The perception of the dynamics of interviews is changing. Though it is true that today, there are many more job seekers knocking down employers’ doors competing for jobs, it is also true that some categories of candidates are being actively pursued by employers. Traditionally, interviews have been viewed as a one-way street – a job applicant dressed to the nines with sweaty palms and a portfolio entering a potential employer’s office saying “pick me.” In reality, as many HR and recruiting professionals know, an interview is a two-way street, and the candidate is just as much in the driver’s seat as the employer.
The winning strategy for job seekers? Knowing exactly what they’re looking for, having a clear view of how and where they will excel as well as being able to clearly articulate the added value they bring to the table.
Knowing your personality and what works for you will help you better picture yourself in a company's environment and help formulate the right questions to ask. Now, although Nicholas Cage doesn't ask questions in this movie clip, but he certainly articulates his value and the end result is what every interviewee should aim to achieve.
Asking interviewers open ended, probing questions will assist any applicant in painting a picture for their potential employer about the type of employee they will be. Additionally, it will help the candidate get the information s/he needs about employee personalities and company culture fit. “Ask open-ended questions. Get the prospective employer to open up about what they see as the most important characteristics that make a best fit”, says Senior Staffing Consultant - Direct Hire Division, Jennifer Kuchy.
Staffing Consultant, Direct Hire Division, Jon Singleton says, “If the entire office wears their Patriots jerseys on Fridays in the fall, but the candidate doesn’t know the difference between a home run and a touchdown, then they might not be the best personality fit.” This is not meant to suggest that it behooves any candidate to inquire about casual Fridays during an interview, but you get the idea. There are strategic questions job seekers can ask to better picture themselves in the company work environment and to make an informed decision on whether a particular organization is a good match for them:
Questions to ask your interviewers
- In terms of the specific role you are looking to fill, how would you describe the general morale within the department?
- Describe the personality of the hiring manager?
- How would you describe the personalities I'd be working with?
- What personality do you feel would be the best fit for this group?
- How long have you been with the company and what makes you want to be part of the (name of co) team?
- How does (name of co) differ from other companies you have worked in?
- What has been the turnover rate within the role you are looking to fill?
- Why is this position available?
- More questions about work environment to ask prospective employers
Employers are more interested in candidates who have the whole package, not just candidates who have the competencies to technically perform in the role. “The right fit” is the most important decision making factor, for employers and job seekers alike. Being smart about the questions you ask, or the questions recruiters recommend candidates to ask, can be the critical factor in securing long-term professional happiness.
The ball is in your court….it is up to you to credibly interview your next prospective employer. Tell us what you would want to know, in order to ensure you have identified your dream job?
Sure, there are several obstacles recruiters are facing right now because of the current state of the job market. The actual numbers of new jobs are falling short of the number anticipated, and the economy's unemployment rate recently increased one hundredth of a percentage point. With those stats, has our optimism been put on hold?
A recent discussion posted on recruiting community ERE.NET's LinkedIn Group asks a question that has been on the table since the beginning of the recession, what is the biggest challenge facing recruiters today?
And the list goes on.
Put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes. What words would you add to the above list of challenges?
We can map out a complicated diagram about what we think is happening in the job market right now, but it is easy to get confused. If companies haven't implemented hiring freezes, they are at the very least extremely cautious about hiring; influxes of job seekers are applying to more jobs and, as a result, recruiters are sifting through more resumes than there are open job orders. Or, on the flip side, employees hesitate to leave their less-secure jobs (...updating their LinkedIn profiles is risky) so recruiters struggle to find passive talent. Before you know it, you've got a diagram with arrows pointing every which way, and you might forget what you were talking about in the first place.
Let's put aside the elements of this equation that don't exactly add up and focus on one driving force as to why the economy hasn't bounced back entirely: a lack of risk. If employers' budgets struggle to meet hiring requirements, companies hesitate to risk hiring more employees causing internal productivity to suffer. Disgruntled, yet scared, employees don't dare risk terminating their job to look for another one. And recruiters are left with a tall order but no staff.
What decisions will you make--what risks will you consider--for the sake of your job and for the sake of your economy?
To dig deeper into the current state of the job market and the talent mismatch around the globe, click through this survey presentation, spearheaded by the Manpower Group.
Below are the results of John Leonard's 2010 Legal Careers Survey analyzed by position held, education level, current salary and desired salary within the legal industry.
The 2010 Legal Careers Survey was designed to help John Leonard, as well as our client candidates and companies, predict developing trends within the legal community for 2011.
Please scroll for full results.
