Tag Archives: hiring

Don’t make these common resume mistakes

Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, too many pages long…recruiters have seen many resume mistakes. Make sure your resume is polished and ready so you can get that interview! Hiring Managers have been known to spend only 6 seconds looking at your resume. Not getting any call backs from your job applications and resume submissions? Perhaps it is time to review your resume, and make sure it is clear and concise.

Here is a short video on 9 common mistakes people make on their resumes.

video credit: Business Insider

The 5 Best Cultural Fit Scenes from Hollywood

Hollywood sign

File this one under:
“Oh, I wish I had thought of this blog topic myself!”

This post resonates deeply with me. I’ve always been a film fan, and Cultural Fit is what we live and breathe on over here at McNak.

HR expert Kris Dunn writes a compelling post about hiring for cultural fit on Fistful of Talent. Enjoy the 5 video clips accompanying his post. Keep in mind that some are NSFW.

So many recruitment agencies…who should we pick?

google screen grab

Do you have a difficult hire? Are you getting too many applications for each position, and you don’t have time to sort through them? Are you not getting any applicants, or any good ones? There are many reasons to use a recruitment agency to help you attract top talent. However, how do you select an agency to work with?   Here are some quick tips on how to select the best agency for you.

Find the specialists in your area

Do a search for agencies in your area that specialize in the field(s) that you are recruiting for. Make a list of all the potential agencies, and give them a call. Have some tough questions ready. Be judging them from the first call; Do you get through to someone who can help right away? How long does it take for them to return your call? How well do they know your industry, or the roles you are recruiting for? How much, and what type of experience does the agency or its recruiters have?

Do your core values or ethics align?

Remember who you choose to represent you will be an extension of your brand. Ask the staffing agency what is important to them. Do they belong to ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services)? This is not a mandatory organization for agencies, so it is a good sign if they belong. Check out the ACESS code of ethics. Take the time to check out the agency’s website, social media, and blogging presence (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.).

Do they set realistic expectations?

Do they promise they can produce the next Steve Jobs in less than 24 hours? Make sure they are setting realistic expectations, and not just telling you what you want to hear to get your business. Your agency should be taking a consultative approach, and take the time to understand the role and your corporate culture. This is more than reading the job description, and sending you twenty resumes that seem to fit.

Fees and Guarantees

Yes, this is the last thing you should be looking at, but the fee and guarantee discussion should be based on a mutually beneficial partnership. Look for agencies that are willing to negotiate depending on the role, volume, relationship, exclusivity, and size of your company. If you are a smaller organization, ask if they are willing to take payment installments. Unless you do retained or executive search, you will not have to pay anything until they successfully find a candidate you hire. Good agencies understand that as your business grows so will theirs, and with this in mind, your agency should be willing to help you in any way they can.

There are a lot of recruitment agencies out there, but it is up to you to find the good ones. Look for ones that work best with your organization, understands your cultural fit, and is willing to help your organization grow.

Christopher McCann, P.Geo., is the Vice President of Client Services for McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group. Chris supports the Vancouver operations leading the business development initiatives, client management team, and assists with the execution of the talent and recruitment search process.

Hiring right, the first time.

People responsible for hiring often find themselves hiring in a panic. A vacancy occurs, a job description and employment ad are hastily pulled together and the HR department starts recruiting.

Unfortunately, they have missed the point. It is not just about filling the void with a qualified individual; it is about determining exactly what your company needs to be great and finding someone who will go above and beyond that. A great employee is as much about fit as it is about skill.

True, companies will usually spend more time finding the right person for senior vacancies, but the same level of attention needs to be used for all positions, from entry level and administrative to marketing and customer service.

“Finding someone who fits your corporate culture is, in some ways, more important than finding someone with the right skill set.”
~ Sarah McNeill

It’s in the best interests of every company to hire the greatest person for the position; the flip side is the tremendous cost of hiring the wrong person. There are the obvious costs of re-advertising and re-interviewing, but that isn’t all.

You’ve invested time in orientation and training for the new employee, not to mention the time spent recruiting. If you have to let that person go, that time and money have just walked out the door. Making the wrong hiring decision affects everyone in the company; it reduces productivity, and causes internal turmoil.

If you hire the right people, they can hit the ground running. Bringing them on is virtually seamless. Not only do they take less time to train, but they bring passion for their new job.

