Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa's Elf or Solitaire? Use the Holidays to Your Advantage!


    Business tends to slow down during the holidays, no matter where you work – unless, of course, you are one of Santa’s elves! But the most successful people are those who recognize these lulls in productivity as being great opportunities to otherwise bolster their careers.
    That’s right. You could sit at your desk and play solitaire on your computer with your extra time, or you could think about ways to use the holiday season in order to position yourself for that next step up in your career. This is a great time to catch the eye of your higher ups and to prove your value as an employee over the long haul. Here’s how:
  • Jovial Spirit: Everyone is in a good mood around the holidays. Or at least, most everyone. Sure, there is always a Grinch in every crowd – but for the most part, spirits are lifted during the holiday season. Take advantage of that and play to the good moods of those around you. Use those boosted spirits to make friends around the office and endear yourself to your peers. Supervisors are also more likely to notice quality work when they are feeling light and undistracted. So taking on extra projects without being asked to do so could get their attention focused right on you.
  • Networking Opportunities: Between holiday parties and after-work happy hours, opportunities for networking are at an all-time high during the holidays. Even just an impromptu gathering in the break room around a plate of homemade cookies could prove to be your ‘in’ to an opening you otherwise may not have known about. Don’t say “no” to any invitation your receive. Instead, prepare to start rubbing elbows with your higher ups and to make connections outside your office as well – you never know how those connections could benefit you in the future.
  • Watch Yourself: Have fun, and take advantage of all those increased networking opportunities and good moods. But don’t, whatever you do, become the company lush. There is always one who emerges every holiday season, and people spend the entire next year laughing about their behavior at the holiday party. You don’t want to be that person. Not only can it completely mar your reputation at work, but it can also make it difficult to be taken seriously moving forward.

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Pros and Cons of End of Year Hiring

     In general, it’s a good idea to have most of your year-end hiring done before entering the holiday season. We’ve outlined the reasons for this in the past, ranging from the fact that most applicants simply aren’t looking during this time, to the realities of meeting end of year budgets.
       
     Still, there are some occasions where you just have no choice – a crucial position is left vacant and you need to find someone to fill it as soon as possible. In those instances, embarking on an end of year hiring expedition is a necessity, but understanding the pros and cons can help to make your hiring process run that much more smoothly.

Pro: Interview Availability
    Currently employed applicants tend to have an easier time slipping out of the office for an interview during the holiday season. Between holiday parties and absentee co-workers, as well as a slow-down in the typical work load, they are simply less likely to be missed. And the good news is, your hiring managers likely also have more time on their hands to do the interviewing.

Con: Less Active Searchers
    Unfortunately, there also tend to be far fewer applicants during the holiday season. Most employees are feeling content with where they are and just aren’t looking. Plus, they aren’t eager to walk away from those anticipated holiday bonuses.

Pro: Opportunities to Promote From Within
    A reduced applicant field can be a great motivator for employers to look at their current employees when trying to fill a crucial opening. Training a current employee up means having someone on board who already knows and understands your corporate culture and motivations. It also means improving employee morale by showing them that you value your current workforce. Any holes down the line that are created by moving employees up can typically wait until after the holidays to be filled.

Con: The Reluctance of Outside Applicants to Move
    When it comes to upper management positions, you may have needed to recruit outside the state in the past to find the caliber of employee you were looking for. Unfortunately, around the holidays, you are going to have a harder time convincing those potential employees to move. Even the best offers won’t normally entice people to pick up their lives until spring rolls around.

Pro: The Hiring Process is Less Rushed
    One bonus to a holiday hiring season is the ability it provides to take your time with the hiring process. Applicants aren’t usually on the same time crunch they may be during other times of the year, and they understand that decisions may be delayed. This gives you a chance to truly consider your options.

Con: Applicants May Not Be Willing to Start Until the New Year
    While you may not be enjoying a slower hiring process, keep in mind that your applicants may actually be enjoying it – and not planning on starting anywhere new until after the New Year as a result. If you need someone to start as soon as possible, make that clear during your interview process.