When I arrive at work at 7:30AM, the first thing I do is turn on my computer. Next I open up my browser and immediately open up five tabs: one for Bullhorn, one for G-Chat, one for Twitter, one for LinkedIn and one for different news outlets depending on my mood. Once the information feed is spread across my desktop, I pull out my Blackberry and sit it next to my computer screen so I will instantly be alerted by the flashing red light if I receive a text message, BBM or Facebook alert. Lastly, at about 7:32AM, I turn to the most traditional piece of technology on my desk – my phone – and I check my voicemails.
Not everyone at John Leonard starts their morning this way, but being right at the center of Gen-Y, this is how I start my day, every day... -Jill Gaynor, Staffing Consultant
GEN-Y: FOREVER CHANGING THE WORKPLACE
Generation Y, also known as “Millenials” describes the group born between 1982 and 2000, the group known as the Technical generation, the group oft described as entitled, lazy and fickle – and the group that is now taking the workplace by storm.
They are the largest group to hit the workforce since Baby Boomers and aside from the sheer magnitude in number, the generation is hard to ignore due to their loud presence, “I-can-do-anything” attitude, and ever-growing presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and MySpace.
With them, Gen Y has brought a new set of norms, new ways of communicating and new ways of doing business all together. Thus, forcing management and their predecessors, Gen X and Boomers, to follow suit – some willingly and some not-so-much.
Gen Y is a generation defined by technology. They are the generation who writes informally, texts, Tweets, Skypes and pokes. They are the generation constantly plugged into ear buds and constantly fidgeting with the latest pieces of technology or the latest mobile app. They are a generation whose reach is defined by friends, followers and connections.
Gen Y is also the generation who can connect across cultures, borders and times zone instantaneously through their virtual networks. They are the employees whose work days are not confined to 9-5. They can be reached at any time, day or night, by phone, email or text. They are the generation who has integrated the social and professional realms into a solitary state of being.
No generation has seen business done this why and that is where the controversy begins. It is new and still mostly unknown. Gen Y entered the workplace, ignored standards of practice and created new ways to achieve the same goals. Some fear the change, some condemn it, some attack it and few embrace it.
In the October issue of FastCompany Magazine, Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something, wrote an article entitled, “Why Bashing Millenials is Wrong.” In her article, Lublin, who is a member of the Boomer generation, makes a strong case for Gen Y. She recognizes all of the generalized weaknesses that have been brought to light about Millenials in recent months and then goes on to explain how to reinterpret these conceptions and exploit them as positive new facets being brought to your business.
“You say self-indulgent and self-obsessed, I say optimistic and self-confident., “says Lublin whose COO is 27 and Business Development Strategist is 26. “They are hungry for responsibility, and I give it to them.”
Lublin goes on to highlight the positive impact a Millenial’s virtual network can have on a company.
“Millenials don't have traditional boundaries or an old-fashioned sense of privacy. They live out loud, sharing details of their lives with thousands of other people,” says Lublin.
Lublin embraces this reach and sees every Tweet or status update as free PR for her company. Recently Lublin has begun asking interviewees how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends they have.
Gen Y is unwilling to change and unwilling to revert back to the old ways of doing business. They have forever changed the workplace. Now it is up to companies to embrace these changes and use them to their advantage rather than dwell on the new and unknown.
In the late 1800's, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “we change, whether we like it or not.”
Ironically, this 19th century word of advice may be the best attitude to adapt as we face the changes of the 21st century workplace.
Training and Development Manager - Boston
Training and Development Manager - Salary to $125K
The Boston office of a dynamic Global Law Firm
seeks an experienced and innovative Training and Development Manager
to join their team. This person will be responsible for the development and execution of the firms professional development programs as well as addressing training needs across all offices. Position will involve developing new initiatives, keeping abreast of T&D
trends and identifying resources to support the growth of specific practice group areas .
Superior management skills
5 + years of T&D experience required
Knowledge of Law Firm practice areas desired
Salary to 125K
Last week's job: Litigation Paralegal
Previous: IP Patent Prosecution Secretary
For more of John Leonard's Direct Hire Legal opportunities, CLICK HERE.
For our Temporary Legal opportunities, CLICK HERE.
Law Firms Turn To Social Media
Once deemed "untouchable" and "recession proof," the world’s premier Law Firms have been forced to adapt to the larger economic climate and develop new ways to build business and keep existing clients.
How are they doing it?
As we emerge from the recession and head toward a new year, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn have forever changed the marketing scope of the legal community. Both large and small firms across the board have shifted their business development approach to include and sometimes focus primarily on SOCIAL MEDIA.
