Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting http://www.kennedyexecutive.com Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:16:36 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 The Second Month In The New Job http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-second-month-in-the-new-job/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-second-month-in-the-new-job/#respond Sun, 07 Aug 2016 23:10:18 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3831 Here comes number 2 of our series of postings that will examine what happens in the head, heart and soul of a candidate during the first three months in the new job. Victor (see mini bio here below) who has told us 4 weeks ago how he did in the first month will answer to 5 questions after 4, 8 and 12 weeks which will allow us to compare what has changed on the way. Our journey through the integration period continues with Victor’s report on the second month in the new job: Question 1: “You started your new job 8 weeks ago. In which mindset did you start this second month and how has it changed since the beginning? What is your feedback today and which emotional evolution did you undergo since you wrote the last posting?” Victor: This is how I feel these days for many of the things I do: Gone are the days where I could take the time, at least 30 minutes every day, to step back and reflect on most things as I sort of did in my first month in the job. Time is now very scarce as I switch from meetings to meetings and at the same tome securing a new house, schools for the kids and also dealing with the house moving altogether. I sometimes go to the office in the morning thinking “is this all worth it?” Of course it is: great job, the excitement of a new country with the adventure that goes with it… the typical ups and downs of the post honeymoon period I guess. I find myself as a fireman trying to run a marathon with a big helmet (it’s warm in there) and a heavy water lance, trying to extinguish fires here and there on the way: the last fire was 2 good people in my team resigning for salary reasons that I eventually managed to retain. The one before? Facing 100 sales people in a room to tell them – through simultaneous translation – about changes that could  negatively affect their compensation… Question 2: “What were the top 3 things you did you do to ensure a smooth integration?” Victor: 1. I started building bonds with allies, not my greatest strengths I have to say. How? by taking my role seriously but myself much less so. Also by socialising, as much as I could. This involved dinners or drinks after work and the usual go-karting evening… 2. I adopted the ‘I know that I don’t know but I know that I should know’ type of attitude. Playing on the ‘I am new therefore I don’t know’ does work for sometime but one should not abuse this posture too much. 3. I pressed hard on my learning of the local language that allowed me to start showing signs of ‘localisation’ Question 3: How did your manager facilitate your integration and what did he miss out? Victor: He has been great so far. He took time with me, started challenging me in a positive way but showing trust at the same time. He is progressively switching into a mode that leaves little room for the excuse of being new. As if I had been here forever… which steepens the learning curve for me but in the end will accelerate my integration. My manager facilitated my integration also by: imposing all meetings with top management to be in English making it super comfortable for me, allowing me to commute in the way that best suited me whilst my family was still not here with me at destination, giving me very early feedback – and taking me for dinner! Question 4: “What is your biggest achievement so far and what is the biggest regret or frustration?” Victor: I confidently presented to my Group CEO a couple of days ago pieces of our strategy and had very positive feedback. This visit was key. More personal though: I totally restructured my current team (size, roles, people moves, etc) and had the target model of what the organization should look like tomorrow approved by my boss Closing: Thanks, Victor, for sharing your experience on the second month in the new job. We will have you back in four weeks to close the report on the three first months in the new job. Fingers crossed and looking forward! Victor: “Thanks, not everyone was here was waiting for me as a gift on a golden plate…” About the interviewee: Victor is a Marketing and Sales executive in the Financial Services industry in France. In the past, he has worked as EMEA Marketing Manager for a US-based software vendor and prior to this as a Management Consultant with a Top 5 Audit and Consulting firm in London. He has worked in multiple geographies including the UK, the US and France. Victor holds an MBA from INSEAD.  

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SecondMonthInTheNewJob_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

Here comes number 2 of our series of postings that will examine what happens in the head, heart and soul of a candidate during the first three months in the new job.

Victor (see mini bio here below) who has told us 4 weeks ago how he did in the first month will answer to 5 questions after 4, 8 and 12 weeks which will allow us to compare what has changed on the way.

Our journey through the integration period continues with Victor’s report on the second month in the new job:

Question 1: “You started your new job 8 weeks ago. In which mindset did you start this second month and how has it changed since the beginning? What is your feedback today and which emotional evolution did you undergo since you wrote the last posting?” Victor: This is how I feel these days for many of the things I do: Gone are the days where I could take the time, at least 30 minutes every day, to step back and reflect on most things as I sort of did in my first month in the job. Time is now very scarce as I switch from meetings to meetings and at the same tome securing a new house, schools for the kids and also dealing with the house moving altogether. I sometimes go to the office in the morning thinking “is this all worth it?” Of course it is: great job, the excitement of a new country with the adventure that goes with it… the typical ups and downs of the post honeymoon period I guess. I find myself as a fireman trying to run a marathon with a big helmet (it’s warm in there) and a heavy water lance, trying to extinguish fires here and there on the way: the last fire was 2 good people in my team resigning for salary reasons that I eventually managed to retain. The one before? Facing 100 sales people in a room to tell them – through simultaneous translation – about changes that could  negatively affect their compensation…

Question 2: “What were the top 3 things you did you do to ensure a smooth integration?” Victor: 1. I started building bonds with allies, not my greatest strengths I have to say. How? by taking my role seriously but myself much less so. Also by socialising, as much as I could. This involved dinners or drinks after work and the usual go-karting evening… 2. I adopted the ‘I know that I don’t know but I know that I should know’ type of attitude. Playing on the ‘I am new therefore I don’t know’ does work for sometime but one should not abuse this posture too much. 3. I pressed hard on my learning of the local language that allowed me to start showing signs of ‘localisation’

Question 3: How did your manager facilitate your integration and what did he miss out? Victor: He has been great so far. He took time with me, started challenging me in a positive way but showing trust at the same time. He is progressively switching into a mode that leaves little room for the excuse of being new. As if I had been here forever… which steepens the learning curve for me but in the end will accelerate my integration. My manager facilitated my integration also by: imposing all meetings with top management to be in English making it super comfortable for me, allowing me to commute in the way that best suited me whilst my family was still not here with me at destination, giving me very early feedback – and taking me for dinner!

Question 4: “What is your biggest achievement so far and what is the biggest regret or frustration?” Victor: I confidently presented to my Group CEO a couple of days ago pieces of our strategy and had very positive feedback. This visit was key. More personal though: I totally restructured my current team (size, roles, people moves, etc) and had the target model of what the organization should look like tomorrow approved by my boss

Closing: Thanks, Victor, for sharing your experience on the second month in the new job. We will have you back in four weeks to close the report on the three first months in the new job. Fingers crossed and looking forward! Victor: “Thanks, not everyone was here was waiting for me as a gift on a golden plate…”

About the interviewee:

Victor is a Marketing and Sales executive in the Financial Services industry in France. In the past, he has worked as EMEA Marketing Manager for a US-based software vendor and prior to this as a Management Consultant with a Top 5 Audit and Consulting firm in London. He has worked in multiple geographies including the UK, the US and France. Victor holds an MBA from INSEAD.

 

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A Brain Drain From London: The Impact Of Brexit On Executive Search http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/brain-drain-london-effects-brexit-executive-search-industry/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/brain-drain-london-effects-brexit-executive-search-industry/#respond Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:53:47 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6713 On 23 June the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. Initially a shock for the business world but now a reality. What is its impact on how talent moves and more specifically on the executive search industry, especially in Europe? Read on

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On 23 June the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. Initially a shock for the business world but now a reality. What is its impact on how talent moves and more specifically on the executive search industry, especially in Europe? Read on

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A Brain Drain From London: The Effects Of Brexit For Executive Search http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/brain-drain-london-effects-brexit-executive-search/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/brain-drain-london-effects-brexit-executive-search/#respond Sun, 24 Jul 2016 23:01:39 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6697 On 23 June the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. Initially a shock for the business world but now a reality. Most of us are coming to grips with this new reality. With the Brexit, free trade and movement of goods and people will be up for discussion and new agreements with the EU will have to be settled. Furthermore, it was reported that many Europeans working and living in London felt suddenly not welcome in the UK. Just after the collapse of the Greek and Portuguese economies a few years back, we at Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting have seen tremendous interest of bright, highly educated individuals to move to the north of Europe. We have been receiving CVs from professionals with excellent high skilled backgrounds not only from these countries, but suddenly also from the UK – in particular from London. Here at Kennedy Executive Search, we have been astonished how fast highly qualified candidates in London sent us their CVs. London has been the financial capital for many decades and this will not change overnight. However, we are encountering people not waiting for the future. We are receiving applications almost every day since the referendum. Why are people leaving and what are they stating? Here are a few real quotes of the past week: “In light of the recent Brexit vote here in the UK, I would be very interested in finding out more on the current state of the job market in Paris.” “I do feel less welcome in this country now. And I’m not sure if I even want to live in a country filled with so many not-that-bright people.” “Due to Brexit and sudden drop in earnings, non UK citizens are being told to find a new role outside of the organization.” “Being German and due to the Brexit results, after 13 years in London I am actively seeking opportunities to move back to Europe.“   We have been stunned – not only by the amount of applications (25 applications in Amsterdam from London alone) but also the reasons why people want to leave. The UK has not been hit by a sudden economic collapse. After having spoken to various candidates from the UK these are the preliminary conclusions: European continental citizens who have real estate are trying to cash their profits before it is too late – they are all anticipating a sudden drop in the housing market. Candidates do not want to wait for the bureaucratic situation due to the new rules and regulations requiring them to stay. The market potential for Europe is much bigger than just the UK – it is easier to reallocate now before the closure of the UK market. Many large corporates have indicated an interest in moving their Headquarters to the continent – in particular to the Netherlands due to excellent tax benefits and the open market. Parting thoughts and what can we do for you: Whether you are a UK based corporate company or a high potential candidate wishing to reallocate to the continent, we at Kennedy Executive Search can assist you. With offices covering the European Continent we can aid you in your search, whether this is picking the best location for your office or finding the right talent or employer. Some of our offices report up to 70% of all executive search assignments cross-border. We are dealing with international searches daily and know how to deal with a global approach. We communicate with each other every week and share opportunities and candidates from two continents and roughly 30 countries we have run searches in in the past. Check out the Kennedy office next to you and let’s discuss.

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A brain drain from London: the effects of Brexit for Executive Search

On 23 June the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. Initially a shock for the business world but now a reality. Most of us are coming to grips with this new reality. With the Brexit, free trade and movement of goods and people will be up for discussion and new agreements with the EU will have to be settled.

Furthermore, it was reported that many Europeans working and living in London felt suddenly not welcome in the UK.

Just after the collapse of the Greek and Portuguese economies a few years back, we at Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting have seen tremendous interest of bright, highly educated individuals to move to the north of Europe. We have been receiving CVs from professionals with excellent high skilled backgrounds not only from these countries, but suddenly also from the UK – in particular from London.

Here at Kennedy Executive Search, we have been astonished how fast highly qualified candidates in London sent us their CVs. London has been the financial capital for many decades and this will not change overnight. However, we are encountering people not waiting for the future. We are receiving applications almost every day since the referendum. Why are people leaving and what are they stating? Here are a few real quotes of the past week:

  • “In light of the recent Brexit vote here in the UK, I would be very interested in finding out more on the current state of the job market in Paris.”
  • “I do feel less welcome in this country now. And I’m not sure if I even want to live in a country filled with so many not-that-bright people.”
  • “Due to Brexit and sudden drop in earnings, non UK citizens are being told to find a new role outside of the organization.”
  • “Being German and due to the Brexit results, after 13 years in London I am actively seeking opportunities to move back to Europe.“

 

We have been stunned – not only by the amount of applications (25 applications in Amsterdam from London alone) but also the reasons why people want to leave. The UK has not been hit by a sudden economic collapse. After having spoken to various candidates from the UK these are the preliminary conclusions:

  • European continental citizens who have real estate are trying to cash their profits before it is too late – they are all anticipating a sudden drop in the housing market.
  • Candidates do not want to wait for the bureaucratic situation due to the new rules and regulations requiring them to stay.
  • The market potential for Europe is much bigger than just the UK – it is easier to reallocate now before the closure of the UK market.
  • Many large corporates have indicated an interest in moving their Headquarters to the continent – in particular to the Netherlands due to excellent tax benefits and the open market.


Parting thoughts and what can we do for you:

Whether you are a UK based corporate company or a high potential candidate wishing to reallocate to the continent, we at Kennedy Executive Search can assist you. With offices covering the European Continent we can aid you in your search, whether this is picking the best location for your office or finding the right talent or employer. Some of our offices report up to 70% of all executive search assignments cross-border. We are dealing with international searches daily and know how to deal with a global approach. We communicate with each other every week and share opportunities and candidates from two continents and roughly 30 countries we have run searches in in the past.

Check out the Kennedy office next to you and let’s discuss.

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Kennedy Executive Search One Of “Hunt Scanlon 100 Global Talent Leaders” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-search-hunt-scanlon-100-talent-leaders-list/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-search-hunt-scanlon-100-talent-leaders-list/#respond Wed, 20 Jul 2016 14:11:28 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6669 Hunt Scanlon, the “industry bible” in the retained search industry and human capital sector, has selected Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting to appear in the “Hunt Scanlon Global Talent Leaders”, a list of 100 global executive search firms. Congrats and well done, Kennedy team!

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Hunt Scanlon, the “industry bible” in the retained search industry and human capital sector, has selected Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting to appear in the “Hunt Scanlon Global Talent Leaders”, a list of 100 global executive search firms. Congrats and well done, Kennedy team!

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The First Month In The New Job http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-first-month-in-the-new-job/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-first-month-in-the-new-job/#comments Sun, 10 Jul 2016 23:01:05 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3766 This week, we kick off a series of three postings that will examine what happens in the head, heart and soul of a candidate during the first three months in the new job. This pretty much compliments my posting “The 7 Phases Of The Job Life Cycle” on Forbes a while ago. Yet while that was theory, we talk about practice today and will have a close look at the mental roller coaster a candidate like you or me undergoes during his integration period. How is this series structured? Victor (see his mini bio here below) will answer today 5 questions. The exact same set of questions will be back in 4 and 8 weeks for the 60 and 90 day interview which will allow us to compare what has changed. Here we go. I promise a thrilling journey with ups and downs through the integration period, starting with the first month in the new job: Question 1: “You have started your new job 4 weeks ago. Which mindset did you arrive with and how has it changeds since the beginning? What is your first feedback and which emotional evolution did you undergo?” Victor’s answer: “I arrived with a view that I would take the situation with a lot of rational, with a clear / nearly scientific way to tackle issues and create a plan. Also figured I would have to quickly create trust with 2 of my direct reports, who would be key to my success.” Question 2: “What were the top 3 things you did you do to ensure a smooth integration?” Victor’s answer: “Three things helped me: 1) I showed an open-minded attitude (I was brought in to bring experience from another country, but did not want to be looked at as the one giving lessons). 2) I showed empathy, which probably was the most difficult for me as I did not only integrate a new company but also changed country. Apart from decoding the language of the company, the language of the country is new too. This links directly to point 3) which is curiosity, eagerness to understand the Italian market, the way people work, successes and failures from the past but also personal stories and all things that influence the job and as a consequence my success here.” Question 3: How did your manager facilitate your integration and what did he miss out? Victor’s answer: “My boss positioned me at the right level, i.e. in a way that people understand I don’t have everything to prove. In the end, I am his choice not theirs… But he also showed interest in my personal logistics and how well I was settling in regards of the apartment, schools, commutes, etc. What did he miss out? Not much, I think and he gets full marks to him in my view.” Question 4: “What is your biggest achievement so far and what is the biggest regret or frustration?” Victor’s answer: “My biggest achievement came after 3 weeks: a partnership for close to a million Euro had been partially negotiated prior to my arrival. In 3 weeks I completed the negotiation and obtained a final further discount. Timing and luck was on my side, I seized it and transformed it into a personal success.” Question 5: “What were your 3 top priorities for the first 30 days?” Victor’s answer: “My first priorities for the first 30 days were to 1) understand who does what, 2) what the priorities for the companies are (therefore including things I should not worry about) and 3) create a relationship, trust and credibility with my direct reports.” Closing: Thanks, Victor. So we will have you back here in four weeks on 8 August for “The First 60 Days In The New Job”, right? Victor: “Yes, the next job feedback will come shortly and I guarantee will be exciting!” About the interviewee: Victor is a Marketing and Sales executive in the Financial Services industry in France. In the past, he has worked as EMEA Marketing Manager for a US-based software vendor and prior to this as a Management Consultant with a Top 5 Audit and Consulting firm in London. He has worked in multiple geographies including the UK, the US and France. Victor holds an MBA from INSEAD.

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TheFirstMonthInTheNewJob_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

This week, we kick off a series of three postings that will examine what happens in the head, heart and soul of a candidate during the first three months in the new job. This pretty much compliments my posting “The 7 Phases Of The Job Life Cycle” on Forbes a while ago. Yet while that was theory, we talk about practice today and will have a close look at the mental roller coaster a candidate like you or me undergoes during his integration period.

How is this series structured?

Victor (see his mini bio here below) will answer today 5 questions. The exact same set of questions will be back in 4 and 8 weeks for the 60 and 90 day interview which will allow us to compare what has changed.

Here we go. I promise a thrilling journey with ups and downs through the integration period, starting with the first month in the new job:

Question 1: “You have started your new job 4 weeks ago. Which mindset did you arrive with and how has it changeds since the beginning? What is your first feedback and which emotional evolution did you undergo?” Victor’s answer: “I arrived with a view that I would take the situation with a lot of rational, with a clear / nearly scientific way to tackle issues and create a plan. Also figured I would have to quickly create trust with 2 of my direct reports, who would be key to my success.”

Question 2: “What were the top 3 things you did you do to ensure a smooth integration?” Victor’s answer: “Three things helped me: 1) I showed an open-minded attitude (I was brought in to bring experience from another country, but did not want to be looked at as the one giving lessons). 2) I showed empathy, which probably was the most difficult for me as I did not only integrate a new company but also changed country. Apart from decoding the language of the company, the language of the country is new too. This links directly to point 3) which is curiosity, eagerness to understand the Italian market, the way people work, successes and failures from the past but also personal stories and all things that influence the job and as a consequence my success here.”

Question 3: How did your manager facilitate your integration and what did he miss out? Victor’s answer: “My boss positioned me at the right level, i.e. in a way that people understand I don’t have everything to prove. In the end, I am his choice not theirs… But he also showed interest in my personal logistics and how well I was settling in regards of the apartment, schools, commutes, etc. What did he miss out? Not much, I think and he gets full marks to him in my view.”

Question 4: “What is your biggest achievement so far and what is the biggest regret or frustration?” Victor’s answer: “My biggest achievement came after 3 weeks: a partnership for close to a million Euro had been partially negotiated prior to my arrival. In 3 weeks I completed the negotiation and obtained a final further discount. Timing and luck was on my side, I seized it and transformed it into a personal success.”

Question 5: “What were your 3 top priorities for the first 30 days?” Victor’s answer: “My first priorities for the first 30 days were to 1) understand who does what, 2) what the priorities for the companies are (therefore including things I should not worry about) and 3) create a relationship, trust and credibility with my direct reports.”

Closing: Thanks, Victor. So we will have you back here in four weeks on 8 August for “The First 60 Days In The New Job”, right? Victor: “Yes, the next job feedback will come shortly and I guarantee will be exciting!”

About the interviewee:

Victor is a Marketing and Sales executive in the Financial Services industry in France. In the past, he has worked as EMEA Marketing Manager for a US-based software vendor and prior to this as a Management Consultant with a Top 5 Audit and Consulting firm in London. He has worked in multiple geographies including the UK, the US and France. Victor holds an MBA from INSEAD.

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Quintessential LinkedIn Best Practices For Job Seekers And Keepers http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/quintessential-linkedin-best-practices/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/quintessential-linkedin-best-practices/#respond Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:01:29 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3444 There have been several postings on LinkedIn in the past and new ones will come in the future. As Yogi Berra said, “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. However, it looks pretty possible that LinkedIn will accompany us for the next years of our career. And though the really important people may be not on LinkedIn today as my wife says, they will be there in 10 years (as future leaders will not deactivate their account when they evolve). To complete this cycle, here below the best practices that have been missing in my opinion. LinkedIn helps me to find clients and candidates and most importantly: it helps me to stay in touch with them. Here are my quintessential LinkedIn best practices for job seekers, job changers and job keepers: What is your professional identity? The headline is a free flow text. If you do not write anything, your current job title will be copied, e.g. “Director at XYZ” or – let’s take my current title – “CEO at Kennedy Executive”. What do you understand? Not much. “Translate it”, explain it and talk rather about your professional identity than your title. My identity for instance is not “CEO” but “Headhunter”. Your job title may be Vice President but in reality you are a Finance Leader. Show exactly that: Use the possibility write in your headline the 7-10 keywords that describe you best and that make you special. If people spend 5-10 seconds on your resume, my guess is that is it is 3 seconds for LinkedIn. Make sure you get the message through fast. I recommend a description (not a title!) of what you do and which industries, e.g. “French-German Headhunter | Certified Coach | Business Writer”, “Senior Finance leader | trilingual, 2 continents | High Tech and Telecommunications” or “Country Manager/ CEO | Production, Construction, Industrial | Led up to 500 people”. Your network belongs to you: I strongly recommend hiding your contacts to everyone. Otherwise, you will inform all your contacts (including your boss and HR) that “Tom is now connected with Jorg Stegemann, Headhunter”… Give, give, give: So now you have built a network, good job! But what do you do with it? What do you do to “maintain and entertain”n the 473 contacts you have? You cannot call them or write emails once per week. A very powerful tool is to share updates (watch out for the “share on LinkedIn” in any good article you read – for example at the bottom of this posting). This function gives you the possibility to add value and to reach people in your network when they are on their iPhone Saturday afternoon… The purpose is that you position yourself: “New update from Jorg, must be about career management”. Make the same for your core competency and people will associate you with this competence – for instance when they hear about a job to fill or someone asks them for a recommendation. Your profile is your body but the updates are the lifeblood. Let it live! Create a vanity address: This is only a detail but once you have changed it, you will be very sensitive towards those who did not. When you create your profile, the default URL will look like www.linkedin.com/in.jorg-stegemann/36/538/139 (do not click, it’s a dead link). You can edit it to something as smooth and gentle as fr.linkedin.com/in/jorgstegemann (yes, now you can click, invite me and benefit from daily career advice…). This new vanity address can go into your signature, resume, business card or wherever you feel it is appropriate. Like your photo or change it: I often ask my contacts “What do you think about your picture?” and they respond “I don’t like it”. I usually say “then I wouldn’t put it…”. People look at a picture first, remember what you thought when you saw the visual I have chosen for this posting? Choose a photo you are comfortable with: after all, this is your “marketing brochure”. This is www.you.com. How do YOU want to be presented to the world? Conclusion: LinkedIn alone won’t get you a new job (this is why it will not put the recruitment industry out of business, especially not if it is for retained search like we at Kennedy do it). but networking will and if this blog is about career management, only 10% of its postings deal with LinkedIn. In the 21th century, however, networking happens on and offline. Take good care of your contacts and be aware that even people you meet offline may google you. LinkedIn will be on top of most google searches – make sure you present yourself in the best possible way.

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Johor, Malaysia - May 11, 2014: Hand showing Linkedin icon. Linkedin is a famous social networking website, May 11, 2014 in Johor, Malaysia.

There have been several postings on LinkedIn in the past and new ones will come in the future. As Yogi Berra said, “it is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. However, it looks pretty possible that LinkedIn will accompany us for the next years of our career. And though the really important people may be not on LinkedIn today as my wife says, they will be there in 10 years (as future leaders will not deactivate their account when they evolve).

To complete this cycle, here below the best practices that have been missing in my opinion. LinkedIn helps me to find clients and candidates and most importantly: it helps me to stay in touch with them.

Here are my quintessential LinkedIn best practices for job seekers, job changers and job keepers:

  1. What is your professional identity? The headline is a free flow text. If you do not write anything, your current job title will be copied, e.g. “Director at XYZ” or – let’s take my current title – “CEO at Kennedy Executive”. What do you understand? Not much. “Translate it”, explain it and talk rather about your professional identity than your title. My identity for instance is not “CEO” but “Headhunter”. Your job title may be Vice President but in reality you are a Finance Leader. Show exactly that: Use the possibility write in your headline the 7-10 keywords that describe you best and that make you special. If people spend 5-10 seconds on your resume, my guess is that is it is 3 seconds for LinkedIn. Make sure you get the message through fast. I recommend a description (not a title!) of what you do and which industries, e.g. “French-German Headhunter | Certified Coach | Business Writer”, “Senior Finance leader | trilingual, 2 continents | High Tech and Telecommunications” or “Country Manager/ CEO | Production, Construction, Industrial | Led up to 500 people”.
  2. Your network belongs to you: I strongly recommend hiding your contacts to everyone. Otherwise, you will inform all your contacts (including your boss and HR) that “Tom is now connected with Jorg Stegemann, Headhunter”
  3. Give, give, give: So now you have built a network, good job! But what do you do with it? What do you do to “maintain and entertain”n the 473 contacts you have? You cannot call them or write emails once per week. A very powerful tool is to share updates (watch out for the “share on LinkedIn” in any good article you read – for example at the bottom of this posting). This function gives you the possibility to add value and to reach people in your network when they are on their iPhone Saturday afternoon… The purpose is that you position yourself: “New update from Jorg, must be about career management”. Make the same for your core competency and people will associate you with this competence – for instance when they hear about a job to fill or someone asks them for a recommendation. Your profile is your body but the updates are the lifeblood. Let it live!
  4. Create a vanity address: This is only a detail but once you have changed it, you will be very sensitive towards those who did not. When you create your profile, the default URL will look like www.linkedin.com/in.jorg-stegemann/36/538/139 (do not click, it’s a dead link). You can edit it to something as smooth and gentle as fr.linkedin.com/in/jorgstegemann (yes, now you can click, invite me and benefit from daily career advice…). This new vanity address can go into your signature, resume, business card or wherever you feel it is appropriate.
  5. Like your photo or change it: I often ask my contacts “What do you think about your picture?” and they respond “I don’t like it”. I usually say “then I wouldn’t put it…”. People look at a picture first, remember what you thought when you saw the visual I have chosen for this posting? Choose a photo you are comfortable with: after all, this is your “marketing brochure”. This is www.you.com. How do YOU want to be presented to the world?


Conclusion:

LinkedIn alone won’t get you a new job (this is why it will not put the recruitment industry out of business, especially not if it is for retained search like we at Kennedy do it). but networking will and if this blog is about career management, only 10% of its postings deal with LinkedIn. In the 21th century, however, networking happens on and offline. Take good care of your contacts and be aware that even people you meet offline may google you. LinkedIn will be on top of most google searches – make sure you present yourself in the best possible way.

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How To Recruit To Succeed: Blasting Through The 3 Big Asset Management Road Blocks http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/recruit-succeed-blasting-3-big-asset-management-road-blocks/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/recruit-succeed-blasting-3-big-asset-management-road-blocks/#respond Sun, 12 Jun 2016 23:01:21 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6610 This week’s posting comes from Paul Battye, Finance Practice Leader at Kennedy Executive UK and CEO of Moorlands Human Capital with headquarters in London, UK: Asset management businesses love to think that what makes them money is recruiting talented fund managers with skill, setting them loose on a portfolio and then selling that portfolio to the market in some form. Alas, in the modern market, it is not that easy, to a large extent because of the road blocks that have evolved over recent years. Often these road blocks are underestimated or even ignored by the top management of asset management houses, especially those trying to get a foothold in the market or those defending a legacy book. Yet they do so at their peril, because understanding the nature of these road blocks is critical in determining who are the right people to recruit to drive your firm forward. Why waste resource bashing your head against a road block when with intelligent executive search work you could identify “in the market” staff who are best placed to undermine, erode or even blast through the road blocks? Road Block 1: The Betamax Effect Those who recall those halcyon days when home video first made its way into the population (early 1980s) will remember the battle between the VHS and Betamax video formats. Betamax was viewed as being technically superior and the cassettes were smaller and neater. Yet for all the protestations about Betamax’s superiority, they couldn’t get traction in a market where VHS had captured the video rental space. It was a roadblock. Asset managers are often guilty of this. Coming up with fantastic, technically spectacular offerings and expecting these to fly off the shelves. When they don’t, they think it is just a matter of time, and throw ever more sales resource into it. They employ star marketeers with great contact books. But still nobody buys. Why? Because it is not the fund managers that dictate the product appetite – it is the intermediaries, particularly the big investment consulting houses. Fund managers are flogging Betamax cassettes to a market where the guys advising the clients have sold them VHS machines! This sort of asset manager, unconsciously encountering this roadblock, will think they need more marketing and sales resource and will buy this in. But the REAL need for this business is a great Business Strategist and Change Catalyst who can look at the capabilities of the firm, look at what it is selling – or even better anticipating what is about to sell – in the market based on what consultants are doing – who can then wholly reshape the investment offerings the firm takes to market. The skill set needed here is a complex one – executive leadership and influencing skills, great front line experience (might currently be in a consultancy thus seeing first-hand what is going on), a ruthless enough approach to be able to quickly kill off existing flawed ideas and swiftly remodel the business and change emphasis. Is good performance entirely due to the randomness of short term returns? Price is becoming a major factor for institutional investors. Are you positioned correctly to take advantage? Do you have a great product but nobody is buying? Has your performance declined and you are losing clients? Moorlands Human Capital/ Kennedy Executive Search London has helped dozens of Asset Managers improve their business by hiring the best talent available. And we can do the same for you. To find out the answers on the above questions and discover road block 2 and 3, DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT.

The post How To Recruit To Succeed: Blasting Through The 3 Big Asset Management Road Blocks appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Recruit To Succeed: Blasting Through The 3 Big Asset Management Road Blocks

This week’s posting comes from Paul Battye, Finance Practice Leader at Kennedy Executive UK and CEO of Moorlands Human Capital with headquarters in London, UK:

Asset management businesses love to think that what makes them money is recruiting talented fund managers with skill, setting them loose on a portfolio and then selling that portfolio to the market in some form. Alas, in the modern market, it is not that easy, to a large extent because of the road blocks that have evolved over recent years. Often these road blocks are underestimated or even ignored by the top management of asset management houses, especially those trying to get a foothold in the market or those defending a legacy book. Yet they do so at their peril, because understanding the nature of these road blocks is critical in determining who are the right people to recruit to drive your firm forward. Why waste resource bashing your head against a road block when with intelligent executive search work you could identify “in the market” staff who are best placed to undermine, erode or even blast through the road blocks?

Road Block 1: The Betamax Effect

Those who recall those halcyon days when home video first made its way into the population (early 1980s) will remember the battle between the VHS and Betamax video formats. Betamax was viewed as being technically superior and the cassettes were smaller and neater. Yet for all the protestations about Betamax’s superiority, they couldn’t get traction in a market where VHS had captured the video rental space. It was a roadblock.

Asset managers are often guilty of this. Coming up with fantastic, technically spectacular offerings and expecting these to fly off the shelves. When they don’t, they think it is just a matter of time, and throw ever more sales resource into it. They employ star marketeers with great contact books. But still nobody buys. Why? Because it is not the fund managers that dictate the product appetite – it is the intermediaries, particularly the big investment consulting houses. Fund managers are flogging Betamax cassettes to a market where the guys advising the clients have sold them VHS machines!

This sort of asset manager, unconsciously encountering this roadblock, will think they need more marketing and sales resource and will buy this in. But the REAL need for this business is a great Business Strategist and Change Catalyst who can look at the capabilities of the firm, look at what it is selling – or even better anticipating what is about to sell – in the market based on what consultants are doing – who can then wholly reshape the investment offerings the firm takes to market. The skill set needed here is a complex one – executive leadership and influencing skills, great front line experience (might currently be in a consultancy thus seeing first-hand what is going on), a ruthless enough approach to be able to quickly kill off existing flawed ideas and swiftly remodel the business and change emphasis.

Is good performance entirely due to the randomness of short term returns?

Price is becoming a major factor for institutional investors. Are you positioned correctly to take advantage?

Do you have a great product but nobody is buying?

Has your performance declined and you are losing clients?

Moorlands Human Capital/ Kennedy Executive Search London has helped dozens of Asset Managers improve their business by hiring the best talent available. And we can do the same for you.

To find out the answers on the above questions and discover road block 2 and 3, DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT.

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What I Have Learned From (Not) Reading 50,000 CVs http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/what-i-have-learned-from-reading-50000-cvs/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/what-i-have-learned-from-reading-50000-cvs/#comments Sun, 29 May 2016 23:01:04 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=33 In my career, I have received approximately 50,000 resumes (obviously I did not read them. Otherwise I would have no time to write this posting!). The reality is that I take less than 1 minute on the resumes I receive. And I am in good company: Research says that the average recruiter spends 6.25 seconds per CV before deciding “this one is not for me”. The CV is thus the worst ROI in your job search strategy: you have spent 20, 30 or 50 hours – and you have lost us after only 6 seconds! And yet, the CV is (still) necessary. It is the entrance door to the phone call you will get which will eventually lead to the invitation to a job interview and an offer. What are the 7 key learnings I can share with you after years and years of reading CVs? Bear in mind that the recipient receives a lot of CVs. They have to understand quickly if you match the selection criteria or not. Up to 90% of the CVs received on any given vacancy don’t. One of my clients, a multi-billion USD firm, told me they had received 250 applications for their new CFO. Among those was one from a 27 year old oboe player who stated she had never worked in finance, but always wanted to become a CFO… Most managers I know are short on time. So are you and I, right? It is vital that you deliver your message in a concise way and to the point. Make it short. The “cover letter”, today being replaced by an email should be 3 short paragraphs max on a screen. The CV itself should ideally be two pages and never more than three. I met a candidate once who had a 14 page resume and explained that he felt he had to compensate for his missing studies. Well, nobody who wants to work efficiently has time to read a 14 page resume. All the essential information should be seen at a glance and on the first page. What is your professional identity? What makes you special? Which languages do you speak? Make sure that everything you want to be read is on the first half page. If the person in front a) understands and b) likes what s/ he sees, s/he will read on. But you want to make sure not to hide essential information on the last page. Because 95% of the readers will never get there… Also, choose a file name that can be easily saved for easy referral (e.g. “Stegemann_CV”). A doc name such as “CurriculumVitae_english” or “CV_name_November2013_NEW” (I have seen all that) cannot be saved and or retrieved under its current name. On hobbies or leisure activities: One candidate asked if it was ok to put “belly dancing” under skills or interests (well, I would say it depends what job you apply for…). Should one put hobbies or interests into the CV, if there is a connection to the job (e.g. “cars” if you apply with Porsche). Otherwise I would say no if there is no relevance to the job/ the reader. Proofread: check (or ask someone to check) for gaps and inconsistency in the flow – and typos wich are alwas inacepptable (if you spotted three in this sentence, you are on a good way). If necessary, explain gaps and try to establish a logical transition from one job to the other, e.g. by adding the reasons for leaving. The reader will look for several things in your CV: consistency, gaps or a good explanation if these are not given Say the truth: It goes without saying that everything you write can be checked. Lying or “embelleshing” can result in immediate termination of your work contract and every court in the world will be on your employers’ side… Conclusion: Make it easy for us to invite you. We have to decide very fast. Only put data that is essential and relevant, the most important ones on the first page. If your CV has more than 3 pages, prioritize and shorten it. Finally, run one last final check for gaps – if you don’t, we will ask hard questions in the interview or we will never invite you.

The post What I Have Learned From (Not) Reading 50,000 CVs appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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ResumeCV_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

In my career, I have received approximately 50,000 resumes (obviously I did not read them. Otherwise I would have no time to write this posting!). The reality is that I take less than 1 minute on the resumes I receive. And I am in good company: Research says that the average recruiter spends 6.25 seconds per CV before deciding “this one is not for me”.

The CV is thus the worst ROI in your job search strategy: you have spent 20, 30 or 50 hours – and you have lost us after only 6 seconds! And yet, the CV is (still) necessary. It is the entrance door to the phone call you will get which will eventually lead to the invitation to a job interview and an offer.

What are the 7 key learnings I can share with you after years and years of reading CVs?

  1. Bear in mind that the recipient receives a lot of CVs. They have to understand quickly if you match the selection criteria or not. Up to 90% of the CVs received on any given vacancy don’t. One of my clients, a multi-billion USD firm, told me they had received 250 applications for their new CFO. Among those was one from a 27 year old oboe player who stated she had never worked in finance, but always wanted to become a CFO…
  2. Most managers I know are short on time. So are you and I, right? It is vital that you deliver your message in a concise way and to the point. Make it short. The “cover letter”, today being replaced by an email should be 3 short paragraphs max on a screen. The CV itself should ideally be two pages and never more than three. I met a candidate once who had a 14 page resume and explained that he felt he had to compensate for his missing studies. Well, nobody who wants to work efficiently has time to read a 14 page resume.
  3. All the essential information should be seen at a glance and on the first page. What is your professional identity? What makes you special? Which languages do you speak? Make sure that everything you want to be read is on the first half page. If the person in front a) understands and b) likes what s/ he sees, s/he will read on. But you want to make sure not to hide essential information on the last page. Because 95% of the readers will never get there…
  4. Also, choose a file name that can be easily saved for easy referral (e.g. “Stegemann_CV”). A doc name such as “CurriculumVitae_english” or “CV_name_November2013_NEW” (I have seen all that) cannot be saved and or retrieved under its current name.
  5. On hobbies or leisure activities: One candidate asked if it was ok to put “belly dancing” under skills or interests (well, I would say it depends what job you apply for…). Should one put hobbies or interests into the CV, if there is a connection to the job (e.g. “cars” if you apply with Porsche). Otherwise I would say no if there is no relevance to the job/ the reader.
  6. Proofread: check (or ask someone to check) for gaps and inconsistency in the flow – and typos wich are alwas inacepptable (if you spotted three in this sentence, you are on a good way). If necessary, explain gaps and try to establish a logical transition from one job to the other, e.g. by adding the reasons for leaving. The reader will look for several things in your CV: consistency, gaps or a good explanation if these are not given
  7. Say the truth: It goes without saying that everything you write can be checked. Lying or “embelleshing” can result in immediate termination of your work contract and every court in the world will be on your employers’ side…


Conclusion:

Make it easy for us to invite you. We have to decide very fast. Only put data that is essential and relevant, the most important ones on the first page. If your CV has more than 3 pages, prioritize and shorten it. Finally, run one last final check for gaps – if you don’t, we will ask hard questions in the interview or we will never invite you.

The post What I Have Learned From (Not) Reading 50,000 CVs appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Why Headhunters Are Always Right (Almost) http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-headhunters-are-always-right/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-headhunters-are-always-right/#respond Sun, 15 May 2016 23:01:40 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6505 A headhunter is always right: sounds arrogant, doesn’t it? But it sure is true though. In a way even so one client or another candidate might disagree. However, we are executive search consultants dealing with numerous candidates and clients with different backgrounds, cultures and requirements. As experienced consultants you do need to be spot on – otherwise our advice is not required. We talk to candidates and clients every day, we do hear what companies do compete in today’s fierce market place, what drives the best talent and what turns it away. We talk about strategy and know what your competitors do that you don’t do. We have taken thousands of “job specs” and consulted our clients. And we we have also run thousands of interviews and counseled our candidates. And of all that, we are willing to share a good deal with you (respecting confidentiality of course)! When it comes to advice towards candidates: we are getting more requests for training. What we see is that candidates willing to get a new job or a promotion, are asking us for skill set training. Some candidates have been lucky in never having to apply for a new job. Other candidates would like to get a promotion but do not know how. Most candidates have basically no clue what their unique selling points are. The advice what we give is not for free but it is nine out of ten times right. In our coaching offer, we help candidates prepare for an interview. This includes two or three sessions: The first session includes a regular interview and reviewing the CV. What does the reader look at? How can you stand out? How can you make sure to get past the first threshold? Out of this, we give advice on how to improve all aspects of the CV. (also see our postings on how to write a killer CV). We also give feedback on your motivation, skill set and your unique selling points. If the candidate is preparing for a specific job specification, we focus on that role. We give pointers on how we as executive search consultants do research when it comes downs to client preparation. We even give feedback on how to dress and how to present yourself. The second session, we do the interview again and we prepare for the candidate’s application. It is a tough training and we will be very strict when it comes to answering questions. What are the most likely questions you will get? How to reply to “stupid questions”? We will be direct but at the same time honest. The third session is again the interview. What is the “secret sauce” to master any job interview? We have managed thousands of them and will share our experience with you. However, we are confident that the candidate is ready.   The majority of the candidates we have trained over the last few months have obtained their new role. Whether it was at their existing employer or for a complete new employer. It might me a bit expensive for non-executives, but why not invest in your own future. The training also helps candidates in becoming future managers. They are now more confident in hiring a new employee. So if you want to get the best interview preparation from an executive search consultant you can ever get, contact any of our offices. You will get our candidate interview prep sheet and we can consult you even more – even for interviews arranged by our competitors. When it comes to giving advice to clients: we give strategic advice on the future of the organization. Large corporates have dedicated strategic HR specialists, but companies with approximately 100 to 300 employees don’t. We have helped CEOs with strategic HR changes: We review the existing company structure and employee base We give thorough input on how competitors are structured and who the strategic employees are – we basically draw a talent map and keep track of changes. In the Netherlands we keep track of the entire quantitative talent market. We know exactly where all the candidates work, how many graduate annually, where they live etc. Strategic advice is given on the skill set for any new employee. Giving advice on the salary structure is also one of our key service offerings. We know most of the salary structures within dedicated industries. We recently did a review for a medium sized investment bank in the Netherlands. Through our research, we managed to save at least Euro 100.000 for the organization annually. The salaries of the employees in relation to the required skill set did not match competition. The Board of the bank was not only astonished of the savings but was surprised about their talent base. They were simply not competitive anymore. Through our efforts they saved money and were able to rethink their HR strategy in order to challenge competition.   πSo is a headhunter always right? The ones that invest in candidates, clients and market research are most of the times right. Our role as executive search consultant is changing into Human Capital Strategy consultant. The market is becoming too transparent and competitive. This is not only for us, but also for executive candidates and clients. So invest and listen to your headhunter and become smarter. Invest as a candidate and as a client. Professional advice is sometimes necessary to be more successful in your business. Just contact one of our offices in Europe or North America for the best advice in the executive search market. Parting thoughts: OK, we at Kennedy Executive may not always be right! However, we are trying hard, listen carefully, learn from our clients, candidates and Partners throughout the world every day to become better headhunters and Consultants for YOU!

The post Why Headhunters Are Always Right (Almost) appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

]]>
Why Headhunters Are Always Right

A headhunter is always right: sounds arrogant, doesn’t it? But it sure is true though. In a way even so one client or another candidate might disagree. However, we are executive search consultants dealing with numerous candidates and clients with different backgrounds, cultures and requirements. As experienced consultants you do need to be spot on – otherwise our advice is not required.

We talk to candidates and clients every day, we do hear what companies do compete in today’s fierce market place, what drives the best talent and what turns it away. We talk about strategy and know what your competitors do that you don’t do. We have taken thousands of “job specs” and consulted our clients. And we we have also run thousands of interviews and counseled our candidates. And of all that, we are willing to share a good deal with you (respecting confidentiality of course)!

When it comes to advice towards candidates: we are getting more requests for training. What we see is that candidates willing to get a new job or a promotion, are asking us for skill set training. Some candidates have been lucky in never having to apply for a new job. Other candidates would like to get a promotion but do not know how. Most candidates have basically no clue what their unique selling points are.

The advice what we give is not for free but it is nine out of ten times right. In our coaching offer, we help candidates prepare for an interview. This includes two or three sessions:

  • The first session includes a regular interview and reviewing the CV. What does the reader look at? How can you stand out? How can you make sure to get past the first threshold? Out of this, we give advice on how to improve all aspects of the CV. (also see our postings on how to write a killer CV). We also give feedback on your motivation, skill set and your unique selling points. If the candidate is preparing for a specific job specification, we focus on that role. We give pointers on how we as executive search consultants do research when it comes downs to client preparation. We even give feedback on how to dress and how to present yourself.
  • The second session, we do the interview again and we prepare for the candidate’s application. It is a tough training and we will be very strict when it comes to answering questions. What are the most likely questions you will get? How to reply to “stupid questions”? We will be direct but at the same time honest.
  • The third session is again the interview. What is the “secret sauce” to master any job interview? We have managed thousands of them and will share our experience with you. However, we are confident that the candidate is ready.

 

The majority of the candidates we have trained over the last few months have obtained their new role. Whether it was at their existing employer or for a complete new employer. It might me a bit expensive for non-executives, but why not invest in your own future. The training also helps candidates in becoming future managers. They are now more confident in hiring a new employee.

So if you want to get the best interview preparation from an executive search consultant you can ever get, contact any of our offices. You will get our candidate interview prep sheet and we can consult you even more – even for interviews arranged by our competitors.

When it comes to giving advice to clients: we give strategic advice on the future of the organization. Large corporates have dedicated strategic HR specialists, but companies with approximately 100 to 300 employees don’t. We have helped CEOs with strategic HR changes:

  • We review the existing company structure and employee base
  • We give thorough input on how competitors are structured and who the strategic employees are – we basically draw a talent map and keep track of changes.
    • In the Netherlands we keep track of the entire quantitative talent market. We know exactly where all the candidates work, how many graduate annually, where they live etc.
  • Strategic advice is given on the skill set for any new employee.
  • Giving advice on the salary structure is also one of our key service offerings. We know most of the salary structures within dedicated industries.
    • We recently did a review for a medium sized investment bank in the Netherlands. Through our research, we managed to save at least Euro 100.000 for the organization annually. The salaries of the employees in relation to the required skill set did not match competition. The Board of the bank was not only astonished of the savings but was surprised about their talent base. They were simply not competitive anymore. Through our efforts they saved money and were able to rethink their HR strategy in order to challenge competition.

 

πSo is a headhunter always right? The ones that invest in candidates, clients and market research are most of the times right. Our role as executive search consultant is changing into Human Capital Strategy consultant. The market is becoming too transparent and competitive. This is not only for us, but also for executive candidates and clients. So invest and listen to your headhunter and become smarter. Invest as a candidate and as a client. Professional advice is sometimes necessary to be more successful in your business. Just contact one of our offices in Europe or North America for the best advice in the executive search market.

Parting thoughts:

OK, we at Kennedy Executive may not always be right! However, we are trying hard, listen carefully, learn from our clients, candidates and Partners throughout the world every day to become better headhunters and Consultants for YOU!

The post Why Headhunters Are Always Right (Almost) appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Welcome Kennedy Executive Search Denver/ Integrated People Solutions http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-kennedy-executive-search-denver-integrated-people-solutions/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-kennedy-executive-search-denver-integrated-people-solutions/#respond Mon, 09 May 2016 08:09:27 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6491 With Integrated People Solutions in Denver, a boutique executive search firm established in 2000 by Eric Pringle, joining Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, we can now run searches for our clients anywhere in Europe and North America. Welcome to the team, IPS!

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With Integrated People Solutions in Denver, a boutique executive search firm established in 2000 by Eric Pringle, joining Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, we can now run searches for our clients anywhere in Europe and North America. Welcome to the team, IPS!

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Hiring And Dating. Are They Really So Different? Part 2 Of 2 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/hiring-dating-really-different-part-2/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/hiring-dating-really-different-part-2/#respond Sun, 01 May 2016 23:01:32 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6469 Welcome at the second part of our mini serial by Miroslava Barcova, Statutory Director at Delta Advisory/ Kennedy Executive Search Czechia. In the previous article we got to the first date/ first round of an interview. What comes next? 1. Next rounds Usually people do not get married after the first date. The same stands for employment. And the more mature people are, the more rounds it takes to accept give and get the offer, the more they think it through. However, there are also cases of love at the first sight, jumping into a relationship (marriage/ employment) is immediate. 2. Offer – Betrothal or Offer Letter, Employment contract in advance or Marriage contract The offer means something, does not matter if you give a ring or send an Offer Letter. People and employers think it through a lot before they give the offer to the other side Both, people and employers are a little nervous when giving the offer, asking themselves “Will she/he accept it?” and “What if she/he does not accept it?” Both sides are considering all consequences, expectations and possibilities carefully. There are the same questions, does not matter if giving or accepting. We ask ourselves: “Is it really the right match?” “Will it last?” and sometimes also “Shall I accept this offer or the other one?” or “What are the advantages of this one and of the other one?” and sometimes also “ I am not 100% convinced, but let’s give it a try. There is always an option of leaving and finding something/somebody else.“ Last, but not least, the more mature you are, the more careful you are. Fresh graduates frequently accept a job without hesitating as well as young people say “yes” easily just like this. More mature people want to see their employment contract and know exact conditions in advance. When asked to marry somebody, they conclude a marriage contract 3. Living together or trial period The only difference is that trial period comes after the “employment marriage”. Otherwise while living together or a trial period: We all get to know each other also without the great make up and in a bad mood We learn bad habits of the other side, revealing if we can stand them or not We should give our feedback to the other side. If we do not do that we risk it will not work and we get separated because of things we could solve together We have to work on a good relationship, it does not come itself 4. Great finale – Employment or marriage? Are they really so different? Let’s see what they have got in common. When concluding the employment contract or entering a marriage, 90% really mean it seriously and hope it will last There are people who marry someone just on purpose and do not mean it as a long-term thing. They just want to be married, they marry somebody just because of money, getting a permanent stay and a million of other purposes. Come and go. The same with candidates. They seem to be ideal, however their real intention shows up after. The result is usually the same in both cases. One side loses money, sometime huge amounts of money. We marry not the only the person but also people around, i.e. the family. When entering a company, we do not accept only our boss, but also the team.   So, even though so different, are they really so different?

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Hiring And Dating. Are They Really So Different? Part 2 Of 2

Welcome at the second part of our mini serial by Miroslava Barcova, Statutory Director at Delta Advisory/ Kennedy Executive Search Czechia. In the previous article we got to the first date/ first round of an interview.

What comes next?

1. Next rounds

Usually people do not get married after the first date. The same stands for employment. And the more mature people are, the more rounds it takes to accept give and get the offer, the more they think it through.

However, there are also cases of love at the first sight, jumping into a relationship (marriage/ employment) is immediate.

2. Offer – Betrothal or Offer Letter, Employment contract in advance or Marriage contract

The offer means something, does not matter if you give a ring or send an Offer Letter.

  • People and employers think it through a lot before they give the offer to the other side
  • Both, people and employers are a little nervous when giving the offer, asking themselves “Will she/he accept it?” and “What if she/he does not accept it?”
  • Both sides are considering all consequences, expectations and possibilities carefully. There are the same questions, does not matter if giving or accepting. We ask ourselves: “Is it really the right match?” “Will it last?” and sometimes also “Shall I accept this offer or the other one?” or “What are the advantages of this one and of the other one?” and sometimes also “ I am not 100% convinced, but let’s give it a try. There is always an option of leaving and finding something/somebody else.“
  • Last, but not least, the more mature you are, the more careful you are. Fresh graduates frequently accept a job without hesitating as well as young people say “yes” easily just like this. More mature people want to see their employment contract and know exact conditions in advance. When asked to marry somebody, they conclude a marriage contract


3. Living together or trial period

The only difference is that trial period comes after the “employment marriage”. Otherwise while living together or a trial period:

  • We all get to know each other also without the great make up and in a bad mood
  • We learn bad habits of the other side, revealing if we can stand them or not
  • We should give our feedback to the other side. If we do not do that we risk it will not work and we get separated because of things we could solve together
  • We have to work on a good relationship, it does not come itself


4. Great finale
Employment or marriage?

Are they really so different?

