Dealing with an Unresponsive Employer


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Dealing with an Unresponsive Employer
By Bill Radin

Joan was concerned, and more than a little frustrated. A week had gone by since the hiring manager interviewed her top candidate; but since then, she couldn’t get him to return her calls or respond to her emails.

In the meantime, her candidate’s attitude was starting to sour, as post-interview euphoria turned to disillusion. Given the employer’s silent treatment, there was little Joan could do to keep her candidate warm.

“Well, this stinks,” thought Joan, as she considered her options. Here are the strategies she looked at:

Option 1 – Stay the course. Wait another week or two for the employer to respond and assure the candidate that all is well.

Joan rejected this approach right away. Until she got an update, Joan couldn’t credibly counter the candidate’s disappointment or prevent the candidate from looking elsewhere.

Option 2 – Force the issue. Joan could double the number of phone calls and emails, break down the hiring manager’s door, or get somebody – anybody – at the company to intercede and get an answer.

“I’ll take charge,” thought Joan. But would pitching a hissy fit really speed up the process? No, she decided. And besides, a frontal assault might annoy the employer and possibly make matters worse.

Option 3 – Throw more resumes at the company. Perhaps the hiring manager simply needs to see more candidates in order to make a decision.

“Very tempting,” thought Joan. But without knowing what’s causing the delay, the solution of more candidates may not address the underlying problem. Maybe the employer already has too many people under consideration, in which case more choices would create even more uncertainty and more bottlenecks. Or maybe the position’s been placed on hold. Or the employer’s been busy putting out a fire somewhere else. Plus, Joan didn’t want to create the impression that candidates are a dime a dozen.

Option 4 – Shop the candidate. This deal’s already on “hold” status until further notice. Why not present the candidate to other employers?

“I like it,” thought Joan. Since she couldn’t change the employer’s timeline, Joan figured she might as well target new companies who might take an interest in her candidate. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she saw the upside potential.

Not only would Joan expand her horizons, she’d increase her odds of making a placement. Plus, she’d stay on top of the candidate’s job search activity, helping to ensure that would have her hand in any and all offers that might come down the pike. And if one of the bidders happened to be Joan’s sleepwalking client, then so much the better. It might just reinforce the notion that in today’s war for talent, those who snooze often have the most to lose.


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Getting It Right As A New Leader: What To Do When You Get Promoted


As difficult as making the climb up the ladder to leadership might be, assuming the new responsibilities of an executive role might be even more challenging. 

In this post from the Personal Branding Blog, author Suzanne Bates shines the spotlight on one leader who got it right and what his experience can teach other new leaders:

In 2003, Fred Cook became the third CEO of Golin Harris in 54 years, when Al Golin stepped aside. As the baton was passed to the new leader, the financial picture at Golin Harris was a bit shaky.

Cook recalls:

“We had grown complacent. We were resting on our laurels. A collaborative, friendly and supportive culture meant that we would lose a new business pitch and you’d see a flurry of emails congratulating everybody for coming in second or third.”

Cook faced a dilemma. How could he infuse a winning attitude, part of his brand, without losing what worked at Golin Harris?

He wanted to turn up the heat and change the chemistry of the company, without changing the people.

Think about a time when you’ve started in a new role. Does this sound familiar?

You have good people, and good values, but something isn’t working. How do you preserve what works and still drives the company forward?

One of the biggest challenges can be building a brand—and intertwining your personal brand with your company’s brand. Brand awareness is a marketing concept that measures other people’s knowledge of a brand’s existence.

As a leader, one of your jobs as a new leader is to create and enhance brand awareness, to use your personal brand to highlight the company brand.

The first thing Cook did was to celebrate what he wanted to emphasize — that winning attitude. “If a team won a piece of business, I sent out trophies with the Golin Harris logo. They came with a note card from me along with a gift card for $50.”

There is nothing better than rewards and recognition to create tangible reminders of the values that you want to drive home.

