Monday, August 13, 2012

Interview Questions That Reveal Everything!!

Interviewing job candidates is tough, especially because some candidates are a lot better at interviewing than they are at working.

To get the core info you need about the candidates you interview, here's a simple but incredibly effective interview technique. Here's how it works. Just start from the beginning of the candidate's work history and work your way through each subsequent job. Move quickly, and don't ask for detail. And don't ask follow-up questions, at least not yet.

Go through each job and ask the same three questions:
1. How did you find out about the job?
2. What did you like about the job before you started?
3. Why did you leave?

What's amazing is that after a few minutes, you will always have learned something about the candidate--whether positive or negative--that you would never have learned otherwise.

Here's why:

How did you find out about the job?
Job boards, general postings, online listings, job fairs--most people find their first few jobs that way, so that's certainly not a red flag.

But a candidate who continues to find each successive job from general postings probably hasn't figured out what he or she wants to do and where he or she would like to do it. He or she is just looking for a job; often, any job. And that probably means he or she isn't particularly eager to work for you. He or she just wants a job. Yours will do until something else comes along. Plus, by the time you get to Job Three, Four, or Five in your career, and you haven't been pulled into a job by someone you previously worked for, that's a red flag. That shows you didn't build relationships, develop trust, and show a level of competence that made someone go out of their way to bring you into their organization. On the flip side, being pulled in is like a great reference--without the letter.

What did you like about the job before you started?
In time, interviewees should describe the reason they took a particular job for more specific reasons than "great opportunity," "chance to learn about the industry," or "next step in my career." Great employees don't work hard because of lofty titles or huge salaries. They work hard because they appreciate their work environment and enjoy what they do. (Titles and salary are just icing on the fulfillment cake.) That means they know the kind of environment they will thrive in, and they know the type of work that motivates and challenges them--and not only can they describe it, they actively seek it.

Why did you leave?
Sometimes people leave for a better opportunity. Sometimes they leave for more money. Often, though, they leave because an employer is too demanding. Or the employee doesn't get along with his or her boss. Or the employee doesn't get along with co-workers. When that is the case, don't be judgmental. Resist the temptation to ask for detail. Hang on to follow-ups. Stick to the rhythm of the three questions. That makes it natural for candidates to be more open and candid.
In the process, many candidates will describe issues with management or disagreements with other employees or with taking responsibility--issues they otherwise would not have shared.
Then follow up on patterns that concern you. It's a quick way to get to get to the heart of a candidate's sense of teamwork and responsibility. Some people never take ownership and always see problems as someone else's problem. And some candidates have consistently had problems with their bosses--which means they'll also have issues with you.

And a bonus question:
How many people have you hired, and where did you find them?
Say you're interviewing candidates for a leadership position. Want to know how their direct reports feel about them? Don't look only for candidates who were brought into an organization by someone else; look for candidates who brought employees into their organization. Great employees go out of their way to work with great leaders. If you're tough but fair, and you treat people well, they will go out of their way to work with you. The fact that employees changed jobs just so they could work for you speaks volumes to your leadership and people skills.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The First 2 List you should look at before you start your day

List 1: Your Focus List (The Road Ahead) Ask yourself what are you trying to achieve? What makes you happy? What's important to you? Design your time around those things. Because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can't achieve your goal without specific focus point and specific timeline. Don't scattered yourself with unnecessary things. Prioritize your task.

List 2: Your Ignore List (The Distractions)To succeed in using your time wisely, you have to ask the equally important but often avoided complementary questions: what are you willing not to achieve? What doesn't make you happy? What's not important to you? What gets in the way?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Illegal Interview Questions!!

During job interviews, employers will try to gather as much information about you as possible, so there's bound to be some questions that will require you to think. But it's the simple questions that are often most harmful, and even illegal. Any questions that reveal your age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation are off-limits. If you are asked any inappropriate questions, you're advises not to lie, but, instead, politely decline to answer. 

Here are some illegal interview questions that are often mistaken as appropriate and judicial:

1. Have you ever been arrested?
An employer can't actually legally ask you about your arrest record, but they can ask if you've ever been convicted of a crime. Depending on the state, a conviction record shouldn't automatically disqualify you for employment unless it substantially relates to your job. For example, if you've been convicted of statutory rape and you're applying for a teaching position, you will probably not get the job

2. Are you married?
Although the interviewer may ask you this question to see how much time you'd be able to commit to your job, it's illegal because it reveals your marital status and can also reveal your sexual orientation.

