Where did the years go?

No words.  How does a person explain an absence of YEARS?  There is no good way, so I won’t even try.

What I do know is that after years of non blogging, I realized the same things keep popping up in my recruiting world.  Empty applications. Rude messages. Poorly written letters.  Nasty phone calls.

Just yesterday I was talking to a marketing expert about how to help people understand how to apply for a job with our company.  I thought – we should publish instructions.  Then I thought – we should put it in our corporate blog.  Then I thought – OHMYGOSH I wrote about this a long time ago!

I found my blog, and more importantly, I found my login credentials.  Now that that’s squared away it’s time to start writing again.

The company I work for has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 10 years. When I started this blog, I was the sole recruiter – just me, myself, and I.  Today I have a team of 8 people and it takes all of us and all of our time to control the recruiting activity of our big little company.  I still keep my folders of “funny work stuff”, and now I have backup.  Everyone on my team has a similar set of folders to keep the unusual things that come in on a regular basis.

It still happens, and now it happens times 8.  Those high schoolers who needed job seeking advice are now in the working world.  I hope they read my old blog posts and are not the people giving me new material!



Wishful Thinking

Maybe I read too much into things. 

Today I received a request that seemed genuine on the surface.  After I thought about it more, I realized I was (ultimately) being asked to make our company liable for $$.   

I’m paraphrasing here, but this is the gist:

“Hi, I don’t like what I’m currently doing and that job over there would be so much better for me because of X, Y and Z.  I’ve been working for you for years, and I depend on this income.  I also know that the job over there is short term, and I can’t come back to this job when that one ends.  Don’t worry, when I’m out of work because that job over there ends, I’ll just file for unemployment.”

Hmm…good for her?  Sure!  Good for us?  No so much.  Unfortunately for this  job hunter, my job in HR is to help limit the company’s liability.  I just can’t grant her request and I’m sure I will be hearing from her again.

A Recruiter Never Forgets

Lately I have seen an interesting phenomenon that I would like to share with you.  It seems that a few people who used to work for us want to work for us again.  That says good things about our company.  What these applicants are leaving out says volumes about them as well.

Please keep in mind that we take electronic applications.  Not only can we tell when an old application has been updated, but we can also see when someone has submitted a duplicate (or several duplicates) application.  That’s fine – we want everyone to be able to update their information.

What’s funny is this.  These people used to work for us.  These records reflect their performance – good, bad or ugly.  These people do not mention their prior work with our company during their interviews.  To look at their interview results, I have to scroll through their applications, INCLUDING their prior work history with us.  Hmm – no mention of our company and their work while here? 

I wonder if they think, ‘maybe she won’t remember me’ or ‘maybe she won’t know that I was asked to leave for X reason’.  It was worth a shot, but nope – I remember.  And if I don’t remember, the system does!

So a word to the wise…be forthcoming on your applications and any other interactions with a company.  If you’ve had experience with them, just admit it.  It may not be pretty, but you’re a bigger person by acknowledging it and we’ll consider you much more seriously for it!


Job Seekers – pause here!

This is not going to be a post about how to create a resume.  You can Google resume and come up with plenty of websites that will tell you how to make a resume, and some websites that will do it for you! 

This post is a small set of tips for those newbies to the job-seeking world.  They may be students looking for a part-time job or college grads ready to enter the professional world.  What I’m told is these young adults are not taught the skills they need until they have already needed them!  That bothers me.  In fact, that’s why I have a folder full of surprising emails that I use for reference on this blog!

Here are a few tips that I would like to pass along.  They are not law, they are not absolute, and they may not even be agreed upon by others in the field of Human Resources.  What I can tell you though, is that these are things that I encounter EVERY DAY and cause people to get or not get jobs with my company.

1.  Get a resume together.  Have someone proofread it.  Have someone ELSE proofread it.  Now keep it updated!    p.s. – be honest  Nothing will get you fired faster than an employer discovering you lied on your resume.

