Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Finding the Ideal Candidate

I have posted this information in the past but a recent e-mail exchange with a hiring manager brought it back to mind.

How to attract the best and brightest to your company is a challenge I am hearing from most, if not all of our clients right now. Then, once you find them, hire them, onboard them, motivate them and ultimately retain them become the next challenges. I wish I had a dollar for every client who said they were looking for the ideal candidate. Every hiring manager would like the perfect candidate for their open position. In seeking Mr./Ms. Perfect, many highly qualified candidates are passed over. Perfection is elusive, but almost perfect could be sitting right in front of you. Elongated hiring processes and having multiple interviewers involved in the process simply complicate the hiring process and serve to frustrate candidates with a high degree of patience.

I suggest a thorough review of your processes and an evaluation as to why you are having trouble finding the ideal candidate.

I can be reached through LinkedIn or

Monday, September 24, 2018


It is a “small world”.  After 45 plus years in and around the recruiting industry, I have gotten to know a great many people and I have been asked all too many times, “Do I have to include all of my jobs on my resume even if I was only there for a few months?” or “How far back should I go with my resume?”. Basically, you do not have to include anything on your resume. What you include on your resume is up to you. 
However, the advice that I give is to ask the person if he or she wants to start a relationship with resume omissions or incorrect dates of employment.  I feel that a candidate must set the example and everything that is on a resume should be true and factual. 
Over the past few years, gaps in employment are commonplace and easily explained. Be prepared to explain the gap itself by pointing to an activity that filled it, such as volunteer work, caring for an ill family member, or launching a business. The best strategy when dealing with any potentially negative information is to focus on your accomplishments and the value you can bring to the table.
I can be reached at 973-627-1888 or if you would like to discuss your current career path.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Resumes are personal advertisements.
People need to know how to present themselves.
Part 2

I cannot tell you the numbers of times that I have heard from a candidate who sent in a one page resume and upon questioning learned that anywhere from 5 to 15 years were left off the resume!

We've all been told at one time or another to keep our resume to one page, but this old standard no longer holds true. If you have enough experience and accomplishments to highlight on two pages, go for it.  Of course, if you're new to the workforce, one page should suffice.

Now that resumes are often entered into an applicant-tracking system, it's more important than ever to include keywords that help the system match you to the appropriate position.  You might need more space to do that.  This is even more essential for loss prevention professionals who have evolved into more technical or analytical roles.  If you are an experienced professional and you need the room to showcase your accomplishments, do not be afraid to go for the extra page or pages.

As to the objective or summary sections at the beginning of the resume, there is a school of thought that suggests going right to your experience. I personally agree with that suggestion.  If you have strong skill sets and good accomplishments, they will come out loud and clear in the experience section.

I can be reached at 973-627-1888 if you would like to discuss your current career path.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Resumes are your personal Advertisement

I decided to repeat the next 4 articles as things have not changed since I first published them 5 years ago
After thirty-one years as an executive recruiter, I have lost track of the number of resume formats that I have received. I have received resumes from candidates who paid hundreds of dollars to have a resume professionally prepared, and I have received resumes prepared by the candidate. The major similarity that I saw in all of those resumes is that the preparer did not list the accomplishments but did list duties and responsibilities.
Hiring managers and human resource professionals know what a loss prevention professional does in an LPM, DLPM, RLPM or higher level loss prevention role. That being the case, why would you want to dedicate so much space on the resume with job duties and responsibilities when it is the bottom line accomplishments that relate how well you have done your job.
I recently received a resume from a candidate and under each of his positions he listed 4 to 5 accomplishment bullet points. He did a great job relating how well he did in his various positions and when I called to discuss his credentials I asked why he prepared his resume with accomplishments. He told me that he felt it was important for people to know how well he did his job and not necessarily what he did. 
A big part of the loss prevention business is building relationships and I have to thank one of my clients for bringing the accomplishment resume issue to the forefront. In my next three newsletters I will be discussing other resume issues that will help you in preparing your advertisement.
I can be reached at 973-627-1888 if you would like to discuss your current career path.

