November 21, 2017

Q Stands for Quantity vs. Quality: 5 Things to Consider When Hiring a New Employee

Guy being interviewed

When interviewing, does a high GPA equal a great employee? Not so sure on that!

Over the last two months, my daughter has been dedicated to applying for jobs.  In this tough economy, I believe she has completed 65 job applications and has had approximately ten phone interviews and two face to face interviews.  It’s tough out there.

It has been interesting to look at the types of information people ask to see on a job application.  A small few have asked to see her GPA, and I find that refreshing for many reasons.  Here are a few thoughts for those of you in executive recruiting positions:

1.   A high GPA does not always equal a great employee. As a matter of fact, it could be a liability.  If a candidate is book smart but cannot network or carry on an interesting and creative conversation, this candidate may not be your best selection.

2.  Be careful to use telephone interviews as your only means to an end.  I have talked with people over the telephone who sounded dry and boring.  When I meet them, I am then just shocked at how impressive they are.  So, take that extra step to meet someone face to face.

3.  Look closely at the candidate’s skills and qualities, including:

  • Strategic Agility
  • Ability to Multi-Task
  • Networking Savvy
  • Political Savvy
  • Ability to Take Risk
  • Languages Spoken
  • Resilience
  • Communication Skills

4.  If you are interviewing a candidate, and you are concerned about the GPA, do some digging by asking these questions:

  • Tell us about the courses you took.
  • Did you work during college?
  • What volunteer activities did you engage in during college?
  • Tell us about your internships.  Where were they, and what skills did you bring to the table?
  • Tell us about your network.  Describe for us how you network with people your own age all the way up to more senior C-level executive suite.

If I look at a resume and see a lower GPA, I would much rather hire someone who worked during college, was active in their local and greater community and who took tough courses over those easy/slide by courses.

5.  Ask the candidate to take on an activity…something that will be relevant to the job, and ask for the activity to be completed by a due date.  If the candidate turns back in a pretty high quality end product and ON TIME, you have probably landed on your golden child.

At the end of the day, don’t hone in on the GPA without doing your homework…you may be turning down one of the best future leaders for your company.

Where Will We Find Tomorrow’s Leaders? Video

An Interview with Linda A. Hill, Professor, Harvard Business School. Hill suggests we won’t find new global leaders by looking in conventional places for people who act in conventional take-charge ways. Instead, look for people who can lead from behind to promote the collective genius of their teams.

I am seeing more and more in the current job search that companies are willing to take someone with 40 years of experience at a much lower pay.  My question is “Will they use this unconventional, collective genius approach?  If you don’t believe so, it’s time to start taking a closer look at our up and coming Generation…Gen Y.  They live, eat and breathe the team approach and are anything BUT conventional!

Video Rating: 4 / 5

Y Talk Interview with Alexandra Levitt, author of How’d You Score That Gig?

Alexandra Levit has authored several books, including the popular business world survival guide They Don’t Teach Corporate in College, How’d You Score That Gig?, and Success for Hire.

Alexandra’s career advice is featured monthly in the Huffington Post, and has been showcased in more than 800 media outlets including ABC News, the Associated Press, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, National Public Radio, Fortune, Yahoo!, and MSN. Known as one of the premiere career spokespeople of her generation, she regularly speaks at universities and corporations on workplace issues facing young employees.

Great interview on what Gen Y is looking for in work, the leaders they work for and a few of the hot careers for twenty-somethings.
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10 Ways Generation Y Will Change the Workplace by Ryan Healy

I have been out over the last week, and I am just catching up on all of the juicy Gen Y stuff.  10 Ways Generation Y Will Change the Workplace by Ryan Healy over at EmployeeEvolution is really great..

6 Ways to Get Respect Quickly, Despite Your Youth by Chuck Westbrook

Chuck Westbrook has a great post on Employee Evolution back from August 6 (but is still relevant) on how Gen Y’s can get respect in the workplace, despite their youth.

