Dirty Tricks in a Job Search?

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 by

I wish I didn’t have to write this article about the dark side of the job search process, but I’d be remiss in not describing some tricks and ploys that are played on the unwary. By the way, these “tricks” are done on both sides of the job search process, by organizations and individuals alike. None are illegal, just shady.

On the recruiter or company’s side:

Sometimes a contingency recruiter finds their files short in a particular function and will run a blind ad to fill up the empty file, even though they don’t have a search in hand
A hiring manager may initiate a search, already knowing whom the finalist will be. It may be someone internal or external, but the die is caste as to the ultimate winner
An unethical organization that has no moral center may hire away a key employee from a competitor, get the information they want, then move them to the side or worse
Create a blind ad to see who applies from their own organization: A gotcha!
Initiate a search for a targeted position and interview competitor’s staff in order to get competitive information or strategies
“Buy” the star performer from a competitor to eliminate them from the marketplace
Offer a job then change the function or pay after the candidate has committed.

Sometimes the employee plays the “trick”. Here are some questionable tactics, whereby the applicant/candidate uses the system in an underhanded way:

Interview with the knowledge that you’re not interested in the job, but seek competitive information about strategy, budgets, talented staff or new products/markets
You want to find out what your references are saying about you, so you have a friend call the reference and say, “I’m the President of XXXX and we’re interviewing XXXXXX. You’re listed as a reference. Can you comment on his performance and character?”
Interview with a competitor to use as a wedge for more money in your current job.
Fabricate credentials or results that are fictitious. A very bad idea but done all the time.

Three points are important to pass on to you:

1. These tactics may work once or twice, but sooner or later the word gets out into the marketplace, and the recruiter, organization or individual is shunned in the future. Your reputation is more valuable to you than a short-term advantage. If you’re talented and a performer your star will raise on it’s own merit.
2. My experience has demonstrated that organizations and individuals who use these tactics eventually lose their momentum. Those who use these underhanded tactics will be found out. It’s not worth it.
3. By having the knowledge of these dirty tricks, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Forewarned is to be forearmed.

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Ready to test the market? Request a free consultation at: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net

Are You Too Busy for the Future?

Posted on: August 18th, 2015 by
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Career Planning is a way to project where you want to be over a period of time. Some of us have more career time than others, but the formula is:
Define where you are now in your career (your starting point)
Define where you want to be at the end of your career (your ultimate goal)
Define the steps and time-line between steps to get to your ultimate goal (how to get there)

Sounds simple, but most times something happens in between those steps that prevent you from achieving the plan that is on paper: Life gets in the way. What those impediments are, and what you do about them determines if you’ll reach your ultimate goal or not.

Another factor identified through a recent research study by Voya Financial in early 2015, states that 60% of Americans have to retire sooner than they’d planned. If that’s true, your plans may be compromised by events you haven’t even thought of. Here are some highlights:
60% of retired U.S. workers said they had to stop working unexpectedly. In this case your retirement plans may not be of your choice
Many people who want and plan to retire at age 62, 65 or 70, can’t

Among the 1,002 recent retirees who were surveyed,
29% said the timing of their retirement was unexpected
31% said the timing was very unexpected.
33% of those respondents said they left their jobs involuntarily
16% had to retire because of health challenges
11% stepped away because they lost their jobs,
3% had to stop working to care for a spouse or dependent
3% retired involuntarily because of their age.

In these cases, reality didn’t allow them to follow their plans.

So, what are the implications for you? Here are some suggestions to think about:
Accelerate your career plan so you reach your ultimate goal 5 or more years earlier
Plan your finances for retirement in a way to save much more than your expectations
Consider a range of retirement plan alternatives: From minimal to optimal
Create your assumptions with some wiggle room:
Unexpected delays or issues out of your control
A boss that hinders your move up and/or a boss that accelerates your move ahead
Modify your career plan with each and every move
Remain flexible

Plans are great, but life is unpredictable. As the saying goes, man plans and the gods laugh.

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send it to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com
Ready to test the market? Email: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net

When to Call it Quits?

Posted on: August 11th, 2015 by

When do you KNOW it’s about time to call it quits? Some reasons: A nagging lack of spontaneity on your part; you can’t find the motivation to energize yourself; you feel like your in the wrong job, company, field, or industry; your appraisals and pay may be underwhelming; you’re subtly excluded from meetings and plans; or it’s just not fun anymore!

When I ask my clients, “What were the factors that caused you to make a change?”, their responses are grouped as follows:

Values are mismatched – The values you heard or read about during the interview process are different now that you’re inside the organization. The things my clients say:
Some decisions are made which are clearly against policy or what has been said
Management is inconsistent, more bureaucratic and less engaging than described
You can add more value, but aren’t allowed. You don’t have the information you need.