Let’s see what they have got in common.

  • When concluding the employment contract or entering a marriage, 90% really mean it seriously and hope it will last
  • There are people who marry someone just on purpose and do not mean it as a long-term thing. They just want to be married, they marry somebody just because of money, getting a permanent stay and a million of other purposes. Come and go. The same with candidates. They seem to be ideal, however their real intention shows up after. The result is usually the same in both cases. One side loses money, sometime huge amounts of money.
  • We marry not the only the person but also people around, i.e. the family. When entering a company, we do not accept only our boss, but also the team.

 

So, even though so different, are they really so different?

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Yes, There Is A Kinder Way To Sack Someone. Our BBC Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/yes-kinder-way-sack-someone-bbc-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/yes-kinder-way-sack-someone-bbc-interview/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:45:09 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6460 An employee steals something or is caught in a terrible lie. It’s clearly time to sack them. But what about a worker who hasn’t made an egregious mistake? Sacking someone off is the last resort. But someone has to do it. HERE comes how to do it right.

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An employee steals something or is caught in a terrible lie. It’s clearly time to sack them. But what about a worker who hasn’t made an egregious mistake? Sacking someone off is the last resort. But someone has to do it. HERE comes how to do it right.

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DNA Headhunting/ Kennedy Executive Denmark in Børsen (Denmark’s “Financial Times”) http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-denmark-in-borsen/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-denmark-in-borsen/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:19:51 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6466 Jesper Madsen, Partner at DNA Headhunting/ Kennedy Executive Denmark gives advice and insights on how to recruit to a specific vacant executive position. A new vacancy is reviewed every month on a full page in Børsen, Denmark’s „Financial Times“.

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Jesper Madsen, Partner at DNA Headhunting/ Kennedy Executive Denmark gives advice and insights on how to recruit to a specific vacant executive position. A new vacancy is reviewed every month on a full page in Børsen, Denmark’s „Financial Times“.

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Hiring And Dating. The Same, Just Different. Part 1 Of 2 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/hiring-and-dating-the-same-just-different-1/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/hiring-and-dating-the-same-just-different-1/#respond Sun, 17 Apr 2016 23:01:09 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6442 This week’s posting comes from Miroslava Barcova, Statutory Director at Delta Advisory in Prague/ Kennedy Executive Search Czechia: “Dating and finding a new job: Two completely different things, different life situations, personal life and work. Do they really differ so much or can we find any similarities common to both of them? First of all, they both are relationships. Let’s have a closer look at the other aspects: 1. Job boards/ LinkedIn and dating services: Both, job boards and dating services have many things in common. You load your profile Wait until somebody contacts you based on the specification you fill in, the better the photo, the better partners, the better the CV, the better job offers, the better the advert, the better candidates. Be honest, we all want to look good. It does not matter if they use Photoshop or tune their CV, using words they would never use in their ordinary life. Almost each employer offers nice working environment, an outstanding corporate culture and superior possibilities to make career. I have never seen a job advert saying we all argue here, nobody cannot stand your future boss and our offices are dark and cold. Checking profiles on a dating service is like checking CVs on a job board. Just looking for a match. Nobody likes rejecting others. How many employers did not reply to your CV? But also, how many potential partners did not reply at all?   So, shall we expect Tinder for job seekers and employers soon? 2. Headhunters and professional matchmakers:  They both are looking for a perfect match They both interview potential candidates They both are trying to reveal expectations and “reasons for leaving” 3. The first meeting in person: A first date with your future soul mate is like a first job interview. It does not matter if it is a job interview or a date, when you meet for the first time, there must be sort of chemistry between the two parties. More or less, it is about the following: Do I want to see this person once more or not? Do I like him/ her? Could we fit together Do I feel good when we are together? Does the person meet my needs? In this case the criteria are a little different, however there are still some common things. How many times were you asked about your hobbies at an interview and about what you do for living at a first date? And last but not least, negative feedback. Employers often tell just a half of the truth as a feedback. Just, you are not suitable for the role, or we need a different type of skill set. How many times have you heard the magical sentence: “We will call you” but the phone never rang? After the first date, people usually do not say: “I do not want to see you again because I really do not like you physically at all, you are ugly” or “You are totally stupid, it is not worth of my time to see you again”. Or are we being said “I will call you” and then the phone never rings even though you think you both had a great time? 4. Attraction and presentation It does not matter if it is a date or an interview, if somebody likes the other one, he/she is trying to make the best impression. When going to the company for the first time, you look at the web page, you prepare for the interview When going for the date and you know the person likes something you do not have a clue about, you just look it up, to make the right impression. People in 90% of cases dress better than usually, carefully choosing what they should wear. Women wash their hair and do a nice make up, to look pretty. People smile at the partner (and do so more than after half a year of being together, no matter if it is a partner in life or a boss) People do not say negative things and do not speak about their failures, unless asked to do so People are trying to show they are successful and interesting personalities full of enthusiasm, positivity and drive. Employers are showing the bright side of working in their company. Conclusion: Do some of the examples given sound familiar? Can you see the analogies? And how can this posting help you to better hire or perform better in your next job interview as a candidate? Stay tuned: this was only part 1. Make sure to be back in two weeks for part 2 as there are more surprises to come!”  

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Hiring And Dating. Are They Really So Different? Part 1 Of 2

This week’s posting comes from Miroslava Barcova, Statutory Director at Delta Advisory in Prague/ Kennedy Executive Search Czechia:

“Dating and finding a new job: Two completely different things, different life situations, personal life and work. Do they really differ so much or can we find any similarities common to both of them?

First of all, they both are relationships. Let’s have a closer look at the other aspects:

1. Job boards/ LinkedIn and dating services:

Both, job boards and dating services have many things in common.

  • You load your profile
  • Wait until somebody contacts you based on the specification you fill in, the better the photo, the better partners, the better the CV, the better job offers, the better the advert, the better candidates. Be honest, we all want to look good. It does not matter if they use Photoshop or tune their CV, using words they would never use in their ordinary life. Almost each employer offers nice working environment, an outstanding corporate culture and superior possibilities to make career. I have never seen a job advert saying we all argue here, nobody cannot stand your future boss and our offices are dark and cold.
  • Checking profiles on a dating service is like checking CVs on a job board. Just looking for a match.
  • Nobody likes rejecting others. How many employers did not reply to your CV? But also, how many potential partners did not reply at all?

 

So, shall we expect Tinder for job seekers and employers soon?

2. Headhunters and professional matchmakers: 

  • They both are looking for a perfect match
  • They both interview potential candidates
  • They both are trying to reveal expectations and “reasons for leaving”


3. The first meeting in person:

A first date with your future soul mate is like a first job interview. It does not matter if it is a job interview or a date, when you meet for the first time, there must be sort of chemistry between the two parties. More or less, it is about the following:

  • Do I want to see this person once more or not?
  • Do I like him/ her?
  • Could we fit together
  • Do I feel good when we are together?
  • Does the person meet my needs? In this case the criteria are a little different, however there are still some common things. How many times were you asked about your hobbies at an interview and about what you do for living at a first date?
  • And last but not least, negative feedback. Employers often tell just a half of the truth as a feedback. Just, you are not suitable for the role, or we need a different type of skill set. How many times have you heard the magical sentence: “We will call you” but the phone never rang? After the first date, people usually do not say: “I do not want to see you again because I really do not like you physically at all, you are ugly” or “You are totally stupid, it is not worth of my time to see you again”. Or are we being said “I will call you” and then the phone never rings even though you think you both had a great time?


4. Attraction and presentation

It does not matter if it is a date or an interview, if somebody likes the other one, he/she is trying to make the best impression.

  • When going to the company for the first time, you look at the web page, you prepare for the interview
  • When going for the date and you know the person likes something you do not have a clue about, you just look it up, to make the right impression.
  • People in 90% of cases dress better than usually, carefully choosing what they should wear. Women wash their hair and do a nice make up, to look pretty.
  • People smile at the partner (and do so more than after half a year of being together, no matter if it is a partner in life or a boss)
  • People do not say negative things and do not speak about their failures, unless asked to do so
  • People are trying to show they are successful and interesting personalities full of enthusiasm, positivity and drive. Employers are showing the bright side of working in their company.


Conclusion:

Do some of the examples given sound familiar? Can you see the analogies? And how can this posting help you to better hire or perform better in your next job interview as a candidate?

Stay tuned: this was only part 1. Make sure to be back in two weeks for part 2 as there are more surprises to come!”

 

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Women’s Quota: What’s The Buzz About It? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/womens-quota-whats-the-buzz-about-it/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/womens-quota-whats-the-buzz-about-it/#comments Sun, 03 Apr 2016 23:01:11 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3798 I am surrounded by women. Approximately 50% of the people around me are female, sometimes even more. Politics implement women’s quota, there are business clubs for women only and even job boards for female senior executives. What is going on? I wanted to know more about female executives and women’s quota and interviewed Nicole Bernthaler, founder and CEO of Exxecta, a platform for female senior executives: The following questions will tell us more about women in business and answer the question if quota are a good thing or pure discrimination of men: Jorg Stegemann: Nicole, you are a woman and you are senior manager. So what? What’s so special about this and what is the buzz about women’s quota all about? Nicole Bernthaler: “As long as there is such a huge discrepancy in relation of female Senior Executives to male Senior Executives in management positions and boards in the business world and even more the discrepancy in the remuneration of female and male employees, I wouldn’t simply call it a buzz but a logical discussion we all need to have – regardless whether we are male or female leaders or decision makers. Simply believing in the self-regulating forces of the employment and recruiting market is not a solution, therefore I strongly believe that a quota would be a good first step to make the change happen, a change that can only be implemented top-down.” Jorg Stegemann: Isn’t this discrimination? Should not the BEST candidate win? Nicole Bernthaler: “Of course the best candidate should win. But still for many vacancies women are not even considered to fill this role, neither included in the placement process. So in order to actually find the best candidate female candidates need to be considered right from the start. There is no proof that the best candidate has to be a male candidate. So if we are using the term “Discrimination” it rather describes the situation of the working women today then the situation men will find themselves once a statutory quota will be implemented. A quota will lead us closer to equality, not to discrimination.” Jorg Stegemann: The world is changing, “faster than it used to” said Linda Hill. How will the role women play in business evolve? Nicole Bernthaler: “The role model of women in our society is changing over the last decades. If you look at the role model most of us grew up with, there was a clear differentiation between the tasks of a woman and the tasks of a man. Women were managing the family life, men were in charge of the business world. But the boundaries between female and male tasks have started to dissolve, women have their own professional perspectives now, they are as well educated and qualified like men and most of them are not satisfied with staying at home and raising children. In addition, the days where people start their working life, make their career until they retire in one company are gone. There is no job security any more, neither for women, nor for men. To leverage the risk of our modern professional world, where being made redundant can happen to everybody and where crisis is a common situation, women are contributing to the financial welfare of a family much more nowadays. Last but not least we will see a huge growth in highly qualified women, as already today there are more female students than male students. So to put it in simple words: I believe the future is a woman.” Jorg Stegemann: And why should companies have more female managers?”. Nicole Bernthaler: “Leaving all the “banal stuff” aside, one reason to me is more than obvious: Companies are selling their products and services to customers of both genders, male and female. So to really succeed they need to  be able to develop their products according to the needs of both customer groups, should speak both languages, understand different requirements. A product that was designed, developed, sold and managed by male managers only will certainly not make it on top of the consumers’ purchase list, which is – we all know it – mainly in the responsibility of the women. Secondly, female managers are more than vital for a company because they often care more. This is maybe a genetic heritage, carried over from the areas when men still went out hunting and women stayed at home guarding the fire, which was a vital requirement for the survival of the whole group. This sense of caring is still a female characteristic, so hiring a woman on the right job will result in a manager who is fully committed to her job, and she will give much more than the regular job demands. And yes, this leads us also back to the “banal” soft skills of a woman, emotional intelligence and empathy. Not to forget, women are multi tasking specialists. Whilst working on her management tasks and projects, female managers are very likely to be at the same time involved in much more things that are going on in the background, something a company can largely benefit from. Last but not least should companies hire more female managers in order to make a cultural change and in the end actually live gender diversity if they want to succeed in the upcoming war of talents, remain competitive for  attracting the best talents for their companies and remain successful with their business. There is a demographic and cultural change amongst the employees of tomorrow, more and more women will be well educated and ready to start off – they are one of the future’s core assets, and they certainly will know their value – so why should the decide to work for men-dominated, old-fashioned , inflexible companies where they are not being appreciated and recognized?” Jorg Stegemann: What is the advice you can give to women leaders on positioning, job search, gaining their real potential in a (still) mens-driven world? Nicole Bernthaler: “My main advice is: Don’t try to be a better man. Being a woman is different than […]

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WomenQuota_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

I am surrounded by women. Approximately 50% of the people around me are female, sometimes even more. Politics implement women’s quota, there are business clubs for women only and even job boards for female senior executives.

What is going on?

I wanted to know more about female executives and women’s quota and interviewed Nicole Bernthaler, founder and CEO of Exxecta, a platform for female senior executives:

The following questions will tell us more about women in business and answer the question if quota are a good thing or pure discrimination of men:

Jorg Stegemann: Nicole, you are a woman and you are senior manager. So what? What’s so special about this and what is the buzz about women’s quota all about?

Nicole Bernthaler: “As long as there is such a huge discrepancy in relation of female Senior Executives to male Senior Executives in management positions and boards in the business world and even more the discrepancy in the remuneration of female and male employees, I wouldn’t simply call it a buzz but a logical discussion we all need to have – regardless whether we are male or female leaders or decision makers. Simply believing in the self-regulating forces of the employment and recruiting market is not a solution, therefore I strongly believe that a quota would be a good first step to make the change happen, a change that can only be implemented top-down.”

Jorg Stegemann: Isn’t this discrimination? Should not the BEST candidate win?

Nicole Bernthaler: “Of course the best candidate should win. But still for many vacancies women are not even considered to fill this role, neither included in the placement process. So in order to actually find the best candidate female candidates need to be considered right from the start. There is no proof that the best candidate has to be a male candidate. So if we are using the term “Discrimination” it rather describes the situation of the working women today then the situation men will find themselves once a statutory quota will be implemented. A quota will lead us closer to equality, not to discrimination.”

Jorg Stegemann: The world is changing, “faster than it used to” said Linda Hill. How will the role women play in business evolve?

Nicole Bernthaler: “The role model of women in our society is changing over the last decades. If you look at the role model most of us grew up with, there was a clear differentiation between the tasks of a woman and the tasks of a man. Women were managing the family life, men were in charge of the business world. But the boundaries between female and male tasks have started to dissolve, women have their own professional perspectives now, they are as well educated and qualified like men and most of them are not satisfied with staying at home and raising children. In addition, the days where people start their working life, make their career until they retire in one company are gone. There is no job security any more, neither for women, nor for men. To leverage the risk of our modern professional world, where being made redundant can happen to everybody and where crisis is a common situation, women are contributing to the financial welfare of a family much more nowadays. Last but not least we will see a huge growth in highly qualified women, as already today there are more female students than male students. So to put it in simple words: I believe the future is a woman.”

Jorg Stegemann: And why should companies have more female managers?”.

Nicole Bernthaler: “Leaving all the “banal stuff” aside, one reason to me is more than obvious: Companies are selling their products and services to customers of both genders, male and female. So to really succeed they need to  be able to develop their products according to the needs of both customer groups, should speak both languages, understand different requirements. A product that was designed, developed, sold and managed by male managers only will certainly not make it on top of the consumers’ purchase list, which is – we all know it – mainly in the responsibility of the women.

Secondly, female managers are more than vital for a company because they often care more. This is maybe a genetic heritage, carried over from the areas when men still went out hunting and women stayed at home guarding the fire, which was a vital requirement for the survival of the whole group. This sense of caring is still a female characteristic, so hiring a woman on the right job will result in a manager who is fully committed to her job, and she will give much more than the regular job demands. And yes, this leads us also back to the “banal” soft skills of a woman, emotional intelligence and empathy. Not to forget, women are multi tasking specialists. Whilst working on her management tasks and projects, female managers are very likely to be at the same time involved in much more things that are going on in the background, something a company can largely benefit from.

Last but not least should companies hire more female managers in order to make a cultural change and in the end actually live gender diversity if they want to succeed in the upcoming war of talents, remain competitive for  attracting the best talents for their companies and remain successful with their business. There is a demographic and cultural change amongst the employees of tomorrow, more and more women will be well educated and ready to start off – they are one of the future’s core assets, and they certainly will know their value – so why should the decide to work for men-dominated, old-fashioned , inflexible companies where they are not being appreciated and recognized?”

Jorg Stegemann: What is the advice you can give to women leaders on positioning, job search, gaining their real potential in a (still) mens-driven world?

Nicole Bernthaler: “My main advice is: Don’t try to be a better man. Being a woman is different than being a man, and you can also be successful as a woman. Listen carefully, try to understand the male language, which is often very different to our female language. Use your charms, but don’t exaggerate. Stay focused and objective and don’t take everything personal. Convince with you skills, your expertise and your female way of doing the job. If you are looking for a new job and you are afraid of a men’s world or a boy’s club, then don’t take the job: If you’re not ready to compete with men, you’re not yet ready to compete on this level of management at all.”

Jorg Stegemann: Thank you, Nicole, for your insight! One last question please: anything that has to be managed by quota is bullshit, right?

Nicole Bernthaler: “The answer to this question is still open – and often depends on what chromosome set you were supplied with…”

Jorg Stegemann: Are you making fun of me or what, Nicole? When I argue with my wife, it is the same: I always lose… Thanks for the interview.

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How To Negotiate Your Departure http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-negotiate-your-departure/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-negotiate-your-departure/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2016 23:01:43 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4986 At work, there are only two really important meetings: your job interview and the negotiation of your departure. Earl Nighingale said “The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. Remember: jobs are owned by the company, you own your career.” As of a certain level on your career, it is normal to negotiate a departure rather than finding a new job first and then resigning from the old one. No future boss will be surprised when you say that you have negotiated a severance package because you had different views on the future strategy, because you had been appointed a new boss or for any other plausible reason. At this point of time, loyalty is gone and all that both parties want, is to get out of this as quickly and smoothly as possible. After all, you have been working together in trust for years and have achieved solid results together, right? No employer wants to be sued and no employee wants to get a bad reference. Apart from the salary negotiation before signing the work contract, this is probably the toughest negotiation you ever have with an employer. Manage it well. Which are the elements you can negotiate? Indemnity: This is the most obvious one. It has not been your decision to leave and thus, your company will pay you an indemnity in many countries. How much? This highly depends on where you work and in France, you would probably leave with more money than in Dubai. Rule of thumb: whatever they offer, ask for 50% more! (Hey: Talking about Dubai, we are investigating opening an office in Dubai and I will be there in October for interviews. Please contact me if you are an experienced retained search consultant and want to know more). Stay on the pay roll: Sadly enough, you will often be considered a candidate second class if you are not in the job anymore. It can be advantageous to remain on the payroll even though you do not go to work any more. Tip: If they tell you „we would like you to leave on 31 October“, answer „Let’s say 31 December, I will stay at home and won’t bother you any more“. Stay at home: Once you know that you will be leaving, the company strategy will be made without you. Your thoughts and your words will not count any more. Why not leave right away then? Try to negotiate an early leave. Searching a new job is a new job in itself and you can spend the time earned wisely. Executive Education: There is no better unemployment insurance than further education. If you have done the last meaningful education more than 7 years ago, you risk not being competitive any more. Do you fall short of strategy or leadership? Most of the top tier business schools offer senior management programs. Your employer can deduct these programs from their taxes so let them help you polish up your profile and find a better job tomorrow than the one you had here. Don’t forget: Nobody else cares as much for your career as you do. Housing, insurance, company car…: Which extras did you get during your staff membership? Try to get these for as long as possible, even small things like a gym membership can help you to go through the phase of the job search. Squeeze out a maximum, analyze your current situation well and if in doubt, ask for it! Outplacement: Yes, an outplacement firm can help you to get ready for the job search, define a strategy that makes sense and then guide you through the interview process. Tomorrow, you have to sell yourself, it is a fierce market out there and you have many competitors. A good preparation is a good way to leave these competitors behind you and professional coaches can help you with this. Talking about that: we offer this service in some of our offices. Contact us here. Other: There is this one thing you and I don’t know about. Once you have finished your negotiation, ask what else you can get. What flexibility does your (ex) employer have? There is one more easter egg. Find it! Conclusion: Negotiating your departure is not like playing in the lottery. You can influence what you get. My tip: never accept the first offer and use the „salami technique“ for the above: negotiate the indemnity first and step forward only once this is done. Your former boss will think „OK, I have a total budget of XYZ. The indemnity s/he is asking is exactly that amout, I can accept it“. If you say from the beginning „I want an indemnity, executive education and outplacement and furthermore, I want to keep my company car for another 6 months“ the very same amount might be divided to cover all parts you ask for – and finally you will leave with less.

The post How To Negotiate Your Departure appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Negotiate Your Departure

At work, there are only two really important meetings: your job interview and the negotiation of your departure.

Earl Nighingale said “The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. Remember: jobs are owned by the company, you own your career.”

As of a certain level on your career, it is normal to negotiate a departure rather than finding a new job first and then resigning from the old one. No future boss will be surprised when you say that you have negotiated a severance package because you had different views on the future strategy, because you had been appointed a new boss or for any other plausible reason.

At this point of time, loyalty is gone and all that both parties want, is to get out of this as quickly and smoothly as possible. After all, you have been working together in trust for years and have achieved solid results together, right? No employer wants to be sued and no employee wants to get a bad reference.

Apart from the salary negotiation before signing the work contract, this is probably the toughest negotiation you ever have with an employer. Manage it well.

Which are the elements you can negotiate?

  • Indemnity: This is the most obvious one. It has not been your decision to leave and thus, your company will pay you an indemnity in many countries. How much? This highly depends on where you work and in France, you would probably leave with more money than in Dubai. Rule of thumb: whatever they offer, ask for 50% more! (Hey: Talking about Dubai, we are investigating opening an office in Dubai and I will be there in October for interviews. Please contact me if you are an experienced retained search consultant and want to know more).
  • Stay on the pay roll: Sadly enough, you will often be considered a candidate second class if you are not in the job anymore. It can be advantageous to remain on the payroll even though you do not go to work any more. Tip: If they tell you „we would like you to leave on 31 October“, answer „Let’s say 31 December, I will stay at home and won’t bother you any more“.
  • Stay at home: Once you know that you will be leaving, the company strategy will be made without you. Your thoughts and your words will not count any more. Why not leave right away then? Try to negotiate an early leave. Searching a new job is a new job in itself and you can spend the time earned wisely.
  • Executive Education: There is no better unemployment insurance than further education. If you have done the last meaningful education more than 7 years ago, you risk not being competitive any more. Do you fall short of strategy or leadership? Most of the top tier business schools offer senior management programs. Your employer can deduct these programs from their taxes so let them help you polish up your profile and find a better job tomorrow than the one you had here. Don’t forget: Nobody else cares as much for your career as you do.
  • Housing, insurance, company car…: Which extras did you get during your staff membership? Try to get these for as long as possible, even small things like a gym membership can help you to go through the phase of the job search. Squeeze out a maximum, analyze your current situation well and if in doubt, ask for it!
  • Outplacement: Yes, an outplacement firm can help you to get ready for the job search, define a strategy that makes sense and then guide you through the interview process. Tomorrow, you have to sell yourself, it is a fierce market out there and you have many competitors. A good preparation is a good way to leave these competitors behind you and professional coaches can help you with this. Talking about that: we offer this service in some of our offices. Contact us here.
  • Other: There is this one thing you and I don’t know about. Once you have finished your negotiation, ask what else you can get. What flexibility does your (ex) employer have? There is one more easter egg. Find it!


Conclusion:

Negotiating your departure is not like playing in the lottery. You can influence what you get. My tip: never accept the first offer and use the „salami technique“ for the above: negotiate the indemnity first and step forward only once this is done. Your former boss will think „OK, I have a total budget of XYZ. The indemnity s/he is asking is exactly that amout, I can accept it“. If you say from the beginning „I want an indemnity, executive education and outplacement and furthermore, I want to keep my company car for another 6 months“ the very same amount might be divided to cover all parts you ask for – and finally you will leave with less.

The post How To Negotiate Your Departure appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Why International Work Experience Matters http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-international-work-experience-matters/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-international-work-experience-matters/#comments Sun, 06 Mar 2016 23:01:25 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=812 Is international work experience overrated? Kennedy Executive Search is a network with Partner all over Europe and North America and I talk to executive search firm owners, clients and candidates not only in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Denver, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and Prague but also in many other destinations in Europe, North America, Middle East and APAC. Some of what I hear and experience is very different. Some is not at all. In a nutshell, what are the 2 key learnings to be drawn from international work experience? 1. People are different everywhere: If you move your accounting department from Nebraska to Kuala Lumpur (pssst: I know neither one but this stays between you and me, OK?), study one term abroad or take a sabbatical and deworm orphans in Somalia, you will see that local people will approach the same situation differently than you are used to. The question to be asked is not “What is wrong, what is right?” but rather “How do you guys do it here, how did I do it so far and what can I learn from both?” There is a reason for most things in life and what seems strange to you could have a good explanation: the way may be different even if the goal is the same. Key learnings to draw from this first insight are adaptability, flexibility, efficient communication skills, sensitivity, openness to new ideas and tolerance. 2. People are the same everywhere: I was travelling a lot professionally between 2007 and 2010 and worked with teams all over Europe. And whether I was in Dublin, Zurich or Madrid, I often heard “All you say is terrific and it could not be more true – but that does not work here. We are different”. In my business (recruitment), this may be right for insignificant details, it is wrong for the big picture: clients in any country of the world look for quality, service, a fast solution for their needs and a fair price, manager want employees that do not resign or call in for sick leave, employees wish to be recognized for their contribution and share-holders sleep well if the return on investment is high. The way all this is expressed is certainly different in Osaka than in Mexico City, yet the goal is the same – even though the way to get there may be different. Skills to be taken from this are abstract thinking, the ability to draw synthesis, good judgment, global thinking but also willpower, the readiness to take risks and a helicopter view. Conclusion: International experience matters as it will not only make your resume sexy and secure you a competitive advantage. It will sharpen your soft skills and efficiently change the way you approach new situations. These – and not technical skills – will finally determine your success or failure in any corporate context in the world and no awkward boss or crisis can ever take these learnings away from you!  

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InternationalWorkExperience_KennedyExecutiveSearchCareerBlog

Is international work experience overrated?

Kennedy Executive Search is a network with Partner all over Europe and North America and I talk to executive search firm owners, clients and candidates not only in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Denver, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and Prague but also in many other destinations in Europe, North America, Middle East and APAC.

Some of what I hear and experience is very different. Some is not at all.

In a nutshell, what are the 2 key learnings to be drawn from international work experience?

1. People are different everywhere: If you move your accounting department from Nebraska to Kuala Lumpur (pssst: I know neither one but this stays between you and me, OK?), study one term abroad or take a sabbatical and deworm orphans in Somalia, you will see that local people will approach the same situation differently than you are used to. The question to be asked is not “What is wrong, what is right?” but rather “How do you guys do it here, how did I do it so far and what can I learn from both?” There is a reason for most things in life and what seems strange to you could have a good explanation: the way may be different even if the goal is the same.

Key learnings to draw from this first insight are adaptability, flexibility, efficient communication skills, sensitivity, openness to new ideas and tolerance.

2. People are the same everywhere: I was travelling a lot professionally between 2007 and 2010 and worked with teams all over Europe. And whether I was in Dublin, Zurich or Madrid, I often heard “All you say is terrific and it could not be more true – but that does not work here. We are different”. In my business (recruitment), this may be right for insignificant details, it is wrong for the big picture: clients in any country of the world look for quality, service, a fast solution for their needs and a fair price, manager want employees that do not resign or call in for sick leave, employees wish to be recognized for their contribution and share-holders sleep well if the return on investment is high. The way all this is expressed is certainly different in Osaka than in Mexico City, yet the goal is the same – even though the way to get there may be different.

Skills to be taken from this are abstract thinking, the ability to draw synthesis, good judgment, global thinking but also willpower, the readiness to take risks and a helicopter view.

Conclusion:

International experience matters as it will not only make your resume sexy and secure you a competitive advantage. It will sharpen your soft skills and efficiently change the way you approach new situations. These – and not technical skills – will finally determine your success or failure in any corporate context in the world and no awkward boss or crisis can ever take these learnings away from you!

 

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Our Interview With The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-interview-with-the-frankfurter-allgemeine-zeitung/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-interview-with-the-frankfurter-allgemeine-zeitung/#respond Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:50:22 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6369 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the number one daily newspaper in Germany, has published the special edition “France-Germany”. Read on the interview with Jorg Stegemann (CEO of Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting), a specialist for the French-German recruitment market here

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the number one daily newspaper in Germany, has published the special edition “France-Germany”. Read on the interview with Jorg Stegemann (CEO of Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting), a specialist for the French-German recruitment market here

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Why Italians Are Like Mobile Phones http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-italians-are-like-mobile-phones/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-italians-are-like-mobile-phones/#comments Sun, 21 Feb 2016 23:01:20 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6362 Italy is a country of endless resources and at the same time of great contradictions, many of which come from its unique history that also contributed in shaping the culture and personality of the Italian people. Philip Kotler wrote “For the rest of the world Italy is a proper enigma, the most notable among marketing theoreticals – because it is the only country system that manages to produce value despite the situation of absolute chaos”. In fact – like Alberto Pratesi said in a brief paper on Italians’ character – understanding the way through which Italians face their work life and business is not an easy task. The same author helps us to loosen these contradictions, getting inspiration from the mobile phone’s huge success in our country, underlining some of the similarities between Italian people and their so used (and loved) mobile phones. Like mobile phones, Italians are: Private: They love the things they possess. We Italians have little consideration for what it is public; even if we’re attracted towards globalization, we can’t give up our dialects, traditions, and local products. In economic terms, this also helps explain the vast predominance of small businesses in our industrial sector. Always online and flexible: Our relationship with time is particular and the sentence “time is money” doesn’t quite belong to us. We hate to plan with accuracy and even when we do it, we don’t expect every deadline to be met rigorously. In spite of that, we are quite good in finding last minute solutions and in reacting effectively when faced with of unexpected environmental difficulty. Moreover, we’re probably leader in anything “tailor made“ because we can adapt with no difficulties to the customer’s needs. Prepared for verbal communication: We love to talk and we like written communication less. However, this preference for oral communication doesn’t mean that in businesses the given word is the final one. Therefore, advice, even in Italy, is to follow the old rule of thumb “verba volant, scripta manent”. Network-based: Like the telephone network, we also work better when we’re part of a network, that we create by adding connection to connection inside our friendship circle. Mobile: We like to move and you can see this from the traffic in our cities. We prefer a face-to-face form of relationship but we’re quite reluctant in moving for good. Innovative in terms of design and technology: The importance we give to shapes and exterior appearance is self-evident: everybody can tell an Italian by the way he’s dressed. We keep the same obsession towards the goods we produce, products that have to be good looking and well-designed, until a unique relationship between creativity and technological innovation is sealed. Handheld: The way we speak is eccentric and the gestures are a kind of prerogative that we use to better relate with others. In fact, sometimes we gesticulate even if we’re talking to someone through what resembles us more: the mobile phone! Recruiting implications: Recruitipedia says, for some the reasons here above: “Word of mouth is still the preferred social network for talent acquisition. 79.4% of Italians believe that it’s the most effective way to find a new job opportunity. The second place is held by recruiting companies and then the direct contact with the hiring company at 54%.” Most Italians will give a recommendation even if not personally interested in the position offered. Will The Recovery Arrive? Improving confidence and hard indicators suggest that Italy’s economy is set to grow at a faster pace in 2016, and real GDP is expected to increase by 1.4% in 2016 and 1.3% in 2017. A three-year social contribution exemption on new permanent hires supported the increase in head count employment seen over the course of 2015. This, together with a broadly stable labour force, brought down the unemployment rate from 12,7 % in 2014 to 11,9 % in 2015. As the recovery gathers strength, employment is projected to continue increasing in 2016 e 2017 also thanks to the legislative changes introduced by the Jobs Act, the new labor law. Jobs Act During the past year, some important changes in labor law work rights have been carried out in our country. To sum it up we can say that the reformation goal is to move from the actual “Job Property” system to the “Flex Security” system. This new law, putting aside the old regulation from the 70s, wants to protect the worker in the work market and not from it, through the introduction of the ‘Increasing Protections Contract’, the new ‘Universal Unemployment Treatment’, and the ‘Relocation Contract’. The final goal is ambitious, but important and noble: to offer the workers a kind of protection centred on easiness and security during the transition between two different jobs, not centred on a counterproductive work relationship rigidness, like it was until not long ago. More questions on hiring in Italy? My team and myself are here for you!

The post Why Italians Are Like Mobile Phones appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Why Italians Are Like Mobile Phones

Italy is a country of endless resources and at the same time of great contradictions, many of which come from its unique history that also contributed in shaping the culture and personality of the Italian people.

Philip Kotler wrote “For the rest of the world Italy is a proper enigma, the most notable among marketing theoreticals – because it is the only country system that manages to produce value despite the situation of absolute chaos”.

In fact – like Alberto Pratesi said in a brief paper on Italians’ character – understanding the way through which Italians face their work life and business is not an easy task.

The same author helps us to loosen these contradictions, getting inspiration from the mobile phone’s huge success in our country, underlining some of the similarities between Italian people and their so used (and loved) mobile phones.

Like mobile phones, Italians are:

  1. Private: They love the things they possess. We Italians have little consideration for what it is public; even if we’re attracted towards globalization, we can’t give up our dialects, traditions, and local products. In economic terms, this also helps explain the vast predominance of small businesses in our industrial sector.
  2. Always online and flexible: Our relationship with time is particular and the sentence “time is money” doesn’t quite belong to us. We hate to plan with accuracy and even when we do it, we don’t expect every deadline to be met rigorously. In spite of that, we are quite good in finding last minute solutions and in reacting effectively when faced with of unexpected environmental difficulty. Moreover, we’re probably leader in anything “tailor made“ because we can adapt with no difficulties to the customer’s needs.
  3. Prepared for verbal communication: We love to talk and we like written communication less. However, this preference for oral communication doesn’t mean that in businesses the given word is the final one. Therefore, advice, even in Italy, is to follow the old rule of thumb “verba volant, scripta manent”.
  4. Network-based: Like the telephone network, we also work better when we’re part of a network, that we create by adding connection to connection inside our friendship circle.
  5. Mobile: We like to move and you can see this from the traffic in our cities. We prefer a face-to-face form of relationship but we’re quite reluctant in moving for good.
  6. Innovative in terms of design and technology: The importance we give to shapes and exterior appearance is self-evident: everybody can tell an Italian by the way he’s dressed. We keep the same obsession towards the goods we produce, products that have to be good looking and well-designed, until a unique relationship between creativity and technological innovation is sealed.
  7. Handheld: The way we speak is eccentric and the gestures are a kind of prerogative that we use to better relate with others. In fact, sometimes we gesticulate even if we’re talking to someone through what resembles us more: the mobile phone!


Recruiting implications:

Recruitipedia says, for some the reasons here above:

“Word of mouth is still the preferred social network for talent acquisition. 79.4% of Italians believe that it’s the most effective way to find a new job opportunity. The second place is held by recruiting companies and then the direct contact with the hiring company at 54%.”

Most Italians will give a recommendation even if not personally interested in the position offered.

Will The Recovery Arrive?

Improving confidence and hard indicators suggest that Italy’s economy is set to grow at a faster pace in 2016, and real GDP is expected to increase by 1.4% in 2016 and 1.3% in 2017.

A three-year social contribution exemption on new permanent hires supported the increase in head count employment seen over the course of 2015. This, together with a broadly stable labour force, brought down the unemployment rate from 12,7 % in 2014 to 11,9 % in 2015. As the recovery gathers strength, employment is projected to continue increasing in 2016 e 2017 also thanks to the legislative changes introduced by the Jobs Act, the new labor law.

Jobs Act

During the past year, some important changes in labor law work rights have been carried out in our country. To sum it up we can say that the reformation goal is to move from the actual “Job Property” system to the “Flex Security” system. This new law, putting aside the old regulation from the 70s, wants to protect the worker in the work market and not from it, through the introduction of the ‘Increasing Protections Contract’, the new ‘Universal Unemployment Treatment’, and the ‘Relocation Contract’. The final goal is ambitious, but important and noble: to offer the workers a kind of protection centred on easiness and security during the transition between two different jobs, not centred on a counterproductive work relationship rigidness, like it was until not long ago.

More questions on hiring in Italy? My team and myself are here for you!

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Kennedy Executive Search Amsterdam/ Lens & Partners moves office http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-search-amsterdam-lens-partners-moves-office/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-search-amsterdam-lens-partners-moves-office/#respond Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:26:20 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6342 Lens & Partners, the Dutch member of the Kennedy Executive Group, will open her doors at the alluring and prestigious Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). Welcome to the new offices Carl Lens, Dave Heilbron and team!

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Lens & Partners, the Dutch member of the Kennedy Executive Group, will open her doors at the alluring and prestigious Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). Welcome to the new offices Carl Lens, Dave Heilbron and team!

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Onboarding: 10 Sure-Fire Tips To Demotivate Your New Hire As Of Day 1 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/onboarding-10-sure-fire-tips-to-demotivate-your-new-hire-as-of-day-1/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/onboarding-10-sure-fire-tips-to-demotivate-your-new-hire-as-of-day-1/#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 23:01:35 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6344 Here comes what looks like an easy read—but not a banal one. The truth is that many companies manage the onboarding badly and they know it—and the candidates too. The factor that might save you as a hiring manager is that your new hire is in the honeymoon phase for the first weeks. Otherwise, you might demotivate them on day 1! If, however, demotivating your new hire is what you want to do, here comes our list of 10 Worst Practices for Onboarding – all from what we have heard or seen in the market: Do not communicate the name and function of the new hire to the team: This will allow you to see how your new hire copes with the unforeseen and operates under stress. It will also show you whether they are able to introduce themselves properly and gain acceptance from the team. The ability to make an impact without you holding their hand is what will bring them further into your organization. Do not order a computer and business cards prior to their starting : After all, maybe the new hire will not show up and if that happens, then you would loose the money. If they are a winner, they will make it without a computer anyway and having no business cards will sharpen their elevator pitch—a tool much more important than hardware or small paper cards. Provide your new hire with a dirty desk and/or dirty company car: At Kennedy Executive Search, we’ve observed that the expectations of various C-level jobs is shifting. They have moved closer to operations than before and being “hands-on” is the new black. Test the “hands-on” mentality of your new hire! If they take a cloth and clean the drawers of their desk or car without complaining or seemingly feeling humiliated, then they have the right attitude! Introduce the entire team on the first morning, then give the new hire a manual to read: You only get one chance to make a good first impression and if your new hire is really the self-starter they claimed to be in the interviews, then they will find their way. The hire can also prove that they have a good memory for names and faces when you show them around (very fast) within their first three hours on board. You do not have to babysit them, just trust and give autonomy- the rest will fall in place by itself. Change your new hire’s responsibilities from what was initially discussed: Adapting to a fast changing environment is a crucial skill for top-performers. Check out how your hire will react if you change their job description, reporting line or the team they are to manage. If the hire proves to be the right person (maybe they won’t make it), you can always enrich the job later. Do not have an integration plan: Ensuring there is no agenda for the first week will demonstrate to you how your new hire manages uncertainty. As times have changed and 3 year plans belong to the past, this is a key competence for survival in today’s marketplace. Thus, your new hire has the chance to prove themselves, right from the start. Avoid arranging one-to-one meetings with (other) Managers: Bear in mind that your new hire has a lot of information to digest and probably feels stressed. Do not put extra pressure on the hire by organizing meetings with key decision makers who would confuse them by talking about responsibilities and expectations. This may come later (but does not have to). Warn your new hire of difficult people within the organization: It shows your goodwill to say, “Be very careful with the CFO. He is difficult!” Make sure your new hire is properly briefed and help them to identify the bad apples. They need your help with this, otherwise, there is a risk that the new hire will meet the new colleagues neutrally— and we all know that this cannot be good! Do not communicate how the new hire’s success will be measured. Ideally, do not give any goals for the first three months: The first 90 days are for getting to know the team and processes, yet it would be unrealistic for you to expect results. If you reviewed the job duties during the interviews, then this is sufficient. Peter Drucker wrote extensively on management—Ignore him: With all due respect, Peter Drucker is a dinosaur of the 20th century. Asking questions such as “where can you make a difference?” or “what can you bring to the company?” will only serve to highlight your weaknesses as a leader. You are the boss and there should be no doubt about it. The new hire should listen and observe for the first—let’s say three years, yet it would be premature to ask for input. After all—you wouldn’t ask an infant to drive a car, would you? Parting thoughts: Statistics support this approach: up to 20% of new hires leave their new employer within the first 45 days and half of senior leadership is gone after 18 months. As this is very costly, it is much better to know it after 15 days rather than after 45 and rehire early. And, if your new hire does not make it through the above 10 steps, they are probably not worth it! Disclaimer: Do you think this is satire? Yes or no? All of the above are real examples. And yes, if you do the contrary of all the above, your new hire will stay and become a top performer. Good news—at Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, we coach our candidates during the integration period and help you manage the onboarding successfully. Contact us fast!

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10 Sure-Fire Tips To Demotivate Your New Hire As Of Day 1

Here comes what looks like an easy read—but not a banal one. The truth is that many companies manage the onboarding badly and they know it—and the candidates too.

The factor that might save you as a hiring manager is that your new hire is in the honeymoon phase for the first weeks. Otherwise, you might demotivate them on day 1!

If, however, demotivating your new hire is what you want to do, here comes our list of 10 Worst Practices for Onboarding – all from what we have heard or seen in the market:

  1. Do not communicate the name and function of the new hire to the team: This will allow you to see how your new hire copes with the unforeseen and operates under stress. It will also show you whether they are able to introduce themselves properly and gain acceptance from the team. The ability to make an impact without you holding their hand is what will bring them further into your organization.
  2. Do not order a computer and business cards prior to their starting : After all, maybe the new hire will not show up and if that happens, then you would loose the money. If they are a winner, they will make it without a computer anyway and having no business cards will sharpen their elevator pitch—a tool much more important than hardware or small paper cards.
  3. Provide your new hire with a dirty desk and/or dirty company car: At Kennedy Executive Search, we’ve observed that the expectations of various C-level jobs is shifting. They have moved closer to operations than before and being “hands-on” is the new black. Test the “hands-on” mentality of your new hire! If they take a cloth and clean the drawers of their desk or car without complaining or seemingly feeling humiliated, then they have the right attitude!
  4. Introduce the entire team on the first morning, then give the new hire a manual to read: You only get one chance to make a good first impression and if your new hire is really the self-starter they claimed to be in the interviews, then they will find their way. The hire can also prove that they have a good memory for names and faces when you show them around (very fast) within their first three hours on board. You do not have to babysit them, just trust and give autonomy- the rest will fall in place by itself.
  5. Change your new hire’s responsibilities from what was initially discussed: Adapting to a fast changing environment is a crucial skill for top-performers. Check out how your hire will react if you change their job description, reporting line or the team they are to manage. If the hire proves to be the right person (maybe they won’t make it), you can always enrich the job later.
  6. Do not have an integration plan: Ensuring there is no agenda for the first week will demonstrate to you how your new hire manages uncertainty. As times have changed and 3 year plans belong to the past, this is a key competence for survival in today’s marketplace. Thus, your new hire has the chance to prove themselves, right from the start.
  7. Avoid arranging one-to-one meetings with (other) Managers: Bear in mind that your new hire has a lot of information to digest and probably feels stressed. Do not put extra pressure on the hire by organizing meetings with key decision makers who would confuse them by talking about responsibilities and expectations. This may come later (but does not have to).
  8. Warn your new hire of difficult people within the organization: It shows your goodwill to say, “Be very careful with the CFO. He is difficult!” Make sure your new hire is properly briefed and help them to identify the bad apples. They need your help with this, otherwise, there is a risk that the new hire will meet the new colleagues neutrally— and we all know that this cannot be good!
  9. Do not communicate how the new hire’s success will be measured. Ideally, do not give any goals for the first three months: The first 90 days are for getting to know the team and processes, yet it would be unrealistic for you to expect results. If you reviewed the job duties during the interviews, then this is sufficient.
  10. Peter Drucker wrote extensively on management—Ignore him: With all due respect, Peter Drucker is a dinosaur of the 20th century. Asking questions such as “where can you make a difference?” or “what can you bring to the company?” will only serve to highlight your weaknesses as a leader. You are the boss and there should be no doubt about it. The new hire should listen and observe for the first—let’s say three years, yet it would be premature to ask for input. After all—you wouldn’t ask an infant to drive a car, would you?


Parting thoughts:
Statistics support this approach: up to 20% of new hires leave their new employer within the first 45 days and half of senior leadership is gone after 18 months. As this is very costly, it is much better to know it after 15 days rather than after 45 and rehire early. And, if your new hire does not make it through the above 10 steps, they are probably not worth it!

Disclaimer: Do you think this is satire? Yes or no? All of the above are real examples. And yes, if you do the contrary of all the above, your new hire will stay and become a top performer. Good news—at Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, we coach our candidates during the integration period and help you manage the onboarding successfully. Contact us fast!

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One Thing You Should Know About Hiring And Firing In The Netherlands http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/one-thing-you-should-know-about-hiring-and-firing-in-the-netherlands/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/one-thing-you-should-know-about-hiring-and-firing-in-the-netherlands/#respond Sun, 24 Jan 2016 23:01:43 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6267 Every culture has its own recipe. So does the Dutch culture. Also when it comes to hiring and firing. Here comes what you should know about hiring and firing in the The Netherlands – written by a Dutch. The Netherlands has been quite successful on an economic note for over 400 years. If you look at all the lists, the country, on a global scale,  is one of the largest investors, has one of the lowest unemployment rates, and is one of the most wealthiest countries in the world. With only 17 million people, how can they be so successful in generating companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Philips, ASML, ING, Akzo, etc. So how do they do that? The honest answer – it comes all comes down to the story of Hans Binker: the boy who put his finger in the dike. The Netherlands is a country below sea level. 400 years ago they had to build an infrastructure but they did not have the financial resources. They were good in one thing: trading. They established the VOC (the first ever stock listed company in world history). With the money earned, the Dutch built an infrastructure , which nowadays is still fundamental to Dutch prosperitywhat is still used in today’s society. The basis of this infrastructure is “poldering” (in Dutch it is polderen). As a result of flooding disasters Regional Water Authorities, water boards called waterschap (when situated more inland) or hoogheemraadschap (near the sea, mainly used in the Holland region) were set up to maintain the integrity of the water defenses around polders, maintain the waterways inside a polder, and control the various water levels inside and outside the polder. Water boards hold separate elections, levy taxes, and function independently from other government bodies. Their function is basically unchanged even today. As such they are the oldest democratic institution in the country. The necessary cooperation among all ranks to maintain polder integrity gave its name to the Dutch version of third way politics—the Polder Model. So when it comes down to hiring and firing, the Dutch use “poldering”. They try to find common ground to hire and fire someone, thereby involving all stakeholders. The process is direct: they ask the age, set rules and regulations for hiring an firing men, women, race, education. At the end of the day everyone is protected and satisfied. The process is in general transparent and nine out of ten times it is quick. Keep in consideration, due to “poldering” everyone gets involved so if one party or another is not satisfied, the person hired or fired is able to be back at the drawing table again. Conclusion: What do you need to know when applying for a job in the Netherlands: The Dutch are excellent in trading and dealing with foreign investments. They are also good in attracting skilled labourers. If you work for a Dutch organisation and you hold a foreign pasport you will get 30% income tax (rather than 52% if you earn more than € 60.000 annually). Great advantage fiscal advantage. As explained earlier, the Dutch are direct. Do not be surprised if the interviewer gets too personal (like what did your father do, do you have any kids, does your partner work)? This is allowed in The Netherlands. You are not allowed to discriminate so do not expect questions about religion, sexual preference or medical history. Networking is very important in the Dutch culture. Hierarchy in general is not. So if you know someone at the company you are applying with, do mention the name. Whether your contact person works in the mail room or is the CEO, the Dutch do not care. As long as you have a referral.  

The post One Thing You Should Know About Hiring And Firing In The Netherlands appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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One Thing You Should Know Before Hiring And Firing In The Netherlands

Every culture has its own recipe. So does the Dutch culture. Also when it comes to hiring and firing. Here comes what you should know about hiring and firing in the The Netherlands – written by a Dutch.

The Netherlands has been quite successful on an economic note for over 400 years. If you look at all the lists, the country, on a global scale,  is one of the largest investors, has one of the lowest unemployment rates, and is one of the most wealthiest countries in the world. With only 17 million people, how can they be so successful in generating companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Philips, ASML, ING, Akzo, etc. So how do they do that? The honest answer – it comes all comes down to the story of Hans Binker: the boy who put his finger in the dike. The Netherlands is a country below sea level. 400 years ago they had to build an infrastructure but they did not have the financial resources. They were good in one thing: trading. They established the VOC (the first ever stock listed company in world history). With the money earned, the Dutch built an infrastructure , which nowadays is still fundamental to Dutch prosperitywhat is still used in today’s society. The basis of this infrastructure is “poldering” (in Dutch it is polderen).

As a result of flooding disasters Regional Water Authorities, water boards called waterschap (when situated more inland) or hoogheemraadschap (near the sea, mainly used in the Holland region) were set up to maintain the integrity of the water defenses around polders, maintain the waterways inside a polder, and control the various water levels inside and outside the polder. Water boards hold separate elections, levy taxes, and function independently from other government bodies. Their function is basically unchanged even today. As such they are the oldest democratic institution in the country. The necessary cooperation among all ranks to maintain polder integrity gave its name to the Dutch version of third way politics—the Polder Model.

So when it comes down to hiring and firing, the Dutch use “poldering”. They try to find common ground to hire and fire someone, thereby involving all stakeholders. The process is direct: they ask the age, set rules and regulations for hiring an firing men, women, race, education. At the end of the day everyone is protected and satisfied. The process is in general transparent and nine out of ten times it is quick. Keep in consideration, due to “poldering” everyone gets involved so if one party or another is not satisfied, the person hired or fired is able to be back at the drawing table again.