Monday, July 16, 2018


Over my soon to be 31 years as a recruiter I have planned my work and then worked my plan on a daily basis. That being said, there are always the emergencies and last minute changes to deal with; but I always have a plan to go back to!
Much has been written about how to ace an interview and get the job and part of my daily plan, when needed, is to set aside time to discuss interview preparation with candidates going out on interviews and preparing the client to meet the candidate. I cannot tell you how many times a client did not want to take the time to hear about a candidate, and ever more surprising was how many times I heard from a candidate that they had never blown an interview and did not need to have any information from me.
Needless to say, in both of these situations the interviews did not go well and Both the clients and candidates were looking to me for answers. My response was and is that preparation is the key to success.
By clicking on the link below you can check availability to have a short chat with me about how to prepare for an interview.
As in the past I am here to serve your needs, either as a client or a candidate.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The ten top things Candidates Love and Hate

The Top-10 Things Candidates Hate ( these are provided by an unknown source)
  1. Having no clue whom they are meeting with for an interview, how long they will interview for, and arriving somewhere on time in order to wait alone in a lobby, room, or restaurant (and feeling very conspicuous when they don't need a job!) while looking at their watch (every five seconds) for the late interviewer.
  1. Taking a personal day off on one, two, or three occasions to interview at XYZ Company, only to fall into the Black Hole of No Feedback and never to be spoken to again. Add that their wife continues to harp on the fact that they missed Johnny's recital by taking personal days to go interview for a new job when "You have a perfectly acceptable one right now." This is when your picture goes up on the dart board in their rec room.
  1. Learning after the fact that someone on the interview team thought that their resume showed too many positions when they actually worked for the same company for 10 years, but it changed names 10 times. This is the reality of never being able to address an objection, real or not, that comes up during the process that can be addressed.
  1. Navigating a ridiculous, invasive online application that does not save after each field, crashes unexpectedly, is hard to complete thoroughly, and yet is viewed as a negative if it is incomplete.
  1. Walking in to an interview with a person more junior than themselves to discover that said person is reading the resume for the first time and is asking impossibly inane questions such as, "So, why do you need a job with our company?" when they were recruited to the interview.
  1. Feeling like they really are the right person for the job but somehow can't get an interview. Whether that is because of a poor resume, undeveloped communications skills, or not connecting at the right level.
  1. Going through a more thorough interview process than a candidate for the Supreme Court. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have actually been involved in an interview process that has lasted longer than one year
  1. Enduring a background check that is conducted by hourly workers on a different continent who raise red flags on your background because your university verified your degree as a B.S. in Sociology and Anthropology instead of a B.S. in Women's Studies (which is no longer offered). Did I mention that the candidate has already resigned, given their start date, and had their goodbye party?
  1. Enduring a formal interview process, complete with a one-hour phone screen with HR, a call with a junior team member asking basic questions, and then getting the green light to attend a cattle call. All of this when the candidate has only agreed to being "open to talking" and is NOT looking for a job. In fact, they really only signed up to have a beer with a career-level counterpart on the inside.
  1. The number-one pet peeve of all candidates is talking to misinformed, condescending, and unoriginal interviewers who answer all questions with, "Because that's the way we do it here and we cannot do it differently." Or who answer every question with "I don't know."
We are all guilty of a few spineless process moments that cause our candidates pain and suffering. So what do they like? What wins every time with a candidate?
The Top-10 Things Candidates Love
  1. Talking to someone who is knowledgeable about their background, their company, what their potential career path may be, and who can have an unbiased conversation about options that exist.
  1. Entering an interview process that is transparent.
  1. Getting a courtesy telephone call to the effect of, "What we have is no for now, not forever. We value your time and are sorry about the outcome."
  1. Having someone help them go through the online application process or be on hand and be knowledgeable about the system.
  1. Getting a list of information that is needed to complete the online application such as W2s, phone numbers, references, and yes, even documentation to present in lieu of a real, live company that has since closed (Enron).
  1. Having an honest conversation about objections to their history and being allowed to counter.
  1. Getting help on resigning and also being granted some flexibility on start dates if they have real plans to travel, have surgeries, or a need to keep a schedule of their former employer.
  1. Being asked for feedback on the questions asked during the interview process or what they felt were high and low points of the interaction. Also, having the chance to weigh in on the overall candidate experience.
  1. Having flexibility in the process and a chance for their questions to be answered versus being interrogated without any real dialogue about their concerns.
  1. Being treated with respect at every level regardless of whether they are the right candidate.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Why we do and do not Ask Questions

John Miller author of QBQ put togethet a list of why we do and donot ask questions.  I found this list to be an eye opener so here you are.

