Category Archives for "Candidate Resources"

Unemployed Executives Feel Ignored When Out of Work

why do unemployed executives feel ignored
unemployed executives feel ignored when out of work

Unemployed Executives Feel Ignored

The question, "Why Unemployed Executives Feel Ignored when Out of a Job" there are several factors involved in why executives feel ignored when out of work and unemployed.  I strictly do retained search and my recruitment process, per my agreement with the client, is to deliver a high impact "A Player".

Many highly qualified unemployed executives feel ignored who are CXO/SVP levels may still be on payroll via Board change or M&A.  Others those who unfortunately, are "not engaged" in some way within a few months, then each month that passes by becomes more difficult to place that person.  In other words, we know that why executives feel ignored when unemployed is they want out of that feeling that perhaps they are not doing enough of something to keep him/her self "in the game".

Here is Why Unemployed Executives Feel Anxious

1. If not doing a consulting gig of some kind, get off the golf course or get off the couch and do something.  The fact that you have been an executive means you have real value. Stop asking why some highly qualified unemployed executives feel ignored when out of work by not allowing yourself to become mentally or physically stale by not consulting.

2. The single biggest reason why some highly qualified unemployed executives feel ignored is this: do NOT post your resume to job boards or Linkedin profile. This over saturation makes you appear desperate and/or unemployed for reasons unknown.

3. PLEASE take the time to actually IMPROVE your Linkedin profile. It surprise me those who have their summary limited, in a third person mode, or fail to utilize all 50 skills. Also attach PowerPoints, PDFs, videos; list any honors and publications, ask for recommendations, add projects (case studies) that showcase your expertise and accomplishments.

4. Another reason why some highly qualified unemployed executives feel ignored is they fail to make sure you not only are in Linkedin Groups, but get involved by posing questions, commenting - even better write an article and post in group discussions.

5. Seek our relevant blogs in your industry and function, join, and start blogging. Each article you write gets much easier the next time and take less time to write. Always create a subject in the form of a question.

6. Network, network, network. For executives, that NEVER means sending your resume via job application to HR. It means check out local Networking and TweetUps events.

7. Finally the recruiter factor in why some highly qualified unemployed executives feel ignored.  NEVER start an initial conversation or email with a retained recruiter with "do you have any openings" or "can you find me a job".  Just because a retained recruiter does not have a search ideal for you at the moment, bear in mind you are NOW on their RADAR.

Unemployed Executives Can't Sit on the Sidelines

You don't have to be THAT PERSON that asked him/her self why some highly qualified unemployed executives feel ignored when out of work. Hopefully you have learned a few modern tips and tricks. You are an achiever, a success factor, a mover, a shaker.

Interview Thank You Letter Email or Snail Mail?

Interview Thank You Letter Email or Snail Mail?

Interview Thank You Letter

In this day of hyper electronic communication interview thank you letter by email can often be overlooked and deleted.  t’s easy for recruiters and Hiring Managers to get lost in the maze. While I have nothing against emails, texts, tweets, etc., etc.,

I tend to sometimes forget the advantage of personal touch of an interview thank you letter sent via snail mail, right to the interviewers door. Email lacks personality and effort.

It seems to me that the personal touch of snail mail is becoming the way of the dinosaur. But don’t discount the impact that a hand written interview thank-you letter can have on or influence a situation like an interview.

Interview Thank You Letter via Snail Mail Works

I know a Human Resource Manager with a renewable energy power provider who had set up an interview with three qualified people for a VP level position in her company. All three people interviewed with the CEO of the company.  All three did very well.It was going to be a tough decision for the CEO. Two of the candidates sent very appropriate emails to the CEO thanking him for his time and stating their intentions to want to join the company.

Those emails were sent the day after the interviews. The third candidate went home and wrote a hand written interview thank you letter on professional looking stationary and sent it out snail mail that day. It also arrived the next day.

Snail Mail is not Thrown Away as Often as Email is Deleted for Interview Thank You Letter

Well, as it happened, this CEO was very impressed by the actual hand written letter and was a big believer in the snail mail personal touch. Funny thing is the HR Manager told me she thought it was “old school” and out of touch.

How wrong she was. Suffice to say the third candidate got the offer and accepted the position. Moral of the story for candidates and recruiters: don’t be so involved in the age of electronic communication as to forget that people still connect with you on a personal level. This “personal touch” using snail mail tells someone about your customer relationships and your service delivery philosophy, especially in the interview thank-you letter.

