What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes candidates make while interviewing? One very common mistake we see candidates make time and again is that they don’t let their enthusiasm and excitement for the role and company really shine through during their interview. Hiring mangers want to hire team members that are enthusiastic and excited about joining their team and company. So next time you interview, make sure you do your homework and let that enthusiasm come through!
With so much negative thought out there on the millennial generation it’s good to see more articles looking at the millennial generation holistically – and I’m not talking about a defense of the generation. Does the millennial generation deserve to be vilified? No. Do millennials need to be responsible for how they operate in the world? Yes.
There seems to be a pervasive pattern that every generation always has a similar response to the upcoming generation: conform or get out. I think saying one generation or the other should conform is a dangerous road to go down. The current workforce is not “right” and millennials are not “right”. The question is how do people, old and young, work together in an ever-evolving landscape?
“Adapting to the workforce as it is” is a a dangerous sentiment on it’s own – you can’t resist change and evolution my friends! I think it’s important to note I’m not taking sides, my whole point is taking sides is stupid – it’s a fault of being a human that brings all the suffering we have today. Figure out how to work and grow together – we would be in a very different planet right now.
Millennials do need to be responsible for many things as they are entering the workforce; we see a very common naiveté among millennial candidates that often translates to or is interpreted a lack of professionalism and sometimes a sort of selfishness. Millennials need to make sure they are acting appropriate to the situation they are in, honoring the other people around them instead of living and acting from their own little self-centered bubble.
Conversely, companies need to be adapting their cultures, office environments, perks, incentives, growth opportunities, communication structures, and compensation packages to attract and retain the absolute rockstars that the millennial generation is producing. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple are reaping the benefits of this strategy.
Bottom line, if we all adapt and look from working together in ways that empower and support everyone, then maybe we can create the strongest and most productive workforce yet!
Keywords: executive recruiting, recruiting, advertising, marketing, media, sales, pr, public relations, business, financial, hiring, ad agency, san diego, miami, atlanta, new york, los angeles, chicago, san francisco, long beach, lance winsaft, lily winsaft, Aldebaran Recruiting, corporate politics, customers, client, digital marketing, negotiation, small business, salary, candidates, cpa, millennials, generation z
Talented professionals, the right ones for your company, are not so “easy” to come by as most small business owners can attest. Heck, hiring in general is not an easy task for any size company, even those with marquis brands.
In a relatively strong economy, top-notch professionals have choices. So when you find a good match, don’t lose them by taking risks on the negotiating table.
My 18-year career in recruiting has taught me a thing or two about how to ensure that a highly desirable candidate doesn’t get away, even when their salary requirements exceed your budget.
Aldebaran Associates, the recruiting firm I started almost 15 years ago, deals with clients of all sizes ranging from 10 employees to over 50,000. In tough conversations involving compensation packages, the winner is always the person that clearly knows what they want and is willing to give up emotional or stubborn attachments to any aspect within the scope of a potential offer.
Preparation for compensation conversations should begin before you actually meet the first candidate. Turnover is very costly so hiring “right” from the start is necessary if you are going to avoid financial havoc.
We recommend that you not initiate a search, or at least not start interviewing, until you can clearly answer the following:
- What is your vision for this role? How will it contribute to your overall company business strategy?
- What is the local market salary range for this role, keeping in mind the scope of the role and the years of experience required?
- What is your budget and how flexible can you be?
- If your budget does not allow you to meet the market salary demands for this position, how do you plan to make up for this?
- What is it costing you to not fill this position? Consider the financial, emotional, personal and, of course, productivity costs.
- If this role is replacing someone, review any compensation aspects of that experience that may have contributed to the relationship not working out.
- What are the top 3 “must haves” for this role and what are the top 3 skills or traits you would really like the candidate to possess but are willing to do without?
- What are your deal breakers? What are you not willing to compromise on regarding this hire?
Consult a business partner, financial advisor (such as your CPA), search consultant, reputable recruiting firm, etc. if you are unable to answer any these questions satisfactorily on your own. You may have assigned someone on your staff to manage the search process and applicant interviews.
