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…

 

 

 


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.

 

 


I recently contacted a young man in a Business Development position and asked if he would meet with the President of one of his competitors. The young man’s response was “I am happy and doing well where I am – if the President would like to throw out a number and if that number is high enough, I would meet with him”. I explained to the young man that the President would do no such thing, given they had never met or spoken.

But the young man would not budge. He puffed his chest and let his ego get in the way…and did not understand that an opportunity to meet with a decision maker is a good thing. While the young man is¬†happy and doing well today, there is no guarantee it will continue. We see evidence of this every. single. day, in the form of businesses downsizing, being taken-over, merging, going bankrupt, and so on. And when the time comes that this young man realizes he is not happy and not doing well, he is going to want to reach out to his network, which ideally would ¬†include decision makers.

There is nothing bad that can come of two people meeting and discussing possible business opportunities. No trade secrets need be discussed. If the two people meet, don’t like each other or see any potential, then fine. But if they meet, like each other and agree there could be something – today or some time down the road – then a valuable new connection has been made.

When you have an opportunity to meet with a decision maker, take it.

 

 

 

 


I have been recruiting, interviewing and placing Millennials for the past several years. Several of my clients (all employers) have raised concerns to me about hiring and retaining them. Below, some of what I have learned about Millennials and the workplace;

Technology: Millennials did not learn and¬†become interested in technology – they don’t know a life without technology. They grew up with it and know no other world. As such, asking them about general computer skills, for example, is not relevant. In fact, they look at you kind of funny if you ask.¬†They didn’t write their papers in high school – they typed¬†their papers in high school. They are current on technology…they are connected 24/7 and they know the latest and greatest. Millennials are not using Facebook as much any more…they have already moved on to the next thing (interestingly, it is their parents who are still going strong on Facebook). This rapid adoption of technology is here to stay, so don’t worry about whether or not they are current or will be keeping current.

Keeping them engaged in their job: ¬†To retain your Millennials, make sure to keep them busy with interesting projects. They grew up playing video games learning that once you complete a level, you move to another level. This is what keeps them engaged. While it is not necessary for an employer to give a Millennial a raise or promotion every time they have successfully completed something, it is key that they continue to get new things to work on. If not, they will get bored – in their minds, it would be like completing a level in the video game and not being allowed to move to the next ‘challenge’.

Length of stay with each employer: Expect your Millennial to stay 18 months to 3 years. If they stay longer, great! They don’t see a problem moving around and when you are hiring one, don’t be so fast to dismiss the ones with this type of track record. They may be excellent at what they do. While hiring/replacing is expensive, there is simply no guarantee they will stay longer, according to what their track record looks like thus far, at least in the North American market.

Definition of ‘hard worker’: To Gen X and Boomers, ‘hard work’ means doing what it takes to get something done. Period. To Millennials, it seems to mean something slightly different. Given Gen X/Boomers have been talking about work/life balance for the past 25+years (approximately), it should come as no surprise that Millennials want to work hard but not compromise their personal life. We taught them to think that way. So, they will work very hard when they are working, but their job will not consume their life like we have seen in previous generations.

Gen X/Boomers cannot change Millennials, but understanding and accepting how Millennials operates and why, when recruiting, interviewing and hiring may make the process a little easier.