Candidate Video Interviews the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Candidate Video Interviews - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

candidate video interviews the good the bad and the ugly

Candidate video interviews in recruiting creates manageable content, and with cloud services the benefit of being able to edit, store, and convert to the appropriate information format for evaluating candidates or future consideration of a new opening.  The three types of candidate video interviews are:

  1. One-Way Video Interview: whereby the recruiter posts questions in the form of yes/no, multiple choice, or requiring a direct reply and the candidate can answer the questions.  Most often, the candidate can review the questions and rehearse/formulate their answers in practice sessions.  These are always recorded.
  2. Two-Way Video Interview: whereby there is a live interaction between the recruiter and the candidate and is often recorded.
  3. Group Video Interview:  whereby the candidate faces an interview panel and the entire interview is recorded.

Candidate Video Interviews can be Useful or Worthless

The one-way type is very basic and for lower level positions where a body or limited skills and experiences may be all that is required, this method certainly enables a pre-screening of dozens of applicants.  In the one-way video interview in recruiting, there is no live interaction between the recruiter/interviewer and the candidate/interviewee.  While many believe the one way video interview offers unique advantage of enabling the candidate to likely provide honest answers without panicking or being under undue stress, this is folly. 

The problem is not dishonesty, rather skewered embellishments.  Secondly while the idea is that by not seeing the candidate first, this preempts some type of discrimination or bias, those subconscious biases will come into play once the recruiter views the recorded video interview.  Finally, a major disadvantage is that the recruiter cannot challenge the candidate’s answers nor visually see eye/mouth/facial and body movements and tonal differentiation in the challenges that recruiters trained in behavioral interviewing techniques could make a proper assessment of.

The two-way candidate video interviews in recruiting has the advantage of the recruiter witnessing changes in body movements/expressions (hands, eyes, mouth, sweating) and tonal changes. The ability to challenge answers and delve deeper into particular areas of the interview is a huge benefit over one-way interviews.  There are two disadvantages:  one is the limited time that recruiters have  to conduct an X number of two-way video interviews each week; the second is more difficult to measure as it is preferable to have more than one interviewer whose style, technical or behavioral assessment skills may be better suited for certain types of questions and interaction.

The group candidate video interviews in recruiting is the most difficult to schedule and if not planned properly can result in a disastrous outcome.  A group video interview is similar to a panel interview in-person.  In my 25 years in executive search, sadly 70% of all panel interviews are poorly structured and result in sometimes unfair evaluations.

Time  and time again I had clients fail to collaborate to give me the foundation and structure of the panel interview and the personalities involved leaving me in the sad situation of not being able to fully prepare the candidate for the panel interview or relying solely upon the client’s group decision about which candidate to hire.  

Properly Plan the Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

It took me several years to come up with the right solution.  Before a candidate is presented on the shortlist, we have already conducted psychometric testing and weighted against the team profile the candidate hired will be working with, having surveyed those internal customers at the beginning of the search.  By formulating a composite team profile which measures the cultural values, relational communications skills, and decision-making traits, we are certain the candidates who best fit the team are presented.

The added benefit is because we know the individual client members traits, as recruiters we are in a unique position to advise on the structure and responsibilities of the individual panel members as well as the overall group concerning candidate video interviews.  What we find is that the panel video job interview in recruiting structures are often hastily organized or dominated by one person.  A senior recruiter’s expert advice in group/panel interviews is greatly appreciated by clients.

Solutions for Effective Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

The benefits and disadvantages of the candidate video interviews in recruiting that are outlined above do showcase that these are evolving tools which confer a company or business entity with the advantages of cost-efficiency and excellent time management which in turn reduce the losses (and some overhead costs) thereby optimizing the overall value of the company.   

Retained search firm are diligent in not just unmasking and assessing the best candidates, but they present a shortlist of candidates with complete dossiers including analysis of skills/expertise, relevant accomplishments and problem solving methods, documented contacts and relationships, behavioral and team fit analysis completed, social media reputation report and comprehensive background checks. This means that the in-person interviews are more forward-looking rather than wasting time to attain information a contingency recruiter failed to acquire. 

Since the Hiring Manager now knows everything about the selected candidates presented, the lead recruiter develops a short set of hypothetical and situational questions for those candidates.  These are designed to bear witness the candidates’ reasoning and thought processing skills in how they would handle a known situation or a possible issue/trend.  Those finalists’ candidate video interviews and assessments are delivered to the client.  

This also best prepares the Hiring Team to properly structure a group panel video interview for recruiting when scheduling conflicts and time differences preclude a 1st round of face-to-face interviews.   In this digital age, new challenges in utilizing candidate video interviews in recruiting will arise, but this will never eliminate the need and human touch of forward-looking face-to-face interviews.