Conclusion:

What do you need to know when applying for a job in the Netherlands:

  • The Dutch are excellent in trading and dealing with foreign investments. They are also good in attracting skilled labourers. If you work for a Dutch organisation and you hold a foreign pasport you will get 30% income tax (rather than 52% if you earn more than € 60.000 annually). Great advantage fiscal advantage.
  • As explained earlier, the Dutch are direct. Do not be surprised if the interviewer gets too personal (like what did your father do, do you have any kids, does your partner work)? This is allowed in The Netherlands. You are not allowed to discriminate so do not expect questions about religion, sexual preference or medical history.
  • Networking is very important in the Dutch culture. Hierarchy in general is not. So if you know someone at the company you are applying with, do mention the name. Whether your contact person works in the mail room or is the CEO, the Dutch do not care. As long as you have a referral.

 

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The One And Only New Year’s Resolution You Should Make http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-one-and-only-new-years-resolution-you-should-make/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-one-and-only-new-years-resolution-you-should-make/#comments Sun, 10 Jan 2016 23:01:08 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6241 12 fresh months lie ahead of us and we can start on a blank page. Time to fix all the mistakes from 2015 and an opportunity to overcome our shortcomings and become a better human being. What are the new year’s resolutions you have made? Let me guess: more fitness, less work and an overall better work life balance? But hold on: statistically, only 8% of all new year’s resolutions are ever achieved and most are actually dropped in the first three months of the new year, often causing feelings of guilt. Does this mean that we should make no more new year’s resolutions? New year’s resolutions are meant to help us to become better humans. And if we transpose it to our jobs, to remain more competitive, the buzz word for knowledge workers today who want to maintain a dynamic, growing career. In the logic of this blog, competitiveness also means “employability”: Why should a firm hire you and not one of the other 100 applicants for the same role? Why should a Consultant from Kennedy Executive Search call YOU and not your peer? Competitiveness is key in today’s labor world. Competition never sleeps and there is always someone who is quicker, smarter and even better than you are. How do you cope with this? How do you make sure you will find a new job if you have to? Remember: Job security is gone, we currently have to reinvent ourselves and as Earl Nightingale put it “The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career.” Yes, ambition is good and new year resolutions can help us to reach our goals. All depends on the right benchmark. What is the right benchmark for you? YOU are the the only valid benchmark to measure your competitiveness, not the other guys: if you are better in 2016 than in 2015, then you are a success. A success nobody else is responsible for as it exclusively depends on you. Examples: Losing 5 pounds can be great or insufficient, depending on your frame of reference. Running a marathon to the end can be beyond all expectations or far below depending on who you are. Traveling on an aircraft can be a weekly routine or the summit if you have fear of flying. The one and only new year resolution must be to become better in 2016 than in 2015, to become a better you. Not to try to be someone else. Conclusion: In the workplace, the same laws apply as in “the real world”: survival of the fittest. Or as Dennis Gunton put it: “Anyone who can be replaced by a machine deserves to be.” Stop comparing yourself with someone else. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday and work hard to become a better Manager, friend, parent, spouse and citizen tomorrow.

The post The One And Only New Year’s Resolution You Should Make appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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The One And Only New Year’s Resolution You Should Make

12 fresh months lie ahead of us and we can start on a blank page. Time to fix all the mistakes from 2015 and an opportunity to overcome our shortcomings and become a better human being.

What are the new year’s resolutions you have made? Let me guess: more fitness, less work and an overall better work life balance?

But hold on: statistically, only 8% of all new year’s resolutions are ever achieved and most are actually dropped in the first three months of the new year, often causing feelings of guilt.

Does this mean that we should make no more new year’s resolutions?

New year’s resolutions are meant to help us to become better humans. And if we transpose it to our jobs, to remain more competitive, the buzz word for knowledge workers today who want to maintain a dynamic, growing career. In the logic of this blog, competitiveness also means “employability”: Why should a firm hire you and not one of the other 100 applicants for the same role? Why should a Consultant from Kennedy Executive Search call YOU and not your peer?

Competitiveness is key in today’s labor world. Competition never sleeps and there is always someone who is quicker, smarter and even better than you are. How do you cope with this? How do you make sure you will find a new job if you have to? Remember: Job security is gone, we currently have to reinvent ourselves and as Earl Nightingale put it “The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career.”

Yes, ambition is good and new year resolutions can help us to reach our goals. All depends on the right benchmark. What is the right benchmark for you?

YOU are the the only valid benchmark to measure your competitiveness, not the other guys: if you are better in 2016 than in 2015, then you are a success. A success nobody else is responsible for as it exclusively depends on you. Examples: Losing 5 pounds can be great or insufficient, depending on your frame of reference. Running a marathon to the end can be beyond all expectations or far below depending on who you are. Traveling on an aircraft can be a weekly routine or the summit if you have fear of flying.

The one and only new year resolution must be to become better in 2016 than in 2015, to become a better you. Not to try to be someone else.

Conclusion:

In the workplace, the same laws apply as in “the real world”: survival of the fittest. Or as Dennis Gunton put it: “Anyone who can be replaced by a machine deserves to be.”

Stop comparing yourself with someone else. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday and work hard to become a better Manager, friend, parent, spouse and citizen tomorrow.

The post The One And Only New Year’s Resolution You Should Make appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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5 Reasons Santa Claus Is A Better Manager Than You http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/5-reasons-santa-claus-is-a-better-manager-than-you/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/5-reasons-santa-claus-is-a-better-manager-than-you/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2015 23:01:35 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3430 Ho, ho, ho – Christmas is near and your year as a manager will end soon. Time to have a critical look at your managerial capacities: what is the one leadership skill you evolved with last year, what was your biggest success this year and what is your greatest deficiency as a people manager? How do you compare to Santa Claus? Santa does not run out of style, he is a charismatic leader, respected authority, he manages a stable team of top performers (and if one of the elves or reindeers left, he managed well because we did not notice anything), the client experience is excellent and he gets the job done year after year by respecting a strict deadline and remaining calm, reassuring and positive. Here come the 5 key success factors that make Ol’ Santa a better manager than you: Have a clear personal branding: Everybody knows what Santa stands for, there are no bad surprises with him, people can rely on him and feel secured. And foremost, he is consistent which is a major characteristic followers look for in a manager (and I look for in my candidates in my job as a headhunter by the way). Consistency will be interpreted as something positive whilst inconsistency will often be seen as a sign of either insincerity or weakness. Like every good manager, Santa is predictable and has a clear communication (“Be good for 12 months and you will get the bonus by the end of the year. Be nasty and you won’t”). People know what Santa expects from them and what they can expect from Santa. Full stop. Be an early mover: No discrimination here but Santa looks pretty much like a 50+ to me (and just to make sure as this is public: I do not have a problem with this). The thing we can learn from him is that he always comes up with the newest inventions, gifts and gadgets and thus adopts new technologies fast. There is no “it worked fine the old way so why should we change?” Santa has a natural curiosity, tries new things out and embraces change with open arms. Successful people adapt fast, especially in today’s challenging business world. What got you here won’t get you there. Ask yourself regularly if a decision or direction you took 12 months ago is still valid today. Reassess and correct your decisions if appropriate; upgrade yourself (e.g. through executive education) if you risk running out-of-style. Follow-through, respect your promises and deadlines: Santa Claus is working quietly for 10 months, the communication flow increases by the end of the project launch and whatever happens, we can be sure that he and his team will deliver on Christmas Eve. One of the biggest evils of management is to start too many new incentives, projects or action plans and fail on the follow-through and follow-up. Make sure you can deliver and have the energy and resources to go to the end. Followers are very sensitive to this and will see it almost always as a weakness if you stop an initiative half-way through without any explanation. There can be exceptions when a project is abandoned, but if this happens, inform your team of the reasons if you want to remain credible and be respected. Do what needs to be done: Santa Claus and his team have a clear mission to achieve: ‘Get the presents ready on Christmas Eve’. How can this story help you if your job is private banking? Peter Drucker answers: “Successful leaders don’t ask ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’” Follow Peter Drucker’s advice, don’t complain or complicate things. Do not lose energy on things you cannot change or waste time with things that are off-core. Most jobs consist of a limited set of skills, focus on these and become better every day. Change things you can change, accept those you cannot and move forward to the goal you have set. Be good: Mr. Christmas does not cheat, bully or lie. We have never heard of any sex or financial scandals or any other snafu that we read about in the corporate world daily. Nobody can blame Santa for unfair behavior towards his teams, his customers or – as far as we know – his shareholders. Not only is he 100% ethical, at the same time, he is positive, caring, smiling and protective. He breathes respect and gives people security when he is around. All this gives him natural authority, not one implemented through title or hierarchy. Make this philosophy yours, help the world to become a better place and at the same time, ensure that your teams will work hard for you and make everyone inveolved happy. Got the message? Conclusion: Season’s greetings to all of you, may you believe in Santa Claus or not. There is some lesson to be learned for all of us. May 2016 be an even better year for your teams but most of all your families and yourself.

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5ReasonsSantaClausIsAbetterManagerThanYou_KennedyExecutive_Blog

Ho, ho, ho – Christmas is near and your year as a manager will end soon. Time to have a critical look at your managerial capacities: what is the one leadership skill you evolved with last year, what was your biggest success this year and what is your greatest deficiency as a people manager?

How do you compare to Santa Claus? Santa does not run out of style, he is a charismatic leader, respected authority, he manages a stable team of top performers (and if one of the elves or reindeers left, he managed well because we did not notice anything), the client experience is excellent and he gets the job done year after year by respecting a strict deadline and remaining calm, reassuring and positive.

Here come the 5 key success factors that make Ol’ Santa a better manager than you:

  1. Have a clear personal branding: Everybody knows what Santa stands for, there are no bad surprises with him, people can rely on him and feel secured. And foremost, he is consistent which is a major characteristic followers look for in a manager (and I look for in my candidates in my job as a headhunter by the way). Consistency will be interpreted as something positive whilst inconsistency will often be seen as a sign of either insincerity or weakness. Like every good manager, Santa is predictable and has a clear communication (“Be good for 12 months and you will get the bonus by the end of the year. Be nasty and you won’t”). People know what Santa expects from them and what they can expect from Santa. Full stop.
  2. Be an early mover: No discrimination here but Santa looks pretty much like a 50+ to me (and just to make sure as this is public: I do not have a problem with this). The thing we can learn from him is that he always comes up with the newest inventions, gifts and gadgets and thus adopts new technologies fast. There is no “it worked fine the old way so why should we change?” Santa has a natural curiosity, tries new things out and embraces change with open arms. Successful people adapt fast, especially in today’s challenging business world. What got you here won’t get you there. Ask yourself regularly if a decision or direction you took 12 months ago is still valid today. Reassess and correct your decisions if appropriate; upgrade yourself (e.g. through executive education) if you risk running out-of-style.
  3. Follow-through, respect your promises and deadlines: Santa Claus is working quietly for 10 months, the communication flow increases by the end of the project launch and whatever happens, we can be sure that he and his team will deliver on Christmas Eve. One of the biggest evils of management is to start too many new incentives, projects or action plans and fail on the follow-through and follow-up. Make sure you can deliver and have the energy and resources to go to the end. Followers are very sensitive to this and will see it almost always as a weakness if you stop an initiative half-way through without any explanation. There can be exceptions when a project is abandoned, but if this happens, inform your team of the reasons if you want to remain credible and be respected.
  4. Do what needs to be done: Santa Claus and his team have a clear mission to achieve: ‘Get the presents ready on Christmas Eve’. How can this story help you if your job is private banking? Peter Drucker answers: “Successful leaders don’t ask ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’” Follow Peter Drucker’s advice, don’t complain or complicate things. Do not lose energy on things you cannot change or waste time with things that are off-core. Most jobs consist of a limited set of skills, focus on these and become better every day. Change things you can change, accept those you cannot and move forward to the goal you have set.
  5. Be good: Mr. Christmas does not cheat, bully or lie. We have never heard of any sex or financial scandals or any other snafu that we read about in the corporate world daily. Nobody can blame Santa for unfair behavior towards his teams, his customers or – as far as we know – his shareholders. Not only is he 100% ethical, at the same time, he is positive, caring, smiling and protective. He breathes respect and gives people security when he is around. All this gives him natural authority, not one implemented through title or hierarchy. Make this philosophy yours, help the world to become a better place and at the same time, ensure that your teams will work hard for you and make everyone inveolved happy. Got the message?


Conclusion:

Season’s greetings to all of you, may you believe in Santa Claus or not. There is some lesson to be learned for all of us. May 2016 be an even better year for your teams but most of all your families and yourself.

The post 5 Reasons Santa Claus Is A Better Manager Than You appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Fire Someone http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-fire-someone/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-fire-someone/#comments Sun, 06 Dec 2015 23:01:34 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=130 Laying someone off is probably the hardest thing for a manager – but it is much harder for the employee. For most people, losing the job has a serious impact on their life as it provides the base to pay rent, dinner etc. A lay-off is often a personal tragedy and should always be the last alternative. It is a very sensitive, emotional and touchy issue and a timing is very important at all times. Here is our “How To Fire Someone” guide in 3 clear steps properly, respectfully and ethically: Before: Prepare: what are the possible reactions when you lay someone off? Tears, anger or apathy? What do you know about the personal circumstances, is a family involved? Be prepared to hear terrible stories – but do not change your opinion. Some people will try to convince you to give them a second try. Make clear that your decision is non-negotiable, that it was hard to take and that you will not change it. Program the meeting very short-hand, never do something like inviting someone on Friday for Tuesday next as your employee will spend a terrible week-end. Rather ask your employee to see you directly without an invitation. Some sources recommed to lay off on a Friday afternoon as both the employee and the remaining team have the week-end to cool down and gossip among the team would be avoided. However, psychology tells us that suppressing and processing are not the same. I rather see the employee out on a normal week day and influence the gossip (see last point) instead of losing control over the week-end. Also, for the employee who has been fired, a potential week-end alone at home can be one more reason to make a depression. When you have to lay someone off, don’t do it in your office but in a conference room: in case things get tight, you can walk out of a conference room and call security but you cannot walk out of your own office. Never do this meeting alone but take another manager (preferably HR Manager) with you in case something out of the ordinary happens. It might become emotional and you never know how your counterpart will react. I have seen tears and I have also had people yelling at me. During the meeting: Do not smile, own the message, always remain respectful. Bear in mind that you may be taken to court. Be very careful with everything you say and ask yourself if this is what you would like to hear again from a judge or read it on the internet. Make it short, swift and clean. Avoid something like “You know, Tom, it hasn’t been easy for all of us etc etc etc.” This is an unnecessary torture and your employee will think “Tell me, what you want!”. I usually start “Tom, I am very sorry but I have to dismiss you today”. PAUSE….. Count from 21 to 25 so your opposite can digest what you just said….. Then explain. If you lay off for for reasons that relate to the employee’s behavior, do not blame your employee. It may be tempting to do so and to say everything you always wanted to say. This can be seen as justification and you do not have to justify yourself. Hopefully, you have already said everything in several previous (and well documented) meetings. If the employee is too blame, s/he knows it. At this point of time, you will not win anything but only run into possible risks such as being sued for discrimination or else. After: If the employee will be sent home immediately, collect company possession such as keys, access cards or else. Inform IT beforehand to change passwords and block distance access to the email account by e.g. 11 AM. Do not let the employee go back to his/ her desk alone but accompany them to collect their belongings. If the employee will stay until date X, make clear that you will give a positive reference in case the performance and hand-over will be correct. A negative attitude can have a desastrous impact on team morale and performance. Observe the behavior closely. Communicate the news to the rest of the team on the same day, preferably immediately. Explain the reasons of your decision, do not blame the (ex)employee. Worst case you can say it proved not to be a good fit. Try to leave as little place as possible for bad rumours that might turn against you/ your company. At the same time, tell people how this action should be communicated to clients or other third parties. Conclusion: “Firing” someone is the worst part of being a manager but someone has to do it. If this someone happens to be you, be fair, firm and prepared. All you wish at this point of time is that your (former) employee will say “I do not agree with this decision. However, Jorg was respectful and I do not blame him personally for what happened…”

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How To Fire Someone | Kennedy Executive Career Blog

Laying someone off is probably the hardest thing for a manager – but it is much harder for the employee. For most people, losing the job has a serious impact on their life as it provides the base to pay rent, dinner etc. A lay-off is often a personal tragedy and should always be the last alternative. It is a very sensitive, emotional and touchy issue and a timing is very important at all times.

Here is our “How To Fire Someone” guide in 3 clear steps properly, respectfully and ethically:

Before:

  • Prepare: what are the possible reactions when you lay someone off? Tears, anger or apathy? What do you know about the personal circumstances, is a family involved? Be prepared to hear terrible stories – but do not change your opinion. Some people will try to convince you to give them a second try. Make clear that your decision is non-negotiable, that it was hard to take and that you will not change it.
  • Program the meeting very short-hand, never do something like inviting someone on Friday for Tuesday next as your employee will spend a terrible week-end. Rather ask your employee to see you directly without an invitation.
  • Some sources recommed to lay off on a Friday afternoon as both the employee and the remaining team have the week-end to cool down and gossip among the team would be avoided. However, psychology tells us that suppressing and processing are not the same. I rather see the employee out on a normal week day and influence the gossip (see last point) instead of losing control over the week-end. Also, for the employee who has been fired, a potential week-end alone at home can be one more reason to make a depression.
  • When you have to lay someone off, don’t do it in your office but in a conference room: in case things get tight, you can walk out of a conference room and call security but you cannot walk out of your own office.
  • Never do this meeting alone but take another manager (preferably HR Manager) with you in case something out of the ordinary happens. It might become emotional and you never know how your counterpart will react. I have seen tears and I have also had people yelling at me.


During the meeting:

  • Do not smile, own the message, always remain respectful.
  • Bear in mind that you may be taken to court. Be very careful with everything you say and ask yourself if this is what you would like to hear again from a judge or read it on the internet.
  • Make it short, swift and clean. Avoid something like “You know, Tom, it hasn’t been easy for all of us etc etc etc.” This is an unnecessary torture and your employee will think “Tell me, what you want!”. I usually start “Tom, I am very sorry but I have to dismiss you today”. PAUSE….. Count from 21 to 25 so your opposite can digest what you just said….. Then explain.
  • If you lay off for for reasons that relate to the employee’s behavior, do not blame your employee. It may be tempting to do so and to say everything you always wanted to say. This can be seen as justification and you do not have to justify yourself. Hopefully, you have already said everything in several previous (and well documented) meetings. If the employee is too blame, s/he knows it. At this point of time, you will not win anything but only run into possible risks such as being sued for discrimination or else.


After:

  • If the employee will be sent home immediately, collect company possession such as keys, access cards or else. Inform IT beforehand to change passwords and block distance access to the email account by e.g. 11 AM. Do not let the employee go back to his/ her desk alone but accompany them to collect their belongings.
  • If the employee will stay until date X, make clear that you will give a positive reference in case the performance and hand-over will be correct. A negative attitude can have a desastrous impact on team morale and performance. Observe the behavior closely.
  • Communicate the news to the rest of the team on the same day, preferably immediately. Explain the reasons of your decision, do not blame the (ex)employee. Worst case you can say it proved not to be a good fit. Try to leave as little place as possible for bad rumours that might turn against you/ your company. At the same time, tell people how this action should be communicated to clients or other third parties.


Conclusion:

“Firing” someone is the worst part of being a manager but someone has to do it. If this someone happens to be you, be fair, firm and prepared. All you wish at this point of time is that your (former) employee will say “I do not agree with this decision. However, Jorg was respectful and I do not blame him personally for what happened…”

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Book Presentation “Il Lavoro Ritrovato” at Kennedy Executive Italy http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/book-presentation-il-lavoro-ritrovato-at-kennedy-executive-italy/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/book-presentation-il-lavoro-ritrovato-at-kennedy-executive-italy/#respond Wed, 02 Dec 2015 09:51:43 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6166 VIR HR Human Resources/ Kennedy Executive Italy, organized the book presentation “Il Lavoro Ritrovato” (“The Work Found Again”) by Pietro Ichino, labor lawyer, Senator of the Italian Republic, co-author with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, of the Jobs Act, the most important innovation in the Italian labor laws in the last 40 years.

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VIR HR Human Resources/ Kennedy Executive Italy, organized the book presentation “Il Lavoro Ritrovato” (“The Work Found Again”) by Pietro Ichino, labor lawyer, Senator of the Italian Republic, co-author with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, of the Jobs Act, the most important innovation in the Italian labor laws in the last 40 years.

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Velkommen Kennedy Executive Search Denmark/ DNA Headhunting In Copenhagen http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/velkommen-kennedy-executive-search-denmark-dna-headhunting/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/velkommen-kennedy-executive-search-denmark-dna-headhunting/#respond Wed, 25 Nov 2015 21:34:13 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6138 “Velkommen” to DNA Headhunting in Copenhagen under the leadership of Jesper Madsen, Frank Knudsen and Morten Poulsen as exclusive Partner of Kennedy Executive Search in Copenhagen/ Denmark. With this presence in Scandinavia, we are now able to execute search assignments all over Europe.

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“Velkommen” to DNA Headhunting in Copenhagen under the leadership of Jesper Madsen, Frank Knudsen and Morten Poulsen as exclusive Partner of Kennedy Executive Search in Copenhagen/ Denmark. With this presence in Scandinavia, we are now able to execute search assignments all over Europe.

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Welcome Kennedy Executive Search United Kingdom/ Moorlands Human Capital http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-kennedy-executive-search-the-united-kingdom-moorlands-human-capital/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-kennedy-executive-search-the-united-kingdom-moorlands-human-capital/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:59:38 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6124 We are happy to announce our presence in the UK with our partnership with Moorlands Human Capital under the leadership of Paul Battye and Robert Branagh. Moorlands Human Capital is an executive search and consulting boutique firm and serves all our practices, especially Finance. More under “offices”.

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We are happy to announce our presence in the UK with our partnership with Moorlands Human Capital under the leadership of Paul Battye and Robert Branagh. Moorlands Human Capital is an executive search and consulting boutique firm and serves all our practices, especially Finance. More under “offices”.

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Will An Open Application With A Headhunter Work? Be Resilient And Creative! http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/will-an-open-application-with-a-headhunter-work/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/will-an-open-application-with-a-headhunter-work/#comments Sun, 22 Nov 2015 23:01:15 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6087 Is it worthwhile to send an open application to a headhunter? Will I stand out to be invited to an interview with an Executive Search Firm? Here at Kennedy Executive Search The Netherlands/ Lens & Partners, we are currently doing two Executive Searches at present. Different roles: a Finance Manager and a Manager Category Management. The positions have been presented, without mentioning the clients name, through different SEO (internet) channels: our own website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Both positions are extremely popular: for each position we have received over 100 open applications. The outcome, none of the applicants will be appointed for this position. Is this because we as an Executive Search organization are too strikt? Do we really want to headhunt? Is the pool of applicants who apply too big? The honest answer is that nine out of ten times, applicants who send an application to an Executive Search organization will never be placed through one of our clients. Each job, client and hiring manager is unique. This is a challenge, which in our opinion will never be serviced through a computer or robot. Especially when dealing with strategic positions within a firm. Our job is to listen carefully what is required and what skill set is needed to place the right candidate for this position. 90% of all the applications we received did not even fit the job specification. Most people did not read the profile correctly. The other 10% did get invited based on the criteria we have set with our client. But why did no open applicant really get either job? We would like to stress that most of the applicants did not have a job while applying. We did invite at least 10 of open applicants for each position. What surprised us: nobody prepared for the interview. All applicants were in desperate need for a new job but did not take time to prepare the interview with us. We fully understand that it is frustrating and this might be the 100th interview, but every interview is unique. Do your homework, take notes and do your research (see our previous blog: how to prepare for your interview). Furthermore, competition is becoming more and more relevant when you become more experienced and get older. You might think: I am the best in the world and I fit 100% for this position, but there are other competitors who might be even better: they might have a higher education, better skill set, etc. Listen to the questions asked and challenge us. Ask a lot of questions: Why do you think I fit? What is really required for this job? Why is this position available? The majority of the applicants do not ask questions – they simply “show and tell”. The thing is most of our clients hire someone on an executive level so that they can strategically be challenged. So challenge us a come up with challenging questions! Be direct, creative and be proactive. But why is a candidate in general not invited if he or she sends an open application to an executive search firm? The simple answer is there is not enough time. We work for clients and are under time pressure. On average we get at least 10 open applications a day. So you can imagine that if we were to interview all open applications, we do not have time to do the work for our clients. Bottom line: our life is made a lot easier if we did not need to headhunt. Search is a lot more difficult than just selection.

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Will An Open Application With A Headhunter Work? Be Reilient And Creative!

Is it worthwhile to send an open application to a headhunter? Will I stand out to be invited to an interview with an Executive Search Firm?

Here at Kennedy Executive Search The Netherlands/ Lens & Partners, we are currently doing two Executive Searches at present. Different roles: a Finance Manager and a Manager Category Management. The positions have been presented, without mentioning the clients name, through different SEO (internet) channels: our own website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Both positions are extremely popular: for each position we have received over 100 open applications. The outcome, none of the applicants will be appointed for this position. Is this because we as an Executive Search organization are too strikt? Do we really want to headhunt? Is the pool of applicants who apply too big?

The honest answer is that nine out of ten times, applicants who send an application to an Executive Search organization will never be placed through one of our clients. Each job, client and hiring manager is unique. This is a challenge, which in our opinion will never be serviced through a computer or robot. Especially when dealing with strategic positions within a firm. Our job is to listen carefully what is required and what skill set is needed to place the right candidate for this position. 90% of all the applications we received did not even fit the job specification. Most people did not read the profile correctly. The other 10% did get invited based on the criteria we have set with our client.

But why did no open applicant really get either job? We would like to stress that most of the applicants did not have a job while applying. We did invite at least 10 of open applicants for each position. What surprised us: nobody prepared for the interview. All applicants were in desperate need for a new job but did not take time to prepare the interview with us. We fully understand that it is frustrating and this might be the 100th interview, but every interview is unique. Do your homework, take notes and do your research (see our previous blog: how to prepare for your interview). Furthermore, competition is becoming more and more relevant when you become more experienced and get older. You might think: I am the best in the world and I fit 100% for this position, but there are other competitors who might be even better: they might have a higher education, better skill set, etc. Listen to the questions asked and challenge us. Ask a lot of questions: Why do you think I fit? What is really required for this job? Why is this position available? The majority of the applicants do not ask questions – they simply “show and tell”. The thing is most of our clients hire someone on an executive level so that they can strategically be challenged. So challenge us a come up with challenging questions! Be direct, creative and be proactive.

But why is a candidate in general not invited if he or she sends an open application to an executive search firm? The simple answer is there is not enough time. We work for clients and are under time pressure. On average we get at least 10 open applications a day. So you can imagine that if we were to interview all open applications, we do not have time to do the work for our clients.

Bottom line: our life is made a lot easier if we did not need to headhunt. Search is a lot more difficult than just selection.

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2+7 Tips To Becoming More Creative http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/2-7-tips-to-becoming-more-creative/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/2-7-tips-to-becoming-more-creative/#comments Sun, 08 Nov 2015 23:01:35 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6059 This week’s posting comes from Annie Longeot, a creativity and innovation consultant and coach and founder of Rondement Carré, a consulting firm in Paris: How can you become a more creative Manager or Professional? Certainly not by striving hard to be creative! “Trying to” just means “trying” (but not always getting there) after all and as so often, more is less. Here below come 2+7 tips to becoming more creative. How can you strengthen yourself and relax your mind? Through emptiness: Step back, slow down, accept moments of emptiness and let go for a moment to better contemplate later on. Through actions: Enjoy being inquisitive, interrogative, while trying to examine a situation in the shoes of someone else, and consider that a problem can simplify and resolve by itself, in other words, feel free to do what inspires you… Let’s have a look at 7 tips that can help you to become more creative: Break the routine: Try to find out at least two things every week that caught your surprise: a poster or the shape of your neighbor’s kid’s new skateboard… What does the skateboard and your current biggest challenge have in common (“both go fast and put security aside. Is that what I want? No, not really. So how can I make it safer?” Better plan my track? Go slower? And if I put a ‘cask’ on? What would be a cask in my case?” etc)? Learn to see how these little inspirations further encourage you to open up your eyes into the world and help you step outside your normal routine. Look at things in a different angle: Try to imagine how “virtual consultants” (for example, what would Superman, Gandhi or Charlie Chaplin) would consider a certain situation. This furnishes you with new viewpoints that may contribute to inspire your ideas. Brainstorm: Ask yourself which object will you create using 2 objects that are found on the breakfast table. Cereal with coffee? Cereal with coffee beans, cereal with a dose of coffee or a cereal bar for snack with a small carton of milk… What can you learn from this? Many inventions and novelties have been found like this after all! Play “Chinese portrait” (“if this challenge was an animal/ a painting/ a song/ a feeling etc, it would be a XYZ because ABC”): if my computer was to be an animal, a plant or a dish…… – mine would perhaps be a mille-feuille with tea, which is to say that I love my Macbook air! Open-yourself to changes: Adopt your posture to an “angel’s advocate”, in the face of a new idea: Rephrase to be sure that you are being clearly understood. Look for what inspires you in this idea (for real) – and it will certainly have something amusing in it. Determine how you can further improve the idea (for this, you can get the support of your virtual consultants mentioned below). Look for inspiration: Ask your teenagers to show you some videos they can laugh about. Visit exhibitions, artist studios, concerts, watch Ted videos. Spend more time with your hobbies, observe and experience how great innovative ideas will eventually come to you. Is this process reproducible elsewhere? At your work place, for example? Why not? Do nothing: ….. Play: What about Dixit, a card game in which a deck of illustrated cards is selected by the players matching a title suggested by the “storyteller” with the attempt to guess which card the “storyteller” selected? Or do you know Storycubes? Great and easy tool to create stories under constraints and combine things that seem to have nothing in common.Or perhaps improvisation games under constraints, brainstorming games for many… And much more Force yourself to see things differently: For example, take a photo on the inside of your house in an unexpected, unobserved angle (I assure you that the area will bring to light a whole new perspective). This can also work very well at the office…   What is the red thread of all this? In plain language: enjoy yourself. Or to say it with Ray Bradbury: “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

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2+7 Tips To Becoming More Creative

This week’s posting comes from Annie Longeot, a creativity and innovation consultant and coach and founder of Rondement Carré, a consulting firm in Paris:

How can you become a more creative Manager or Professional? Certainly not by striving hard to be creative! “Trying to” just means “trying” (but not always getting there) after all and as so often, more is less.

Here below come 2+7 tips to becoming more creative.

How can you strengthen yourself and relax your mind?

  1. Through emptiness: Step back, slow down, accept moments of emptiness and let go for a moment to better contemplate later on.
  2. Through actions: Enjoy being inquisitive, interrogative, while trying to examine a situation in the shoes of someone else, and consider that a problem can simplify and resolve by itself, in other words, feel free to do what inspires you…


Let’s have a look at 7 tips that can help you to become more creative:

  1. Break the routine: Try to find out at least two things every week that caught your surprise: a poster or the shape of your neighbor’s kid’s new skateboard… What does the skateboard and your current biggest challenge have in common (“both go fast and put security aside. Is that what I want? No, not really. So how can I make it safer?” Better plan my track? Go slower? And if I put a ‘cask’ on? What would be a cask in my case?” etc)? Learn to see how these little inspirations further encourage you to open up your eyes into the world and help you step outside your normal routine.
  2. Look at things in a different angle: Try to imagine how “virtual consultants” (for example, what would Superman, Gandhi or Charlie Chaplin) would consider a certain situation. This furnishes you with new viewpoints that may contribute to inspire your ideas. Brainstorm: Ask yourself which object will you create using 2 objects that are found on the breakfast table. Cereal with coffee? Cereal with coffee beans, cereal with a dose of coffee or a cereal bar for snack with a small carton of milk… What can you learn from this? Many inventions and novelties have been found like this after all! Play “Chinese portrait” (“if this challenge was an animal/ a painting/ a song/ a feeling etc, it would be a XYZ because ABC”): if my computer was to be an animal, a plant or a dish…… – mine would perhaps be a mille-feuille with tea, which is to say that I love my Macbook air!
  3. Open-yourself to changes: Adopt your posture to an “angel’s advocate”, in the face of a new idea: Rephrase to be sure that you are being clearly understood. Look for what inspires you in this idea (for real) – and it will certainly have something amusing in it. Determine how you can further improve the idea (for this, you can get the support of your virtual consultants mentioned below).
  4. Look for inspiration: Ask your teenagers to show you some videos they can laugh about. Visit exhibitions, artist studios, concerts, watch Ted videos. Spend more time with your hobbies, observe and experience how great innovative ideas will eventually come to you. Is this process reproducible elsewhere? At your work place, for example? Why not?
  5. Do nothing: …..
  6. Play: What about Dixit, a card game in which a deck of illustrated cards is selected by the players matching a title suggested by the “storyteller” with the attempt to guess which card the “storyteller” selected? Or do you know Storycubes? Great and easy tool to create stories under constraints and combine things that seem to have nothing in common.Or perhaps improvisation games under constraints, brainstorming games for many… And much more
  7. Force yourself to see things differently: For example, take a photo on the inside of your house in an unexpected, unobserved angle (I assure you that the area will bring to light a whole new perspective). This can also work very well at the office…

 

What is the red thread of all this? In plain language: enjoy yourself.

Or to say it with Ray Bradbury: “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

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Our Recent Interview With BBC: Show Off – But Not Too Much! http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-recent-interview-with-bbc-capital-show-off-but-not-too-much/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-recent-interview-with-bbc-capital-show-off-but-not-too-much/#respond Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:09:51 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6028 Remember those kids who did well at school by sucking up, rather than actually helping out? You probably see many of the same dynamics in the workplace, even, perhaps, in yourself. Where is the line between proving your worth and annoying everyone? Our answer on BBC Capital.

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Remember those kids who did well at school by sucking up, rather than actually helping out? You probably see many of the same dynamics in the workplace, even, perhaps, in yourself. Where is the line between proving your worth and annoying everyone? Our answer on BBC Capital.

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Should You Pay A Retainer To An Executive Search Firm? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/should-you-pay-a-retainer-to-an-executive-search-firm/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/should-you-pay-a-retainer-to-an-executive-search-firm/#comments Sun, 25 Oct 2015 23:01:33 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3915 If you want to be sure to find the best talent in the market available, there are many advantages going through an executive search firm (click here). Especially for the executive search firm. Be careful though as barriers of entry to the recruitment industry are low, the title “headhunter” is not protected and the market is thus very heterogenous. Anyone can run this business with a phone and business cards and no further investment, even from home. There are many dos and don’ts when working with us. One which I found little on my research, however, is the question if you should you pay a retainer to an executive search firm or work on a contingency basis. Let us have a look at the three fee models to work with an executive search firm or recruitment agency: On a success fee/ contingency basis without exclusivity which means what it says: unless we find a solution for you (=you hire our candidate), you don’t owe the recruiter anything. In addition to that, the recuiter’s competitors work on the same assignment. Commitment from both sides is therefore minimal. On a success fee/ contingency basis with exclusivity: things look slightly better for you and also for us. The exclusively clause shows the commitment from the client and the recruiter that they plan to go to the end with this. If they do and the candidate has signed the work contract, the recruiter has earned his fee. Retained: the client pays in typically three installments or retainers, the first one when he gives the search assignment to the executive search firm, the next one when we present our short-list of candidates/ after XYZ days (both models coexist) and the remainder when the chosen candidate has signed the work contract with you. This form is the normal approach for the recruitment of senior or very complex profiles as they may require in-depth, tailor-made work from the executive search firm. What is the impact of these three distinct fee models – for YOU as a hiring Manager? Whenever two parties make a deal, the decision will be based on one of the four buying signals which are 1) quality (Mercedes or Toyota?), 2) service (five or two star hotel?), 3) speed of execution (a book at my local bookstore now or 10% cheaper on the internet but only in two days) and 4) price (no example for you, as a client who chooses based on price only is a sad, sad story…). How do these four points link to the fee structure of an executive search firm? Let’s have a second look at the three fee models and bring them together with the buying signals here above: Success fee/ contingency basis without exclusivity: I have read of this before as “you eat what you kill” meaning that the recruiter does not earn one cent before the candidate has signed a work contract with the hiring company. Furthermore, external competitors, internal candidates, a strategy change/ hiring freeze or else as well as unsolicited applications might get in the way. Time is the biggest enemy of the recruiter and the most important criteria for him will be speed as there are too many unforeseen circumstances that could spoil the deal. Though high speed can be a good thing, quality and service will be compromised if you choose this way to work with a recruiter. The recruiter knows that he probably won’t “make the placement” anyway as the “fill-ratio” for this model is 20%. As a client, you will therefore get the candidates who are currently available yet not always the best solution for your problem. Success fee/ contingency basis with exclusivity: The recruiter has eliminated one in minimum four “enemies”: his competitors. The commitment from both sides is higher and the recruiter can have realistic hopes to earn his fee. He is, however, not immune against internal candidates, a strategy change/ hiring freeze or else as well as unsolicited applications. Speed will still win over quality or service: a candidate who is second best but presented today is still better than a potential A candidate we will only meet next week. Fill-ratio is approx. 80% if you work with a professional, ethical recruiter who understands his job. Retained: This form of partnership offers the highest commitment from both sides. A recruiter or an executive search Consultant who works on a retained basis is paid one part of his fee upfront and has secured his running costs. Whether he presents his short-list today or in two weeks will not be the criteria to include or exclude candidates. Quality and service will be and neither one will be compromised for speed. As a client, you will normally get access to a broader pool of candidates as we will not only consider CVs in the database or applications from candidates currently on search (which is not always the best moment to change, see “The Five Phases Of The Job Life Cycle”). We as headhunters will build a cartography of target companies we have defined together and approach these in a systematical and structured way. As a consequence, many of our candidates are exclusively listed with us, not actively on job search and you could never meet them without us. Our fill-ratio can be up 95% if nothing unforeseen happens when we have been retained. Conclusion: Thanks for reading to the end and yes, this was a commercial text in a way. But I also wrote it to explain that what may seem good to a customer at first sight (=”take no risk and do not pay anything upfront”) will not ensure that you get access to the best talent available. On the contrary, you even run the risk of having a mediocre staff structure mid-term. And you need top talent to achieve your budget this year, right? Ask yourself which of the four buying signals quality, service, speed or price will be the one you build your future team on and decide yourself. And if you opt for number 3, we are there for you!

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Should You Pay A Retainer To An Executive Search Firm - Kennedy Executive Search

If you want to be sure to find the best talent in the market available, there are many advantages going through an executive search firm (click here). Especially for the executive search firm.

Be careful though as barriers of entry to the recruitment industry are low, the title “headhunter” is not protected and the market is thus very heterogenous. Anyone can run this business with a phone and business cards and no further investment, even from home.

There are many dos and don’ts when working with us. One which I found little on my research, however, is the question if you should you pay a retainer to an executive search firm or work on a contingency basis.

Let us have a look at the three fee models to work with an executive search firm or recruitment agency:

  1. On a success fee/ contingency basis without exclusivity which means what it says: unless we find a solution for you (=you hire our candidate), you don’t owe the recruiter anything. In addition to that, the recuiter’s competitors work on the same assignment. Commitment from both sides is therefore minimal.
  2. On a success fee/ contingency basis with exclusivity: things look slightly better for you and also for us. The exclusively clause shows the commitment from the client and the recruiter that they plan to go to the end with this. If they do and the candidate has signed the work contract, the recruiter has earned his fee.
  3. Retained: the client pays in typically three installments or retainers, the first one when he gives the search assignment to the executive search firm, the next one when we present our short-list of candidates/ after XYZ days (both models coexist) and the remainder when the chosen candidate has signed the work contract with you. This form is the normal approach for the recruitment of senior or very complex profiles as they may require in-depth, tailor-made work from the executive search firm.


What is the impact of these three distinct fee models – for YOU as a hiring Manager?

Whenever two parties make a deal, the decision will be based on one of the four buying signals which are 1) quality (Mercedes or Toyota?), 2) service (five or two star hotel?), 3) speed of execution (a book at my local bookstore now or 10% cheaper on the internet but only in two days) and 4) price (no example for you, as a client who chooses based on price only is a sad, sad story…).

How do these four points link to the fee structure of an executive search firm? Let’s have a second look at the three fee models and bring them together with the buying signals here above:

  1. Success fee/ contingency basis without exclusivity: I have read of this before as “you eat what you kill” meaning that the recruiter does not earn one cent before the candidate has signed a work contract with the hiring company. Furthermore, external competitors, internal candidates, a strategy change/ hiring freeze or else as well as unsolicited applications might get in the way. Time is the biggest enemy of the recruiter and the most important criteria for him will be speed as there are too many unforeseen circumstances that could spoil the deal. Though high speed can be a good thing, quality and service will be compromised if you choose this way to work with a recruiter. The recruiter knows that he probably won’t “make the placement” anyway as the “fill-ratio” for this model is 20%. As a client, you will therefore get the candidates who are currently available yet not always the best solution for your problem.
  2. Success fee/ contingency basis with exclusivity: The recruiter has eliminated one in minimum four “enemies”: his competitors. The commitment from both sides is higher and the recruiter can have realistic hopes to earn his fee. He is, however, not immune against internal candidates, a strategy change/ hiring freeze or else as well as unsolicited applications. Speed will still win over quality or service: a candidate who is second best but presented today is still better than a potential A candidate we will only meet next week. Fill-ratio is approx. 80% if you work with a professional, ethical recruiter who understands his job.
  3. Retained: This form of partnership offers the highest commitment from both sides. A recruiter or an executive search Consultant who works on a retained basis is paid one part of his fee upfront and has secured his running costs. Whether he presents his short-list today or in two weeks will not be the criteria to include or exclude candidates. Quality and service will be and neither one will be compromised for speed. As a client, you will normally get access to a broader pool of candidates as we will not only consider CVs in the database or applications from candidates currently on search (which is not always the best moment to change, see “The Five Phases Of The Job Life Cycle”). We as headhunters will build a cartography of target companies we have defined together and approach these in a systematical and structured way. As a consequence, many of our candidates are exclusively listed with us, not actively on job search and you could never meet them without us. Our fill-ratio can be up 95% if nothing unforeseen happens when we have been retained.


Conclusion:

Thanks for reading to the end and yes, this was a commercial text in a way. But I also wrote it to explain that what may seem good to a customer at first sight (=”take no risk and do not pay anything upfront”) will not ensure that you get access to the best talent available. On the contrary, you even run the risk of having a mediocre staff structure mid-term. And you need top talent to achieve your budget this year, right?

Ask yourself which of the four buying signals quality, service, speed or price will be the one you build your future team on and decide yourself. And if you opt for number 3, we are there for you!

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5+1 Tips To Hire The Best People In The Market http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/5-tips-to-hire-the-best-people-in-the-market/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/5-tips-to-hire-the-best-people-in-the-market/#respond Sun, 11 Oct 2015 23:01:07 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=6004 Much later than the US (as tradition has it), most European countries have left the economic crisis. Here at Kennedy Executive Search, we see double-digit growth in our offices in Benelux, The Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy. I hear the same when I talk to executive search firms in UK or Scandinavia. Classical mechanisms set in: Candidates, especially best talent, move faster and become pickier. Here in France, 94% of candidates on management level (“cadres”) are in the job, do not read job ads and employers feel they need us headhunters to find these candidates and to convince them to move. Employers also feel – often painfully when their best talent goes away – that they have to be better in attracting and retaining. Here come 5 tips to make sure your dream candidate accepts your offer and not the one of your competitor: SAY the right things: The interview process is stress, both for the candidate and the interviewer. Expectations are high and everybody wants to make a good impression. Make sure you give and get all the information that is essential to determine if the match between job/ challenge and candidate/ motivations is promising enough to encourage it to be a success. Do not oversell your company, the potential of the post or the level of responsibility. The result will be frustration during the first months. Do not undersell it neither. Prepare your notes like for any other important meeting and write down what are the key elements you want to get through to show your candiate a realistic picture of what could await her/ him here ASK the right things: Q&A in the interview have two objectives: attract the candidate (point 1 here above) AND determine if s/he is the right fit. What do you want to see in any person you lead and how can you put this into a question? What are the internal decision-making processes and behavior related to this that work here or not? Why did people fail in the past and what is the key learning on future recruitments? Frame all this into 2-3 questions around “the science” (hard facts) and 2-3 around “the art” (the soft factors such as values, personality, culture). See your candidate again and say and ask the right things again: In my experience, you should see a candidate two to three times. People change from the first to the second interview and this is of course not good. Have the candidate come back, maybe involve someone else or try to see each other in an “informal” environment like after work drinks to see how they behave (of course, there is informal part when you hire someone but pssst, this stays between us). Take a reference: the reference is for me, if well taken, one of the most reliable means to assess a candidacy. If your feedback after one hour interview is good, that is fine. Better talk to someone who has worked with him/ her for several years to see if you are right or not. In my career, I have interviewed approx 2.500 candidates and guess what, they all told me they were great and no candidate ever said “Frankly, I am below average”! Make the job offer the right way: Congrats! You made it! Or not? An offer badly made can kill the motivation of the candidate and I have seen candidates who felt offended and turned the job down. And the employer did not understand why. Read on how to “Make A Job Offer That NO ONE Can Turn Down”. Be fast: I do not agree with the first part in the saying “hire slowly, fire quickly”. Time always works against us in recruitment. Always, always, always. I have heard clients telling me “if he is really motivated, he will wait”. But in the meantime, there might be another job coming around the corner. Or a better one. Keep the momentum and if you have no doubt, seal the deal. As said before, trust your guts when hiring: “yes” is “yes”, “no” is “no” and “maybe” – is “no”: if you have a doubt, don’t seal it and call a good headhunter, e.g. one of our offices! Conclusion: As a hiring manager, there are essentially three things you should know: 1) is the candidate able to do the job (skill set)?, 2) does s/he want to do the job (motivation) and 3) will I get problems when I hire her/ him (conduct)? According to different sources, up to 40% of senior recruitments are a failure and will be gone within 18 months. Do your homework and be better than your competitors, not only in R&D, customer service and quality but also in talent attraction!

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5 Tips To Hire The Best People In The Market

Much later than the US (as tradition has it), most European countries have left the economic crisis. Here at Kennedy Executive Search, we see double-digit growth in our offices in Benelux, The Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy. I hear the same when I talk to executive search firms in UK or Scandinavia.

Classical mechanisms set in: Candidates, especially best talent, move faster and become pickier. Here in France, 94% of candidates on management level (“cadres”) are in the job, do not read job ads and employers feel they need us headhunters to find these candidates and to convince them to move.

Employers also feel – often painfully when their best talent goes away – that they have to be better in attracting and retaining.

Here come 5 tips to make sure your dream candidate accepts your offer and not the one of your competitor:

  1. SAY the right things: The interview process is stress, both for the candidate and the interviewer. Expectations are high and everybody wants to make a good impression. Make sure you give and get all the information that is essential to determine if the match between job/ challenge and candidate/ motivations is promising enough to encourage it to be a success. Do not oversell your company, the potential of the post or the level of responsibility. The result will be frustration during the first months. Do not undersell it neither. Prepare your notes like for any other important meeting and write down what are the key elements you want to get through to show your candiate a realistic picture of what could await her/ him here
  2. ASK the right things: Q&A in the interview have two objectives: attract the candidate (point 1 here above) AND determine if s/he is the right fit. What do you want to see in any person you lead and how can you put this into a question? What are the internal decision-making processes and behavior related to this that work here or not? Why did people fail in the past and what is the key learning on future recruitments? Frame all this into 2-3 questions around “the science” (hard facts) and 2-3 around “the art” (the soft factors such as values, personality, culture).
  3. See your candidate again and say and ask the right things again: In my experience, you should see a candidate two to three times. People change from the first to the second interview and this is of course not good. Have the candidate come back, maybe involve someone else or try to see each other in an “informal” environment like after work drinks to see how they behave (of course, there is informal part when you hire someone but pssst, this stays between us).
  4. Take a reference: the reference is for me, if well taken, one of the most reliable means to assess a candidacy. If your feedback after one hour interview is good, that is fine. Better talk to someone who has worked with him/ her for several years to see if you are right or not. In my career, I have interviewed approx 2.500 candidates and guess what, they all told me they were great and no candidate ever said “Frankly, I am below average”!
  5. Make the job offer the right way: Congrats! You made it! Or not? An offer badly made can kill the motivation of the candidate and I have seen candidates who felt offended and turned the job down. And the employer did not understand why. Read on how to “Make A Job Offer That NO ONE Can Turn Down”.
  6. Be fast: I do not agree with the first part in the saying “hire slowly, fire quickly”. Time always works against us in recruitment. Always, always, always. I have heard clients telling me “if he is really motivated, he will wait”. But in the meantime, there might be another job coming around the corner. Or a better one. Keep the momentum and if you have no doubt, seal the deal. As said before, trust your guts when hiring: “yes” is “yes”, “no” is “no” and “maybe” – is “no”: if you have a doubt, don’t seal it and call a good headhunter, e.g. one of our offices!


Conclusion:

As a hiring manager, there are essentially three things you should know: 1) is the candidate able to do the job (skill set)?, 2) does s/he want to do the job (motivation) and 3) will I get problems when I hire her/ him (conduct)?

According to different sources, up to 40% of senior recruitments are a failure and will be gone within 18 months.

Do your homework and be better than your competitors, not only in R&D, customer service and quality but also in talent attraction!

The post 5+1 Tips To Hire The Best People In The Market appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Prepare For Your Next Job Interview (Continued) http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/preparing-for-your-next-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/preparing-for-your-next-job-interview/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2015 23:01:15 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5983 This weeks’s posting comes from Dave Heilbron, Partner of Kennedy Executive The Netherlands/ Lens & Partners in Amsterdam. “Last week, my French colleague Jorg Stegemann gave an overview on how to prepare for your next job interview. This focused on presentation. I would like to focus on content. So now you definitely have been invited for your next interview. This is of course an honor but does not guarantee your next step in life. To be a winner and get your next dream job, you need to be well-prepared. This means doing homework and spend an hour or two to gather the right information. This is an investment – any change in your life requires time and focus. So what is our advice: Read the job description carefully: Whether you are going to be interviewed by your next employer or another stakeholder (like a headhunter), read the job interview and do some research. Why is this position open? Who am I going to report to? Who is my predecessor? This information can be found on LinkedIn but also tools such as Zoom Info, Chamber of Commerce or just plane Google will do the trick. Prepare your job interview using the STAR methodology: STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. Competences are mentioned in all job profiles. Examples of such competences are: creativity, results driven, entrepreneurial, etc. Write out a clear example in which you meet the competence by means of using the STAR method. The example should illustrate the STAR process in detail. Listen to the question and answer accordingly. Never use “We”: Who is we? It is all about “I” or you in the interview. We stands for that I did not meet the requirements. Do not be shy, just go for it! This is important because it will show that you are responsible for your actions and that these actions have been successful. Do research on the organization: get hold of the annual report and balance sheet. Private listed companies do not have this information on the Internet but just get this information through your local chamber of commerce. On average this should not be more than an average lunch meal so do the investment. It is all about your future. You will be surprised about the information you will get. Even if you do not understand a profit and loss account or a balance sheet, there are people around you who can explain. Furthermore information on ownership, decision makers and debt is of utmost importance. Take notes with you: as Jorg already has indicated presentation is of utmost importance. So have notes and questions ready so you can truly show that you have prepared. Clients and I are surprised that candidates do not prepare. Just as the interviewer is interested in you, ask the interviewer questions. You should be interested in your new colleagues and employer. So ask and have your questions written down so you do not forget. Especially if you did not get any input on facts and figures during your desk research – ask!   Good luck with your preparation and if you require more advice and input, just contact one of our offices in Europe. They are experts and are able to give you the best advice for your next interview.”