If so, make sure to share with them the answers to the above questions. Be certain this person is someone you 100% trust to be aligned and engaged with the vision of your business and the role itself.
Thoughtfully considering the questions proposed here, and knowing the answers, will give you the confidence to engage in negotiation-like conversations starting on the first interview with each candidate.
This is a critical step in setting yourself up for extending solid offers and minimizing the risk that they will be counter-offered, rescinded or shopped.
“Survival of the fittest” is a phrase that originated when Charles Darwin wrote on his theory of natural selection.
The phrase was actually coined by Herbert Spencer after reading Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” Basically, the theory is that nature will consistently ensure the survival of a species through the “natural selection” if its strongest specimens.
Only those individual members of a species that exhibit the highest level of ability to survive environmental elements will live long enough to reproduce, passing along DNA to their offspring, and thus allowing for the continual evolution of their species.
Of course “survival” implies a battlefield in which some will make it out alive and others won’t.
Corporate politics is one such battlefield.
Sitting through hundreds of interviews with professionals at all levels and in a myriad of industries, it has become obvious to me that for many professionals that do not survive their jobs, the reason for their demise can often be attributed to their lack of ability to understand, and win inside their employer’s corporate politics.
Even more pervasive, corporate politics impacts business owners and entrepreneurs. Not “getting” the corporate politics of your customer can result in losing their business, even if what you have to offer is something they really want and need.
So what is corporate politics and why is it important?
According to Wikipedia, it refers to “the use of power and social networking within an organization to achieve changes that benefit the organization or individuals within it. Influence by individuals may serve personal interests without regard to their effect on the organization itself.”
The phrase has a negative connotation because when you hear it you automatically assume that the people that are exercising corporate politics are abusing their power and making decisions that are not in the best interest of the company or the individuals within it, but most likely for the benefit of a very few – those that are in power and seeking to amass more of it – for their personal gain. It’s important because it exists and because knowing how to survive it is critical to your success.
We can probably all agree that corporate politics appears to be unavoidable.
Some people seem to naturally and quickly understand the corporate politics of an organization, while others struggle until they either get it or they don’t. And when they don’t, what is often predictable is the termination of employment or the loss of a customer. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Your clients basically sign your paychecks. So if you think you don’t have a boss because you own your own business, you are sadly mistaken. Once you acquire a client there is a host of matters you and your staff must attend to in order to keep that client happy and returning to buy more of your products and services, which is a challenge in and of itself. Businesses invest hard earned bucks to maintain clients because everyone knows customer retention is far less expensive than customer acquisition. “Acquiring new customers can cost 5 times more than satisfying and retaining current customers (Alan E. Webber, Forrester Research).”
Customer acquisition long-term sustainability of a business Customer retention is obviously extremely important, but it is my belief that customer acquisition is even more vital to the long-term sustainability of a business. While no one questions that both are necessary, there has been a longtime debate about which is most important – to acquire or to retain. Interestingly, over the years I have been able to witness first hand that the focus on acquiring new customers must be hands down the first priority. An extreme but true example can be seen in the advertising world. Aldebaran Associates, the recruiting firm I (Lily Winsaft) started 14 years ago, places professionals in advertising, marketing, media, and public relations. The biggest mistake I have seen many agencies make is to put all their eggs in one or two baskets, feeding and nurturing less than a handful of clients. They hire staff and third party vendors to service and entertain these few clients, and they actually do very well… until the rug gets pulled out from underneath. Dozens of times I have seen agencies in utter despair when overnight one of their big clients decides to go with another agency. Since they didn’t do a good job acquiring new customers, they now have to face the financial impact, which includes firing staff and often going out of business. In our own business model we have discovered that if we do not focus on bringing on new clients, our sales pipeline suffers greatly and recurrent business from existing clients does not cut it if we are to reach our revenue goals. Lance Winsaft heads up our sales and recruiting team out of our office in San Diego.
