7 Things Confidential Job Postings Say About Your Company

I always snicker and shake my head when I see a job posting listed as “Company Confidential“.  “Don’t these people get it?” I say to myself.

A job posting is one of the most frequent forms of advertising your company – and perhaps the number one way to represent your employment brand – you know -the image you project as to whether your company is a good place to work or not?  By publishing your job postings confidentially, you not only miss the opportunity to spread your employment brand, but you actually hurt it!  Plus, you’ll just delay the time it takes you to fill with your really bad version of grown up Hide and Seek.  Here’s what posting your open jobs confidentially  says about you:

  1. You don’t get talent! Candidates are leery about applying for confidential postings.  You’ll potentially miss out on the one by hiding who you are.
  2. You’re sneaky!  Do you already have someone in this role and you want to try and back fill them before they are out the door?  Would you post my job without talking to me someday? Are you conducting interviews in dark alleys?
  3. You’re ashamed! What are you hiding?  Shouldn’t the name of your company draw in applicants?
  4. You’re cowardly! Are you trying to avoid internal applications and the difficult conversations associated with having to let someone down?
  5. You’re old school! You think people should be lucky to work for you and have no other options.
  6. You’re not resourceful! You’re missing out on referrals from your employees and network.
  7. You’re lazy! You don’t want to “waste your time” wading through so many resumes so why not limit the amount you receive?

Sure, we can think of benefits to posting jobs confidentially…I’m talking to you staffing agencies who can’t hunt us down and blow up our phones…but the benefits nowhere near outweigh the detriment to your employment brand and your talent acquisition strategy in the global fight for talent.  Post confidentially, and you’ll enjoy less resumes, less talent,  and longer time to fill.  Enjoy!

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6 Career Building Tips I Learned from McDonald’s

Yes – I am an alumnus of Mickey D’s.  I worked there for 8 months when I was 15 years old – it was my very first job.  While I knew from the moment I accepted the job that I did not want to work there forever, my experience taught me a lot and helped me develop my work ethic.

Today, McDonald’s is claiming that they are going to hire 50,000 people nationwide.  This would be quite a feat – and probably one for the recruiting record books. For those who seek work experience – either teenagers or new immigrants, McDonald’s can actually be a great place to get started.

Some of the key things I learned from my stint at McDonald’s:

  • Stay busy ­– I worked hard for my minimum wage!  We were not allowed to stand idly by waiting for customers.  There was always something to do – wipe down the counters, reorganize the walk-in fridge, or restock the buns.
  • Teamwork matters – I was a part of team that needed to work cohesively to service our customers – if the burger griller wasn’t pulling his/her weight – the sandwich maker couldn’t do their job.
  • Make the most of it – the job was not challenging, nor the work interesting, but every job has such components to it.  I had to find the importance in all of the work I did – and this has helped me keep a positive attitude about the less sexy aspect of every job I’ve had since.
  • Service with a smile – this was my first exposure to customer service.  And while McDonald’s is not renowned for offering world-class customer service, the restaurant I worked in brought a customer-centric approach to all roles within the team.
  • What makes a good manager – while there was one manager in particular who set an excellent example for her young staff, most of the other “shift managers” were young and in their first managerial role.  Power often went to their heads, and I learned a lot about what qualities a good manager has vs. a bad one.
  • Turquoise is not my color – my uniform was a turquoise polo with a matching baseball hat.  I’ve never worn this color since.

I didn’t love my job at McDonald’s, but I was able to use the experience there to leverage bigger and better work opportunities.  For that, I will always be appreciative of my time there.

What lessons are you learning or have you learned from your first job?  Post and help others be successful!

HR is Calling – Don’t Screw it Up!

Everyone knows the importance of making a good first impression. It’s why most people work hard to prepare for the first face-to-face meeting with a potential employer. They pull out their suit, iron their clothes, get the hair done, clip their nails, etc…all with the hope of leaving the hiring company with a positive feeling about your candidacy.

But the real first impression a candidate makes is over the phone. Most employers initially reach out to applicants through the phone. This may include a quick call to schedule an interview or an impromptu phone interview. A job seeker must survive this stage of the interview process to succeed in obtaining a position.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to handle the initial contact from a company:

Speak with enthusiasm – Don’t speak like you just got out of bed…even if you did! From the moment you answer the call to a cheerful goodbye, showing your enthusiasm about the position and the company will energize the company representative about your candidacy.

Know who’s calling – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called someone for an interview and they’ve said “Who is this again? I’m sorry I don’t recognize the name of your company…I’ve applied for so many jobs”. This tells me the job seeker has no real interest in my company and is just looking for a job.

Find a quiet space – It’s completely appropriate to ask the caller if you can call them back from a private area, especially if you are at work. One time, I was speaking to someone who was at work in their cube. They kept getting interrupted and whispered in response to my questions. They left an impression alright. Also, be careful of TVs blaring, dogs barking, and children crying in the background.  And don’t flush the toilet – YES – this has happened to me.  If you can’t hold it long enough to make through the call – flush later!

Get rid of ring back tones – While music is better to listen to than a ringing phone line, I would prefer not to listen to “My Humps” as I’m waiting to speak to a candidate for an accounting position.

Professionalize your voicemail greeting – Sound pleasant and confident in the greeting that awaits your unanswered callers. Don’t sound meek, sluggish or stern. And please please please don’t record music from the radio.

Remember that your first, first impression will likely occur over the phone. While a phone interview alone won’t win you the job, it is absolutely the first step to getting the coveted interview.

The Myth of the One-Page Resume (Kinda-Sorta)

One of the most common questions I get asked when someone finds out I work in Human Resources is whether or not their resume really needs to be only one-page long. My answer? No, it doesn’t.

Why do people think this? Certain books suggest it. Some career counselors swear it’s the way it should be. The truth is, no self-respecting HR professional is going to look at a resume and say “Oh, this qualified candidate’s resume is two pages…they’re out!”

But there is a benefit to keeping your resume to one-page (or as few pages as possible)…the more concise you can be on your resume, the more likely the items you want to highlight will be read by the person reviewing it. Resume reviewers, in many cases, receive hundreds of resumes from job seekers; and to get through them all requires screening for key words and information that matches the requirements being sought. Only when the screener finds information of interest will they stop and read more. If they find nothing of interest on page one, they most likely won’t turn to page two. If all the good stuff is on page two, it may never be seen!

So, what’s important is not keeping your resume to one-page, but structuring your resume in such a way as to highlight the most relevant and important information about your qualifications and experiences by locating them as close to the top of the first page as possible. That’s why you’ll see many resumes begin with a “summary of qualifications” or a list of achievements. Just like a good book, if the beginning grabs the reader’s attention, they will keep reading further.

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