The post How To Prepare For Your Next Job Interview (Continued) appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Prepare For Your Next Job Interview

This weeks’s posting comes from Dave Heilbron, Partner of Kennedy Executive The Netherlands/ Lens & Partners in Amsterdam.

“Last week, my French colleague Jorg Stegemann gave an overview on how to prepare for your next job interview. This focused on presentation. I would like to focus on content.

So now you definitely have been invited for your next interview. This is of course an honor but does not guarantee your next step in life. To be a winner and get your next dream job, you need to be well-prepared. This means doing homework and spend an hour or two to gather the right information. This is an investment – any change in your life requires time and focus.

So what is our advice:

  1. Read the job description carefully: Whether you are going to be interviewed by your next employer or another stakeholder (like a headhunter), read the job interview and do some research. Why is this position open? Who am I going to report to? Who is my predecessor? This information can be found on LinkedIn but also tools such as Zoom Info, Chamber of Commerce or just plane Google will do the trick.
  2. Prepare your job interview using the STAR methodology: STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. Competences are mentioned in all job profiles. Examples of such competences are: creativity, results driven, entrepreneurial, etc. Write out a clear example in which you meet the competence by means of using the STAR method. The example should illustrate the STAR process in detail. Listen to the question and answer accordingly.
  3. Never use “We”: Who is we? It is all about “I” or you in the interview. We stands for that I did not meet the requirements. Do not be shy, just go for it! This is important because it will show that you are responsible for your actions and that these actions have been successful.
  4. Do research on the organization: get hold of the annual report and balance sheet. Private listed companies do not have this information on the Internet but just get this information through your local chamber of commerce. On average this should not be more than an average lunch meal so do the investment. It is all about your future. You will be surprised about the information you will get. Even if you do not understand a profit and loss account or a balance sheet, there are people around you who can explain. Furthermore information on ownership, decision makers and debt is of utmost importance.
  5. Take notes with you: as Jorg already has indicated presentation is of utmost importance. So have notes and questions ready so you can truly show that you have prepared. Clients and I are surprised that candidates do not prepare. Just as the interviewer is interested in you, ask the interviewer questions. You should be interested in your new colleagues and employer. So ask and have your questions written down so you do not forget. Especially if you did not get any input on facts and figures during your desk research – ask!

 

Good luck with your preparation and if you require more advice and input, just contact one of our offices in Europe. They are experts and are able to give you the best advice for your next interview.”

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Kennedy Executive Is Reporting Double Digit Growth http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-is-reporting-double-digit-growth/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-is-reporting-double-digit-growth/#respond Tue, 15 Sep 2015 14:51:57 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5968 We are growing in all markets we serve. All our offices have reported a double-digit growth over the last quarter. Amsterdam and Prague have added headcount and we are well prepared for a strong year end. Congrats to all!

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We are growing in all markets we serve. All our offices have reported a double-digit growth over the last quarter. Amsterdam and Prague have added headcount and we are well prepared for a strong year end. Congrats to all!

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7 Tips For A Winning Job Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/7-tips-for-a-winning-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/7-tips-for-a-winning-job-interview/#comments Sun, 13 Sep 2015 23:01:50 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=263 Congratulations! With the invitation to your first job interview, you have taken the first step in finding a new job. Based on the skills in your resume, your potential new Manager has decided that you should be able to do the job. Good news: it is now “only” about the personal impression you will make. Here are 7 tips for a winning job interview: You only get one chance to make a first impression: be on time, dress accordingly to your industry codes. Be likable, dynamic and positive. Show 120% of your personality and not only 80%. Apply a firm handshake (as if you hold a tennis racket) and maintain straight eye contact. Be authentic and show your utmost best. You are the only one suitable for this position! Go into the meeting with a pen and a writing pad (I am often asked “can I take notes?”). You would do that for any other important meeting with your boss too, right? Take notes during the interview (rule of thumb: write down all figures and data). Not taking notes will be interpreted as a lack of interest in 9 out of 10 cases. Read the homepage carefully and maybe print out some pages. Everyone will recognize the logo of his/ her company and notice you have come prepared. Google the firm. You should have every accessible information before going into the interview (market, history, number of employees, revenues). One of the first questions may be “what do you know about us?” and you have to be able to give a qualified response. Also investigate the people you will meet with. Do they have a profile on LinkedIn or even Facebook? Print it and put it to the other print-outs and you will impress your opposite. Your meeting will usually take 60 minutes and has 3 parts: 1) your opposite will present his/ her company, department and values, 2) You present yourself, 3) You both go into the job specifics and define the next steps. Be very attentive in the first part! You will get a lot of valuable information which you should focus on when it’s your turn. Focus on similarities as this is all about similarities (tasks and values). Confirm when you agree, listen actively (such as “that matters to me too”, “I know this from…”, “Yes, when I was at ABC, we had a similiar challenge and I did this and that”). Never say “what are my tasks” but “what would the tasks be”? Use “would” instead of “will”. You will prove your competence with the questions you ask – or your incompetence! Ask the exact tasks, the status quo of the department, the biggest challenges, what they are looking for in a candidate or simply what kind of person is successful in this company. Do NOT ask for salary, benefits, canteen or else (in almost 15 years in this industry, I have heard all of this). What is the purpose of this first meeting? To define if you want to see each other again. Don’t use all your questions today and let them ask you about salary etc. (however, DON’T ask for the canteen unless you apply as a chef…). Positive ending: give positive feedback at the end of the interview if you would like to have the job. Choose your own words and something like “Thanks for the pleasant meeting. I like what I heard and saw and I am confident I could fill the role. I am very interested in this job and would be pleased to meet you again soon. What is the next step?”   Be natural and honest. There should be no surprise on the technical side if your resume is written properly. Be yourself and the the result will be a good one – whatever it will be. Conclusion: The first step in getting a new job is taken. You should now pay attention at: The first impression: a firm hand-shake, steady eye contact, professional outfit and manners as well as a good preparation The second impression: clever questions, notes, active listening, soft skills The third impression: a conclusion with your commitment to take this job as well as your confidence to be successful   Good luck! PS: when choosing a job, match the art and the science. The science will tell you if you can do the job, if the salary is OK etc. The art will tell you if you like the culture and the people you met. And my experience is: we can discuss the science but never the art! Trust your guts as they will never cheat you: if your guts tell you “yes”, it is yes, “no” is no and “I have to think about it” – is no as well!  

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7TipsToPrepareJobInterview_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Congratulations! With the invitation to your first job interview, you have taken the first step in finding a new job.

Based on the skills in your resume, your potential new Manager has decided that you should be able to do the job. Good news: it is now “only” about the personal impression you will make.

Here are 7 tips for a winning job interview:

  1. You only get one chance to make a first impression: be on time, dress accordingly to your industry codes. Be likable, dynamic and positive. Show 120% of your personality and not only 80%. Apply a firm handshake (as if you hold a tennis racket) and maintain straight eye contact. Be authentic and show your utmost best. You are the only one suitable for this position!
  2. Go into the meeting with a pen and a writing pad (I am often asked “can I take notes?”). You would do that for any other important meeting with your boss too, right? Take notes during the interview (rule of thumb: write down all figures and data). Not taking notes will be interpreted as a lack of interest in 9 out of 10 cases.
  3. Read the homepage carefully and maybe print out some pages. Everyone will recognize the logo of his/ her company and notice you have come prepared. Google the firm. You should have every accessible information before going into the interview (market, history, number of employees, revenues). One of the first questions may be “what do you know about us?” and you have to be able to give a qualified response. Also investigate the people you will meet with. Do they have a profile on LinkedIn or even Facebook? Print it and put it to the other print-outs and you will impress your opposite.
  4. Your meeting will usually take 60 minutes and has 3 parts: 1) your opposite will present his/ her company, department and values, 2) You present yourself, 3) You both go into the job specifics and define the next steps. Be very attentive in the first part! You will get a lot of valuable information which you should focus on when it’s your turn. Focus on similarities as this is all about similarities (tasks and values). Confirm when you agree, listen actively (such as “that matters to me too”, “I know this from…”, “Yes, when I was at ABC, we had a similiar challenge and I did this and that”).
  5. Never say “what are my tasks” but “what would the tasks be”? Use “would” instead of “will”.
  6. You will prove your competence with the questions you ask – or your incompetence! Ask the exact tasks, the status quo of the department, the biggest challenges, what they are looking for in a candidate or simply what kind of person is successful in this company. Do NOT ask for salary, benefits, canteen or else (in almost 15 years in this industry, I have heard all of this). What is the purpose of this first meeting? To define if you want to see each other again. Don’t use all your questions today and let them ask you about salary etc. (however, DON’T ask for the canteen unless you apply as a chef…).
  7. Positive ending: give positive feedback at the end of the interview if you would like to have the job. Choose your own words and something like “Thanks for the pleasant meeting. I like what I heard and saw and I am confident I could fill the role. I am very interested in this job and would be pleased to meet you again soon. What is the next step?”

 

Be natural and honest. There should be no surprise on the technical side if your resume is written properly. Be yourself and the the result will be a good one – whatever it will be.

Conclusion:

The first step in getting a new job is taken. You should now pay attention at:

  • The first impression: a firm hand-shake, steady eye contact, professional outfit and manners as well as a good preparation
  • The second impression: clever questions, notes, active listening, soft skills
  • The third impression: a conclusion with your commitment to take this job as well as your confidence to be successful

 

Good luck!

PS: when choosing a job, match the art and the science. The science will tell you if you can do the job, if the salary is OK etc. The art will tell you if you like the culture and the people you met. And my experience is: we can discuss the science but never the art! Trust your guts as they will never cheat you: if your guts tell you “yes”, it is yes, “no” is no and “I have to think about it” – is no as well!

 

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Right Or Wrong: “Headhunters Have Access To Candidates You’d Never Meet” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/true-or-false-headhunters-have-access-to-candidates-youd-never-meet/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/true-or-false-headhunters-have-access-to-candidates-youd-never-meet/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 23:01:07 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=557 True. Direct search or “headhunting” is not only having someone call employees at your competitor’s with a cover story. If the headhunter has access to the hidden job market (the job YOU as a hiring manager gave us!), we also are in contact to the equivalent of the hidden job market: the “invisible man”, the hidden talent or the candidates that are not actively on the job market. And these are of course often the best, those who change job whilst still being successful. Indeed this is the best moment to change (see my posting on Forbes though it dates a little) and our aim is to talk to candidates at the right moment. Often, we meet candidates who are exclusively represented by us, do not have their CV online and do not read the job advertisements. Some of them were even not on LinkedIn. These are the candidates you cannot reach without us. Through the web or advertisements, you will only get the candidates that are actively looking and though these can be very good candidates of course, they only represent one piece of the work-force. 30% by the way statistically of the labor force wants to change in any given economy (and when the economy picks up, it is much more so take care of your best people and treat them well, especially in bad times). Our aim is to reach 100% and we can help you to talk to the best candidates in the job market for your given vacancy. Conclusion: Hooray: everything looks as we will still be in business in ten years’ time! We can bring hiring Managers together with candidates they would never meet without us. We are able to do so because we do nothing else than talking to interesting contacts in our core business, day and night, year in and year out. We can be a catalyst who connects the right people with the right companies, helps firms achieve their goals and candidates to make career.

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Headhunters Find Candidates You Would Never

True.

Direct search or “headhunting” is not only having someone call employees at your competitor’s with a cover story. If the headhunter has access to the hidden job market (the job YOU as a hiring manager gave us!), we also are in contact to the equivalent of the hidden job market: the “invisible man”, the hidden talent or the candidates that are not actively on the job market.

And these are of course often the best, those who change job whilst still being successful. Indeed this is the best moment to change (see my posting on Forbes though it dates a little) and our aim is to talk to candidates at the right moment.

Often, we meet candidates who are exclusively represented by us, do not have their CV online and do not read the job advertisements. Some of them were even not on LinkedIn.

These are the candidates you cannot reach without us.

Through the web or advertisements, you will only get the candidates that are actively looking and though these can be very good candidates of course, they only represent one piece of the work-force. 30% by the way statistically of the labor force wants to change in any given economy (and when the economy picks up, it is much more so take care of your best people and treat them well, especially in bad times). Our aim is to reach 100% and we can help you to talk to the best candidates in the job market for your given vacancy.

Conclusion:

Hooray: everything looks as we will still be in business in ten years’ time! We can bring hiring Managers together with candidates they would never meet without us. We are able to do so because we do nothing else than talking to interesting contacts in our core business, day and night, year in and year out. We can be a catalyst who connects the right people with the right companies, helps firms achieve their goals and candidates to make career.

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Same Job, Different Salaries? Our Latest Interview With BBC Capital http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/same-job-different-salaries-our-latest-interview-with-bbc-capital/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/same-job-different-salaries-our-latest-interview-with-bbc-capital/#respond Mon, 17 Aug 2015 08:37:54 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5935 It can happen to the best of us. You think that you have done a stellar job of negotiating your compensation package only to find out that your pay is substantially lower than a peer’s one. Your mistake or the hiring company’s one? Read on at BBC Capital.

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It can happen to the best of us. You think that you have done a stellar job of negotiating your compensation package only to find out that your pay is substantially lower than a peer’s one. Your mistake or the hiring company’s one? Read on at BBC Capital.

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How Many Job Interviews Are Too Many? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-many-job-interviews-are-too-many/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-many-job-interviews-are-too-many/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 23:01:39 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5922 The job interview process is probably the most crucial part to a successful hiring. And without successful people on board – from the switchboard operator, over Research & Development and accounts receivables to the CEO – no company will stay in business. Much has been written (including on this blog) on how to master the job interview, both for the hiring manager and the candidate. This is the quality part. What about the quantity, more specifically: how many job interviews are too many? I have heard everything from we hire after “1 phone interview” to “17 personal interviews”. It is difficult to give a clear answer. My experience after 15 years’ in recruitment is: There should be no less than two physical meetings between candidate and future manager. I feel it is important to meet once, go away, digest and come back to see if the first impression is consistent. I have seen people change from interview 1 to interview 2 and anything that is inconsistent, is not good in business (or child education…). If the interview process gets too long, you risk losing the momentum – and the candidate. In recruitment, time is always your enemy. Always. The argument I have heard from my clients “if s/he is really motivated, s/he will wait” falls short: your company is not the best one in the world even though we all think so (hey, by the way: Kennedy Executive REALLY is the best executive search firm in the world or at least, I think so. Call us in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris or Prague to find out). Let’s do the math: two interviews with the direct superior, one with HR, one final with senior leadership make 4 maximum (for junior to middle management positions). If you have more than 4 for middle management jobs, I invite you to question the process. I personally refuse to accept assignments in middle management if there are more than 5 interviews as chances are high we will lose the candidate on the way. Conclusion: Hiring is an art and a science. The impact of a bad hire can be costly and create internal frustration and dis-equilibrum. Too few interviews risk not to give you the information you need which are for the hiring manager essentially “is this person able to do the job, does s/he want to do the job and will s/he fit into the corporate culture?” and for the candidate “can I do the job will I learn and grow and do I want to spend time with these people?”. Too many interviews bear the risk of losing momentum and giving the impression of inefficiency. What do YOU think? How many job interviews should be run and how many are too many?  

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How Many Job Interviews Are Too Many - Kennedy Executive Career Blog

The job interview process is probably the most crucial part to a successful hiring. And without successful people on board – from the switchboard operator, over Research & Development and accounts receivables to the CEO – no company will stay in business.

Much has been written (including on this blog) on how to master the job interview, both for the hiring manager and the candidate. This is the quality part. What about the quantity, more specifically: how many job interviews are too many?

I have heard everything from we hire after “1 phone interview” to “17 personal interviews”.

It is difficult to give a clear answer. My experience after 15 years’ in recruitment is:

  • There should be no less than two physical meetings between candidate and future manager. I feel it is important to meet once, go away, digest and come back to see if the first impression is consistent. I have seen people change from interview 1 to interview 2 and anything that is inconsistent, is not good in business (or child education…).
  • If the interview process gets too long, you risk losing the momentum – and the candidate. In recruitment, time is always your enemy. Always. The argument I have heard from my clients “if s/he is really motivated, s/he will wait” falls short: your company is not the best one in the world even though we all think so (hey, by the way: Kennedy Executive REALLY is the best executive search firm in the world or at least, I think so. Call us in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris or Prague to find out). Let’s do the math: two interviews with the direct superior, one with HR, one final with senior leadership make 4 maximum (for junior to middle management positions). If you have more than 4 for middle management jobs, I invite you to question the process. I personally refuse to accept assignments in middle management if there are more than 5 interviews as chances are high we will lose the candidate on the way.


Conclusion:

Hiring is an art and a science. The impact of a bad hire can be costly and create internal frustration and dis-equilibrum. Too few interviews risk not to give you the information you need which are for the hiring manager essentially “is this person able to do the job, does s/he want to do the job and will s/he fit into the corporate culture?” and for the candidate “can I do the job will I learn and grow and do I want to spend time with these people?”. Too many interviews bear the risk of losing momentum and giving the impression of inefficiency.

What do YOU think? How many job interviews should be run and how many are too many?

 

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Six Reasons Your CV Is Not Good Enough http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/six-reasons-your-cv-is-not-good-enough/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/six-reasons-your-cv-is-not-good-enough/#respond Sun, 02 Aug 2015 23:01:36 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5901 As executive recruiter many people have asked me, if I could check their Curriculum Vitae (CV or “resume”). I get requests from top executives to specialists. Not surprising as everyone has their own opinion about structure, number of pages, design, etc. Over the last 8 years I have seen thousands of CVs and every time I am surprised with the enormous amount of differences. But what is the best CV? What should it entail? What are the top 6 reasons your CV is not good enough? First of all, it depends on who you are going to send the CV to. Sending the same Curriculum Vitae to different employers or executive recruiters could be a mistake. Every job, employer or reader is different. Before building or amending your CV, one should take into consideration the job profile: what are the competences mentioned in the job spec and did one add this into their profile? Does one fit when it comes to requirements: work experience in a specific industry, the number of years of management experience or does one have the right education. Most important though when it is about your CV: Do not copy, be honest and use common sense. Considerations: Stick 100% to the reality about your education, employment history or extracurricular activities. It is surprising to see that people do not put the right information on LinkedIn or on their CV. We at Lens & Partners/ Kennedy Executive The Netherlands do a complete background check before introducing target candidates to our clients. We have access to most alumni databases and we do check the education background. So if you just did a course at a top university but never completed your Bachelor’s or Master’s – we will find out. Furthermore be trustworthy about what you have done. No worries if you did a sabbatical for a few months – our clients like that. Just be honest! Just do not put terms in your CV. like Director or Vice President when in reality you are not. Again, we will find out – this is our job. Last but not least your LinkedIn information should match your CV. Not in length but when it comes to dates, position and education. You will be surprised about the number of CVs we receive that do not match the LinkedIn Profile. Do not put a picture of yourself on a CV. Many people argue that this is important but we tend to disagree. You already have a picture on LinkedIn and that is enough. When candidates are presented or discussed with our clients, it should be about content and not about the packaging. You will be surprised about the number of times we have discussed about how someone looks – even on Board Level. This is not relevant! After your personal information, which can be different in each country, write up to three sentences about your motivation: why are you applying or what makes you fit the job specification. Adjust this every time you send this out. A CV should be between 2 and 4 pages. If it is 5 no worries but more is not worthwhile. Nine out of ten CVs do not include vital information like ‘how did I add value to my employer?’ ‘I contributed % margin to the company’ or, ‘I increased productivity which has resulted in an increase of €/$/£ profit’. It is absolutely necessary that you add information like that. Even if you are an HR Manager or Finance Manager, you do contribute to the earnings of your organization or play an important role in the overall course or productivity. Last but not least add your extracurricular activities. It is becoming more and more relevant that you have contributed to society. All of our clients like that. Just a brief summary, not an entire story explaining your role, just position and name of the organization. Try not to be too creative. CVs are serious and they are about your professional life. If you like color or Prezi and/ or Powerpoint be very careful. Your information is also becoming data driven. Your C.V. will end up in databases and needs to be found, just like key words when you use Google. If you add design and color, or save a CV in a file other than Word or PDF, databases will have difficulty in finding your CV So being creative does not always mean you stand out.   If you require more advice on writing your CV, please contact one of our offices. We will be happy to give you some pointers.

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Six Reasons Your CV Is Not Good Enough | Kennedy Executive Career Blog

As executive recruiter many people have asked me, if I could check their Curriculum Vitae (CV or “resume”). I get requests from top executives to specialists. Not surprising as everyone has their own opinion about structure, number of pages, design, etc. Over the last 8 years I have seen thousands of CVs and every time I am surprised with the enormous amount of differences.

But what is the best CV? What should it entail? What are the top 6 reasons your CV is not good enough?

First of all, it depends on who you are going to send the CV to. Sending the same Curriculum Vitae to different employers or executive recruiters could be a mistake. Every job, employer or reader is different. Before building or amending your CV, one should take into consideration the job profile: what are the competences mentioned in the job spec and did one add this into their profile? Does one fit when it comes to requirements: work experience in a specific industry, the number of years of management experience or does one have the right education.

Most important though when it is about your CV: Do not copy, be honest and use common sense.

Considerations:

  1. Stick 100% to the reality about your education, employment history or extracurricular activities. It is surprising to see that people do not put the right information on LinkedIn or on their CV. We at Lens & Partners/ Kennedy Executive The Netherlands do a complete background check before introducing target candidates to our clients. We have access to most alumni databases and we do check the education background. So if you just did a course at a top university but never completed your Bachelor’s or Master’s – we will find out. Furthermore be trustworthy about what you have done. No worries if you did a sabbatical for a few months – our clients like that. Just be honest! Just do not put terms in your CV. like Director or Vice President when in reality you are not. Again, we will find out – this is our job. Last but not least your LinkedIn information should match your CV. Not in length but when it comes to dates, position and education. You will be surprised about the number of CVs we receive that do not match the LinkedIn Profile.
  2. Do not put a picture of yourself on a CV. Many people argue that this is important but we tend to disagree. You already have a picture on LinkedIn and that is enough. When candidates are presented or discussed with our clients, it should be about content and not about the packaging. You will be surprised about the number of times we have discussed about how someone looks – even on Board Level. This is not relevant!
  3. After your personal information, which can be different in each country, write up to three sentences about your motivation: why are you applying or what makes you fit the job specification. Adjust this every time you send this out.
  4. A CV should be between 2 and 4 pages. If it is 5 no worries but more is not worthwhile. Nine out of ten CVs do not include vital information like ‘how did I add value to my employer?’ ‘I contributed % margin to the company’ or, ‘I increased productivity which has resulted in an increase of €/$/£ profit’. It is absolutely necessary that you add information like that. Even if you are an HR Manager or Finance Manager, you do contribute to the earnings of your organization or play an important role in the overall course or productivity.
  5. Last but not least add your extracurricular activities. It is becoming more and more relevant that you have contributed to society. All of our clients like that. Just a brief summary, not an entire story explaining your role, just position and name of the organization.
  6. Try not to be too creative. CVs are serious and they are about your professional life. If you like color or Prezi and/ or Powerpoint be very careful. Your information is also becoming data driven. Your C.V. will end up in databases and needs to be found, just like key words when you use Google. If you add design and color, or save a CV in a file other than Word or PDF, databases will have difficulty in finding your CV So being creative does not always mean you stand out.

 

If you require more advice on writing your CV, please contact one of our offices. We will be happy to give you some pointers.

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How To Choose Your Next Job (Checklist/ 6 Points) http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-choose-your-next-job/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-choose-your-next-job/#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2015 23:01:57 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=2428 This is a crucial one. A bad decision can have a highly negative impact on your resume and career evolution. After all, you seek more responsibility, more money and personal growth, right? Here are the 6 questions I recommend to minimize this risk of a false move when it is about the question how to choose your next job. And I would only accept a job offer if all points are positive: The Science: What is in for you? If you are in the first 20 years of your career, it should be a real step forward in terms of responsibilities. If you have achieved the peak of your career and your career path flattens, it should however look consistent with your evolution, and stay at least the same level. Bear in mind that the next position will determine the job afterwards. You will always be judged on the current/ last job – and not on what you have done before Do you fulfil at least 70% of the technical requirements, can you do the job? 70-80% is a good value for me to a) ensure the success of the candidate and b) keep him/ her motivated for the next years. Do your risk management properly and do not accept an offer if it is a) too much or b) not enough responsibility for you Are external factors such as the time to commute OK for you? I have seen many candidates who underestimate the time spent in the car or public transport, who accepted an offer only to leave a few months later. Also the salary and other benefits are important. Are you happy with the offer? Make sure you do not have a bad feeling every time the pay-check arrives, because otherwise you will also not stay. I personally recommend not to go below the last base salary The Art: Can you imagine working with all the people you met during the interview process? Does it feel good? Do you trust them to take care of your career for the next years following? What was the atmosphere, the company culture when you arrived at the reception desk or when you observed the employees? I remember being a job-seeker years ago: it turned me down to observe the interaction of the reception desk staff and the employees and I had taken my decision (not to continue the process) even before meeting the hiring manager… How is your overall gut feeling? No compromise on this one! You should only go if you had a positive fit with your future direct superior. Do you want to spend the day with the your potential boss, more time than with your family? If the answer is no – then the answer is no! Conclusion: A false move when choosing your next job can have a disastrous impact on your career. The Leitmotiv of my job and this blog are to bring together the art and the science, align your head and your guts. And as I said in other postings, the gut feeling will tell you what to do. Yes is yes, no is no and maybe – is no…

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How To Choose Your Next Job

This is a crucial one. A bad decision can have a highly negative impact on your resume and career evolution.

After all, you seek more responsibility, more money and personal growth, right?

Here are the 6 questions I recommend to minimize this risk of a false move when it is about the question how to choose your next job. And I would only accept a job offer if all points are positive:

The Science:

  • What is in for you? If you are in the first 20 years of your career, it should be a real step forward in terms of responsibilities. If you have achieved the peak of your career and your career path flattens, it should however look consistent with your evolution, and stay at least the same level. Bear in mind that the next position will determine the job afterwards. You will always be judged on the current/ last job – and not on what you have done before
  • Do you fulfil at least 70% of the technical requirements, can you do the job? 70-80% is a good value for me to a) ensure the success of the candidate and b) keep him/ her motivated for the next years. Do your risk management properly and do not accept an offer if it is a) too much or b) not enough responsibility for you
  • Are external factors such as the time to commute OK for you? I have seen many candidates who underestimate the time spent in the car or public transport, who accepted an offer only to leave a few months later. Also the salary and other benefits are important. Are you happy with the offer? Make sure you do not have a bad feeling every time the pay-check arrives, because otherwise you will also not stay. I personally recommend not to go below the last base salary


The Art:

  • Can you imagine working with all the people you met during the interview process? Does it feel good? Do you trust them to take care of your career for the next years following?
  • What was the atmosphere, the company culture when you arrived at the reception desk or when you observed the employees? I remember being a job-seeker years ago: it turned me down to observe the interaction of the reception desk staff and the employees and I had taken my decision (not to continue the process) even before meeting the hiring manager…
  • How is your overall gut feeling? No compromise on this one! You should only go if you had a positive fit with your future direct superior. Do you want to spend the day with the your potential boss, more time than with your family? If the answer is no – then the answer is no!


Conclusion:

A false move when choosing your next job can have a disastrous impact on your career. The Leitmotiv of my job and this blog are to bring together the art and the science, align your head and your guts. And as I said in other postings, the gut feeling will tell you what to do. Yes is yes, no is no and maybe – is no…

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Is Direct Search/ Headhunting Unethical? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/is-direct-search-headhunting-unethical/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/is-direct-search-headhunting-unethical/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:01:18 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5857 I am an executive search Consultant (or “headhunter”) and when I tell people what I do for a living, I sometimes get the reply that is unethical to call employees at the work place, lure them into an interview and force them to resign if we feel they are good enough. However, in 15 years in this industry, I have never crossed anyone who told me “I am perfectly happy here, my boss motivated me daily and communicates all relative information timely, I get new tasks regularly to grow and advance but now was you are calling me – hey – I will quit my job!”. If someone quits, there is a history behind. There often have been destroyed hopes, betrayal, frustration or other strong emotions. We are human beings after all. Yet the decision to quit or to stay is intrinsic. Extrinsic factors such as the headhunter or researcher calling at the right moment can only accelerate a motivation that is already there (see also Vittorio Rizzi’s, Head of Kennedy Executive Italy, last posting on motivation). In an article for Forbes, I broke down the belonging to a company, the job life cycle, to seven phases. Where do you stand today? Motivated or frustrated? And where does your best employee stand? How do you know? Individuals only change when they have to. We change a situation when we feel that we have to, e.g. quit and join a new company. An executive search Consultant is a facilitator, a service provider. His or her role is to detect jobs and candidates and match them. There is much unethical behavior in this industry (see How To Recognize A Good Headhunter) but direct search is not part of it. It is for sure unethical to do fake headhunting calls to test the loyalty of an employee (it happens regularly that candiates are suspicious and think their current boss asked us to call), not to respect off-limits (meaning you headhunt within your own clients), to take references without the approval from the candidates with the hope to take a job order from a decision maker or to blast resumes all over the place without the consent from the candidate (retained search Consultants do not do that, contingency recruiters sometimes do). I also find it unethical not to disclose the company’s name in the first call. How should the candidate decide if s/he wants to work for this company? On the other hand, it is highly ethical to keep an economy moving by building bridges between employers and candidates who would not learn about each other otherwise, thus helping companies to get the talent on board they need to achieve their goals and candidates to advance in their career and pay the rent at the end of the month. Conclusion: If you manage teams, be the Manager you always wanted to have yourself, treat people as you want to be treated, be fair and good – and if something goes wrong and your key people leave nonetheless, call one of our offices and we will be there for you!

The post Is Direct Search/ Headhunting Unethical? appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Is Headhunting Unethical?

I am an executive search Consultant (or “headhunter”) and when I tell people what I do for a living, I sometimes get the reply that is unethical to call employees at the work place, lure them into an interview and force them to resign if we feel they are good enough.

However, in 15 years in this industry, I have never crossed anyone who told me “I am perfectly happy here, my boss motivated me daily and communicates all relative information timely, I get new tasks regularly to grow and advance but now was you are calling me – hey – I will quit my job!”.

If someone quits, there is a history behind. There often have been destroyed hopes, betrayal, frustration or other strong emotions. We are human beings after all. Yet the decision to quit or to stay is intrinsic. Extrinsic factors such as the headhunter or researcher calling at the right moment can only accelerate a motivation that is already there (see also Vittorio Rizzi’s, Head of Kennedy Executive Italy, last posting on motivation). In an article for Forbes, I broke down the belonging to a company, the job life cycle, to seven phases. Where do you stand today? Motivated or frustrated? And where does your best employee stand? How do you know?

Individuals only change when they have to. We change a situation when we feel that we have to, e.g. quit and join a new company. An executive search Consultant is a facilitator, a service provider. His or her role is to detect jobs and candidates and match them.

There is much unethical behavior in this industry (see How To Recognize A Good Headhunter) but direct search is not part of it. It is for sure unethical to do fake headhunting calls to test the loyalty of an employee (it happens regularly that candiates are suspicious and think their current boss asked us to call), not to respect off-limits (meaning you headhunt within your own clients), to take references without the approval from the candidates with the hope to take a job order from a decision maker or to blast resumes all over the place without the consent from the candidate (retained search Consultants do not do that, contingency recruiters sometimes do). I also find it unethical not to disclose the company’s name in the first call. How should the candidate decide if s/he wants to work for this company?

On the other hand, it is highly ethical to keep an economy moving by building bridges between employers and candidates who would not learn about each other otherwise, thus helping companies to get the talent on board they need to achieve their goals and candidates to advance in their career and pay the rent at the end of the month.

Conclusion:

If you manage teams, be the Manager you always wanted to have yourself, treat people as you want to be treated, be fair and good – and if something goes wrong and your key people leave nonetheless, call one of our offices and we will be there for you!

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Hartelijk welkom, Kennedy Exec The Netherlands! http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/hartelijk-welkom-kennedy-exec-the-netherlands/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/hartelijk-welkom-kennedy-exec-the-netherlands/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:05:47 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5840 With Lens & Partners in Amsterdam under the leadership of Carl Lens and Dave Heilbron joining Kennedy Executive, we are now able to locally serve the Benelux market, a region we had no presence in yet. More information under “Offices”.

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With Lens & Partners in Amsterdam under the leadership of Carl Lens and Dave Heilbron joining Kennedy Executive, we are now able to locally serve the Benelux market, a region we had no presence in yet. More information under “Offices”.

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Five Reasons Recruiters Treat Candidates Badly http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/five-reasons-recruiters-treat-you-badly/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/five-reasons-recruiters-treat-you-badly/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2015 23:01:04 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5817 Every candidate has a story to tell of a recruiter who treated him/ her badly. Calls are not returned, emails never responded and – my favorite – nothing happens after “I will call you on Friday”. What are the top 5 reasons recruiters treat candidates badly? First of all, you should understand that not the candidate but the hiring company is our primary client. As a candidate, you do not pay for the service. The hiring company receives an invoice from us for the service of finding the right candidate, they get a reporting and we have in a way the obligation to deliver a service. Thus, the fronts are clear and as a candidate, you unfortunately come after the “client” in the eyes of many recruiters (psst: clients do not only become candidates but candidates also become clients. But do not tell anyone, especially not our competitors!) Depending on the segment and the positioning (reading for the different models that exist in the market: Should You Pay A Retainer To An Executive Recruiter?), recruiters interview up to 10 candidates per week, 40 per month. This is far too much to secure a proper follow-up and service towards every person met. In many cases, there is no job behind the invitation to the interview. In fact, there is nothing wrong with telling a candidate “please note before you come that I do not have a job for you but that I do all I can to get one tomorrow. OK for you?” The problem is that some recruiters don’t tell you the truth (“Oh sorry, the job has just been filled this morning!”). Surprise: frustration on the candidate’s side! This job is about sales first of all. “Consulting”, “Recruitment” or “Human Ressources” come only second once we have found a client who says “yes, I will pay you a fee if I hire your candidate”. If you happen to meet a Consultant with a sales focus only, you will find all prejudices about salesmen to be right… This industry has no barriers of entry or exit. All you need is a phone, a computer and a business card and off you go. Anyone can call himself “executive search” or “recruitment” Consultant. This is why many Consultants do not have the qualification to properly understand the function they are recruiting for. Business ethics – our industry has them just like any other one – are not respected by everyone neither. In my opinion there is a certain miscommunication on both sides: Candidates blame us for not following up. Yet they are not any better! Most candidates I meet in an interview will send a thank you email but very few go beyond a second follow-up. Building rapport and trust cannot be done in a one hour meeting. It must be built over time. And this comes from both sides. Conclusion: Not all recruiters are bad. After all, recruitment is one of the most ethical industries in the world: if done right, we help companies achieve their goals by finding the talent they miss and candidates to grow professionally and pay the rent. Choose us wisely. If you do, we can be a catalyst for your career and an Ambassador who will fight for you!

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Five Reasons Recruiters Treat Candidates Badly

Every candidate has a story to tell of a recruiter who treated him/ her badly. Calls are not returned, emails never responded and – my favorite – nothing happens after “I will call you on Friday”.

What are the top 5 reasons recruiters treat candidates badly?

  1. First of all, you should understand that not the candidate but the hiring company is our primary client. As a candidate, you do not pay for the service. The hiring company receives an invoice from us for the service of finding the right candidate, they get a reporting and we have in a way the obligation to deliver a service. Thus, the fronts are clear and as a candidate, you unfortunately come after the “client” in the eyes of many recruiters (psst: clients do not only become candidates but candidates also become clients. But do not tell anyone, especially not our competitors!)
  2. Depending on the segment and the positioning (reading for the different models that exist in the market: Should You Pay A Retainer To An Executive Recruiter?), recruiters interview up to 10 candidates per week, 40 per month. This is far too much to secure a proper follow-up and service towards every person met. In many cases, there is no job behind the invitation to the interview. In fact, there is nothing wrong with telling a candidate “please note before you come that I do not have a job for you but that I do all I can to get one tomorrow. OK for you?” The problem is that some recruiters don’t tell you the truth (“Oh sorry, the job has just been filled this morning!”). Surprise: frustration on the candidate’s side!
  3. This job is about sales first of all. “Consulting”, “Recruitment” or “Human Ressources” come only second once we have found a client who says “yes, I will pay you a fee if I hire your candidate”. If you happen to meet a Consultant with a sales focus only, you will find all prejudices about salesmen to be right…
  4. This industry has no barriers of entry or exit. All you need is a phone, a computer and a business card and off you go. Anyone can call himself “executive search” or “recruitment” Consultant. This is why many Consultants do not have the qualification to properly understand the function they are recruiting for. Business ethics – our industry has them just like any other one – are not respected by everyone neither.
  5. In my opinion there is a certain miscommunication on both sides: Candidates blame us for not following up. Yet they are not any better! Most candidates I meet in an interview will send a thank you email but very few go beyond a second follow-up. Building rapport and trust cannot be done in a one hour meeting. It must be built over time. And this comes from both sides.


Conclusion:

Not all recruiters are bad. After all, recruitment is one of the most ethical industries in the world: if done right, we help companies achieve their goals by finding the talent they miss and candidates to grow professionally and pay the rent. Choose us wisely. If you do, we can be a catalyst for your career and an Ambassador who will fight for you!

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“One Job Offer Too Many?” Our Interview With BBC Capital http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-most-recent-interview-with-bbc-capital/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-most-recent-interview-with-bbc-capital/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2015 13:53:17 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5792 What should you do if you have signed a work contract and find “something better”? Difficult question that has no perfect answer. We have responded in our latest interview with BBC Capital.

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What should you do if you have signed a work contract and find “something better”? Difficult question that has no perfect answer. We have responded in our latest interview with BBC Capital.

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Welcome Bernd Schantz, Partner in Paris http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-bernd-schantz-partner-in-paris/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-bernd-schantz-partner-in-paris/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2015 10:07:16 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5835 A warm welcome to Bernd Schantz in the Practice Industrial/ Automotive. Bernd has been working at PSA as CEO for Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Russia, was International Operations Director and HR Director for senior leadership functions. See “about” for his full bio.

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A warm welcome to Bernd Schantz in the Practice Industrial/ Automotive. Bernd has been working at PSA as CEO for Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Russia, was International Operations Director and HR Director for senior leadership functions. See “about” for his full bio.

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Work Motivation Revisited: Theory And 7 Lessons Learned http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/work-motivation-revisited-theory-and-7-lessons-learned/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/work-motivation-revisited-theory-and-7-lessons-learned/#respond Sun, 31 May 2015 23:01:42 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5773 This week’s post comes from Vittorio Rizzi, Managing Partner of VIR HR in Milan and our exclusive Partner for Kennedy Executive Italy: We all have read Maslow, Herzberg and McCleland in our studies. And we agree that the most valuable asset we have are our people. But do we REALLY use the learnings when managing our staff? A short overview: The term “motivation”, which originates from “motus”, refers – already from its etymology – to the set of psychological processes underlying the voluntary actions directed to a goal. The motivation may also be defined as “the set of factors that drive the behavior of an individual to a specific purpose”, which is, in our case, work. What are the motivational “factors” that lead an individual to the direction of the work in an organization? The psychological theory and also our direct experience make it immediately obvious that there are two different types of work motivation factors: intrinsic factors and extrinsic ones. The first ones are related to the work itself. The intrinsic factors are connected to the mere work content, the personal challenge to achieve it, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that we feel at the end of a ask well done, when we achieve a goal. The extrinsic factors refer to everything that is “around” the job, external to it; they are elements related to rewards, environment, career, financial recognition and job status which are connected to the job. The intrinsic factors are strong, in a sense, determinant; yet, of course, they are less influenced from the outside, less changeable, as they are defined by the work content. Even on them is indirectly possible to act. In which way? Basically giving more sense – both individually and collectively – to the job. From this “surplus” of meaning is realistic to expect a “surplus” of motivation. Even the action of the second type of factors – the extrinsic ones – is pretty obvious but it requires a further reflection. Take for example the remuneration being the basis of the exchange between performance and fees in the employment relationship. Does pay have a motivational effect on work? Research has shown that the positive effects of money had no effect on people’s happiness and moods after a level of $ 75,000.00 was attained. Obviously, a remuneration perceived as inadequate will be source of dissatisfaction and will generate behaviors of removal, search for other occupations and work situations. In my opinion, two authors gave the most significant contribution to the study of motivation. One, well-known, is Maslow with his equally popular Theory of Hierarchy of Needs. The other author is Herzberg. According to Maslow, human needs can be divided into five broad categories, depending on their distance from the most basic needs of the individuals: 1) physiological needs, 2) safety needs, 3) needs of belonging and love, 4) needs of recognition or esteem, 5) needs of self-fulfilment. In Maslow’s theory it is really convincing the consideration that the higher needs are not normally considered important by an individual if the needs of lower order have not been met. Everyday’s life confirms Maslow’s theoretical postulate. For example: we can accept a job that doesn’t fulfill us if the alternative is to raise doubts about the meeting of the most basic primary needs. Herzberg, formulating the Theory of Hygiene and Motivational Factors, provided another important contribution to the understanding of these dynamics. In Herzberg’s opinion there are factors so-called “hygienic” that are not motivating but able to generate dissatisfaction and unhappiness when not satisfied. Among these factors there are remuneration, work conditions, supervising methods implemented by the leaders, safety at and of work, company policies. Then there are factors that can motivate an individual to work – the “motivational” – ones): work content, recognition, and assignation of responsibility, career opportunities, learning opportunities and growth in the role. Is there a “recipe” for work motivation? Unfortunately not! In fact, what has been said above is linked inseparably – as highlighted by McClelland – to the different personalities and to the different importance given by each person to the four key elements at the base of the different motivational structures of the individuals: the motivation to power, to affiliation, to success, to competence. Conclusion: No, there is no “recipe” for motivation which is valid for everyone and for every situation. However, it it is possible to draw some good practices and useful guidelines for our work to become better Managers ourselves and have more committed staff: The salary level has no motivational influence. Increasing the pay to motivate people is useless. This way of thinking is taken for granted but in practice, it is often ignored. On the other hand, it can be useful recognise to the employee money rewards linked to given objectives. They should be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, scheduled by Time). Where the use of intrinsic motivation is not possible (not for jobs like doctor, lawyer or designer) we need to enrich the meaning of the work. Usually the best thing to do is to give business objectives that are identical with the employees objectives. In many cases, especially in managerial activities, it can be useful to let the manager’s ideas drive the work, his motivation can be at the service of the business. We need to take into consideration the contribution of what McClelland calls “competence motivation”: precious people, central in the organization. We need to pay attention to the general mood and take immediate actions if it deteriorates. A high level of dissatisfaction can be lethal for a business. And our job as Managers is to keep our business alive, grow it and take the people on board along, right?  

The post Work Motivation Revisited: Theory And 7 Lessons Learned appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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WorkMotivationRevisited_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

This week’s post comes from Vittorio Rizzi, Managing Partner of VIR HR in Milan and our exclusive Partner for Kennedy Executive Italy:

We all have read Maslow, Herzberg and McCleland in our studies. And we agree that the most valuable asset we have are our people. But do we REALLY use the learnings when managing our staff?

A short overview:

The term “motivation”, which originates from “motus”, refers – already from its etymology – to the set of psychological processes underlying the voluntary actions directed to a goal. The motivation may also be defined as “the set of factors that drive the behavior of an individual to a specific purpose”, which is, in our case, work.

What are the motivational “factors” that lead an individual to the direction of the work in an organization?

The psychological theory and also our direct experience make it immediately obvious that there are two different types of work motivation factors: intrinsic factors and extrinsic ones.

The first ones are related to the work itself. The intrinsic factors are connected to the mere work content, the personal challenge to achieve it, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that we feel at the end of a ask well done, when we achieve a goal.

The extrinsic factors refer to everything that is “around” the job, external to it; they are elements related to rewards, environment, career, financial recognition and job status which are connected to the job.

The intrinsic factors are strong, in a sense, determinant; yet, of course, they are less influenced from the outside, less changeable, as they are defined by the work content. Even on them is indirectly possible to act. In which way? Basically giving more sense – both individually and collectively – to the job. From this “surplus” of meaning is realistic to expect a “surplus” of motivation.

Even the action of the second type of factors – the extrinsic ones – is pretty obvious but it requires a further reflection.

Take for example the remuneration being the basis of the exchange between performance and fees in the employment relationship. Does pay have a motivational effect on work? Research has shown that the positive effects of money had no effect on people’s happiness and moods after a level of $ 75,000.00 was attained. Obviously, a remuneration perceived as inadequate will be source of dissatisfaction and will generate behaviors of removal, search for other occupations and work situations.

In my opinion, two authors gave the most significant contribution to the study of motivation. One, well-known, is Maslow with his equally popular Theory of Hierarchy of Needs. The other author is Herzberg.

According to Maslow, human needs can be divided into five broad categories, depending on their distance from the most basic needs of the individuals: 1) physiological needs, 2) safety needs, 3) needs of belonging and love, 4) needs of recognition or esteem, 5) needs of self-fulfilment.

In Maslow’s theory it is really convincing the consideration that the higher needs are not normally considered important by an individual if the needs of lower order have not been met.

Everyday’s life confirms Maslow’s theoretical postulate. For example: we can accept a job that doesn’t fulfill us if the alternative is to raise doubts about the meeting of the most basic primary needs.

Herzberg, formulating the Theory of Hygiene and Motivational Factors, provided another important contribution to the understanding of these dynamics.

In Herzberg’s opinion there are factors so-called “hygienic” that are not motivating but able to generate dissatisfaction and unhappiness when not satisfied. Among these factors there are remuneration, work conditions, supervising methods implemented by the leaders, safety at and of work, company policies. Then there are factors that can motivate an individual to work – the “motivational” – ones): work content, recognition, and assignation of responsibility, career opportunities, learning opportunities and growth in the role.

Is there a “recipe” for work motivation? Unfortunately not!

In fact, what has been said above is linked inseparably – as highlighted by McClelland – to the different personalities and to the different importance given by each person to the four key elements at the base of the different motivational structures of the individuals: the motivation to power, to affiliation, to success, to competence.

Conclusion:

No, there is no “recipe” for motivation which is valid for everyone and for every situation. However, it it is possible to draw some good practices and useful guidelines for our work to become better Managers ourselves and have more committed staff:

  1. The salary level has no motivational influence. Increasing the pay to motivate people is useless. This way of thinking is taken for granted but in practice, it is often ignored.
  2. On the other hand, it can be useful recognise to the employee money rewards linked to given objectives. They should be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, scheduled by Time).
  3. Where the use of intrinsic motivation is not possible (not for jobs like doctor, lawyer or designer) we need to enrich the meaning of the work.
  4. Usually the best thing to do is to give business objectives that are identical with the employees objectives.
  5. In many cases, especially in managerial activities, it can be useful to let the manager’s ideas drive the work, his motivation can be at the service of the business.
  6. We need to take into consideration the contribution of what McClelland calls “competence motivation”: precious people, central in the organization.
  7. We need to pay attention to the general mood and take immediate actions if it deteriorates. A high level of dissatisfaction can be lethal for a business. And our job as Managers is to keep our business alive, grow it and take the people on board along, right?

 

The post Work Motivation Revisited: Theory And 7 Lessons Learned appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Tell A Candidate They Did Not Get The Job http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-tell-a-candidate-they-did-not-get-the-job/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-tell-a-candidate-they-did-not-get-the-job/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 23:01:37 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5732 Congratulations! You have found the right candidate (male/ female; “he” as of now to make it easier to read) and he has accepted your offer. Your business critical position is filled, you can relax and your overtime will stop. One unsettling thing on your to do list remains: How to tell the other candidate (s) they did not get the job? After all, you have created hopes. You have shown a potential career path to that candidate. And now, you will create disappointment. Rejection hurts. We do not want to be rejected and we tend to avoid to openly reject a fellow human being. But then, there is nothing you can do against it. This is as normal as it can be when you are hiring. At this point of time, you have in my opinion only one responsibility and duty towards your candidate: Tell him he did not make it the right way. Pretty much the same rules apply for telling your candidate he did not make it as for crisis communication: “Tell it fast, tell the truth and tell it in person”. I recommend the respect these three rules to tell a candidate in style that they did not get the job and be remembered as a good, respectful and professional potential employer and boss: Tell it fast: Often you know after 5 minutes that you will not hire this candidate, right? Why do you then say after one hour “thanks, we will come back to you” – and then don’t do it for another two weeks? For “respect that the candidate took the time to come here for the job interview”? I think it is more respectful to tell it as fast as you can, potentially even right after the interview and otherwise as fast as possible. Another point on timing: There are different points of view on the question if you should tell a candidate they did not get the job before the weekend or not. My answer does not change: do it as fast as you can. What should you wait for? And one more reason in this specific case is that I do not want to go into the weekend myself before having done it because I will feel better if my TO DOs are done! Tell the truth: Why do you write “we have found someone who is an even better fit with the job”? This is a very weak and cowardly explanation in my opinion. What is the truth? Basically, there are two possible reasons why you will not hire that candidate: a) you think he won’t be able to do the job, there is a hiring freeze or else (“The Science”) or b) you do not have the feeling this person will fit into the team/ you cannot imagine working with him/ you are just not convinced (“The Art”). I think, both explanations are valid! If it is for technical reasons or for “The Science”, you might say “Thanks, Mary, for having come. I enjoyed the interview and I think you are a great professional. However, I am not sure we would do you a favor with this job. It demands more experience/ other experience/ A, B or C which I think you have less. I am not sure if we would be able to give you the environment you need to be successful. For this reason, I prefer not to go further. I am truly sorry for that as I was looking as much forward to this interview as you. But I think you deserve a straight answer instead of blabla or a standard email in two weeks.” If it is for “The Art” that your candidate will not get hired, you might say “Thanks, Tom, for having come. I am not sure we would be the right fit for you. It is just a feeling. But my experience tells me that we should not to go further. Don’t see this as a judgment of your personality or competencies. I am truly sorry for that as I was looking as much forward to this interview as you. But I think you deserve a straight answer instead of blabla or a standard email in two weeks.” Tell it in person: Don’t send an email, your candidate has deserved a call. If you have to leave a message, say why you would like to be called back (“I wanted to give you feedback on the interview”). If you cannot reach the candidate several times, I personally finally leave a message saying “sorry to tell you this by voice message but I think you deserve an answer: we will not go further with your candidacy. Please call me back so I can explain. I will give you my personal mobile number and I am there for you to discuss.” Conclusion: Remember when you have been a candidate yourself and were running for a job you really wanted but finally did not get? Do you remember waiting? Thinking of that job the morning and the evening? When opening your inbox or when the phone rang? Yes, it is stressful to tell a candidate they did not get the job. But someone has to do it and if it is not you, who then? Peter Drucker said “Successful leaders don’t ask ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’”Follow this advice, get it done as fast and in the most respectful and stylish way possible and show once more you are a Manager above the average.