You also have to start measuring people by those actions and behaviors. That may sound like a no-brainer, it’s consistently surprising how companies don’t do this. Once you establish the value, figure out how to measure it, track it and communicate results.

Golin Harris started tracking “winning” success every way they could measure it, and by 2007, four short years later, they had won Agency of the Year awards from three different organizations.

The next and sometimes more difficult challenge is sustaining the momentum. How do you keep it going? Change is hard.

At Golin Harris, one of the Agency Awards trophies was mailed from office to office, all 30 around the globe.

People were encouraged to send back videos of the trophy. “They had it in front of the Eiffel Tower, on a ferry boat in Hong Kong; we shared all this on our web site.”

The result was it stuck. Within a few years, the company was thriving financially. “What I am most proud of is we went from almost no profit to better than 20% margin without changing any of the senior management team,” says Cook.

Golin Harris preserved what worked, while infusing a new value, by highlighting the value and making the message stick. People were excited because they were part of a winning team.

Brand Building for New Leaders

Fred Cook wasn’t well-known to the Golin Harris leadership team when he was brought from LA to Chicago and then made CEO a few short months later. As a new leader, he sensed the difficulty many people had. “It is one thing to be given a title and another to earn the respect that comes with the title,” he said.

Cook did what any smart leader would do. He went one-on-one to each leader and talked with them. “I wanted to understand their strengths and leverage them,” he said.

“Then it was a matter of convincing them the change was good for the company.” This built momentum for a course of action. That doesn’t always happen. If it doesn’t, you need to take action. One person who is not committed can sink the ship. You have to ask for, and receive, 100% commitment. You and they owe it to the organization. Be sure that as you start in a new role, you build trust, get people on board, and assess whether they are all with you, hearts and minds.

Communication Strategy for New Leaders

Once everyone is on board, it’s time to cascade the message. This takes a sustained effort. People need to hear the message many times, feel it and believe it. You have to connect logically and emotionally. It has to stick.

Communicating is the most important thing you do. If you don’t spend time on this, and keep it going, you know what will happen. People will dismiss the latest message as a passing fad.

A good communications strategy is necessary to execute every business plan. Without a plan for how to communicate, and time on your calendar to do it, your plan will fail.  Plan on means daily, weekly and monthly communication activities.  You should have meetings, written communication and a lot of clever, tangible reminders that keep the message front and center.

Remember, the success or failure of the communication plan can’t hinge on your actions alone. You are driving it; you are responsible for it. But you can’t be the only one to deliver the message.

I’ve seen many organizations get bottle necked because the top person was the only one talking about it; the rest of the team was too “busy” doing to take the time to cascade the message. The best communication strategies include everyone in the organization.

Sometimes, one ingenious idea can be the hinge for the entire plan. Golin Harris employees were chattering about where the “trophy” would pop up next.

Your leadership brand is most valuable when it is known by many others. You have to create that buzz. Just like a product brand, your leadership brand impact is measured by the number of people who are aware of you and have a positive impression.

Does your name spring to mind when people think of leaders in your space? Are you the one they call for a comment, or to give a speech, or be on a panel?

When people are looking to do business in your category or industry being the first person they think of is invaluable.

The Need to Retain Talented Employees Increases Every Day


In a workplace where the war for talent is making it tough to find good workers and where key skills getting more scarce, the need to retain your most talented individuals by treating people well, increases every day.

It is far shrewder and more economical to work at keeping your top employees than to let them go and spend money on recruiting and training new people who are going to take a while to get up to speed. Losing esteemed colleagues can also have an impact on the rest of the team, department and business. Other workers may well feel demoralised if they see the best talent being let go too easily.

Look at the wider, demographic picture and you’ll see it presents another reason to hold on to your best. With baby boomers nearing the end of their careers, they’re leaving a big skills gap that’s hard to fill. Skills such as science, mathematics and engineering are predicted to be particularly sparse in the coming years. If you already have individuals who are in the prime of their working lives and who have these skills covered, do not underestimate how important it is to retain these employees.

