Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10 hiring tips for startups

Be role specific

Hiring is the most important decision at startup stage. Here are some hiring tips for startups

1. Hire for a specific role and not because you are impressed by the person.

2. Don’t think of the role, write it down along with the skills and experience you’d need the person to have in order to perform well in the role.

Give comprehensive picture of the company

3. Create a clear and interesting script about your company, nature of business, future potential and how that role fits in. Use any recognition, commendation that came your way in the script.

Remember in case of startup jobs, both interviewer and aspirant are evaluating each other. You need to come across as a worthy employer.

4. If you are not sure you can assess abilities, there is no harm asking a known senior or ex-boss to sit through the interview with you.

Learn during the process, he may not come everytime.

Right information

5. Give a clear picture of your current state, strengths and limitations.

Assess the same about the candidate. Right information is key to decision making.

6. Working for startups requires abilities like initiative, selfdiscipline, cost consciousness, multitasking, resourcefulness and risk taking more than subject matter expertise.

Don't be defensive

7. Do not get defensive about your startup status. All big enterprises started out as one. Everyone works for the future; make sure you are able to define bright future loudly.

8. Ask for references and do not limit to two. Take five references, talk to all, get a feel.

Take enough time

9. Hiring is the most important decision at startup stage. Give it your enough time, prepare, read stuff and meet many candidates. Do not delegate hiring.

10. Do not hesitate to headhunt the right guy, no matter how big a company she works for currently. You’ll be surprised how bored good professionals can get working in working big companies.

Your job can give them the freshness they want. Worst she can do is say “no”. There is a high probability that she’ll refer some one else who fits in.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Master the Art of Interviewing

Although your resume is the key to landing an interview, it is essentially the interview that will get you the job. Many job seekers assume that they can rely on their resume and experience to impress potential employers and often make the mistake of not fully preparing for an interview. It is important to take every avenue of opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers, especially in the interview, since this is the most crucial component to your job search.

An interview is the time to let your personality shine and to demonstrate to employers that you would be a valuable asset to their organization. It is essential to do your research before interviewing to learn successful techniques to increase your chances of receiving a job offer. Listed below are some tips on how to effectively handle the interview process:
Do Your Research - It’s important to be confident and prepared. The first step you should take in your job search is to conduct research on companies of interest before applying to a job or showing up for an interview. By understanding and showing interest in the company, you can customize your pitch, demonstrate the value you will bring to the organization and confidently convince employers that you are the right candidate.

Practice, Practice, Practice - Prepare for an interview by running through commonly asked interview questions. Understand that interviewing is a skill and as with any skill, practice makes perfect!

Dress Professionally - When you are on an interview, you are marketing yourself as the best candidate for the job, so it’s important to dress professionally. Appropriate attire and good personal hygiene demonstrates that you are not only willing to take that extra step to look your best but also do your best.

Make a Positive First Impression - First impressions are critical. Arrive early, give a firm handshake and make eye contact throughout the interview. It is important to be confident, but most importantly, be yourself!

Go Beyond the Canned Response - Behavioral interviewing is an ever-growing interview technique. Rather than merely telling the interviewer what you would do in a situation, demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities by giving specific examples from past work experiences. Use this as an opportunity to emphasize the value you would bring to the company by citing a situation where you effectively used your skill set to overcome a difficult situation.

Ask Questions - Express interest and willingness to learn about the company by asking questions and listening to details about the organization. Remember, that you are not the only one being interviewed – you are also trying to determine if the company and position are right for you. This portion of the interview is your chance to shine. Not having any questions for the interviewer can show that you are uninterested and unprepared.

