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When you assess job applicants, what are the top things you look for? Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, suggests that we should be giving more attention to attitude over skill. Skills, he says, are pretty easy to assess. Nearly every industry has a way to test a candidate’s proficiency, whether it’s IT, medical, marketing, or finance. Aptitude is slightly less easy to assess, but it is still a tangible thing. Does their past prove them to be avid learners? Do they retain information in the interview? But gauging attitude is far more tricky.

Where's the sweet-spot between hiring for skill, attitude, and aptitude?

Where’s the sweet-spot between hiring for skill, attitude, and aptitude?

 

The most common method for assessing a candidate’s attitude is simply to feel it out during an interview. How an applicant holds his/herself, whether or not they smile, and how positive or negative is their communication — all of these are important. But what tends to happen is the candidate has an in-person interview with a hiring manager, and that manager relies on their gut instinct. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

According to Mark Murphy, out of a pool of 20,000 new hires, 89% of the failures were due to attitude. Attitude matters, and clearly we don’t have the tools and training to assess it properly.

The Solution

Enter video interviews. I don’t mean Skype or Google Hangouts — I mean on-demand, pre-recorded video interviews. TruHire’s process uses the highly-acclaimed HireVue platform, which allows hiring managers and HR professionals to not only quickly screen interviews, but to evaluate, rate, annotate, and share their thoughts about each interviewee, and each question/answer.

Evaluation analytics allow you to gauge attitude like never before. When you set up your custom digital interview with TruHire, we recommend asking situational questions that can reveal the attitude and personality of the candidate. When the candidate responds to the questions, you can have up to five separate evaluators in your organization all view the same video response and share their opinions of it.

Once all the ratings are submitted, the platform charts out the ratings per candidate, and allows you to quickly and accurately predict who will fit best in your company.

It’s time to go beyond simply hiring for skills. Start hiring smarter, with TruHire’s custom, digital interviews. Contact us to get started today.

Want more information on hiring for attitude? Leadership IQ is a great resource, and they have published a ton of material on this, backed up by solid research. Check them out here.

 

 

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Culture is the water in which we swim.

Culture is the water in which we swim.

One day, Fred the Fish was swimming to work. He passed his neighbor who called out “How’s the water today, Fred?” Fred replied, “What the heck is ‘water?’”

Company culture is the water we swim in, and savvy managers will not only be able to identify it, but will recognize its importance in the hiring process.

When interviewing candidates to fill positions in your company, it’s easy to neglect culture. But if they’re not the right cultural fit, you’ll face unending friction. The best time to gauge culture-fit is during the interview process. Here are five ways to find out if a candidate will integrate into your team with minimal friction:

1. Ask how they handle conflict.

Every company, from the owner down to the team leads, has its own way of handling conflict. Some work smoothly with an email to HR, preferring the accountability and formality that qualified conflict-resolvers bring to the table. Others prefer employees to face the conflict directly. Give your candidate a scenario: would they be more direct, or prefer to go through the system? Are they delicate and kind, or do they lean toward bluntness?

Finding out how they have handled conflict in the past can be a great indicator if they are going to fit well into your current team. There’s nothing like differing conflict-resolution styles to cause discord in a company!

2. Have them define “teamwork.”

There are teams, and then there are teams. Some teams are groups of experts in silos, whose efficiency is reliant on each member being masters in their fields. Other teams are cohesive project-based squads, designed for collaboration and innovation. Does your candidate hold that “iron sharpens iron,” or do they prefer autonomy and room to excel in their area while others focus on theirs?

If you hire a factory worker into your squad, you may be in for a rough ride. Asking how their previous employers structured their teams, and whether they enjoyed working in that environment or not, can shed a lot of light on how seamlessly the candidate would integrate into your team.

3. Ask if they want advancement or growth.

Some companies want employees who are looking to quickly climb the ladder, and others want employees to dig into their areas and become an unparalleled expert. Which do you want? Which do they want to be? If you’re looking to fast-track a candidate into management, make sure that’s the kind of job they’re looking for. Many organization are built almost completely on vertical growth, and others on expansion. Digging into your candidates job history can help you determine whether they would fit into your culture of growth or advancement.

