The Number One Hiring Mistake That You’re Probably Making Jun08

The Number One Hiring Mistake That You’re Probably Making

First impressions are powerful ~ will the first date pave way for a second? Will the business card exchange lead to a sale? Can the eager interviewee transform sweaty palms and dry mouth into career magic? In fact, first impressions are so paramount you’re probably weighing if this article is worth reading solely based on my first sentences. (How am I doing so far?) Along with getting second dates and sales leads, first impressions are also, unfortunately, the common denominator of many bad hiring decisions. According to Monster, many recruiters derive go/no -go conclusions within the first six minutes of an interview, and many say the first 90 seconds are imperative for making a good first impression. Even more alarming, one study in 2000 revealed that judgments made in the first 10 seconds of an interview could predict the outcome of the interview. From a hiring perspective, these quick, uncognitive, and emotional decisions are a disaster and contribute to about 50% of hiring mistakes. In fact, from any perspective these quick decisions can lead to disaster. Imagine applying this philosophy to anything else in your life: would 10 seconds be enough to buy a car, choose a spouse, or decide you even want the new job you’re interviewing for? Would 6 minutes even be enough? (We’re hoping you’re saying no at this point.) We think we can tell a lot about a person quickly — we have this bias that makes us think we can tell a person’s Myers-Briggs, Birkman, and Kolbe scores just by the way they smile or shake a hand. But we can’t; vital decisions, like hiring, retention, and the makeup of a team, should not be made within the blink (or a few blinks) of an eye. Hiring requires contemplation, deep thought, and most of all, money. Hiring on an impulse is costly not only financially, but to your team, and, let’s...

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...

New Principal at Smart Savvy Nov13

New Principal at Smart Savvy

Jaylene Crick. Head hunter by day and super mom by night. And now, Principal at Smart Savvy and Associates. After spending 3 years juggling many different responsibilities and constantly keeping her hands full, Jaylene has been recognized on the corporate podium and been promoted. With her unbreakable determination and drive, she adds exceptional value to every search she’s a part of. Jaylene will now take over the talent research team and lead them with her effervescent, enthusiastic, “kid in a candy store” attitude. If she ever gets a chance to breathe from her constantly-filled schedule, make sure you give her a big congrats in the comments below for her to...

Who To Hire? Oct16

Who To Hire?

“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-colour boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64-colour boxes with the sharpeners on the back.” John Mayer, Singer-Songwriter I’m perpetually surprised by how few companies seem to know “who” they need. Some can identify a needed skill or two but often those are the exception rather than the rule. And the temptation in a time consuming job seach is to take a narrow/linear approach to finding ‘the right person’. Mistake. Potentially costly. Possibly fatal. The adage, “hire for character, you can always teach skill” is a useful framework particularly when hiring someone who is responsible for critical deliverables like media relations, research or marketing strategies. A great character hangs from the solid framework of a balanced ego – all the positive “self” qualities: self-aware, self-motivated, self-restrained, self-confident. The balance is maintained by a reasonable sense of judgment or perception – an ability to gauge yourself in relation to others in diverse situations – and a desire to self-correct. You don’t have to be right 100% of the time (because you won’t be!), but you should always be willing and able to correct yourself when you’re wrong. On the other hand, an imbalanced ego creates a framework with potential weaknesses – all the negative “self” qualities: self-centered, self-seeking, self-righteous, selfish, and sometimes self-conscious. Unfortunately, these are often compounded by a lack of perception and an unwillingness to self-correct. With a balanced ego to anchor them all, desirable characteristics like curiosity, creativity and eloquence, become further assets for your company. The curiosity of a balanced ego is inspired by ideas and plans generated by others not just themselves. They are capable of focusing their creativity on other people and their projects, not...

Billionaire Branson Grants Unlimited Holidays Oct02

Billionaire Branson Grants Unlimited Holidays

This past week, headline-maker Richard Branson once again graced business news sites everywhere with his unleashing of unlimited holidays. Virgin employees are now granted undocumented, uncounted, and unlimited vacation days. It was all triggered by Branson’s daughter Holly, stating her friend’s company “experienced a marked upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity” after adopting a have-your-own-holidays buffet. Virgin’s policies are modeled after those of Netflix: a place where employees are wholly responsible for their vacation time and no one is officially tracking holidays. (Except, maybe, the co-worker beside you who’s noticed that you’ve taken much more time off than they have.) There is one pre-requisite for vacationing: you can’t leave behind a laundry list of to-do’s for others on your team and your work must be completed before you jet-set off. However, “completed work” is a fairly subjective standard to qualify someone for “I need a day/week/month off to snooze under a palm tree in the Bahamas.” Unlimited holidays is certainly a great measure of trustworthiness in the workplace. Employers are placing the company’s success and reputation in their employee’s hands; some will be responsible and take appropriate holidays, but will everyone? Leaders must put (absolute) faith in their employee’s honesty and judgment calls. On the other hand, holidays are no longer what they used to be. Technology follows us wherever we may go and we can easily work from our smartphones or tablets at a beach-side tiki hut in a tropical destination. Vacay days no longer necessarily mean leaving all work behind but perhaps bringing work alongside us in our pockets or our purses. (The question is whether we want to or not…) Valid points have been made about Branson’s ground-breaking adoption of this policy. Who says 40 hour weeks is...

Smoke Out the ‘Pretenders’ May27

Smoke Out the ‘Pretenders’

How to Hire Proven, #StandApart Marketers   At Smart Savvy, we’ve interviewed a lot of people over our 8 years (4500+). 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)...

The Last Frontier in Talent Sourcing: The “Humble” Job Description Apr03

The Last Frontier in Talent Sourcing: The “Humble” Job Description

It’s not Monday, but this idea is definitely on my love list. Have you seen or written a job description lately?  Were you wowed? Probably not. If we’re being honest, job descriptions are boring. Employer brands have evolved, humanized and socialized to compete for top talent, but when it comes to closing the deal, they send you this: a stark white-background-with-black-text document telling you about the qualifications and requirements for any given job. And no matter how witty, funny or creative the copy (job ads from Shopify and Rethink are always refreshing to read), when it comes to visual charm, you might expect a little fancy font-work, at best. Yet, plain, text-only job descriptions are posted on every available social media platform and, according to Jamie Peil’s article, The Case for Visual Job Descriptions, “[that’s] unfortunate because they are a vitally important aspect of the recruiting process…[and] the primary instrument used to advertise job openings.” I see companies working hard to make sure their employer-brand extends across all mediums and touch points. The idea of visual job descriptions seems like such a natural extension of that – a new hires first exposure to corporate culture, the missing piece to the whole recruitment package. After all, as Peil asks, “can you imagine any modern company advertising its products or services with text-only ads? Of course not.” So what’s the final frontier of the “humble” job ad look like? One leading player, Jobgram, is just over a year old and claims their full-service visual job descriptions “make job advertising more visually engaging, and less like death notices.” Their recent work with Air New Zealand definitely brings their job postings to life: bright graphics, photos of smiling coworkers and QR-coded boarding passes create the feeling of a fun, happy and go-getter place to work. Other market leaders, like JobsuView and KarmaHire, allow you...