Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Merry Christmas

For the first time in a long time I’m ready for it – I think, OK, I hope.  It is the middle of the month and the interior and exterior of our house is decorated.  The tree is up and decorated with a ridiculous amount of ornaments just like my Great Grandma Veary’s tree.  Her tree was the most decorated tree I’ve ever seen – it had so many ornaments on it you couldn’t tell it was fake!   Our Christmas cards are done – addressed, stamped and mailed! Thanks to my husband, most of the gifts are ordered and being delivered. I’ve even started wrapping the presents.   This year I actually feel in control of the madness and I’m not so stressed.  I have even planned to make cookies with the boys this weekend.  Cookies from scratch!   I have a sense of calm this year and which has led to organized holiday fun. It’s a good feeling, a Christmas feeling and I’m going to roll with it!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gone SO Wrong

It went so wrong. We had a client conference call recently that went so sideways I ended up on Pinterest browsing through Christmas stuff while listening to him rant. It felt like we were talking to a 1970’s executive who was smoking and drinking his martini’s while dictating to his secretary and letting his ego do the talking. Keep in mind,  this client was in a high tech, cutting edge industry, but it felt like “Silicon Valley 1970”.  Any question I asked was wrong including when I told him I did some research on the company he worked for -  that was wrong! I was told I shouldn’t do any research! Oh my, the ego. 

We do research on all companies we work for  – the background information we gather on employees, the company website, Glassdoor, press releases etc. is priceless. We can gather all sorts of info. on people and learn who they are by how they present themselves. For example, when they say they are “published” and it’s only a blog – everyone has a blog  - or they have a “white paper” and it’s their non-expert super short opinion with little to no facts.  Or they claim to have worked at a job for 15 years when in fact they have been consulting and bumping around for the last 15 years. 

All that information creates a character profile. Research is priceless!  I have been blessed with amazing clients over all these years but this potential high tech client was a definite NO! We declined to work with them – no going back to the dark ages. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Old People vs. The Millennials

I’ve been writing a lot about Millennials lately because there is a significant problem between the over 55er’s and the Millennials according to most of my clients. The over 55er’s think the Millennials are flaky, don’t want to work for a boss, want extra special benefits - matching 401K,4 weeks’ vacation, lunch daily, flex time etc.  They want a lot but don’t want to work for it – they want it NOW.  The Millennials think the 55er’s are old, slow, don’t understand new technology, don’t get social media, they are not flexible, they don’t give them freedom to learn and grow quickly. (I’m just basing my opinion here on all the complaints I have been hearing for months now from both sides.)  

Oddly, I fall somewhere in-between – I’m not over 55 and I work with a lot of the Millennials. I understand where the Millennials are coming from – we all want a great job with great benefits and flextime. I also understand the 55er’s – they just want you to work and not complain. They made it thought the recession/depression and don’t understand why you need more –you have a job darn it and we still need to make a profit!  

Is there a happy medium between pleasing your employees with amazing benefits and still making profit?  I’m sure there is for larger corporations but for smaller entrepreneurial companies it seems to pose a problem.  Most of my smaller under 200MM clients can’t provide the same benefits as a large corporation. Maybe we need to start looking at corporate environments that fit most of your requirements instead of all of your requirements? Maybe a bit of flexibility from both parties the old and the new will make it easier to meet in the middle? 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shut Up About Free Lunch

I have had the exact same conversation at least a hundred times now. Millennials want a lot - 

-they want more vacation time
-they want matched 401ks
-they want open communication
-they want free thinking 
-they want 'horizontal atmospheres', whatever that means
-they want a homey atmosphere at work
-they want 'work-life-balance'
*All within work week that's less than 40 hours

I have always said that work in moderation is the best kind of work. Pick something you love and try to make a living at it. I tell our intern that she may be at a desk for the next forty years so she might as well be comfortable with it. But these kids are asking for too much. They want the benefits of being retired without ever having to really work for any of it. 

All of the benefits can be achieved, but not without hard work. Disclosure. The word 'millennial' seems to have become more synonymous with lazy and less associated with the year in which someone was born. Which was of course the original intention. If you are numerically a millennial, you may not be one in attitude. There's a difference. 

Now go find something you love and make some money at it! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What Makes a Candidate Not Place-able

When trying to work with a search firm you may hear, “I can’t place you.” There are a variety of reasons why that may be true. Keep in mind that it’s not personal and you can still find a job but that specific recruiter can’t help you. Bottom line: the client is paying the recruiter a fee so they get exactly the person they want.

  • You are out of the recruiter’s specialized field
  • You want to move into a new job or industries – most of our clients want people straight out of their industry – they want the industry expert
  • You’ve job hopped too much. Clients don’t like to pay a fee for this type of background
  • You have no degree. In tech recruiting and some project manager jobs degrees don’t always matter but most of our clients want that basic skill
  • You have a very unusual background/skill sets that are niche 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tips from Bill "The Old School HR Guy"

Advice on how to manage Millennials from Bill M. the “Old School HR Guy”. Bill comes off super old school but then has some amazing nuggets of advice for the future generation. Seriously, this is some good advice -

1. Millennials want a defined career path. Hope for the future. Outline that for them and give them goals to meet.

2. If you are reviewing them praise them a lot and give only one (1) negative. Yup, limit yourself please. If you give too many negatives they dwell on that instead of the positive.