The post How To Tell A Candidate They Did Not Get The Job appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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HowToTellAcandidateTheyWillNotGetHired_KennedyExecutiveCareerAdvice

Congratulations! You have found the right candidate (male/ female; “he” as of now to make it easier to read) and he has accepted your offer. Your business critical position is filled, you can relax and your overtime will stop.

One unsettling thing on your to do list remains: How to tell the other candidate (s) they did not get the job? After all, you have created hopes. You have shown a potential career path to that candidate. And now, you will create disappointment.

Rejection hurts. We do not want to be rejected and we tend to avoid to openly reject a fellow human being.

But then, there is nothing you can do against it. This is as normal as it can be when you are hiring.

At this point of time, you have in my opinion only one responsibility and duty towards your candidate:

Tell him he did not make it the right way.

Pretty much the same rules apply for telling your candidate he did not make it as for crisis communication: “Tell it fast, tell the truth and tell it in person”. I recommend the respect these three rules to tell a candidate in style that they did not get the job and be remembered as a good, respectful and professional potential employer and boss:

  1. Tell it fast: Often you know after 5 minutes that you will not hire this candidate, right? Why do you then say after one hour “thanks, we will come back to you” – and then don’t do it for another two weeks? For “respect that the candidate took the time to come here for the job interview”? I think it is more respectful to tell it as fast as you can, potentially even right after the interview and otherwise as fast as possible. Another point on timing: There are different points of view on the question if you should tell a candidate they did not get the job before the weekend or not. My answer does not change: do it as fast as you can. What should you wait for? And one more reason in this specific case is that I do not want to go into the weekend myself before having done it because I will feel better if my TO DOs are done!
  2. Tell the truth: Why do you write “we have found someone who is an even better fit with the job”? This is a very weak and cowardly explanation in my opinion. What is the truth? Basically, there are two possible reasons why you will not hire that candidate: a) you think he won’t be able to do the job, there is a hiring freeze or else (“The Science”) or b) you do not have the feeling this person will fit into the team/ you cannot imagine working with him/ you are just not convinced (“The Art”). I think, both explanations are valid! If it is for technical reasons or for “The Science”, you might say “Thanks, Mary, for having come. I enjoyed the interview and I think you are a great professional. However, I am not sure we would do you a favor with this job. It demands more experience/ other experience/ A, B or C which I think you have less. I am not sure if we would be able to give you the environment you need to be successful. For this reason, I prefer not to go further. I am truly sorry for that as I was looking as much forward to this interview as you. But I think you deserve a straight answer instead of blabla or a standard email in two weeks.” If it is for “The Art” that your candidate will not get hired, you might say “Thanks, Tom, for having come. I am not sure we would be the right fit for you. It is just a feeling. But my experience tells me that we should not to go further. Don’t see this as a judgment of your personality or competencies. I am truly sorry for that as I was looking as much forward to this interview as you. But I think you deserve a straight answer instead of blabla or a standard email in two weeks.”
  3. Tell it in person: Don’t send an email, your candidate has deserved a call. If you have to leave a message, say why you would like to be called back (“I wanted to give you feedback on the interview”). If you cannot reach the candidate several times, I personally finally leave a message saying “sorry to tell you this by voice message but I think you deserve an answer: we will not go further with your candidacy. Please call me back so I can explain. I will give you my personal mobile number and I am there for you to discuss.”


Conclusion:

Remember when you have been a candidate yourself and were running for a job you really wanted but finally did not get? Do you remember waiting? Thinking of that job the morning and the evening? When opening your inbox or when the phone rang?

Yes, it is stressful to tell a candidate they did not get the job. But someone has to do it and if it is not you, who then?

Peter Drucker said “Successful leaders don’t ask ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’”Follow this advice, get it done as fast and in the most respectful and stylish way possible and show once more you are a Manager above the average.

The post How To Tell A Candidate They Did Not Get The Job appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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The 7 phases of the job life cycle. Which one are you in? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-7-phases-of-the-job-life-cycle/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-7-phases-of-the-job-life-cycle/#respond Sun, 03 May 2015 23:01:18 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=292 Everything has a life cycle, also your current job. It is unlikely that you will still be in the same company 5 years from now. In addition to that, take care of your resume: you have to dynamize your career and changes are necessary to stay competitive. Recruiters may interpret it as lack of flexibility if you have not changed in a longer time. Yet like when buying or selling stocks, it is very hard to define the right moment. So when should you leave? Let’s have a look at the seven phases of the job lifecycle: The first weeks in the new company. You have high expectations and feel highly energised. It is so much better here than with your previous employer! After 3-10 weeks, first frustrations will come. Mmmhh, not everything is better here, actually some things were even better where you come from… Survive phase 2 and during your first year, you will constantly increase your performance and become a proven team member In year 2, you will get solid results. By now, you have understood almost all aspects of your job and you perform without much guidance or hesitation As of year 3, you will stabilize at a high level. You are able to manage all dimensions of your job, have created a reputation as well as a solid internal and external network. You have achieved the peak of your career in this company, your personal top performance. This phase can last several years though research shows that it is mostly not more than 5 years At one point of time, your motivation will decrease, you will get first doubts about your firm’s strategy or you disagree more and more with your boss. You are not as committed as you used to be. You begin thinking about a job change The end is near: You feel deeply demotivated, you are tired when getting up in the morning. Maybe you talk bad about your boss or with customers or suppliers. Small things stress you. People notice something is wrong with you. Your demotivation has a negative impact on your private life and your health. You feel worn out.   When you have reached phase 6, it is over: your career will be going downhill from now on. You should recover or leave fast. Most people leave their company in phase 6 or 7 when their results are declining. This is not the best moment to leave: Most likely you want to look back at your job as a success and be remembered as a top performer or an admired manager. Staying on board through phase 6 will have a negative impact on your behavior and results sooner or later. You are in a downward spiral. And this is a lose-lose situation both for you and your employer. The best moment to leave is therefore phase 5 when you are at the summit of your performance. Conclusion: I am a headhunter. So don’t tell me when I call you “Thanks, it is going pretty well for me at the moment so I am not interested! Call me back in one year”. In one year, you are in phase 6 or 7 and your chances to make a real step forward are lower than today!

The post The 7 phases of the job life cycle. Which one are you in? appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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JobLifeCycle_KennedyExecutive_CareerAdvice

Everything has a life cycle, also your current job. It is unlikely that you will still be in the same company 5 years from now. In addition to that, take care of your resume: you have to dynamize your career and changes are necessary to stay competitive. Recruiters may interpret it as lack of flexibility if you have not changed in a longer time.

Yet like when buying or selling stocks, it is very hard to define the right moment. So when should you leave?

Let’s have a look at the seven phases of the job lifecycle:

  1. The first weeks in the new company. You have high expectations and feel highly energised. It is so much better here than with your previous employer!
  2. After 3-10 weeks, first frustrations will come. Mmmhh, not everything is better here, actually some things were even better where you come from…
  3. Survive phase 2 and during your first year, you will constantly increase your performance and become a proven team member
  4. In year 2, you will get solid results. By now, you have understood almost all aspects of your job and you perform without much guidance or hesitation
  5. As of year 3, you will stabilize at a high level. You are able to manage all dimensions of your job, have created a reputation as well as a solid internal and external network. You have achieved the peak of your career in this company, your personal top performance. This phase can last several years though research shows that it is mostly not more than 5 years
  6. At one point of time, your motivation will decrease, you will get first doubts about your firm’s strategy or you disagree more and more with your boss. You are not as committed as you used to be. You begin thinking about a job change
  7. The end is near: You feel deeply demotivated, you are tired when getting up in the morning. Maybe you talk bad about your boss or with customers or suppliers. Small things stress you. People notice something is wrong with you. Your demotivation has a negative impact on your private life and your health. You feel worn out.

 

When you have reached phase 6, it is over: your career will be going downhill from now on. You should recover or leave fast.

Most people leave their company in phase 6 or 7 when their results are declining. This is not the best moment to leave: Most likely you want to look back at your job as a success and be remembered as a top performer or an admired manager. Staying on board through phase 6 will have a negative impact on your behavior and results sooner or later. You are in a downward spiral. And this is a lose-lose situation both for you and your employer.

The best moment to leave is therefore phase 5 when you are at the summit of your performance.

Conclusion:

I am a headhunter. So don’t tell me when I call you “Thanks, it is going pretty well for me at the moment so I am not interested! Call me back in one year”. In one year, you are in phase 6 or 7 and your chances to make a real step forward are lower than today!

The post The 7 phases of the job life cycle. Which one are you in? appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Say “Buongiorno” To Kennedy Exec Italy! http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/buongiorno-kennedy-executive-italy/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/buongiorno-kennedy-executive-italy/#respond Fri, 01 May 2015 07:31:03 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5644 Welcome to Vittorio Rizzi and his team at VIR HR Human Resources S.r.l., exclusive Partner of Kennedy Executive for Italy. Italy is one of the largest and strongest economies in South Europe with Milan being its financial center. More under “Offices”.

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Welcome to Vittorio Rizzi and his team at VIR HR Human Resources S.r.l., exclusive Partner of Kennedy Executive for Italy. Italy is one of the largest and strongest economies in South Europe with Milan being its financial center. More under “Offices”.

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The 13 Best Ways To Find A New Job http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-13-ways-to-find-a-new-job/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-13-ways-to-find-a-new-job/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:01:25 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5508 Being on job search is a topic I know very well: after all, I am searching jobs since 2001. And since, I have found 350 and whenever I have found one, I gave it away: I am a headhunter. When I ask job seekers what they do to find a new job, I mostly hear “I reply to job ads”. This is not good enough and on top of that, it is the least likely method that works! Here come the 13 best ways to find a job that are most likely to work: Reply to job ads: Why not. Just be aware that statistics show that the probability to find a job via job ad are 5%. My own experience is that 95% of the applications received on a job ad do not match the KO criteria. No, I do not say that you should NOT apply to job ads. But only apply when you match minimum 80% of the criteria… Network: The probability that your next job is in your existing network is 80%. Everybody knows somebody. Make sure people around know that you are looking for a new opportunity and tell them what you stand for. Train your elevator pitch to be ready to start communicating in a clear, memorable and convincing way. Friends and family: There are jobs for your in your private network too. The same tips as for the point before apply. Your aim is to change the perspective from “cousin Tom. Nice guy but no clue what exactly he is doing for a living. Never asked neither” to “cousin Tom. Sales guy mainly in services. He asked me to give one name of potential new employer. One name is not much and he is a nice guy”. Executive Search: There is no better way than going through an Executive Search firm when you are a client and looking for new talent (at least for the Executive Search firm, I mean). Thus, this is a valid means to find a new job also when you are a candidate. However, statistics show that chances to find your next job via a headhunter are only 15%. It is thus even more important to do it right and to understand how to use a headhunter. Business Clubs: Networking comes in different flavors. To make it successful, it has to be based on things in common. Business clubs are great places to meet people that think and act alike or have other things in common with you. Find the right business club for you and use the power of networking and mutual help and small, natural favors. Conferences: How likely is it to meet your next boss on a industry or function specific conference? Very likely! “Ducks fly with ducks”. Make sure to regularly visit conferences and discussion forums. If possible, ask a question when the Q&A session arrives to be sure to be identified by your future boss or “ambassadors” (=the people who know him/ her). Job fairs: Maybe yes, maybe no. See my interview with BBC for what I feel is the right answer. Unsolicited application via email: Statistics say that 80% of all emails will never be read. One tip to increase the chances that yours will: have a perfect reference line that is a summary of the content of your email (“Application” versus “CIO, trilingual, 20 years of experience in real estate and high tech looking for a new challenge”). Job boards: Find out the right job board for your industry and your career level. You may look for jobs but maybe more importantly, post your CV here so employers and recruiters can find you. Make sure to update it regularly (change a word or so) so you are on top of the list and not on page 11 where nobody goes. Regarding the headline/ title of your profile, the same as for the point “email” is valid: don’t name it “CFO” but rather “CFO, MBA, bilingual, 17 years of experience in Telecom and services”. The title has to attract: if the reader likes it, s/he will read the rest LinkedIn: If we have seen in the previous point that 80% of your efforts will fail (=emails that will never be openend), the ratio is here the other way round: 80% of all invitations via LinkedIn will be accepted. But then the real work begins! Touch base, chase, follow up. Another great way are forum discussions and the publishing tool. The world has become more virtual but even in 2015, at one point of time humans have to meet personally. LinkedIn itself will not get you a new job but it is a one of the most powerful vehicles you have today to get into the interview seat. Guest posts, publications or a blog: In order to find a job or to get headhunted, you must be a) visible and b) meaningful. A good way to step out of the shade is to talk about what you know best: your professional USP, your differentiators, the things that make you special. The aim of course is that your future boss or a headhunter read it and think “Great insights. I should contact this person”. Alumni: As we said, it is easy to make a connection with people who have something in common with us. And if you ask for a favor (“who in your company is responsable for XYZ?”), we are more likely to grant this favor if there is a common base. Contact the alumni for your market, attend the meetings and grow your network and you have found a solid approach to get in touch with decision makers. Outplacement: Outplacement will give you the techniques to analyze a job market in a strategic way. And this is very close to how we headhunters proceed (which is by the way why at Kennedy Executive, some of our offices also offer outplacement in the consulting offer). How many potential bosses do you have in your home market? […]

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13WaysToFindNewJob_KennedyExecutive

Being on job search is a topic I know very well: after all, I am searching jobs since 2001. And since, I have found 350 and whenever I have found one, I gave it away: I am a headhunter.

When I ask job seekers what they do to find a new job, I mostly hear “I reply to job ads”. This is not good enough and on top of that, it is the least likely method that works!

Here come the 13 best ways to find a job that are most likely to work:

  1. Reply to job ads: Why not. Just be aware that statistics show that the probability to find a job via job ad are 5%. My own experience is that 95% of the applications received on a job ad do not match the KO criteria. No, I do not say that you should NOT apply to job ads. But only apply when you match minimum 80% of the criteria…
  2. Network: The probability that your next job is in your existing network is 80%. Everybody knows somebody. Make sure people around know that you are looking for a new opportunity and tell them what you stand for. Train your elevator pitch to be ready to start communicating in a clear, memorable and convincing way.
  3. Friends and family: There are jobs for your in your private network too. The same tips as for the point before apply. Your aim is to change the perspective from “cousin Tom. Nice guy but no clue what exactly he is doing for a living. Never asked neither” to “cousin Tom. Sales guy mainly in services. He asked me to give one name of potential new employer. One name is not much and he is a nice guy”.
  4. Executive Search: There is no better way than going through an Executive Search firm when you are a client and looking for new talent (at least for the Executive Search firm, I mean). Thus, this is a valid means to find a new job also when you are a candidate. However, statistics show that chances to find your next job via a headhunter are only 15%. It is thus even more important to do it right and to understand how to use a headhunter.
  5. Business Clubs: Networking comes in different flavors. To make it successful, it has to be based on things in common. Business clubs are great places to meet people that think and act alike or have other things in common with you. Find the right business club for you and use the power of networking and mutual help and small, natural favors.
  6. Conferences: How likely is it to meet your next boss on a industry or function specific conference? Very likely! “Ducks fly with ducks”. Make sure to regularly visit conferences and discussion forums. If possible, ask a question when the Q&A session arrives to be sure to be identified by your future boss or “ambassadors” (=the people who know him/ her).
  7. Job fairs: Maybe yes, maybe no. See my interview with BBC for what I feel is the right answer.
  8. Unsolicited application via email: Statistics say that 80% of all emails will never be read. One tip to increase the chances that yours will: have a perfect reference line that is a summary of the content of your email (“Application” versus “CIO, trilingual, 20 years of experience in real estate and high tech looking for a new challenge”).
  9. Job boards: Find out the right job board for your industry and your career level. You may look for jobs but maybe more importantly, post your CV here so employers and recruiters can find you. Make sure to update it regularly (change a word or so) so you are on top of the list and not on page 11 where nobody goes. Regarding the headline/ title of your profile, the same as for the point “email” is valid: don’t name it “CFO” but rather “CFO, MBA, bilingual, 17 years of experience in Telecom and services”. The title has to attract: if the reader likes it, s/he will read the rest
  10. LinkedIn: If we have seen in the previous point that 80% of your efforts will fail (=emails that will never be openend), the ratio is here the other way round: 80% of all invitations via LinkedIn will be accepted. But then the real work begins! Touch base, chase, follow up. Another great way are forum discussions and the publishing tool. The world has become more virtual but even in 2015, at one point of time humans have to meet personally. LinkedIn itself will not get you a new job but it is a one of the most powerful vehicles you have today to get into the interview seat.
  11. Guest posts, publications or a blog: In order to find a job or to get headhunted, you must be a) visible and b) meaningful. A good way to step out of the shade is to talk about what you know best: your professional USP, your differentiators, the things that make you special. The aim of course is that your future boss or a headhunter read it and think “Great insights. I should contact this person”.
  12. Alumni: As we said, it is easy to make a connection with people who have something in common with us. And if you ask for a favor (“who in your company is responsable for XYZ?”), we are more likely to grant this favor if there is a common base. Contact the alumni for your market, attend the meetings and grow your network and you have found a solid approach to get in touch with decision makers.
  13. Outplacement: Outplacement will give you the techniques to analyze a job market in a strategic way. And this is very close to how we headhunters proceed (which is by the way why at Kennedy Executive, some of our offices also offer outplacement in the consulting offer). How many potential bosses do you have in your home market? 37? 89? 112?[/inlinetweet] “You can only manage what you can measure”. Identification, first and then second contact and a personal meeting with your next boss even before the vacancy pops up is the ultimate goal of any job search strategy.

 

Conclusion:

Many ways lead to Rome. Make sure you try them all to be sure you get there.

 

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MBA Or What Are The Alternatives? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/mba-or-what-are-the-alternatives/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/mba-or-what-are-the-alternatives/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 23:01:20 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=167 The MBA is a post graduate degree that will provide you with relevant knowledge in finance, strategy, leadership and other management disciplines. It is (or was???) one of the most prestigious and has a highly practical character as much of the studies will be based on case studies. Is the MBA a good choice for YOU and what are the alternatives? Why do I consider a MBA in the first place? Changing job or industry, upgrade my profile? What is my former educational background? Is a MBA complimentary, is it a real add-on? (e.g. when you have a technical degree such as an engineer) What seniority do I have (is the MBA at the right moment of my career?)   If you already have a master degree, a good alternative can be to take executive education from Harvard, ESSEC, Oxford etc. They offer 1 week residential programs in marketing, strategy, finance or leadership that are good for you if you have first work experience but also 4-6 week modules in senior leadership. These programs are sometimes called a “mini MBA” and tailored for you if you are on C-level and have 20 years work experience. If you decide for a MBA, there are three must criteria you should base your selection on: Is the program validated and accredited by either AASCB, FIBAA or an international accredited university (Bologna treaty)? Do not trust most of the local “accreditation bodies” as these are often operated by title mills. If you take your MBA here, the quality of your studies is doubtful and you will not be allowed to put the title on your resume or business card Where do the professors come from? Give a preference to the big names Which material will the studies be based on? In Marketing, Kotler is a good reference. In Strategy, you should read Porter and Drucker. Some schools only work based on their own books and the quality may be good – or not. The same goes for case studies. These should come from Harvard or Wharton. I worked on good and bad case studies and the bad ones really hurt… Conclusion: Bear in mind that a MBA will bind you for 1-3 years and will cost a lot of money. However, the MBA is and remains a very competitive and prestigious education. Ideally, you have held a first management and/ or leadership role when starting the studies and minimum 5 years work experience. Further education can be a very good alternative and within few weeks and for the price of a third class MBA but in much less time, you can get first class education at one of the world’s top universities.

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MBAorAlternatives_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

The MBA is a post graduate degree that will provide you with relevant knowledge in finance, strategy, leadership and other management disciplines. It is (or was???) one of the most prestigious and has a highly practical character as much of the studies will be based on case studies. Is the MBA a good choice for YOU and what are the alternatives?

  • Why do I consider a MBA in the first place? Changing job or industry, upgrade my profile?
  • What is my former educational background? Is a MBA complimentary, is it a real add-on? (e.g. when you have a technical degree such as an engineer)
  • What seniority do I have (is the MBA at the right moment of my career?)

 

If you already have a master degree, a good alternative can be to take executive education from Harvard, ESSEC, Oxford etc. They offer 1 week residential programs in marketing, strategy, finance or leadership that are good for you if you have first work experience but also 4-6 week modules in senior leadership. These programs are sometimes called a “mini MBA” and tailored for you if you are on C-level and have 20 years work experience.

If you decide for a MBA, there are three must criteria you should base your selection on:

  1. Is the program validated and accredited by either AASCB, FIBAA or an international accredited university (Bologna treaty)? Do not trust most of the local “accreditation bodies” as these are often operated by title mills. If you take your MBA here, the quality of your studies is doubtful and you will not be allowed to put the title on your resume or business card
  2. Where do the professors come from? Give a preference to the big names
  3. Which material will the studies be based on? In Marketing, Kotler is a good reference. In Strategy, you should read Porter and Drucker. Some schools only work based on their own books and the quality may be good – or not. The same goes for case studies. These should come from Harvard or Wharton. I worked on good and bad case studies and the bad ones really hurt…


Conclusion:

Bear in mind that a MBA will bind you for 1-3 years and will cost a lot of money. However, the MBA is and remains a very competitive and prestigious education. Ideally, you have held a first management and/ or leadership role when starting the studies and minimum 5 years work experience. Further education can be a very good alternative and within few weeks and for the price of a third class MBA but in much less time, you can get first class education at one of the world’s top universities.

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ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) And Personality Tests: Saviors Or Nemeses Of HR? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/ats-applicant-tracking-systems-and-personality-tests-the-saviors-and-potential-nemeses-of-hr/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/ats-applicant-tracking-systems-and-personality-tests-the-saviors-and-potential-nemeses-of-hr/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 23:01:29 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5467   This is a post by my good virtual friends Neil Patrick from 40pluscareerguru and Marcia LaReau from Forward Motion on the use of technology such as ATS (“applicant tracking systems”, a software that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs) or personality tests in the hiring process. Neil: Recently, I’ve been speaking with Marcia LaReau, President of Forward Motion, LLC about the use of IT and profiling systems that are being used in the hiring process. This blog is an abridged version of both of our thoughts and concerns. Marcia was fairly upset as she delivered the news that, “Just this week a client, a former COO in the medical industry was given the DiSC® assessment (a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which was developed into a personality assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke). The recruiter believed she was ‘perfect’ however, her DiSC® assessment results weren’t ‘close enough’ and in the blink of an eye, her candidacy was terminated.” Every day, applicant tracking systems (ATS) systems screen out thousands of job applicants, yet we know these often contain errors because they lack human intelligence and subtle perceptiveness. In a test, Bersin & Associates created a résumé for an ideal candidate for a clinical scientist position. The research firm perfectly matched the resume to the job description and submitted the resume to an applicant tracking system. When the researchers then studied how the resume appeared in the system, they found that one of the candidate’s job positions was ignored completely simply because the resume had the dates of employment typed in before the name of the employer. The applicant tracking system also failed to pick up several key educational qualifications the candidate held, giving a recruiter the impression that the candidate lacked the educational experience required for the job. This perfect resume only scored a 43% relevance ranking to the job because the applicant tracking system misread it. These are just two areas in which automated IT processes in HR are delivering sub-optimal results for employers, job-seekers and employees alike. And yet IT based HR management systems can provide huge advantages and productivity gains. Is this a case of one step forward and two steps back? What’s going wrong and what can we do about it? An Historical Perspective: Since 2008 and the beginning of the Great Recession, we have made the following observations: The number of candidates that applied for positions in 2008 created a need to quickly screen candidates. Hiring communities reached out to the technology world for help and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) came more and more common. The first ATSs were dismal for both the jobseeker and the employer. As revenues plunged, executive leadership was pressured to turn a profit. Additional layoffs brought in the needed numbers to appease the stockholders as hiring professionals were pressured with, “If you hired the right people we would be making a profit!” Hiring professionals were caught in a no-win situation. The companies were unwilling to pay for top talent. HR needed better tools. Talent management companies mushroomed and promoted the use of psychological profiling to determine the best candidates for a position. Hiring communities bought in—if a new hire didn’t work out, they could point their finger at the talent management company and find a new one. HR was less vulnerable.   Today, we are still in the cycle of trying to find the right hires to build businesses and grow profitability. The pressure on everyone—employees, hiring professionals, and executives—is sometimes crushing. No one wants to be the cause of a business failure. These observations may not reflect the “spin” that talent management and recruiting companies use when they promote the use of these assessments. Psychological testing is not the same as a skill or interest inventory. Psychological testing according to the American Psychological Association is: “…similar to medical tests… The results will be used to inform [and] develop a treatment plan. Psychological evaluations serve the same purpose. Psychologists use tests and other assessment tools to measure and observe a client’s behavior to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.” So the origins of psychological testing are from the world of psychiatric medicine. Tests were created to help determine the treatment necessary for people with mental health issues. And helping them normalize. But a job applicant isn’t typically a psychiatric patient. And using psychological assessments to decide whether or not a person should be hired is like using a shovel to hammer in a nail – it works (sort of) but it’s not the right tool for the job. How I tested it myself Marcia writes: When my clients began taking these assessments, I contacted a Talent Management agency and asked if they would “put me through their battery of tests” and show me how their process could help companies make good hiring decisions. The tests took approximately 90 minutes to complete. I really wanted to see if they could help companies make good hiring decisions, so I abandoned any skepticism as I followed the process. Three weeks later I was debriefed during a 2-hour session. Prior to the session, I received a 72-page computer-generated report that included comments that were terse, judgmental, and often carrying mixed messages. One place indicated that I show great “Persistence in job completion.” Yet, “She may lose interest in a project once the challenge ceases.” Huh? How accurate and meaningful are the results? The composite overview was accurate in some areas and not in others. It accurately cited challenges that I experienced, especially early in my career, but did not make any attempt to identify if I had learned to manage any of the “negative attributes.” My experience with the results, left me highly suspect because the candidate responds to questions without context. And it is impossible for assessments to be specific with regard to behavior in a particular work-place when that workplace is not referenced and has not ben experienced by the candidate. If the assessments are inaccurate (mine was in several key areas!), the misconception […]

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ATS_SaviorOrNemesesOfHR?

This is a post by my good virtual friends Neil Patrick from 40pluscareerguru and Marcia LaReau from Forward Motion on the use of technology such as ATS (“applicant tracking systems”, a software that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs) or personality tests in the hiring process.

Neil: Recently, I’ve been speaking with Marcia LaReau, President of Forward Motion, LLC about the use of IT and profiling systems that are being used in the hiring process. This blog is an abridged version of both of our thoughts and concerns.

Marcia was fairly upset as she delivered the news that, “Just this week a client, a former COO in the medical industry was given the DiSC® assessment (a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which was developed into a personality assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke). The recruiter believed she was ‘perfect’ however, her DiSC® assessment results weren’t ‘close enough’ and in the blink of an eye, her candidacy was terminated.”

Every day, applicant tracking systems (ATS) systems screen out thousands of job applicants, yet we know these often contain errors because they lack human intelligence and subtle perceptiveness.

In a test, Bersin & Associates created a résumé for an ideal candidate for a clinical scientist position. The research firm perfectly matched the resume to the job description and submitted the resume to an applicant tracking system.

When the researchers then studied how the resume appeared in the system, they found that one of the candidate’s job positions was ignored completely simply because the resume had the dates of employment typed in before the name of the employer.

The applicant tracking system also failed to pick up several key educational qualifications the candidate held, giving a recruiter the impression that the candidate lacked the educational experience required for the job.

This perfect resume only scored a 43% relevance ranking to the job because the applicant tracking system misread it.

These are just two areas in which automated IT processes in HR are delivering sub-optimal results for employers, job-seekers and employees alike. And yet IT based HR management systems can provide huge advantages and productivity gains. Is this a case of one step forward and two steps back?

What’s going wrong and what can we do about it?

An Historical Perspective:

Since 2008 and the beginning of the Great Recession, we have made the following observations:

  1. The number of candidates that applied for positions in 2008 created a need to quickly screen candidates. Hiring communities reached out to the technology world for help and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) came more and more common.
  2. The first ATSs were dismal for both the jobseeker and the employer.
  3. As revenues plunged, executive leadership was pressured to turn a profit.
  4. Additional layoffs brought in the needed numbers to appease the stockholders as hiring professionals were pressured with, “If you hired the right people we would be making a profit!”
  5. Hiring professionals were caught in a no-win situation. The companies were unwilling to pay for top talent. HR needed better tools.
  6. Talent management companies mushroomed and promoted the use of psychological profiling to determine the best candidates for a position.
  7. Hiring communities bought in—if a new hire didn’t work out, they could point their finger at the talent management company and find a new one. HR was less vulnerable.

 

Today, we are still in the cycle of trying to find the right hires to build businesses and grow profitability. The pressure on everyone—employees, hiring professionals, and executives—is sometimes crushing. No one wants to be the cause of a business failure.

These observations may not reflect the “spin” that talent management and recruiting companies use when they promote the use of these assessments. Psychological testing is not the same as a skill or interest inventory. Psychological testing according to the American Psychological Association is: “…similar to medical tests… The results will be used to inform [and] develop a treatment plan. Psychological evaluations serve the same purpose. Psychologists use tests and other assessment tools to measure and observe a client’s behavior to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.”

So the origins of psychological testing are from the world of psychiatric medicine. Tests were created to help determine the treatment necessary for people with mental health issues. And helping them normalize. But a job applicant isn’t typically a psychiatric patient. And using psychological assessments to decide whether or not a person should be hired is like using a shovel to hammer in a nail – it works (sort of) but it’s not the right tool for the job.

How I tested it myself

Marcia writes: When my clients began taking these assessments, I contacted a Talent Management agency and asked if they would “put me through their battery of tests” and show me how their process could help companies make good hiring decisions.

The tests took approximately 90 minutes to complete. I really wanted to see if they could help companies make good hiring decisions, so I abandoned any skepticism as I followed the process.

Three weeks later I was debriefed during a 2-hour session. Prior to the session, I received a 72-page computer-generated report that included comments that were terse, judgmental, and often carrying mixed messages.

One place indicated that I show great “Persistence in job completion.” Yet, “She may lose interest in a project once the challenge ceases.” Huh?

How accurate and meaningful are the results?

The composite overview was accurate in some areas and not in others. It accurately cited challenges that I experienced, especially early in my career, but did not make any attempt to identify if I had learned to manage any of the “negative attributes.”

My experience with the results, left me highly suspect because the candidate responds to questions without context. And it is impossible for assessments to be specific with regard to behavior in a particular work-place when that workplace is not referenced and has not ben experienced by the candidate.

If the assessments are inaccurate (mine was in several key areas!), the misconception is still in the minds of the decision makers.

Truly the information in the report could be used equally well to find reason to fire me or hire me—depending on the objective of the person reading it.

The only encouraging outcome from the meeting was this:

The talent management company made it clear that the results of these tests should constitute not more than 12% of the hiring decision.

For my client, whose scores weren’t “close enough,” these tests became a total elimination round.

The University of Pennsylvania study The Use of Personality Tests as a Hiring Tool: Is the Benefit Worth the Cost? concluded with this statement:

“Even assuming one can successfully identify what personality traits are desired in an employee for a particular position, there are reasons to doubt the ability of many commonly used personality inventories to identify the best candidates for a job.”

“This makes their application to the workplace questionable.”

Conclusions and best practices

It is clear that the adoption of IT based tools within HR deliver several advantages:

  • They enable much faster processing of the massively increased workload that is now required of most HR teams.
  • They deliver a consistency, which cannot be achieved by people working without a precise framework.
  • They enable cost savings over the long term.
  • They record information in a way that ensures any legal challenge can be defended against.

 

However, they also introduce a new raft of issues that HR must address if they are not to create a new set of problems:

  • They need to be understood precisely in terms of what they can and cannot do. Whatever the process in question, the strengths and weaknesses of the tool must be reflected in how it is to be used and what processes and authorities it will be allocated.
  • They need feedback and monitoring to evolve and change, as the organization acquires information and insight into the performance of the systems. Excessively long term contracts with IT providers may lock an HR team into a system, which becomes outmoded or is soon superseded by a much better one.
  • Systems should be used to enhance human decision making not replace it. In the case of psychological tests, it is recommended even by the system providers that we should not attribute more than 12% of a total assessment score to this measure. A personality profile should never be a deal breaker. A score high or low is no substitute for the application of reasoned and perceptive human appraisal.
  • The worst outcome is when a system leads to the abdication of the ownership of decisions by the entire hiring community. IT isn’t (at least yet) able to replicate perfectly the nuanced and subtle discernments that can be made by an informed and experienced person. Surrender skilled human perception to mechanical judgments at your peril.

 

HR should be the custodians of the people assets within an organization. They must acquire it, nurture it, enhance it and prune it. But most of all they must care for it. If this core responsibility is completely abdicated to artificial intelligence, everyone loses.

Technology can be a help or a hindrance – everything depends on how you apply it – and that means applying your human intelligence to the challenge.

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“Are Job Fairs Making A Comeback?” Our Interview With BBC Capital http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-latest-interview-with-bbc-capital/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-latest-interview-with-bbc-capital/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:21:31 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5585 Have job fairs become obsolete? When did you last schlepp paper copies of your resume to an in-person career fair? And is this still a valid means to find a new job? BBC Capital asked Jorg Stegemann, our Managing Director. Read on at BBC Capital

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Have job fairs become obsolete? When did you last schlepp paper copies of your resume to an in-person career fair? And is this still a valid means to find a new job? BBC Capital asked Jorg Stegemann, our Managing Director. Read on at BBC Capital

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9 Networking Tips From A Networker http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/9-networking-tips-from-a-networker/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/9-networking-tips-from-a-networker/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 23:01:25 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=535 While a headhunter is the best way to find a new job (at least for the headhunter), there are other ways. Having a solid network can be one but it can also be a powerful means to get business contacts, share knowledge and keep a competitive edge. Here are 9 networking tips on how to establish and maintain strong connections that will help you in good and bad times: You know more people than you think: Reflect upon who you know or should know: what about your university, the job before last or the sister-in-law of your neighbor? What does your hairdresser or dentist hear today that might help you tomorrow? Be curious, ask questions and develop reflexes to always hunt for new and interesting people you can learn from or you can help you advance. Quality matters; quantity does too: How to define quality? Is it only people you know personally? Only people you like? Only decision-makers? The more diverse your network is, the richer it can be. And the better it will resist to the next crisis by the way. Do not chase c-level only, don’t try to be friend with everyone on a party or invite/ accept invitations from all LIONs – LinkedIn Open Networkers – members neither. But be open and do not offend people. Let your network live: Keep in touch, call, meet, offer your assistance with a skill you are an expert in. Add value, send regular updates on how you are doing and what you are working on. Ask open questions to encourage responses, give feedback. If you feel like, start a blog or blog in discussion forums. Give and take: Most people do not dare to ask for a favor. Yet how do you feel if someone asks you for a favor? I usually feel flattered (when my grandpa asked me to mow the lawn, I did not…). Be generous and give when you are asked to help. When I moved back from cross-boarder some years ago, I asked people for favors because I was back in a new/ old market and had to build my business. And guess what: 70% respond “of course I will help you, Jorg, and present you to XYZ”. Give something in return and give feedback on the connection established. Do what you like: There are clubs or events for everything or everyone. If you take a yoga course, go to a festival of mediaval rites or your national scrabble contest – you can meet interesting people everywhere (maybe people at the mediaval festival have weirder things to say than the ones at the scrabble contest). Choose something that fits you so you are authentic, credible and true. Meet and talk to people. Do it over and over again: When I ask executive search consultants why they like their job, the answer is always the same: “because I like to deal with people”. This is a good start. Just do it! I met CFOs in a taxi we had to share or a Harvard MBA on the neighbor table in a restaurant who was looking for a job. I even organized a client meeting in a supermarket as the person in front of me talked to the cashier about her challenges in finding adequate staff (no, it was not a C-level job). Use the social media: LinkedIn but also Facebook and Twitter are tools that will not build a powerful network on their own but which are an efficient means to keep in touch and to reach your network in real time. Online has to become offline at one point of time. You cannot email or tweet a handshake – but a virtual contact can be a very powerful start. Remember everything you always read and heard about communication: Listen, ask questions, smile, be polite, show empathy, remember what you hear (the names of your contact’s kids, hobbies etc), say the person’s name, do not interrupt. Treat people as you want be treated. Make them feel special if you want special attention. Be organized: Keep a record and follow-up. Usually, LinkedIn is a good tool to keep in touch (no, they do not pay me though I think they should). Once more do not forget the follow-up because that is where most of us are no good enough at. If you receive a business lead (or a job lead if you are looking for a job), give feedback. If you are asked something, ask one week later how is it going. Conclusion: Everybody knows somebody. If you like people, meet as many of them as possible and do it as often as you can. Ask the people in your network when you feel they can help you and most probably, the reaction will be positive. And as a last point: yes, indeed, you should have 1 to 3 headhunters you trust and you like in your network because their network is probably much bigger than yours will ever be!

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10NetworkingTipsFromAnetworker_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

While a headhunter is the best way to find a new job (at least for the headhunter), there are other ways. Having a solid network can be one but it can also be a powerful means to get business contacts, share knowledge and keep a competitive edge.

Here are 9 networking tips on how to establish and maintain strong connections that will help you in good and bad times:

  1. You know more people than you think: Reflect upon who you know or should know: what about your university, the job before last or the sister-in-law of your neighbor? What does your hairdresser or dentist hear today that might help you tomorrow? Be curious, ask questions and develop reflexes to always hunt for new and interesting people you can learn from or you can help you advance.
  2. Quality matters; quantity does too: How to define quality? Is it only people you know personally? Only people you like? Only decision-makers? The more diverse your network is, the richer it can be. And the better it will resist to the next crisis by the way. Do not chase c-level only, don’t try to be friend with everyone on a party or invite/ accept invitations from all LIONs – LinkedIn Open Networkers – members neither. But be open and do not offend people.
  3. Let your network live: Keep in touch, call, meet, offer your assistance with a skill you are an expert in. Add value, send regular updates on how you are doing and what you are working on. Ask open questions to encourage responses, give feedback. If you feel like, start a blog or blog in discussion forums.
  4. Give and take: Most people do not dare to ask for a favor. Yet how do you feel if someone asks you for a favor? I usually feel flattered (when my grandpa asked me to mow the lawn, I did not…). Be generous and give when you are asked to help. When I moved back from cross-boarder some years ago, I asked people for favors because I was back in a new/ old market and had to build my business. And guess what: 70% respond “of course I will help you, Jorg, and present you to XYZ”. Give something in return and give feedback on the connection established.
  5. Do what you like: There are clubs or events for everything or everyone. If you take a yoga course, go to a festival of mediaval rites or your national scrabble contest – you can meet interesting people everywhere (maybe people at the mediaval festival have weirder things to say than the ones at the scrabble contest). Choose something that fits you so you are authentic, credible and true.
  6. Meet and talk to people. Do it over and over again: When I ask executive search consultants why they like their job, the answer is always the same: “because I like to deal with people”. This is a good start. Just do it! I met CFOs in a taxi we had to share or a Harvard MBA on the neighbor table in a restaurant who was looking for a job. I even organized a client meeting in a supermarket as the person in front of me talked to the cashier about her challenges in finding adequate staff (no, it was not a C-level job).
  7. Use the social media: LinkedIn but also Facebook and Twitter are tools that will not build a powerful network on their own but which are an efficient means to keep in touch and to reach your network in real time. Online has to become offline at one point of time. You cannot email or tweet a handshake – but a virtual contact can be a very powerful start.
  8. Remember everything you always read and heard about communication: Listen, ask questions, smile, be polite, show empathy, remember what you hear (the names of your contact’s kids, hobbies etc), say the person’s name, do not interrupt. Treat people as you want be treated. Make them feel special if you want special attention.
  9. Be organized: Keep a record and follow-up. Usually, LinkedIn is a good tool to keep in touch (no, they do not pay me though I think they should). Once more do not forget the follow-up because that is where most of us are no good enough at. If you receive a business lead (or a job lead if you are looking for a job), give feedback. If you are asked something, ask one week later how is it going.


Conclusion:

Everybody knows somebody. If you like people, meet as many of them as possible and do it as often as you can. Ask the people in your network when you feel they can help you and most probably, the reaction will be positive. And as a last point: yes, indeed, you should have 1 to 3 headhunters you trust and you like in your network because their network is probably much bigger than yours will ever be!

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Kennedy Executive Goes Mobile. Go With Us! http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/mobile-app/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/mobile-app/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:07:56 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5594 Check out our mobile phone (not tablet) application for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters likewise on the App store and Google Play.

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Check out our mobile phone (not tablet) application for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters likewise on the App store and Google Play.

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How To Answer Stupid Interview Questions – And What They Really Mean http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-answer-stupid-interview-questions-and-what-they-really-mean/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-answer-stupid-interview-questions-and-what-they-really-mean/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 23:01:01 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5416 In my career as a headhunter, I have conducted approx 2,500 job interviews myself and assisted to hundreds my clients led with my candidates. Since 2001, I have learned a lot from my clients on clever questioning that brings out the best of the candidates. But I have also heard many stupid interview questions. What is the reason stupid interview questions are asked after all? And how should you answer them? In my opinion, there are two reasons why interviewers ask stupid questions during the job interview: Because the interviewer really does not know it better or Because the interviewer is insecure   Maybe in the end, both come back to the insecurity thing anyway: maybe not the only one who is stressed. Or inexperienced regarding job interviews. I remember very well a situation ten years ago where I had a search assignment and presented my candidates to the CFO saying “I suggest you interview my three candidates and then we discuss”. He answered “right, but how should I do that?”. Stupid questions can be as obvious as “how many paper clips fit into this room?” or “if you were an animal, which one and why?” They can be more subtle such as “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, “what is your biggest weakness?” or “how do your colleagues/ friends/ cashier at your local grocery store describe you?”. I mean, hey, who would really give true answer? In my entire career, I have never heard anyone saying “Oh right, there is one more thing you should know about me: I am a notorious liar, I hate my job and prefer gossiping and as a consequence of all that, I am far below average compared to my peers!”  What is the purpose of these questions? Does the interviewer have the right answer how many paper clips fit into the conference room? Will you be disqualified if your answer is 10% away from the truth? Does s/he really expect to talk about your dark side, I mean, about the REALLY bad parts of your character? Of course not. In most cases they just want to see how you react. So what is the best reaction to this kind of answer? Before saying anything, ask yourself “what is the purpose of this question?”. In many cases, it is something different than what the interviewer said. Let’s translate interview language to English. Here come some examples: The question “What is your biggest weakness?” means in reality “I know it already: You talk far too much. However, I wonder if you have a realistic perception yourself, so fire away!” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” means “Of course no one knows. In times like these, we do not even know where we are in 6 months. Maybe I have won in the lottery and left this stupid company or extra-terrestrians have taken over the world. Let’s see if you are naive and over-ambitious or down-to-earth and realistic.”  “Imagine you are standing in front of a house on fire. On the second floor is a pregnant woman, on the third one your mother in law and on the fourth one your boss. Who do you save first?” can mean either “I am enjoying this tremendously and really think you are good. Here comes the final test” or “I just lost my mind and will jump out of the window as soon as this interview is over.” Conclusion: There is a saying that goes “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers”. I do not agree: there are extremely silly questions, especially in job interviews. If you want to know how to answer them, first ask yourself “why this question?” and then reply. There is the art and the science of the job interview (HERE is more on the topic on this blog); don’t let the interviewer get carried away and become too artistic during the job interview though…

The post How To Answer Stupid Interview Questions – And What They Really Mean appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Answer Stupid Interview Questions

In my career as a headhunter, I have conducted approx 2,500 job interviews myself and assisted to hundreds my clients led with my candidates.

Since 2001, I have learned a lot from my clients on clever questioning that brings out the best of the candidates.

But I have also heard many stupid interview questions.

What is the reason stupid interview questions are asked after all?

And how should you answer them?

In my opinion, there are two reasons why interviewers ask stupid questions during the job interview:

  1. Because the interviewer really does not know it better or
  2. Because the interviewer is insecure

 

Maybe in the end, both come back to the insecurity thing anyway: maybe not the only one who is stressed. Or inexperienced regarding job interviews. I remember very well a situation ten years ago where I had a search assignment and presented my candidates to the CFO saying “I suggest you interview my three candidates and then we discuss”. He answered “right, but how should I do that?”.

Stupid questions can be as obvious as “how many paper clips fit into this room?” or “if you were an animal, which one and why?” They can be more subtle such as “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, “what is your biggest weakness?” or “how do your colleagues/ friends/ cashier at your local grocery store describe you?”. I mean, hey, who would really give true answer? In my entire career, I have never heard anyone saying “Oh right, there is one more thing you should know about me: I am a notorious liar, I hate my job and prefer gossiping and as a consequence of all that, I am far below average compared to my peers!” 

What is the purpose of these questions?

Does the interviewer have the right answer how many paper clips fit into the conference room? Will you be disqualified if your answer is 10% away from the truth? Does s/he really expect to talk about your dark side, I mean, about the REALLY bad parts of your character?

Of course not. In most cases they just want to see how you react.

So what is the best reaction to this kind of answer?

Before saying anything, ask yourself “what is the purpose of this question?”. In many cases, it is something different than what the interviewer said.

Let’s translate interview language to English. Here come some examples:

  • The question “What is your biggest weakness?” means in reality “I know it already: You talk far too much. However, I wonder if you have a realistic perception yourself, so fire away!”
  • “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” means “Of course no one knows. In times like these, we do not even know where we are in 6 months. Maybe I have won in the lottery and left this stupid company or extra-terrestrians have taken over the world. Let’s see if you are naive and over-ambitious or down-to-earth and realistic.” 
  • “Imagine you are standing in front of a house on fire. On the second floor is a pregnant woman, on the third one your mother in law and on the fourth one your boss. Who do you save first?” can mean either “I am enjoying this tremendously and really think you are good. Here comes the final test” or “I just lost my mind and will jump out of the window as soon as this interview is over.”


Conclusion:

There is a saying that goes “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers”. I do not agree: there are extremely silly questions, especially in job interviews. If you want to know how to answer them, first ask yourself “why this question?” and then reply.

There is the art and the science of the job interview (HERE is more on the topic on this blog); don’t let the interviewer get carried away and become too artistic during the job interview though…

The post How To Answer Stupid Interview Questions – And What They Really Mean appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Welcome To Kennedy Executive Czech Republic! http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-kennedy-executive-now-present-in-the-czech-republic/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/welcome-kennedy-executive-now-present-in-the-czech-republic/#respond Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:10:01 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5587 Welcome to Miroslava Barcova and her team from Delta Advisory a.s., exclusive Partner of Kennedy Executive for the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is one of the strongest economies in Eastern Europe with a well educated work force and above average economic growth. More under “Offices”.

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Welcome to Miroslava Barcova and her team from Delta Advisory a.s., exclusive Partner of Kennedy Executive for the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is one of the strongest economies in Eastern Europe with a well educated work force and above average economic growth. More under “Offices”.

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How To Stand Out And Find A Job Through Personal Branding http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-stand-out-and-find-a-job-through-personal-branding/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-stand-out-and-find-a-job-through-personal-branding/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 23:01:38 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5372 This is a post by Alessandra Salimbene, a Personal Branding, digital marketing & CRM specialist at The Personal Branding Coach: “Since the advent of the Internet, email and the web, we have seen changes in business practices, staff recruitment and communication within and between companies. The last two years have been marked by another revolution, that of social media. This has once again changed the criteria of career management and the ways in which companies recruit and headhunters research talent. In the market in general, there has been a gradual change in perspective. Even in job search, we no longer speak of the sales cycle, but of the “buying cycle.” It is the consumer who, based on his knowledge and “exchange of views” inside his network, decides when to buy something. You have the same shift in perspective when managing your career. You no longer send countless resumes and applications to companies. Instead, you must try to attract the attention of your next boss, HR Manager or the headhunter who will help you to get to know these through your strong specialization and the creation of solid personal branding, compatible with the values of the companies you want to reach. It is no coincidence that even Tim Clark, creator of the Personal Business Model Canvas, suggests using the business model to identify the aspects that characterize our expertise and our profession in relation to a company. Use it to understand what distinctive features can be more interesting and make us suitable candidates for a certain position. Can we then think of a specific personal branding strategy to get noticed by a specific company or a specific group of companies, in order to get our “dream job?” After all, it comes to down marketing. It is about convincing our target audience to “buy” us, after we are noticed by the right people. As a consultant of personal branding and career management, I suggest you work on different levels, just as you would for the management of a product launch. Here comes my personal branding strategy in three steps, easy yet very powerful: First, you must have a clear idea about who you are. Determine your experience and your specific skills and abilities. A resume intended simply as a chronological list of studies and jobs is not enough. You have to interpret your individuality in a creative way. It is the intersection of different experiences, even distant from one other, that can create effective conjunctions and interesting blends. The second step is the analysis of the market. There must be a reason why you want to get to that particular company. Discover it, research, and try to understand what the values are beyond the business. And then show it clearly. Try to understand what the key roles are, and which persons may be interested in having you in their staff. Use social channels (especially LinkedIn) to come closer to these people, by trying to get the most interesting contacts of the first or second level into your network. The third step is the building of your personal brand and your online (and possibly offline) presence. Work on your online image “as if” you already have the job you want. Of course, this does not mean lying. Simply behave, dress and talk as if you were already there. It is a helpful exercise to ensure that people (and you) immediately start to “see you fit” for a certain role. Begin to write and display your personal mix of skills in the specialization you find most interesting for your target niche.   The goal is to demonstrate that you are trained in your specific subject, but most of all, that you have an innovative, personal and original approach to it. Show that you are special. Needless to say, in doing this you should avoid arrogant attitudes, strong opinions and criticisms focused on people, brands or companies that are competitors. In general, all those attitudes that can suggest you are a difficult, unfair or rancorous person to be avoided. In a short time this process will get you noticed by some key personnel in the company you seek to impress. If you have the chance, and if you have managed to get direct contacts in your LinkedIn network, you can try a sober, mature and direct approach. You can state that you are interested in a specific role in a company and then ask to be directed to those who are doing a particular type of research. Your application and resume will arrive on just the right desk. They will demonstrate your personal brand, greatly multiplying the possibility of being selected, or at least interviewed. Have fun developing and taking to market your brand!”

