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“I’ve been finding people jobs since 1973, and have helped thousands of candidates find great career opportunities. Let me help you too!”... Tony Beshara

"I've been finding people jobs since 1973, and have helped thousands of candidates find great career opportunities. Let me help you too!"... Tony Beshara

Resume Communication : A Recruiters Perspective

For those of you that follow this blog, you know that I speak about the resume formatting topic all too often. However, as a recruiting educator, it bears repeating given the impact a resume can have.

In any given day, I receive 30 resumes and I would bet that half of them do not describe clearly what the company did or what the candidate’s function was within the company.  Many people assume hiring authorities know what their company does or expect them to take the time to research it.

Resumes should clearly communicate the following:

What is the company’s function?

What is/was your job role within the company?

How did you practically contribute to the company’s success?

Given time is limited and there are approximately 31 million businesses in the United States alone; a clearly defined company function, job role, and job success rate are key for a recruitable resume.

By |2022-06-28T11:23:27-05:00June 26, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Why Companies Ask Your Previous Salary and How You Should Reply

We had a candidate this week who was asked what her salary was in her last job. She answered, “I don’t think that’s relevant” and then proceeded with silence. According to the employer, he was so taken by her response, he was not sure what to say. So, according to him after a long pause, he asked again but in a different way. “Look,” he said, “I need to know for the interviewing process how much you were making.”

The candidate previously read that in some states it’s illegal to ask how much a person has been earning. Therefore, she decided not to answer the question. The candidate was correct, in more than a dozen states including California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Washington it is illegal to ask previous salaries.  Even some cities, such as New York City and San Francisco they have passed similar laws.  However, given this employer was in Texas and no such law exist, the hiring authority had the right to inquiry about the candidates previous earnings.

The logic behind these laws is the assumption companies want to pay as small a salary as they can get away with. Apart of that assumption is if a candidate has had a low salary either now or most recently, the company will not pay a fair wage for the job they are hiring for. This logic is flawed.  The majority of companies are willing to pay whatever they estimated the position is worth. What companies are seeking by gaining salary history is to understand in the initial phase of the interviewing process if the salary associated with the position is in the “ballpark” of what the candidate has earned before.

Gathering salary information is not utilized to handicap the candidate’s salary negotiation leverage but to prevent wasting anyone’s time, mostly the companies, if salary expectations are out of range.

The employer, very politely, told the candidate that he did not see any sense in continuing the interview because he felt a simple question was asked, therefore a simple answer should be adequate.

In Texas, and most states, salary inquiries are reasonable for hiring authorities to ask. Here at Babich, we ask it of our candidates. Frankly, I will not work with a candidate that will not disclose with me what they have been earning. This kind of situation happens mostly with candidates that have been earning a low salary and want a substantial pay increase, based on the position, without prejudice.

While I can understand the candidate’s point of view, as well as the logic behind the laws stated above, the majority of reputable companies require a salary history.

Therefore, whether you agree with salary inquiries or not, it’s likely that you will be asked about your previous earnings.  Rather than be put on-guard, simply answer the question and find out if the employer is reputable in offering a fair pay, based on the market.  If employers are not reputable and utilize previous salaries as a leveraging tool to practice ‘unfair wages’, it’s best to know that upfront.  However, my experience, clients have a pre-determined salary for the positions to be filled and are interested in candidates’ skills and assets, not to cheat them on the salary they deserve.

By |2022-06-20T16:01:40-05:00June 20, 2022|Job Search Blog|

The Cost to Your Career and Reputation of Not Showing Up or Not Following Up

by : Rich Lavinski, CPA

 

The good news – Most people’s memories are relatively short. I know mine is.

The bad news – The notes and comments made about you into applicant tracking systems, social media systems and both formal and informal networks last for decades. So will the memory of you not showing up for a job or interview you accepted, you not following up on a promised call back or leaving a job without notice. If you are a consultant or vendor, it could be even worse.

We all know there is a severe labor shortage. Workers have a big advantage over hiring managers right now. Demographically, this may last for a very long time, but…not forever!

I have had the good fortune of being in the consulting, staffing, and recruiting business since 1981. My friend and business partner, Tony Beshara, one of North America’s top and best-known recruiters, has been at this since 1973. We have been around long enough to see markets like this one come and go. Trust me when I say that this high demand employee market will eventually go away. And, when it does, those who carelessly tarnished their professional reputation by acting much like ill-behaved mercenaries, will regret their bad disrespectful behavior.

When jobs become scarce, those who accepted positions and didn’t show up, ghosted hiring managers, or otherwise failed to extend common professional courtesies, will have “do not interview’ or “do not hire” attached to their records. That will be regretful. Databases and reputations live on forever, and the word about your disrespectful behavior will too.

