Adding to the gloomy news, the report upped December’s initial job count of 74,000 by a mere 1,000 jobs. A revision to the November numbers did better, adding 33,000 to 241,000 previously reported.
After a decade or so in the recruiting and career services business, you may think you’ve seen it all. Then you get another résumé so bad that you wonder if you are being punked. Is it possible that someone is completely uninformed, or is this a poor attempt at humor? These candidates may be memorable. However, the candidate’s only hope is that the hiring manager is completely inept.
Here are six examples that I have encountered over the years.
1. Accounting Candidate: “Skilled at Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.”
As a recruiter, one of the main problems I face with prospective and actual clients is unrealistic expectations of who they can really hire. For a variety of reasons (which have been gone over many times before), there seems to be a sense of entitlement that the facts don’t bear out – “The very best of the best should beat a path to our door and be dying to work for us.”
I can think of one particularly relevant example of this.
You’ve probably heard that it is not a good idea to pick low hanging fruit. My question is:
Why the hell not?
I enjoy picking low hanging fruit. It’s within easy reach and requires minimal effort. I don’t enjoy dealing with rickety ladders and having to stretch just to grab one little apple. I want to fill my basket with as much good stuff as I can, and have time left over to enjoy the fruit of my labor (pun intended).
Is there something inherently suspect about things that come easily?
Having represented executives at every level of seniority in a wide range of industries over the past 17 years, I have witnessed many common mistakes that executives and their recruiters make when negotiating employment agreements, nearly all of which will influence the executive’s experience with a company.
In an effort to help guide executives and their recruiters through the negotiating process, I have compiled a baker’s dozen list of mistakes to avoid:
I worked a desk. So I know the temptation to go above, around or through a human resourcer. I was one of those too, so I know the ways they deal with a recruiter who does.
Almost no effort is required to sabotage a contingency-fee placement when you’re in an HR office. Job requisitions, fee schedules and hiring sources must be approved by someone. Checking references, determining starting salaries and extending offers must be done by someone. These and over 20 other hiring functions (from pre-employment physicals to relocation) invariably end up with the “gatekeepers” that you disregard, resent, and insult. This makes sabotaging a contingency-fee placement so simple that it can be accomplished without doing anything!
This report is devoted to making placements. If that means going above, around or through a personnel manager, so be it.
Just be sure you know how to do it right. Here’s how.
International search firm Heidrick & Struggles has given up plans to sell the company and will remain an independent public company. The firm also announced that CEO Kevin Kelly stepped down from the post he held for the last seven years, and has also resigned from the board of directors.
Kelly, an accomplished search professional, will return full-time to Heidrick’s executive search practice in a senior client service role.
Jory Marino, regional leader, Americas, will serve as interim CEO. Marino serves as vice chairman and a senior member of the firm’s Financial Services Practice. He joined the firm following its 1999 acquisition of Sullivan & Company, where he was a founding partner and senior managing director.
The company said a search committee will consider both internal and external candidates for the CEO position.
Most hiring organizations underestimate the amount of information one can obtain from reference checks if you both ask, and listen carefully. You’re looking not just for things that will rule out a candidate but for things that will help you make trade-offs among candidates, or will help ensure that the person you pick will be positioned to succeed within the organization. Though in some cases you might only conduct a reference check on your clear first choice, in other cases it makes sense to gather references for more than one finalist. Information from the reference check may elevate a finalist to “the” candidate and/or help you think from the start about how to support and develop this person appropriately.
Certainly, the reference check can reveal information that causes you to eliminate someone as a candidate. For example, you may find that the candidate has exaggerated information about employment history or education on his or her resume, or has a history of failing to collaborate effectively with coworkers.
If there ever was any doubt about what are the biggest threats to independent recruiters and to the profession as a whole, Jonathon Thom straightened that out this morning.
Although he didn’t quite put it this way, he might as well have quoted Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
In his hour-long keynote here opening the second day of the 2013 Fordyce Forum, Thom listed the “Top 5 Threats Facing Staffing and Recruiting.” These are, he said:
- Inability to Innovate.
- Losing Your competitive advantage.
- Globalization and Consolidation.
- Poor leadership and communication.
- Regulatory nightmares.
Of the five, four are squarely in the lap of owners and agency leaders. Declared, Thom, vice president, professional staffing,Express Employment Professionals, “The post recession economy requires a different set of skills than we needed in the past… We need to be very fluid… We have to innovate and do a better job of communicating what we do not only with the clients we sell to, and the candidates, but with our own people.
“A very big piece of our future depends on changing and adapting.”