3. Make work a fun place – they want fun at work. Put in a pool table or a ping pong table for them to blow off some steam and let them socialize a bit. They like work to be social.

4. Speaking of being social, you need to plan employee activities outside of the office for them to do after work or at lunch. They love free lunch, drinks out and fun bonding activities. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A PSA on Professional Profile Pictures

1. No bathroom 'selfies'. Please, for the sake of my sanity and your integrity, do not post pictures of yourself in the bathroom on any social media sites. Or - as a rule of thumb - avoid taking pictures of yourself in the bathroom period.

2. No visible phones or cameras. It's unprofessional and, really, no one cares to see what model phone you have. It's quick and easy to ask someone to take a picture of you and the result will be received much better.

3. Ladies - NO cleavage. Sit up straight and wear a sensible and work-appropriate shirt in your picture. Unless you're being considered for a position at Hooters, employers do not need to see that. 

4. No props. Played football in high school? Great - ditch the ball in the picture. Caught a prize winning bass? Good for you we don't need to see it unless you are a boat captain. When it comes to posting on a platform for professionals, those sort of accomplishments do not need to be highlighted in your profile picture.

5. Look happy. People respond well to smiling. Companies want content and fulfilled people working for them. Find or take a picture with something you love - your kids, you pets, your partner - and crop them out. The picture will convey genuine happiness while maintaining professionalism.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hugely Annoying Words: A Cease and Desist

*Disclosure - I am not a master at grammar nor do I profess to be an exceptional writer and a detailed communicator at all times or even at all!  What I do propose is I’m a bit nit-picky about these words and phrases.

1. Literally – the use of literally drives me literally nuts. Adults and kids use it constantly and in the most annoying ways. Can we all try to quit, literally, using it?

2. Just say’in - It is the way to say something negative and get away with it because you were just say’in? How about owning up to what you said instead of just say’in

3. It’s all good! –When did you’re welcome turn into it’s all good? Are people embarrassed to just say you are welcome when someone says thank you – is it too formal?  It’s all good seems to me like they are being put out with whatever they did for you and by saying it’s all good makes them feel better. It’s like they really weren’t happy when they held that door open for you or possibly helped you with a project but no really, it’s all good – just say’in.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chapman People

I’m a graduate of Chapman University and have had the opportunity to volunteer for the Chapman MBA program as a mentor since 2010. It surprised me that I've been participating in the program for so long; the time has really gone by fast! I think one of the reasons the time has flown by is because of the amazing people I have met.  Ralphie (far left) calls all my mentees my “Chapman Children”. When my Chapman crew gets together it does feel like one big family and they have become a great part of both my professional and personal lives. Over the last 5 years, I've had the privilege of placing a few Chapman grads. I've also become good friends with a few of my mentees. They've showed me support when my husband battled cancer, they've hung out with my boys, counselled me in business matters, and most often, keep me current with new trends. It’s been fun to see babies born, people getting married and careers taking off! It’s really a true “win-win” situation. I teach them a few things from my years as a recruiter and I get their new and innovative perspective on business.

So I guess this post is to say thanks to Chapman University and all my Chapman people! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Simple Advice

I was recently asked to speak in my son’s classroom about what colleges want to see in students and what employers want when hiring. I did a bit of research on what colleges want and presented that. My main focus was what employers want for their employees because I hear daily what they do not want. Many of my clients are frustrated with their young hires. Oddly, I wrote about this last MarchBut I think I need to go over it again. So, young people heed this simple advice because it will help you get and hold on to a job. 

Ethics – Show up on time ready to work and get the work done.  Don’t mess around on your social media all day. You are there to work and you are getting paid for it. It’s unethical to accept a paycheck for no work. 

Initiative – Or, the ability to act on your own. Figure it out and get it done. Don’t use the excuse, “No one told me how to do it.”  If you do not know how to do something, ask and listen to the answer. 

Communication – Mostly importantly, good communication skills. Speak and write in complete sentences. Don’t write and speak in “text talk” or acronyms. Look at people when they are talking to you so they know you are listening.  

Good manners and social skills – Learn how to shake hands. Be polite and kind.  Do not cuss at work; it is not professional. Put your phone down when talking to a co-worker and engage in the conversation.  

I know you are reading this and thinking, really? You'd be surprised. I hear from my clients daily that these young workers are lacking these basic, simple skills. We might be in a digital age but unless you are programming all day, you need to learn how to engage with the people around you and do it well. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

RESUMES are NOT: Half-truths ● Lies ● Fabrications ● Deceits● Misrepresentations ● Inaccuracies

Resumes are marketing tools to use to find a job. They are supposed to highlight how your skills will benefit a potential employer. It’s okay to change the resume to highlight your real skills and move them around in order of importance for a particular employer. Crafting a well written resume is a good thing; lying on a resume is not. Keep in mind that everyone checks the internet and Googles your background. Most employers check Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.They will find what you are lying about.

Employers also do extensive background checks and will find any holes in your background that you have not disclosed. Employers may forgive a skipped job that only lasted a few months on a resume but they will rarely forgive that lack of disclosure on an employment application.   Treat applications like the legal documents they are.