Follow Up - Reinforce to the employer that you bring value to their organization by developing a well-written thank you note. A thank you note is an easy and surefire way to show your appreciation, reiterate you are the best candidate and demonstrate your initiative and follow-through. It is also appropriate to make a follow up call, unless instructed otherwise by the employer.
Prove You Are the Right Candidate for the Job
Regardless of the position you are interviewing for, it is equally important to impress potential employers with your interviewing style and technique. Before your next interview, be sure to brush up on your interviewing skills and remember to be calm and confident to prove you are the best candidate for the position.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ten Common Job-Hunter Types

This is wonderful segmented description of different job hunters by By Lou Adler, I found it intresting and useful for everybody so thought to post it on my blog for my friends and readers....

::If you frequently find top people who are either over-qualified, uninterested, or tell you they've just accepted another job or are close to it, job-hunting typecasting can increase the number of top performers you see.

Adler has defined 10 tyoes of job seekers candidates based on the behaviour psychology of the top performer. Obviously, the more anxious they are about the quality of their current jobs, the more aggressive they'll be in looking for something else. Ten classic job-hunting styles stand out, from those who are simply open to talk about possible opportunities to those who are ready to accept a reasonable offer in a few days.

Knowing the type of person you're seeking can help you develop a targeted sourcing strategy, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. Segmenting your candidate pool this way will become more and more necessary in order to increase the quantity and quality of top performers you're seeing.

Ten Common Job-Hunter Types
1.Explorers. Explorers are people who are fully employed and quite satisfied in their current jobs. They will be open to explore other career opportunities if presented to them, but they will not proactively seek out something else. Recruiters need to call these people and provide them a chance to evaluate their opportunity with minimal commitment, letting them "just look" at what you have to offer. You can't push too hard when talking to Explorers. If you can get them excited about what you have to offer, you can try to reel them in by conducting an exploratory interview or suggesting an exploratory meeting with a hiring manager. To hire these people your job must offer both stretch and long-term growth. Expect the process to take longer, and don't expect a lot of preparation on their part unless they see your job as offering a significant career move. Explorers are passive candidates, but are open to consider something else if it's far better.

2.Foragers. Foragers are Explorers having a bad day. On these occasions, Foragers will venture into the job market for an hour or so, poke around, and if something stands out they'll check it out. Since their foraging is short-lived, your jobs need to be easy to find and compelling.
Since Foragers will lose interest as quickly as they entered the job-hunting market, you must make informal contact with a credible proposition quickly. Foragers have the same job demands as Explorers, but they're somewhat easier to find since they're looking for you.

3.Tiptoers. Once diminishing job returns set-in, most top performers tiptoe into the market. They'll contact a few former close associates and maybe a well-networked and respected recruiter or two. While Tiptoers represent the shift from passive to active candidates, their job demands are still high. Tiptoers are typically sourced through a very proactive employee referral program, or through a recruiter who's known as a functional or industry specialist. Don't expect a lot of preparation from them or demand they complete an application. If you do, you won't see them again. Tiptoers aren't desperate, and they often appear uninterested, so you'll to need to make your case quickly that you're offering something special.

4.Googlers. Googlers are job hunters who Google for jobs, putting in keywords like "jobs Denver warehouse distribution" into search engines to see what pops up. Your objective is to be on the first page of these searches. Tiptoers become Googlers soon after they establish their initial network, especially if nothing develops right away. To make sure your ads are found by Googlers, you need to use search engine marketing tools like pay-per-click, search engine optimization techniques, and easily found talent hubs that group jobs by function (e.g., all Flash developers). Although they're somewhat active job seekers, Googlers still have high job demands since they've just entered the market. But even if you're offering strong career opportunities, you'll also need to move fast, because the best of the Googlers quickly find other good jobs. Assign Googlers to your most aggressive recruiters, and make sure your hiring managers are available for instant exploratory discussions.

5.Networkers. Top people become Networkers when the easier job-hunting tactics don't pan out. Networkers are top people who aggressively go out of their way to meet respected recruiters, ask their former associates for others they can network with, and start trying to get connected to their 2nd and 3rd degree connections on LinkedIn. While their job demands soften a bit by this stage, these people won't take superficial jobs or lateral moves. Don't force Networkers to formally apply for jobs before talking to them, since they're still looking, not yet buying. In addition, companies need to expand their employee referral programs so that their employees are easily found by Networkers. Line managers also need to be more open to meet with Networkers just to discuss current and potential future opportunities.

