The 3 Must-Haves Of Any Team Player (And We Mean Musts) Jan18

The 3 Must-Haves Of Any Team Player (And We Mean Musts)

At Smart Savvy, we’ve long prescribed to the 3-way mirror rule of recruitment: check every angle. Now we have a new take: the 3-legged stool. That’s because we read a book: The Ideal Team Player: How To Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues by NYT best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni. (In fact, we liked the book so much that we bought a copy for all of our clients. Exhibit A: one of our happy recipients.) Building on his brilliant guide to the five major dysfunctions of a team, Lencioni’s newest “business fable” takes a closer look at the individuals who populate your pack. What makes a person a true and consistent “value-add”? What causes them to detract?   Humble, Hungry and Smart: The Ideal Team Player   According to Lencioni, once you check off the baseline “stuff” (technical skills,  experience, personal hygiene), the ultimate success of any new/current hire depends on three, crucial personality traits: Humble – Leaves their ego at the door. Not “overly arrogant” and not meek. Possesses BOTH the humility to champion others and the self-confidence to bring ideas to the table. Level 5 leader. Hungry – “Self diligent and motivated.” Internally driven. Tackles problems and projects with a sense of urgency and for the “good of the team.”   Smart – Simply put, people smarts. “Appropriate and aware.” Helps team members feel “appreciated and understood” even in tough love situations. The crux? All three virtues are non-negotiable. Teammates who lack even one are unbalanced and pose great challenges to both the team’s health and the organizations’ productivity. For example: If you’re hiring for a sales role, Lencioni warns that you might excuse an oversized ego for what you see as a valuable dose of hungry. You know, the #goalcrusher who polarises teammates....

Career Resolutions for 2017 You’ll Want to Steal (and Actually Keep) Jan11

Career Resolutions for 2017 You’ll Want to Steal (and Actually Keep)

Rolling into 2017 without a resolutions list? Fear not. We asked a few top marketing, sales and HR professionals from Vancouver (and beyond) where they’ll be investing their time and energy this year. Read their replies to get your ideas flowing for a new year and new you.  “This 2017, I resolve to…..” Focus on the fundamentals  Get more sleep. Drink more water. Prioritize relationships IRL. Work within my “circle of influence” (without wasting energy on things that are not). And always take the default position of assuming the best of people. We’re all trying to navigate our way to success in challenging times – and we all deserve the “benefit of the doubt.”   – Rich Workman, Sales Manager, NA West, Sophos Inc. Slow down and breathe.  In 2017, I will be more focused on taking strategic breaks to reflect, think things through in a quiet space, and breathe deeply on a more regular basis throughout each day. Easy to say, hard to do, but I know my best work is done from a thoughtful, present state of mind. That’s my one big resolution for a successful year ahead.  – Dorit Shackleton VP, Head of Integration, Global Corporate Affairs, SAP Favour quality over quantity  I love my line of work and the people and organizations I get to work with – so much so that I I have a really hard time saying ‘no’ when new opportunities arise. But all that “yes’ can dilute my good intentions. I’m working towards achieving a work-life balance, and being confident in saying ‘no’ will be an important step in reaching that goal. – Bianca Bujan, Owner, Bee Communications  Be pro-social Things are getting faster and faster every day. What I believe we need now more than ever is community:...

Questions To Ask In An Interview That Will Increase Your Chances Of Getting Hired Oct27

Questions To Ask In An Interview That Will Increase Your Chances Of Getting Hired