I happen to work in Dallas/Ft Worth, which is a huge metropolitan area. But it is also the biggest small town you will ever see. Reputations, relationships, and networks take on a life of their own here. Those that do good are almost always rewarded because everyone knows about it and the blessings of good will and special consideration for opportunities will follow. Do bad, and what will seem like the entire world will know about it and ostracize you when you need a job most. That’s just the way it is, only made worse by the technology of applicant tracking systems and social media networks.

I recently read an article about a recruiter and an employer in Chicago who had asked the police to do a wellness check on a candidate who had accepted a job and even completed all the new employee on-boarding paperwork, including payroll, insurance, and employment agreement documents. He was supposed to start on a Monday, but he did not show up. Both the employer and recruiter tried multiple times to reach him and could not connect. There was simply no reply to their multiple calls, emails, and texts, so they became worried about him. The police showed up at his home after he had gone totally silent for several days to see if he was ok. He was highly embarrassed and annoyed. He could not understand why he was expected to tell anyone he changed his mind about the job or return the phone calls of the employer to whom he committed. Professional and classy…right??? No. Not so much.

So… How do you protect your reputation and optimize your future? It is easy.

Be transparent and candid.

If you are continuing to consider multiple options or have reservations about committing, simply say so. Your truth and candor will be refreshing and will differentiate you as a straight shooter rather than a weak coward who is afraid to share their genuine thoughts.

Do your best to do what you say you will do. All of us have a “say/do ratio.”

If yours is low, you will struggle throughout your career (and probably throughout your personal life). Not all of us can keep every promise we make. However, if most of your promises are un-kept, you will spend your career running up hill with a large box of rocks on your back. You will struggle keeping up, let alone getting ahead. People with no credibility rarely advance.

Do what is best for your company and for other people on your team.

Doing so will differentiate you and allow you to advance beyond your skills. Mercenaries, focused primarily on their self-interest, will almost always advance in the short-term. But in the long-term, they will flounder. And, unlike every other personal setback, mercenaries rarely recover from their reputation. No one feels good about giving them the benefit of a second chance. And few potential advocates, if any, can find it in their nature to trust them.

In conclusion, there may be some who feel making false promises, dodging professional courtesy, not showing up or following up is not that big of a deal. I am sorry this message (or maybe better defined as my rant) is not compelling enough to change your mind.

For most others, who are professional, responsible, and honorable, I could not encourage you more. Going the extra mile to do the right thing ALWAYS pays off. If not in this lifetime, your positive payback will come in eternity. I promise. Things always come back around.

Don’t be the employee, candidate, consultant, or vendor who takes advantage of the current hot demand and blows off people, companies, recruiters and hiring managers. Doing so, comes at a potential career price most will find devastating.

Richard A. Lavinski, CPA

By |2022-06-16T12:53:44-05:00June 16, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Relational Hiring Strategies : How to Engage with Good Candidates

I do not typically reference specific individuals in this blog, primarily because I interact with literally hundreds of people and it’s a little partial to mention anyone in particular.  However, when someone does something so out of the ordinary, it bears mentioning.

About six months ago I sent a candidate to one of my contacts who was hiring, Casey Clark.  Casey’s job opening turned out to be a great match for the candidate however, the timing was not.  Therefore, the candidate gracefully turned down the job offer.  Casey, and his team, while disappointed refused to give up on the candidate.  Over the next few months, Casey kept in touch with the candidate by taking him to lunches and even a Mavericks and a Stars game.

Recently, Casey contacted me to state the candidate had started working with his company that Monday.  The candidate was impressed with the persistence and the engaging spirit.  All of the energy that Casey, and his team, placed into building a relationship with the candidate paid off.

Now, I will admit, there may not be many candidates that such an effort is worth pursuing with multiple activities.  But, I guarantee you that there are very few hiring authorities who are keen enough to recognize the candidates in which additional effort and patience is required.

Relational and appealing hiring strategies, applied by Casey and his team, happen so seldom it bears mentioning.  So, if you are a hiring authority and interview a really good candidate and for one reason or another do not hire him/her, build an engaging relationship with them.

Good candidates are difficult to locate and perceptive hiring authorities are a rare commodity as well.  When the two meet great business relationships develop, benefiting both the candidates and the companies.

Best of luck to both Casey and the candidate!

By |2022-06-13T12:05:00-05:00June 13, 2022|Job Search Blog|

The Harm of Unconventional Job Titles

I receive at least 50 resumes a day, and of course I have to review all of them. I am absolutely blown away by the crazy job titles that I see people have.  The sad thing is most of them do not seem to think it’s any big deal. I was discussing this with our good friend Terry Sullivan, the founder of Buzzpro https://www.buzzpro.com/, which is a LinkedIn consulting company.  He was also blown away by the various titles that show up on people’s LinkedIn profiles.

