Thursday, November 3, 2016

Politics And Religion

In case you haven’t noticed, things have been getting heated lately. The current election season has everyone up in arms, fighting for or against whichever candidate they feel most strongly about, oftentimes doing so more vocally than in any previous election I can think of.

There are vehement Facebook posts, snide comments, and of course, rhetoric on repeat.

My guess is, even though most of us should know better, you’ve seen this causing issues in the workplace. Because people just can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves this year—not even in a professional setting.

The struggle is real.

Plenty of people are counting down the days until November 9th, hoping that once the election is over, things will get back to normal. But there’s reason to be concerned that may not be the case; to worry about how the abrasive nature of this election season may have corrupted your teams and their ability to work together.

The New York Times recently had an article about couples threatening divorce over differing political opinions—let’s not fool ourselves into thinking a similar corrosive effect could corrupt business relationships.

So what’s the solution?

Well, it used to be understood in society that certain things shouldn’t be discussed in polite circles, religion and politics being chief among those topics. Obviously, that line has been blurred in recent decades, at least in part because of social media, where people feel confident posting their views, often without as much tact as they would apply in real life situations.  And that line has been obliterated during this highly divisive political election.

So now you may be facing the problem of staving off brawls in the break room. And while things may not get automatically better come November 9th, finding a way to unite teams again has certainly got to be a priority.

First step, make sure your leadership team is on board with following those old-fashioned rules about religion and politics. These topics have no place coming up in interviews, conversations in the hallway, or public Facebook posts (which have a way of infiltrating the business setting). Talk to your leadership team about setting the example there.

Then, start focusing on some team building opportunities as the year is closing up. The goal needs to be uniting your employees and rebuilding morale for those who may be suffering from rage fatigue as a result of this election cycle. The good news is, the November/December season is perhaps the best time to do this, with holiday parties, end-of-year bonuses, and the chance to shower your top performers with recognition and praise.

You have the perfect opportunity to shift your employee’s mood to the positive right now.

It’s time to start focusing on the good, building your teams back up and reminding them of the business of doing business. For those who have trouble coming around to that objective, and instead insist on continuing to bring taboo topics into the workplace… disciplinary action may need to be considered.

But hopefully that can be avoided with some trust falls and donuts in the break room instead!

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

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lost in Translation

I was thrilled to join my husband on a trip to London this summer to attend the world’s largest airshow, Farnborough 2016, and while I enjoyed a bit of the show—I was also there as a dedicated and determined tourist!  It has been years since I was in London, and I couldn’t wait to jump on the Underground and see it all.

What struck me as wholly unexpected, however, was my inability to adapt.  I couldn’t understand the menus (what is rocket and streaky bacon salad, anyway?), and I genuinely struggled with simple things like walking in a crowd (I couldn’t overcome years of training to move right when going slow). 

I kept laughing at myself (and profusely apologizing to everyone I was unintentionally cutting off) because it didn’t seem like this barrier should exist—after all, I technically spoke the same language as those around me and should have been able to assimilate just fine. 

Only I couldn’t.

We even decided not to rent bikes at one point, solely because my husband was convinced I would get myself killed trying to navigate the streets. 

I LOVE London, but I suppose you could say I wasn’t entirely prepared for the culture shock.

One thing I kept thinking about was how similar that feeling must be to anyone changing careers, or even just switching to a new department or division within their current company. It’s a bit like moving from government to commercial work, or leaving an established company to join a startup.

Technically, you know the language. You know how things are supposed to be done and your hands know how to do the work; but you aren’t necessarily accustomed to the intricacies of your new position, or the cultural differences within your new corporation.

So much can get lost in translation when you’re making these small shifts, and sometimes that can be even more frustrating than if you were coming in completely fresh; because people don’t always have the same patience for those who, technically, should be able to jump in feet first.

It’s a lesson to remember for hiring managers and job seekers alike. No matter how similar a position may be to what a person has done in the past, there is always a transitional period when starting a new job. A good HR team will establish quality onboarding practices to help a new hire become familiar with the differences in how this company operates (and to explain things like streaky bacon—oddities that they may not have come across elsewhere). And a successful job seeker will come in prepared to embrace change.

Even if that means learning how to walk on the wrong side of the street.

There is always a feeling of imbalance when starting a new position. But as with anything in life, most people can find their place and learn the rules of their new normal if they keep an open mind and give themselves a bit of time. 