Research demonstrates that an interview is either won or lost based on two essential ingredients. When combined, these ingredients undoubtedly result in interview success. What are these essentials? 1) Confidence and 2) Enthusiasm. The challenge with both of these ‘additives?’ If they are not applied in appropriate measure they can become too concentrated and in some cases, may even become lethal. Truth be told, both walk a fine line: confidence can easily become arrogance and (over) enthusiasm may be interpreted as desperation. One of the best ways to bring these two ingredients to the table without going overboard is to ‘pepper’ them throughout the interview by asking smart, savvy, and well-timed questions. One of the most common pieces of positive post-interview feedback we receive is that interviewers were impressed with the quality of thoughtful questions posed by the interviewee. Conversely, when we receive feedback that the interviewee “did not have any questions for us,” it’s often a deal breaker.  Gone are the days of generic interview questions like ‘how do you define success in this role’?  To actively demonstrate both confidence and enthusiasm you want to ensure you ‘attach’ yourself to the job in question. Meaning, you want to demonstrate that you can envision yourself in the job and establish how you will thoughtfully approach the role (and its mandate).  Asking astute, tailored (vs. generic) questions allows your interviewer to travel with you as you exhibit how you would tackle the role once it is awarded to you. Here are a few tips how to craft questions that demonstrate competencies: Research your interviewer and ask them specific questions about their career-path and how they have landed at the company and why they chose to sign on. Ask your interviewer questions around what projects they currently...

Conversation Starters Oct20

Conversation Starters

Wondering how to break the ice when you meet a new person at a networking event or are stuck beside someone on an airplane? Not sure how to take your conversation beyond the classic few “how are you/who are you” questions? Tuck a few of these intriguing, next-level questions in your back pocket, and you’ll be perfectly prepared: How do you make decisions when the stakes are high? What do you think is better – to be considered nice or to interesting? A living legend. Who comes to mind for you? If you won a huge sum of money, what would you no longer do? Who is your worst imaginable marriage partner? What do you consider to be the best work you’ve done? Are the best five years of your career ahead of you or behind you? Is there a piece of music you consider special? Why? Who’s the most creative person you know? Tell me about the first car you ever bought? If you could travel to the past in a time machine, what advice would you give to the 12 year-old you? Who has offered you the most useful career advice? If you had to live somewhere else, where would you live? What makes a person a good travelling companion? Tell me about a decision you made that has had a major effect on your life? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a pair of shoes? (Did they end up being your favourites?) What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday? Did/do you have a nickname – what’s the story behind it? If you could create your own nickname what would it be? If you could revisit one day in your life, which day would it be? Would you rather...

How To Hire Proven #StandApart Marketers Oct06

How To Hire Proven #StandApart Marketers

At Smart Savvy, we’ve interviewed a lot of people over our 10 years (6000+). We maintain: no one has the potential to pull the wool over your eyes like a marketer. When we evaluate candidates, we adhere to the 20-60-20 rule. In the workplace there is generally a top 20%, a middle 60% and, unfortunately, a bottom 20%. With each interview, we are always looking to identify individuals who fall squarely within the top 20% of their field. Those who truly #StandApart. When meeting with candidates, look beyond first impressions (the leading cause of hiring blunders) by performing a ‘deep dive’ through their career (scuba vs. snorkel). For the bulk of our interviewing, we focus squarely on contribution and results. Look for evidence of growth and professional proof to support claims of greatness. When you spot a pattern of concrete, quantifiable accomplishments, you will know that you are zeroing in on a #StandApart candidate. Midway through our interviews, we reach a section that we often refer to as “The Humbling”.  At this stage we ask two questions: What have you done that has had the most dramatic impact on your employer’s bottom line — Specifically, what have you done that has increased revenue, streamlined efficiencies or decreased expenses for your employer(s)? What have you done (throughout your career) that would cause you to #StandApart from other candidates who will be applying for similar roles? Inevitably interviewees slip into describing the character traits that differentiate them from the pack. Although we are keen to learn who people are, at this stage of the interview we must remain focused on what they have done. You’d be surprised at how many ‘marketers’ have a difficult time articulating (much less quantifying) their contributions. Here are a few signs...

