A Day In the Life

A colleague of mine called me this morning to ask for some insight as a Corporate Recruiter.  On what?  On LinkedIn and how we (corporate recruiters) see a candidate's profile.  She wanted my insight since she comes from the Agency Recruiting side -- a WHOLE different ballgame over there.

She asked.  I answered.

Q:  What do you look for in a candidate's profile?
A:  I am looking for completeness.  I want to see a full name, where you are located, what industry you're in.  I want to see accurate dates of employment, where you are/were employed, and what you did/do at your place of work.  I want to see a picture; I want to see a human face behind these words that are on their profile.  Above all, I want to see a story.  I want to know how they got to where they are today.

Q:  Anything else you look for?
A:  Oh yeah.  I want to see recommendations from colleagues, managers, people who have interacted with them.  If their LinkedIn network is small, I tend to second guess my reaching out to them - at least via that medium.  Their college degree(s).

Q:  What pet peeves do you have about some LinkedIn profiles?
A:  Where do I start?  Why do people think that by hiding their names, they're doing themselves any good?  I guess, unless they don't want to be found.  But professionally speaking, why wouldn't you want to be headhunted?  Also, I understand why one might refuse to disclose their current company's name, but why must all the companies in your profile be anonymous?  What is the point of that?  All job titles and no job duties.  This doesn't help me!  Help me, help you.

Q:  What do you think about LinkedIn Groups for networking?
A:  They're a GREAT networking tool.  I don't know why more people don't participate in them.  Not just to be members, but to be contributing members.  Engage with the folks in the group.  Ask questions.  "Networking" isn't just handshakes anymore!

Q:  How many resumes do you review daily that come in from your ATS (Applicant Tracking System)?
A:  30-ish per position, daily.

Q:  How many positions do you normally hire for at any given time?
A:  On average, anywhere between 8-15.

Q:  That's a lot of resumes.  How many profiles do you review on a daily basis via channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc?
A:  I'll look at about 500 daily, in addition to whatever resumes came in that day.

Q:  How do you have time to read all those resumes??
A:  Read?  I skim.  I'm scanning for the most important pieces of information that I need to make this person qualified for the role.  If it's not on their profile/resume, I'm moving on.  Definitely under 30 seconds per profile/resume.  So, if they want to be "seen", they have to make sure they have the information we're (recruiters) are looking for.

Q:  Isn't that unfair?
A:  No, I don't think so.  Nature of the beast, I guess.  Dog eat dog world.  If you want it, make it happen.

I find that a lot of "job seekers" lackadaisically go about their job search.  They tirelessly send resumes and are upset when they don't hear back.  They want to be headhunted, but their online presence is minimal.  A little fine tuning will do wonders!  I have faith in you.

Good luck!  And as always... I'm all ears!


Going About Your Job Search

I had drinks with a former colleague of mine last night who, unfortunately, is on the job hunt.  Over the course of two hours, we sat talking about the types of companies that are popping up, the ingenuity (and sometimes, pure chance) of the people creating these companies, the opportunities he's interested in, the companies he's interested in, and what he'd love to be doing.

In listening to him talk about how he is going about finding opportunities for himself, it made me realize how many different approaches people take to navigate the job market.  Maybe you are using one of these strategies.  Maybe you aren't using any of them at all.  Perhaps you could use a fresh set of techniques to assist you in your search.

I'll outline some of the most common...

Job Boards.  Oh, the tried and true job boards.  There's something to be said about them.  They've existed this long because the strategy works.  There's a demand and a certain means to find that supply.  Easily searched, easily found.  It is a win-win for both employer and job seeker.

Target Companies.  Who wouldn't want to work for a sexy "brand name" like Facebook, Google, or Pinterest?  We all know those companies and many want to work for them to have the company name on their resume.  In the same regard, however, there are smaller niche companies that tend to attract certain candidates.  In the same way, those job seekers specifically target opportunities at those companies.

Corporate Recruiters.  As a Corporate Recruiter, I say with certainty, that people search LinkedIn for "Corporate Recruiter" and connect with all of them with a note saying something in the likes of "I'm interested in working for your company. Please contact me so we can chat."