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Pitfalls of Social Media Vetting


Social media has changed how our world operates, and it would be ignorant to think that it wouldn't also change the hiring landscape. But as we enter this new era, the rules for how to use social media when vetting an employee have not yet been defined. And the risks that exist when searching those social media sites are big enough to warrant exercising extreme caution before using this as a hiring tool.
That is not to say that applicants shouldn't still be careful about what they put online, because hiring managers are most certainly still looking - but here are a few reasons why you might want to stop:
        Discriminatory Information: You can find out a lot about a person online that you would never be able to ask about on an application. Things like religious affiliations, sexual orientation and race. Unfortunately, there are certainly still hiring managers today who take those factors into consideration - even when doing so is illegal. So if you view an applicants social media networks and then opt not to hire them, you had better be prepared to defend that decision.  If the applicant later makes a claim of discrimination and it is discovered that you were able to glean certain information from their online profiles - you could be in trouble.
        Applicant Notification: To bypass this, some companies will hire third party sources to run background checks on applicant's social media profiles. In this way, they can be supplied with only applicable information and they avoid the risk of getting in trouble for discriminatory decision-making. Unfortunately, when choosing to go this route you have to first inform applicants you will be completing such screening. By doing so, you give those applicants the chance to lock down all of their information, and you also give the impression that you are not a trusting employer to work for. The results may very likely backfire on you. 
        Incomplete Pictures: Let's not forget that social media, while an enjoyable tool, is not necessarily the best way to get to know a person. When reviewing social media accounts, you could be looking at information that hasn't been updated in years and is no longer an accurate representation of the applicant you are looking into. Or you could be making snap judgments based on small details of a much larger story. In essence, you could be bypassing quality candidates based on an incomplete picture of who they are. 

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Making Hiring Decisions Without Burning Bridges


      After a grueling job search, you have finally found the candidate you were looking for all along. Offers were extended, pre-employment testing was passed and the job opening can now be officially closed. Hooray!
      There's just one problem: Figuring out what to do with all those other candidates you didn't hire. You're busy and responding to each and every person who applied is time consuming. Does it even matter? They weren't right for the job, so do you really have to treat them with kid gloves?
      The short answer is, yes. Every applicant who applies with you is going to talk about their experience with your company. Each and every one. So how you treat them can actually play a huge rule in what your hiring pool looks like in the future. A company's reputation and ability to attract key talent is just as affected by how they treat the applicants they don't hire as it is by how they treat the employee's they do. 
      You know that, right? You also probably know that while an applicant may not be perfect for this job, they just might be for the next opening that comes up. So you want them to walk away feeling as though they are still respected as professionals, even if you don't wind up hiring them.
      You may not think you have the time, but here are a few ways you can ensure every applicant leaves hoping for another chance to work for your organization - and willing to tell everyone they meet that they should be hoping for the same opportunity as well.
        Communicate: Most hiring systems today make it simple enough for you to send all job candidates a generic e-mail letting them know the position has been filled. Use that feature. It is a matter of a few clicks to communicate to all applicants that a job is now filled, and even those you didn't interview will appreciate the update. For those you did interview or who made it further along in the hiring process, you may want to consider the more personal approach of calling them directly.
        Answer Questions: If you have constructive feedback you can offer a candidate about their experience or interview skills - don't be afraid to give it if they ask. Perhaps there is a certification that could beef up their resume, or experience they should be seeking if they want to take their career a certain direction. Giving candidates eager to improve their chances in the future a bit of advice today, may mean they come back your way once they complete the additional steps you've suggested.
        Maintain a Database: For candidates who stood out but just weren't the right fit for this specific job, maintain a database of resumes that you can refer to and pull from in the future. If an opening comes up that you think may be a good fit for someone you met with in the past, reaching out and encouraging them to apply will not only garner respect from the candidate, it may also help you to build a team with everything you are looking for. 