In fact, here is a list of titles Terry recently received:

  • Chief Happiness Officer
  • Chief Imagination Officer
  • Chief Inspiration Officer
  • Chief People Officer
  • Director of Employee Engagement
  • EVP of Employee Engagement
  • Marketing Rock Star
  • Marketing Thought Leader
  • Software Superstar
  • VP of People Management

I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the point.

What people do not realize, or care to understand, is that real people are taking the time to review their resumes or LinkedIn profiles. Hiring authorities and recruiters are only scanning resumes or LinkedIn profiles, not reading it in full. If they do not immediately recognize exactly what you do or if they are confused by some cockamamie title, they will simply move on to the next one.

The usual excuse candidates give me for eccentric titles is, “well that’s my title…” in which my retort to that is, “but if people do not understand it they will move on to the next resume and if you really want the job you’ll ultimately be passed by.”

So, what I recommend candidates do, if they have unusual titles, is to adjust their job titles to a more conventional one in order for everyone to understand their position. The bottom line, if you want people to consider your resume or LinkedIn profile then give them the impression you are a professional.

Traditional titles, while unexciting, allow candidates to be easily discovered and clearly establishes their career history and occupational goals.

By |2022-06-06T16:36:23-05:00June 6, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Applying Proper Negotiations in Your Job Offers

As I’ve mentioned before over the last few months, we haven’t seen the market this crazy since 1999. Hiring authorities are having a terrible time finding good candidates and they have to pay more than they imagined. Many hiring authorities are simply shocked at how much they have to pay to get the talent they need and often times wind up getting into “bidding wars” over candidates.

Presently candidates have been stating to us comments such as:

  • “There hasn’t been a market like this in a long time and I’m going to take advantage of it in every way that I can. For years I feel like I’ve been taking advantage of by the companies that I’ve worked for so now, I’m going to get everything I can.”
  • “Now look, I’ve got an offer for $XXXXX from one organizatin, what can you do for me?”

Over the past few months, we’ve actually seen and experienced a number of bidding wars with candidates candidly admitting to our clients, as well as the other companies, they are interviewing with XYZ Company. Some candidates have even admitted in the interview that they were going to go to work for the highest bidder.Admittedly, candidates have not been in this much of an advantage position in a number of years. But, in spite of what anybody thinks, there is a downside to this type of thinking.

What brought this to mind was that, this week a candidate negotiated a salary for $30,000 more than what his position was probably worth. Our client was desperate, under a time gun, and fatigued; given they had been looking for four months and admittedly this was the best candidate they could find.

The warning of pressuring the employer’s hands in pay is there is a really good chance, especially when a candidate makes a mistake, which someone in management is going to poke someone else in management and say, “I told you we overpaid that guy/gal.”

The candidate could end up with a “target” on their back. People have to remember that the economy will not always be this way. There are always going to be ebbs and flows. A candidate might be able to negotiate a salary for a lot more than the position is worth, especially in this market. But, it will not always be this way and when a recession comes along and people have to get laid off, who do you think are the first ones eliminated? It is the people who took advantage (…or, perceived advantage) of the situation and were paid more than the job was worth.

Let me admit, I have never met a candidate that thought he/she was being “overpaid.” Most people have the idea that they ought to “get all they can, when they can.” I understand, most people think that their position is only “worth” whatever they can get. But, that simply is not true.

 

The moral of the story is, if you’re a job candidate, be cautious in your negotiations to not paint the target on your back.

 

By |2022-05-27T09:48:37-05:00May 21, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Accepting Job Opportunities with Humility

This Market is Nuts!

We haven’t seen it like this since 1999. The other day we sent a candidate who’s been earning in the $85,000-$95,000 range to three initial interviews on the same day. By 6 PM he had three offers, one from each company. We were unaware he had two previous offers in his pocket when sent to the three interviews we set up on his behalf.

Granted, without doubt, he was a really good candidate!  However, three offers on the same day from three different companies that only interviewed him once; that is wild! He ended up taking the offer he thought was best for him; and it was a great offer.  I’d love to tell you that we did that for every candidate that came to us, but you know that’s not true. It’s simply that there are more jobs than candidates and really good candidates are difficult to find.

In this market, there are critical lessons for candidates.

The basic lesson for all candidates in this type of economy is to Stay Humble.

Don’t let it go to your head.  Even though you may be able to get a number of interviews and even job offers, while this is great and you should take advantage of the opportunities, do not allow your pride to be overinflated.  As President Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid!” take it in stride.

Find a good job, work really hard, but please understand what goes up always comes down.