No industry escaped the economic downturn. The smart ones did however, use the lull in regular business to re-evaluate their marketing schemes and to create new programs. The economic crisis, which began in 2007, just so happened to coincide with the Social Networking boom. While some firms were hesitant to jump on-board, many immediately began laying the groundwork and building their online presence.
David Barrett, Esq., also known as the “LinkedIn Lawyer,” was an early believer. He began using social networks, 5 years ago to jump start his career as a solo attorney. He now has over 7,000 attorneys in his LinkedIn network and proudly boasts that referrals from the network are a cornerstone of his business.
Social Networks allow individual lawyers, as well as, entire firms to market their programs on a much larger scale and across larger, global platforms. The reach is immediate and in most cases free.
“Professional networking sites can help you enhance your professional image, expand your network, boost your visibility, build your professional brand and manage your career,” wrote Sally Kane of About.com. “These sites allow you to participate in online forums, search for jobs, post and peruse job listings, exchange practice tips, meet other legal professionals and share knowledge, ideas, experiences and opinions.”
As firms discover the ease and great potential of each online community, they continue to think outside-of-the-box and embrace the newest development in the age of business: Social Media.
How to build a Social Network for your law practice:
- Blog. Become the go-to news source and expert in your practice area.
- Lay the frame work. Set up a professional Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account. Also, locate other industry specific outlets that are right for you. The three most popular Legal-Only Social Networks are Martindale, Lawyrs.net and LawLink.
- Grow your network. Once the framework is set, begin connecting. Make a targeted list of who it would make sense for you to connect with (i.e. potential leads, industry experts, referral sources, clients, etc.). Next, join groups within each network that will be helpful to your practice.
- Ask for referrals. Once you have made the right connections, begin asking for referrals. The best way to get business is to tactfully ask for it.
- Share your legal insight. Treat your virtual network like you would a face-to-face networking event. Use your newly formed networks to share insight and start conversations with your followers.
To view John Leonard's Legal Opportunities: CLICK HERE
This week's Administrative Job of the week is not-your-typical Office Management role. Our client is looking for someone with excellent Office Management skills, who also shares in their mission: to provide those in need and their loved ones with the caring, experienced and trustworthy home care.
Office Manager - to $40K
Our client, a premier and fast growing, provider of non-medical home care located in Boston seeks an Office Manager. In this is dynamic and non-traditional role you will assist the President by managing the office operations with superior customer service skills and a "can do" attitude. The successful candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit, excellent writing, administrative and organizational skills.
S/he will support and be dedicated to the founder's mission of providing compassionate, reliable and affordable home care to its clients. Candidates must have strong MS Office skills, a car and a clean driving record. A Bachelor's degree and bi-lingual (French) would be a plus.
Excellent benefits available!
For more of John Leonard's Direct Hire Administrative Opportunities, CLICK HERE.
For more Temporay Administrative Opportunities, CLICK HERE.
You walk into your boss's office and say "I've received an offer I can't refuse, so I've decided to accept another position". Your boss, totally caught off guard, tells you the company doesn't want to lose you. Immediately, the counteroffer is put on the table.
Now is when the tough decision must be made. You are on the spot and must think quickly to decide what the best move is, not only today, but also for your future.
Immediately, you must ask yourself, and answer, some very serious and difficult questions:
What made me want/need to look for another job?
Though the counteroffer may seem to make all the day-to-day problems that made you look for another job in the first place go away, you must realize that a higher pay rate or a new title does not make a company change. The daily routine, the surroundings and the people will all stay the same.
Think: Does a leopard change its spots? Can a company change enough to make the job the right job for me?
Why did it take a counteroffer for my boss to realize I was a valuable asset to the company?
The counteroffer causes the boss to realize how much you are needed...or does it? It's nearly impossible to know for sure if your boss really has had an awakening and now understands your value.
Ask yourself: Does my boss really realize my value, or is he/she more concerned about finding my replacement, having down time, disrupting the department, or unsettling my coworkers?
If I accept the counteroffer, what will my future hold?
In deciding what your future will hold with your current company, there is a list of questions to consider: How will I be viewed by my boss and coworkers if I accept the counteroffer? Will they be wondering if I am really a part of the team, or if I am planning on leaving again? What damage has been caused to the trust relationship between the employer and employee? Even though my work performance is superior, will I need to create another 'scare tactic' to receive future promotions and salary increases?
Many people have been in this situation and have come to the most commonsense conclusion: it almost never pays to accept the counteroffer. Don't look back. Your new employer is welcoming you with open arms, ready and willing to provide opportunity for your tomorrow.