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Keep it Professional


     People don't always realize how similar dating and embarking upon a job search are, but if you really think about it; these are two life experiences that both involve a hefty dose of anxiety and the importance of first impressions. That's because hiring managers are just as prone to spot deal breakers and toss your resume aside as any first date may be.
     What kind of deal breakers are we talking about? Well, unprofessionalism in any of these three areas could be deeply hindering your job search:
        Your Resume: You may have an exemplary 20-year career under your belt and recommendations from every big name in your industry, but if your resume is a chaotic mess - hiring managers aren't even going to notice those details before putting you in the 'no' pile. The organization and presentation of your resume is just as important as the details contained within it. So if you aren't sure what it takes to create a professional resume, hire someone to do this for you - otherwise, you may be wasting your time even just applying for jobs.
        Your E-mail: When you were a teenager, creative and funny e-mail addresses were perfectly normal. But once you start searching for a job, it's time to retire your old hugsandkisses242@aol.com e-mail address. Believe it or not, hiring managers actually do take note of your e-mail when you submit a resume. And typically, this is one area where you want to be bland and standard. So get a new e-mail address ASAP, preferably with some variation of your name included. Sam.Smith1983@gmail.com is the perfect way to go. The good news is, most e-mail accounts are free - meaning you have no excuse not to fix this faux pas immediately.
        Your Voicemail: Similarly, your voicemail should reflect that you are a mature professional on a job hunt. That means no heavy metal music playing in the background, no lame jokes and no run-on messages. Keep it short and sweet, "This is Sam Smith. Please leave a message and I'll call you back." If you don't trust yourself to do that, use your phone provider's standard messaging options. That is, unless you want hiring managers to hang up without leaving a message at all when they call. 

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Don't Say That!": Innovative Ways to Bomb That First Interview



       You've been on the job hunt for a while, submitting resumes and reaching out to your networks for tips on openings and future opportunities. So you're no amateur when it comes to looking for that perfect job. But for some reason, you haven't been getting many offers - even though you've been getting your foot in the door for interviews.
         Keep in mind, there are some things you should never talk about during a first interview. For instance, we all know you shouldn't ever trash a previous employer. But what about some of the less talked about mistakes you may be making? If you've been guilty of any of these in the past, it might explain why you haven't been able to close the deal:
        Uttering the Phrase "I Don't Know" When it Comes to Questions About You: Some people just aren't comfortable talking about themselves. We've been taught that being humble is an admirable trait and as a result, we struggle with bragging. But if there was ever a situation that called for touting some of your greatest accomplishments, an interview is it. So it's time to brush up on all you have to offer, because it simply isn't acceptable to provide an "I Don't Know" response when asked what your greatest contribution was to your previous company or what the financial gain was on your most recent project. Not only should you know all the answers to questions about you and your work history, but you should be able to quickly provide them when asked.
        Admitting You Don't Know Much About This Company or the Opening: If you've been looking for a while, it's possible you have been submitting resumes without even fully reading the job descriptions anymore. That's fine, but if you get a call for an interview - it's time to do your research. Look into the company you are interviewing with and brush up on the specifics of the job as well. This will allow you to present yourself to hiring managers as someone who is uniquely qualified to fill this role and who is especially excited about the opportunity to join their team. 
        Asking About Money or Benefits: Don't put your cart in front of your horse by asking about compensation or benefits before a job offer has even been made. Not only can this come off as over-eager, but it gives the impression that your willingness to take a job is dependent upon what you can get out of it. While this may be the case, you want to remember that hiring managers are looking for candidates who are specifically excited about being a part of their organization or about taking on the challenges of a new role. So leave the monetary talks for the negotiation stage, where you will have plenty of opportunities to find out what's on the table. 

