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Even a Monkey Knows …

There are some interesting shifts happening right now in the way people are paid for the work they do. I’m not sure where it will leave everyone when it all comes out in the wash. In the meantime, it’s creating confusing and conflicting situations for employees and employers alike, and creating a logistical nightmare for HR professionals. Read More

Remote vs. In-Office: Why not both?

A growing number of employers are acting as though the pandemic is well and truly in the rear view mirror (the question of whether that’s true from a public health standpoint is one that I won’t get into here). More and more employees are being asked to return to their physical offices, and there are some interesting views emerging. Read More

The ‘Years of Experience’ Problem

years of experienceWhen was the last time you read – or wrote – a job posting without “X years of experience” as one of the qualifications? 

Length of experience is the absolute worst measure of a candidate’s qualification for a job. Which is strange, when it’s so ubiquitous. How could something so pointless become so common?

In my opinion (which is sure to be unpopular with some), it’s laziness. It’s there because it’s easy. Read More

Elevator Pitch

One of my least favourite interview questions is, “tell me about yourself”. I don’t like it, so I don’t ask it. To me, it’s always felt like a ‘gotcha’ setup, because there are no parameters, there’s no direction. You could start by saying where and when you were born (almost certainly missing the recruiter’s meaning by at least a couple of decades) and technically you’d be answering the question.

And yet, you will be asked this question in an interview, if you haven’t already. So – to appease those people who (ugh) insist on asking it – what’s the right approach? The answer is: the elevator pitch. Read More

Like a Sore Thumb

There are many ways a person might stand out from the crowd. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Depending on the way you choose to stand out, though, sometimes it’s not. When you’re a candidate competing for a job, your experience and qualifications are the things that should differentiate you from your competition. Not gimmicks.

Far too often, I’ve read well-intentioned pieces of advice about creative and unique ways to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, and today I’d like to tell you why you shouldn’t follow any of them. Read More

Cover your Bases

I can be a broken record when it comes to cover letters, but if I am, it’s only because I want you to know where they fit into the hiring process – particularly at the screening stage. I will probably only read your cover letter if I’ve read your resume and already decided that I’m probably going to interview you.

It’s an important principle, because most people write a cover letter with the mindset that it’s going to convince me to read their resume. It’s not. Your cover letter will do one of two things: reaffirm my decision to interview you, or change my mind and decide not to. This changes how you write them, and I’m writing this to help yours do more of the former than the latter. Read More

Buyer’s Remorse

Throughout my professional career, I’ve seen a great many people struggle with a recent job change, wanting to make an immediate U-turn. Candidates I’ve recruited and placed have called me in near-panic a few weeks afterwards, warning me that they were probably going to leave their new job. Several former employees have called me after leaving the organization I managed, asking whether their job was still open and whether they could come back. I’ve experienced it myself – feeling like a deer caught in headlights, asking myself, “Oh, no … what have I done?”

Why is this so incredibly common, when a new job should be positive and exciting? Read More

Research Study

One of the questions I’ve asked in almost every one of the interviews I’ve conducted throughout my career is, “So, what do you know about the company?” I usually ask it just before I share some information with the candidate about the organization I’m hiring for – mine or my client’s. Pragmatically speaking, it’s one way for me to avoid telling you things you already know, which would be a waste of both our time. More importantly, it’s a way for me to check in on how you conduct yourself professionally.

Would you be surprised if I told you that some otherwise potential candidates have blown their chances out of the water at this point, because they hadn’t bothered to do any research at all? Read More