Retention of crucial talent is so key to the continued growth and success of your business that it is well worth investing the time and effort into ensuring these individuals are happy to stay put and develop within the company instead of looking elsewhere for professional opportunities. Your best employees enhance the company in several different ways-by ensuring customer satisfaction, maintaining balance and productivity within the workplace, and driving product development and innovation onwards and upwards.

Retaining employees-even ones that seem engaged and dedicated to the organisation–requires a sensible and sensitive approach to the way that people work. Giving colleagues a sense of the direction of travel that they and the team overall are taking, plus consistent and regular communications about what needs doing as well as how they are doing in terms of their feedback are fundamentals to keeping your best and most involved workers. A lack of feedback in particular can lead to an employee feeling lost and directionless. It’s vital that workers are given an idea of what they’re doing right and wrong, so they can feel in control of their own improvement, development and destiny.

Tune in to every individual on a regular basis. This does not have to be formalised and structured as part of the standard appraisal process. This is much more about day to day management and supervision. People leave supervisors and managers rather than leaving organisations. The management and supervision of your top achievers must be as high quality as the achievers themselves if it is to meet their needs. As a line manager, do not underestimate your role in holding onto your best workers. Employees will stay or go because of you, not in spite of you. Avoid over-measuring –whilst it is important to measure outputs and performance, over-measurement can be a real irritant to high-performing individuals and may reduce their level of desire to keep doing what they do.

It is far better to have regular input sessions on being clear about the future and the team’s performance, followed up by frequent shorter feedback conversations both one on one and in small groups to check that the individual and the team are going in the right direction. If it sounds simple that’s because it is. One of the biggest mistakes that we can make is to lose valuable people by over complicating what is really a simple humanistic process based on personal relationships.

Clear communication not only gives workers clarity about the future but also around what is expected of them every day. Once a person is clear on what they have to do at work, they will be more focused and productive and will therefore be happier at work. If a worker feels uncertain or vague about what they’re meant to be doing, their commitment to the company will also be uncertain and vague, if existent at all.

Your organisation conducts exit interviews for a reason-so learn from them. What have past valued employees who resigned said in their exit interviews? Look over this data and integrate your findings into new strategies to ensure less untimely resignations. Exit interviews are sometimes mocked as pointless, but they could be the most important body of data your organisation has amassed at this present time.

5 (FIVE) Top Tips when Hiring ——



TIP 1 – Know what you want before you start the recruitment process

Hire for experience and specialist skills; someone too junior requiring lots of training can be a very costly exercise, even though it may seem the cheaper option.  On the flip-side, someone totally overqualified may seem like a good idea, especially in the current economic climate, but will only cause you retention issues as you struggle to keep them challenged enough, what happens when the job market changes?  It is important to really know what skills you need, and avoid trying to hire one person for two different jobs, if you need Administrator who will be able to make cold-calls, you will rarely find these skills in the same person.

 

TIP 2 – Hire for adaptability and willingness to learn

Use interview skills and testing to see how candidates cope with changing environments.  What your company looks like now will most likely be very different to what the company will  look like in 3-5 years time.  A candidate who can adapt to changing circumstances in the business is most likely to thrive and grow with you.  They will feel challenged and you secure a long term employee.  New ideas and innovation can and will come from within your internal talent pool.  In addition, hunger to learn is a very important trait to look for.  A brilliant candidate who is trainable and responds to coaching, mentoring and upskilling is equally as important.  Most skills can be learnt, so finding candidates who are willing to learn is key to future success of your business.

 

TIP 3 – Hire for a positive approach to work – Attitude, Attitude, Attitude!!