It just takes patience and understanding, both with yourself (if you’re the one transitioning) and with your new hire (if you’re in charge of acclimating a new person to your way of doing things). So expect the culture shock. It’s normal. 

But know that with time, everyone learns which side of the street to walk on!

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

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Size Does Matter, And Smaller Might Just Be Your Perfect Fit

I’ve worked as a recruiter in the unmanned and robotics industry for many years now—enough years to see a few patterns in the way people think as they enter this industry. You see, most job seekers are fully aware of the  pioneering nature of what we do. They understand that very little is set in stone when it comes to the potential for growth within this industry, and they know there is good and bad to come from that.

On the good side, no one really knows where the technology will take us over the next few years; and that alone is incredibly exciting. It’s invigorating to be a part of an industry that is quite literally on the cusp of changing the world as we know it. Everyone wants to be a part of that.

But the bad side of that uncertainty is that we also don’t know how the laws and regulations are going to change over the next few years, and how those shifts might potentially inhibit the growth that could otherwise be possible.
We don’t know which unmanned companies will have the technology to lead them to the top of the pack, or which ones might be left in the dust by ever-evolving rules and regulations that not all will be able to keep up with.

And that can be scary. Because when a job seeker bites that bullet and accepts an offer within this industry, they are taking a leap of faith that the company they are signing on with will be one of those to rise to the top.
Because of this dynamic, a lot of job seekers come to me wanting interviews at the biggest and best names within the unmanned and robotics industry. They already have their eyes set on the big dogs—assuming that the brightest within the industry today will still be at the head of the race tomorrow; a year from now; ten years from now.

The reality of how things pan out isn’t always as easy to predict.
I understand that drive; the desire to be with a company that is already established within this field. But I can tell you from experience, I’ve also seen the huge benefits that await job seekers willing to take a risk on lesser-known corporations within this industry.
The smaller startup may not be able to boast the same prestige as the bigger names in this field, but they can offer employees something those bigger names can’t; room to grow within the corporation, and to contribute to where that corporation goes.

Employees at smaller firms often have more flexibility in their work schedules, and even in their day-to-day tasks, than they would ever be granted at a bigger organization. They are given ownership over their work, and provided with opportunities for innovation that are harder to come by at more established firms.
Perhaps most importantly, they’re granted the opportunity to get their foot in the door at the ground level, potentially being a part of something that could become huge in the years to come. And being a part of growing that can be a risk with ample rewards for those wiling to give a smaller startup a chance.

The truth is, even if you take a job on with a company that doesn’t go where you had hoped it might, the extra freedom and flexibility afforded to you by working for a smaller startup provides you with room to grow your experience and expertise in a way you might not have been able to at a larger firm. In the end, working for a smaller organization can provide more meat to your resume than a position somewhere more established ever could.
Obviously, taking on a role at a smaller organization isn’t for everyone, and you have to be willing to evaluate what it is you really want and need out of a job and your career. But for some, smaller startups can absolutely provide a more fulfilling work life than any position at a larger organization.

It’s all about knowing what you want, but you might come to find that smaller is exactly what you’re looking for.

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

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

When Your Dream Candidate Swipes Left

It happened. You went through the entire hiring process, interviewed countless applicants, came up with your top three list, and then realized you had found the one—the perfect fit for the job you were hoping to fill.
When you extended that offer, you did so already envisioning this person in that role. So when they said “no,” essentially swiping left on your offer, the letdown was real.
Now what? 

Is There Room for Negotiation? 

First things first: why did they say “no?” Rejection always hurts, and human instinct is to just back away and let it go—but if you can find out why your dream candidate turned this offer down, you might have a chance to turn things around.  Or, at the very least, to gain some insight into how to prevent being rejected by the next candidate you offer to.
If it’s about money, or benefits, or if they’ve simply received a better offer from someone else—you might be able to salvage this. Especially if you still have a bit of wiggle room in your budget. Ask the candidate to come up with a counteroffer, and then go from there.
But even if they are adamant in their decision, listen to what they are saying when they explain why they’re turning your offer down. Perhaps your budget isn’t in line with industry standards. Or maybe your company’s reputation isn’t what you thought it was.
It’s also possible their rejection has nothing to do with the job itself, and everything to do with personal reasons—maybe they’ve just decided to move out of state, for instance. But if there is something about the company and offer itself that has this candidate holding back, knowing what that is can put you in a position to better anticipate and prevent a similar offer rejection in the future. 