The Most Common Mistakes Hiring Managers Make Aug15

The Most Common Mistakes Hiring Managers Make

Do you talk more than a job candidate during an interview? Do you hire carbon copies of yourself and end up with a team of people just like you? Do you hire solely for cultural fit rather than skill set? We’ve seen it all before: Well-intentioned hires that become quick mistakes.  In this video, Horizon Recruitment interviews 3 industry experts on hiring (including our own Peter Reek #humblebrag, as well as Warren Smith of The Counsel Network, and Feras Elkhalil of IQ/IT Tech Recruiters) and where the gaps lay between HR and the job candidate. With many years of acquired knowledge, we lay out common mistakes that we’ve seen in hiring, and how to put a better foot forward in terms of interviewing and hiring. Anyone (and we mean anyone) involved in HR, hiring, or the onboarding process, should see this video.   [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PP64jF5mmw[/embedyt]   Here are a few Sparksnotes for you from the video itself if you’re not a Youtube person.  Common Mistakes Made By HR Managers: The “I’ll know it when I see it” mistake. Know what you’re looking for before starting out on an interviewing spree. The tyranny of the urgent error. The urgent things of the day get your attention but the important things get put to the bottom of the list. Make hiring a priority and talk to your clients or candidates before 4:30 pm in the day.  Hiring people similar to yourself. Good teams need complementary skill sets and diversity in order to be a stronger collective.  Common Mistakes During The Interview: The one-sided mistake. You’re not there for airtime, you are there to facilitate a conversation and learn as much as possible about the job candidate. They are evaluating you as much as you’re evaluating them.  Lack of preparation. Know what you’re looking...

The Strongest Influencers On Your Career Path Aug11

The Strongest Influencers On Your Career Path

As we grow into adults we discover everyone has a narrative — their own story comprised of personal battles, discoveries, successes and failures. Here at Smart Savvy, we try to understand those stories in-depth so we can effectively understand and place our candidates. We ask the following of our candidates: “Please plot 6-8 key life/career developments that have helped shape you into the person you are today.” On one end of the timeline is ‘The day you were born,’ on the other end, ‘Today.’  9/10 people love it. In five years, we have only had one person struggle to the point of not being capable of completing it.  So what have we learned from our candidates’ stories? The old adage “people are more alike than different” holds true when it comes to people’s personal stories. Here are the commonalities that stood out as consistent themes in one’s life (and career), supplemented by excerpts from individual’s answers:   1. Cross-Culture Experiences + Travel What’s more humbling, entertaining, and possibly frustrating, then not even being able to ask for a glass of water or have small talk about the weather? Travel turns us on our heads in terms of what we know about language, culture, a dining experience, etc. It educates us in a way that no classroom ever could, both about ourselves and the world around us.  [slideshare id=64916675&doc=travelexperiences-160811181724]   2. Post-Secondary Education The whole university experience is an unforgettable one: all-nighters, varsity sports, finals, and walking the stage when it’s all done and over with. This is a time in life to simply learn; be the proverbial sponge; and figure out what your passions, strengths, and motivations are.  [slideshare id=64916782&doc=university-160811182113]   3. Performance + Achievements Of course our successes are a fundamental part of our...

The One Skill Every Leader Needs To Master

What are you like to work with? Have you ever wondered? Are you moody? Inconsistent? Intense? Approachable? Do you think you know? Have you ever asked someone? I was recently re-reading a favourite article (if it were a paper copy, it would be heavily earmarked) on the six habits of highly empathetic people. And it occurred to me that a lot of the ways we talk about “leadership” (developing it, being it, honing it) presumes a one-size-fits-all view of ‘who’ a leader is… Sure, the best leaders generally share a number of traits: Good communicators Trustworthiness Experience Knowledge Visionary …But with every team being made up of a number of personalities, I wonder: Am I a different leader for each of my staff? Am I a tailored coworker for every teammate? The article, which I highly suggest you read, defines empathy as “the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.” That’s where empathy takes its leap from kindness or pity  (i.e. making small talk with the new marketing coordinator is friendly, not empathetic). Bill Drayton, founder of social entrepreneurship and the Ashoka Foundation, believes that “in an era of rapid technological change, mastering empathy is the key business survival skill because it underpins successful teamwork and leadership.” No doubt, the word empathy is buzzing for a reason – people are figuring out what works in the modern, team-oriented, open-space office – and interpersonal relationships are key. Here are some of the top empathetic traits laid out in the article and how you can apply them to work: 1. Be Curious About Others You’ve spent a lot of time strategizing the best roles for your department. You’ve made some bang-on hires and now...

What’s Your Leadership Style?