The post How To Stand Out And Find A Job Through Personal Branding appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Find A Job Through Personal Branding - Kennedy Executive Career Blog

This is a post by Alessandra Salimbene, a Personal Branding, digital marketing & CRM specialist at The Personal Branding Coach:

“Since the advent of the Internet, email and the web, we have seen changes in business practices, staff recruitment and communication within and between companies. The last two years have been marked by another revolution, that of social media. This has once again changed the criteria of career management and the ways in which companies recruit and headhunters research talent.

In the market in general, there has been a gradual change in perspective. Even in job search, we no longer speak of the sales cycle, but of the “buying cycle.” It is the consumer who, based on his knowledge and “exchange of views” inside his network, decides when to buy something.

You have the same shift in perspective when managing your career. You no longer send countless resumes and applications to companies. Instead, you must try to attract the attention of your next boss, HR Manager or the headhunter who will help you to get to know these through your strong specialization and the creation of solid personal branding, compatible with the values of the companies you want to reach.

It is no coincidence that even Tim Clark, creator of the Personal Business Model Canvas, suggests using the business model to identify the aspects that characterize our expertise and our profession in relation to a company. Use it to understand what distinctive features can be more interesting and make us suitable candidates for a certain position. Can we then think of a specific personal branding strategy to get noticed by a specific company or a specific group of companies, in order to get our “dream job?”

After all, it comes to down marketing. It is about convincing our target audience to “buy” us, after we are noticed by the right people. As a consultant of personal branding and career management, I suggest you work on different levels, just as you would for the management of a product launch.

Here comes my personal branding strategy in three steps, easy yet very powerful:

  1. First, you must have a clear idea about who you are. Determine your experience and your specific skills and abilities. A resume intended simply as a chronological list of studies and jobs is not enough. You have to interpret your individuality in a creative way. It is the intersection of different experiences, even distant from one other, that can create effective conjunctions and interesting blends.
  2. The second step is the analysis of the market. There must be a reason why you want to get to that particular company. Discover it, research, and try to understand what the values are beyond the business. And then show it clearly. Try to understand what the key roles are, and which persons may be interested in having you in their staff. Use social channels (especially LinkedIn) to come closer to these people, by trying to get the most interesting contacts of the first or second level into your network.
  3. The third step is the building of your personal brand and your online (and possibly offline) presence. Work on your online image “as if” you already have the job you want. Of course, this does not mean lying. Simply behave, dress and talk as if you were already there. It is a helpful exercise to ensure that people (and you) immediately start to “see you fit” for a certain role. Begin to write and display your personal mix of skills in the specialization you find most interesting for your target niche.

 

The goal is to demonstrate that you are trained in your specific subject, but most of all, that you have an innovative, personal and original approach to it. Show that you are special. Needless to say, in doing this you should avoid arrogant attitudes, strong opinions and criticisms focused on people, brands or companies that are competitors. In general, all those attitudes that can suggest you are a difficult, unfair or rancorous person to be avoided. In a short time this process will get you noticed by some key personnel in the company you seek to impress.

If you have the chance, and if you have managed to get direct contacts in your LinkedIn network, you can try a sober, mature and direct approach. You can state that you are interested in a specific role in a company and then ask to be directed to those who are doing a particular type of research.

Your application and resume will arrive on just the right desk. They will demonstrate your personal brand, greatly multiplying the possibility of being selected, or at least interviewed.

Have fun developing and taking to market your brand!”

The post How To Stand Out And Find A Job Through Personal Branding appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

]]>
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Salary Negotiation: 33 Things To Negotiate Other Than Money http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/salary-negotiation-33-things-negotiate-money/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/salary-negotiation-33-things-negotiate-money/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 23:01:05 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5288 Congratulations! You have mastered the job interviews, left all your competitors behind and enter the final phase of your job search phase: the salary negotiation. What can you expect? A typical salary negotiation is unfortunately very often minimal to inexistent: you will be asked your expectations – and then, an offer is made. A real negotiation, however, does not always take place. Do not underestimate this part as a wrong step could have an impact for the rest of your career: getting the next salary right will influence the next one and the one after and so on. Whilst money is the most obvious factor in the salary negotiation, there are many other things you can negotiate. Here come 33 things you can negotiate when accepting an offer other than money: Job title as of start date Job title after trial period or after 12 months Promotion after trial period Waiver of trial period A signing bonus/ arrival fee Company assets Executive education: define how many days per year and the budget Guaranteed bonus in year 1 Waiver of the competition clause if you are in sales Participation in your private car leasing Public transports Upgrade for flights Frequent flyer miles you can keep (not always the case) Size and location of office Home-office Flexibility in working hours Date of next salary negotiation Increase in salary after trial period Housing (total or partial) Relocation allowances Car/ car allowance/ payment of your car leasing Admissions to associations or business clubs School loan reimbursement Yearly medical checkup Discounts on company products and services Better insurances: health, dental, vision, disability, life… More time off: sick day handling, personal days, paid holidays, vacation (how many, when and how?) Time off for charity/ community work Sports and recreation: fitness club, golf or other Equipment: notebook, mobile phone Company cafeteria Special commissions on deals you are bringing in And finally: “OK, what did I forget? What else can we negotiate? What would you negotiate if you were in my seat?” Conclusion: John F. Kennedy said “Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.” If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Negotiating your salary and your departure are the most important negotiations with your employer. Make sure to get the first one right to set the stage for the rest of your career with your new employer.

The post Salary Negotiation: 33 Things To Negotiate Other Than Money appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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KennedyExec_SalaryNegotiation-33ToNegotiateOtherThanMoney

Congratulations! You have mastered the job interviews, left all your competitors behind and enter the final phase of your job search phase: the salary negotiation.

What can you expect? A typical salary negotiation is unfortunately very often minimal to inexistent: you will be asked your expectations – and then, an offer is made. A real negotiation, however, does not always take place.

Do not underestimate this part as a wrong step could have an impact for the rest of your career: getting the next salary right will influence the next one and the one after and so on.

Whilst money is the most obvious factor in the salary negotiation, there are many other things you can negotiate. Here come 33 things you can negotiate when accepting an offer other than money:

  1. Job title as of start date
  2. Job title after trial period or after 12 months
  3. Promotion after trial period
  4. Waiver of trial period
  5. A signing bonus/ arrival fee
  6. Company assets
  7. Executive education: define how many days per year and the budget
  8. Guaranteed bonus in year 1
  9. Waiver of the competition clause if you are in sales
  10. Participation in your private car leasing
  11. Public transports
  12. Upgrade for flights
  13. Frequent flyer miles you can keep (not always the case)
  14. Size and location of office
  15. Home-office
  16. Flexibility in working hours
  17. Date of next salary negotiation
  18. Increase in salary after trial period
  19. Housing (total or partial)
  20. Relocation allowances
  21. Car/ car allowance/ payment of your car leasing
  22. Admissions to associations or business clubs
  23. School loan reimbursement
  24. Yearly medical checkup
  25. Discounts on company products and services
  26. Better insurances: health, dental, vision, disability, life…
  27. More time off: sick day handling, personal days, paid holidays, vacation (how many, when and how?)
  28. Time off for charity/ community work
  29. Sports and recreation: fitness club, golf or other
  30. Equipment: notebook, mobile phone
  31. Company cafeteria
  32. Special commissions on deals you are bringing in
  33. And finally: “OK, what did I forget? What else can we negotiate? What would you negotiate if you were in my seat?”


Conclusion:

John F. Kennedy said “Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.”

If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Negotiating your salary and your departure are the most important negotiations with your employer. Make sure to get the first one right to set the stage for the rest of your career with your new employer.

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Why Getting Hired Is Not Good Enough http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/getting-hired-not-good-enough/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/getting-hired-not-good-enough/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 23:00:25 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5265 This is a post by my good virtual friends Neil Patrick from 40pluscareerguru and Marcia LaReau from Forward Motion about the question why getting hired is not good enough today. Also check out their career blogs who are two of the three finest career blogs on this planet. “Big data and technology are accelerating the workplace to warp-speeds. Businesses are rising and falling faster than ever. The jobs outlook has changed forever. But these same threats also provide a vital job survival tool for everyone. Marcia LaReau of Forward Motion, a career management company in the U.S, is deeply concerned about the long-term strategies that jobseekers must take to secure their future. We recently compared notes on the near future job life-cycle. My perspective focuses on the global jobs market, and Marcia’s perspective concerns career management. Here are some points from our conversation. I just want a job! We’re all jobseekers today…even if we have a job. Most jobseekers believe that landing a job is their ultimate final goal. This mindset has a potentially catastrophic consequence in the 21st century careers world. Choose your Mobius strip! The career landscape is changing so fast that if our thinking does not extend further into the future, we will all be endlessly job seeking; our careers perpetually hanging by a thread. We are conditioned, by our past, to believe that jobs will last for many years. We think that once we begin a new position, we will learn the business landscape and the political agendas that are peculiar to the organization. We’ll settle into our job, get comfortable, and hope for a promotion. After several years, it will be time to move on. That has all changed. Permanently. The Internet of Things, smart-technologies, big data, 3D printing, bio-technology—to name a few, have forever altered every aspect of our world from our daily life to the world economy. We are now a technology-driven global economy. Ever accelerating change is the only constant. Fast forward—fast! Just as product lifecycles are shortening, so too are process, company and even industry lifecycles. Not so long ago an established corporation managed growth on an annual business plan cycle. Today, they can go from stable to meltdown in months or even weeks. Take a look at Apple. In 2011, it stormed ahead with the iPad and owned the tablet product sector. Today, analysts are concerned, as sales growth turns negative as we see in this graph: Apple has been assaulted by corrosive competition from lower priced rivals, the blurring of device boundaries and functional capabilities. One consequence: the number of employees in its stores stagnated at around 40,000 over the same time period according to Forbes: In essence, no-one is safe from the fall-out from these trends. As individuals, we cannot change them. However we can control how we respond to them. Governments and large organizations make contingency plans and disaster recovery arrangements. Now employees must follow suit to protect their personal income prospects. The speed of change makes it unlikely that today’s job will be a stepping-stone for tomorrow’s, unless we consciously focus on how to make it so. The good news is that the very same technologies that underpin this insecurity in employment, also provide access to information which can help us manage our future. The speed of technology allows us to be informed almost in real time. For the first time in history we can see the cause and effect of actions within days rather than years. Looking ahead of the next curve: Three targets To remain employed, a person has to track several moving targets: Target 1: Your industry Disruptive technologies, an advancement that causes a product or service to become obsolete in a very short period of time, will cause businesses to rise and fall ever faster. We must go beyond merely watching for trends and discern how quickly trends are changing. For example, let’s say we see a trend in the fashion industry moving toward really tight-fitting jeans. That used to be enough. We could be “responsive” by watching for the new trend and getting on board. Now we must watch to see how fast fashion changes and keep an eye on the speed of change. How do we anticipate the next change? What are the cues that herald a new trend and how will businesses and consumers respond individually and collectively? Everyone associated with the industry is affected: retailers who need inventory, logistics, cloth suppliers, the advertising industry, and the list goes on. One change in fashion affects a myriad of interconnected industries. Today we must plan beyond what we see today and all become future orientated. Target 2: The health of your employer We believe that mergers and acquisitions will take place at a faster rate than ever before. The health of a business is a critical assessment when negotiating a contract or deciding whether to accept an employment offer. Every person should consider their company’s health at least every quarter. Is the company or business thinking ahead of the curve? Are they aware of disruptive technologies that could shut them down? Are there signs that a merger or acquisition may be forthcoming? Is the business considering outsourcing? Target 3: Your value to the company Skills will be defined very differently as we move to collaborative models that require strategic thinking in every position in order to succeed. Today a customer service representative is expected to meet a quota of calls and move them through the queue within a specified time frame. In the future, their greatest value will be identifying trends and changes that fix a specific problem and avoid the calls altogether while offering solutions that increase value for customers and encourage loyalty.” Final thoughts: Marcia LaReau: “Careers are no longer a ladder. Today, they are more like a Mobius strip. The future will be bright if people can change their thinking both individually and collectively.” Neil Patrick: “If you make a new year’s resolution for your work life, don’t focus exclusively on the job you have today […]

The post Why Getting Hired Is Not Good Enough appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Why Getting Hired Is Not Good Enough

This is a post by my good virtual friends Neil Patrick from 40pluscareerguru and Marcia LaReau from Forward Motion about the question why getting hired is not good enough today. Also check out their career blogs who are two of the three finest career blogs on this planet.

“Big data and technology are accelerating the workplace to warp-speeds. Businesses are rising and falling faster than ever. The jobs outlook has changed forever. But these same threats also provide a vital job survival tool for everyone.

Marcia LaReau of Forward Motion, a career management company in the U.S, is deeply concerned about the long-term strategies that jobseekers must take to secure their future. We recently compared notes on the near future job life-cycle. My perspective focuses on the global jobs market, and Marcia’s perspective concerns career management. Here are some points from our conversation.

I just want a job!

We’re all jobseekers today…even if we have a job.

Most jobseekers believe that landing a job is their ultimate final goal. This mindset has a potentially catastrophic consequence in the 21st century careers world.

Choose your Mobius strip!

The career landscape is changing so fast that if our thinking does not extend further into the future, we will all be endlessly job seeking; our careers perpetually hanging by a thread.

We are conditioned, by our past, to believe that jobs will last for many years. We think that once we begin a new position, we will learn the business landscape and the political agendas that are peculiar to the organization. We’ll settle into our job, get comfortable, and hope for a promotion. After several years, it will be time to move on.

That has all changed. Permanently. The Internet of Things, smart-technologies, big data, 3D printing, bio-technology—to name a few, have forever altered every aspect of our world from our daily life to the world economy.

We are now a technology-driven global economy. Ever accelerating change is the only constant.

Fast forward—fast!

Just as product lifecycles are shortening, so too are process, company and even industry lifecycles. Not so long ago an established corporation managed growth on an annual business plan cycle. Today, they can go from stable to meltdown in months or even weeks.

Take a look at Apple. In 2011, it stormed ahead with the iPad and owned the tablet product sector. Today, analysts are concerned, as sales growth turns negative as we see in this graph:

iPadSales

Apple has been assaulted by corrosive competition from lower priced rivals, the blurring of device boundaries and functional capabilities. One consequence: the number of employees in its stores stagnated at around 40,000 over the same time period according to Forbes:

AppleStoreEmployees

In essence, no-one is safe from the fall-out from these trends. As individuals, we cannot change them. However we can control how we respond to them.

Governments and large organizations make contingency plans and disaster recovery arrangements. Now employees must follow suit to protect their personal income prospects.

The speed of change makes it unlikely that today’s job will be a stepping-stone for tomorrow’s, unless we consciously focus on how to make it so.

The good news is that the very same technologies that underpin this insecurity in employment, also provide access to information which can help us manage our future.

The speed of technology allows us to be informed almost in real time. For the first time in history we can see the cause and effect of actions within days rather than years.

Looking ahead of the next curve: Three targets

To remain employed, a person has to track several moving targets:


Target 1: Your industry

Disruptive technologies, an advancement that causes a product or service to become obsolete in a very short period of time, will cause businesses to rise and fall ever faster. We must go beyond merely watching for trends and discern how quickly trends are changing.

For example, let’s say we see a trend in the fashion industry moving toward really tight-fitting jeans. That used to be enough. We could be “responsive” by watching for the new trend and getting on board.

Now we must watch to see how fast fashion changes and keep an eye on the speed of change. How do we anticipate the next change? What are the cues that herald a new trend and how will businesses and consumers respond individually and collectively?

Everyone associated with the industry is affected: retailers who need inventory, logistics, cloth suppliers, the advertising industry, and the list goes on. One change in fashion affects a myriad of interconnected industries.

Today we must plan beyond what we see today and all become future orientated.

Target 2: The health of your employer

We believe that mergers and acquisitions will take place at a faster rate than ever before. The health of a business is a critical assessment when negotiating a contract or deciding whether to accept an employment offer. Every person should consider their company’s health at least every quarter.

Is the company or business thinking ahead of the curve? Are they aware of disruptive technologies that could shut them down? Are there signs that a merger or acquisition may be forthcoming? Is the business considering outsourcing?

Target 3: Your value to the company

Skills will be defined very differently as we move to collaborative models that require strategic thinking in every position in order to succeed.

Today a customer service representative is expected to meet a quota of calls and move them through the queue within a specified time frame. In the future, their greatest value will be identifying trends and changes that fix a specific problem and avoid the calls altogether while offering solutions that increase value for customers and encourage loyalty.”

Final thoughts:

Marcia LaReau: “Careers are no longer a ladder. Today, they are more like a Mobius strip. The future will be bright if people can change their thinking both individually and collectively.”

Neil Patrick: “If you make a new year’s resolution for your work life, don’t focus exclusively on the job you have today – this will soon be history. Instead think about your pathway to your next job.”

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Our Recent Interview With Le Figaro http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-recent-interview-with-le-figaro/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-recent-interview-with-le-figaro/#respond Wed, 24 Dec 2014 10:16:16 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5653 The Figaro, one of the leading French newspapers, has quoted us on a tax reform and how this impacts the executive search industry. Kennedy Executive speaks for the entire French executive search industry? Merci, Figaro! Read on at www.bit.ly/1AFORVc

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The Figaro, one of the leading French newspapers, has quoted us on a tax reform and how this impacts the executive search industry. Kennedy Executive speaks for the entire French executive search industry? Merci, Figaro! Read on at www.bit.ly/1AFORVc

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Kennedy Executive Search: Reuters Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-search-interview-reuters/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-search-interview-reuters/#respond Tue, 23 Dec 2014 09:07:43 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5589 On 1 January 2015, France will wave discreet goodbye to 75 percent super-tax. How has this tax impacted the executive search industry in France? Reuters interviewed Jorg Stegemann, CEO of Kennedy Executive. More on www.reut.rs/1PguciV

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On 1 January 2015, France will wave discreet goodbye to 75 percent super-tax. How has this tax impacted the executive search industry in France? Reuters interviewed Jorg Stegemann, CEO of Kennedy Executive. More on www.reut.rs/1PguciV

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7 Things A Professional Athlete Does Better Than Your Best Manager http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/7-things-professional-athlete-does-better-than-best-manager/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/7-things-professional-athlete-does-better-than-best-manager/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 23:01:26 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5229 This week’s posting comes from John Tripp, a professional ice hockey player. What has John to do on this career blog for knowledge workers? Well, there are many things he does much better than you or me! Here come seven tips on what we can learn from John to become better Financial Directors, COOs or Accounts Receivables clerks: Passion for what you are doing: Being an athlete, specifically a professional hockey player is not your typical 9-5 job. You are on call 24 hours a day. You eat, sleep and breathe your work. You don’t have a typical work day. An average day could include on ice practice in the morning, followed by a session of weights, followed by video, followed by a day of travel. Another typical day could be a morning practice, followed by a high impact game, followed by media, a physical therapy session, not arriving home until midnight and having to be up for practice at 7am the next morning. A big portion of the time you are juggling it while being on the road and away from family. It is a unique profession that allows for many benefits but part of the uniqueness has a downside and that is large amounts of travel, long and unpredictable hours. Often missing holidays. It is not uncommon to have practice and game on a holiday. Even missing the birth of your children is run of the mill. You truly are asked to give 100% of yourself, your time and handle it all while performing successfully. Coping with change: There is an immense amount of change/adjustment involved in professional hockey. In conjunction, comes a large amount of ups and downs. Athletes are experts at handling change, all while pouring their heart and soul into every situation they are handed. For example, a player is signed to a team and gets a call one night saying they have been traded. They are typically asked to report the following morning to their new team. This gives no time for goodbyes to teammates, family, friends, packing etc. You also quickly become skilled at meeting new people, learning new systems/plays. It is not uncommon to report to a new team and have a day to learn all of the systems the new team runs, before your first game. Generally the new team is across the country. I spent one season getting call after call, playing for four teams in four different cities across the United States. You cope with the change and do it all with passion. Being able to handle such drastic change is a life and business asset. Working in a team environment: Athletes are born into a life of team work. It’s what you were taught from a young age. To work together, rely on teammates, assist teammates and work together to attain success. You learn quickly that the job cannot be accomplished solely by one player. You develop the skill set to deal efficiently with those around you and people in general. Good teammates accomplish their goals while helping the team ultimately accomplish theirs. A big part of sports and being successful is your ability to gage situations and help those around you. For example, picking up a struggling teammate when they are down. The younger/inexperienced players gain confidence from this and learn. Allowing the team to grow while working towards the same goal. Winning!! As my 4 yr old twins tell me “teamwork makes the dream work.” Handling stress under pressure: Athletes learn in a hurry to either put out or get out. Wanting to be a professional athlete means, you are not alone and the competition is stiff. There are always thousands of people who want your job, sitting and waiting for a chance to take it. The stress an athlete is under is not only on the body but also on the mind. Athletes that have successful professional careers have learned along the way how to manage their emotions and stress, while competing. Successful athletes choose and maintain positive attitudes, in order to thrive in a dog eat dog career, where you are only as good as your last season and your future is never fully guaranteed. Community relations: Being able to do something for a living that you love and have a passion for is a gift. Being in the position to give back and use that platform is an added bonus. Athletes are known for giving back to their community and using their voice in a positive manner. It is as easy as visiting sick kids in a hospital or organising foundations/charities. A little goes a long way and is not forgotten. In the end, it’s realizing it’s just a game and making a difference is the difference. Leadership: As an experienced athlete, playing in my 18th year professionally, I have thoroughly experienced and seen how leadership has a positive effect in team sports. From new/young players to older/experienced players, leadership is a critical aspect in a productive team environment. Successful teams have firm and steady leaders. Athletes learn the skill set of being a leader throughout their careers. The qualities of a good leader are: motivation, encouragement, experience, insight, compassion and initiative to name a few. Similar to a workplace environment, when everyone is on the same page and given good direction, success is a lot easier to obtain. Determination and work ethic: These are the definition of a successful athlete. Knowing that when you go out on that playing field there will be someone there waiting to stop you. Athletes maintain a high level of self motivation. They are remarkable at setting and achieving goals. It’s the inner drive they possess that makes them want to get better and be better. It’s being better then the person next to you. That attitude turns into results and reaching your goals that you set for yourself and the team. Why do we train on weekends? It’s because our competition doesn’t.  

The post 7 Things A Professional Athlete Does Better Than Your Best Manager appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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John Tripp

This week’s posting comes from John Tripp, a professional ice hockey player. What has John to do on this career blog for knowledge workers? Well, there are many things he does much better than you or me!

Here come seven tips on what we can learn from John to become better Financial Directors, COOs or Accounts Receivables clerks:

  1. Passion for what you are doing: Being an athlete, specifically a professional hockey player is not your typical 9-5 job. You are on call 24 hours a day. You eat, sleep and breathe your work. You don’t have a typical work day. An average day could include on ice practice in the morning, followed by a session of weights, followed by video, followed by a day of travel. Another typical day could be a morning practice, followed by a high impact game, followed by media, a physical therapy session, not arriving home until midnight and having to be up for practice at 7am the next morning. A big portion of the time you are juggling it while being on the road and away from family. It is a unique profession that allows for many benefits but part of the uniqueness has a downside and that is large amounts of travel, long and unpredictable hours. Often missing holidays. It is not uncommon to have practice and game on a holiday. Even missing the birth of your children is run of the mill. You truly are asked to give 100% of yourself, your time and handle it all while performing successfully.
  1. Coping with change: There is an immense amount of change/adjustment involved in professional hockey. In conjunction, comes a large amount of ups and downs. Athletes are experts at handling change, all while pouring their heart and soul into every situation they are handed. For example, a player is signed to a team and gets a call one night saying they have been traded. They are typically asked to report the following morning to their new team. This gives no time for goodbyes to teammates, family, friends, packing etc. You also quickly become skilled at meeting new people, learning new systems/plays. It is not uncommon to report to a new team and have a day to learn all of the systems the new team runs, before your first game. Generally the new team is across the country. I spent one season getting call after call, playing for four teams in four different cities across the United States. You cope with the change and do it all with passion. Being able to handle such drastic change is a life and business asset.
  1. Working in a team environment: Athletes are born into a life of team work. It’s what you were taught from a young age. To work together, rely on teammates, assist teammates and work together to attain success. You learn quickly that the job cannot be accomplished solely by one player. You develop the skill set to deal efficiently with those around you and people in general. Good teammates accomplish their goals while helping the team ultimately accomplish theirs. A big part of sports and being successful is your ability to gage situations and help those around you. For example, picking up a struggling teammate when they are down. The younger/inexperienced players gain confidence from this and learn. Allowing the team to grow while working towards the same goal. Winning!! As my 4 yr old twins tell me “teamwork makes the dream work.”
  1. Handling stress under pressure: Athletes learn in a hurry to either put out or get out. Wanting to be a professional athlete means, you are not alone and the competition is stiff. There are always thousands of people who want your job, sitting and waiting for a chance to take it. The stress an athlete is under is not only on the body but also on the mind. Athletes that have successful professional careers have learned along the way how to manage their emotions and stress, while competing. Successful athletes choose and maintain positive attitudes, in order to thrive in a dog eat dog career, where you are only as good as your last season and your future is never fully guaranteed.
  1. Community relations: Being able to do something for a living that you love and have a passion for is a gift. Being in the position to give back and use that platform is an added bonus. Athletes are known for giving back to their community and using their voice in a positive manner. It is as easy as visiting sick kids in a hospital or organising foundations/charities. A little goes a long way and is not forgotten. In the end, it’s realizing it’s just a game and making a difference is the difference.
  1. Leadership: As an experienced athlete, playing in my 18th year professionally, I have thoroughly experienced and seen how leadership has a positive effect in team sports. From new/young players to older/experienced players, leadership is a critical aspect in a productive team environment. Successful teams have firm and steady leaders. Athletes learn the skill set of being a leader throughout their careers. The qualities of a good leader are: motivation, encouragement, experience, insight, compassion and initiative to name a few. Similar to a workplace environment, when everyone is on the same page and given good direction, success is a lot easier to obtain.
  1. Determination and work ethic: These are the definition of a successful athlete. Knowing that when you go out on that playing field there will be someone there waiting to stop you. Athletes maintain a high level of self motivation. They are remarkable at setting and achieving goals. It’s the inner drive they possess that makes them want to get better and be better. It’s being better then the person next to you. That attitude turns into results and reaching your goals that you set for yourself and the team. Why do we train on weekends? It’s because our competition doesn’t.

 

The post 7 Things A Professional Athlete Does Better Than Your Best Manager appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How Much Time Should You Spend On Your CV/ resume? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/much-time-spend-on-cv-resume/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/much-time-spend-on-cv-resume/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 23:34:27 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5189 How much time did you invest in your CV? Let me guess: 20 hours? 30? More? In my job as a headhunter, I have heard up to “50 hours”. Bad news for you: recruiters (human resources or external recruitment consultants likewise) spend on average 5 seconds on your Curriculum Vitae before deciding to give you a “no”. The CV is probably the worst return on invest in your job search. Why do we spend so much time on something with so little impact? Your candidacy goes through typically 5 steps before you get the offer: the CV and cover letter, a phone pre-screening call, the first interview and a second one. Each step brings you closer to the work contract yet every step has a different duration. Let’s have a look at the different steps on the road to the new job: See what I see? From top to bottom, the importance of the steps continually increases as you get closer and closer to the job offer. However, the time invested decreases at the same time till a mere 15-30 minutes for the last interview. You have never been closer to the new job – and don’t invest more than 15 minutes? The job interview is one the most important meetings you can ever have with your employer. There is a striking disequilibrium in the time and effort put into each step. (Another shocking fact is that your hiring manager or recruiter does not put much effort at all into any of the steps. This is not a complement for us and may be subject to another posting. In the meanwhile: psst, don’t tell anyone!). This is a catch 22 as unfortunately you need to spend some time on the CV. But you probably spend too much time on yours! The right question to be asked is not how much time you should spend on your CV but rather how much time should you spend on the other 4 steps that get you a work contract. And the best answer I can therefore give you on the question “how much time should you spend on your CV” is to spend a little less time on it but foremost much more on the coming steps as these are much more important. One question remains: Why do we put so much time into the CV? Please comment or contact me if you would like to write on this question!

The post How Much Time Should You Spend On Your CV/ resume? appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How Much Time Should You Spend On Your Curriculum Vitae?

How much time did you invest in your CV? Let me guess: 20 hours? 30? More? In my job as a headhunter, I have heard up to “50 hours”. Bad news for you: recruiters (human resources or external recruitment consultants likewise) spend on average 5 seconds on your Curriculum Vitae before deciding to give you a “no”. The CV is probably the worst return on invest in your job search.

Why do we spend so much time on something with so little impact?

Your candidacy goes through typically 5 steps before you get the offer: the CV and cover letter, a phone pre-screening call, the first interview and a second one. Each step brings you closer to the work contract yet every step has a different duration.

Let’s have a look at the different steps on the road to the new job:

How Much Time Should You Spend On Your Curriculum Vitae And Cover Letter?

See what I see? From top to bottom, the importance of the steps continually increases as you get closer and closer to the job offer. However, the time invested decreases at the same time till a mere 15-30 minutes for the last interview. You have never been closer to the new job – and don’t invest more than 15 minutes? The job interview is one the most important meetings you can ever have with your employer. There is a striking disequilibrium in the time and effort put into each step.

(Another shocking fact is that your hiring manager or recruiter does not put much effort at all into any of the steps. This is not a complement for us and may be subject to another posting. In the meanwhile: psst, don’t tell anyone!).

This is a catch 22 as unfortunately you need to spend some time on the CV. But you probably spend too much time on yours! The right question to be asked is not how much time you should spend on your CV but rather how much time should you spend on the other 4 steps that get you a work contract. And the best answer I can therefore give you on the question “how much time should you spend on your CV” is to spend a little less time on it but foremost much more on the coming steps as these are much more important.

One question remains: Why do we put so much time into the CV? Please comment or contact me if you would like to write on this question!

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Halloween Special: 4 Points Your Boss Has In Common With A Serial Killer http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/4-points-your-boss-has-in-common-with-a-serial-killer/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/4-points-your-boss-has-in-common-with-a-serial-killer/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:01:06 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3310 It is Halloween and time for a special edition! Did you already notice that your boss is a little weird sometimes and often shows strange behavior which you do not understand? A possible explanation is that he is a serial killer (though there may be other reasons). Let’s have a closer look at 4 points a serial killer and your boss have in common: Ethnics: A serial killer: The vast majority of serial killers are “white males with middle-class background, possessing IQs in the bright normal range” (Scott, Shirley Lynn, What Makes Serial Killers Tick?). The FBI states, “serial murderers often seem normal; have families and a steady job.” (Morton, Robert J., Serial Murder, Federal Bureau of Investigation) Your boss: Look around in your office. Are most of your bosses white men and seem to be normal? I know this is frightening but does not yet mean that the entire executive team of your company is composed of serial killers. Read on to gain better understanding of what is going on in your firm… Personality: A serial killer: often “lacks empathy, is egocentric and impulsive and often follows a distinct set of rules which he has created for himself”. He may appear to be “normal and often quite charming”, a state of adaptation that psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley called “the mask of sanity” (Morse, Stephen J., “Psychopathy – What Is Psychopathy?”) Your boss: Your boss could show more empathy and control his feelings better when things do not go the way he wants, right? And rules are made for everyone after all, not only for the staff. “Leading by example” is the key word. And did you already think that your boss wears the “mask of sanity”? No? Then you will as of now! Operating model: A serial killer: Serial murderers have established certain rituals and perfect them over time. The FBI places them into three different categories: “organized, disorganized, and mixed” (Crime Classification Manual, Vronsky 2004, p. 99-100) Your boss: Does your boss sometimes show organized behavior but is disorganized on other days? Does he have strange habits which he repeats over and over again like for instance interrupting his peers or leaving paper cups in the kitchen sink? If he has one of these or any other habits, this could be an indicator that he is a serial killer Motives: A serial killer: The motives of serial killers are “generally placed into four categories: visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic and power or control. However, the motives of any given killer may display considerable overlap among these categories” (Holmes, Ronald M., Serial Murder) Your boss: Does one of these four categories apply to your boss? Can he be visionary when he talks about where the company will stand in 2020, mission-oriented during negotiations with major accounts but power-driven in other situations? Now you have a likely explanation for this strange behavior. And the more I am writing, the more destabilized I get myself… Conclusion: If your boss is a middle-aged white man with an average IQ who is seemingly normal but should show more concern for his followers, if he has established a set of certain rules and behavior which only he understands and if his motives change from visionary to hedonistic and back, then he could be a serial killer. There is no guarantee. But there is still this unsettling doubt, right…?

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Halloween Special: Parallels Between Your Boss And A Serial Killer

It is Halloween and time for a special edition!

Did you already notice that your boss is a little weird sometimes and often shows strange behavior which you do not understand? A possible explanation is that he is a serial killer (though there may be other reasons).

Let’s have a closer look at 4 points a serial killer and your boss have in common:

Ethnics:

  • A serial killer: The vast majority of serial killers are “white males with middle-class background, possessing IQs in the bright normal range” (Scott, Shirley Lynn, What Makes Serial Killers Tick?). The FBI states, “serial murderers often seem normal; have families and a steady job.” (Morton, Robert J., Serial Murder, Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • Your boss: Look around in your office. Are most of your bosses white men and seem to be normal? I know this is frightening but does not yet mean that the entire executive team of your company is composed of serial killers. Read on to gain better understanding of what is going on in your firm…


Personality
:

  • A serial killer: often “lacks empathy, is egocentric and impulsive and often follows a distinct set of rules which he has created for himself”. He may appear to be “normal and often quite charming”, a state of adaptation that psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley called “the mask of sanity” (Morse, Stephen J., “Psychopathy – What Is Psychopathy?”)
  • Your boss: Your boss could show more empathy and control his feelings better when things do not go the way he wants, right? And rules are made for everyone after all, not only for the staff. “Leading by example” is the key word. And did you already think that your boss wears the “mask of sanity”? No? Then you will as of now!


Operating model:

  • A serial killer: Serial murderers have established certain rituals and perfect them over time. The FBI places them into three different categories: “organized, disorganized, and mixed” (Crime Classification Manual, Vronsky 2004, p. 99-100)
  • Your boss: Does your boss sometimes show organized behavior but is disorganized on other days? Does he have strange habits which he repeats over and over again like for instance interrupting his peers or leaving paper cups in the kitchen sink? If he has one of these or any other habits, this could be an indicator that he is a serial killer


Motives:

  • A serial killer: The motives of serial killers are “generally placed into four categories: visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic and power or control. However, the motives of any given killer may display considerable overlap among these categories” (Holmes, Ronald M., Serial Murder)
  • Your boss: Does one of these four categories apply to your boss? Can he be visionary when he talks about where the company will stand in 2020, mission-oriented during negotiations with major accounts but power-driven in other situations? Now you have a likely explanation for this strange behavior. And the more I am writing, the more destabilized I get myself…


Conclusion:

If your boss is a middle-aged white man with an average IQ who is seemingly normal but should show more concern for his followers, if he has established a set of certain rules and behavior which only he understands and if his motives change from visionary to hedonistic and back, then he could be a serial killer. There is no guarantee. But there is still this unsettling doubt, right…?

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Candidates: The Only Two Questions You Really Need To Ask In The Job Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-two-only-questions-to-ask-in-the-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-two-only-questions-to-ask-in-the-job-interview/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:01:47 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5157 This posting breaks down 13 years’ of experience and 2,500 interviews I have personally conducted, hundreds of interviews I assisted to and hundreds of pre- and post-briefing calls. If I had to give you one ultimate career advice on the two, and only TWO questions you REALLY need to ask in the interview, this would be the ones I recommend: „What do you want me to do?“ Of course, you cannot ask it like this, make it a little more sophisticated. This question is very rich in itself and has many components: the job content („I have read the job description, in your own words, what are the main responsibilies?“), the challenges („What do you expect to be the three biggest challenges?“), the management style of your superior („What should I know about you as a Manager?“), the status quo of the company, department or responsibility you take over („In which shape is the company/ department in today and what do you want to see changed in 6 months time?“, „If we decide that this job is for me, how will you measure in six/ twelve months if it was a success?“). These question give you an indication if you can do the job and want to do the job. How is life here? After all, we all want to spend a pleasant day in the office, right? Check out if this is the place that will allow it to you! Translate question number 2 in the interview into „What kind of person is successful here and what kind of person or behavior does not work?“, „What makes your company culture special?“. The job interview is all about finding things you have in common (see the posting “The Most Important Rule For The Job Interview”): check if what you hear is in line with your values and preferences and if so, tell your interviewer.   Conclusion: Sorry: I got you with the title: there are not only two questions you really need to ask in the job interview but the two headlines above give you a good indication what you wish to check. The questions in the interview have two purposes: a) show you are the right candidate for this job and b) give you the information you need to decide if you really want to work here. Remember: „jobs are owned by the company but you own your career“ (Earl Nightingale) so manage it wisely and „test therefore who join forever if heart to heart be found together“ (Friedrich Schiller).

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The Two Questions To Ask In The Job Interview

This posting breaks down 13 years’ of experience and 2,500 interviews I have personally conducted, hundreds of interviews I assisted to and hundreds of pre- and post-briefing calls.

If I had to give you one ultimate career advice on the two, and only TWO questions you REALLY need to ask in the interview, this would be the ones I recommend:

  1. „What do you want me to do?“ Of course, you cannot ask it like this, make it a little more sophisticated. This question is very rich in itself and has many components: the job content („I have read the job description, in your own words, what are the main responsibilies?“), the challenges („What do you expect to be the three biggest challenges?“), the management style of your superior („What should I know about you as a Manager?“), the status quo of the company, department or responsibility you take over („In which shape is the company/ department in today and what do you want to see changed in 6 months time?“, „If we decide that this job is for me, how will you measure in six/ twelve months if it was a success?“). These question give you an indication if you can do the job and want to do the job.
  2. How is life here? After all, we all want to spend a pleasant day in the office, right? Check out if this is the place that will allow it to you! Translate question number 2 in the interview into „What kind of person is successful here and what kind of person or behavior does not work?“, „What makes your company culture special?“. The job interview is all about finding things you have in common (see the posting “The Most Important Rule For The Job Interview”): check if what you hear is in line with your values and preferences and if so, tell your interviewer.

 

Conclusion:

Sorry: I got you with the title: there are not only two questions you really need to ask in the job interview but the two headlines above give you a good indication what you wish to check.

The questions in the interview have two purposes: a) show you are the right candidate for this job and b) give you the information you need to decide if you really want to work here.

Remember: „jobs are owned by the company but you own your career“ (Earl Nightingale) so manage it wisely and „test therefore who join forever if heart to heart be found together“ (Friedrich Schiller).

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Work Hard, Live Better: Work Life Balance Exists http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/work-hard-live-better-work-life-balance-exists/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/work-hard-live-better-work-life-balance-exists/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 23:01:22 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5101 This is a post by Rob Hornman, Hotelier, Motivational Speaker and Founder of IGNITION as well as Partner at QUO. Formerly, Rob was CEO of World Hotels AG and VP at Sofitel Luxury Hotels: “About three years ago I was heading home on a Friday night after another busy but rewarding week. I had left a bit earlier than usual as we were having dinner plans with the family. Hitting the roads early resulted in me ending up in a traffic jam. Whilst standing still in the traffic jam, something happened in my head. It was the weirdest feeling that I had ever experienced. Somehow it felt as if I was leaving my body. I immediately new something was wrong. It was a stroke, and even though it ended up being a relatively mild one, it became a life-changing event for me. The next few days I spent on the intensive care unit at the hospital. The next three months I spent home, not being allowed or able to drive, fly, work, do sports or do anything of the things I was used to. Basically, no more of anything that I loved. I literally went from 180 Km/h to the tempo of a snail. The next 18 to 24 months I have stayed under close supervision. Superman had turned into a victim, a patient. Even though my ‘accident’ was diagnosed as an incident, with no direct relationship between the accident and my lifestyle, I new that my lifestyle had certainly not helped. With 44 years, I was a relatively young CEO of a midsize global company. I could proudly look back to a successful international career with fantastic international experience. My lifestyle was typical for a senior executive in a similar position. My job came with the usual long days, intensive travel (often long haul), lots of meetings and since the last 10 years, thanks to Blackberry and internet, around the clock availability: always being online. But hey, I was enjoying it. I loved it. As I was recovering I made some big conscious and some subconscious decisions. Most importantly I took a decision with regards to my lifestyle. Yes, we all will die eventually and that’s fine but I clearly did not want to be directly responsible for it. First of all I had to start dealing with some of my bad habits. Like there are “7 habits of effective people” by Steven Covey, I created my own list of bad habits. A list that is probably typical for many senior executives. My list was looking like this: Bad eating and drinking habits. Generally too much of everything: Fat, salt, alcohol. Irregular eating patterns, to many latte’s, snacks etc. Exercise, yes, but only just about compensating some of the above bad eating habits. Not enough sleep. Never really switching off.   After three months at home, I decided to go back to work. That was a good decision. My work had, after all, always made me happy. Sitting at home, being remotely available was not doing me any good (anymore). Being back in the work process was the final step needed on my road to recovery. Thanks to a great team around me the company had done well in my absence, so that made it easier to get back in a different mode. I turned around each of my bad habits in to good habits. I changed my diet, stopped eating meat and went otherwise for a mostly Mediterranean style cuisine. I ate less, much less. Because of my medication, I could not drink anymore so that dealt with the alcohol. And finally, as soon as I was mobile again, I started exercising. I got myself a rowing machine and as long as I could not do my jogging, I walked. I walked hours and hours in the forest. After a while I was also able to start jogging again. The sleeping and switching off was still a challenge, but I dealt with that later. My total recovery was fast and furious. After a while my good habits started paying off and at some stage I felt that I was probably healthier than most of the people around me. I also noticed that I had a lot more energy than people around me. A big part of that is surely related to the eating and drinking habits. Two further fulltime CEO years after my accident, meanwhile back to my ‘superman’ levels, I decided I was ready to use all the good and bad experience that I had gained in the last 20 years to fulfill one of my dreams, to start owning and running my own business-(ses). So here I am busy as always, travelling the globe and managing growing businesses, but with some very disciplined routines and rituals when it comes to balancing work and life. Finally my five tips. Hopefully they will prove to you that it is actually possible to have a balanced life as a senior executive. Simply take care of your career by taking care of yourself. If you start now, you might skip the unpleasant wake up call. My 5 tips Apply your excellence: Use the strengths that brought you where you are today: you became a CEO because of your excellence; adopt that same excellence to all that you do in your life. Adopt some nutrition and exercise discipline: You should probably start with consuming half of what you have been consuming until now. You know what is good and not good. Exercise, anything goes, just find what fits you best, it clears your mind Focus: i.e. when with the family, focus on the family, when at work focus on work. Read: Chris Baréz-Brown’s book: “Free! Love your work, love your life”. Stay in control: My favorite motto, borrowed from Jim Rohn: “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree!”  

The post Work Hard, Live Better: Work Life Balance Exists appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Work Life Balance

This is a post by Rob Hornman, Hotelier, Motivational Speaker and Founder of IGNITION as well as Partner at QUO. Formerly, Rob was CEO of World Hotels AG and VP at Sofitel Luxury Hotels:

“About three years ago I was heading home on a Friday night after another busy but rewarding week. I had left a bit earlier than usual as we were having dinner plans with the family. Hitting the roads early resulted in me ending up in a traffic jam.

Whilst standing still in the traffic jam, something happened in my head. It was the weirdest feeling that I had ever experienced. Somehow it felt as if I was leaving my body.

I immediately new something was wrong.

It was a stroke, and even though it ended up being a relatively mild one, it became a life-changing event for me.

The next few days I spent on the intensive care unit at the hospital. The next three months I spent home, not being allowed or able to drive, fly, work, do sports or do anything of the things I was used to. Basically, no more of anything that I loved. I literally went from 180 Km/h to the tempo of a snail.

The next 18 to 24 months I have stayed under close supervision. Superman had turned into a victim, a patient.

Even though my ‘accident’ was diagnosed as an incident, with no direct relationship between the accident and my lifestyle, I new that my lifestyle had certainly not helped.

With 44 years, I was a relatively young CEO of a midsize global company. I could proudly look back to a successful international career with fantastic international experience.

My lifestyle was typical for a senior executive in a similar position. My job came with the usual long days, intensive travel (often long haul), lots of meetings and since the last 10 years, thanks to Blackberry and internet, around the clock availability: always being online. But hey, I was enjoying it. I loved it.

As I was recovering I made some big conscious and some subconscious decisions. Most importantly I took a decision with regards to my lifestyle. Yes, we all will die eventually and that’s fine but I clearly did not want to be directly responsible for it.

First of all I had to start dealing with some of my bad habits.

Like there are “7 habits of effective people” by Steven Covey, I created my own list of bad habits. A list that is probably typical for many senior executives.

My list was looking like this:

  1. Bad eating and drinking habits. Generally too much of everything: Fat, salt, alcohol. Irregular eating patterns, to many latte’s, snacks etc.
  2. Exercise, yes, but only just about compensating some of the above bad eating habits.
  3. Not enough sleep.
  4. Never really switching off.

 

After three months at home, I decided to go back to work. That was a good decision. My work had, after all, always made me happy. Sitting at home, being remotely available was not doing me any good (anymore). Being back in the work process was the final step needed on my road to recovery.

Thanks to a great team around me the company had done well in my absence, so that made it easier to get back in a different mode.

I turned around each of my bad habits in to good habits. I changed my diet, stopped eating meat and went otherwise for a mostly Mediterranean style cuisine. I ate less, much less. Because of my medication, I could not drink anymore so that dealt with the alcohol. And finally, as soon as I was mobile again, I started exercising. I got myself a rowing machine and as long as I could not do my jogging, I walked. I walked hours and hours in the forest. After a while I was also able to start jogging again. The sleeping and switching off was still a challenge, but I dealt with that later.

My total recovery was fast and furious. After a while my good habits started paying off and at some stage I felt that I was probably healthier than most of the people around me. I also noticed that I had a lot more energy than people around me. A big part of that is surely related to the eating and drinking habits.

Two further fulltime CEO years after my accident, meanwhile back to my ‘superman’ levels, I decided I was ready to use all the good and bad experience that I had gained in the last 20 years to fulfill one of my dreams, to start owning and running my own business-(ses). So here I am busy as always, travelling the globe and managing growing businesses, but with some very disciplined routines and rituals when it comes to balancing work and life.

Finally my five tips. Hopefully they will prove to you that it is actually possible to have a balanced life as a senior executive. Simply take care of your career by taking care of yourself. If you start now, you might skip the unpleasant wake up call.

My 5 tips

  1. Apply your excellence: Use the strengths that brought you where you are today: you became a CEO because of your excellence; adopt that same excellence to all that you do in your life.
  1. Adopt some nutrition and exercise discipline: You should probably start with consuming half of what you have been consuming until now. You know what is good and not good. Exercise, anything goes, just find what fits you best, it clears your mind
  1. Focus: i.e. when with the family, focus on the family, when at work focus on work.
  1. Read: Chris Baréz-Brown’s book: “Free! Love your work, love your life”.
  1. Stay in control: My favorite motto, borrowed from Jim Rohn:If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree!”

 

The post Work Hard, Live Better: Work Life Balance Exists appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Our Latest Interview With BBC Capital http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-latest-interview-with-bbc/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/our-latest-interview-with-bbc/#respond Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:23:18 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5656 Short-timer’s dilemma: Does this belong on your CV? One month here, three months there: should this be on your resume or not? Answer: not so easy… Read on what we think in our interview with BBC Capital at www.bbc.in/1vo9Hbv

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Short-timer’s dilemma: Does this belong on your CV? One month here, three months there: should this be on your resume or not? Answer: not so easy… Read on what we think in our interview with BBC Capital at www.bbc.in/1vo9Hbv

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Right Or Wrong: “Headhunters Find Jobs For Candidates” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/right-wrong-headhunters-find-jobs-candidates/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/right-wrong-headhunters-find-jobs-candidates/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:01:21 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5045 „Wrong“, er „Right“ er „Not So Easy“… The answer should in theory be „wrong“ as the definition „client“ is in a for-profit context „the one who pays the invoice“. And in executive search or headhunting, this is the hiring company as the service is for free for the candidates. But then, if I wrote it like this, this would be a one paragraph posting. And, more importantly, I would not keep my promise of giving true career advice and debunking the myths about headhunters. This answer is far more complex. It is too simplistic to say „headhunters do not find jobs for candidates“ but „headhunters find candidates for jobs“. Both must come together and sometimes the chicken is there before the egg. Of course we must meet good people at all times, people who we already think of when the right job pops up for them. But then, we also need the assignment and if we purely go by the numbers, odds are higher to fill a given assignment than finding a job for a given candidate. Let’s have a systematic look at this question: whether you are hiring manager or job seeker, we talk about a relationship between a customer and a service provider. What would you expect in general as a customer? In executive search (or recruitment in general), it is 1) service (professional advice, interest in your situation and an available Consultant) and 2) a solution to your problem. And this is where huge differences occur between being a hiring manager and a candidate. Here is what you will experience as: A hiring manager (more specifically one who has paid a retainer. HERE is why you should always do so when you want to make sure to have a better team than your competitor): we will give you advice on how the search should be structured, what the right background and salary for this position are, what the market looks like at the moment in general and what your company’s reputation is like in particular. You will normally get three qualified candidates who are all able to do the job, you will know at each step of the interview process what the candidates think of your job and how it ranks if they are running for other ones and normally and the candidate will be coached when s/he resigns which reduces the risk of accepting a counter offer. We will have true interest in your situation as we want to make sure the three candidates we present are all a good fit. And regarding availability, we will call you back when you ask us to do so, respect our deadlines and be there for you for a meeting within half a day when you want to see us. Finally, when we talk about getting a solution, we will successfully recruit someone for you in 90% of the cases (at least if you have paid a retainer. See link here above). Nice world, eh? A candidate: The above mentioned points look different. You might get some career advice – at least when you have a chance to meet us. But in most cases you won’t as in our interest in your situation is minor and we won’t be available for an interview. When you want to meet us, we will say „sorry, no“ when we don’t have a job for you at the moment and – this is the sad thing – we will often not call you back and not keep our deadlines and promises (if we are stupid, ruthless or inexperienced enough to say „I will call you back on Friday“). And, covering the last point, if you want a solution, the 90% chance you have seen above to sign a work contract shrinks to a desperate 15% (click HERE where this number comes from).   Sounds brutal? No, it is honest and I do not want to bullshit you. Read on! Here is the explanation:  No, it does not give us a thrill to treat candidates badly. On the contrary, we know that by treating you well, we will create a great reputation in the market as you will recommend us and hire from us when you have find a job again. We do not find it pleasant to turn your request to meet us away. We would love to interview you learn more about you and give you feedback on your presentation, resume and give you some great tips on how to finding a job. But Headhunters CANNOT meet with all those who want to meet us. If we did, we’d go out of business: We would have to stop calling and seeing prospects and clients an das a consequence, assignments would stop coming in – the assignments for which you might be the right candidate. Our job is to be on the phones and on the road to work for you and generate the job YOU want. Conclusion: Don’t give up, connect with us, network with us and chase us – but protect yourself and do not expect too much from us headhunters. Odds are against a relationship with a solution (=a job for you) and we do not want to disappoint you. Let’s talk first before we meet, we will take notes of who you are and what solution you can bring to a company and if we have a good filesystem (most recruiters don’t as they are able to put candidates into the database but do not get them get out again), we will call you when the job is there. At this point of time, of course, we will meet you, give you all the attention you deserve, listen to you, counsel and coach you and decide together if our job is the right one for you. And then, you might comment on this posting and write “True. Headhunters find jobs for candidates. And especially so when the job is there first!”