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taking Advantage of Fall


        With October right around the corner, fall is kicking up in full gear and now is the time for hiring managers and job seekers alike to start looking for the perfect fit. Come November, hiring will slow down everywhere and applicants will be scarce. This is a phenomenon experienced in nearly every industry, which means that if you have hiring needs on the horizon or if you have been miserable in your current job - you want to get the word out today. Otherwise, you may find yourselves stuck with what you've got until the New Year.
What is it about fall that makes it a prime time for hiring and job seeking? Well, it isn't so much about what fall has to offer, as what winter is lacking:
        Employees are Holding On: Towards the end of the year, even the most disgruntled of employees will typically choose to stick around at their current job in the hopes of receiving a holiday bonus. This just isn't the time of year job seekers are actively looking. Which means that if hiring managers have a posting they have to fill come November, they may find themselves faced with a pile of only mediocre applicants to consider.
        Budgetary Constraints are Holding Companies Back: Similarly, by November and December, most companies find themselves in the position of needing to pull back a bit in order to meet their annual budgets. As a result, new positions are put off until at least the start of January, when those budgets roll over and reset. For companies relying on government contract work, as many of those within the unmanned industry are, it can be even later than that - as they may not know what their budgets will be until fiscal budgets are finalized between January and March. Luckily, companies don't have to worry much about filling current positions during this time period because of the point made above - there is no mass exodus of employees this time of year. Everyone is just in a holding pattern, waiting these final months out together.
        There are Holidays to Enjoy: Let's face it; productivity tends to go down everywhere during the holidays. There are company parties, gift exchanges, family affairs to travel for and plenty of distractions from the day-to-day work. Hiring is low on the priority list for everyone. After all, who wants that extra paperwork to deal with right before Thanksgiving?

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why Top Engineers Should Have an Agent on Their Side



In case you didn’t already know it, skilled and trained engineers in the field of unmanned robotics are a rare commodity these days. These workers are so highly coveted that companies commit a large portion of their recruitment budgets to seeking out the top talent and vying to bring those employees on board.
Because of this, if you fall into that category of engineers who have specialized in unmanned robotics, you are in a prime position to put your experience to work for you in the quest for your dream job. But that isn’t always an easy task to take on alone. Sometimes, having a recruiter on your side can make all the difference.
·         Insider Information: Recruiters have taken networking to the next level. They know who is on the verge of hiring, typically before those public postings are ever made. So if you are working with a recruiter, they already have their finger on the pulse of what is coming up and can keep an eye on the opportunities for you, often long before you would have known about those same opportunities on your own.
·         Focused Job Search: When working with a recruiter, you can lay out exactly what you are looking for in the perfect job. You can discuss corporate culture, leave policies and even the ability to grow within a company. By assessing not only your skills but also your personality and goals for the future, a recruiter can help to match you up with the best organization for what you hope to accomplish.
·         Skilled Negotiations: In many ways, a good recruiter can act on your behalf as an agent when it comes to negotiations. They know and understand what your value is and also what various companies are able to offer. This helps to ensure the best job offer for you, while having the added benefit of providing the best fit in talent  for the organization. 

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stop the Madness: How a Recruiter Can Save You Time, Stress, & Money



Hiring within the unmanned robotics field can be a varied and challenging beast, particularly depending on the roles you are hiring for. We all know that there seems to be a never-ending supply of workers interested in deploying abroad, but finding quality engineers within the states who have experience in this industry can be a different experience entirely. Often the resumes are few and far between and locating the perfect fit can feel impossible.
That’s where outsourcing your hiring needs to a recruiter can come in handy. Not only does it decrease the number of headaches you have to deal with, but it also increases your chances of finding that rare engineer who is trained and skilled at providing exactly the expertise you need.
·         Strength Utilization: Running a successful business is all about utilizing your strengths. As a company in this industry, your strengths lie in advancing the field of unmanned robotics. Those skills are diminished when you are putting your top team members on the task of searching for the hires that can take you to the next level. A recruiters' skills are already focused on doing just that though – seeking the top talent for you and your organization.
·         Casting a Wider Net: The beauty of a recruiter is that they know exactly where to look for that top talent. Where you may have struggled to reach the engineers you are looking for in the past, a recruiter is skilled at casting that wide net and getting word out about your opening, reaching potential hires you may not otherwise have ever been able to find.
·         Advanced Vetting: When looking at those resumes and trying to decipher who will be the best fit for your organization, it is easy to forget that a person is more than a list of bullet points.  A good recruiter will work with you to define both the tangible and the intangible skills you need and will screen potential applicants through interviews and reference checks to ensure that the resumes that hit your desk are the best available candidates for your position.  Your interview will be focused on picking the best of the top tier talent, not on trying to decipher if a person has the basic skills to do the job.


Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

Are we connected? 

li photo LI_zps6d91cea8.giffb photo fb_zps2dfe0d2d.giftw photo twitter_zps7ee4486a.gif