Job Boards Impending Death – Recruiting Insights

job boards impending death
job boards impending death

Job Boards Impending Death

From an executive recruiting standpoint, job boards impeding death is apparent.  Job boards have always been a non-issue. The voluminous lists of pedestrian “McJobs” offered on job boards are targeted towards “active” job seekers – by and large all “C players” that make up 55% of the workforce and could easily be replaced by automation, software, Ai, or robotics. While they can actively show up and do a job, they add no real value in terms of contributing to or developing IP (intellectual property), fixing or resolving key issues or revenue rainmaking.  In essence what stockholders call overhead.  

To further our assumption, there is empirical evidence that job boards impending death is near suggest they have lost value even for active job seekers, some of the primary reasons being:

  1. Companies using job boards rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) or HRIS systems to house, sort, and store applicants and employee records.  This means that your resume must be optimized for keywords, skills, and experience to get past the 3-5 second look to be noticed. 
  2. Because of the sheer volume of responses most companies receive, many will only look at the top handful of qualified results, so active job seekers are competing with hundreds, or even thousands of other people for the same job.
  3. A job board submission rarely goes directly to the decision maker or Hiring Manager.  You first must get through the Human Resources or corporate recruiter gauntlet - many of these are simply not qualified to screen and assess for key roles.  
  4. Quality positions are just not posted on job boards.  In fact estimates are that as much as 80 % of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking.  Referrals on the other hand, make up 40% of new hires. 

Who or What Caused Job Boards Impending Death?

Suspect number one: Social Media

One of the key trends that is driving job-seeking talent away from job boards (besides the sheer volume of dreck) is the rise of social media networking. With the right research and approach, a job-seeker can generally locate and connect directly with the people and companies they want to pursue on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.  Job boards impending death and probably a big bonus for job seekers everywhere – but in terms of executive recruitment, it’s a non-issue as the passive candidates we seek won’t be lurking about in either locale.

Suspect number two: the companies themselves

Of the thousands of job boards that are out there – from Monster, Indeed and Career Builder to LinkedIn and all the niche sites dedicated to specific industries – there is not one that successfully connects with passive candidates. These A-players, who make up approximately 14% of the workforce, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, and don’t ever use job boards or post their resume’s online, even if they are searching for opportunities. Of that 14%, only 15% don’t want to move at all, and almost half of them are open to dialogue with a recruiter.

There are a few boards that claim to target passive candidates, but they levy an additional cost on top of your paid recruitment campaign, and still the resulting applicants are (most often) not ideal: they are, in fact, active job seekers and not passive candidates. They now push the idea that new algorithms and predictive data based on utilizing artificial intelligence means they can attract and better match applicants to jobs, yet these are still targeted to those who overwhelmingly use job boards - active job seekers.  So basically, by buying into this thinly veiled cash-grab and stalling job boards impending death, you are wasting valuable time and money when you should be focusing on more traditional recruitment techniques such as networking and cold-calling to get the results you need.

Where are all the A-players?

The top players, known as "A players" who exist at every level from CEO to janitor, the candidates we actively seek out for recruitment, make up only about 14% of the workforce. They are rarely, if ever, unemployed, they are never actively looking for a job, they don’t post their resume online and they don’t ever use job boards – and for good reason.

For the most part, the job boards don’t do a good job of attracting A-listers. Jobs posted on job boards focus solely on responsibilities, skills required and corporate culture selling points. This amounts to mostly boring descriptions of positions that mention nothing about the actual opportunity in terms of learning or career growth. Further proof in the death of the job board is their postings also rarely mention “performance objectives.” They rarely, if ever, describe the “team culture,” preferring to use ambiguous terms like “corporate culture,” or “vision,” creating a huge disconnect between our A-players and any available positions.

Team culture is also important, but you’ll never see anything about that on a job board. Individual work groups are unique and have their own “team culture.” A team culture is defined according to the personalities and behavioral patterns of each individual team member, as well as how they all work together. The only way to determine whether a candidate will fit with a team culture is through personal connection – something you just won’t get with a job board.

When recruiting A-players, you must present them with opportunities that are significant. This could be reflected in title, objectives, location, an attractive company size, growth, and product/service market share, but at least one of these things must be present to assure that you are piquing their interest enough to even have a shot.  As for how and where to find the A-players, if you take away the online and the bulk of social media, traditional recruitment methods always win the day.

