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…

 

 

 


Candidates like to tell  me what they cannot do.

I hear it all the time;

Lori: “Do you speak French”

Candidate: (cue the apologetic tone) “…well, I am not fluent and my written is weak….I prefer an English environment”

Lori: “Do you speak French today in your job and do you communicate in French through email”?

Candidate: “Yes”

I have this conversation repeatedly – replace “Do you speak French” with “Have you ever implemented an ERP system” or “Have you ever sold widgets”? It doesn’t matter what I ask, even if the candidate DOES DO, or has done, what I’m asking, but it deviates ever so slightly, they apologetically tell me that they really don’t do it.

As a candidate, you don’t want to limit yourself and prospective opportunities, you want to do just the opposite. You want  to take a hard look at your accomplishments and translate them in to your complete skill set, and recognize what are your transferable skills. Once you have done this, you may see that you have more to offer than you give yourself credit for. Don’t sell yourself short! If you speak French but cannot write a business letter in French, then you do speak French! You will tell your perspective employer that you cannot write business documents in French but that you are fine with basic email correspondence, for example.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

As I say (and believe!) we are all on track to live to 100, and as such, we will be working for a long time.

Don’t be drab and inflexible – Yes, you CAN!

 

 

 

 


Take a look at the job descriptions your business is posting.  Are they interesting? Would someone who is not actively looking for a job possibly submit their candidacy?

Some businesses have awesome job descriptions.

Most have dull job descriptions. 

Why?

We know we want to attract the best candidates.

We know we want to be perceived as an employer of choice.

So why would we write dull job descriptions?

We use Uber, not taxis. We stay at AirBnB, not hotels. We rely on the general public to post news versus waiting for the news networks. We stare at the home phone when it rings wondering who could possibly be calling on it…and we make a mental note to have it disconnected all together.

In many ways, we are very 2015.

And then we have our job descriptions.  Not very 2015. Stuck in the past.

Take a look at your job descriptions. Am I right? Are you drawn to the positions and can you see people pouncing on the opportunities? If not, change you strategy….write job descriptions that reflect the realities of today’s market.  You will attract better candidates.

Some suggestions:

  • Be specific about what the job entails – mention the short term priorities and longer term goals
  • Show prospective candidates what they would gain by being successful in the role
  • Unless absolutely required, don’t include number of years of experience or a specific degree. It limits the pool of prospective candidates and puts up a barrier between you, and possibly, the best candidates
  • Consider why someone might leave their current role for the position, then write the job description that would entice them

When recruiting, we are looking for the best candidates. Often these candidates are not looking for work. In order to entice them to consider the position, start by defining it as something compelling

We tell candidates to write CVs to show they are ‘current’, not dated.

Employers have to write job descriptions that show the business is ‘current’, not dated.

If we write job descriptions the way they have been written for decades, which many businesses do, we are suggesting to prospective candidates that we are not current. Clearly not the intent.

This is an easy fix. Try it. You will see results.

 

 


Historically, it has been called the “cover letter”. Whether it is a formal letter or a brief introduction in the body of an email with the attachment of your resume, in my opinion, it is important and will set you apart from other candidates, provided it is done correctly. If you are applying for a position, it should be because you truly see yourself as a fit. As such, you want the hiring manager to see the same thing. Explain this in the cover;

  • Refer to the position specifically
  • Pick highlights of the position description and state what relevant experience you have – stay high level (the CV will provide more detail and the interview even more…)
  • Make it obvious that you are a suitable candidate
  • Keep it brief

Don’t make the cover letter about you, make it about the position and reference the experience you have relative to what the employer is looking for.

If you prepare a proper cover/introduction, you will increase your chances of getting the attention of the hiring manager. While it won’t guarantee an interview, it adds value to your profile. Your competition is not doing it – although they should be – so in the meantime, take advantage and run with it.