2.  LOOK FOR JOBS!  They are out there, but they usually won’t come and find you.  Try Monster.com, Yahoo jobs, state and county job banks, job boards for industries that interest you, etc.  You can even find jobs posted in the Thrifty Nickel! 

3.  APPLY for jobs.  When you apply, please, PLEASE send in a cover letter written like a cover letter.  Attach your updated, proofed, and honest resume.  Do not, under any circumstances, submit a cover letter that looks like a text message!  

4.  Follow up.  We recruiter-type people are human.  We do make mistakes.  We occasionally overlook a message.  If you have applied and have not heard back within a few weeks, please follow-up.  In an earlier post I mentioned that my husband got a job BECAUSE he followed up. 

In your job-seeking endeavors, be sure to ask for help.  Lots of people have done this before and will be glad to give you pointers.   You don’t have to go it alone.

A word about applications

In case you didn’t know, an on-line application is just as serious as a paper one. 

That means that we want to know about you and your work history.  In our electronic world, many forms indicate which fields are required and which are optional.  In an application, it is better to include more information than not enough. 

Just because a section isn’t “required”, doesn’t mean you should skip it.  If you check that you have 5 years of experience in sales, and 7 years experience in accounting, I STILL want to know what your responsibilities were.  Maybe include where you worked.  Perhaps tell us how long you were employed.

Check boxes are a quick way for us to see if you have the required number of years of service in a certain field.  Beyond that, we want details man!

Keep in mind that not all companies request or even accept resumes.  When an application is the only way to introduce yourself and your skills, be sure that your introduction is complete!

Happy Applying!

I’ve been busy!

Time flies when you’re having fun.  (or so I hear)  My recruiting world  has been crazy busy lately, and looks to get busier yet as the spring progresses.  Somehow a month and a half flew by without a single post and I intend to remedy that. 

In the past few weeks I have had several friends comment to me that they wish someone would teach/had taught their kids how to look for and secure a job. 

WHAT???  I thought that was part of high school.  As it turns out, not here and not in a few other areas that are nearby.  I am working an a series of posts for newbies to the job seeking world.  I truly think job search skills should be taught early in high school.  Kids need these skills for after school jobs, then later for post-high school and during college jobs.  By the time the start looking in the professional world, those skills should be solid.  Otherwise how will those young people secure a job when there are so many people competing?

More to come!

Just Show Up!

What a week!  My crystal ball is not working well at all and I’m not sure who ‘round these parts fixes those things.

I honestly thought that this new year would find our company bringing on all sorts of new folks who were rearin’ to go to work.  New year, new job, new motivation, right?  WRONG.  Here’s what really happened:

A new group of people started this week for a well-known client.  They’d been waiting for WEEKS to get started.  On day one, almost FIFTY percent didn’t show up!  Now, when we’re talking 2 people, 1 no-show is 50%.  However, I’m talking about dozens of people and almost 50% backed out.  Not only did they back out, they didn’t bother to let me know about it.  Day one came and went with no word from them; only a big empty spot where those people were supposed to be sitting.  And I’m MAD about it!  These people were excited to get our offer.  They knew when they’d start.  They were perfect for the client.  AND  THEY  DIDN’T  SHOW  UP.

Do you know their odds of getting another offer with us?  Zilch!  But here’s what will happen.  In a few months, whatever better offer kept them from showing up this week will prove to be a dud, or it will end, or whatever.  They’ll come back to me with some lame excuse why they couldn’t join in and another lame excuse as to what kept them from being able to send a simple “I’m sorry” email when it mattered.  And chances are, they’ll expect me to just accept it and give them another job.  Not gonna happen!

Show some accountability!  If you aren’t interested, just say so.  If you accept and later find out you can’t meet a commitment, just say so.  Sure it may be a little embarrassing, but your odds are better for another opportunity later.  I would so much rather have someone let me know last minute that they can’t make it rather than have me expect them and then not show up.  To me, each and every one of these no-shows has proven that they are unreliable to some degree, and unreliable people are people we don’t need.

SO, 2010 has started with a bang.  That is, me hitting my head on the desk with a big BANG.  Let’s hope things go up from here!