Agency Recruiters.  An agency recruiter is one that is contracted out to many companies to fill roles.  They usually have a book full of listings they are trying to fill.  While they are acting as these company's recruiters, they are also building relationships with people like you.  Learning about your likes, dislikes, career history, career progression, and dreams.  I see them as match makers.  If you are in a niche market, find a recruiter that specializes in your trade.

Networking.  How often have you heard the phrase "It's not what you know, it's who you know"?  There's a lot of truth that rings behind this statement.  Someone you meet today, could very well be tomorrow's founder of the next-big-thing.  Your dad's old high school teammate and now fellow Board Member, is now the CEO of *insert big company name here*.  And your ex-girlfriend?  Well, she's the lead recruiter for that position you so eagerly have your eye on.

LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is a great way for job seekers to follow companies, find job postings, figure out the people who posted the job posting, and network with people who currently (or formerly) worked there.  Using LinkedIn to network (see above) is also a great use of time for job seekers.  One day, it'll certainly come in handy.

Social Media.  With the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter, finding an opportunity via this medium is becoming a new trend.  There are millions of people and companies that have accounts on these networks and "social recruiting" is a growing trend in the recruiting world.  Find, follow, and interact with those companies/individuals that interest you.

Now, you are probably sitting there thinking "Which technique works the best?"  My honest answer: All of the above.

Happy hunting!


My Challenge for You...

I recently made a decision to pursue a new opportunity.  I want to share my story to, perhaps, inspire you to challenge yourself to take chances and to never stop taking chances.

As a recruiter, I always tell candidates that I headhunt, "It's just conversation until an offer is in your hands. It's always good to see what's out there."  When the time came when someone headhunted ME, I was not a hypocrite.  I took the call, and I listened.  I answered genuinely.  I am honest when I say that I actually got very nervous because I had the chance to interview with many of the C-level execs with whom I'd be working very closely with - something that has yet to happen to me in my career.

Don't get me wrong.  I was not looking for a new position.  I loved the company I was working for.  I loved my team, and my manager.  In fact, I had never worked for a better company, team, or manager EVER in my career.

Why did I take the call?

Because I don't like the feeling of regret.  How would I know this new company wasn't the perfect chance for me to showcase my skills?  The simple answer is: I wouldn't.  Not unless I took the time to learn about it.

Just as much as they were interviewing me for the role, I was interviewing them for a personal fit.  I'm a firm believer that culture drives a company.  I have been in situations where I "dulled" my personality to fit the culture of the company I was interviewing at, for those interviewers who would never get my humor or my personality.  The outcome of that was dismal.  I did not enjoy my time there, and that was no one's fault but my own.  It wasn't a fit for me.

So, in this interview process, I was myself.  I asked about things that were important to me.  I joked around with them to see how well I'd be able to work with them.  How much were they engaging with me, and me with them?  In the end, I realized it was a good fit all around - job duties, growth, culture, opportunity.

This new venture will be a different one for me.  This new company is a start-up.  I will be one of two recruiters during this company's hypergrowth mode.  I will be staffing this amazing start-up with some of the best talent out there.  Where before I was following policies and procedures already set in place before me, I now will be helping to develop these policies and procedures for those following me.  It's exciting, nerve wrecking, and motivating all at the same time.

My challenge for you is to never close any doors because you never know when opportunity will come knocking (cliche much?).  Any decision you make today will help develop you for tomorrow.

Things to take away:

  • Network.  Always.  And never stop.  
  • Answer recruiters' emails, every time, even if it is just to tell them you are not interested.
  • Be yourself.  I find that so many people try to be someone else come interview time.  I get why you do that.  But don't.  You are who you are, and many companies will hire for culture fit.  And if it isn't the right culture for YOU, in the long run, you probably won't be happy.
  • Take chances.  Put yourself out there, and do not fear being rejected.  Each "no" is one step closer to the "yes".
  • Be honest.  With yourself and with anyone you talk to.  Talk about your dreams and your desires, your strengths and your weaknesses.  Don't ever be afraid to confront your weaknesses to make them your strengths.
In the words of James Altucher, "Choose yourself."