Asking questions is a skill required by people in all
roles, job functions, and professions.
Why exactly do we ask questions? Well, here are 15 reasons to do so!
1.  To acquire knowledge
2.  To eliminate confusion
3.  To cause someone else to feel special/important
4.  To guide a conversation in the direction we want it to go
5.  To demonstrate humility to another
6.  To enable a person to discover answers for themselves

7.              To gain empathy through better understanding another's view
8.              To influence/alter someone else's opinion/view
9.              To begin a relationship
10.         To strengthen a relationship
11.         To humbly show we have knowledge on a specific topic
12.         To stimulate creativity and idea generation
13.         To gain a person's attention
14.         To solve a problem
15.         To reach agreement or to "agree to disagree" with clarity 

But wait! To understand why we DO ask questions, it's good to explore the reasons why we DO NOT ask questions. Here are six:
1.              To find a culprit
2.              To embarrass and shame
3.              To appear superior
4.              To create fear
5.              To manipulate
6.              To play the victim, as in, "Why is this happening to
(See QBQ! book)

To get better clarity on these I suggest you read John Miller's book.

Monday, June 11, 2018

10 Common Mistakes People Make at Job Interviews
compliled by Dave Johnson CBS Money Watch

You can never be too prepared for a job interview -- you never know what minor element of your personality or presentation can make or break your chances. But while you may be polished to a luster for the usual interview questions and your resume is gleaming, what about some of the other intangibles involved in getting hired?

After all, for better or for worse about a third of hiring managers assess candidates and make a hiring decision within the first 90 seconds. Fair? Of course not. But it does mean that its critical to control those elements that aren't just about your previous job performance.
Recently, education research firm Classes and Careers published an interesting infographic that rolls up a slew of less obvious things that influence the hiring process.
For starters, there are a number of nonverbal cues that hiring managers consider mistakes that can cost you the job. The most egregious ones? Failure to make eye contact is at the top of the list. Other deal-breakers include failing to smile, bad posture and fidgeting.
In addition, your choice of clothing is important. More than half of hiring managers say that your choice of clothes can be the deciding factor when choosing among similar candidates. In particular, it can be a liability to dress too fashionably or trendy.
According to Classes and Careers, here are the 10 most common mistakes people make at job interviews:
10. Over-explaining why you lost your last job
9. Conveying that you're not over having lost your last job
8. Lacking humor, warmth or personality
7. Not showing enthusiasm or interest in the job
6. Inadequate research about the position or company
5. Concentrating on what you want rather than what the company needs
4. Trying to be all things to everyone
3. Winging the interview
2. Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates
1. Not asking for the job

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Self Discipline

If I had a dollar for every time someone has told me they don’t know how I work at home with “all those distractions”, Of course, we all know that working remotely with success takes  real discipline. The kind of discipline that keeps you at your desk when no one will know if you’re not. The kind of discipline that keeps the television off, and your brain switched on.
I’ve heard people say we’re born disciplined, or we’re not, but I don’t believe it. Anyone can learn to be disciplined in their work--even when working from home. If you’re looking to be more disciplined, here are some tactics that can help.

Note:  These are not original ideas and I do not have the source to give credit.

1. Plan your day.

If you don’t know what you need to do, or what’s coming up, it can be difficult to maintain your discipline, since there’s no pressure. A first step to being more disciplined is to set aside time in your calendar for every task you need to do. Some of the time slots and tasks may change, but this plan will at least set your expectations for what you need to achieve.