3. Do you have children?
Again, the employer may ask you this question to see your available time commitment with the company, but this question is inappropriate. However, they are allowed to ask you directly if you have other responsibilities or commitments that will be conflicting to your work schedule.

4. What country are you from?
If you have an accent, this may seem like an innocent question, but keep in mind that it's illegal because it involves your national origin. Employers can't legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you're authorized to work in a certain country.

5. Is English your first language?
It's not the employers lawful right to know if a language is your first language or not. In order to find out language proficiency, employers can ask you what other languages you read, speak or write fluently.

6. Do you have any outstanding debt?
Employers have to have permission before asking about your credit history and, like a criminal background history, they can't disqualify you from employment unless it directly affects your ability to perform the position you're interviewing for. Similarly, they can't ask you how well you balance your personal finances.

7. Do you socially drink?
Employers cannot ask about your drinking, or even legal drug use, habits because these inquiries are protected under the American Disability Act. For example, if you're a recovering alcoholic, treatment of alcoholism is protected under this act and you don't have to disclose any disability information before landing an official job offer.

8. How long have you been working?
This question allows employers to guess your age which is unlawful. Similarly, they can't ask you what year you graduated from high school or college or even your birthday. However, they can ask you how long you've been working in a certain industry.

9. What religious holidays do you practice?
Employers may want to ask you this to see if your lifestyle interferes with work schedules, but this question reveals your religion and that's illegal. They can ask you if you're available to work on Sundays.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Firing Someone the Right Way

Perhaps the most difficult part of any manager's job is telling a subordinate that he can no longer stay with the company — that he's been "fired," "let go," "dismissed," or otherwise taken off the payroll. It's a gut-wrenching conversation, knowing how this simple act affects a person's career, self-esteem, and livelihood. Firing an employee also affects everyone else on your team. Not only does it change work assignments, but it also makes people wonder about your judgment as a manager and their own job security.

Given these emotional undercurrents, many managers let anxiety drive the firing process instead of intellect, making a difficult moment even worse. For example, I know of a senior manager who walked unannounced into his employee's office, junior HR person in-tow, and declared: "You've been fired. Our HR associate will answer your questions and then escort you out of the building." The manager then exited, leaving the shocked (former) employee and the ill-prepared HR person staring awkwardly at each other. What made this situation even worse is that the senior manager had given no previous indication of the employee's performance difficulties and had given him nothing but positive feedback in the previous six months. Now, suddenly, the reason for the firing was "lack of teamwork." And because it was "for cause," no severance was offered and pay was terminated immediately.

From the manager's perspective, this approach avoided the anxiety associated with firing. He didn't have to engage in any difficult performance discussions or justify his actions. He also avoided any kind of emotional scene and (temporary) budget impacts. Of course, he also probably generated a major lawsuit that left the company liable for far more than the cost of a severance. And once the story got out, he likely lost the respect of his team.

Clearly this may be an extreme example,but there are too many stories like this one. Because firing is so emotionally charged, it's easy to act counterproductively. To avoid that, here are some guidelines for those times when firing an employee becomes a necessity:

First, make sure that letting your employee go is the last step in a careful, thoughtful, fair, and transparent process that started long before the actual firing. In other words, if the dismissal is for poor performance, then it should occur after a series of performance discussions, plans, and documented actions. If it's due to reorganization or job elimination, it also should follow conversations, announcements, and a reasonable "fair warning." The key is that, if possible, firing should not come as a surprise. In most companies, the HR function has guidelines for how this process should unfold.

Second, come to the "firing meeting" prepared to address the practical logistical questions that the person will have about leaving her job: When is the official end date? Are there severance arrangements? Are there opportunities elsewhere in the company? Is career counseling available? What happens with benefits? You may need help from HR to make sure that these answers are available.

Third, at the meeting be ready to listen but not react. Losing a job can be traumatic, and your employee may display a range of emotions, which he might direct towards you. Try not to get caught up in responding. Listen with respect and then direct the person towards the practical realities of moving on. Offer to talk again later when the emotions are not so raw, or ask a trained HR counselor to join you.

Finally, after the firing, talk to your team about the process, the reasoning, and the implications for them (within the limits of confidentiality). In some cases, they will fully understand the decision. In others, they may have a very incomplete picture. In either case, you need to be sensitive to their emotions, and then help redirect their focus back on work.

Firing a subordinate is one of the most difficult and painful tasks you'll ever have to do as a manager; and for most of us it never gets easier. Unfortunately, avoiding the anxiety associated with firing only makes things worse. So if you have to do it — do it right.