Leading companies will never settle for candidates who just see the opportunity as a job.  They are looking for people who are constantly striving to improve their own performance and the performance of the company.  They are people who see the overall picture, they see the role as being bigger than themselves.  A positive approach to work is high on the criteria of many leading employers. At Google they look to hire smart and innovative people who fit well with company culture, but most importantly they look to hire candidates that want to make an impact.  Someone both motivated to deliver results, as well as demonstrating  total confidence in their ability to deliver the results is more likely to get hired.

 

TIP 4 – Hire for Leadership Skills

Whether you are hiring at a senior or junior level, it is a valuable skill to look for.  It is all about the candidates potential to become a leader.  They need to understand what needs to be done, and then influence and motivate others to achieve results, no matter what level of the company they start at.  Ability to manage both people and tasks is critical.  Many companies are now creating an internal talent pool of future leaders.  Promoting from within increass morale and retention.  Learn about leadership skills through the interview process and look for this potential at the recruitment stage.

 

TIP 5 – Look for a demonstrated ability to Network

The depth and diversity of the candidates networks can play an important part in the hiring process.  A candidate who is able to network and willing to network is a vitally important skill in any business related role, even more so in leadership roles and sales or marketing.  A candidate that would instantly be able to bring in new contacts, new customers and increase sales through their network can be a serious consideration for leading companies.  A demonstrated ability to network both online and offline can often be the deciding factor between two brilliant candidates.

Whether you are in HR, a hiring manager or a jobseeker, I hope you found this blog useful and I would love to hear your comments.

How to spot a bad boss before it’s too late


You go for a job interview, answer all their questions and then there’s that inevitable moment: do you have any questions for us? This is your moment to find out whether you want the job and, in particular, what kind of person your putative boss might be. So what are the questions that will reveal his or her true colors?

  1. Of all the people you’ve worked for, who are you proudest of — and why? You want to work for someone who will help you grow, develop and advance. If this boss hasn’t helped people progress, this could indicate a fear of rivals — in which case, you’ll be held back. It may also suggest that no significant mentoring or coaching will occur, in which case: what, apart from salary, will you gain from the position? On the other hand, if the executive can cite a number of people who’ve gone on to a wide range of opportunities, you could be onto a winner.
  2. Can you describe a disagreement within the project, job or department and how it was resolved? All healthy departments argue: that is how organizations think. If there’s no debate, there’s no thinking. What you want to glean from the answer is whether there is a professional level of confidence around healthy disagreement. If there isn’t, then your own views won’t be welcome — a sure sign that politics trump intelligence. Avoid.
  3. Are there formal opportunities to mentor or coach rising stars in the firm? If you can’t be a mentor, it’s highly likely you won’t get one either. Many job candidates hesitate to ask if they’ll get mentoring or coaching (they think it looks weak), so this can be a good way to find out without appearing to ask.
  4. What did the last person in this position go onto do — and what were they like? The background to a vacant position is always interesting. If the past incumbent left under a cloud, some of that opprobrium may attach to the position — in which case, beware. If they’ve advanced inside the firm, it means you could too. If no one really knows — they’re lying and you should have a serious rethink. It’s helpful to know how the job was done before, if only because it is far easier to follow someone who is different; if they’re too similar, you may find it difficult to assert your own identity.
  5. How far have the expectations and requirements of the position changed since it was first created? If it hasn’t changed at all, there’s a high likelihood that this is a pretty stable — but possibly rigid — organization. Whether that is to your taste or not is a personal choice. But you want to know before you go any further whether you’re jumping into a torrid or a stagnant pond.
None of these questions will get you into trouble — but they may stop you jumping into it.

Leadership Training – Are Leaders Born or Can you Grow into a Great Leader?


Leadership Training

Are Leaders Born or Can you Grow into a Great Leader?

As one of the top leadership training experts in the field of time management training I will show you that some people are born with natural leadership skills, which initially makes them better leaders. The truth though, is that all leadership skills are learnable and with consistency, determination and a lifelong commitment to on-going growth, anyone can increase their leadership ability. If any of your goals requires you to work with other people, in order to achieve them. Then it is crucial that you commit to grow your leadership ability, so that you can lead these people as successfully as possible.

