Friday, January 22, 2010

The Cure for Interview Frustration

Yes, people looking for work are beginning to get more interviews, but the interview process is long and frustrating. It seems random. You think you had a great interview; then, you never hear from them again. You are told you are a finalist and will be asked back for a second interview; then, nothing happens.

It's frustrating for the hiring manager, too. Sometimes, the requisition is pulled at the last minute, or the level of the job opening changes. Or a senior person wants someone different. The hiring managers aren't the bad guys, and thinking about them that way is a sure way to kill your interviewing confidence.

Take a tip from the sales professionals, and use your interviews for prospects. Here's how.

When you have been a real candidate and have been interviewed by more than one person, there is bound to be someone you clicked with more than the others. Once you have been turned down for the job, contact the person you clicked with, and say something like, "I know you found someone more appropriate for the job, and I understand. I really enjoyed meeting you and believe you really know who I am and what I can do. Is there any other place you would recommend I look?" If the person responds with a company name, ask, "Do you know someone there I could contact?" If the answer is yes, ask, "May I use your name?" While this only works some of the time, when it does work, it's major.

Everyone you meet when you are interviewing should be put on your contact list. The more people you interview with, the more people you meet, the more people you have as networking contacts. If they don't help you this time you are looking for a job, maybe they will next time. When you get that job, email everyone on the list a brief thank-you note and include your new contact information. The more you interview, the more networking contacts you will have. Even when they don't result in jobs, interviews are great opportunities to build your network.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Coming Talent Drain

Experts say that the job market will turn the corner in the Second Quarter of 2010. CareerBuilder agrees, stating that the time to look for a job is right now. At the same time, job satisfaction is at an all-time low, according to the Conference Board. Most organizations don't have the resources to reward even their best performers in terms of raises or promotions. Most organizations don't have managers that can actually talk candidly to their employees.

Our guess at Career Strategies is that these trends mean trouble for many employers between now and July, a brain drain of their "best people," their talent.

The best performers always have an easier time finding jobs, even in the worst of times. They will be on the move first. Then, they will pull their friends and co-workers into the job market with them.

Our guess is that the executives will be taken care of somehow. But the key salespeople, the key relationship management people, the IT genius who keeps things together, the controller that truly understands the business, the product development person who leads the field, all of them will be up for grabs.

If your company or organization doesn't pay attention to these people, now, before they complete their resumes, they will be history. The only retention tool that really works is talking to people directly and honestly about their careers. We have proven that over and over again with our on-site coaching. We can help both the organization and the talent come together on an appropriate career direction for 2010.