I had an interview last month with Jacci Schiff, and we were talking about this very point. We discussed how many Gen Y’s just simply may not know about these career skills. As a Baby Boomer, I believe it’s important for us to talk to our kids and students about doube checking our typos, showing up on time, how to listen, how to ask great questions and how to be a leader.

Another skill that many Gen Y’s are saying is missing is face to face time, especially face to face networking. Human connection happens through dialogue, through a smile and through telling stories which build common ground. Let’s all take the time to work on these skills that Chuck mentions. We can all use a refresher course.

Great post Chuck!.

Helicopter Parents: Are You Hovering Over the Workplace?

It’s that time of year. College seniors from around the world are graduating, and they are hitting the career world looking for a job. And the interesting thing is that most are not doing it alone. Many parents are by their Gen Y’s side and not just for support and to be a sounding board. If you are a helicopter parent who is hovering over your adult child’s job hunt and interview process, you may be hurting your child’s professional development and their chances to land the job.

Helicopter parents have not only been bombarding college campuses, they are now flying way too close to the workplace. Parents are now involved in the hiring and interview process and calling HR departments to negotiate terms for their children or to berate them for not giving their sons or daughters an offer. Parents believe they are doing their child a favor, but this behavior can actually stunt a child’s adult development and hamper their ability to think and survive on their own. The hovering is also hurting the young adult’s chances to land the job, as employers roll their eyes and pull their hair out over the barage of phone calls from parents making demands, negotiating salaries and grilling them about benefits.

Don’t get me wrong…I do believe that parents have their place in the interview process, but this hovering and coddling has to stop, and most Gen Y’s are begging for their independence.

If you are a parent, here are a few ways you can help:

1) Become an outside advisor to your child to help him or her understand the total compensation package.  Talk needs, values and future goals and discuss the package in relationship to those desires.

2) Practice interviews with your child. Allow your adult child to role play both the interview candidate and the interviewer. Ask tough questions and give feedback to help strengthen your child’s interview skills.

3) Resist the urge to contact your child’s potential employer (this can actually hurt his or her chances of landing the job.) Let your adult child be the one to follow up with the recruiter and the hiring leader. This will help him or her develop the independence and confidence needed to navigate the business world.

4) Serve as a sounding board only during the interview process. Allow your child to talk, ask questions and “vent” if needed.

5) Take your young adult on a shopping day to advise on an interview wardrobe. Your adult child will have questions about what to wear for the interview (I am going through this right now with my 20-year old twins.)

If you are an employer who is being challenged by helicopter parents:

1) The helicopter parent is here. If you try to fight it, you may encounter more difficulties along the way.

2) As an employer, you will need to decide if you are going to allow helicopter parents in the door.   If you decide that you do not want to engage with the helicopter parent, you will need to enforce privacy policies from the top to the bottom of the organization.

3) Develop a packet which includes company information and a letter which details out your interview process.   During the interview, ask the young adult if they want company information sent to anyone. 

4) Host a conference call during the hiring process with the parents (if wanted only). Make this known upfront (that this is the one time that parents are allowed into the hiring process and discourage other contact in a professional way such as saying “We offer a conference call for parents before the second interview. Due to the large volume of interviews, we would like to request that you use this time to ask all questions regarding your child’s future employment.”)

5) Create a specific website just for parents which includes company information, information about interviews, dress code and a list of FAQs.  Outline in detail the hiring, review and firing process for parents. Be specific. This will prevent misunderstandings later..

Generation Y by the Numbers and Other Great Stuff from BNET

Give Your Company a Boost During a Down Economy: Hire a Gen Y!

During an economic downturn, many employers respond with a knee-jerk reaction to cut bottom line expenses by laying off some of its most critical talent.

Yet the goal during a down economy is to build a visual bridge between what is going on today and where you want your company to go in the future. The Gen Y careerist is certainly one demographic you don’t want to ignore during a down economy. They are the most skilled, tech savvy generation in the history of business, and they can bring enthusiasm and knowledge into your company at an affordable price but only if you know how to speak to their values, needs and desires.  And…if you play your cards right by building an open, respectful relationship with them, there is a good chance that your Gen Yers will come back to you in a few years when you need them (and trust me on this…you are going to need them!)