Truly effective leaders should be able to describe how they will behave as leaders. Why? Team members like to know what to expect. A good interviewer will come prepared with his/her understanding of what the current team needs to perform and what kind of leader can effectively usher them there. Your leadership style, as communicated in an interview, should acknowledge the flexibility and adaptability required of all leaders, but also come clean with your own tried-and-true style. As Karen Hood, HR Director of Virgin Atlantic says, “I’m looking for what their preferred or natural style is. What’s the style that you tend to feel comfortable with and you tend to use most of the time, under most circumstances?” Sometimes people mistakenly answer this question as if the interviewers themselves had asked: Will I like you? In this case, we advise you stay authentic to yourself, trust your experiences and celebrate your unique leadership style. If the HR Manager thinks they need a hard-nosed authoritarian and you are more emotionally driven, the fit might not be there – for either side. The best answers will be concise (3 words that describe your leadership style) and illustrative (that time you made a tough decision, that time you had to get your team on board with X). Here are some examples:   Avoid These Answers When Describing Your Leadership Style :   I guess I’m just a natural leader (AKA I don’t know) If you don’t know your leadership style, you have work to do. There are a number of insightful tools (Myers-Briggs, DiSC, StrengthsFinder) and even career coaching programs (we have one you can read about here) that can help you make sense of what leadership means to you. In essence, it’s all about knowing who you...

Who You Gonna Call? Dec10

Who You Gonna Call?

The time has come. Marina Guy, our Creative Services & Communications Recruitment Consultant, is gearing up for her final day in the office before her imminent (and inaugural) transition to parenthood. Marina has built a thriving practice in both disciplines and will be returning to us in early 2017. If you want to wish Marina well send her a message on LinkedIn. Keep Calm and Call Catherine Ducharme. Team Smart Savvy is (uber) pleased to announce that Catherine Ducharme will be stepping in on a contract basis to manage the Communications-focused roles within Marina’s portfolio while she is away. For those of you who know Catherine, our guess is you’ve just said to yourself, “Now that makes sense!” For those of you who’ve not met Catherine, you’ll definitely want to get to know her ASAP. Catherine is a career communicator with 25+ years of corporate and internal brand + communications leadership experience within the technology, life sciences, health, and professional services sectors. If you are a top-shelf communications professional, we suggest reaching out to Catherine on LinkedIn to get acquainted (or you can email her at ‘Catherine at smartsavvy dot com’). Watch for future announcements on the Creative Services...

Smart Savvy’s LeaderLounge™ Series Switches Venues to Accommodate Demand

We have a problem… but it is a good one! Given the tremendous response to our newly released LeaderLounge™ series, we’ve implemented a venue change in order to accommodate our group. We have connected with the fine people at THNK School of Creative Leadership. As we explored possibilities with THNK, it is apparent there are many synergies between our two companies, specifically with respect to shared values, culture and overall focus/mandate. We are excited to partner with them on our inaugural LeaderLounge event, featuring Dan Pink’s NYT Bestseller “To Sell is Human” on May 27th. Given this new partnership we will no longer be hosting our LeaderLounge™ series at The Profile in the Landing.  Our new venue is as follows: The Sun Tower Ground Floor – 128 West Pender St., Vancouver Rapid Transit: Chinatown/Stadium Skytrain Station (one block from The Sun Tower) Wednesday, May 27th 6:30 – 8:30 PM Click here for tickets. About THNK THNK’s mission is twofold: we accelerate the development of global creative leaders across corporate, private, public, and social sectors. Together, we create innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing and inspiring challenges. About Smart Savvy + Associates ~ People are the plan™ With offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, we find proven, high-performing marketing, communications and sales professionals for companies who need them. About LeaderLounge™ At Smart Savvy, we meet a lot of great leaders.  Leaders who stand apart for their ability to think, communicate, influence, mentor, strategize, deliver results and ignite passion. They are game-changers.  We are committed to helping up the leadership quotient within the communities we serve. Food and Beverage Sponsors The Liberty Distillery At The Liberty Distillery authenticity, quality and heritage are the heart of our philosophy. We wish to celebrate and pay homage to the...