Didn’t Hear Back About That Job? Here’s a Trick to See if It Got Filled

One of the common complaints by job seekers is not hearing if a job has been filled. In this hyper-legal sensitive world feedback is shrinking, and questions and complaints are growing. If you want to see if that job you thought you should have gotten was filled, use the internet to help you. It’s easy, well sometimes.

Here’s how.

Just go to LinkedIn and search for the company you were interested in. Once you click on their page you can see on the right side all the people who are on LinkedIn that work there and the various degrees of separation you are away from them.  Now, just click where it says “see all”.  This will bring up all the people who work at the company you had pegged to be your next employer.  I know, not rocket science just yet, but hang with me for a sec.  Now, in the search bar at the top left your your new screen, type the title of your job and ta-da.  You will see a list of people with that title at the company that you are checking in on.  More likely than not, if you click on these profiles, you will find one that has been in the position for a short time.  If so, sorry.  It’s time to move on.  If not, keep faith alive, you still have a shot!
I know you wanted the recruiter to call you back, or the hiring manager to tell you the truth.  But in case they don’t, this simple trick might give you a small piece of mind.

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Why Do So Many Unqualified People Apply? The Problem is That Crappy Job Description

This morning I had an interesting conversation with Steve Levy, @levyrecruits, about hiring athletes vs. position players and it got me thinking; why would an athlete be applicable to even be part of the conversation?  The answer: the job description.  Let’s be honest, most job descriptions suck.  As a job seeker you may not realize this, but they do.  Much like crappy resumes, most job descriptions include a summary, some bullet points, and some certifications that would be nice to have.   And just like the crappy resume, most people don’t see any problem with this.

The standard outline looks like this:

Reporting Relationship:  SVP of Whatever

Summary:  Blah Blah Blah

Accountabilities:

Bullet point

Bullet point

Bullet Point

Work Experience:

Bullet point

Bullet point

Bullet Point

EDU/Certifcations:

Bullet point

Bullet Point

 

Have you ever seen a job description that looks like that?  The answer, unfortunately, is we all have all to many times.   While this seems like a good enough, standard enough format, this description is missing tons of important information, like:

What is the purpose of this position?

What are the goals/objectives for this position to be successful?

How are these goals measured?

What competencies do you need to meet these goals?

What will it take to be successful in this position?

If you don’t have this information before you accept a position, you are setting yourself for the possibility of failure.  If the company hiring you doesn’t know the answers to these questions, they are setting themselves AND you up to fail.  If your goals and objectives aren’t tied to the company’s goals in a measureable way, how in the world are you going to be graded?  How in the world will you know your true impact?  And how in the world will you know your true value?

Now, how does this tie back to unqualified people applying to jobs and what in the world do athlete’s vs. position players have to do with this rant?  Simple.

If an accountability for an open position is to is ensure sales growth, then tons of people might think, ”I can do that!”

What if instead, it looked something like this:

Goal: Year over year revenue growth of 20%, EBIDTA growth from 20M to 30M, and closing 15% of pitches.

Top Competencies to Achieve Goal: Communication, Negotiation, Cold Calling Fortune 500 Companies, Networking, etc.

Do you see the difference?  I might be able to ensure sales growth, but I sure as hell can’t commit to goals that large.  No way do I have the experience required when it is spelled out like that.  Many athletes can ensure sales growth, but business development position players can speak to their past goals as they relate to the goals of this job description.

It’s not the candidates’ fault they apply to positions they aren’t qualified for, it’s ours.  If we want to eliminate the multitude of candidates who apply to positions they are not qualified for we need to be sure we write descriptions that show them clearly how they will be measured, the competencies required to meet those measures.  Once we do that, watch them self-select OUT of ever applying.

Adversity and Your Career

“Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”
– Lou Holtz
Adversity seems to me like a reality of life.  It hits us at home, it hits us in school, and it hits us at work.  Philosophers have made their mark but pointing out the effects of adversity and providing strategies to overcome them.  I read this quote by Lou Holtz and it reminded me of my own personal career adversity.  I was at rock bottom for sure; confidence shaken; felt pretty lost.  But guess what, I managed through it.