The post Right Or Wrong: “Headhunters Find Jobs For Candidates” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Right Or Wrong: „Headhunters Find Jobs For Candidates“„Wrong“, er „Right“ er „Not So Easy“…

The answer should in theory be „wrong“ as the definition „client“ is in a for-profit context „the one who pays the invoice“. And in executive search or headhunting, this is the hiring company as the service is for free for the candidates. But then, if I wrote it like this, this would be a one paragraph posting. And, more importantly, I would not keep my promise of giving true career advice and debunking the myths about headhunters.

This answer is far more complex.

It is too simplistic to say „headhunters do not find jobs for candidates“ but „headhunters find candidates for jobs“. Both must come together and sometimes the chicken is there before the egg. Of course we must meet good people at all times, people who we already think of when the right job pops up for them. But then, we also need the assignment and if we purely go by the numbers, odds are higher to fill a given assignment than finding a job for a given candidate.

Let’s have a systematic look at this question: whether you are hiring manager or job seeker, we talk about a relationship between a customer and a service provider. What would you expect in general as a customer? In executive search (or recruitment in general), it is 1) service (professional advice, interest in your situation and an available Consultant) and 2) a solution to your problem.

And this is where huge differences occur between being a hiring manager and a candidate.

Here is what you will experience as:

  • A hiring manager (more specifically one who has paid a retainer. HERE is why you should always do so when you want to make sure to have a better team than your competitor): we will give you advice on how the search should be structured, what the right background and salary for this position are, what the market looks like at the moment in general and what your company’s reputation is like in particular. You will normally get three qualified candidates who are all able to do the job, you will know at each step of the interview process what the candidates think of your job and how it ranks if they are running for other ones and normally and the candidate will be coached when s/he resigns which reduces the risk of accepting a counter offer. We will have true interest in your situation as we want to make sure the three candidates we present are all a good fit. And regarding availability, we will call you back when you ask us to do so, respect our deadlines and be there for you for a meeting within half a day when you want to see us. Finally, when we talk about getting a solution, we will successfully recruit someone for you in 90% of the cases (at least if you have paid a retainer. See link here above). Nice world, eh?
  • A candidate: The above mentioned points look different. You might get some career advice – at least when you have a chance to meet us. But in most cases you won’t as in our interest in your situation is minor and we won’t be available for an interview. When you want to meet us, we will say „sorry, no“ when we don’t have a job for you at the moment and – this is the sad thing – we will often not call you back and not keep our deadlines and promises (if we are stupid, ruthless or inexperienced enough to say „I will call you back on Friday“). And, covering the last point, if you want a solution, the 90% chance you have seen above to sign a work contract shrinks to a desperate 15% (click HERE where this number comes from).

 

Sounds brutal? No, it is honest and I do not want to bullshit you. Read on!

Here is the explanation: 

No, it does not give us a thrill to treat candidates badly. On the contrary, we know that by treating you well, we will create a great reputation in the market as you will recommend us and hire from us when you have find a job again. We do not find it pleasant to turn your request to meet us away. We would love to interview you learn more about you and give you feedback on your presentation, resume and give you some great tips on how to finding a job.

But Headhunters CANNOT meet with all those who want to meet us. If we did, we’d go out of business: We would have to stop calling and seeing prospects and clients an das a consequence, assignments would stop coming in – the assignments for which you might be the right candidate. Our job is to be on the phones and on the road to work for you and generate the job YOU want.

Conclusion:

Don’t give up, connect with us, network with us and chase us – but protect yourself and do not expect too much from us headhunters. Odds are against a relationship with a solution (=a job for you) and we do not want to disappoint you. Let’s talk first before we meet, we will take notes of who you are and what solution you can bring to a company and if we have a good filesystem (most recruiters don’t as they are able to put candidates into the database but do not get them get out again), we will call you when the job is there.

At this point of time, of course, we will meet you, give you all the attention you deserve, listen to you, counsel and coach you and decide together if our job is the right one for you.

And then, you might comment on this posting and write “True. Headhunters find jobs for candidates. And especially so when the job is there first!”

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Five Tips for an Awesome Job Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/five-tips-for-an-awesome-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/five-tips-for-an-awesome-job-interview/#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 23:01:42 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5023 This is a post by Tim Huff, a technology executive at Macy’s/ Bloomingdale’s: “Are you just another face in the crowd? Are you just another candidates who is forgotten about an hour after the job interview is complete? Of course not, you’re an awesome candidate whom any company would love to hire! But, you may be leaving a flat impression in your interviews without knowing it. As an interviewer, I often see dozens of resumes and interview several candidates before I’m ready to make a hiring decision. Unless you are able to make yourself stand out in some way, you may unfortunately be forgotten as just another resume, just another interview. To increase your chances to get hired in a competitive job market, you need to find a way to make yourself stand in the job interview. Here are five career advice tips that will help you succeed in your next interview. Ask GREAT questions: I interviewed a candidate a few years ago that didn’t just answer my questions; he spent a lot of the time asking ME questions. Not just the usual “how would you describe the company culture” questions, he asked amazingly insightful and conversation-starting questions. For example, after answering my question about how he solved a problem in his previous job, he finished with “so, what would you say is the biggest problem facing your team right now, and what skills do you see lacking with the team?” Impressive! He won an offer from me, and his questions were a big part of his success. If you want to leave your interviewer thinking that you are the solution to their problems, be prepared to ask GREAT questions. Take every opportunity to connect with the job description: If you prepared properly, you know the skills that are important for the job. Most of the time, I don’t have time to ask questions specifically related to every relevant skill on the job description, so it’s up to you to make the connection. For example, if I ask, “what are your three best skills that you can bring to the job,” your responses need to directly tie to skills mentioned in the job description. One way to do this may be to make a list of all the required skills on a small notepad, prepare a talking point or two for each skill, then mark them off during the interview when you’ve made the connection. The more you connect, the more you impress! Tell me a story: It’s one thing to tell me how good you are at solving problems, but it’s a completely different thing when you tell me a great story about how you solved a difficult problem. To leave a lasting impression in the interview, tell a story that illustrates how good you are. Start the story with a single sentence that highlights your skill and what impact it had. For example, if you were to say, “Last year, I analyzed and fixed a problem with the accounting software that saved the company over $35,000 in efficiency improvements”, that would get my attention! But you can’t stop there; the story should then include a few sentences about HOW you fixed the problem. For example, your story could continue by including how you identified that there was a problem with the software, what you did to analyze the problem, how you came up with a solution, and how you implemented it. But keep it brief! If your story takes more then 3 minutes to tell, it’s probably too long. Show your passion! Most of the time, I’m not looking for the first candidate who seems like they can do the job, I’m looking for someone who’s going to be awesome at it! Even if you are able to prove that you have the skills and experience an interviewer is looking for, you may be passed over by someone else who impresses with his or her passion and desire to dive into the job and provide value. Even if the other candidate doesn’t have all the right qualifications, interviewers may give an offer to that person if they demonstrated a great attitude for success! Know when to shut up: Asking great questions, connecting with the job description, telling stores, and showing passion all require you to talk a lot. But there’s a point at which you need to shut your mouth and let the interview continue. If you find yourself rambling on without a point, wrap it up. Often times, interviewers have stopped paying attention anyway. CONCLUSION: You could easily become just another candidate in a long line of interviews if you don’t take the time to prepare and make yourself stand out. Leave your competitors behind and win the interview by asking great questions, connecting with the job description, telling stories, showing passion, and stop talking when you’re done. You are the answer to the interviewer’s problem and the best person for the job. It’s waiting for you!  Prepare well and win it!”

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ImpressInInterview_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog-460x170

This is a post by Tim Huff, a technology executive at Macy’s/ Bloomingdale’s:

“Are you just another face in the crowd? Are you just another candidates who is forgotten about an hour after the job interview is complete? Of course not, you’re an awesome candidate whom any company would love to hire! But, you may be leaving a flat impression in your interviews without knowing it.

As an interviewer, I often see dozens of resumes and interview several candidates before I’m ready to make a hiring decision. Unless you are able to make yourself stand out in some way, you may unfortunately be forgotten as just another resume, just another interview. To increase your chances to get hired in a competitive job market, you need to find a way to make yourself stand in the job interview.

Here are five career advice tips that will help you succeed in your next interview.

  1. Ask GREAT questions: I interviewed a candidate a few years ago that didn’t just answer my questions; he spent a lot of the time asking ME questions. Not just the usual “how would you describe the company culture” questions, he asked amazingly insightful and conversation-starting questions. For example, after answering my question about how he solved a problem in his previous job, he finished with “so, what would you say is the biggest problem facing your team right now, and what skills do you see lacking with the team?” Impressive! He won an offer from me, and his questions were a big part of his success. If you want to leave your interviewer thinking that you are the solution to their problems, be prepared to ask GREAT questions.
  2. Take every opportunity to connect with the job description: If you prepared properly, you know the skills that are important for the job. Most of the time, I don’t have time to ask questions specifically related to every relevant skill on the job description, so it’s up to you to make the connection. For example, if I ask, “what are your three best skills that you can bring to the job,” your responses need to directly tie to skills mentioned in the job description. One way to do this may be to make a list of all the required skills on a small notepad, prepare a talking point or two for each skill, then mark them off during the interview when you’ve made the connection. The more you connect, the more you impress!
  3. Tell me a story: It’s one thing to tell me how good you are at solving problems, but it’s a completely different thing when you tell me a great story about how you solved a difficult problem. To leave a lasting impression in the interview, tell a story that illustrates how good you are. Start the story with a single sentence that highlights your skill and what impact it had. For example, if you were to say, “Last year, I analyzed and fixed a problem with the accounting software that saved the company over $35,000 in efficiency improvements”, that would get my attention! But you can’t stop there; the story should then include a few sentences about HOW you fixed the problem. For example, your story could continue by including how you identified that there was a problem with the software, what you did to analyze the problem, how you came up with a solution, and how you implemented it. But keep it brief! If your story takes more then 3 minutes to tell, it’s probably too long.
  4. Show your passion! Most of the time, I’m not looking for the first candidate who seems like they can do the job, I’m looking for someone who’s going to be awesome at it! Even if you are able to prove that you have the skills and experience an interviewer is looking for, you may be passed over by someone else who impresses with his or her passion and desire to dive into the job and provide value. Even if the other candidate doesn’t have all the right qualifications, interviewers may give an offer to that person if they demonstrated a great attitude for success!
  5. Know when to shut up: Asking great questions, connecting with the job description, telling stores, and showing passion all require you to talk a lot. But there’s a point at which you need to shut your mouth and let the interview continue. If you find yourself rambling on without a point, wrap it up. Often times, interviewers have stopped paying attention anyway.


CONCLUSION:

You could easily become just another candidate in a long line of interviews if you don’t take the time to prepare and make yourself stand out. Leave your competitors behind and win the interview by asking great questions, connecting with the job description, telling stories, showing passion, and stop talking when you’re done. You are the answer to the interviewer’s problem and the best person for the job. It’s waiting for you!  Prepare well and win it!”

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Recruiters – Three Reasons You Convert So Few Candidates Into Clients http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-recruiters-convert-few-candidates-into-clients/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/why-recruiters-convert-few-candidates-into-clients/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 23:01:21 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4965 Are you a professional recruiter, executive search/ research consultant or a headhunter and do you see a potential future client in every candidate? Have you been given ratios when you were a junior of „VIP candidates“ to lure into an interview with the only aim of trying to generate job leads from them? And have you also wondered why you convert eventually only so few candidates into clients? People accuse recruiters for seeing the world in a binary way: 1) decision maker with a job=potential client, 2) decision maker without a job= “to sell”. Yet candidates are potentially not much better and often think of us „Jorg’s only reason to exist is to find me a new job and I don’t care for the rest“. Few to none of our candidates think „wait, one of my direct reports is leaving and I will ask Jorg right away to recruit a new one “ or „this guy is great! As soon as I have found a new job, I will call her/ him up as soon as there is a move in my team“. What are the three main reasons recruiters convert so few candidates into hiring managers (thanks, Albert, for the discussion we had about this!)? Meeting us is an unpleasant event: We tend to forget this as it has become a routine to us but a job search is always a stressful situation and even much more so when a candidate is currently out of job. Candidates go from interview to interview, hopes are high every time and most of these will be disappointed. A job search is not the Olympics: there is gold or nothing. Coming in „number 2“ or number 99 does not make a difference in the end. Once in the new job, candidates want to forget this time and the process of forgetting can include burning bridges with people who were close to them during this time… Or would you see your dentist when you have no tooth ache? We have become a confidant of the betrayal to come: The reason why the candidates in front of you will rarely give you the assignment to run a recruitment for their teams is that you know something their boss does not: they have become illoyal to their organization. Soon, they will be gone and everyone is out for him/herself. In 90% of the cases, the employer is not aware and the candidates will do everything to keep this a secret – including putting a confidant in front of their boss. In the remaining 10% in which the boss is aware, the opinion of a defector will not be listened to anyway in most of the cases so why should they care to recommend us? Lousy follow-up: I do not think that this is the main reason yet no list on lost sales is complete without mentioning bad follow-up. Switching costs for a client to changing the recruiter are zero. The number one reason why customers switch is in our job like in any other job with a strong sales component is that we simply did not call again at the right time – but our competitor did. I read this week that we lose 88% of our customers because of this… Conclusion: Let’s continue to be good and create goodwill in the world every day! Yes, we should do everything we can do to treat our candidates better than our competitors. Some of them will think of us, recommend us, give positive references – and, yes, give us job orders. What goes around comes around. And even if they don’t, we will feel better in our job, one of the most ethical ones in the world!  

The post Recruiters – Three Reasons You Convert So Few Candidates Into Clients appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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WhyRecruitersConvertSoFewCandidatesIntoClients_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Are you a professional recruiter, executive search/ research consultant or a headhunter and do you see a potential future client in every candidate? Have you been given ratios when you were a junior of „VIP candidates“ to lure into an interview with the only aim of trying to generate job leads from them? And have you also wondered why you convert eventually only so few candidates into clients?

People accuse recruiters for seeing the world in a binary way: 1) decision maker with a job=potential client, 2) decision maker without a job= “to sell”. Yet candidates are potentially not much better and often think of us „Jorg’s only reason to exist is to find me a new job and I don’t care for the rest“. Few to none of our candidates think „wait, one of my direct reports is leaving and I will ask Jorg right away to recruit a new one “ or „this guy is great! As soon as I have found a new job, I will call her/ him up as soon as there is a move in my team“.

What are the three main reasons recruiters convert so few candidates into hiring managers (thanks, Albert, for the discussion we had about this!)?

  1. Meeting us is an unpleasant event: We tend to forget this as it has become a routine to us but a job search is always a stressful situation and even much more so when a candidate is currently out of job. Candidates go from interview to interview, hopes are high every time and most of these will be disappointed. A job search is not the Olympics: there is gold or nothing. Coming in „number 2“ or number 99 does not make a difference in the end. Once in the new job, candidates want to forget this time and the process of forgetting can include burning bridges with people who were close to them during this time… Or would you see your dentist when you have no tooth ache?
  2. We have become a confidant of the betrayal to come: The reason why the candidates in front of you will rarely give you the assignment to run a recruitment for their teams is that you know something their boss does not: they have become illoyal to their organization. Soon, they will be gone and everyone is out for him/herself. In 90% of the cases, the employer is not aware and the candidates will do everything to keep this a secret – including putting a confidant in front of their boss. In the remaining 10% in which the boss is aware, the opinion of a defector will not be listened to anyway in most of the cases so why should they care to recommend us?
  3. Lousy follow-up: I do not think that this is the main reason yet no list on lost sales is complete without mentioning bad follow-up. Switching costs for a client to changing the recruiter are zero. The number one reason why customers switch is in our job like in any other job with a strong sales component is that we simply did not call again at the right time – but our competitor did. I read this week that we lose 88% of our customers because of this…


Conclusion:

Let’s continue to be good and create goodwill in the world every day! Yes, we should do everything we can do to treat our candidates better than our competitors. Some of them will think of us, recommend us, give positive references – and, yes, give us job orders. What goes around comes around. And even if they don’t, we will feel better in our job, one of the most ethical ones in the world!

 

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Right Or Wrong: “Recruiters Advertise Fake Jobs” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/recruiters-advertise-fake-jobs/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/recruiters-advertise-fake-jobs/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 23:01:42 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=1392 Often right – though it is illegal to do so in some countries. Yet some recruiters advertise fake jobs, completely made up and neither the job nor the company exist (this is valid for recruiters who work on success fees and who have to build a “candidate pool”). For the last 13 years since I started in this profession, I heard over and over again candidates who complained that when they met their recruiter, the job “was gone”, had “just been filled” or more bluntly “does not exist” and had the aim “to attract candidates”. None of these explanations and especially not the last one proves superior intelligence or tact of the recruiter. What is the explanation for this behavior? Two models co-exist in the market: “push” and “pull” meaning recruitment firms who “push” the candidate, often without an assignment or, if they have it, without exclusivity and “pull” where the assignment is given first to the headhunter and the search begins afterwards. In short, the first ones work at success fees, the second ones with retainers. Click here for more details, including the question if you have to pay a retainer as a client. Category one number of recruitment firms needs candidates and in order to get these, they might decide to post job advertisements that do not exist. Furthermore, ratios are given to the consultants which are something like “You have to interview 10 candidates per week, including 2 VIP candidates”. “VIP candidates” are decision makers with the only reason to get job orders from, today and/ or you as soon as you have found your next job. But you might not find it through these recruiters! Conclusion: Yes, some recruiters will put sexy job advertisements on their homepage to get YOUR resume for a job does not exist or has almost been filled in 2009 by a colleague who has left the company in the meantime. Choose your headhunter wisely (here are some tips how to recognize a good one), preferably one who works retained only, and we can be a catalyst for your career.

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Recruiters Advertise Fake Jobs | Kennedy Executive Career Advice

Often right – though it is illegal to do so in some countries. Yet some recruiters advertise fake jobs, completely made up and neither the job nor the company exist (this is valid for recruiters who work on success fees and who have to build a “candidate pool”).

For the last 13 years since I started in this profession, I heard over and over again candidates who complained that when they met their recruiter, the job “was gone”, had “just been filled” or more bluntly “does not exist” and had the aim “to attract candidates”.

None of these explanations and especially not the last one proves superior intelligence or tact of the recruiter.

What is the explanation for this behavior?

Two models co-exist in the market: “push” and “pull” meaning recruitment firms who “push” the candidate, often without an assignment or, if they have it, without exclusivity and “pull” where the assignment is given first to the headhunter and the search begins afterwards. In short, the first ones work at success fees, the second ones with retainers. Click here for more details, including the question if you have to pay a retainer as a client.

Category one number of recruitment firms needs candidates and in order to get these, they might decide to post job advertisements that do not exist. Furthermore, ratios are given to the consultants which are something like “You have to interview 10 candidates per week, including 2 VIP candidates”. “VIP candidates” are decision makers with the only reason to get job orders from, today and/ or you as soon as you have found your next job. But you might not find it through these recruiters!

Conclusion:

Yes, some recruiters will put sexy job advertisements on their homepage to get YOUR resume for a job does not exist or has almost been filled in 2009 by a colleague who has left the company in the meantime. Choose your headhunter wisely (here are some tips how to recognize a good one), preferably one who works retained only, and we can be a catalyst for your career.

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Kennedy Exec One Of The Top 10 Twitter Accounts For Job Seekers http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-exec-named-one-of-the-top-10-twitter-accounts-for-job-seekers/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-exec-named-one-of-the-top-10-twitter-accounts-for-job-seekers/#respond Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:35:37 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5659 Thanks, Paste Magazine, for naming us one of the top 10 twitter accounts for job seekers. You communicated to 200k+ people, we try to do our best to add some too! Read all the details at www.bit.ly/1zNk7GZ – and follow www.twitter.com/kennedyexec of course!

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Thanks, Paste Magazine, for naming us one of the top 10 twitter accounts for job seekers. You communicated to 200k+ people, we try to do our best to add some too! Read all the details at www.bit.ly/1zNk7GZ – and follow www.twitter.com/kennedyexec of course!

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How To Recognize A Good Headhunter http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-recognize-a-good-headhunter/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-recognize-a-good-headhunter/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 23:01:38 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=764 Whilst it is almost impossible to recognize e.g. a good dentist (confirms my friend Carsten, a good dentist), this is much easier when you ask yourself the question how to recognize a good headhunter. Here are the 3 triple x questions to recognize a good headhunter and help you understand if the recruiter in front of you is likely to be able to help you or not: X as in Expertise: How well does the headhunter know his/ her client/ candidate, the industry or at least the position/ candidate s/he represents? This will directly influence the quality of work and career advice delivered. Some recruiters do not even have the basic information, vital puzzle pieces you need to know to take a decision with such an impact on you. Ask these questions to sort the wheat from the chaff: What is the position’s/ candidate’s history, the reason for the vacancy/ the candidate’s real interest in the position? Who are the direct competitors of the company they recruit for, what are the current trends the industry is undergoing? How does your headhunter find his/ her candidates? How well can your headhunter describe the candidate’s personality/ the culture of his/ her client? And how does s/he resume your conversation and the job brief/ your key motivators?? X as in Experience: Are you in front of a specialist or a generalist? Sector or industry specialization both co-exist. Even though being a generalist is nothing bad, some sectors like IT or insurance are very specific and it is not easy to understand how these areas tick. How many years has your executive search consultant been working in this industry and what exactly did s/ he do? “Recruitment” can mean temp staffing, interim management or direct search. Every market and every approach is completely different. And how many candidates has s/he recruited by the way in his/her career? These questions give you an indication of you are in front of a real professional or not. X as in X-Factor: The first two points are tangible and measurable but this is not the case with point 3: does your headhunter listen to you, give advice? Is s/he critical and maybe corrects what your perception of the market is? Does s/ he keep promises (“I call you back on Friday”), briefs you before client/ candidate meetings, stresses positive as well as critical parts of the candidate/ the job? These are the soft factors and they will determine if you keep in touch in the long run or not. Most headhunters are able to make a good first impression but few can establish a lasting relationship based on trust and with the goal to create a win-win alliance with you. Conclusion: Use the “3X Expertise, Experience and X-Factor” to recognize a good headhunter, find and test 2-3 search consultants, keep in touch with them and talk to them on eye-level to a) manage your own career wisely and b) find the best talent in the market for your team.  

The post How To Recognize A Good Headhunter appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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HowToRecognizeAgoodHeadhunter_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Whilst it is almost impossible to recognize e.g. a good dentist (confirms my friend Carsten, a good dentist), this is much easier when you ask yourself the question how to recognize a good headhunter.

Here are the 3 triple x questions to recognize a good headhunter and help you understand if the recruiter in front of you is likely to be able to help you or not:

  1. X as in Expertise: How well does the headhunter know his/ her client/ candidate, the industry or at least the position/ candidate s/he represents? This will directly influence the quality of work and career advice delivered. Some recruiters do not even have the basic information, vital puzzle pieces you need to know to take a decision with such an impact on you. Ask these questions to sort the wheat from the chaff: What is the position’s/ candidate’s history, the reason for the vacancy/ the candidate’s real interest in the position? Who are the direct competitors of the company they recruit for, what are the current trends the industry is undergoing? How does your headhunter find his/ her candidates? How well can your headhunter describe the candidate’s personality/ the culture of his/ her client? And how does s/he resume your conversation and the job brief/ your key motivators??
  2. X as in Experience: Are you in front of a specialist or a generalist? Sector or industry specialization both co-exist. Even though being a generalist is nothing bad, some sectors like IT or insurance are very specific and it is not easy to understand how these areas tick. How many years has your executive search consultant been working in this industry and what exactly did s/ he do? “Recruitment” can mean temp staffing, interim management or direct search. Every market and every approach is completely different. And how many candidates has s/he recruited by the way in his/her career? These questions give you an indication of you are in front of a real professional or not.
  3. X as in X-Factor: The first two points are tangible and measurable but this is not the case with point 3: does your headhunter listen to you, give advice? Is s/he critical and maybe corrects what your perception of the market is? Does s/ he keep promises (“I call you back on Friday”), briefs you before client/ candidate meetings, stresses positive as well as critical parts of the candidate/ the job? These are the soft factors and they will determine if you keep in touch in the long run or not. Most headhunters are able to make a good first impression but few can establish a lasting relationship based on trust and with the goal to create a win-win alliance with you.


Conclusion:

Use the “3X Expertise, Experience and X-Factor” to recognize a good headhunter, find and test 2-3 search consultants, keep in touch with them and talk to them on eye-level to a) manage your own career wisely and b) find the best talent in the market for your team.

 

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5 Reasons Your Application Gets Ignored http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/5-reasons-application-gets-ignored/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/5-reasons-application-gets-ignored/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 23:01:48 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=709 Are you sending tons of CVs but only 10% are responded to? Here are the top 5 reasons your application gets ignored. You have no time to be inefficient and neither do we. In a world of information that is omnipresent and difficult to digest, everything must go fast. If you are not able to convince within 6.25 seconds that you are the right candidate, your resume will be put on “nope” pile and my own experience after 13 years in recruitment is that approx 85% of all resumes received on a job advertisement do not meet the criteria of the description and will go there (ahem: so best do not try to post one but call us right away and we will find the talent you are looking for without job ads!). What are the top five tips to reduce the risk that your application gets ignored? Only apply when you cover at least 70% of the technical skills: This is a good ratio as it will give you a) the confidence to make it and b) enough room to grow, learn and remain motivated for a longer period. This or a similar ratio is not only part of the hiring process for your next manager but also important for your personal risk management: you want to be sure the next step will be the right one, be perceived as one of the best in your peer group and be sure to be the next one to get a promotion, right? Only apply when you cover 99% of the KO criteria of a job description: When it says “fluent French is a must criteria”, this means: you cannot do the job unless you speak fluent French. You might apply when you have a “very good” level. Sounds obvious? It is not: I had candidates that put “fluent” on their resume and did NOT at all speak the language required. I test all languages and in 80% of the cases I correct the level mentioned. Be prepared that everything you put on your resume may be checked. Do not apply when you are clearly over or underqualified: If you read “7-10 years of experience in the same field”, don’t apply if you have 2 years. You will not be able to do the job (see point 1). And neither apply when you have 20 as you might appear frantic and a step down in terms of responsabilities, title and salary as well as reporting to someone potentially less qualified than you is neither good for your resume nor for your morale. You will most likely not be hired anyway as you would create an internal disequilibrium. Only apply when you are around: Unless you have a very rare or very senior profile, you should live in the area where the job is located or have a very good reason why you apply: I get resumes from India for a job in Paris. And even candidates who live 5 hours drive from my office will unfortunately not be priority A candidates as they cannot be in my office tomorrow at 4pm for a first interview and Tuesday next with my client. Furthermore, experience shows that moving to another city and leaving friends and family behind etc. is not as easy as it seems and many candidates change their mind when the contract is on their desk. And if you move to another country, it can be more difficult to think to get a work permit and employers will not always be ready to take the risk you don’t get it. Trust your gut feeling: Only apply when you like the job content and the industry and want to spend 40-50 hours in this context for the next years. If you have doubts, don’t apply. Don’t compromise with your guts about a job vacancy: yes is yes, no is no and maybe is – no! There are more candidates than you think that apply for jobs they don’t want to have. If you know why, please tell me as I don’t understand… Conclusion: We are all busy and have to manage our time wisely, you and the person you send your resume to as well. Do not hope that you can try to make it into a first interview though you do not meet the requested criteria and then convince by your personality and potential. If you meet the above five points, however, please apply fast and we will be happy to meet, communicate well and fast and you have reduced the odds that your application gets ignored. 

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5ReasonsYourApplicationGetsIgnored

Are you sending tons of CVs but only 10% are responded to? Here are the top 5 reasons your application gets ignored.

You have no time to be inefficient and neither do we. In a world of information that is omnipresent and difficult to digest, everything must go fast. If you are not able to convince within 6.25 seconds that you are the right candidate, your resume will be put on “nope” pile and my own experience after 13 years in recruitment is that approx 85% of all resumes received on a job advertisement do not meet the criteria of the description and will go there (ahem: so best do not try to post one but call us right away and we will find the talent you are looking for without job ads!).

What are the top five tips to reduce the risk that your application gets ignored?

  1. Only apply when you cover at least 70% of the technical skills: This is a good ratio as it will give you a) the confidence to make it and b) enough room to grow, learn and remain motivated for a longer period. This or a similar ratio is not only part of the hiring process for your next manager but also important for your personal risk management: you want to be sure the next step will be the right one, be perceived as one of the best in your peer group and be sure to be the next one to get a promotion, right?
  2. Only apply when you cover 99% of the KO criteria of a job description: When it says “fluent French is a must criteria”, this means: you cannot do the job unless you speak fluent French. You might apply when you have a “very good” level. Sounds obvious? It is not: I had candidates that put “fluent” on their resume and did NOT at all speak the language required. I test all languages and in 80% of the cases I correct the level mentioned. Be prepared that everything you put on your resume may be checked.
  3. Do not apply when you are clearly over or underqualified: If you read “7-10 years of experience in the same field”, don’t apply if you have 2 years. You will not be able to do the job (see point 1). And neither apply when you have 20 as you might appear frantic and a step down in terms of responsabilities, title and salary as well as reporting to someone potentially less qualified than you is neither good for your resume nor for your morale. You will most likely not be hired anyway as you would create an internal disequilibrium.
  4. Only apply when you are around: Unless you have a very rare or very senior profile, you should live in the area where the job is located or have a very good reason why you apply: I get resumes from India for a job in Paris. And even candidates who live 5 hours drive from my office will unfortunately not be priority A candidates as they cannot be in my office tomorrow at 4pm for a first interview and Tuesday next with my client. Furthermore, experience shows that moving to another city and leaving friends and family behind etc. is not as easy as it seems and many candidates change their mind when the contract is on their desk. And if you move to another country, it can be more difficult to think to get a work permit and employers will not always be ready to take the risk you don’t get it.
  5. Trust your gut feeling: Only apply when you like the job content and the industry and want to spend 40-50 hours in this context for the next years. If you have doubts, don’t apply. Don’t compromise with your guts about a job vacancy: yes is yes, no is no and maybe is – no! There are more candidates than you think that apply for jobs they don’t want to have. If you know why, please tell me as I don’t understand…


Conclusion:

We are all busy and have to manage our time wisely, you and the person you send your resume to as well. Do not hope that you can try to make it into a first interview though you do not meet the requested criteria and then convince by your personality and potential. If you meet the above five points, however, please apply fast and we will be happy to meet, communicate well and fast and you have reduced the odds that your application gets ignored. 

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Why And How To Play Nice With Recruiters (And What Bees Got To Do With It…) http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-play-nice-with-recruiters/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-play-nice-with-recruiters/#comments Sun, 08 Jun 2014 23:01:11 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4780 This is a post by Marcia LaReau, an executive career coach, employment trainer, and business consultant. Marcia is founder of Forward Motion LLC, Motivational Speaker and “The Voice of the Unemployed”: “Most headhunters are quite protective about their work. Jorg Stegemann from Kennedy Executive is unusual because he reaches out to jobseekers through his informative blogs regarding his process. If you haven’t gained his insights on how to attract headhunters, you should definitely read this article. Once you engage with them, it’s important to know how to play nice with recruiters for a variety of reasons. There’s a LOT at stake: Recruiters are classy gatekeepers. They represent companies that trust them to find the right people who will help move their businesses forward. Their hiring advice may impact the business at its core, which is why recruiters pay inordinate attention when scrutinizing potential candidates. It’s a carefully protected relationship. Anything that might cause a loss of trust must be eliminated. Why recruiters are important: The world is flat: Technology has brought effective business globalization. Employees can work from almost anywhere. Therefore, if a recruiter contacts you and is “off your geographic grid”, remember that your situation could change in the near future. You may be a global employee sooner than you think, and your recruiter will likely be trans-national. Business failure rate is at an all-time high: Disruptive innovation is causing new businesses to rise and fall and topple established companies. According to Brian Solis, the fall of businesses (from start-ups to Fortune 1000) has been rising since 1973 due to advancements in technology. The 2013 failure rate is over 70 percent. A long-term relationship with a recruiter will be a significant asset. You will likely change jobs every three or four years: A Forbes article indicates that a survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers showed a person may expect to have 15-20 jobs over the course of a career. That’s every three years. I suggest that learning how to play nice with two or three recruiters is now a part of your career plan. Top tips to long-term relationships: Demonstrate integrity: If your recruiter is carefully scrutinizing every detail, remember that Résumé fraud is up and according to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) [78% of résumés are misleading. Remember that recruiters have a lot to lose. If you have stretched, exaggerated, inflated, embellished or padded the truth—stop immediately. Once your credibility is ruined —it’s over. Demonstrate character: Try to avoid making assumptions about what is helpful to your recruiter. Ask him or her for guidance. If you aren’t the right candidate for a position and you know of someone; ask the recruiter if you might suggest someone for consideration. Grow their trust in you by letting them lead the relationship —priceless! Demonstrate humility: When a recruiter asks you to make changes to your résumé, use the moment to demonstrate that you are a flexible, collaborative team player. Yes, I know…that’s your carefully crafted résumé and you have painstakingly chosen every word and sweated over every detail. Guess what? The purpose of your résumé was to get their attention. It has now fulfilled its purpose. Save the recruiter time: listen carefully and do exactly as you have been asked. They know what and how their clients prefer to look at your credentials —create good will! Develop credibility and loyalty: Have you ever thought about what is important to the recruiter? Here’s the diamond in this blog… When you land a job through a recruiter, you are now their ambassador. Part of your job is to build loyalty with their client. You are to exceed the expectations of your employer and your recruiter. That way, your employer will be delighted with both you and their recruiter. And where do you think the recruiter will be when it’s time to look for a new position? —there for you! Conclusion: The business landscape is changing faster than any of us can imagine. Find ethical recruiters who act in the best interest of both the business and the potential employee. These are the people who are industry leaders and who monitor and uphold the best practices for the recruiting industry. Build long-term relationships by helping them find top talent. Together jobseekers and recruiters can create work alliances that raise the quality of the labor force and build profitable companies with solid ethical practices. We all have a mandate as professional contributors to choose what kind of influence our careers will have. It’s about making a difference and this is one way to do so. Learn how to play nice with recruiters as part of your contribution to the hiring industry. Perhaps it’s like the bees and the flowers. Together they make honey—sweet!”

The post Why And How To Play Nice With Recruiters (And What Bees Got To Do With It…) appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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WhyAndHowPlayNiceWithRecruiters_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

This is a post by Marcia LaReau, an executive career coach, employment trainer, and business consultant. Marcia is founder of Forward Motion LLC, Motivational Speaker and “The Voice of the Unemployed”:

“Most headhunters are quite protective about their work. Jorg Stegemann from Kennedy Executive is unusual because he reaches out to jobseekers through his informative blogs regarding his process. If you haven’t gained his insights on how to attract headhunters, you should definitely read this article.

Once you engage with them, it’s important to know how to play nice with recruiters for a variety of reasons.

There’s a LOT at stake:

Recruiters are classy gatekeepers. They represent companies that trust them to find the right people who will help move their businesses forward. Their hiring advice may impact the business at its core, which is why recruiters pay inordinate attention when scrutinizing potential candidates. It’s a carefully protected relationship. Anything that might cause a loss of trust must be eliminated. Why recruiters are important:

  1. The world is flat: Technology has brought effective business globalization. Employees can work from almost anywhere. Therefore, if a recruiter contacts you and is “off your geographic grid”, remember that your situation could change in the near future. You may be a global employee sooner than you think, and your recruiter will likely be trans-national.
  2. Business failure rate is at an all-time high: Disruptive innovation is causing new businesses to rise and fall and topple established companies. According to Brian Solis, the fall of businesses (from start-ups to Fortune 1000) has been rising since 1973 due to advancements in technology. The 2013 failure rate is over 70 percent. A long-term relationship with a recruiter will be a significant asset.
  3. You will likely change jobs every three or four years: A Forbes article indicates that a survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers showed a person may expect to have 15-20 jobs over the course of a career. That’s every three years. I suggest that learning how to play nice with two or three recruiters is now a part of your career plan.


Top tips to long-term relationships:

  1. Demonstrate integrity: If your recruiter is carefully scrutinizing every detail, remember that Résumé fraud is up and according to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) [78% of résumés are misleading. Remember that recruiters have a lot to lose. If you have stretched, exaggerated, inflated, embellished or padded the truth—stop immediately. Once your credibility is ruined —it’s over.
  2. Demonstrate character: Try to avoid making assumptions about what is helpful to your recruiter. Ask him or her for guidance. If you aren’t the right candidate for a position and you know of someone; ask the recruiter if you might suggest someone for consideration. Grow their trust in you by letting them lead the relationship —priceless!
  3. Demonstrate humility: When a recruiter asks you to make changes to your résumé, use the moment to demonstrate that you are a flexible, collaborative team player. Yes, I know…that’s your carefully crafted résumé and you have painstakingly chosen every word and sweated over every detail. Guess what? The purpose of your résumé was to get their attention. It has now fulfilled its purpose. Save the recruiter time: listen carefully and do exactly as you have been asked. They know what and how their clients prefer to look at your credentials —create good will!
  4. Develop credibility and loyalty: Have you ever thought about what is important to the recruiter? Here’s the diamond in this blog… When you land a job through a recruiter, you are now their ambassador. Part of your job is to build loyalty with their client. You are to exceed the expectations of your employer and your recruiter. That way, your employer will be delighted with both you and their recruiter. And where do you think the recruiter will be when it’s time to look for a new position? —there for you!


Conclusion:

The business landscape is changing faster than any of us can imagine. Find ethical recruiters who act in the best interest of both the business and the potential employee. These are the people who are industry leaders and who monitor and uphold the best practices for the recruiting industry. Build long-term relationships by helping them find top talent. Together jobseekers and recruiters can create work alliances that raise the quality of the labor force and build profitable companies with solid ethical practices. We all have a mandate as professional contributors to choose what kind of influence our careers will have. It’s about making a difference and this is one way to do so. Learn how to play nice with recruiters as part of your contribution to the hiring industry. Perhaps it’s like the bees and the flowers. Together they make honey—sweet!”

The post Why And How To Play Nice With Recruiters (And What Bees Got To Do With It…) appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Ace A Phone Interview @Forbes http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/ace-phone-interview-post-forbes/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/ace-phone-interview-post-forbes/#respond Tue, 27 May 2014 13:50:22 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4761 Congrats: you have already been identified as „interesting“ and are not one of the 85% of all candidates and résumés inhouse and external recruiters receive who dont respond to the job specs. Take my job as a headhunter for instance: in a typical search assignments with at least 100 or more candidates, I identify the 15 that interest me most and call them. Out of these 15, I then invite five to seven and finally present a shortlist of three candidates to my client. See it like this: If a good résumé is the entrance door to the lobby, the phone interview is the gate keeper. Acing it is key to make it into the corner office. Read on at Forbes for my posting on the most important tips to help you shake hands with your future boss in your dream company.  

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Kennedy Executive Career Blog For Forbes Acing A Phone Interview

Congrats: you have already been identified as „interesting“ and are not one of the 85% of all candidates and résumés inhouse and external recruiters receive who dont respond to the job specs.

Take my job as a headhunter for instance: in a typical search assignments with at least 100 or more candidates, I identify the 15 that interest me most and call them. Out of these 15, I then invite five to seven and finally present a shortlist of three candidates to my client. See it like this: If a good résumé is the entrance door to the lobby, the phone interview is the gate keeper. Acing it is key to make it into the corner office.

Read on at Forbes for my posting on the most important tips to help you shake hands with your future boss in your dream company.

 

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Kennedy Executive Search In Forbes http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-forbes-phone-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/kennedy-executive-forbes-phone-interview/#respond Tue, 27 May 2014 10:41:59 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=5661 Thanks, Deborah Jacobs from Forbes for publishing Jorg Stegemann, MD of Kennedy Exec for the fifth time in the past two years. This time with a comprehensive guide on dos and don’ts of the phone interview. More on www.onforb.es/1iozRld

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Thanks, Deborah Jacobs from Forbes for publishing Jorg Stegemann, MD of Kennedy Exec for the fifth time in the past two years. This time with a comprehensive guide on dos and don’ts of the phone interview. More on www.onforb.es/1iozRld

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Mid Career Education Is Not Punishment: The Latest Trends In Executive Education http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/mid-career-education-is-no-punishment-latest-trends-in-executive-education/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/mid-career-education-is-no-punishment-latest-trends-in-executive-education/#comments Sun, 11 May 2014 23:01:47 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=1367 If you are feeling blocked in your current job or are looking for a new position you may have thought about exploring opportunities to add some additional skills to your CV. Whether you are considering an executive MBA, an open enrollment Executive Education program, or contemplating using a coach or mentor, you should be sure that the program you select uses all the latest learning methods and technologies available. And, very importantly, that you will have a great time doing it! Lecture? What’s a lecture? While still very reliant on MBA faculty members for delivery, Executive Education programs around the world are moving away from traditional MBA content. Program designers are exploring areas such as personality assessments, the inclusion of science and humanities content, as well as focused topics like strategic selling and corporate responsibility. Executive MBA and Executive Ed programs now include a mix of concern for your personal career goals along with the traditional focus on developing your business acumen. Dry lectures have given away to facilitated discussions that leverage your own experience. Yes, there is serious management theory being taught, but the goal of the best professors is to make the theory emerge from the case study or class discussion. That Edutainment. Greater attention is being given to creating programs that are closely linked to the issues and concerns of practicing managers. Some critics complain that offering you the chance to take inventory of your skills and weaknesses via psychological assessments or demonstrating cultural differences through experiential exercises reduces learning to mere entertainment. The fact is, as a mid-career executive your biggest challenge is probably not memorizing the Four P’s of Marketing. Gaining a better understanding as to why you prefer selling one-on-one to making big presentations or getting an insight into why your last boss never seemed to make a firm decision can not only prepare you for your next assignment, it can help you become a more effective manager. Universities and private training organizations are investing in longer term partnerships rather than one-off transactions. They are blending access to practical and theoretical knowledge with real-time help in applying it. Executive Programs are now thinking beyond the formal program delivery and are striving to design ways to stay in touch with you, to keep you in contact with your classmates, and to help you connect your learning to your job.  To do this they need to keep your attention, amuse you with interesting anecdotes, and listen to your concerns. Like a good Keynote speech at an industry conference, the Executive Education experience should be relevant, provocative, informative and amusing.  “Edutainment” is a word that some use negatively and, of course, universities should not become comedy clubs…but if we can make learning a pleasure more learning will take place. There’s an App for that. Technology continues to change the way people obtain and share information.  New training solutions take into account the impact of technology on teaching methodologies. “Moderated” websites which  promote participation and are available 24/7 (eg: Harvard Business Publishing’s “Leadership Direct”) are beginning to bring static performance support tools (like SkillSoft or Harvard’s own ManageMentor) into the world of web 2.0 and beyond. Make an informed investment. There are few things that will better renew your knowledge, confidence and network than an investment in an executive program. Every university and training organization has its own style and specialty, however, and it is important to match that style to your own. Big school or small; local program or distance learning; highly rated traditional degree program or innovative functional-area certificate—the only bad decision is to choose a program without being absolutely certain that you will enjoy the experience and that the learning will continue after your classes are over.   It is only a small exaggeration to say that you should use the same benchmarks you use to evaluate a new iPhone or tablet computer to decide which executive program you choose. You may be a bit overwhelmed by some of the new ways schools make their learning available, but once you begin to experience them you will wonder how you ever learned without them!

The post Mid Career Education Is Not Punishment: The Latest Trends In Executive Education appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Mid Career Education

If you are feeling blocked in your current job or are looking for a new position you may have thought about exploring opportunities to add some additional skills to your CV.

Whether you are considering an executive MBA, an open enrollment Executive Education program, or contemplating using a coach or mentor, you should be sure that the program you select uses all the latest learning methods and technologies available.

And, very importantly, that you will have a great time doing it!

  • Lecture? What’s a lecture? While still very reliant on MBA faculty members for delivery, Executive Education programs around the world are moving away from traditional MBA content. Program designers are exploring areas such as personality assessments, the inclusion of science and humanities content, as well as focused topics like strategic selling and corporate responsibility. Executive MBA and Executive Ed programs now include a mix of concern for your personal career goals along with the traditional focus on developing your business acumen. Dry lectures have given away to facilitated discussions that leverage your own experience. Yes, there is serious management theory being taught, but the goal of the best professors is to make the theory emerge from the case study or class discussion.
  • That Edutainment. Greater attention is being given to creating programs that are closely linked to the issues and concerns of practicing managers. Some critics complain that offering you the chance to take inventory of your skills and weaknesses via psychological assessments or demonstrating cultural differences through experiential exercises reduces learning to mere entertainment. The fact is, as a mid-career executive your biggest challenge is probably not memorizing the Four P’s of Marketing. Gaining a better understanding as to why you prefer selling one-on-one to making big presentations or getting an insight into why your last boss never seemed to make a firm decision can not only prepare you for your next assignment, it can help you become a more effective manager. Universities and private training organizations are investing in longer term partnerships rather than one-off transactions. They are blending access to practical and theoretical knowledge with real-time help in applying it. Executive Programs are now thinking beyond the formal program delivery and are striving to design ways to stay in touch with you, to keep you in contact with your classmates, and to help you connect your learning to your job.  To do this they need to keep your attention, amuse you with interesting anecdotes, and listen to your concerns. Like a good Keynote speech at an industry conference, the Executive Education experience should be relevant, provocative, informative and amusing.  “Edutainment” is a word that some use negatively and, of course, universities should not become comedy clubs…but if we can make learning a pleasure more learning will take place.
  • There’s an App for that. Technology continues to change the way people obtain and share information.  New training solutions take into account the impact of technology on teaching methodologies. “Moderated” websites which  promote participation and are available 24/7 (eg: Harvard Business Publishing’s “Leadership Direct”) are beginning to bring static performance support tools (like SkillSoft or Harvard’s own ManageMentor) into the world of web 2.0 and beyond.
  • Make an informed investment. There are few things that will better renew your knowledge, confidence and network than an investment in an executive program. Every university and training organization has its own style and specialty, however, and it is important to match that style to your own. Big school or small; local program or distance learning; highly rated traditional degree program or innovative functional-area certificate—the only bad decision is to choose a program without being absolutely certain that you will enjoy the experience and that the learning will continue after your classes are over.

 

It is only a small exaggeration to say that you should use the same benchmarks you use to evaluate a new iPhone or tablet computer to decide which executive program you choose. You may be a bit overwhelmed by some of the new ways schools make their learning available, but once you begin to experience them you will wonder how you ever learned without them!

The post Mid Career Education Is Not Punishment: The Latest Trends In Executive Education appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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How To Do A Reference Check http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-do-a-reference-check/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-do-a-reference-check/#comments Sun, 27 Apr 2014 23:01:44 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4709 In my career as a headhunter, I have found new jobs for approximately 350 knowledge workers and interviewed thousands of candidates. And all of them saw themselves as above average candidates and often felt they understood both strategy and leadership better than their superiors. Indeed, in 13 years in recruitment, I NEVER met any job seeker who told me “frankly spoken, I am rather mediocre”. Which candidates tell the truth and which ones over estimate their own capabilities? One of the most reliable means to find out is the reference check. And though candidates think that they only name people who will say only the best, they often err: In the reference check, I learned about theft, imprisonment, harassment, alcoholism and other things you don’t want to see in your future CFO or customer representative. Use the following template with questions to get the most out of the professional reference check work for you: Context: Check the dates, function and responsibilities: “What was Emma’s exact job title and from when to when did she work for you? What was your hierarchical relationship and for which period?” It happened several times to me that I never went beyond this first question. Just recently, I discovered that a candidate had lied to me: instead of having left his former employer four months ago, he left two years ago (“Au revoir, Philippe!”). Technical Skills: This will tell you if your candidate is able get the job done. Questions to be asked are “What can you tell me about her performance and her results? How did she relate to peers? What was she best at? Please tell me about Emma’s respect of deadlines, the quality of the work delivered, the accuracy of analysis.” Personal Skills: These questions will help you decide if you want to spend the day with this candidate and let her go to your best clients with your company’s business card. Ask for instance “What can you tell me about Emma’s personality? How would you describe her values? How was she seen in the company? What did superiors, colleagues, team members and clients say about her? Which role did she take in meetings? What about her decision making style, her communication, her leadership?” The Coach Question: This one sounds banal but it gets very good results: “On a ranking from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, which grade do you give her?” The answer will be in 9 out of 10 cases “I’ll give Emma a good eight”. Bounce back: “What is missing for a 10?” This is where you will find out the weaknesses ! This is a proven question for the reference check that will get more reliable results than “what are her weaknesses?” (We have all heard the latter one too often and go on auto-pilot mode: The answers will be diplomatic or superficial but most referees will not really reflect as hard as with the first one). Cultural fit: When employees don’t make it, it is usually for a misfit with the company culture and rarely because they did not get the job done. What is the perfect setting for your candidate? Stock-listed company, start-up or family owned? Execute a defined strategy or designing it? Be a good number 2 or a number 1? Perform best when things are clear or excel when managing the uncertain? You can get a good idea with “In your opinion, what is the company size and culture in which Emma will be happy and successful?” Usually, people are able to give you an indication. Most importantly, ask this question BEFORE the next one! Great So Far. But Is The Candidate The Right One For YOU? Describe the job you met Emma for as accurately as you can. Talk about the responsibilities, the company size and culture and the challenges that await her. Describe what kind of people make it in your organization and which ones fail. “How do you see Emma in the context I just described? Will she be successful and stay with us?” Two Killer Questions To Wrap Up With And Find Out The Truth: Be ready for surprises with this one! I finish every reference with the two closed questions “Would you recommend Emma to your best friend?” and “Would you hire her again?” I had referees who were hesitant and controlled up to this moment and though I knew something was wrong, I did not know what it was until I had asked these questions. Conclusion: I would never ever hire anyone or send a candidate to my clients without a reference check I have personally taken! It is not by asking the candidate in the interview what her strengths and weaknesses are that you will find out but by asking former bosses or colleagues. Not by questioning the candidate will you learn what kind of leader she is but only by talking to people who have been led by her in the past. Take the time it takes (30 minutes and one full page in written in my case) and reference checks can be among the most reliable basis for making better hiring decisions. Final remark: I use a form sheet to take reference with the above questions and more. Send an email to support (a) kennedyexecutive.com and we will be happy to share it with you. In return, please register to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Please do so too when you don’t want the ref sheet!