Etiquette 101 for Hiring Managers

This article appeared as part of Dennis Wolff’s quarterly column in the HR supplement of Business In Vancouver (October  26 – November 1, 2010; issue 1096). To view the print version, please click here.

How applicants’ experiences during the hiring process have a substantial impact on the employer’s brand in the candidate community

In my role as a recruiter, I spend a lot of time in interview situations. Like most hiring managers, I sure have my share of anecdotes when it comes to the topic of etiquette. There are numerous examples of applicants blowing their chances by ignoring the simplest rules of first impressions, ranging from being late to casually bringing along a cup of coffee to the job interview. However, basic etiquette (or the lack thereof) is not only a pet peeve for employers but also a hot topic in the candidate community. When asking job seekers about their experience applying for jobs, many are disillusioned and frustrated after having had poor experiences. The recessionary climate has put some hiring managers in a deceivingly comfortable spot where opportunities are scarce and applicants are plentiful. Qualified candidates complain about companies not responding to their applications, about poor interview experiences or a breakdown in communication after having gone through a formal interviewing process with a company.

What many employers seem to forget is that the interviewing and hiring process speaks volumes of the company’s brand as an employer. Smart companies know how important it is to treat every applicant respectfully and to offer an interviewing experience that reflects the company’s brand and values. It’s not just about courting the best candidates; job interviews can still be tough, intense situations. In fact, high potential applicants will expect a tough interview process which enables them to display their accomplishments and abilities which will make them stand out from the pack. A high performing, no-nonsense producer will want to feel reassured that the company they are interviewing with shares their sense of professionalism, respect and effectiveness. Here are a few ideas how your company can improve their brand in the candidate community:

  1. Set expectations properly: One of the major frustrations applicants experience is the complete lack of communication after an initial application has been submitted. If you are not planning on contacting every single applicant, at the very least include a disclaimer in the job posting indicating that only qualified applicants will be contacted. Ideally, you will also include a specific date by which an applicant can expect a response. At least they will know to move on if they haven’t heard anything by then.
  2. Communicate effectively: Most companies have applicant tracking or HRI Systems in place that allow them to properly track applications and to send out personalised emails to large groups of recipients. Why not set up an automated response thanking applicants for submitting their resumes and advising them of what they can expect moving forward? Even if your company doesn’t have a proper system in place, a basic email client has the ability to send automated responses or customised emails.
  3. Consider some advice from the dating world: As with any first date, a first impression is a lasting impression. When conducting the first interview, remember the basics: Be polite, be respectful, and be on time. Be an active listener but also be prepared to give an elevator pitch as to what an employee can expect from your firm. As the labour market improves, top candidates end up with multiple job offers and you want to make sure that your company is at the top of their list.
  4. Nothing trumps professionalism: I’ve heard numerous hiring managers say that they don’t really need to “interview” a candidate. They simply “know” when they see the right fit. While this may be true, the applicant is left with a disappointing experience. A strong candidate will want more from an interview than just a pleasant conversation. They want to feel that the hiring manager has a keen interest in their work history and previous accomplishments. In the worst case, a top candidate may not want to proceed after a weak interview experience as they presume it is a reflection of the company’s lack of focus on performance.
  5. Be smart when releasing applicants: At the end of the day you can only hire one person per job. It’s very tempting to focus entirely on that new hire. Sadly, taking down the job posting marks the end of the hiring process for most companies. Making an effort to not leave other applicants in the dark is more than just good karma: Those applicants who have been interviewed should receive personal feedback. Be constructive and explain your hiring decision. Thank them for their time and interest and encourage them to keep in touch should you feel that they may be of interest for future openings. Sending out an email to the other applicants who could not be interviewed offers a great opportunity for employer branding. By advising them that a hiring decision has been made and thanking them for their interest in your company, you are sending a clear message that speaks volumes of your professionalism and thoroughness not only during the recruitment process but also in how your company conducts its business.

As with any experience in an open market, negative news travels exponentially faster than positive. In a time when people can vent publicly about a negative experience, disgruntled job seekers can leverage the powerful world of social media networks by openly commenting on their experience with a particular company and an employer brand can suffer substantial damage. With every new job your company recruits for, your brand is put to the test over and over again. A lot can be gained from offering a great hiring experience. Much more can be lost by having a particularly bad one. What is the impression you think your organization is leaving in the candidate community?

~ Dennis Wolff