I have experienced eight recessions, and each time we have an expansion of the economy, lots of candidates get hired at ridiculous salaries for jobs that they are under-qualified for. Generally, they are hired because companies are making a lot of money and need help. However, if these candidates begin to read their own press clippingsand believe this will always be the case in landing a great job; until a recession comes along and they are unable to figure out why they were laid off.  Followed by multiple months of job searching till they locate their next position.

Remember the saying, high tide raises all boats.God bless us all to take advantage of a good economy however, when we are blessed we need to be sure that we accept it with gratitude and humility.

Humility allows you to believe in your God-given talents without thinking it was all because of you or all for you.  When blessed with a good economy with new opportunities, this comes with responsibilities to make the most of these openings available by being a blessing to the companies we work for and the communities we support.



 

By |2022-05-16T14:02:20-05:00May 15, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Universally, The Hardest Job Is?

This is one of the best jobs in most lives and on average lasts 50 years!

This position comes with:

  • No titles or promotions…just phases of the same job
  • No training programs to prepare for it however thousands of ‘ how to’  manuals but nobody really knows what it’s like until they do it
  • No committees…although it would be nice if there was to help  make decisions
  • Preparation for being unprepared makes a big difference
  • No expectations … it avoids disappointments
  • No ability to quit although you may run away  however wish you hadn’t
  • No PTO allowed, even when you are alone
  • No retirement benefits, not likely in this life
  • No 401k, maybe in the next life

The days and the nights are long, but the years are short and there are no peer reviews.  Anyone who has ‘been there’ knows better than to give advice.  Knowing exactly what to do will be a daily challenge.

If interested in this position be prepared to experience:

  • Anxiety and fear balanced by moments of joy held in the heart
  • Lack of awards, trophies or plaques
  • Frustrations where the only solace is prayer
  • Pain and joy all within the same hour
  • Unpredictability, the day you think you ‘got it down’… watch out

This position is a mission of the heart rather than a job of the mind and the body, although the beginning of it can be physically painful.  This position ends up being more of a calling than a job that you must ‘love’ even when you do not like it.  I mean really LOVE IT!

The hardest job in the world of course is . . . . being a Mom!

 

To all the moms of every type; Happy Mother’s Day! 

Thank You for Your Service.

 

By |2022-05-09T11:11:57-05:00May 8, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Present Assertively, Ask For the Job!

A candidate today goes to a third interview. He was doing great…until he reached the end of the interview and he says “I’m very interested. Where do we go from here?”

That statement, while valid, can come off to some hiring authorities as weak or passive.  A better or more assertive statement would have been, “This is a great opportunity for both of us …what do I need to do to get the job?”

Unfortunately, he was eliminated as a contender for the job.  Advice, do not ever leave an interview without asking or presenting assertively, “What do I need to do to get the job”.

Contrast the first candidate with our second candidate, who had been through six corporate interviews with one of our clients. The client was being extra cautious and put him through the ringer. It was one of the most important jobs in the company, traveling internationally, and establishing the company’s presence around the world. So, admittedly, it was understandable that they were being vigilant.

According to the Executive Vice President, it was going to come down to one last interview with the CEO. Before the final interview, I can’t really say that our candidate was ranked one, two or three. The direct hiring authority told me after the interview that he seemed a pretty distant second but . . . he was offered the job.

Here’s why. The candidate revealed to the CEO that he had spent six hours doing an online tutorial concerning the software products the company developed. He presented assertively to the CEO exactly how he would introduce it to the countries he was going to be responsible for.

That sealed the deal.

Being assertive in your presentation and language can seem like a little thing, but it can make a really big difference in letting the hiring authority know “I want the job”.

By |2022-04-25T11:07:25-05:00April 25, 2022|Job Search Blog|

Post-Covid Interviewing – Relating Established Process with Modern Day Reality

Thanks to the thousands of hiring authorities and companies who have taught me, I am passing along my wisdom regarding the interview process.  The majority of interview topics are relatively timeless and learned.  I remember the effects of at least eight recessions, events like the dot bomb and 9/11 changed the way we practiced business. Lately, what has mostly changed the hiring landscape is the Covid pandemic. My business partner, Rich Lavinski, derived the following concepts below regarding successful post-Covid interviewing practices.

  • Never schedule an interview for less than an hour
  • Account for Video Time Consumption
  • Prepare for Distractions & Interruptions
  • Establish Interview Plan with Effective Topic Coverages & Next Steps
  • Value Face-to-Face Interviewing prior to hiring

Post-Covid interviewing effects are still going on. Some of them may never change, and some of them, like work from home policies, may change over time.  My continued purpose is to offer practical advice and help companies and hiring managers interview more effectively; throughout all various market environments.

By |2022-04-19T09:46:54-05:00April 19, 2022|Job Search Blog|
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