4. Give them a scenario with more work than there is time.

A classic interview question asks: “you have more work than you can get done in a day, but it’s due by 5pm. What do you?” Some candidates will ask for help, some will prioritize and tackle the most important tasks, and others will come in early. There are even candidates who will simply say “what I can’t get done will have to wait until tomorrow.”

Your company has a culture that addresses this situation. Do you know how? Make sure you know what you’d prefer before you judge a candidate on this question. Will their approach to too much work fit into how your team operates, and, more importantly, how you want it to operate?

5. Ask yourself and your peers: are they likable?

Of course you can’t hire completely on likability, but it definitely goes a long way. If you don’t like them, and if your colleagues (and their potential future colleagues) don’t like them either, you’re probably going to have a problem. Teams need to like each other! Teams who don’t like each other are less productive, less creative, and less fun to manage. See how it’s easy to get peer-rankings on digital interviews with TruHire.

Guidelines, not rules

There are many other factors in hiring a new employee, but as you gauge competency don’t make the mistake of leaving culture behind! When you are intentional about creating a maintaining a company culture, your organization can increase employee retention and satisfaction, and grow your candidate pool as it becomes a more desirable place to work.

Spend less time on better candidates

With so many job-seekers on the market, it’s easy to spend an extraordinary amount of time on candidates who just aren’t the right fit. TruHire makes it easy to spend less time on better candidates with on-demand digital interviews. Work with our team to create a custom interview with a hybrid of essay, multiple choice, and video questions, then send your interview link to your candidates. Our digital interview process allows you and any evaluators you choose to quickly rank candidates and questions, narrowing down your pool to the best candidates to bring in for a face-to-face interview.

See for yourself how much time and money TruHire can save you with a FREE 30-day trial. There’s no catch—sign up for your free trial today.

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To shy to be on camera?

Photo Credit: pat138241

Photo Credit: pat138241

The world changes and evolves daily, and one evolution within the human resources world is happening rapidly. The days of traditional interviews have long sense passed, and digital interviews are taking over the hiring world. Because of this, interviewees are having to adapt to their camera shy ways to ensure they book the job. In today’s article we’re going to take a look at 5 digital interview techniques that will ensure you’re hired. After all, your resume doesn’t speak to your abilities quite like the interview.

#1 – Look at the camera

While it may seem very uncomfortable, you’ve got to remember to look at the webcam. This is to avoid your face being lowered and the interviewer unable to look into your eyes. Look directly into the webcam and maintain eye contact with that. Sure, you’ll be seeing yourself on the screen below, and if it’s a live digital interview, you’ll be seeing the other person, but maintaining eye contact is key. When the other person is talking feel free to look down at the screen.

#2 – Speak very clearly

There’s no secret computers don’t have the clearest of microphones. Still, it’s important that you speak up and clearly to ensure your answers are heard. When you’re asked a question, take a breath and answer slowly. Don’t feel you have to rush through the questions to get to the end of the interview. The best thing you can do it take your time and develop your answers in your head. There’s nothing worse than rambling on and on for 2 minutes off topic and having to bring it around full circle.

#3 – Sit still

Don’t make a lot of movements as it becomes very distracting to the person watching your interview. Instead, sit still in a chair that you are comfortable in and don’t move too far side to side. Also, you may find it tempting to lean in to the camera, but you shouldn’t. On the other end, this gives off a sort of “fish eye” effect. When you remain still you’re allowing your interviewer to focus on you and the things you’re saying, not on why you’re rocking from side to side occasionally.

#4 – Be careful of your location

You may think it clever to film your digital interview in your bathroom, but it’s not. It raises serious questions about your level of seriousness. Instead, pick an empty room with no background noise and a blank wall behind you. Don’t have anything distracting on the walls. Your black-light poster from 8th grade does not show that you are mature enough to handle the job functions.

#5 – Stay calm

Digital interviews can be scary. They’re new, they’re unexpected, and it can be uncomfortable to watch yourself answering questions. Still, it’s important that you stay calm and relax. There’s nothing to worry about. Think of this as the pre-interview. Chances are you’ve been chosen to take the digital interview because you’re talented, dedicated, and have a superb resume with all the skills you need to thrive When you are completing your digital interview relax and know that you can do this.

If you’re on the job hunt chances are you’re going to have a digital interview. It’s time to master these techniques and book the job. If you’re a Human Resources Manager, let us help you bring digital interviewing into your process to make your life easer. Contact us today to try out the platform!

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…with these simple steps.

internship

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As summer is winding down, you may be trying to hold onto every last moment you possibly can. Days of freedom, sunshine, and tanned skin are almost gone only to be replaced with pumpkins, orange and yellow foliage, and crisp autumn mornings. Mmhhhmm, fall. It can also mean that it is time to start searching for that perfect fall internship as you head back to school.

Trying to find the perfect internship that leads to a permanent position can be difficult in this economy, but if you are fortunate enough to find that lucky internship, what can you do to set yourself up for being offered a job after?

Check out these tips to land a job offer after your internship.

1. Be smart about the internship that you choose.

The first step in this whole process is making sure you are careful about what internship you choose. Not all internships are created equal. Evaluate your goals and desires for an intership and match them up with what the internship has to offer. Does the work environment or dress code suit your personality? Can you see yourself working here for one, two, or five years?

2. Do your research on the company.

If you are passionate about what the organization does, you are more likely to be able to translate that eagerness into the work you do in your internship. Things to consider include company culture, history, employees – basically anything you can find out about the company. A simple Google search should lead you to a plethora of information. Is community service an important quality you look for? Determine your values and seek out companies that fit within those values.

3. Network. Network. Network.

While you are in the throes of your internship, take the time to meet various people within the company. Show interest and ask questions (at the right time) about their positions. You may even want to consider taking on a mentor.

4. Set goals for yourself.

At the beginning of your internship, set personal goals for your internship. Some things to consider include a learning a specific tool of the trade, or perhaps you are trying to figure out if this is the career path you want to go down. Whatever the case may be, having goals will help you achieve results in your internship that could lead to a full-time position down the road.

5. Ask questions.

If you are given a task and not quite sure what to do, do not be afraid to ask questions. You are there to learn and there will always be some sort of learning curve during an internship – if there isn’t then you most likely need to re-evaluate why you are at this internship.

6. Produce quality work.

This goes back to the ask questions section. If you do not know how to do something, ask for advice. Strive to do your best on every task you are given, even if it is grunt work. Keeping a positive attitude while doing your work will help you produce quality work, which will get noticed by your internship manager, or even higher up!

7. Act the part.

You know how the old saying goes: dress for the job you want. Metaphorically speaking, the same applies to the work you do. If you want the job, act the part. Be professional, dress like other employees do, and take pride in how you represent the company you are interning for.

8. Stay connected.

At the end of your internship it is a good idea to stay in touch with your intern supervisor and co-workers. It may even be appropriate to send your intern supervisor and any other mentors during your internship a personal thank you note. After that, periodically check in to stay connected. Let them know about the skills you learned and how they are helping you out in your new endeavors. Keeping these contacts fresh, may pay off in the end.

9. Ask for feedback – make changes if necessary.

One important aspect of any job, internship or permanent position, is the ability to take constructive criticism and make appropriate changes. Be the type of person that rolls with the punches and changes their game plan if it isn’t working. Proactively seek out feedback and LISTEN to what your supervisor has to say. If they can see that you can handle feedback AND take make changes with it, you may find yourself with an offer for permanent employment at the end of your internship.

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Ways Around the Awkward Questions

gaps in your resume

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We’ve all had employment gaps. Maybe you’ve decided to focus on your family for a while, or perhaps you took some time off to travel. Maybe you were a victim of the poor economy and were laid off and are just now starting to get back into the swing of things. At any rate, gaps in your resume are always a red flag to potential employers if there isn’t a logical excuse.

What constitutes a logical excuse, you ask? Well, lets take a look at 3 ways to explain those resume gaps and ways you can spin negative aspects of your employment history to your favor.

#1 – I decided to dedicate time to my family.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this legitimate excuse for the resume gap. However, in a market where younger people are graduating college and heading into the work force at a rate faster than the economy is creating jobs, it’s important that this excuse not come off that you’ve been out of the work force for too long and that you are no longer connected with workplace politics, practices, and the ever-changing job market.

Instead, talk about the scholarly publications you’ve read during your break, and how, while you were at home doing the most important job of taking care of your family, you were still keeping up with work trends and industry standards. You’re not behind. You’ve got real life experiences that will improve your abilities to provide for your potential employer.

#2 – I was a victim of the economy.

We’ve all faced the horrible realities of the economic crisis of 2008 and the subsequent unemployment rates rising. However, the economy is recovering and we’re starting to see real results in building the small business job market. How will you explain a gap in your relative industry employment? Simple. Don’t have one.

One thing that hasn’t stopped is the public’s dependency on the jobs not many people want to do. Chances are you’ve done something to make up for the $287 average pay per week of unemployment. Maybe you’ve taken to cutting grass for your neighbors. Perhaps you’re currently a freelance graphic designer. Slap a fancy name on your resume like “A Cut Above Lawn Care” and call yourself the owner. It’ll show that you didn’t sit around watching day time talk shows and soap operas.

#3 – I took time away to travel.

There’s nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself and traveling around the world. When faced with the issue of unemployment or the inability to decide what to do with your life post-employment, people often take time to work with charity organizations, see the world, and couch surf. Does this look good to potential employers? It can.

Try explaining this gap by telling your potential employer that you were seeing the world to gain a different perspective on the industry you’re working in. If you decided to join City Year or the Peace Corps, by all means mention that. Employers love those that give their time freely to charity organizations. You should always include charitable work on your resume, but if you’ve spent two years assisting a school for underprivileged children in Peru, by all means take advantage of your good work.

Gaps in your employment don’t have to be a bad thing. By telling the truth, selling yourself in the best light, and remembering that any activity during your job break is better than nothing, you will surely impress your potential employer with your dedication to activity during down time.

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Don’t fall victim to these common resume mistakes!

resume mistakes

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In part one of our common resume mistakes series, we looked at five mistakes that could land your resume in the trash can instead of the interview pile. Now let’s take a look at five more that could take your career prospect from high hopes to the trash bin!

Mistake #6: Your resume is generic

A lot of job seekers make this resume blunder time and time again. When it comes down to it, one of the most important things you can do for your job search is to learn to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Chances are you have had multiple jobs that have nothing to add to your qualifications for the job you are applying for. Leave them off of your resume. Potential employers do not need to know if you worked one summer at the county fair in high school. What employers want to see are the skills that will help you do the job they are looking to hire for.

Mistake #7: You are lying on your resume

This one should seem obvious, but it is definitely worth mentioning. You may be applying for a job that you are not quite qualified for and may be tempted to exaggerate a little on your experiences. This is never a good idea and chances are you will be found out – just like these high level executives. As much as you may want the job, be honest with your potential employer and apply for jobs that are more in your skill range and work your way up. Nothing trumps actual experience and the satisfaction that comes from being offered a job because of your actual skills is a great feeling. Don’t risk your future by lying – it just isn’t worth it.

Mistake #8: You are not including tangible results

Your resume is meant showcase what you have accomplished and highlight your skills and abilities in order to land an interview. If you are just listing out your duties, you are doing it wrong. Try to integrate your accomplishments and duties at the same time, crafting a picture of your skills and abilities, as well as responsibilities at each previous company. Using statements that can show tangible results is best and help you accomplish the message you want to send to a potential employer. Keep in mind that you will want to incorporate action verbs here as well. Adventures In Education suggests an active voice is best when writing your resume and offers up some great action words for you to consider including in your resume.

Mistake #9: You have weird formatting

With the exception of creative resumes, when creating a traditional resume you will want to stay away from weird formats. This also includes fonts and font size, colors, and bullets vs. paragraphs. Choose fonts that are professional and clean. Check out this blog on font choices for an idea of what you should and shouldn’t be using. Remember that you will want to use a reasonable size font as well. Stay away from using font size under 11 pt. Ideally stick with 12 pt font, anything smaller than 11 pt can make your resume hard to read. Another key point to remember when choosing fonts for your resume is to stick with one or two fonts – simple and clean is the way to go! It is okay to add some color accents to your resume if you choose, but do not use colored text in the main body of your resume. Color can be distracting, so make sure you are using it conservatively in a traditional resume. One last thought about formatting, bullet points are easier to read instead of large chunks of writing. A recruiter is most likely going to scan your resume first and you want to make sure it is easy to read.

Mistake #10: You are not sending your resume in the required format

Most employers will give instructions on how to submit your resume. A mistake you could be making is not following these instructions and not sending it in the correct way. Whether it is formatting your resume in a PDF or .doc, or no cover letter vs. cover letter, if you do not follow directions, your resume could end up in the trash bin. One reason for making sure you are sending it in the correct format is recruiters often scan resumes electronically that pull out key words they are looking for. If you do not have the proper format, your resume will not scan properly, if at all. Attention to detail is also an important factor in this, which ties it all back into making a great first impression!

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Are creative resumes really for you?

resume

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

There is no doubt the job market is a tough place. Your resume could be getting lost in the pile on a recruiters desk. Having a college degree or even a higher degree doesn’t guarantee you a good-paying job. Any given job opening is likely to be viewed by you and at least a dozen other applicants who are just as qualified for it, if not more so, then you. So how can you give yourself a leg up on the competition? A growing trend among job seekers is the creative resume. Rather than opting for the traditional 1 page, Times New Roman size 12 font resume, candidates are submitting proof of their qualifications in the form of resumes that look like movie posters, Facebook pages, Google searches, and road maps. They are being embroidered on fabric, presented as a cake toppers, or submitted as video projects rather than your 8.5 x 11 copy paper.

You cannot argue that these types of resumes will definitely stand out in a stack of thousands. Will they really help you land the job? Will your potential employer think you creative, innovative, and original? Or will they perceive you as pretentious and starved for attention?

The truth is, it depends on the company to which you are applying and the type of job you are hoping to secure. While an out-of-the-box resume would very likely impress the powers-that-be at Google, where they use slides instead of staircases, it may not be as awe-inspiring to a local bank, who might find it showy and frivolous.

If you are searching for a job in the field of graphic design, a more interactive resume that showcases your skills and ability to do the work that would be required of you as a graphic artist might definitely put you ahead of the game. If you are hoping to be hired as a cake decorator at a bakery, designing a cake with your resume etched in icing could provide a perfect example of your ability to do the type of work that the job requires.

But for jobs that do not directly involve the skills used to create an out-of-the-box resume, doing such extreme styles can backfire. Employers for these positions might get the wrong impression that you are someone who spends too much time amusing himself with a creative projects rather than putting that document to work in order to achieve its intended result.

The key is to know your audience. Does the position you desire warrant a flashy, non-traditional resume? Even if you answer “yes” to that question, you still want to check with the individual companies to which you are applying to find out what their requirements are for submitting your resume. Many larger companies have strict rules that your resume must be printed on white paper, mailed un-stapled in an 8 ½ x 11 envelope, and include no special font styles, printing, graphics, bold, underlines, italics, or small print. Resumes submitted that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered. So you need to research what the company wants before deciding whether or not to take a more non-traditional approach.

Every job and every employer is different. If you decide that a more creative and out-of-the-box resume will set you apart from the competition and you have the necessary skills to complete it, go for it. You should always remember to keep a plain, unembellished copy of your resume on hand as well for those employers who prefer a more traditional style.

Not sure if you should use a traditional or non-traditional resume? Consider the pros and cons.

Pros to Using a Creative, Non-traditional Resume

• Ideal if you are seeking a job in a creative industry, such as marketing and design
• Depending on the type of format, they allow you to post films, sound clips, photographs, or other pieces of work that showcase your relevant skills and qualifications
• They can be especially helpful to those applicants without an extensive work history, as they allow candidates to emphasize skills rather than display their chronological work history

Cons to Using a Creative, Non-traditional Resume

• Many companies still prefer a traditional, typed resume
• Larger companies often use what is known as an applicant tracking system (ATS) to automatically screen resumes; these systems search for keywords that indicate whether or not a candidate has the desired skills and/or experience for the position. Resumes that are not text-based cannot be entered into the system and therefore will not be considered.
• Some companies feel that graphics and other visuals are unnecessary additions to a resume

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