Tag Archives: touchpoints

Resolution Add-on

27 Dec

Time to make your list of resolutions.  Oh, yes it is.  The obvious are there AGAIN – eliminate your debt, lose a few LBs, plan your day better, implement your plan efficiently.  Then there is always the second tier of should dos and nice to-dos.  I wanted to go ahead and point out another realm of resolution – the advanced realm of – NOT EVEN AWARE OF THESE SOFT SKILLS I POSSESS THAT I WILL CHANGE in 2011.

This is the type of year-end post that spews the leftover crumbs of the oft asked, if not daily, question, “Andy, what do you think about this?”

Although my wife and kids never recognize me for this attribute, I listen too well.  I hear the subtleties in your presentation.  In the spirit of the holiday season, sorry but I must ask – Do You Hear What I Hear?

I love the discussions with job seekers that are all about what they said, what the interviewer said, and so on.  As much as I enjoy this back and forth with a job seeker, they mostly dislike the exercise.  BUT – the point here is to examine what you are saying, what you are projecting and what they are inferring. Controlling the interviewer’s inference is critical and you are responsible for their interpretation.

Let’s talk the obvious ones first.  My personal general favorite – flinching.  Next, the word – “probably.”  The phrases – “pretty much” and “I think so.”  I think subtleties cost you.  If you aren’t getting the offers to jobs you want where the chemistry is good, you are projecting tentativeness.  Tentativeness does not begat reassurance.  Reassurance is what you are closing the I want to work here deal with – we need the resolute “I can do it, I know I can because I have done it before, I own my desk” mentality.  They brought you in so your skills are a given, chemistry gets you to the next round, reassurance solidifies employment.

What prompted this post was my recent exchange with a candidate and some things I look forward to pointing out to him.  I had trouble reaching this candidate and he had trouble reaching me.  It was frustrating for both of us.  Believe me it pisses me off when I can’t reach people but I don’t project it (I bitch before the beep and after the hangup.)  It clearly annoyed this guy.  Did he say the words?  No.  He never said, “Andy, I am trying to reach you and it pisses me off I can’t.”  It was the lack of self-control subtlety in his voice.  Do you realize what you sound like?  Do you?   Think it but don’t say it.  Think it but don’t show it.

As much as I appreciated his urgency in reaching me (refreshing), I didn’t appreciate the tone  and actually considered not calling him back because of it.  I write this because his entitlement refrain in the form of terse voicemail tidbits was not some calculated tactic nor was it compelling.  Seething with entitlement, flailing job search guy lacks self-awareness.  Seething with entitlement, flailing job search guy is not owning his search – not practicing a self-control he must possess.  No wonder HR doesn’t call you back.  They may be scared seething with entitlement, flailing job search guy will become angry, workplace violence guy.

Do You Hear What I Hear?  Start listening to yourself.  THINK.  Check your subtleties at the interviewer’s door – in fact, just leave them in 2010.  You may be entitled to unemployment compensation but you are not entitled to say anything like THAT.  Hear what I hear.

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Your Sixth Sense

19 Mar

I was asked to write a foreword for a friend’s e-book recently.  I won’t share the exact title since it is not out yet but the book deals with secrets that recruiters won’t tell you.  The time he took to put this resource together is testimony to his professional credibility – the only thing a recruiter really has to offer you.  The only thing a recruiter has is credibility.

While writing the piece it dawned on me – sharing the secrets of the game with candidates is really what has differentiated my recruiting practice.  That is exactly what has allowed me to enjoy life as a generalist recruiter – I am the recruiter that will tell you what others won’t.

The misnomer of recruiting, Folks – is that, as a candidate, you think your recruiter exists to find you a job.  Most recruiters do genuinely enjoy helping people – but a recruiter is primarily looking to find their client the right person.  We do not broker people, we broker jobs.  Let me manage your expectations for a minute – you are two things to a recruiter – a human being and a commodity.  You need to understand that.  When a recruiter is talking with you, you are a human being.  When speaking with their client, you are a commodity.  A good recruiter knows how to treat you with respect even though you are a product.       

As a candidate, what I think you should expect, if not demand, is the truth – and I would suggest you always look for congruence in your recruiter’s words and actions – tempered with the understanding hiring authorities are often elusive moving targets. 

Are you getting facts or generalities?  You obviously need facts.  Ironically, what you need from the recruiter is what they need from you.  The best recruiter-candidate relationships are built on respect – like all good relationships – and clear communication. 

One last thought, probably the absolute key – once the process gets rolling, your sense of urgency needs to be amped up.  Amped up!  If your recruiter calls, you better call them back.  A strong sense of urgency indicates interest and ultimately offers reassurance to the employer that you are serious – you control the sense of urgency that controls the inference whether you are REALLY serious, which influences whether you get this gig or your slightly more amped up competition does.  Think.  Please.

What a Touching Influence

8 Feb

As I shared with my job search group, I have been looking for jobs, for now on 13 years.  That is a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails and a lot of touchpoints with my clients. 

Being self-employed is closer to unemployed, I guess that is why I have a natural connection with the job seeker that is seeking a solution.  How can you not want to help someone that is genuinely looking for a new gig, that is really looking for a solution?  This is my threat to the employed out there – an unemployed friend or former colleague calls you – give them a minute will you?  Listen.  Encourage.  Assist.

Let’s focus on touchpoints, job seeker.  A quality job seeker understands the value of touchpoints.  These are the interactions in any form you attempt to or actually have with colleagues, hiring managers, anyone that is part of the interview process or is assisting you in your search.

Touchpoints are where you go to selling YOU without looking like you are selling and simultaneously shield the world from what you are dealing with privately, you know – all that maintenance in your life.  You have to have quality touchpoints because this job search is relational not transactional.  Sorry, canned thank you note guy- it was nice to meet you though.  Thanks for your time.  Stop looking forward to hearing from me soon.

I think you can employ a variety of tactics and strategies to get to the end you so desire.  I also believe touchpoints are individual.  We need originality here, folks.  They need to be professional yet an extension of your personality.  And while I hate the talk – job search is a game and one that you need to be in and serious about.  Some of you show up projecting  – I am no fun – and you think it doesn’t show.  We are out here on the playground and you over there going sudoku on us.

A few years ago I attended the Indianapolis 500 – you know the greatest spectacle in racing.  Makes you think there might be something there to see.  The lady in front of me was actually studying.  She had a textbook on her lap.  After she got done studying, she was knitting.  At the 500, between her 4th turn study hall she is knitting a sweater in the month of May.  Who would invite her?  The place to be yet not really wanting to be there and making herself the spectacle.  Look, she is not getting invited next year and with that attitude you are not getting hired.  Besides, no one hires people that knit at  car races.   I thought everyone knew this.

I can say –  do this and do that when you attend a networking event.  I can say when you call, have the next question – and actually ask it.  When you write a note or email, proofread it.  I can give you my 5 keys to better touchpoints but I am not feeling all – here is a panacea laced checklist – I am more of a – let’s build a system together that works for you guy.  If you would like help – call me.  If you want to respond below with something you did in a certain situation – lay it out for us.

You need a process that you can follow in this campaign of yours.  Improving your touchpoints improves your chances of getting an offer.  You can’t control it but you have far greater influence then you think you have in this game.

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