Andrew operates one of the most inspiring leadership training programs and time management training courses, he will show you that the results you will be able to realise, will be limited by the ceiling which exists around your ability to lead and influence other people. Maurice and Dick were very effective at building systems and managing a single restaurant. Their efforts made them very wealthy in their own community. They were however not able to grow their concept of a fast food business much beyond 10 stores. They were unwilling to commit to grow their leadership skills and so once they had reached the ceiling of the leadership ability they remained stuck and could not grow their business any further.

Ray Croc on the other hand had spent his entire life growing his leadership ability. He was in his fifties and owned a small milkshake making business, which supplied machines to the McDonald brothers. He had grown sufficiently as a leader and was ready to lead McDonalds when he  started to work with the brothers in 1954. He took an incredible concept that was limited to only a few restaurants in 1954 and with his learnt leadership ability he quickly grew the hamburger chain into a world leader in the hamburger business. There are over 32000 stores all around the world today.

Ray Croc had spent his time leading up until his fifties committed to growing his leadership ability. When he took over the hamburger chain he had grown sufficiently to allow him to lead the business. He gradually led the business to new levels of success with his leadership, exceeding even his own expectations. If you want to grow your business and that growth depends on the input from other people, the only way to make that growth possible is to commit to your on-going growth as a leader. You must effectively raise the ceiling on your own leadership ability.

Leadership training is a science and thios resource will equip you with the skills you need to become a great leader. The first concept around your leadership ability, which you need to improve, is your ability to influence other people. Without influence, you will never be an effective leader or have the ability to encourage people to offer their best performance. Your ability to influence people is something that you can learn. Your growth as a leader will not happen in a day, but is rather something that will happen daily, as you commit to keep growing every day.

  • As you grow and expand personally, you will firstly grow your character. This will help you with the first part of influencing others. Your character reflects who you are and as you know who you are speaks volumes to people about you. When people see you reflecting good character, they are willing to follow you and your ability to influence their behaviour is dramatically increased.
  • The second crucial element around improving your influence is your ability to build real meaningful connection with people. When you show your real commitment to people, you always act out of integrity and you always deliver on what you say you will do. People will over time grow to trust you and they will connect with you.
  • The third part in the process of growing your influence is a commitment to keep improving your knowledge base. As your knowledge grows, so too will your ability to influence people, through the dissemination of the right knowledge at the right time.
  • The fourth element is something you cannot buy, it is experience. Experience comes from your never ending commitment to continually learn all the lessons life has to offer and then to use these to build a strong base of experiential knowledge. Your level of experience and knowledge are really powerful tools, which will serve you well when you are attempting to positively influence people.
  • The final two parts to the influence puzzle come in the form of your capacity to demonstrate your ability to succeed and your track record around what you as a leader have achieved in the past. Both of these take time to develop, so stay committed to learn all the lessons life has to offer and remain focused on growing yourself as a leader.

After completing this leadership training program you will see that as you grow in all these areas, you level of influence will grow too. Leading people and encouraging them to deliver their best is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Stay committed to growing as a leader and you and everyone you lead will benefit in the long run.

10 essential principles for networking


 

1. Elevator speech. Describe yourself concisely and impressively.
2. Be different. Differentiate yourself. Aim high. Be best at something.
3. Help others. Help others and you will be helped.
4. Personal integrity. Integrity, trust and reputation are vital for networking.
5. Relevant targeting. Groups and contacts relevant to your aims and capabilities.
6. Plans and aims. Plan your networking – and know what you want.
7. Follow up. Following up meetings and referrals makes things happen.
8. Be positive. Be a positive influence on everyone and everything.
9. Sustained focused effort. Be focused – and ever-ready.
10. Life balance. Being balanced and grounded builds assurance.