During troubled times, when adversity is knocking down your door, just remember when you look back at this you realize just how much stronger you are.  Many of us measure our self worth by our career.  I suggest measuring your self worth by the adversity you overcome in you career.

Keep your head up and keep plugging away.

The 5th of July

I love the 4th of July.  It is a day that most Americans can put aside politics and differences of opinion and just rejoice in the greatness that is America.  What no one talks much about what happened on the 5th of July.  Could you imagine if the founders of this great land just said, “OK, we’re good here,” and walked away?

The point as it relates to business, the job hunt, and life in general, is what you do the day after is just as important as what you did the day before.  Keep moving, keep working, keep striving for your goals.  The job hunt is tough.  You are going to get kicked around.  Recruiters are going to break their promise to call you back.  Hiring managers are going to tell you yes in person because they don’t have the guts to tell you no, and you will find out later it is a no when the HR person calls to clean up.  You will leave an interview and no you aced it, only to see some chump with less skills update their LinkedIn profile in the role you interviewed for.  You are going to hear no a hell of a lot more than you hear yes. Keep moving.  Keep fighting.  And keep believing.

The founders of this county got kicked around a lot too.  Think about the fight in George Washington as he sat in the freezing cold preparing to cross the Delaware River to DEFEAT Lord Cornwallis(Think the Patriot) at Trenton, NJ.  George Washington was celebrating his previous victories or wallowing in his previous defeats, he was focusing on the next day, which happened to be the turning point in the Revolutionary War.

Today you might hear no about the job of your dreams and yesterday you may have aced an interview and still lost out.  It may or may not matter.  You know what matters?  Tomorrow you have another day to get it done.  Tomorrow, you might have your chance to attack the British and win.  Our country was founded to give you the opportunity of tomorrow.  It is what you make of it.  Please, don’t waste the promise of tomorrow on what happened today.

Why I Love Recruiting – Mack Truck of Reality

I love recruiting for a ton of reasons.  When I first started thinking about this writing competition I thought about all the buzz words I was planning on using to impress the readers; strategically align, metrics, revenue generation, blah blah blah.  I was at lunch yesterday, and like a big Mack truck, the real reason I love recruiting hit me square between the eyes.

The scene: me, alone at subway, eating a sandwich, listening to talk radio on my iPhone, and catching up on all things Twitter.  I was the picture of a recruiter, sitting alone in the corner ignoring the world around me.  Pretty impressive, huh?

While tweeting furiously and trying to pick fights about how social recruiting is turning the recruiting business upside down (Which, by the way, I will argue to the death that it didn’t!), a lady walked up to me and said “Thank you”.  I didn’t actually hear her say it because I was in talk-radio land, but I read her lips clear as day she said it, thank you. I sat there, stunned, and took my ear buds out.

“Thanks for what?” I asked

Her answer, the Mack truck: “For getting me a job.” The person thanking me was actually someone who had just started the day before with our company., I felt like a schmuck for two reasons. First, I didn’t immediately recognize her because I was so deep in my own world. Second, she actually thought I had gotten her the job.  The times had taken a toll on her psyche. She was clearly ready to work for peanuts, desperate for an interview and willing to do what ever it took to get the job. She had been out of work since late last year, and had a previous stint of unemployment just before that. She was beaten down.  The one thing she forgot is that she is really good at what she does. 

I smiled at her and said “Jane(not her real name), you have it backwards. I didn’t get you this job. Sincerely, thank you for accepting a job with our company.  Thank you for sharing your talents and gifts with us, and thanks for making me look like a great recruiter.”  She was taken aback, but managed to eek out a smile while simultaneously trying to hold back a tear.

I can remember three separate times in my career now that I have had a similar situation. I can remember their names, their stories and the heavy hearts they carried with them to meet me. I can remember the job they got and the company they went to work for,and I can remember feeling like I had done something really good.

So Why I love recruiting? It’s simple. Every once in a while I get to do something really good with my talents.  I have gifts that no one else has; I am a blessed man.  I may not solve world hunger or end the deficit, but I have helped change the luck of at least three people. Those people, and those stories keep me grounded, keep me fighting and keep me looking at people, not resumes