6.Top-downers. Good people don't hunt and peck for requisitions when looking for new career opportunities. If nothing turns up quickly through networking, they'll proactively enter the job market conducting a top-down industry and company study, seeking out the best opportunities. Once a few companies stand out, Top-downers seek out some people in these companies to network with. These could be secondary LinkedIn connections, or just contacting the hiring manager or functional VP directly. Under no circumstances prevent this from happening using some legal rationale! HR should promote the idea of allowing hiring managers to hear directly from good candidates, since they'll often hear about good people through their networks weeks before they turn up in the recruiting department.

7.Aggregators. If none of the above techniques pan out, job-hunters become more aggressive as they look for something at least somewhat better then they now have. They're also more likely to make a quicker decision based on tactical criteria, like compensation, title, and location. However, these folks still won't spend much time on the major job boards; instead they'll become meta-searchers starting with job board aggregators like SimplyHired. To be seen here you'll need to reverse engineer your job ads and make sure they come out on top when an Aggregator goes to SimplyHired and searches on "your job title" "your city." SimplyHired will scrape your job board at no cost to ensure you're in their system, and they'll even provide a free evaluation of where you stand against the competition. While Aggregators start with sites like SimplyHired, they'll also search around on the more promising niche sites. SimplyHired will push your ads to these and any other free sites as well, for what seems to be a modest fee.

8.Socializers. Sometimes these job-hunters are also referred to as Joiners, but their aim is the same – meet people either online or in person who can help them find a new job. There's a lot of physical activity involved in the live events, so you know these people are serious. They'll also start sending emails to 3rd and 4th degree contacts, call every recruiter listed on a relevant Google search, update their MySpace and Facebook pages, Twitter and blog every day, and send out resumes to their Plaxo connections. While the majority of the best people have been picked up by this stage, there are still some good people in the Socializer crowd who just didn't find something sooner. So keep an open eye out for top performers who contact you, but move fast, because if they're any good, someone else will quickly recognize this diamond in the rough.

9.Posters. These are the people who finally decide to post their resumes online in all the best known places. People in this category will keep their resumes updated even after they've found a job. In this case they move back into the Explorer category open to accept your inquiry, but probably not willing to move too soon unless the opportunity is "just right." DO NOT CALL these people; it takes too much time since you don't know their current status. Instead, send a compelling email inviting them to consider your opportunity. Make sure your job description is creative and interesting, and suggest that if they're interested they should send you a resume with a half-page write-up of an accomplishment most closely related to real job needs. A performance profile should be used as the basis of creating this compelling email.

10.Hunters. Rarely will top performers become Hunters. These are candidates who will hunt and peck through the major job boards and company career sites to find something. They'll even apply online, sign up for numerous job agents, and do whatever it takes to find a job. So don't expect many top performers in this group; most of what you'll find are the Leftovers. These are the people who everyone else ignored. However, now and then you'll find a strong person here who somehow got overlooked. Unfortunately, by the time you've found them, often they'll tell you they just got an offer somewhere else.
If you're not seeing many good people from your sourcing efforts, or those good ones you do see tell you they've just accepted something else, you can assume you have a Leftover sourcing strategy. This is the default strategy most companies fall into when they don't implement workforce planning in combination with the targeted early-bird sourcing programs described above.

While job-hunter typecasting offers a good foundation for developing sourcing programs, the real key here is to recognize that the best people have different needs whenever they enter the market. A good sourcing strategy has to take these into account, rather than assume that the latest sourcing tactic presented at some conference will wind up being the universal solution.

Sourcing strategy development is an important part of the sourcing process, and it's based on using the latest consumer marketing ideas, technologies, and messaging. Few companies have adopted this concept wholeheartedly, but those that have are starting to see impressive results. It's not too late for everyone else to join in.