2. Plan your breaks.

Put your daily tasks into your daily schedule too, along with “legitimate” work breaks, like lunchtime. Build them into “break” time around your other tasks, or slot them in at lunch. If you plan those tasks, you’ll know you’ll get them done, too, which will get them off your mind and allow you to focus on your work.

3. Chunk tasks and set time goals.

Look at each work job you need to do today, and think about what’s involved.
By breaking those large tasks down into smaller chunks, and estimating a timeframe for the completion of each, you give yourself mini-goals that are easy to achieve, and give you a continuous sense of progress. You ‘ll probably also get a bit of a kick out of beating your estimate now and again.

4. Develop a reward strategy.

Your reward strategy is a way to pat yourself on the back for your achievements during the day.
It might involve a coffee break, an exercise break or five minutes to catch up on the news. Long-break rewards should be slotted into your schedule, so you can see them on the list and they can help motivate you to get through your tasks. But use your breaks strategically, so that you’re duly rewarded for your discipline at logical points through the day.

5. Make delivery promises, and stick to them.

To build that sense of external accountability, start making unprompted promises to deliver work to your colleagues. I’m not just talking about big-ticket deadlines; I’m talking about everyday tasks that contribute to your colleagues’ projects. Making a commitment to deliver to someone will almost certainly help you to be more disciplined about the way you work, and the way your prioritize what you have to do each day. Having someone else’s expectations to live up to is a great motivator.

6. Do something you enjoy.

I find that if I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I’m usually pretty disciplined about it.
Even if you’re having an off day, it’s much easier to be disciplined about your tasks if you believe in them. If you feel like the things you have to do are pointless, meaningless, or a waste of time, you’ll probably be more attracted to playing with the pooch or watching television than getting the job done.
What do you think supports a disciplined approach when you’re working from home?

Monday, May 21, 2018


 When prepping candidates for an interview I am asked what are 5 good questions that I can ask on 
an interview.  Well--Here they are.

 1. “How do you define success for this job?”

This question helps you get a clear understanding of what the job entails and the expectations the company will have for you in it, says John Crossman, president of real estate management firm Crossman & Company.

For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, an answer to this question might be that you acquire 10 new clients in the next 90 days. It may also be that you upsell current customers by 25 percent over 90 days. As a candidate, you’ll want to know whether you’ll be cold-calling prospects or focusing on existing customers before you make your decision.

2. Something specific about the organization

It’s always a great idea to ask a question that shows you did your research before the interview says Chris Delaney, author of “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview.” He recommends building rapport and showcasing your research skills with a technique he calls “share expertise, ask question.”

His example:  “I recently read that the organization is looking to break into Europe. What do you foresee as the main barrier with this project?”

3. “Can I have a quick tour?”

See also: “Can I meet some people I’d be working with?”

Both questions will get you out of the interview room and allow you to get a better look at the office. This will give you a chance to gauge co-worker interaction, workspace design (lighting, noise level, cleanliness) and the department as a whole, says Michelle Comer, practice area leader and vice president at the Messina Group, a staffing consulting firm.

Requesting a tour or a quick introduction to potential co-workers also “signals to the interviewer that a candidate is taking a vested interest in the position,” she says.

 4. “What is your favorite part about working here?”

“Companies, like job candidates, are putting their best foot forward during the interview process, often highlighting all of their corporate perks. By asking every person you interview with what they like best about working at the company you’ll get a better sense of the perks that people regularly experience versus the perks that live only on paper,” explains Sherry Dixon, a senior vice president at Adecco Staffing US.

“If the interviewer responds that they love how they can make their yoga class each night and log back onto work from home if needed, then you know the company takes work-life balance seriously,” she explains.

5. “Do you see any reason I might not be a good fit for this position?”

It may seem counterintuitive to inquire about your potential flaws during an interview, but it’s actually a great thing to bring up at the end of the interview says Morgan Nichols, managing partner at Chicago-based recruiting and staffing firm Torrey & Gray. “This gives you an opportunity to know that the interviewer is thinking about you and gives you a last chance to clarify any misconceptions they may have or elaborate further on something important.”