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Below Average Recruiter Seeks Above Average Talent

There’s a dirty little secret in the job search world. It is so common that it’s often becoming the norm. If you are a human resources leader or a hiring manager, this column is for you. There is someone on your recruiting team that isn’t doing their job and you probably don’t even know it.

Before you get angry, hear me out. What I’m about to say in no way applies to every recruiter. Some recruiters are amazing. They connect deserving candidates with bosses who need their help. It’s a win-win on all sides.

Now, let’s talk about what’s happening with the not so great recruiters. Let me describe the typical candidate experience. The job seeker applies online. The recruiter finds their resume and asks them to schedule a meeting. The first meeting is a screening call. The recruiter emails the candidate the same day or the day before and asks them for a time to talk. Sometimes, the recruiter only offers one time. If the candidate is unavailable at a particular time, the recruiter may ghost the candidate.

Let’s assume the candidate and the recruiter schedule a meeting. The candidate cancels their plans to take the call. They study. They practice. They prepare to put their best foot forward! They sneak away to somewhere quiet to take the call.

Then, they wait. And, they wait and they wait. And, then they wait some more. The recruiter calls late, very late. I’m not talking about five minutes late. I’m talking about thirty minutes, sixty minutes, and over two hours late. I have observed this pattern in about 70 percent of recruiter screening calls lately.

If the candidate does not wait, they lose the job interview. But, they are forced to miss all of their commitments and to hide out for an unknown amount of time. When the recruiter calls, the candidate must pretend not to be bothered. If they don’t have time to meet, the recruiter will gladly move on to someone else in their stack of resumes. Without fail, the recruiter will say, “I’m sorry. My last meeting ran long.” As a recruiter, a top skill should be managing a personal schedule. And, if things were reversed, would the job seeker be considered if they were sixty minutes late?

Many recruiters are also not prepared for the screening call. They have not reviewed the candidate’s resume. Sometimes, they believe they’re calling about a completely different job in a completely different department. Oops!

How does this happen you may wonder? Well, as a job seeker, you will never get a job offer if you are the complainer. And, companies very rarely ever ask for feedback on interviews. So, there’s no feedback loop. At the end of the day, as long as a warm body eventually fills the job posting, the company is happy. But, are they really getting the best candidate? This is quite doubtful.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Salary Laws: Are they helping?

I hope you’ve heard the exciting news! Many states and some cities have updated their hiring laws. In many places, employers can no longer ask your current salary. And, in some, the laws are even more specific. In California, if a candidate asks for the salary range for a job, the company is required to provide it.

These changes are being put into place to help even the playing field on pay. It’s excellent news all around. First, even people in locations not covered by the new laws are benefiting. Some companies are adopting these changes corporate wide.

Not asking how much you make can help in two ways. If you’re currently underpaid for any reason, your future salary won’t be based on your past salary. This means that you can make more and be paid fairly more quickly. And, if you’re looking to downgrade your career for any reason (or just change to a different path that pays less), you won’t have the employer asking why you want to take a pay cut. You won’t be dropped just for making too much money. (And, yes, this really happens.)

Employers do still typically ask how much you want to be paid. But, you can find information about pay on sites like Glassdoor.com that will help you to answer this question when it comes up. (And, it does come up in the very first screening call, so be prepared with an answer!)

But, this is what I’m wondering. I have seen a number of cases lately where the company (in a regulated state) is choosing to operate in the old fashioned way. They’re still asking salary history and they’re refusing to provide a salary range when asked. This seems especially prevalent when a recruiter is helping to place for a position in a state where the recruiter doesn’t reside. They don’t seem to be up to date on the laws in other states.

So, what’s a job seeker to do? This is such a hard question and honestly not one I have a clear answer to at this point. You can (and should) push back on this question if you feel comfortable. But, be aware, you will catch more flies with honey. Telling the recruiter that they’re breaking laws by asking you certain questions is likely not the way to get a job offer.

That’s the problem with these great new laws. As a job seeker, your goal is to land a job. It’s not to change the world. If you take the time to stand up for this issue, you could very likely lose the job opportunity. But, on the flip side, if job seekers stay quiet on this issue, it’s never going to change.