Was There a Close Runner-Up? 

So, your first candidate turned you down. How did you feel about the runner-up? Were they equally qualified and just barely edged out by your first choice? Or would you forever lament everything they don’t bring to the table if you were to extend an offer to them?  If the answer is the latter, don’t extend that offer. No matter how much you need to fill that role, settling on an applicant that isn’t quite right is only going to mean you’re back in this same position, with a role that needs to be filled, not too far down the line. 
If you have a close runner-up, by all means, extend the offer to them—but short of that, get back to the drawing board. 

Is it Time to Enlist the Help of a Recruiter? 

Of course, returning to that drawing board can be especially frustrating after weeks (months?) of trying to fill this role. And if you feel like you’ve already exhausted all your best resources in trying to get eyes on this opening, it might be time to enlist the help of a recruiter.  Remember, a strong recruiter often has a network and reach far beyond your wildest dreams—and in most cases, can likely even bring you candidates who surpass the qualities of that perfect applicant you already loved and lost.
Don’t waste too much time spinning your wheels in trying to fill a role that seems impossible to fill. If you’re starting over, bring in a professional who can help.  ManUP today for success tomorrow…

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

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Hiring Practices That Could (Really) Get You Sued

For the most part, I believe that people go into hiring with the best of intentions. Very few hiring managers actually want to be discriminatory in their hiring practices; most just really want to ensure they are hiring the best person for the job. That often involves wanting to get to know their applicants very well before making a final determination.

And most of the time, that really does come from a genuine place.

The problem is, not everyone is coming from that genuine place. Hiring discrimination absolutely does exist, and so laws and regulations have been put in place to try to prevent that. Laws and regulations that even you, as a hiring manager who doesn’t intend to discriminate, have to abide by.

It’s not too surprising how often hiring mangers don’t seem to understand these regulations. After all, hiring is often an “other duty as assigned,” and it doesn’t usually come with an instruction manual!  Therefore, all too often, even the most genuine and sincere hiring managers do things that could get them sued.

Asking All The Wrong Questions

I was recently involved in a group interview where one of the interviewers asked a candidate how old he was. As Business News Daily points out, that’s a no-no. Age discrimination laws are in place to prevent you from inquiring about a candidate’s age for any other reason than to assert they are, in fact, of legal age to work in your industry (and in that case, you can only ask if the candidate is older than whatever that legal age is—16, 18, 21—you can’t ask specifically how old they are.)

Other questions on the do not ask list? Anything having to do with religion, politics, marriage, children, sexuality, race or ethnicity.

Even though you are probably just trying to get to know your candidates better on a personal level to assess their fit within your corporation—talking about anything personal is a precarious line to walk, and one that could absolutely get you sued. When in doubt, don’t ask. Interview questions are best kept focused on the job at hand.

Jumping the Background Check

Most companies these days rely on some form of background check prior to making a hiring decision, which is great! A background check can tell you a lot about a potential candidate and their suitability for the job at hand.

But before you run any sort of background check, you must first notify the applicant of the background check and have their permission to run it. Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this can’t be wedged into the application somewhere—your notice of a background check has to be provided on a standalone sheet, and the applicant’s signature in agreement must be collected.

Also, if you do wind up making a hiring decision based on that background check—you have to notify the applicant of that fact, letting them know where you obtained the report from and that they have a right to request a free copy and to dispute any inaccurate information they find on that report within 60 days.

What’s all this mean for you? Well, it means you can’t just go haphazardly running background checks on all your applicants prior to scheduling interviews. Best practice involves waiting to run a background check until after you have extended an offer contingent upon passing background and drug testing.

Promises That Can’t Be Kept

When you’re in an interview that is going really well, it can be natural to want to let the applicant know they’re your top choice. After all, you don’t want to let them get away! But unless you are 100 percent in the position to make that decision and extend that offer now—don’t make any promises you may not be able to keep.

Even a simple, “Hey, I’ve met 10 people today and you’re by far my favorite, I think this job is going to be yours!” could have the potential to get you in trouble for fraud if the applicant doesn’t wind up being hired. Especially if the applicant then goes and makes a big decision, like quitting their current job, based on that conversation (which has absolutely happened).

Until you’re making an actual job offer, don’t hint one way or another to where you might be leaning. And when you do make that job offer, do so in writing so that there is no confusion about what the actual offer entails. 

