…”

Candidates can have poor experiences in a job search. That’s a fact.

Candidates can also have good, or at least reasonable, experiences in a job search. That’s another fact.

I suggest we stop wailing on the experiences that fall short and start promoting the ones that go well (of which many do) regardless of whether or not we get the position. Let’s work together to make things better by sharing what works versus wallowing in what doesn’t.

You in?

 

 


I started recruiting in 2008…just when the economic crisis was hitting. There were so many people looking for work and so few places hiring. It was tough.

I have come back to recruiting recently and happily the economy is in nice shape however it is tough to fill positions.

Why?

Well, not many people are looking BUT we know younger people move around a lot…so we might think that the movement would fill positions.

Not so much! That’s not what I am seeing in North America.

Young people are opting to work for themselves more today than they have in the past. That means, not only are there jobs available, I am finding that there are fewer people available to fill the positions.

What to do?

Businesses need to look at what they need and who they need to be to attract talent. It is not an easy shift but without doing this deep dive and making changes, the results will be concerning.

 


Disney creates a community and by extension a customer experience, like nothing I have ever seen before.

(Props, Disney, props)

 2018 is shrieking “COMMUNITY!”.  There are ongoing stories of people coming together through community, be it the Time’s Up movement, students mobilizing where adults have failed them or consumers gathering in retail environments that differ drastically from what we have seen in decades.

COMMUNITY.

Look around, you can’t miss it.

Businesses who have had a community mindset from inception as a means to provide the best customer experience are simply carrying on as usual, while others scramble to create it. Shout out to my personal favourite customer experience through outstanding community, Disney.

Love ’em or hate ’em, Disney creates a community experience that in my opinion, is second to none.

On a recent visit, I looked at it very carefully to try and capture the ‘what is it that they do so well?’ What makes millions of people go back time and time again, and thousands of people show up to the parks on a daily basis dressed in Disney ears, t-shirts, carrying Disney knapsacks, sporting Disney jewelry? Marketing?Maybe. But I see it as something much much bigger.

Disney creates community.

They do it so well, that people flock to it, be it in person at a park or wearing Mickey Mouse t-shirt to school, it is totally astounding how they are able to provide an experience that triggers such consistent emotion in their customers.

Everyone is welcome in the Disney community. It is chill, clean, really fun, has something for all ages and stages and they don’t veer from their core value of providing an exceptional experience. Whether you are watching a Disney movie on your TV, visiting a park or boarding a cruise ship, the experience they deliver is the same.

Imagine if all businesses looked at the customer through the same lens?  The ‘customer comes first’ nonsense that businesses proclaim could not be farther from the truth. Most businesses are simply incapable of pulling it off and are doing little to correct it.

It’s now or never for you, businesses…now or never!

Your customers are watching you and deciding where to spend their money.

What are you doing to make progress on the customer experience front?


Not once, but twice in the past year, I saw employers pull job offers from candidates.

Ouch.

Why?

In both cases, the candidates  played hard ball while negotiating their compensation and the employer did not like what they were seeing.

I am sure this has happened many times, but I had never seen it before. While I was appropriately taken aback the first time, I was just stunned the second time! Lesson learned.

If you are in the market, while you should not take a deal that you think is unfair, 

consider at what point you would be sorry to see the offer retracted,

and guide your negotiations accordingly.

Both candidates were blind-sided by losing their offer. They both went from being ‘tough negotiator’ to being  quite humble. Would they play it differently today if they were to go back? I’m not sure, but my instinct tells me they would. Both were keen to join their respective new employer and both were well qualified for their position. Alas, we will never know, but what we do know is it makes good sense to know when to stop negotiating and accept the offer. You never know…

 

 

 


Here are the positions we have been working on recently;

  • CIO
  • Senior VP of IT
  • VP of Finance
  • Director of Finance
  • VP of Human Resources
  • Director of Human Resources
  • VP of Services
  • Project Manager
  • Executive Assistant
  • Inside Sales
  • Sales
  • QA Specialist
  • Assistant Controller
  • General Consulting

In addition to recruiting, we are helping business incorporate PERFORMANCE BASED HIRING and TOURS OF DUTY in to their recruiting/hiring practices. Traditional hiring practices are no longer relevant and businesses have to adjust in order to stay current and ensure they can attract the people they need. Outdated hiring practices will attract outdated candidates.

Who are you hiring? Let’s talk.

 


Recently, as a guest on CJAD’s Gang of Four, we discussed people’s commute to work. Given I am a stickler for ‘fit’ as it pertains to candidates and positions, the commute is one of those things I consider when looking at a candidate’s potential fit for a position. If a candidate lives too far, I won’t consider them for the position. While they might think the commute ‘is not an issue’, it will become an issue when another position becomes available closer to home, there is an especially difficult winter or a muti-year road work project is annouced, for example.

Employers: Consider how accessible your location is to the candidates you want to attract. Distance and public transportation options matter.  I have clients with offices that are remote and as a result, recruiting is tougher than it needs to be. If you have an office which is tough to get to, you may have to pay higher salaries or let people do some work from home to make opportunities more attractive.

Candidates:  It doesn’t matter to the employer where you live. Where you choose to live is your decision but when deciding, factor in commute relative to where you might be working – is public transit available for days where your car is in for repair or there is bad weather? Perhaps you might want to save on fuel costs and get caught up on reading from time to time?

Hiring Managers should avoid hiring someone who lives too far and candidates should avoid jobs that are simply too difficult to get to. From what I have seen, the long commute is not sustainable and if it comes with no financial or ‘work from home’ incentive, it becomes very unattractive.

 

 


Based on experience, here’s some advice: Be nice to the people with whom you work (and everyone else for that matter)! You never know when a prospective employer might ask them about you without you knowing. It is just SO EASY to find people you might know in common, so let’s face it, why would a prospective employer not do it?

If you are in the job market, whoever is reading your CV might know people in common with you which means they might take the liberty to contact these people to ask about you.  If this happens, it may well be a determining factor as to whether or not the employer ever meets with you. I have seen this happen several times. Recently I submitted a candidate’s profile to an employer. In my interview with the candidate, he told me, (with conviction!) that his references were stellar. Imagine my surprise when the employer would not meet with the candidate because they had “…called some people they know in common and the feedback was negative”. Well that was the end of that for the candidate. There was no interview, no ‘let’s see if there is a fit and if we can work together’. Zero. Nothing. The candidate’s stellar references were ultimately irrelevant. He never even got an interview let alone the opportunity to present his (hand picked) stellar references.

Reference checking starts at any point during the hiring process. Providing references to a prospective employer is definitely still one of the steps of a traditional hiring process, but it is less and less meaningful since employers really have access to the unedited list. If they feel they know someone well enough, best to assume they will contact that person.

Candidates should know what the person who likes them the least might say about them.

One question I ask in every interview is “if I speak to someone who would not want to work with you again, why would that be”? Often the candidate has to think about it, which is perfectly fine. I can see they are digging deep to find the words to tell me they can be aggressive, competitive or disorganized, for example. I also ask them what words, in general, people would use to describe them. Note that I don’t ask about their “weakness” (what does that even mean…really…what a lousy question. My weakness is Finance. Why people would not want to work with me again has nothing to do with Finance). I want to hear how people believe they are perceived and then I match that up with what I hear from the references I contact.

If you are in the market, be prepared. You are not able to control who speaks to who. What you can control is having a clear sense of who you are, especially to the people with whom you work so the feedback a prospective employer gets will align with how you describe and present yourself.