This article will provide you insight into how to make the most of a slow economy by tapping into the assets and spirit of the Generation Y worker.

1. Embrace Gen Y’s need to job hop. Generation Y is a generation that is well known for job hopping, not because they lack respect or loyalty. They see moving from job to job as an essential step for building a great career. During a down economy, you may find you will reap the rewards of hiring Gen Y on a temporary basis (3-6 months) and doing everything you can to build a loyal relationship with them. They will enjoy the freedom of knowing the job is short-term and if you treat them well, they will more than likely come back to you in the future when the economy turns back around. If your company is one that has strong brand equity, sell Gen Y on the opportunity to add your company to their resume. They’ll love this idea.

2. Invite Gen Y to offer training to your company. Is your company lacking a few tech skills, online social networking skills or the knowledge about what’s really going on in the marketplace for ages 18-29? If so, a down economy may be the perfect opportunity to invite a few Gen Y techies to speak to your company. This generation thrives on teaching others, and they love nothing better than to talk about subjects dear to their heart like text messaging, how to use social networking sites effectively or to talk about what’s going on with i-tunes or their favorite digital download site. Learning what Gen Y knows can give your company a serious upper hand in the marketplace when the economy picks back up.

3. Tap into the entrepreneurial spirit of Gen Y. Many Gen Y careerists are not only working for a company but are running a small business or a non profit outside of work. During a down economy, you may be able to outsource a few tasks to a Gen Y contractor or consultant. At the same time, tapping into Gen Y’s entrepreneurial spirit will add new ideas and bring new networks into to your company which can help you move through sluggish times with a brand new perspective.

4. Market to the emerging careerist through Gen Y. There is one thing to know about Gen Y: They have a very large global network, and they make decisions based on what their friends tell them to do. Savvy business owners will see a slow economy as an opportunity to do some very creative marketing. By getting Gen Y into your company during this time, even on a part-time basis, you can build strong word-of-mouth marketing in the Gen Y community about your company’s brand. Host a social or business event specifically for your Gen Y workers, and invite them to bring their friends. You will hit the nail on the head by including their network in a few of your company events.

5. Use this time to allow Gen Y to get paid to volunteer. Companies like Ernst and Young are actually paying their Gen Y’s to volunteer in countries abroad (Brilliant with a capital B.) Gen Y loves to volunteer and may actually take a reduced salary in order to do meaningful work for your company in a location or neighborhood that needs your services. You may also find grant money to fund this effort, or you may be find a company who is willing to partner with you to make funding available for this form of outreach. Companies like the Peace Corps and Teach for America are quite popular with Gen Y, because the young careerist can see from day one how their efforts are creating a better world. Take advantage of this time to make your company more visible through the civic mindedness of the twentysomething careerist.

6. Offer Gen Y the opportunity to take on leadership development training and shorter stretch assignments which will strengthen both their career and your company. During a down economy, the first thing that many employers cut from their budget is training and development. A down economy is actually a golden opportunity to get young workers involved in stretch assignments and more training and development which can build sustainability for your company. By offering Gen Y the opportunity to train inside your company, you may be able to negotiate a more affordable fee or salary short- term in exchange for leadership and skill development and mentoring with a more seasoned manager or leader. Gen Y thrives on development, so do your best to take advantage of that desire when times get tough..

Secrets From Ten Top Generation Y Business Leaders

The folks over at Brazen Careerist invited us to share a few ideas with them.  Check out our blog post Secrets From Ten Top Generation Y Business Leaders.  And…while you are there, spend some time on their site.   In my opinion, it is the top career site on the internet..

Business Week’s Top Generation Y Tech Entrepreneurs

Business Week recently came out with their top Twentysomething Entrepreneurs from the tech industry.  Truly amazing!.