Don't fool yourselves into thinking these reminders are all common sense and faux-pas you would never make. You'd be surprised how often even seasoned hiring professionals slip into a casual mindset when interviewing a candidate they like, asking questions that no hiring manager should ever ask or jumping the gun with background checks they shouldn't yet be pursuing. That's why it's important to have a set of protocols to follow and questions to ask determined long before you ever have that perfect applicant seated across from you.

Better safe than sorry when it comes to hiring mistakes that could legitimately get you sued!

ManUP today for success tomorrow…

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

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Let’s Talk About Why You Didn’t Hear Back

It’s happened to all of us. We send an e-mail out into the world with the best of intentions—hoping to land a job, or connect with an old friend, or even to set up a date.  We send that e-mail off, and then we wait. And wait. And wait.

It’s happened to all of us, and we’ve all wondered if (hoped that perhaps) we wound up in spam. Or were accidentally deleted. Or maybe even got the wrong e-mail address.

But most of the time, the receiver of said e-mail probably just decided not to respond. For any number of reasons that may have nothing (or everything) to do with you.

I can’t provide much insight into why your old friend or romantic interest didn’t get back to you—those are personal issues you might need to dissect over a pint (of either ice cream or beer) with your posse. But as a successful recruiter with an overflowing inbox, I can give you a better understanding of why your inquiry into a job opening went un-responded to.

Or at least, what you can do to improve your chances of getting that reply.

First of all, I really do get countless e-mails every day. I say “countless” because the number is really high, and I don’t want to count them! In a perfect world, I would respond to each and every one of those e-mails immediately. But in reality, the days are short and my priorities are fixed.

Which means that if you want me (or any busy hiring manager or recruiter, for that matter) to reply to your e-mail, it’s essential to make it easy to reply.

Like… stupid easy. So easy that why wouldn’t I reply?

So speaking on behalf of all those busy hiring managers and recruiters (or potential customers, vendors, or first dates) with similar inbox challenges, here are some suggestions for that next important e-mail you send:

  1. Don’t Play Coy: Make your subject line one that tells the recipient immediately who you are and what you’re writing about—a subject line that can quickly and easily be located again later if he can’t respond right away. Inquiring about a specific job? Try just using your name and that job title in the subject line: James Taylor, open Project Manager Position.
  2. Keep it Short and Sweet: You know how we’ve talked about the six seconds hiring managers spend looking at a resume? I would argue that number is even less for e-mail inquiries. When managers get e-mails from people who aren’t clients, and with whom they don’t already have an ongoing correspondence—they browse, and browse fast, before prioritizing how/when to reply.  Just, I suspect, as you do with emails you receive.  Which means you have maybe a few sentences to hook them. Be clear about what you want, why you’re contacting them, and how they can best assist you. Now isn’t the time for outlining your life story…or for providing no details and hoping the recipient can read your mind.
  3. Watch Your Tone: For the record, I know it’s frustrating to be on the job hunt. And I am really, truly, genuinely sorry for that frustration. I have all kinds of compassion for it, I promise. But all the compassion in the world doesn’t excuse terse, demanding, or overly frustrated communications with hiring managers and recruiters. If you want to get their attention (or mine), maintain a polite and professional tone, no matter how many times you’ve reached out to no avail. Getting testy does not improve your chances of a positive response.
  4. Have Patience: I believe everyone deserves the courtesy of a response.  So, the vast majority of the time, I will get back to you—it just might not happen within hours, and it probably won’t happen until I have additional information for you, which is dependent on my client’s schedule.  Following up every day is only going to further overwhelm my inbox. So give me 3 to 5 business days before you check back in. And then, a simple and polite reminder that you’re waiting for a reply is usually all it takes to remind me that I still need to get back to you.
  5. Attach the Deets: Keep your e-mail short and sweet, but don’t forget to attach your professional resume for me to review. And no, LinkedIn doesn’t count. Sure, I might peruse your profile if you include the link in your resume, but for a clear picture of how I can present you to hiring managers… the resume is a must have.
I love my job and the people I work with. And I love helping people to land their dream careers. I promise, ignoring you is not on my agenda. But if you make my life easier by being clear about who you are, what you want, and how you’re hoping I might be able to help—I’ll be able to respond more quickly and enthusiastically with my thoughts on how we can get you that job!  And with the possible exception of those romantic interests, I think that goes for anyone you contact with an overflowing inbox!