What's been your experience with firing — or being fired?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Worst Hiring Mistakes

In this job market, you might expect that hiring new employees would be easy. But many entrepreneurs still struggle to find good people. In a recent survey of Inc. 5000 CEOs, hiring edged out even the economy and government regulation as their top concern, with nearly one-quarter of respondents identifying it as the biggest challenge they had faced in the preceding three months.

To be sure, not every candidate is a rock star. But if you keep turning up dud after dud, the problem may not be the applicant pool. In a quest to find the best workers, entrepreneurs sometimes wind up adopting hiring practices that are actually detrimental to their companies. Here are the four most common problems that afflict interviewers.

1. Are you a narcissistic boss?
Without a deliberate hiring strategy, founders often gravitate toward job candidates who share their personality.

2. Are you a perfectionist boss?
Wonder why it's so hard to find good people? Maybe you're asking too much.

3. Are you over thinking your hires?
So what if you make a hiring mistake? Here's how to beat analysis paralysis.

How to make hiring less frantic
Recruiting is like selling: You need to do is develop a pipeline and build relationships. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees

Great employees are reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders and great followers... they possess a wide range of easily-defined but hard to find qualities.

A few hit the next level. Some employees are remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance.
Here are eight qualities of remarkable employees:

1. They ignore job descriptions. The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.When a key customer's project is in jeopardy, remarkable employees know without being told there's a problem and jump in without being asked—even if it's not their job.

2. They’re eccentric... The best employees are often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.
People who aren't afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.

3. But they know when to dial it back. An unusual personality is a lot of fun... until it isn't. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employees stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team. Remarkable employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off. It’s a tough balance to strike, but a rare few can walk that fine line with ease.

4. They publicly praise... Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person. Remarkable employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they privately complain. We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Great employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom. Remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They speak when others won’t. Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately. An employee once asked me a question about potential layoffs. After the meeting I said to him, “Why did you ask about that? You already know what's going on.” He said, “I do, but a lot of other people don't, and they're afraid to ask. I thought it would help if they heard the answer from you.” Remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. The kid without a college degree or the woman who was told she didn't have leadership potential often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong. Education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They’re always fiddling. Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow.
Great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can't help it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What is Recruitment?

Lots of people think they know in and out of recruitment and its process. Here I'll share some insight of what its all about and I do welcome some other input to add in for a better understanding, especially for new comers to this Industry.

Recruitment is the process where the HR identifying the gaps to be filled, compiling the suitable candidates cv's through different sources (newspaper ad, approaching consultants, employee references, campus placements, online job posting). Selection then starts from scrutiny the received cv's, and conducting the phone screening, tests & finally ends with the face to face interview with Hiring Manager.

Recruitment also known as ‘The process of identifying and hiring the best-qualified candidate’ (from within or outside of an organization) for a job vacancy, in a most timely and cost effective manner possible.

The recruitment industry has four basic types of firms: 

1). Employment agencies deal with clerical, trades, and temporary to hire employment opportunities.

2). Recruitment websites and job search engines used to gather as many candidates as possible by advertising a position over a wide geographic area. Although thought to be a cost effective alternative, a human resource department or department manager will spend time outside their normal duties reading and screening resumes. A professional recruiter has the ability to read and screen resumes, talk to potential candidates and deliver a selective group in a timely manner.

3). "Head-hunters" for executive and professional positions. These firms are either contingency or retained. Although advertising is used to keep a flow of candidates these firms rely on networking as their main source of candidates.

4). Niche agencies specialize in a particular industrial area of staffing.
Some organizations prefer to utilize employer branding strategy and in-house recruitment instead of recruiting firms. The difference is, a recruiting firm is always looking for talent whereas an internal department is focused on filling a single opening. The advantage associated with utilizing a third-party recruiting firm is their ability to know where to find a qualified candidate. Talent Management is a key component to the services a professional recruiting firm can provide.

The stages in recruitment include sourcing candidates by networking, advertising or other methods. Utilizing professional interviewing techniques to understand the candidate’s skills but motivations to make a move, screening potential candidates using testing (skills or personality) is also a popular part of the process. The process is meant to not only evaluate the candidate but also evaluate how the candidate will fit into the organization. The recruiter will meet with the hiring manager to obtain specific position and type information before beginning the process. After the recruiter understands the type of person the company needs, they begin the process of informing their network of the opportunity. Recruiters play an important role by preparing the candidate and company for the interview, providing feedback to both parties and handling salary/benefits negotiations.

The decision to either use internal Hiring Team or Recruitment Agencies will fall back to the Organization objective and whether we are willing to pay the cost of the Agencies fees.