If you have encountered this issue, I’d love to hear from you and how you handled it. It’s an important and sticky issue that we are all working through today.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Culture Fit: The lie we’re telling ourselves

There’s this thing in the hiring world that’s considered important. It’s called “culture fit.”

Often, companies consider it to be one of the most important factors in hiring a candidate. If you aren’t a culture fit, the company won’t hire you. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how much experience you have. You’ll be tossed out.

So, what is culture fit exactly? It’s a good question and one that companies need to think about as they’re prioritizing it so highly. Culture fit is hard to describe. It’s a feeling that other people get when they meet you. It’s how well they think they’ll get along with you. In other words, culture fit is another way to say “popularity contest.”

If you talk to folks who work at startups, you’ll be surprised. After a candidate has left the building, it’s common for the entire team to take a vote. They vote on who liked the person. And, if one person decides they didn’t like the candidate, that candidate won’t be hired.  Period.

Think of it this way. Who do we tend to like and get along the best with? People who are like us. We tend to like people who are our age. We tend to like people who are our gender. We tend to like people who like the things we like.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, if we were on a date, nothing. But, we’re not. We’re at a job interview. And, a job interview is about your skills and experience. It’s about whether or not you can do THE JOB.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if a candidate has a bad attitude or is clearly not qualified, that’s a different story. But, when you have a candidate who gets along with the entire team and who has the experience you need, one person should not be able to vote the candidate out because they can’t picture having beers with them.

Because culture fit is all about how we feel about another person, it’s a place where unconscious bias lives. It’s those feelings we may have toward people that are different than us that we don’t even realize.

Unfortunately, when a company makes culture fit a top priority, they are also saying that they may or may not care about diversity and inclusion. They’re not necessarily looking for the most qualified candidate. They’re looking for the most popular one.

A Harvard Business Review article said it best. “What most people really mean when they say someone is a good fit culturally is that he or she is someone they’d like to have a beer with. But people with all sorts of personalities can be great at the job you need done. This misguided hiring strategy can also contribute to a company’s lack of diversity, since very often the people we enjoy hanging out with have backgrounds much like our own.”

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

No Side Work Allowed

Lately, I’ve seen something new. Or, maybe it’s just resurfacing. Hiring managers are asking job seekers about their hobbies. But, they’re not asking in the normal friendly way. They’re not simply trying to get to know the job seeker better.

No. Now, they’re asking about hobbies because they want to let the job seeker know what they can and cannot do in their personal time while they’re working for the company. Have you heard of this? It’s quickly becoming a pet peeve of mine.

We all have a certain amount of free time. Most of us have a few hours here and there at night or on the weekend. We may choose to have a big family that we spend time with. We may do volunteer work. We may garden. We may run an eBay store. Or, we may have some other side hobby that generates a few dollars here and there. You get the idea.

The problem is, the hiring manager is trying to put limits around what the employee can do with their personal time.

It would be inappropriate for an employer to ask an employee not to have children because children are a distraction. Don’t you agree? In the same way, it is inappropriate for an employer to ask an employee not to pursue certain hobbies.

Instead, ask the employee how they will excel at their job. Ask them what they plan to do to be the best in their field. Find out what the employee will be doing during work hours to help contribute to the success of the company. Find out about their past track record.

The one time where it makes sense to worry about an employee’s hobbies is this. The hobby should not be pursued during work hours. It should not be done on a work computer, or at a work location. It should not compete with the company’s business. It should not require the use of confidential company information. And, the hobby should follow local laws. These all make sense. Your hobby shouldn’t directly hurt the business or use the business’ resources.

Aside from these things, hobbies are just that – hobbies. Whether yours is to have a big family or to run an eBay store, what’s done off the clock is nobody’s business but yours.

If an employee is underperforming, the deficit should be addressed, not the hobby. It’s the employee’s responsibility to manage their personal time in the way that they choose. The employee should not be forced to choose their job over the rest of their life. Both work time and personal time are important pieces of our individual lives. Having hobbies outside of work most likely makes us happier and even more productive during work hours.