ManUP today for success tomorrow…

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

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Nightmare That is Rio

If your house is anything like my house, formerly strict screen time rules have been replaced with non-stop Olympics coverage as of late. You watched the opening ceremonies with glee, you’ve mapped out when each of your favorite events will be taking place, and you know exactly who you’re rooting for and when.

Because there is just something about the Olympic games that surges excitement through us all.

It’s fun, right? Stepping back from the insanity that is the 2016 election season, and having something to feel pride in again—rooting for Team USA (or for our non-US friends, your own country's team) right alongside your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Because Olympic games have a way of uniting us; giving us one common team to cheer for.

So, of course, you’ve also seen some of the less than positive headlines surrounding this year’s Olympic games… or at least, the headlines surrounding Rio:

Let’s be honest; nothing has painted the Rio Olympics in any sort of pristine or expertly executed light. The general consensus by athletes and the media alike is that the setting for this year’s Olympic games is, excuse my language, quite literally a crap-show.

So what happened? Well, most reports lend to the belief that the country simply bit off more than they could chew. They never had the funds or infrastructure to take on an event of this caliber, but they did it anyway, hoping that by doing so they would see a boost in tourism for years to come.
Obviously, with the headlines being what they are, the opposite is more likely to be true.

So what does this all have to do with you? I do have a point, I promise! And that point is this: never overpromise. Never overcommit. Never take on more than you can chew as a company.

Because a bad reputation resulting from undelivered promises and low quality production can have devastating consequences, not only on your ability to appeal to new clients, but also on your ability to woo top-tier talent in hiring.

What we’re seeing happening with Rio right now is a perfect reflection of what can happen when a company doesn’t follow through on promises they’ve made to their clients and employees, or when the desire for bigger and better leads a company to make commitments they can’t possibly live up to. You might go into it thinking that the effort is all that matters—that once you get people in the door, or break ground on a new project you can’t possibly see all the way through, the momentum from those feats will be enough to propel your company further forward.

The truth, unfortunately, is that your company is far more likely to face the same fate as Rio—the effects of a bad reputation will overshadow any good you may have hoped to gain.  The fact is that a leading reason small companies fail is due to premature scaling (

Don’t let that happen to you. In business, reputation is everything. And being able to fulfill the promises you make to your employees upon hiring, and your clients upon beginning business together, will play a huge role in the types of talent you’re able to attract in the future.

Because no one wants to work for a company with a reputation like Rio.

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

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Making the Transition From Military to Civilian Life

In years past, the unmanned field has drawn a lot of retired military vets into its ranks. This has a lot to do with both the kind of work being done, and the fact that many unmanned contracts required some level of military involvement. Having connections within, and ability to liaison with, members of the military was considered a plus—and security clearances were certainly deemed beneficial.
In the last year, we’ve seen more of a shift away from this symbiotic relationship between the military and the unmanned and robotics industry. This is partially because there are simply less unmanned contracts within the military these days. But there are absolutely still those within the industry who covet that military experience. Which means for some vets transitioning out of the military, the unmanned and robotics field can still serve as a great new career path to pursue.
So long as you know how to make that transition happen.

Know Your Strengths
One of the biggest things I see some of my ex-military clients struggling with is how to qualify their military experience in a way that translates into civilian work. Even vets who were valued and high ranking in their fields can sometimes have difficulty putting their experience into terms that mean something to hiring managers outside the military.
For instance, telling a hiring manager you ran a multi-million dollar mission and oversaw 4,000 soldiers and contractors won’t actually translate into real-world experience—all that hiring manager is going to gather is that you have limited experience with hands-on management. Your typical commercial employer needs to know you can personally and directly inspire, motivate, and guide 15 employees… or 3. So structure your resume in a way that highlights your direct management experience, showing how your skills could translate into managing a small team. For instance, instead of saying, “Ran a multi-million dollar mission and oversaw 4,000 soldiers and contractors,” say, “Directed a team of 15 tactical specialists through the oversight of a multi-million dollar project involving over 4,000 soldiers and contactors.”
The key is in recognizing that it’s not about past job titles or rank, it’s about the skills you gained along the way. You need to be able to identify the strengths you acquired in service, and then know how to apply those to the skills required for any number of jobs outside the military.

Use Your Network
So much of finding a job these days is about networking, and there is perhaps no stronger network than the one formed between service men and women. Working with a quality recruiter can help you to get your resume in front of hiring managers, but former friends and co-workers from the military can provide invaluable references and recommendations.