Keywords: executive recruiting, recruiting, advertising, marketing, media, sales, pr, public relations, business, financial, hiring, ad agency, san diego, miami, atlanta, new york, los angeles, chicago, san francisco, long beach, Lance Winsaft, Lily Winsaft, Aldebaran Recruiting
In the very beginning I worked almost eighteen hours a day. It was not a pretty sight, to say the least. As the business got more stabilized, actually, as I personally got more stabilized…it became apparent if I didn’t work on balancing my life with my work that I would burn out.
One way I made sure to do this was to speak publicly about the importance of work-life balance to any women’s group that would listen. It needed to be talked about it publicly and I had to be that person!
One of my best experiences was while leading a women’s organization in support of Latinas working in various business capacities.
We had a board member who worked for Macy’s at the time. They sponsored a fashion show and we all had a chance to walk the runway and feel special as women.
We were strutting our stuff and showing the world that business is not just about closing deals and carrying a briefcase.
I also spoke to a large group of Latinas with their own businesses at a conference on the Queen Mary in Long Beach California. My topic was about “Putting Yourself First” and how important that is in order to have the energy to be there for both our businesses and our families.
Whenever possible I do walk my talk and try to get away on little vacations. My favorite activities are hiking and traveling. Last summer I spent six weeks in Europe with my two sisters. It was amazing.
When I relocated from Atlanta with my son Lance Winsaft, I had to say goodbye to Stone Mountain where I hiked pretty regularly. Once I actually ran into a client and took a picture together. I also had to say goodbye to the Chattahoochee River where I used to trail jog every weekend off at Columns Drive in East Cobb. I really miss both and can’t wait to revisit you in the near future!
keywords: executive recruiting, recruiting, advertising, marketing, media, san diego, miami, atlanta, new york, los angeles, chicago, san francisco, long beach
Human Resources and the professionals that carry out this function play a key role in how companies develop the values that ultimately express themselves in the culture of an organization. Corporate culture is important because it is the bedrock on which a company grows and sustains the most important asset it possesses…its people. Unfortunately, culture is not as easy to either create or nurture as we would all like it to be. For many companies, the existence of culture happens on its own with little intention on anyone’s part. Lack of intention and creative commitment opens the door for less than favorable conditions to creep into the cultural environment.
Not too long ago I found myself, as I often do, walking along the corridors of a well-known Fortune 500 corporation in Atlanta, gently being nudged by the numerous signs hanging on the walls. These signs spoke to the values of this company. My client, the Director of Human Resources, spoke to me about these values. She spoke of integrity and communication and about education and knowledge. She highlighted the company’s commitment to customer service and to teamwork. As we discussed the qualities my firm, Aldebaran Associates, should look for in the candidates we source for them, she made sure that I understood how important it was that these candidates “fit” the company’s values and culture. We subsequently presented an extraordinary candidate for a key position and the candidate went through 3 interviews, getting high remarks from all. We were certain she would get an offer. Instead, 2 months later and a couple of dozen messages left through either email or voice mail, we still had not received feedback or a conclusion about this candidate. We were never told if the position was filled, or why they passed on our candidate. Two parties were left hanging in an incomplete conversation. What happened to the values of communication and customer service? Were they intended only for the people inside the company?
Corporate culture must be created with intention if it is to truly matter and have the kind of impact that an organization has in mind when it speaks of its culture. A company’s values should be so loud that even an outsider is able to recognize them. The people at Amazon have built an enormously successful empire based on one huge value – the customer is always right. And because they believe this to be true, they live it and breathe it every day. They make the process of returns, exchanges, complaints, etc. so easy and pleasant that no matter what happens to your order, you will keep coming back because you know you are valued as highly important. Amazon has been an inspiration for many companies to follow that same value system. This system says that if you take care of your customer, no matter what, they will always come back. And they will say nice things about you to their friends. In this world of social media and connectivity, this is no small matter.