If you’re hiring, only ask questions about hobbies if you truly want to learn about the job seeker. But, beware –personal information can create bias in your process.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

Parents Role in the Job Search

I run into many questions surrounding parents. And, I’m not talking about the parents of young children. I’m talking about the parents of full grown adults. Both the parents and the children don’t seem to know where the boundaries are in the job search world. A similar issue was magnified for us in the media with the college entrance scandal. It’s shocking to learn the great lengths parents are going to in order to setup Olivia Jade with a perfect life, isn’t it?

I’ll share my two cents on this issue. Parents should have a very small part in their adult child’s job search. To the outside world, the parents should be invisible. If I’m a hiring manager, I should have no awareness of the parents. Parents will very likely not even come up in conversation during a job interview. It’s like parents aren’t even part of the equation.

Why is this? Well, if I’m the hiring manager, I’m looking to hire an adult. I want to hire a fully formed adult human who can come to my business and make good choices – on their own. I want to be able to trust this adult child with my business. If I am even remotely aware that there may be a parent involved in the process, I will not consider the child. If a parent is involved, I am unclear if that child is competent or not. I’m unclear how independent the child is. I’m not sure how much hand-holding I’m going to have to do with the child.

With this said, parents mean well. And, they’re often helpful in a job search. But, the question is, when are they helpful in the job search? A parent is helpful when they answer questions the child may come to them with. The parent is helpful if they help proofread a resume, when the child asks. A parent is helpful when they give the child tips, when they ask.

There are two common themes here. First, the child should ask for help. Second, the parent is advising the child directly. They’re on the sidelines. They’re not seen by anyone but the child.

The parent should not be contacting any employer directly. They should not attend a job interview with the child (even if they’re just waiting in the lobby). A parent should not look up the future employer on LinkedIn.

The minute an employer gets a whiff of the child, they’re out. The employer will never tell you this to your face because they’re too polite. But, they’re thinking it. And, they’re talking about it with other people.

If you are the child of a parent who is trying to help you in this way, it’s time to step up. I know this is a tough conversation to have. If you care about your career, it’s time to have a serious conversation. Nobody can do it but you.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

It’s Not the Search that’s Hard

If you’re in the middle of a job search, you know: it’s not the searching that’s hard. If you have a loved one who’s looking for a job, you may wonder what has gone wrong in their life. They’re moody and they doubt their abilities. You wonder what’s taking them so long.

This is what you have to keep in mind about actively searching for a job. Normally, we don’t find jobs by actively looking. We find a job because our uncle heard of something. Or, our old boss recruited us. Or, we ran into someone at a conference who was hiring. This is quick. It’s quick because we weren’t looking. A job landed in our lap.

When we actively search for a job, the process is different. We often start with loved ones and try to enlist their help. Then, we apply online. We find ourselves spending hours searching for jobs and filling out online applications. The process feels similar to going to a doctor for the first time: invasive. Sometimes, we’re asked questions about our past salaries. We may be asked whether or not our social media posts are in line with the company’s values. We may be asked to take personality tests and IQ tests – before we even speak to a real person at the company.

Once we start talking to real people, the process can get worse. Often, hiring managers aren’t great interviewers. They’re late to the interview. They reschedule with no notice. They may ask illegal questions and they may talk down to us.

When we’re not selected, the process is equally challenging. Often, we hear nothing back. Other times, we get an automated email rejection with no details. In some lucky scenarios, we get a chance to speak with a real human. Sometimes, those conversations are helpful. But other times, the person on the other end of the phone seems to forget they’re talking to another human. It’s as if they think they’re giving feedback on a car they’ve test driven. They’re quick to judge and will tell us that we aren’t qualified. We come from the wrong industry, or we don’t have enough experience.

The thing that’s the hardest though is that this feedback is very often not 100 percent accurate. We may not have done a perfect job at communicating our strengths. Or, the company just needs to come up with an excuse to hire someone else. But, as a job seeker, it’s hard to know what the “truth” is. We may begin to doubt our abilities.

The most difficult part of searching is the waiting. It’s not unusual for a company to take three, four, or even six months to complete their search. In the meantime, we’re sitting on the sidelines, biting our nails.

So, if you have a friend who is job seeking, cut them a little slack. It’s not the searching that’s so hard.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach