Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dillon and Barney

A year ago I wrote about old dogs and end of life issues. (http://www.headhunterpov.net/2014/03/otto.html).

I noted that our old dog, Dillon had set a standard for tolerance that allowed for making a mess in the house as long as it was on the tile floor. Unfortunately, in recent months, old Dillon began having trouble keeping his accidents on the tile. He was almost 16 years old. His hearing and vision were just about gone. The vet said he was showing signs of dementia. A month ago he had a seizure which ended up with him at the “veterinary emergency room ” otherwise known as the most expensive place you can go in order to confirm that your dog just had a seizure. But you do what you have to do when it comes to your pets.

And you also do what you have to do when the quality of your pet’s life has deteriorated to the point where they are miserable. Even our younger dog had reached the point where he no longer wanted to be around Dillon. So Dillon took that last, long ride today. He was calm and seemed to know what it was about. He will be cremated and his ashes will set on the shelf next to his old pal Barney, the best dog ever (http://www.headhunterpov.net/2012/08/dogs.html).

If you ask me, right about now, somewhere in heaven there is a young Springer Spaniel chasing a young Bichon. If I didn’t believe that, I could never own a pet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't Mess With Texas Women

I never thought much about getting a concealed handgun license (CHL). It just seemed like a lot of trouble. I know folks who have their CHL and they feel pretty good about it. I have guns in the house and in Texas you can carry a handgun in your vehicle even without a license. So I could not think of too many situations where carrying a concealed handgun would be all that necessary for me. And, I remember that football player, Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg with his concealed handgun. That would be about my luck.

So I was not planning on getting my CHL until my wife decided that she wanted to start carrying a handgun. Arming my wife may not be the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but she pretty much had her mind made up. Some of her friends starting “packing” and so now it’s a “thing”. Initially I was just going to help her pick out a concealed carry gun and let her be my bodyguard. But, the guys at the range shamed me into getting a CHL. They are a tough crowd.

My wife picked out a little Glock 42, 380 caliber and she’s pretty good with it. She’s shot my guns and she’s not afraid of them. I went "new" old school and bought a little snub-nose revolver. But it is the latest super lightweight Ruger LCR 9MM and it fits in my pants pocket. It will get the job done. But I get to thinking about ol’ Plaxico and I’m not sure that I want to carry a gun in my pocket or anywhere else where it might shoot me and ask questions later.

We both passed our tests. My wife actually shot quite well and will now be armed just like the rest of her friends. The Galleria is safe. Bad guys beware. Texas women…big hair, big purses, big bang.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Horrible Hiring Practices

I’ve been really busy lately trying to fill jobs for our client companies. Too busy to invest much time in blogging. I wish I could say that all my efforts are paying off, but that’s just not how it works in the headhunting business. There are a lot of reasons why placements don’t happen and that is a great subject for a whole series of blogs. (I’ll get right to work on that as soon as I get some time.) But one of the big reasons jobs don’t get filled is that employers drive candidates away. Headhunters buffer the process to a degree, but we still see and feel the impact of bad interviewing and hiring practices. Candidates tell us all the time about the bad experiences they have with certain companies. We take note and shy away from these companies when they come asking for our help in filling positions.

News flash Mr. Employer...we are in a candidate short market. Good, high quality candidates are hard to come by. When you find one, don’t blow it with a bad hiring process. I recently read an article by Liz Ryan, CEO & Founder of The Human Workplace. I think Ms. Ryan nails it.

Ten Horrible Hiring Practices That Drive Great Candidates Away
By Liz Ryan, CEO & Founder, The Human Workplace

If you were the CEO of a company and you needed to hire some people, how would you do it? You'd start by thinking carefully about what you needed in a new hire, of course. You'd write a friendly and inviting job ad. You'd publish the job ad and wait for resumes to fly in the door from interested job-seekers. You'd tell your employees, customers, vendors and fans about the job opening and encourage them to spread the word, too.

When the resumes started to come in, you'd acknowledge every one of them with a warm and human reply. Technology made that an easy task about thirty-five years ago! You'd interview some of the candidates and send a thoughtful "no thanks" message to the rest. You'd think "All of these folks are humans. They took the time to respond to my job ad, so the least I can do is ask my teammates to take a few seconds out of their day to acknowledge that effort. In our company, all we want to do is cultivate friends and fans. We don't want to have enemies. "Some of these people who didn't get this job may come to work for us later. All of them can buy our products or recommend them. This hiring process is important to us and to the people who applied for jobs with our company.

"I'm going to take it seriously, and treat every person who responded to our job ad like a valued collaborator -- because that's what each of them is!" You would take good care of the candidates who made it to the interview stage. You'd be respectful of their time. You'd treat them like gold! You would keep the human element in the center of your hiring process, because you're a human being and you're a smart and decent person. Why doesn't every hiring process work that way? Here are ten stupid and self-destructive hiring processes that drive great job candidates away from employers every day.

Who gets hurt when smart people decide not to work at certain organizations because their hiring processes are so broken that good people stay away? The shareholders get hurt, and so do the customers who would benefit if the company were able to hire great people. The current employees get hurt. I can't wait until shareholders and Board members wake up and smell the coffee, and replace a CEO or two who are too lazy or out-of-it to realize that if you can't recruit good people, your business can't thrive.

Here are ten ways foolish organizations drive great job candidates away with a stick instead of making it fun and easy to enter their recruiting pipeline. Do any of these horrible hiring practices sound familiar?:

Darth Vader Job Ads

Who would write a job that talks about the qualities The Selected Candidate should possess, like "The Selected Candidate will have twenty years of experience with Facebook ad promotion," rather than talking to the candidates directly, a la "You could be a great fit for this job if you like working with people on the phone"?
The formal and dismissive way we write job ads screams "Whoever the Selected Candidate is, bucko, it ain't your sorry ass!" We begin insulting candidates right away, in our job ads. Why? That's the first way employers drive talented candidates away.

Black Holes And Auto-Responder Smackdowns

People invest time -- sometimes hours -- in their responses to posted job ads. Then weeks later they receive terse auto-responder email messages that say "Your materials have been received." How long would it take to make that message friendly and personal -- one minute?
Godzilla companies can't bring themselves to do it. Too many of them tell candidates "If we want to talk to you, we know where to find you. If you don't hear from us, you can drop dead for all we care."
Smart employers ditch their talent-repelling Black Hole automated recruiting portals and screen resumes a smarter way. People do not reduce down to keywords, as you know because you grew up here on earth. Applicant Tracking Systems, the worst use of technology to solve a human problem that the world has ever seen, are on their way out. No one is shedding any tears over their demise!
People who have never looked at the recruiting process with fresh eyes and have no desire to will say "It is impossible to screen 5000 resumes without technology!" It is insanely easy to screen resumes, You will use a few simple Logical Gates to keep the entire world from responding to your job ad.
What is a Logical Gate? Read about Recruiting with a Human Voice to find out!

Take Another Test, Climb Another Hill

Some broken recruiting processes come from the view "We are so overwhelmed with talented candidates,we have to invest all of our energy in screening out the extra people." That couldn't be more false!
It's hard to find good people, so why do we subject job-seekers to honesty tests, writing tests, math tests and questionnaires before we've even met them? It's time to stop!

You Just Wait a Spell

At Human Workplace we teach employers that no one who enters a recruiting pipeline should go more than a week between communications. If people are waiting for you to schedule interviews, talk to them. If they've been interviewed and they're waiting to hear back from you, talk to them again.
Pick up the phone. Send a friendly email. They are people! If a company leaves you waiting for two weeks without communication, they've already told what you mean to them, and you mean diddly squat. Run away!

I'll Ask the Questions, Thank You

Some foolish organizations believe that the purpose of an interview is for them to ask the questions and for you to sit like a Sheepie Job Seeker and bleat out answers, then remain silent until the next question.
What forty-year-old adult is going to sit still for that kind of treatment? No one who could help your company, that's for sure!

Your Future Paycheck Is None of Your Business

Why don't more employers put the hiring salary range in the job ad? You already know why - they want to hedge their bets. In case they get lucky and somebody with the perfect experience who hasn't kept abreast of market pay rates should walk in and be willing to do the job for peanuts, they want to keep their options open! That's unethical. Start publishing your salary range in every job ad if you want talented and marketable people to apply.

Your Salary History Is Our Business

How much nerve would it take to tell a job-seeker that you can't tell them the salary range for the job they're interviewing for, and then turn around and ask them what they earned at every job they've ever had?
"I will give you my past salaries, my darling, when you show me the spreadsheet that displays your leadership team's current salaries and bonus schedules. What? You consider that confidential information? Good, so you understand -- my salary history is confidential, too!"

We Just Need One More Thing From You - $20,000 of Free Consulting

Interviewing candidates is great. Asking them or commanding them to go home and write a free marketing plan for you is scummy and immoral. Anyway, what doofus thinks that a person can create a marketing plan without knowing tons about what the company has already done and what its goals are? If your managers are telling job-seekers to work for free during the interview process, make them stop.

You Think I Have Time To Waste On You?

Before any job offer goes out, a hiring manager needs to call a job-seeker or sit down with him or her and say "We're moving toward a job offer. What would it take to get you to join us? Let's talk about everything that is important to you." If your managers don't know how to conduct a meeting like that, you can show them. Everybody's muscles will grow!

You Got The Offer - What Else Do You Want?

In the Recruiting with a Human Voice protocol we teach to employers, there is a post-job-offer telephone call or face-to-face meeting whose purpose is to make sure everyone in the mix is comfortable with everything. The hopefully-new-employee gets to ask tons of questions. They get to make sure that their upcoming vacation dates will work for your company.
They get to know everything they need to know to be comfortable signing the offer letter and coming to work in a couple of weeks. They get to see their workstation if they haven't already, meet the team and generally make themselves comfortable with you, and vice versa.
No organization will ever love a person more than they do when they're trying to recruit that person. That's the point in the process when you need to show the love -- but then again, you need to show the love all the way through!
Luckily, it isn't hard to do. More and more employers are seeing the link between passion and performance every day.
Step into the new millennium with a new mindset for recruiting, and remember what we tell employers and job-seekers on both sides of the hiring equation: If they don't get you, they don't deserve you!