Remember, when you gave your notice you had already decided that the new job was the better opportunity!
For more advice on the job search, please visit our Candidate Resource page.
Last Friday, 24/7 Wall St. posted a thought-provoking list of 10 ways that they believe the US government could cut unemployment rates.
The propositions include ideas that edge on controversial, some that have never before been used in the US and a few that have, but not for decades. Below we have summarized each point.
What are your thoughts on the proposals?
1.Tax Credits. The first of 10 proposed solutions states that the government should provide tax credits to companies who bring on full-time employees. This incentive-based program hinges on the goal of creating more work and eliminating the problem of companies hiring part-time employees to cut back on benefit and severance payouts.
2. Funding Reduced Pay. Originating in Germany, this idea proposes that the government should provide a tax credit or stipend to companies who shorten work hours rather than layoff employees, thus creating more jobs.
3. Saving Small Businesses. Although companies with fewer than 500 employees generate nearly half of private, non-farm GDP, they have taken a great hit during the recession and have exhibited difficulty in receiving loans. This idea states that the government should bear some of the risk of small businesses so that they can bring on more employees.
4. Give people work, even if it is not permanent. Based on The Works Progress Administration created by FDR in the 1930s, this idea advises that the government should create jobs to buoy the economy. The success of this administration relies on the assumption that it will allow the government to avoid paying unemployment to those who would otherwise remain idle and also give these people job skills that will come in handy when the economy fully recovers.
5. Jobs Not Projects. This idea recommends another stimulus package from the White House, but this time focusing more on job creation rather than on tax incentives. It states that the government should give more money directly to the segments that are hurting the most in order to prevent the firing and furloughing of more workers.
6. China. This idea was generated around the thought that the great value of the Chinese Yuan directly affects the US’s ability to recover economically. It suggests one of two radical solutions: either the US Treasury Department make a direct threat to Beijing by labeling it a “currency manipulator” or that the US government require that “strategic imports from China be taxed.”
7. Underwriting Exports. The US was once a consumer-based economy with 65-75% of GDP coming from consumption. Because these stats no longer exist, this plan suggests that we make a switch and begin to rely more on exports. To have any success in doing so, 24/7 Wall St. says that we must first underwrite the cost of shipping. The suggestion: direct government payment of export shipping costs.
8. The Minimum Wage. This idea puts forth the plan that the government reimburse some part of the wage paid to Americans compensated at the minimum level. This plan would be successful under the belief that it would allow the lowest paid in the country to keep their jobs while also allowing modest-size businesses an opportunity to avoid layoffs at this level.
9. Construction Jobs. Construction workers have been hit hard, if not the hardest, during the recession. Most without work cannot afford to relocate to areas with greater needs, thus creating large pools of unemployed workers in certain areas. This plan advocates for the creation of projects on government-owned facilities in the areas that have been hit the hardest.
10. Immigration. The last idea revolves around the existing argument over whether or not it is fair that undocumented workers from abroad take American jobs. 24/7 Wall St. implies that rather than continue to argue and debate this sensitive subject, the government should step in and provide supplemental aid to states that have large illegal immigrant populations and create more public sector jobs for all.
To read the complete article via 24/7 Wall St., click here.
Losing a job opportunity or getting fired is as simple as one date modification, title embellishment or educational misrepresentation on your resume. Unfortunately, resume lies are turning up more and more in the hiring room.
A recent study conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that while only 5% of workers admitted to embellishment on their resumes, 57% of hiring managers reported uncovering discrepancies on candidate's applications.
Below are the top 9 resume misdemeanors according to Forbes.com:
- Lying about getting a degree
- Exaggerating numbers
- Increasing previous salary
- Playing with dates
- Inflating titles
- Lying about technical abilities
- Claiming language Fluency
- Providing a fake address
- Padding grade point averages
While these may seem minuscule at the time they are committed, they are essentially lies told to potential employers and will almost always ruin your chances with the company at hand. If you are able to slip by and do get hired, should your true employment history be revealed down the line, it is grounds for immediate termination - whether it be one year or five years later, you will be terminated.
One candidate that worked with John Leonard lost an opportunity because he altered his salary at a specific company. When doing a simple confirmation with the company's human resources department, it was uncovered that his earnings were less than indicated. The result was that his candidacy was immediately pulled and John Leonard is no longer able to represent him.
To avoid such a circumstance, be truthful when putting together your resume! Presenting yourself in a clear, concise and professional manner on paper is what will generate interviews and ultimately job offers.
For additional tips on the job search, visit our Survival Kit page. There you will find Resume Help, Interview Prep Tips and other Helpful Resources.