Numbers never lie

If you’re looking for proof that job boards impending death is near, look no further than your own ROI. Numbers never lie. For every job board you invested in over the course of a year, how many hires occurred? How much did each hire cost you? And most importantly, what was the level of the positions you placed from a job board candidate? Were there any critical roles filled? What is the retention rate of those hired from a job board?  Most evident is just to take a at Indeed, a job aggregator service and you will find that the same jobs are not only posted by the actual employer / company, but also by numerous contingency search firms.  Its juts recycling the same "C players" - that 55% of the workforce that are bodies and will show up to work to be paid, but contribute nothing to the bottom line.  Once you start crunching the numbers, the evidence will probably give you a clear picture of the unfortunate, unvarnished truth.

Personal connections always yield the best results

Retained executive search companies have always relied on interpersonal and industry relationships to bring about successful results. As anybody in this niche knows, the discovery of most A-players come from actual conversations that bring forth referrals. As much as technology has infiltrated our society, our industry, and the way the world around us turns, it is still the tried-and-true grass-roots efforts that win the day.

The verdict on Job Boards Impending Death

In closing, let’s consider the advantages that a niche, retained executive search consultant brings to the table:  If using a retained executive search professional, the hiring manager doesn’t end up with an inbox full of “flypaper” resume’s. They instead receive a shortlist of 2-4 “finalists” who not only meet the performance objectives of the position, but are truly A-players who will produce 8-10 times more value than B-players.

This proves that the result is well worth the placement fee and time investment, leading us to conclude with confidence that this is a far more valuable, viable and cost-effective solution over the waste in the death off the job board.

job boards impending death loom


NextGen: your partner in innovation and executive leadership

NextGen is a global executive search company with a focus on AI and robotics, IoT and wireless, medical devices and electronic health records, and power systems for aerospace and industrial markets.  With more than three decades of experience recruiting for leadership and key contributor positions. If you are interested in finding out more about who we are and what we do, contact us today.

Job References You Cannot Control Wall Street Journal interview

job references you cannot control
job references you cannot control wall street journal

Job References You Cannot Control
Wall Street Journal Interview

There are job references you cannot control. Job interviewees, beware: Your prospective boss may have called your job references before you walk through the door — and they may not be the contacts you provided.

Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn Corp. and Jobster Inc. are making it easier for employers to get in touch with people who have worked with job candidates in the past or know them personally.

Recruiters say they use such sites — where people create online profiles and then link to professional colleagues who are also members — to find mutual connections they can hit up for information and professional references. Many hiring managers say they even check to see if they have mutual connections with a candidate on Facebook and MySpace, the popular social-networking sites.

Trends are Changing for Job References 

Traditionally, recruiters call professional references after a thorough face-to-face interview. The contacts are provided by the job seekers and are typically people who are likely to provide a positive recommendation.  But for a growing number of job seekers (LinkedIn now has 14.8 million members), networking sites have “completely changed everything,” says Dennis Smith, senior recruiting manager at T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG.

Now, recruiters can access entire personal networks, says Mr. Smith, who checks Facebook, LinkedIn and Jobster for mutual connections as job references before he interviews a candidate in person.

job references you cannot control

Checking the Job References List

Because online contact lists are typically viewable right on members’ profile pages, hiring managers can quickly identify relevant contacts and confidentially message these people through the networking site. Such professional references checking exposes job seekers to certain risks. Many site users routinely connect online to people they have only a glancing relationship with — say, someone who simply works at the same company — and there is no guarantee that the professional references will be favorable.

Social and professional networking sites are adding features that make it easier for recruiters to learn more about prospective job candidates, their connections, and professional references. Jobster launched a feature that allows job seekers to invite colleagues to write recommendations online that would be visible to recruiters.

Recruiting experts say that job seekers should be careful about choosing people to connect with on networking sites. This month, Charles Moore, managing partner at Abba Wireless / NextGen Global Executive Search, used LinkedIn and MySpace to contact two customers and a former co-worker of a job candidate who was interviewing for a director-of-sales position at a large company.  Mr. Moore says he typically finds contacts and professional references online before sending a candidate to a client.

”What I found out through my own job references checks is that the person was tough to work with and get along with,” says Mr. Moore. He didn’t pass on the candidate to his client.

Even top brass can be subject to thorough professional references checks. Dan Nye, chief executive officer at LinkedIn, says that the company did 23 professional references checks on him without his knowledge before calling him in for a face-to-face interview with former CEO Reid Hoffman. Mr. Nye says he wasn’t bothered by the company’s digging.