Update Your Resume
The resume you used while in the military will be practically useless to you in the civilian job hunt. While the military prefers precision and detailed lists, hiring managers outside the military are far more interested in being wooed. You need to find a way to present you experience in a powerful and impactful way, so that in just a few seconds of review, the hiring manage gains an idea of who you are and what you can offer, and has been “sold” enough on your capabilities to want to bring you in for an interview.
That “selling” really is part of it, and it may be something you want to consider hiring a professional to help you to do.

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

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What You Can Learn From Google About How To Build A Team

The New York Times recently had a piece about Google’s Project Aristotle: the research group they have dedicated to the science of building perfect teams. You see, Google recognizes that the key to success as a business goes so far beyond the individual hires a company may make. Instead, there is something to be said for the cohesiveness of those hires, and how they come together as teams to further a company’s mission.
You can have a team made up of all the best performers in your industry, but if they don’t work well together, nothing of value will be accomplished. That’s where Google’s lessons about the perfect team can come in handy.

Recognize that Differences Hold Value
It is incredibly common for hiring managers to be drawn towards individuals who are more like them. In fact, a recent report produced by the CIPD found that hiring managers have an unconscious bias towards these “mini-me” recruits. To some extent, these types of hires can be great for cultural fit. But quality teams are made up of various individual pieces that can provide insight others on the team can’t—and when you have an entire team made up of like-minded individuals, with similar strengths and areas of expertise, that isn’t always possible.

Test for Social Sensitivity
The Google report cites research that found successful groups are typically made up of members with higher than average social sensitivity. That means members who care about the feelings of those around them. You wouldn’t necessarily think this would be vital to team productivity (after all, shouldn’t business be just business?), but it can absolutely affect how a team communicates and works with one another.
The good news is, this is something that can actually be tested for in an exam referred to as the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test.” And applicants who score high in social sensitivity may make for better team members than those who don’t.

Promote a Safe Space
Since communication is a vital part of a successful team, having a safe space where applicants feel comfortable sharing a variety of ideas is crucial. If team members are afraid of being judged and discounted, they won’t speak out as often—which results in the same team members making the same contributions all the time. A problem, seeing as Google’s research has found that teams where members speak equally are generally  more successful.
Even Google is finding that there is no exact formula for creating a perfect team. And it’s possible that members of an unsuccessful team could perform beautifully if placed elsewhere. Creating the right teams often becomes a matter of trial and error. But one of the things we can learn from Google’s work is that a willingness to try new things has the potential to go a long way.

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

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

If Your Interview Were Like a First Date

When was the last time you went on a first date? The last time you felt the butterflies of a great match, and were on your best behavior to ensure the other person felt the same?
For some of you, it may have been a while. For others, it might have been last week. But no matter how long it’s been, you likely still remember the “rules” of dating and how to always put your best foot forward. Yet, despite that knowledge, you may not even realize how similar a first interview can actually be to a first date. Up to and including the nervous butterflies at your realization that this is the job you want.
So, if your interview were like a first date, what would you need to do in order to end it with a kiss… or a job offer, as the case may be?
Make Eye Contact: It’s normal to be nervous at a job interview, but part of making that great first impression is making an actual human connection. That means eye contact and reciprocal communication. Shake hands, remain engaged, and look your interviewer in the eye!
Smile and Laugh: Sure, job interviews are more serious endeavors than first dates. And they don’t usually include the benefit of alcohol to help ease any social anxieties you may be feeling. But that doesn’t discount the value of a genuine smile and well-timed laughter. Obviously, you don’t want to spend your entire interview cracking jokes. You want to answer the questions you are asked and prove your commitment to this role. But you also want to engage with the interviewer in a way that leaves them thinking you’re someone they would like to work with. And no one wants to work with a candidate who stiffly answers questions and refuses to crack a smile in the process.
Express Your Interest: There are a lot of “rules” that go hand in hand with dating, and one of the most often repeated is something about not showing too much interest too soon. But we all know how good it feels to have someone we are interested in express a subtle interest in us as well. The same is true of a job interview. Hiring managers don’t want to extend an offer to someone who just casually decided to show up to the interview; they want employees who truly want to be working for them. You can differentiate yourself as one of those potential employees by asking questions about the position and finding ways to show off your knowledge of the company during your conversation. Don’t play hard to get; hiring managers aren’t in it for the chase.  

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