e-LeaderLounge: Common Ingredients of Top Hires Apr22

e-LeaderLounge: Common Ingredients of Top Hires

To celebrate the launch of our new (offline) LeaderLounge™ series, we bring you a new digital version as well. Introducing (fanfare please) e-LeaderLounge™ — an online forum where top marketing and sales professionals weigh in on thought-provoking topics presented to them by the team @ Smart Savvy. We’ve built a mechanism (yes, a mechanism!) so we can regularly share helpful insights (aka strokes of brilliance) from these accomplished leaders with you. Today’s focus is on how these leaders select and build teams. What makes them want to jump out of their chair during an interview? What makes them fist-pump their HR team after an interview? And what are they looking for in those first 30 days (and beyond) from new recruits? Turns out there were five main themes to our question, “What are the common ingredients of your top three hires?“ 1. Attitude Attitude, attitude, attitude, It’s all about attitude: having a humble character (willing to learn and not be threatened by something new); sticking to it (meaning don’t give up); having an accurate assessment of themselves and others (awareness); and caring about others and what they do.”– Lachlan Whatley, CEO at Metalboss Technologies Inc. “A key ingredient in all of my hires is a belief in the art of the possible.” –Joanne Forrester, VP Marketing at Boston Pizza. “A person’s attitude is everything because so many skills can be acquired through experience, but changing someone’s attitude is a much harder task. If someone has a negative view on life in general, how is that going to translate to your company, your product, your clients, and your team? You can’t fake a good attitude. It’s ingrained in you. People with an open, positive attitude are generally ascending in their career and in life, and that’s someone I want...

Tips and Tricks for Skype Interviews Mar26

Tips and Tricks for Skype Interviews

As recruiters, we Skype on the daily and we’ve encountered the best of the best and, unfortunately, the worst of the worst. Since everything comes with its learning curves, we thought we’d share our accumulated insights about Skype do’s and don’ts. The overarching theme is simple: act as if the interview is the same as a face-to-face meeting. Would you shave for an in-person interview? Then please, get rid of your 5 o’clock shadow for your Skype interview. Would you wear a button-up shirt with PJ bottoms to an in-person interview? Then please, wear a complete outfit and don’t just dress up your upper half. (Besides, you never know when you need to stand up to go grab something during a Skype interview…). Based on Smart Savvy’s collective years of experience, here are our recruiter’s tips for that upcoming Skype or Facetime interview you have and want to ace. 1. No Narcissism Just kidding – but really, don’t stare at yourself the whole interview. We know Skype offers that lovely little “picture in picture” screen that shows yourself and severely heightens your sense of self-awareness, but do your best to ignore it. Our Comms/PR guru Marina Guy even suggests covering the screen of yourself with a post-it note so you can instead focus on staring into the camera and at the screen of the other person. Focus on the recruiter and maintain good eye contact, which will also limit other bad habits we’ve seen, such as constantly fixing your hair. 2. Build a Frame Once a recruiter can see your dirty laundry basket, that is the only thing they’re going to see the entire time. If you think a bedroom with open doors to your wardrobe or a psychedelic painting in the background is a good idea, think again. In the case of a background...

Win a FREE Ticket to the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference Feb26

Win a FREE Ticket to the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference

This year, the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference will be taking Squamish, BC by storm. More than 40 world-class speakers will be descending on the little mountain town by day, and by night there will be networking parties and Internet Marketing Awards to be won. We know we will certainly be there—either at our booth or sitting front-row with our notebooks in hand—but the real question here is, will you be there?     Well, this year is your year because Smart Savvy has decided to play a little “Marketing Lottery” and will be giving away one FREE ticket (value: $499) to the CIMC. Now’s your chance to win! It’s super easy to enter yourself in our draw: simply follow us on LinkedIn, like the CIMC post, and share it with your network. If you do those 3 things, you’ll be qualified to win! Winners will be announced on March 13 on all social...

Back to Basics: Phone Interview Tips Jan13

Back to Basics: Phone Interview Tips

Even with the growing popularity of Skype, Google Hangouts and Facetime, the old-fashioned phone interview is here to stay. After all, once your resume’s been flagged for a skill match, it’s a recruiters’ next logical step: phone interviews are efficient, cost-effective and often a great predictor of cultural and behavioral fit. But for many, it’s just downright hard to have a thorough and relaxed conversation on the phone with a stranger – especially when that stranger’s evaluating you. Is that silence because the interviewer is writing down what you’re saying? Or are they still waiting for you to say something interesting? The phone interview is your one opportunity to get in the door. You need to take the time to prepare yourself, just as if you were having a real face-to-face interview. As pointed out by learnvest.com, “You might have the best intentions, but what you say and how you say it (tone, pace, inflection, etc.) can easily be misinterpreted.” So, after you’ve done all your essential pre-interview research and connected with your #standapart self, take some time to review these six essential tips for giving your best phone interview – some of them obvious and some of them definitely not: (A special thanks to Jane Terepocki, HR Administrator and Recruiter at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)  for sharing her experiences and tips with us.) 1. Make a List, and Check it Twice Preparation is a given. What might not be so obvious is the importance of creating an “example list” to refer to during the interview. Think of the standard interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, skills, conflict) and create a list of 8 to 10 examples that you can access during the conversation (without the long thinking pauses). Jane @MEC recommends that you choose examples from across your entire work history. Hiring...