Compare this to Molina HealthCare, a market place insurance company that has one of the poorest customer service value systems I know of. A good friend of mine cancelled her policy over a year ago and they are still withdrawing premiums from her bank account. She has escalated her issue numerous times, visited their local offices in person, written letters, and each time she is told they can’t do anything about it. I simply do not understand this!
When, as a human resources professional or other person authorized to make hiring decisions, you interview a job applicant it is your responsibility to embody the value systems of your organization. You see, when a candidate leaves your doors, or hangs up the phone with you, they are left with an impression of you and the company. That impression is the seed of how they will relate to your brand. Every time they interact with you that seed grows. They then become a walking billboard for your brand. How people view your brand is a reflection of the values and culture of your organization. Every candidate you invite through an interview process with you is thinking and saying something about your organization. It’s up to you to show up in such a way that what those candidates have to say builds a positive image of you and your brand. What they say about you is a mirror for the culture you say you are building and creating. Ask yourself if you are honoring the values someone said, and you are saying, are the values of the organization.
Looking from the outside, as a vendor and provider of services, I am clear that human resources has the power to impact how an organization’s culture is viewed. By modeling behavior that truly reflects the values of the organization, human resources personnel and all those with the authority to make a hiring decision are in a position to make a positive and inspiring difference for the corporation they represent. Regarding your company’s values – know them, breathe them, live them!!
Written by Lily Winsaft, CEO
For information about the Aldebaran Associates Human Resources Programs and Consulting Services, call us at 561-337-5211 or visit our website: http://aldebaranassociates.com/service/hr-programs/
I’ve always known I wanted to make the world a better place, even if it was by reaching out and making a difference in just one person’s life.
Searching for and wanting to know my purpose (as many of us do for much of our young adult lives) consumed me. Then one day it occurred to me that maybe I didn’t have a purpose. That scary thought created a vacuum in which I could now make one up. The purpose I invented over 10 years ago still drives my spirit today.
It is this purpose that gets me out of bed each day and catapults me into doing what I do. Extraordinarily, this purpose also led me to one of my biggest dreams – “To create a world where people love what they do for a living.” Throughout my numerous career moves, I noticed that most people not only do not love what they do for a living, but they are mostly scraping by, almost robotically, wishing and praying that one day they’ll “escape the rat race” and make it to that island dream life that occupies their minds in those rare moments when they have the time to fantasize about a better life.
My dream, fueled by the purpose I invented – “To inspire others to connect to and be moved into action by their own greatness” – motivated me to start Aldebaran Associates during one of the toughest economic times in our recent history. My son came up with the name after hearing me talk about my vision for the company.
Aldebaran is the name of the biggest and brightest star in the Taurus constellation – its Alpha Star. The star is located in the eye of the bull and Aldebaran is an Arabic word that means “the Follower.” It is named that way because it seems to follow the Pleiades, a cluster of stars to which wondrous mythological legend is attached.
The clients and candidates that Aldebaran Associates follows are all Superstars. We work very hard to align them with each other so that we can all get closer to loving what we do for a living. We reach out and make a difference in one person’s career, then another, and then another. Welcome to our world!
We believe in the true alignment of client and candidate. While we look for the required skills and experience, we concentrate on matching personalities and core values.
Corporate cultures vary enormously and companies strive for balance within their existing teams when they are adding staff. We meet every client and practice sound due diligence when working on new searches. We interview our candidates in person and establish credibility and trust. Nothing is left to chance.
We value long-term relationships with clients and candidates. We work as partners to facilitate that rapport and continue the relationship long after the engagement is complete. We keep our word and assure you of the highest ethical standards at all times.
We are committed to:
- Integrity, honesty and direct communication
- Mutual respect and confidentiality at all levels
- Being passionate about our candidates, clients, and partners
- Creating a world where people love what they do for a living
- Inspiring others to be connected to and moved into action by their own greatness
- Personal excellence and self improvement
- Delivering results and quality to clients, shareholders, partners and employees
- Quality of work/life balance for all professionals
- The valuable exchange of information in all interactions