Author Archives: Alana Briggs

Reflecting on our Growth

Our company hit a significant milestone recently. We’re all grown up, at age twenty one. Just like a 21-year-old, our company has gone through growth spurts, and perhaps sometimes an awkward stage. And like a person, we have grown with knowledge and experience every year.

Our 21st birthday is a sentimental one, full of celebration and reflection surrounding this coming of age milestone.

As we reflect, we’re proud that we’ve worked hard to develop solid, mature relationships because of trust and respect. Clients return for multiple placements and with each subsequent placement, we gain a better understanding of their unique culture fit.

We are so very thankful for so many loyal clients where we have developed a successful relationship that translates into placing all their new hires. When facilitating a candidate and company match, we always hope to get the fit right for our client but also help our candidates set off on a fulfilling career path. When we continue to work with these organizations year after year, we get to watch our former candidates progress within these organizations, which ends up being very fulfilling for us.

We often hear about all the great people our candidates were introduced to during the interviews we arrange; we love it when our clients showcase their employees, and ultimately their culture, during the interview process. We love it, even more, when we hear that our placements are now the employees interviewing new potential talent and helping to choose their next best hire.

We stay close to our clients and candidates, selfishly maybe – so we get to experience all these fulfilling moments… but also because as we mature, and our clients grow over time, our working relationship becomes easier. We become better at anticipating needs and recognizing good fit.

When we have a great interview at McNak, the team discusses where that person would fit best. Of course, we have open roles and immediate recruitment needs that we are working hard to fill… but, we also have the ability to imagine that person working for a specific client and fitting in great! We give that hiring manager a call, just in case they are thinking of growing the team anytime soon. This might be the same client who calls us in November to let us know they might be hiring in March, just so we can keep our eyes open in the meantime. Building on each year of partnership, with more knowledge, comes more success, and that is something to celebrate!

Just like a 21-year-old, we reflect on how far we’ve come, but also look forward to continuing to learn and grow. Saying this, maybe this milestone is more similar to a couple celebrating their 21st Anniversary? Our partnerships with clients are built on trust, growing from added knowledge and experiences year after year; we are better together, and it gets better with every year.

Sharing Our Celebrations

We’ve been celebrating at McNeill Nakamoto recently. Our company is receiving an award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals for Outstanding Small Business.

One of our thoughtful staff members thought it would be a fun idea to surprise one of our company founders with some festive decorations at our weekly staff meeting. What fun for all staff to enter the boardroom on a Monday morning and be greeted by balloons flowing across the long table.


After the meeting, we thought…what do we do with all these balloons? Remove them, and put in our private offices, away from our visitors? Pop all the balloons? (so sad!) or share the FUN?

We chose to share the fun.

Throughout the week, we were repeatedly asked by candidates and clients about the festive balloons that were spilling over the table, and onto chairs. Our visitors seemed to like being included in our “behind the scenes”.  We like having an extended McNak family.

True to our culture here at McNak, we’re professional, but we also like to add FUN. This is what McNak is known for. We’re a different company to work with and work for in a fast-paced and competitive industry. We make time to celebrate PEOPLE, and enjoy work, which in turn, translates to WOW experiences for candidates and clients.

It’s the McNak way.




Resume Blunders

STOPYour resume is often the first impression you can make at a company – make it a good one so hopefully it isn’t the ONLY impression you get to make. As a recruiter I have seen all sorts of resumes from various countries and the formats can change frequently.  Saying this, there are some resume blunders that no one can afford to make. Here are just a few of the resume mistakes I have seen.

  • An applicant submitted the resume with a cover letter addressed to another company for a very different role.
  • A woman included a photograph that was shoulders up, wearing a strapless shirt – it looked like she was baring it all!
  • No contact information was included. Talk about making it hard for someone to reach you!
  • A candidate described themselves as “detail oriented” but the resume was littered with careless errors.
  • A candidate listed her e-mail address as HOTMILF@*****.com

Avoid these blunders, and you will have a chance at making a good, professional first impression.

Alana Savage is a Recruitment Consultant at McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group, specializing in full-cycle recruitment and client relations within Investment and Financial Services.  Alana handles the entire recruitment process for her clients including identifying position requirements, developing job postings, sourcing and interviewing of candidates, checking references, negotiating job offers and onboarding support.

Your resume vs. Your LinkedIn Profile

iStock_000021621315LargeJobseekers often ask if a resume is still really necessary when we have a tool like LinkedIn at our fingertips.

Resumes are definitely not dead – with a few industry exceptions, you can’t get a job without one.  Saying this, the resume is not what gets someone hired anymore. Who you know, or get to know is very important, and your resume allows you to go through the formal HR process which is most often still required.

As for the immediate future of resumes, I think we’ll see some creative changes to the resume, streamlining the content so it is quicker to learn about someone’s professional background. I think the three page resume has already gone out but maybe the two page will follow and be replaced by some format that showcases your real personality rather than some cliche “interests” at the bottom. Video resumes are gaining attention, Q+A’s online, as well as assignments before a first interview. All of these processes are tools used to get to know the person and their abilities.

Looking long term, the future of resumes would probably depend on where technology goes. I could see resumes being changed by new format options, and perhaps being replaced altogether.

LinkedIn absolutely compliments a resume but I think if it was going to replace it, then it would be happening right now, and it doesn’t for most HR processes. You can really make an impact with LinkedIn – maintaining a professional and up to date profile is absolutely necessary.  But to really use LinkedIn to your advantage – create content so you set yourself apart from your peers and are viewed as a specialist in your field. You can use LinkedIn to connect with companies/people of interest to get that job interview, then to research hiring managers and team members before meeting them in person.

Consider both resumes and LinkedIn as essential career tools. Consider LinkedIn as your living resume.

Job Seeker Safety 101

wagner51's own temporary SIN card, scanned and...

Image via Wikipedia

So, you’ve uploaded your resume to various job board websites, created online social media profiles for all industry leaders to see, and applied to every opportunity that interests you.  You’ve managed to be accessible to almost all the employers out there.  “This must lead to a new job!”, you might think.  That might not be all it leads to….

Not only have you made your work history and educational background available to hiring managers, you’ve made your personal information readily available to scammers.  On the surface, it looks like you are just going through the common job search process.  Fact is, potential employers only really need your name and phone number or e-mail address to be able to contact you.  Providing them with your street address, apartment number, and worse – Social Insurance Number is just plain dangerous.

As a recruiter with McNeill Nakamoto, I view countless resumes online and a surprising number of them have personal information included that makes identity theft too easy for criminals posing as potential employers.  Scammers have been known to simply use the information you provided on your resume or online profile to access your banking information, make duplicate government documents, and much more.

There are more complex tactics that every job seeker should be aware of… Some con-artists pose as hiring managers and email applicants who submit their resumes to legitimate job postings.  By hacking into a hiring manager’s email account, they can respond to applicants – confirming that they have won the position, and then ask the unsuspecting candidates to provide personal information, government ID numbers and banking information.  Read This! Job Seeker Identities at Risk

Moral of the story – Think twice before sharing personal information online.

~ Alana Savage