Assignments are diminished – A difference between your job as hired and what you do:
You’re given tasks that are well below your abilities or rank
You’re not invited to the strategy phase of a project, just given simple tasks to complete
You’re not chosen to lead a project even though you’re qualified and ready

A lack of engagement – A disconnect between your objectives, direction and results
Non-existing performance appraisals and no meaningful discussions with your boss
Your peers don’t see you as part of the inner circle. Politics are too important
You’re not given credit for your achievements but blamed for others’ shortcomings

So, what do you do about it? There are basically four alternatives:
Have a discussion with your boss about your concerns and desire to perform. If that’s not possible, can HR help? Are there other jobs you can apply for internally?
Stay the course and hopefully work your way through the issues over time. Can you make suggestions to the boss about ways to improve performance of the organization?
Quietly put your job search strategy together. Seek organizations that are looking for talent in your field of expertise. Talk to those who know your skills to quietly “test the market”.
Contact a respected consultant to review your resume at no cost, who can give you some insights. Ask two or more of your past bosses for a sterling recommendation and insights into the job market. They may know of some openings for you to pursue.

There comes a time in everyone’s career when it’s time to move on to a better or higher level position. Knowing when and what to do about it is the key to reaching your career goal.

I’ll provide you with a free assessment of your resume. Send it to: wkaufmann1@cox.net
Ready to test the market? Email: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net

Best Time for a Job Search?

Posted on: August 4th, 2015 by

There are three “best times” for a job search:
1. November/December
2. August
3. February

August is the second best time for a job search. Why is that?

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER – During this period new budgets are being put together, strategic and operating plans are formed for the new fiscal year, and staffing is being considered to expand, reallocate or supplement. Since right after the first of the new year open positions will be filled, November/December are the best times to develop your action plans, design and develop your resume and fine-tune your interviewing skills. Another reason is that the new year brings new opportunities: Year-end bonuses can produce happy employees wanting to move up the food chain, and unhappy employees who thought their incentives should have been higher, seek a more lucrative employment opportunity.

AUGUST – This is the time period for a summer lull, vacations and the slowest time for business. It also means the best preparation time for those wanting to take advantage of the Fall season. August is the time to put your job search strategy together for September, October and November when organizations are making their year-end push. Companies want to “make their numbers” and managers want to fill their open positions so they don’t lose a staff slot before putting their new budgets together. Many organizations, like retail, will staff up getting ready for the big holidays coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is also the time when their plans and budgets are put together. August is also important because if the marketplace isn’t ready for you yet, you have primed the pump and gotten your resume out there for the November/December push for the New Year.

FEBRUARY – A lot of activity is going on in this time period. If business is brisk in the first two months, new positions open up. Those who may have been hired earlier move on or don’t make the cut, which provided opportunity. Organizations are preparing for the springtime season, especially retail. A number of organizations, particularly the public sector, has its fiscal year begin in July and since their job search cycle is longer than the private sector, begin their search process much earlier. This is also the time to begin your job search before the colleges and universities graduate new applicants. Of course, these students are looking for entry-level positions and not those jobs that experienced professionals are seeking.

Job searches and position openings happen 12 months out of the year, but knowing when are the best times and why, gives you an advantage.

Timing is very important in a job search along with targeting. If you can target the right industries and companies, with the right timing and of course the right skill sets, you dramatically increase your chances of becoming a finalist candidate.

Want a free assessment of your resume? Send it to: wkaufmann1@cox.net
Ready to test the market? Email: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net

Hiring Older or Younger Workers

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by
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There has always been a debate about whether to hire older or younger workers. I can definitely say with conviction: It depends. Some of the factors to be considered are:
The level: Is the function a training position or at an executive level?
The situation: Does it need an experienced hand or not?
The time: Is the timeline for results short or long, or is time of no importance?
The criticalness: Is the job critical to the success of the organization or not?
The directness: Does it directly affect results or is the function in a support role?
The backup: Is this function a stand-alone or is there backup staff if needed?
There are more factors, but the organization needs to define the parameters beforehand.

Usually are short-timers as they are anxious to move up their careers more quickly
They want to please the boss, which could be a positive or negative
Are typically less sure of themselves which could lead to procrastination, or quick actions
They can be too sure of themselves without the research or due diligence necessary
Are more moldable to fit the style or culture of the organization
Ambition may affect performance of the team or work group
Will need more training, direction, performance reviews and coaching
Less expensive in pay than more experienced employees
Hard skills are advanced but soft skills are undeveloped
May drive co-workers crazy with questions or the need for more of their hands-on time

Usually are lower maintenance: Set objectives, strategy, periodic reviews, then results
Tend to have more patience and can train or mentor others… or not
Tend to be more loyal and longer-term as they have families and house payments
Handle stress more easily as they have “been there, done that”
Understand the implications of actions, so they tend to plan better with alternatives
Hard skills may need sharpening but soft skills are more advanced
Contacts, networks and support systems may already be in place
Have a performance track record and reputation that can predict future performance
Tend not to get discouraged at the first roadblock, and will work through it
Have an experience base from which to draw solutions: Not their first rodeo.

Age and experience brings with it a level of confidence to the job. Youth bring with it enthusiasm, newer skills and a sense that anything is possible. The hiring organization needs to understand what it needs and what kind of employee fits the criterion.

From the applicant’s perspective, the position description and certain word-clues will identify what kind of candidate has the best chance to succeed. Sometimes the industry, company or function will give you a clue. Moral of the story: Focus on your strengths. Whatever the outcome of a single application, keep looking for your ideal position. It’s out there somewhere.

For a free assessment of your resume, send it to: wkaufmann1@cox.net
Test the market with a personal discussion, contact: Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net