Is It Time to Fire Your Boss? Dec05

Is It Time to Fire Your Boss?

Do you have a boss that’s never present—a vacant chair (physically and metaphorically) that’s unavailable to answer questions, share advice, and doesn’t pick up their phone when it rings? Or, possibly worse, do you have a boss that’s always present—unnecessarily inserting themselves in situations, breathing down your neck, and never empowering team members to discover success on their own? Last week we introduced media guru Tom Giersimczuk’s novel adage “would you hire your own boss?” The answer is (unfortunately) not always yes, and it could be for a number of reasons. We do a lot of interviewing and we hear about a number of Horrible Bosses.  In this second blog series, we’ve combined Tom’s insights with some of our own to share 10 signs that you should consider firing your boss: Ursula Un-Present Do you walk by your boss’s office ten times a day trying to catch them between meetings to get approval on a project? Do they blow off your weekly check-ins week after week? Do you send emails with no response? “Ursula – you’re fired.” Peter Platitudes Does your boss act like there is an “I” in team? Do they take credit for your work, undervalue your contributions or steal your opportunities to lead projects? “Pack your things, Peter.” Stacy Status-Quo You know that leader that is either not physically or mentally present? While they are hanging out keeping a seat warm, you struggle to push through new initiatives. Their go to answer is “this is how we have always done it” which can be extremely frustrating.  “We’re terminating your position, Stacy.” Alex Always-Working Do you receive calls from your boss before your morning Nepresso? Or does your boss send through last-minute requests when you are cuddled up with a glass of...

Team Smart, Savvy Supports Giving Tuesday – Join Us! Dec02

Team Smart, Savvy Supports Giving Tuesday – Join Us!

  Today is Giving Tuesday and Smart, Savvy joined the movement! Smart, Savvy gave team members each $25 to support their favourite charity using the Chimp giving platform. Giving Tuesday is a new movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to support their favourite charities. Team Smart, Savvy shared why they choose to donate to their charity: “I chose to support Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth. They provide much needed shelter to vulnerable young people and work closely with residents to transition away from life on the streets.” – Peter Reek, @peterreek. “I donated to BC Children’s Hospital. We have been very blessed with two kids who have NOT had to go there; I want to support the families that are not so lucky.” –  Jaylene Crick, @smavvyjay “The charity I supported is the branch of UNICEF that works directly with Syrian children and refugees. The Syrian conflict is increasingly complex and fragmented, and with that comes an increasingly daunting feeling of hopelessness. I think one of the steps towards resolution and peace is the treatment of refugees and children. How displaced peoples are treated now will influence how the region will be in the future. Because Syrian refugees deserve peace, endless awards for their courage, and a good Christmas, I’ve chosen UNICEF this year and will continue to in the future.” – Lindsay Dykman, @smavvylinds “I donated to the Union Gospel Mission, they feed the residents of the East Side of Vancouver. I know how much a good meal can mean to someone and what a difference kindness can be to those who often are far from it.” – Keith...

Keep Your Resume in the Follow-Up Pile: 5 Resume Must-Haves Oct23

Keep Your Resume in the Follow-Up Pile: 5 Resume Must-Haves

The other day on LinkedIn, I came across a conversation that reminded me of this important rule of thumb: don’t underestimate the basics. Holiday party invite: don’t forget to RSVP. Cooking for co-workers: check for allergies. Interview etiquette: turn off your phone. Whether you’re applying for a job, following a business lead or even just replying to the boss’ last email, the ‘basics’ are the foundation of your personal brand. The smallest details can signify big things. Personalized content on a cover letter shows investment. Clean grammatical work speaks to diligence. Contact details prove common sense. Before you hit ‘send’ on your resume, give it a second look with these 5 basic reminders for keeping your resume in the follow-up pile: 1. Contact Information David Rogers, Recruitment Partner  for BC Hydro posted this on his LinkedIn the other day:“Reminder, as an applicant applying to any job out there, please remember to include phone # and email on your resume.” I had to give it a hearty “like” – just the other day I’d dealt with a candidate who’d listed an invalid phone number on her resume (no wonder no one was calling her back)!  While you’re updating your contact info, don’t forget your LinkedIn profile url, your Twitter Handle and any other relevant social media accounts (i.e. personal blog) too. 2. Spelling & Grammar 6 hours spent on your Vine Resume means nothing when your introductory email is full of spelling erors (oops). Double check everything. Don’t sound like a template. And certainly don’t plagiarize someone’s LinkedIn summary. For all its world-class fare, Vancouver is still a small town by many measures. And if you’re serious about the job (whether you’re a VP or a recent grad), you’ll need a second set of eyes on your final...

Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide Oct09

Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide

Trouble letting go of your BlackBerry? Still cutting the crusts off your sandwiches? Eating California Rolls as adventurous as it gets? Favourite tie seen better days? Time to finally kick the “ex” to the curb? Change is a constant. Change can be good – especially in marketing. We need to move with the times and keep up with the trends. The very same could be said for our careers. Stats tell us that the average North American can hold up to 10 different jobs or careers in their lifetime. This means that coming and going can be fairly frequent, and that you may be faced with counteroffers along the way. Here’s 4 tips for how (and why) YOU should ‘counter any counter’ with a “no.” 1. Your reasons for leaving have NOT changed. (Unless, of course, the problem was wholly financial.) Give it 6-8 months and you’ll find yourself standing in the same place—grossly unhappy and cringing for a change. 2. Office chemistry will take a hit.  Your once close office mates may view you suspiciously or resentfully, as they are now aware of your comparatively inflated salary. Leaders and executives may view you similarly, with a study from the Creative Group stating that 28% believed those looking elsewhere are ‘disloyal.’ 3. The company’s trust in you will waver. If there’s a shift in office politics, suspicious eyes may fall on you and you could be the first to go. As career counsellor Arlene Hirsch puts it, “your motives will be suspect from that point on since your boss will wonder whether your resume is still on the street.” 4. Being offered more money is probably a subtle way of telling you have been underpaid during your time there. An increase in salary can be...

“If I Knew Then…”  ~ Career Hindsights with Anne Farrer May23

“If I Knew Then…” ~ Career Hindsights with Anne Farrer

We all know what they say about hindsight: it’s 20/20. But the great thing is, we can still benefit from it, when it emerges from the experience of others. Given the benefit of hindsight, the executives at Decca records would likely not have rejected The Beatles for the lesser known “Shadows”.  The Mars Company may not have been so quick to turn down a product placement opportunity in Stephen Spielberg’s ET.  Jennifer Anniston may not have pushed for Brad Pitt to audition for Mr. and Mrs. Smith (opposite Angelina Jolie).  And, Bertuzzi may have held back on the sucker punch. Hindsight may be 20/20, but good advice is invaluable. For some solid career ‘hindsights’, read on. At a recent @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series entitled, “If I knew then…” our Founder, Peter Reek, facilitated a panel of five Vancouver marketing leaders.  He asked them to look back on their colourful careers to examine their ‘AHA’ moments, epiphanies, and zero in on things they may have done differently. Today, we’ll tell you what Anne Farrer, Vice-President and Managing Director of Karo Group, has to say about her career path. Anne’s career has benefited from a realization early on that she wanted to be in the driver’s seat. If you’re a born leader, this is the natural place to shine. From this high vantage point, a few things are clear to Anne: Sometimes, it’s the obvious things that matter. Like manners, for instance. Sending follow up notes, calling when you’re supposed to, keeping appointments and following through on your commitments are important things that are often overlooked. People hire you because of what they believe you can do, not what you’ve done. Your resume will only take you so far. Stand apart by projecting yourself into future...

LoveMonday #59: The Big Sell May20

LoveMonday #59: The Big Sell

Selling is an art form – no question. When you walk into an interview, you sell yourself. When you meet with a client, you sell the business. And when you invest your time in regular and meaningful interactions, you sell the relationship. If you’ve ever been the one to “go dark” in any kind of union (employee/employer; contractor/client; recruiter/job hunter), then you know how detrimental a lack of communication can be to the health of your associations. A quick touch-point, like a check-in or email, can do wonders to keep your relationships on track and reinforce that those vital ‘next steps’ are coming. Who should you reach out to this #LoveMonday? It’s the little things that count, even at work. Here’s how to really reward your employees – one small CONSISTENT, SPECIFIC and SINCERE act at a time. [VIDEO] … Sales is a core part of any business, but how well do you understand the process and the people who excel at it? In this article, Mark Suster offers up the skinny on sales (for the non-sales minded). … “You can’t possibly know you want to work for my company, unless you know A LOT about my company.” Are you putting enough work into getting the job? Your resume alone won’t cut it. … Don’t leave another voicemail or write another email without reviewing this: “What part of this message is of value to me?” The example may be extreme, but we’ve all been guilty of this communication blunder. … Stick your gum under your desk and you’re liable to be called into HR. Stick your gum on this guys’ head, and it’s called, Art. Just what Vancouver needed or germ-ridden...