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How To Do A Reference Check | Kennedy Executive Career Blog

In my career as a headhunter, I have found new jobs for approximately 350 knowledge workers and interviewed thousands of candidates. And all of them saw themselves as above average candidates and often felt they understood both strategy and leadership better than their superiors. Indeed, in 13 years in recruitment, I NEVER met any job seeker who told me “frankly spoken, I am rather mediocre”.

Which candidates tell the truth and which ones over estimate their own capabilities?

One of the most reliable means to find out is the reference check. And though candidates think that they only name people who will say only the best, they often err: In the reference check, I learned about theft, imprisonment, harassment, alcoholism and other things you don’t want to see in your future CFO or customer representative.

Use the following template with questions to get the most out of the professional reference check work for you:

  1. Context: Check the dates, function and responsibilities: “What was Emma’s exact job title and from when to when did she work for you? What was your hierarchical relationship and for which period?” It happened several times to me that I never went beyond this first question. Just recently, I discovered that a candidate had lied to me: instead of having left his former employer four months ago, he left two years ago (“Au revoir, Philippe!”).
  2. Technical Skills: This will tell you if your candidate is able get the job done. Questions to be asked are “What can you tell me about her performance and her results? How did she relate to peers? What was she best at? Please tell me about Emma’s respect of deadlines, the quality of the work delivered, the accuracy of analysis.”
  3. Personal Skills: These questions will help you decide if you want to spend the day with this candidate and let her go to your best clients with your company’s business card. Ask for instance “What can you tell me about Emma’s personality? How would you describe her values? How was she seen in the company? What did superiors, colleagues, team members and clients say about her? Which role did she take in meetings? What about her decision making style, her communication, her leadership?”
  4. The Coach Question: This one sounds banal but it gets very good results: “On a ranking from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, which grade do you give her?” The answer will be in 9 out of 10 cases “I’ll give Emma a good eight”. Bounce back: “What is missing for a 10?” This is where you will find out the weaknesses ! This is a proven question for the reference check that will get more reliable results than “what are her weaknesses?” (We have all heard the latter one too often and go on auto-pilot mode: The answers will be diplomatic or superficial but most referees will not really reflect as hard as with the first one).
  5. Cultural fit: When employees don’t make it, it is usually for a misfit with the company culture and rarely because they did not get the job done. What is the perfect setting for your candidate? Stock-listed company, start-up or family owned? Execute a defined strategy or designing it? Be a good number 2 or a number 1? Perform best when things are clear or excel when managing the uncertain? You can get a good idea with “In your opinion, what is the company size and culture in which Emma will be happy and successful?” Usually, people are able to give you an indication. Most importantly, ask this question BEFORE the next one!
  6. Great So Far. But Is The Candidate The Right One For YOU? Describe the job you met Emma for as accurately as you can. Talk about the responsibilities, the company size and culture and the challenges that await her. Describe what kind of people make it in your organization and which ones fail. “How do you see Emma in the context I just described? Will she be successful and stay with us?”
  7. Two Killer Questions To Wrap Up With And Find Out The Truth: Be ready for surprises with this one! I finish every reference with the two closed questions “Would you recommend Emma to your best friend?” and “Would you hire her again?” I had referees who were hesitant and controlled up to this moment and though I knew something was wrong, I did not know what it was until I had asked these questions.


Conclusion:

I would never ever hire anyone or send a candidate to my clients without a reference check I have personally taken! It is not by asking the candidate in the interview what her strengths and weaknesses are that you will find out but by asking former bosses or colleagues. Not by questioning the candidate will you learn what kind of leader she is but only by talking to people who have been led by her in the past. Take the time it takes (30 minutes and one full page in written in my case) and reference checks can be among the most reliable basis for making better hiring decisions.

Final remark:

I use a form sheet to take reference with the above questions and more. Send an email to support (a) kennedyexecutive.com and we will be happy to share it with you. In return, please register to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Please do so too when you don’t want the ref sheet!

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Easter Special: The 6 Best Ways To Find The Next Job @Forbes http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-6-best-ways-to-find-the-next-job-forbes/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-6-best-ways-to-find-the-next-job-forbes/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 23:01:43 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3614 Oldies are goldies – and classics are timeless: This week is about the best way to find the next job (my post on Forbes with 115k views so far). And guess what? Actually, your next job is not as far away from you as you think: Just as the easter eggs when you were a kid! Remember when you ran into your parent’s garden xyz years ago? You know the chocolate eggs were there but you did not know where! Finding your next job is just like that: it is nearer than you think. But where and how to find it? Click HERE for the 6 best ways to find the next job.

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How To Find The Next Job Kennedy Executive Career Blog

Oldies are goldies – and classics are timeless: This week is about the best way to find the next job (my post on Forbes with 115k views so far). And guess what? Actually, your next job is not as far away from you as you think: Just as the easter eggs when you were a kid! Remember when you ran into your parent’s garden xyz years ago? You know the chocolate eggs were there but you did not know where!

Finding your next job is just like that: it is nearer than you think. But where and how to find it?

Click HERE for the 6 best ways to find the next job.

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Are You REALLY A People Person? Take The 1 Minute Quiz http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/are-you-a-people-manager-1-minute-quiz/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/are-you-a-people-manager-1-minute-quiz/#comments Sun, 30 Mar 2014 23:01:17 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=2526 Superior listening skills, a genuine interest in the other and the aura of a respected leader within our organization are the characteristics that describe you best. YOU are the king/ the queen of hearts in your company! ……… Are you really sure? Take the 1 minute quiz and find out if you are a true people person or not. Every right answer is 1 point, a wrong one scores 0. Quiz: How many kids has the direct report or colleague you like the least? State their age and names When is the birthday of your mentor or the person who influenced you most in your last company and did you congratulate him/ her? What is the name of the cleaning woman/ man you cross sometimes in the mornings/ evenings? Did you have lunch this quarter with the 10 (internal) people who will influence your success most this year? Consider your boss, colleagues, all direct reports and do not forget the back-office/ front-office staff (depending on where you work) or the nice person at the front desk who is always smiling at you Did you already go through the entire office today and said “hello” to everyone? What was the important-for-that-person yet totally-irrelevant-for-you story you were told in the canteen last week and when will it happen? When will you follow-up with him/ her and did you put it into your calendar? (“Hi Mary, good to see you. I wondered: what was the outcome of the XYZ?”) Did you talk bad about anyone in the office in the last 7 days? Minus 3 points! Plus 1 if you did not Results: 6-7 points: Chapeau, you made it.! Please share the secrets of your success on this blog. We all want to be like you! 3-5 points: Not bad. But I know you can do better! Maybe take more notes. Or listen better. Or ask more questions. What else can you do? Please share the top 3 points of your action list 1-2 points: Come on! Do you work in IT or in a freeway toll-booth? Make an effort: Get out of your earth hole and talk to the people around you!  

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PeopleManagerQuiz_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Superior listening skills, a genuine interest in the other and the aura of a respected leader within our organization are the characteristics that describe you best.

YOU are the king/ the queen of hearts in your company! ……… Are you really sure?

Take the 1 minute quiz and find out if you are a true people person or not. Every right answer is 1 point, a wrong one scores 0.

Quiz:

  1. How many kids has the direct report or colleague you like the least? State their age and names
  2. When is the birthday of your mentor or the person who influenced you most in your last company and did you congratulate him/ her?
  3. What is the name of the cleaning woman/ man you cross sometimes in the mornings/ evenings?
  4. Did you have lunch this quarter with the 10 (internal) people who will influence your success most this year? Consider your boss, colleagues, all direct reports and do not forget the back-office/ front-office staff (depending on where you work) or the nice person at the front desk who is always smiling at you
  5. Did you already go through the entire office today and said “hello” to everyone?
  6. What was the important-for-that-person yet totally-irrelevant-for-you story you were told in the canteen last week and when will it happen? When will you follow-up with him/ her and did you put it into your calendar? (“Hi Mary, good to see you. I wondered: what was the outcome of the XYZ?”)
  7. Did you talk bad about anyone in the office in the last 7 days? Minus 3 points! Plus 1 if you did not


Results:

  • 6-7 points: Chapeau, you made it.! Please share the secrets of your success on this blog. We all want to be like you!
  • 3-5 points: Not bad. But I know you can do better! Maybe take more notes. Or listen better. Or ask more questions. What else can you do? Please share the top 3 points of your action list
  • 1-2 points: Come on! Do you work in IT or in a freeway toll-booth? Make an effort: Get out of your earth hole and talk to the people around you!

 

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Should You Post Your Job Ads Without Text? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/job-ads-without-text/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/job-ads-without-text/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 23:10:50 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=1144 This week’s posting comes  from Nico, long time contact of mine and today HR Manager: “My mentor, an experienced recruiter, once called one of his top clients and said ‘I met a candidate who would be a perfect fit for you. You should meet her and try to work out something together!’ I thought he was crazy. He will never be in the position to know the firm as much as the HR department. The job is there first and the candidate must be found according to the vacancy. Or not? True, the HR department does of course know better what is going on internally at what moment. However, the question is not always which candidate fits best the job but how the organizsation can adopt to talent. Excellent employees need an environment in which they can perform in the best possible way, where they can innovate and create value. A job ad that focuses on facts, responsibilities or even a specific job, based on mock organizational necessities might therefore not always make sense. In order to use potential best, we have to turn to a job description that is based on the individual in the seat (‘idiosyncratic’) and not the organization. What was there first, the egg or the chicken? A headhunter is a talent pool who can improve your resources for knowledge and expertise and who can help you to react better on unexpected changes. If you are a hiring manager and want to survive in the high tech age, make sure you are the first one to be called by your headhunter if s/he spots talent you do not have on board yet in order to enhance your competitive advantage. Thus it may make sense to post a blank job advertisement.”

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BlankJobAd_KennedyExecutiveBlog

This week’s posting comes  from Nico, long time contact of mine and today HR Manager:

“My mentor, an experienced recruiter, once called one of his top clients and said ‘I met a candidate who would be a perfect fit for you. You should meet her and try to work out something together!’

I thought he was crazy. He will never be in the position to know the firm as much as the HR department. The job is there first and the candidate must be found according to the vacancy. Or not?

True, the HR department does of course know better what is going on internally at what moment. However, the question is not always which candidate fits best the job but how the organizsation can adopt to talent. Excellent employees need an environment in which they can perform in the best possible way, where they can innovate and create value.

A job ad that focuses on facts, responsibilities or even a specific job, based on mock organizational necessities might therefore not always make sense. In order to use potential best, we have to turn to a job description that is based on the individual in the seat (‘idiosyncratic’) and not the organization.

What was there first, the egg or the chicken? A headhunter is a talent pool who can improve your resources for knowledge and expertise and who can help you to react better on unexpected changes. If you are a hiring manager and want to survive in the high tech age, make sure you are the first one to be called by your headhunter if s/he spots talent you do not have on board yet in order to enhance your competitive advantage. Thus it may make sense to post a blank job advertisement.”

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Online Application: 4 Dos And 4 Don’ts http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/online-application-dos-and-donts/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/online-application-dos-and-donts/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 23:01:12 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=1693 In 99% of any given application process, the online contact will be step 1 – may it be via email, social media or as a response to a job ad. What are the absolute MUST criteria of an online application that will get you the first interview? When I did my research on this topic, the career advice I found says more or less the same. I have a slightly different point of view and structured my posting in “The Art and The Science”. Guess what: the new stuff is rather in “The Art” than in “The Science”… The Science: Email address: make it professional and traditional. I think there are few alternatives to “firstname.name@provider.com”. You know that you should not use “WannaHaveFun@hotpartiesinvegas.com” and neither your professional email address. Also, do not change the orthography of your name: this week I met a candidate who is called “Francois” yet his email address reads “Fancois”. Of course 8 out of 10 people will get it wrong… Mastering Outlook: The cover letter should be in the email body and not in a Word attachment. I also see over and over again people who put a date and address line on top of the email address which would be the correct place in a letter (in an email, the end is the right place for it). If you are nor sure on how to write an email, google it. Size: Don’t send emails that are bigger than 3 MB. Typos are not acceptalbe and there is no exuse for them. Alwais dubble check. The Art: Make it short: The cover letter should be short and concise. If your text is longer than one screen shot, it is too long. I read many many many applications and resumes per day and take less than 1 minute for each. Another unbelievable story: one of my fellow recruiters who has been working in this industry for years recently gave an interview in an important French newspaper and said “The cover letter is of utmost importance”. I asked him if he really thinks so and he answered “No, of course not. I don’t read it most of the times” (key learning: don’t believe everything that is written – unless it is on www.kennedyexecutive.com of course…). Make it general: Beware of personalized phrases such as “to work for you, Mr. Stegemann, would be…”, “a role at Kennedy Executive Search & Outplacement means to me” or “I have been passionate about working in the morgue industry since I was a kid”. They do not really sound so personalized and 1 out of 10 applications like this I get, give wrong names or industries… Make it specific: I once read that a good subject line should be a summary of the email. And I agree. Do not use “Stegemann CV” or “As discussed” but at least “Application for the job posting as XYZ, reference 123”. The best would be to outline your Unique Selling Points like “Sales Manager, 10 years international experience in B2B, fluent in English and Hungarian”, may it be for a specific job or not. Preparing your elevator pitch can help you to put into one sentence what makes you special. Make it interactive: we talked about the signature under “The Science”. Why not add links to your LinkedIn and (if you have) Twitter account? We are not there yet but I guess one day we will not send resumes anymore and have all online. Your LinkedIn profile is most likely a shortened version of your resume which shows how you sell yourself and how you manage priorities. If you use Twitter on the job, this is a showcase on your communication skills and priority management. Conclusion: I think the science part is not where you should prove creativity and the points I mentioned are in my opinion non-negotiable. Be, however, different in the second part and we will be curious to get to know you.

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OnlineApplication_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

In 99% of any given application process, the online contact will be step 1 – may it be via email, social media or as a response to a job ad.

What are the absolute MUST criteria of an online application that will get you the first interview?

When I did my research on this topic, the career advice I found says more or less the same. I have a slightly different point of view and structured my posting in “The Art and The Science”. Guess what: the new stuff is rather in “The Art” than in “The Science”…

The Science:

  • Email address: make it professional and traditional. I think there are few alternatives to “firstname.name@provider.com”. You know that you should not use “WannaHaveFun@hotpartiesinvegas.com” and neither your professional email address. Also, do not change the orthography of your name: this week I met a candidate who is called “Francois” yet his email address reads “Fancois”. Of course 8 out of 10 people will get it wrong…
  • Mastering Outlook: The cover letter should be in the email body and not in a Word attachment. I also see over and over again people who put a date and address line on top of the email address which would be the correct place in a letter (in an email, the end is the right place for it). If you are nor sure on how to write an email, google it.
  • Size: Don’t send emails that are bigger than 3 MB.
  • Typos are not acceptalbe and there is no exuse for them. Alwais dubble check.


The Art:

  • Make it short: The cover letter should be short and concise. If your text is longer than one screen shot, it is too long. I read many many many applications and resumes per day and take less than 1 minute for each. Another unbelievable story: one of my fellow recruiters who has been working in this industry for years recently gave an interview in an important French newspaper and said “The cover letter is of utmost importance”. I asked him if he really thinks so and he answered “No, of course not. I don’t read it most of the times” (key learning: don’t believe everything that is written – unless it is on www.kennedyexecutive.com of course…).
  • Make it general: Beware of personalized phrases such as “to work for you, Mr. Stegemann, would be…”, “a role at Kennedy Executive Search & Outplacement means to me” or “I have been passionate about working in the morgue industry since I was a kid”. They do not really sound so personalized and 1 out of 10 applications like this I get, give wrong names or industries…
  • Make it specific: I once read that a good subject line should be a summary of the email. And I agree. Do not use “Stegemann CV” or “As discussed” but at least “Application for the job posting as XYZ, reference 123”. The best would be to outline your Unique Selling Points like “Sales Manager, 10 years international experience in B2B, fluent in English and Hungarian”, may it be for a specific job or not. Preparing your elevator pitch can help you to put into one sentence what makes you special.
  • Make it interactive: we talked about the signature under “The Science”. Why not add links to your LinkedIn and (if you have) Twitter account? We are not there yet but I guess one day we will not send resumes anymore and have all online. Your LinkedIn profile is most likely a shortened version of your resume which shows how you sell yourself and how you manage priorities. If you use Twitter on the job, this is a showcase on your communication skills and priority management.


Conclusion:

I think the science part is not where you should prove creativity and the points I mentioned are in my opinion non-negotiable. Be, however, different in the second part and we will be curious to get to know you.


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How To Make A Job Offer That NO ONE Can Turn Down http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-make-a-job-offer-that-no-one-can-turn-down/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-make-a-job-offer-that-no-one-can-turn-down/#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 23:01:15 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=2072 Congratulations! After having screened dozens or hundreds of resumes and having conducted numerous interviews, you have found the right candidate for your job vacancy. Weeks or months of hard work come to an end. Make sure you get it right at this critical point of time of the hiring process: one false move can result in a refusal and if you screw it up now, you have to start at zero again (unless you have a back-up – and even then, s/he will only be second choice…). In my experience, 5-10% of job offers made are turned down. Making it right is a very precise technique. Here are the 9 steps on how to make a job offer that will be accepted: Move fast: do not waste time if you have taken your decision as time is always your enemy in recruitment. Real talent is rare in any economic cycle. Try to call the candidate on the day of the last interview: this is psychologically a bumpy phase for your candidate who can encounter stress, hope, enthusiasm but also fear of rejection. If your candidate is insecure after the last interview (for whatever reason), this insecurity will turn into rejection overnight. Call your candidate: This is not the time for emails as you may want to share your enthusiasm and take the temperature. And correct, if needed. Be enthusiastic: I saw lousily made job offers, the candidates felt offended and turned them down… Tell your candidate that s/he came in number 1 in 100 resumes or so and convinced everyone involved in the process. You are sure the candidate will make career in your company and you are excited to work with him/ her soon. Apply the 10% rule: it is an unwritten rule that candidates expect minimum a 10% rise when changing job. Few candidates will change for a lower salary or the same. And if they do so, they will feel bad every time they get the pay slip and won’t stay. Whilst there may be reasons to change for the same, never go below their last base salary . Show the money: There are two ways to talk about the salary: 1) “We offer you 80k base plus bonus and the regular benefits” or 2) “In your first year, you will get a total compensation of 92k gross (make a looooong pause). This breaks down as follows: 80k base plus 10% bonus based on personal and company goals. In the past 3 years the full amount has been paid to people on your level, so we consider 8k. We also have a very good pension scheme which corresponds to 2k per year. Furthermore, we offer the monthly public transport pass which has a value of 1.2k per year. And last but not least, we have a canteen and take 50% in charge. It is only a detail but represents 4.- per day or 1k for the whole year”. Get a commitment: many candidates will not say yes or no right away. This question hurts but if you don’t get a clear response, you should ask “what do you think about this offer?”. Don’t skip this question for fear of the response or false modesty. Any hesitation your candidate has at this point of time bears a high risk of a rejection. Now is the time to negotiate and you want to go out of this conversation with a clear commitment from your candidate if s/he is rather positive or negative. Ask the “killer question”: once you have gotten the “Yes”, ask the most powerful question I have learned in this business (thanks, uncle Wayne!). It will give you 99% security that your candidate will really accept your offer: “I have two more potential candidates from the interview process. Can I tell the other guys that the job is taken?” Few people will lie at you. It ain’t over till it’s over: one third of the candidates who refuse do so because they accept a counter offer from their current employer. Talk about how it feels giving notice: “How do you feel giving notice after 3 years? How will your boss react? What can s/ he do to keep you?” Be sensitive on this one. Resigning can be much stress. Make a summary of the reasons your candidate gave you to leave the current employer and how your offer responds to these reasons. Send an email: Put everything into an email (or letter) including all elements of the offer such base salary and all variable parts, job title, vacation and all benefits and extras. End with a nice phrase like “We are looking very much forward to working with you, Doris”. Set a deadline until when the candidate should accept (I recommend 3 days. If the candidate needs longer, s/he is usually not convinced). Conclusion: Be sure you are the one in the driving seat. Go to the end during this critical phase of the recruitment to avoid nasty surprises and to make sure your chosen candidate will turn up on day 1. If you let go now, you risk losing it all and we don’t want that, do we? PS: If you recruit on senior level and want a real professional to take over the entire process including search, evaluation, job offer and coaching during the integration period (yes, even coaching is part of our offer), give us a call and we will handle all this for you!  

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HowToMakeAjobOfferThatNooneCanTurnDown_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Congratulations! After having screened dozens or hundreds of resumes and having conducted numerous interviews, you have found the right candidate for your job vacancy. Weeks or months of hard work come to an end. Make sure you get it right at this critical point of time of the hiring process: one false move can result in a refusal and if you screw it up now, you have to start at zero again (unless you have a back-up – and even then, s/he will only be second choice…).

In my experience, 5-10% of job offers made are turned down.

Making it right is a very precise technique. Here are the 9 steps on how to make a job offer that will be accepted:

  1. Move fast: do not waste time if you have taken your decision as time is always your enemy in recruitment. Real talent is rare in any economic cycle. Try to call the candidate on the day of the last interview: this is psychologically a bumpy phase for your candidate who can encounter stress, hope, enthusiasm but also fear of rejection. If your candidate is insecure after the last interview (for whatever reason), this insecurity will turn into rejection overnight.
  2. Call your candidate: This is not the time for emails as you may want to share your enthusiasm and take the temperature. And correct, if needed.
  3. Be enthusiastic: I saw lousily made job offers, the candidates felt offended and turned them down… Tell your candidate that s/he came in number 1 in 100 resumes or so and convinced everyone involved in the process. You are sure the candidate will make career in your company and you are excited to work with him/ her soon.
  4. Apply the 10% rule: it is an unwritten rule that candidates expect minimum a 10% rise when changing job. Few candidates will change for a lower salary or the same. And if they do so, they will feel bad every time they get the pay slip and won’t stay. Whilst there may be reasons to change for the same, never go below their last base salary .
  5. Show the money: There are two ways to talk about the salary: 1) “We offer you 80k base plus bonus and the regular benefits” or 2) “In your first year, you will get a total compensation of 92k gross (make a looooong pause). This breaks down as follows: 80k base plus 10% bonus based on personal and company goals. In the past 3 years the full amount has been paid to people on your level, so we consider 8k. We also have a very good pension scheme which corresponds to 2k per year. Furthermore, we offer the monthly public transport pass which has a value of 1.2k per year. And last but not least, we have a canteen and take 50% in charge. It is only a detail but represents 4.- per day or 1k for the whole year”.
  6. Get a commitment: many candidates will not say yes or no right away. This question hurts but if you don’t get a clear response, you should ask “what do you think about this offer?”. Don’t skip this question for fear of the response or false modesty. Any hesitation your candidate has at this point of time bears a high risk of a rejection. Now is the time to negotiate and you want to go out of this conversation with a clear commitment from your candidate if s/he is rather positive or negative.
  7. Ask the “killer question”: once you have gotten the “Yes”, ask the most powerful question I have learned in this business (thanks, uncle Wayne!). It will give you 99% security that your candidate will really accept your offer: “I have two more potential candidates from the interview process. Can I tell the other guys that the job is taken?” Few people will lie at you.
  8. It ain’t over till it’s over: one third of the candidates who refuse do so because they accept a counter offer from their current employer. Talk about how it feels giving notice: “How do you feel giving notice after 3 years? How will your boss react? What can s/ he do to keep you?” Be sensitive on this one. Resigning can be much stress. Make a summary of the reasons your candidate gave you to leave the current employer and how your offer responds to these reasons.
  9. Send an email: Put everything into an email (or letter) including all elements of the offer such base salary and all variable parts, job title, vacation and all benefits and extras. End with a nice phrase like “We are looking very much forward to working with you, Doris”. Set a deadline until when the candidate should accept (I recommend 3 days. If the candidate needs longer, s/he is usually not convinced).


Conclusion:

Be sure you are the one in the driving seat. Go to the end during this critical phase of the recruitment to avoid nasty surprises and to make sure your chosen candidate will turn up on day 1. If you let go now, you risk losing it all and we don’t want that, do we?

PS: If you recruit on senior level and want a real professional to take over the entire process including search, evaluation, job offer and coaching during the integration period (yes, even coaching is part of our offer), give us a call and we will handle all this for you!

 

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Should You Mention Your Salary Expectations In The Interview? http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/should-you-mention-your-salary-expectations-in-the-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/should-you-mention-your-salary-expectations-in-the-interview/#comments Sun, 02 Feb 2014 23:01:50 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=470 The answer to this is not so easy even though literature is clear and recommends not to mention the salary when you are a candidate. However, getting the next salary right will have an impact on all the ones to come and be the base of possible pay rises as well as the next job. How was it when you have been hired into your current job? Often candidates are asked their current salary and their expectations – and then a sum is announced. A real negotiation, however, does not take place. And this is where you maybe lose money which could be yours had the discussion gone differently. This is why it may be legitimate to talk about money yourself in the last interview and to do it in a subtle way like maybe “Thanks a lot for all the meetings. I am happy that you said you could imagine working with me and I feel the same. We did not talk about salary yet and I leave it to you to start this discussion. Just for your information: I am currently at 80k and would like an increase. At your disposal to discuss.” By the way, if you work with a headhunter, s/he will do the negotiation for you and will potentially tell his/her client “my candidate will not sign for this salary. As I told you, 85k should be the minimum.” Conclusion: Bear in mind: The last time you talk on eye-level with your boss is during the interview process. Always give a salary range. 80% of the candidates give too low expectations and very very few go to the limit. Do not talk about salary before your opposite has made it clear that s/he wants to hire you and you want to work for her/ him. But then don’t be afraid to give a higher expectation yet follow the advice from my mentor who said “Go to the edge of the cliff – but then don’t jump.”

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NeverMentionSalaryInInterview_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

The answer to this is not so easy even though literature is clear and recommends not to mention the salary when you are a candidate.

However, getting the next salary right will have an impact on all the ones to come and be the base of possible pay rises as well as the next job.

How was it when you have been hired into your current job? Often candidates are asked their current salary and their expectations – and then a sum is announced. A real negotiation, however, does not take place. And this is where you maybe lose money which could be yours had the discussion gone differently.

This is why it may be legitimate to talk about money yourself in the last interview and to do it in a subtle way like maybe “Thanks a lot for all the meetings. I am happy that you said you could imagine working with me and I feel the same. We did not talk about salary yet and I leave it to you to start this discussion. Just for your information: I am currently at 80k and would like an increase. At your disposal to discuss.”

By the way, if you work with a headhunter, s/he will do the negotiation for you and will potentially tell his/her client “my candidate will not sign for this salary. As I told you, 85k should be the minimum.”

Conclusion:

Bear in mind: The last time you talk on eye-level with your boss is during the interview process. Always give a salary range. 80% of the candidates give too low expectations and very very few go to the limit. Do not talk about salary before your opposite has made it clear that s/he wants to hire you and you want to work for her/ him. But then don’t be afraid to give a higher expectation yet follow the advice from my mentor who said “Go to the edge of the cliff – but then don’t jump.”

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How To Hire Someone: Checklist (7 Tips) http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-hire-someone-checklist/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-hire-someone-checklist/#comments Sun, 19 Jan 2014 23:01:38 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=644 A bad hire can cost between 2 and 12 salaries and apart from direct costs for the recruiter, there can be a negative impact on team morale, customer retention or productivity to name a few. Here are the 7 questions on “how to hire someone” that help me make better decisions for my customers and for myself. And I hire only when all answers are positive: Does he or she (as of now “he” to make it simple) fulfill 70% of the technical requirements? 70-80% is a good value for me to a) ensure the success of the candidate and b) keep him motivated Does he fulfill 100% of the personal requirements? How is my gut feeling? Do I trust the candidate, would I buy something from him? Or better: would I ask him or her to babysit my kids? Do I want him to represent my company and myself as my company’s Manager when I am not around? Can I imagine coming into the office and see him interacting with my team? Does it look and feel right? Do I want to spend the day with this person? Conclusion: A bad decision is costly and can have an impact that throws you and your team back for months. As said in another posting, the gut feeling will make the difference. “Yes is yes”, “no is no” and “maybe” – is no…

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HowToHireSomeone_KennedyExecutive

A bad hire can cost between 2 and 12 salaries and apart from direct costs for the recruiter, there can be a negative impact on team morale, customer retention or productivity to name a few.

Here are the 7 questions on “how to hire someone” that help me make better decisions for my customers and for myself.

And I hire only when all answers are positive:

  1. Does he or she (as of now “he” to make it simple) fulfill 70% of the technical requirements? 70-80% is a good value for me to a) ensure the success of the candidate and b) keep him motivated
  2. Does he fulfill 100% of the personal requirements?
  3. How is my gut feeling?
  4. Do I trust the candidate, would I buy something from him? Or better: would I ask him or her to babysit my kids?
  5. Do I want him to represent my company and myself as my company’s Manager when I am not around?
  6. Can I imagine coming into the office and see him interacting with my team? Does it look and feel right?
  7. Do I want to spend the day with this person?


Conclusion:

A bad decision is costly and can have an impact that throws you and your team back for months.

As said in another posting, the gut feeling will make the difference. “Yes is yes”, “no is no” and “maybe” – is no…

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How To Spot The Business Hyenas In Your Team And Why You Should Terminate Them Today http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-spot-the-business-hyenas-in-your-team/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-spot-the-business-hyenas-in-your-team/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:59:14 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4510 The cheetah, well known as fastest land animal of the world, uses its very specialized skills to reach the highest success rate of all predators hunting alone. It does not need to target old or ill individuals of prey; it can outrun all of them. In the modern business world, we have people similar to Cheetahs. They are called Top-Performers, and their prey is challenging pieces of work. They are completely independent from co-workers. They identify the most urgent and challenging task, and finish it while the scavengers are still talking about problems and looking for excuses. Cheetahs do what they are born to do. Only predators hunting as a pack can achieve higher success rates. Unfortunately, a successful hunting is only half-finished work. When the difficult piece of work is done, the time of the scavengers has come. A wild cheetah has a 50% chance of losing its kill to other carnivores like hyenas or lazy lions. OK, this is animal business so far but not your problem. Unless your job is to hire or to lead, in which case it is your problem. And here is why: When the difficult piece of work is done, things happen in business as they do in the wilderness: The time of business hyenas has come. They crawl out of their cover, and claim the result as a team result, which would never have been possible without their contribution. How to spot the business hyenas: Hyenas make characteristic sounds, “ranging from whoops, fast whoops, grunts, groans, lows, giggles, yells, growls, soft grunt-laughs, loud grunt-laughs, whines and soft squeals” (Wikipedia). Business hyenas also have typical sounds you can use to identify them, e.g. “involve”, “jointly agree”, “coordinate”, “concerted action” and so on (see also here below the Business Hyena Buzzword Bingo). They are really skilled in describing why they are vital to the company/ project/ customer/ whatever, which is their most vital (or only) skill. Without this, just being measured by results, they are lower than any detection threshold. The percentage of hyenas in your team is proportional to the size of the company. Small companies cannot afford to feed the business hyenas, and medium companies do not provide enough cover for them to hide permanently. Very large enterprises might have a business hyena population up to 90% among the desk workers. Some large companies extenuate this problem by engaging large crowds of external work power. This is like using headache pills: Your headache is still there, but you don’t feel it for a while. All companies are looking for top-talents/ high-performers/ top-performers, but do they know how to handle them? The business cheetahs are a challenge for their leader’s nerves. They need challenging work, large scope for development, and protection from the business hyenas. They tend to ignore rules and orders. Sometimes they behave like a diva. So much effort for a top performer? Isn’t it easier to have a perfect team with some above average performers? Sure. A perfect team can outperform a single top-performer. The only problem is: There is no perfect team of lions. The scavengers are everywhere, frustrating the high- or just average-performers as well. Surrounded by scavengers, a business cheetah will move to a new hunting ground, or end as a frustrated scavenger as well. In both cases the company lost him. Your job as a leader is to identify your business cheetahs and hyenas, and to get rid of the business hyenas to protect the cheetahs and their (=your) prey. Conclusion: Do not feed the hyenas, fire them! So identify and terminate your business hyenas, even if that means to fire 90% of your team. The output of the team will rise, because your 10% performers already do 90% of the productive work, and can do more in a better environment. The business hyenas spend most of their time marking their territory, doing work which wouldn’t exist without them. Ignore the problem, and the business cheetah moves to a new territory, leaving your team. Keep your top-performer, and hire (or keep) some high performers following him. Then he is motivated, but you’ll have no diva… Forming and leading a top team is a very challenging task, maybe the most challenging task in management. If you dare, you may be a business cheetah. Remember, it’s always lonely at the top. Add-on: Business Hyena Buzzword Bingo Rules: In a meeting with business hyenas, wait for the above words tick them off. As soon as you have finished a vertical, stand up and shout “who-oop”. (The loud “who-oop” call of the spotted hyena, along with the maniacal laughter, are among the most recognizable sounds of Africa. Visit http://www.amazon.de/Spotted-Hyena-Call/dp/B0097THZNU for practicing…).

The post How To Spot The Business Hyenas In Your Team And Why You Should Terminate Them Today appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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HowToSpotBusinessHyenasInYourTeam_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

The cheetah, well known as fastest land animal of the world, uses its very specialized skills to reach the highest success rate of all predators hunting alone. It does not need to target old or ill individuals of prey; it can outrun all of them.

In the modern business world, we have people similar to Cheetahs. They are called Top-Performers, and their prey is challenging pieces of work. They are completely independent from co-workers. They identify the most urgent and challenging task, and finish it while the scavengers are still talking about problems and looking for excuses.

Cheetahs do what they are born to do. Only predators hunting as a pack can achieve higher success rates.

Unfortunately, a successful hunting is only half-finished work. When the difficult piece of work is done, the time of the scavengers has come. A wild cheetah has a 50% chance of losing its kill to other carnivores like hyenas or lazy lions.

OK, this is animal business so far but not your problem. Unless your job is to hire or to lead, in which case it is your problem. And here is why:

When the difficult piece of work is done, things happen in business as they do in the wilderness: The time of business hyenas has come. They crawl out of their cover, and claim the result as a team result, which would never have been possible without their contribution.

How to spot the business hyenas:

Hyenas make characteristic sounds, “ranging from whoops, fast whoops, grunts, groans, lows, giggles, yells, growls, soft grunt-laughs, loud grunt-laughs, whines and soft squeals” (Wikipedia). Business hyenas also have typical sounds you can use to identify them, e.g. “involve”, “jointly agree”, “coordinate”, “concerted action” and so on (see also here below the Business Hyena Buzzword Bingo). They are really skilled in describing why they are vital to the company/ project/ customer/ whatever, which is their most vital (or only) skill. Without this, just being measured by results, they are lower than any detection threshold.

The percentage of hyenas in your team is proportional to the size of the company. Small companies cannot afford to feed the business hyenas, and medium companies do not provide enough cover for them to hide permanently. Very large enterprises might have a business hyena population up to 90% among the desk workers. Some large companies extenuate this problem by engaging large crowds of external work power. This is like using headache pills: Your headache is still there, but you don’t feel it for a while.

All companies are looking for top-talents/ high-performers/ top-performers, but do they know how to handle them? The business cheetahs are a challenge for their leader’s nerves. They need challenging work, large scope for development, and protection from the business hyenas. They tend to ignore rules and orders. Sometimes they behave like a diva.

So much effort for a top performer? Isn’t it easier to have a perfect team with some above average performers? Sure. A perfect team can outperform a single top-performer. The only problem is: There is no perfect team of lions. The scavengers are everywhere, frustrating the high- or just average-performers as well. Surrounded by scavengers, a business cheetah will move to a new hunting ground, or end as a frustrated scavenger as well. In both cases the company lost him. Your job as a leader is to identify your business cheetahs and hyenas, and to get rid of the business hyenas to protect the cheetahs and their (=your) prey.

Conclusion:

Do not feed the hyenas, fire them! So identify and terminate your business hyenas, even if that means to fire 90% of your team. The output of the team will rise, because your 10% performers already do 90% of the productive work, and can do more in a better environment. The business hyenas spend most of their time marking their territory, doing work which wouldn’t exist without them. Ignore the problem, and the business cheetah moves to a new territory, leaving your team.

Keep your top-performer, and hire (or keep) some high performers following him. Then he is motivated, but you’ll have no diva…

Forming and leading a top team is a very challenging task, maybe the most challenging task in management. If you dare, you may be a business cheetah. Remember, it’s always lonely at the top.

Add-on: Business Hyena Buzzword Bingo

BusinessHyenaBingo

Rules: In a meeting with business hyenas, wait for the above words tick them off. As soon as you have finished a vertical, stand up and shout “who-oop”.

(The loud “who-oop” call of the spotted hyena, along with the maniacal laughter, are among the most recognizable sounds of Africa. Visit http://www.amazon.de/Spotted-Hyena-Call/dp/B0097THZNU for practicing…).

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Four Ways Not To Be A Career Ostrich http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/blog-four-ways-not-to-be-a-career-ostrich/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/blog-four-ways-not-to-be-a-career-ostrich/#comments Sun, 10 Nov 2013 23:01:37 +0000 http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/?p=4166 Knowing when to change jobs is tricky. I was with my previous employer just shy of 20 years which was 4-5 years too long. I was financially comfortable where I was although I was emotionally uncomfortable and apprehensive to look for a job. By Tuesday morning, I was worn out as if it was Friday. In many respects, I was an ostrich with my head in the sand hoping it would get better. 4 things I wish I had known 5 years ago: First, businesses must grow to survive. If the business isn’t growing, it’s shrinking. Nothing stays the same. 2-3% growth doesn’t count as this is a price increase. What is your company doing to attract new customers and sell more to their existing customers? Is it something you personally would buy? Missed sign #1 was the loss of competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our business went from robust growth to flat sales in less than 2 years which led to the 2nd signal. Second, good people started getting fired without any good reason. Sometimes change is needed, but if good people who don’t deserve to get fired do get fired, what is to prevent it from happening to you? Organizations do need to separate from people that don’t fit. But to fire good people to “send a message” is cause to push the fire alarm. The third concept I wish I had been more honest with myself about is the concept of trust. In his book “The Speed Of Trust”, Stephen Covey says that trust = competence + character. When competence and character are high, trust is high and things move quickly. When either competence or character are low, trust is lower and things move much more slowly. If you are not in a position to assess the first two items above, everyone knows whether trust exists in an organization or not. I knew many years before, trust didn’t exist. Trust is the basis for all relationships. Without trust there is no relationship. Why work in an environment without trust? The 4th way I will not be an ostrich again is that recognizing specific positions have a half-life of 4 years. Year 1 is to learn the job and be super excited about joining such an outstanding organization. Year 2 is about hitting some home runs and learning what toothpaste to use to cover up the organization’s morning breath. Year 3 is about being the MVP (“Most Valued Player”) of the team you are on and talking about next steps. By year 4 you are bored, you just were MVP and are ready for a new challenge. The organization you are with knows you all too well by now. There have been discussions on some level about whether you are an individual contributor or someone who has a longer runway for career growth. There is a reason why high school and college are 4 years. Good people get stale and need something new. If it hasn’t happened for you after 4 years, it is time to seriously assess your situation.   Parting thoughts: What if it didn’t work out and I ended up in a worse position? People want to show stability on their resume. No one wants to hire a job-hopper. However, there are times when the smart move is to move on. Do your research, reflect on what you really want, make a list and match prospective employers to that which truly inspires you, so you don’t simply find another paycheck and potentially replace one bad situation with another. Take advantage of hitting the reset button on your career. Think about all of those situations that you wish you could do over and how doing them over would help you in your current organization? In a new organization, you get that chance! What awaits you is your career to be re-born with an invigorated You who is going to take advantage of the chance to have a clean slate. Rather than being an ostrich with its head in the sand hoping it doesn’t drown in the surf, you can catch the “waves” of change synergizing with both their beauty and power.

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FourWaysNotToBeCareerOstrich_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Knowing when to change jobs is tricky.

I was with my previous employer just shy of 20 years which was 4-5 years too long. I was financially comfortable where I was although I was emotionally uncomfortable and apprehensive to look for a job. By Tuesday morning, I was worn out as if it was Friday.

In many respects, I was an ostrich with my head in the sand hoping it would get better.

4 things I wish I had known 5 years ago:

  1. First, businesses must grow to survive. If the business isn’t growing, it’s shrinking. Nothing stays the same. 2-3% growth doesn’t count as this is a price increase. What is your company doing to attract new customers and sell more to their existing customers? Is it something you personally would buy? Missed sign #1 was the loss of competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our business went from robust growth to flat sales in less than 2 years which led to the 2nd signal.
  2. Second, good people started getting fired without any good reason. Sometimes change is needed, but if good people who don’t deserve to get fired do get fired, what is to prevent it from happening to you? Organizations do need to separate from people that don’t fit. But to fire good people to “send a message” is cause to push the fire alarm.
  3. The third concept I wish I had been more honest with myself about is the concept of trust. In his book “The Speed Of Trust”, Stephen Covey says that trust = competence + character. When competence and character are high, trust is high and things move quickly. When either competence or character are low, trust is lower and things move much more slowly. If you are not in a position to assess the first two items above, everyone knows whether trust exists in an organization or not. I knew many years before, trust didn’t exist. Trust is the basis for all relationships. Without trust there is no relationship. Why work in an environment without trust?
  4. The 4th way I will not be an ostrich again is that recognizing specific positions have a half-life of 4 years. Year 1 is to learn the job and be super excited about joining such an outstanding organization. Year 2 is about hitting some home runs and learning what toothpaste to use to cover up the organization’s morning breath. Year 3 is about being the MVP (“Most Valued Player”) of the team you are on and talking about next steps. By year 4 you are bored, you just were MVP and are ready for a new challenge. The organization you are with knows you all too well by now. There have been discussions on some level about whether you are an individual contributor or someone who has a longer runway for career growth. There is a reason why high school and college are 4 years. Good people get stale and need something new. If it hasn’t happened for you after 4 years, it is time to seriously assess your situation.

 

Parting thoughts:

What if it didn’t work out and I ended up in a worse position? People want to show stability on their resume. No one wants to hire a job-hopper. However, there are times when the smart move is to move on. Do your research, reflect on what you really want, make a list and match prospective employers to that which truly inspires you, so you don’t simply find another paycheck and potentially replace one bad situation with another. Take advantage of hitting the reset button on your career.

Think about all of those situations that you wish you could do over and how doing them over would help you in your current organization? In a new organization, you get that chance! What awaits you is your career to be re-born with an invigorated You who is going to take advantage of the chance to have a clean slate. Rather than being an ostrich with its head in the sand hoping it doesn’t drown in the surf, you can catch the “waves” of change synergizing with both their beauty and power.

The post Four Ways Not To Be A Career Ostrich appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Career advice from A To Z: “Y” For “How To Manage Generation Y” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-manage-generation-y/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-manage-generation-y/#comments Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:01:20 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3981 When I was young and “learned working” twenty years ago (I will turn 44 on 22 January. Hey, save the date: I love champagne and executive search assignments, especially in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland!), I had to adapt to my superiors. Today, I am the old one and new twenty-somethings are coming along. However, I have the impression that now, we as managers have to adapt and no longer the followers. In the nineties, there were no courses or books on how to manage us, right? And I am not even sure whether our bosses asked themselves that question. What has changed since? I asked for help on how to become a better manager. Here is my interview on how to manage Generation Y with Nico: middle-European, confident, successful – and Gen Y. Jorg: “It seems that the management lessons we have learned no longer work for you. What do we have to know about you to manage you so you are motivated, loyal and top-performing employees?” Nico: “If you want to understand us, you should first have a look at where we come from: in our childhood, we have never experienced poverty or major political conflicts. The big problems have been solved by our parents and they did that perfectly for us. They demonstrated against atomic weapons with long hair and hand-knit sweaters. And now, 30 years later, the global powers disarm freely. The biggest battle we have fought (here in Germany) was the protest against 500 Euro tuition fees. Imagine that: before that, we could already study for free and have even received 500 Euro aid per month which we never had to pay back! Our parents were threatened by a more or less hostile environment, political conflicts and growing environmental issues. Our parents adapted and paid the price for it. These people educated us to the highest possible degree of individuality; they told us to challenge politics and economy and even shared their parent’s experiences who lived under various totalitarian systems. We grew up and as we turned 25 years old and had studied IT, we saw that we can earn more than the average salary of the economy we live in with only 2 years of work experience. This was different for our parents who struggled for decades to earn their decent living! We live in another world and it seems that we do not have to adapt ourselves anymore as you had to as demographics, politics and evolution play in our favor. Thus, it seems obvious that we challenge the corporate hierarchies we work in and being a part of these is not really worthwhile goal for us.” Jorg: “Thanks, Nico, I understand better now. However, I am even more puzzled than before this interview: How should we manage people who have been supported and fostered to a maximum and don’t feel the need to adapt to their environment?” Nico: “This is maybe a little extreme (sometimes we exaggerate). We do adapt to a certain extent. It is easy to manage us efficiently: The human being (Generation X, Generation Y, Baby-boomers or anyone else by the way) wants to do something meaningful, wants to grow, be part of a social system and be recognized for his individual contribution. We need a vision, we want to know why it’s worthwhile getting up in the morning and going to work. And it is not (only) the job title or salary that will show us. However, it is wrong that we don’t respect authorities: on the contrary, we need strong leaders. Just the notion of “strong” is different than what you were used to. We will respect you if you are a natural authority but not by your job title. It is difficult for us to believe you when you sit in the ivory tower and give out guidelines and communicate through memos. Be (or become) a credible, whole person and manager who is able to talk to our intrinsic motivation and we will follow you. Do not lead us through command but through knowledge, competency and understanding. Also, let go of the old notion that you have to be in the office from nine to five to achieve results: we are online all the time anyway. As a direct consequence, our job and private life mix and become one; we do not make the same clear distinction between both as you did. So please don’t be a micro-manager with us or you will leave you. In the end, we are more or less like you: we need a vision, guidance and meaning. Follow some of the advice above and we will follow you – Even at work.” Jorg: “Thanks, Nico. I will try my best. Please be my guest again in twenty years and leave a comment on how things have evolved for you!”

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HowToManageGenY_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

When I was young and “learned working” twenty years ago (I will turn 44 on 22 January. Hey, save the date: I love champagne and executive search assignments, especially in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland!), I had to adapt to my superiors. Today, I am the old one and new twenty-somethings are coming along. However, I have the impression that now, we as managers have to adapt and no longer the followers.

In the nineties, there were no courses or books on how to manage us, right? And I am not even sure whether our bosses asked themselves that question. What has changed since?

I asked for help on how to become a better manager. Here is my interview on how to manage Generation Y with Nico: middle-European, confident, successful – and Gen Y.

Jorg: “It seems that the management lessons we have learned no longer work for you. What do we have to know about you to manage you so you are motivated, loyal and top-performing employees?”

Nico: “If you want to understand us, you should first have a look at where we come from: in our childhood, we have never experienced poverty or major political conflicts. The big problems have been solved by our parents and they did that perfectly for us. They demonstrated against atomic weapons with long hair and hand-knit sweaters. And now, 30 years later, the global powers disarm freely. The biggest battle we have fought (here in Germany) was the protest against 500 Euro tuition fees. Imagine that: before that, we could already study for free and have even received 500 Euro aid per month which we never had to pay back! Our parents were threatened by a more or less hostile environment, political conflicts and growing environmental issues. Our parents adapted and paid the price for it. These people educated us to the highest possible degree of individuality; they told us to challenge politics and economy and even shared their parent’s experiences who lived under various totalitarian systems. We grew up and as we turned 25 years old and had studied IT, we saw that we can earn more than the average salary of the economy we live in with only 2 years of work experience. This was different for our parents who struggled for decades to earn their decent living! We live in another world and it seems that we do not have to adapt ourselves anymore as you had to as demographics, politics and evolution play in our favor. Thus, it seems obvious that we challenge the corporate hierarchies we work in and being a part of these is not really worthwhile goal for us.”

Jorg: “Thanks, Nico, I understand better now. However, I am even more puzzled than before this interview: How should we manage people who have been supported and fostered to a maximum and don’t feel the need to adapt to their environment?”

Nico: “This is maybe a little extreme (sometimes we exaggerate). We do adapt to a certain extent. It is easy to manage us efficiently: The human being (Generation X, Generation Y, Baby-boomers or anyone else by the way) wants to do something meaningful, wants to grow, be part of a social system and be recognized for his individual contribution. We need a vision, we want to know why it’s worthwhile getting up in the morning and going to work. And it is not (only) the job title or salary that will show us. However, it is wrong that we don’t respect authorities: on the contrary, we need strong leaders. Just the notion of “strong” is different than what you were used to. We will respect you if you are a natural authority but not by your job title. It is difficult for us to believe you when you sit in the ivory tower and give out guidelines and communicate through memos. Be (or become) a credible, whole person and manager who is able to talk to our intrinsic motivation and we will follow you. Do not lead us through command but through knowledge, competency and understanding. Also, let go of the old notion that you have to be in the office from nine to five to achieve results: we are online all the time anyway. As a direct consequence, our job and private life mix and become one; we do not make the same clear distinction between both as you did. So please don’t be a micro-manager with us or you will leave you. In the end, we are more or less like you: we need a vision, guidance and meaning. Follow some of the advice above and we will follow you – Even at work.”

Jorg: “Thanks, Nico. I will try my best. Please be my guest again in twenty years and leave a comment on how things have evolved for you!”

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The Worst Thing You Can Do To A Candidate In The Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-worst-thing-you-can-do-to-a-candidate-in-the-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-worst-thing-you-can-do-to-a-candidate-in-the-interview/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 00:01:43 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3962 Job interviews are stress, for both the candidate and the hiring manager. After all, both sides want to show themselves from the best angle, make a good impression and ideally confirm a second meeting, right? There are many dos and don’ts (here are all from this blog). But what is the number one worst thing you can do to a candidate in the interview? Read on, the answer might be different than what you think of. You are the interviewer and have prepared yourself more or less well for this interview. Maybe you read the resume in detail and checked the LinkedIn profile of the candidate thoroughly; maybe you rush in 5 minutes late and barely prepared anything. Yet even if you prepared yourself well, chances are high your candidate prepared much better than you did: If s/he (“she” as of now) did it right, she googled you, learned the key figures and the history of your company by heart and printed financial statements (at least, if she read my recommendations – or is one of the candidates I presented in my function as a headhunter). This is an important meeting for her, one of the most critical ones in this company, even if she will work here for the next 10 years. There are high expectations and she wants to make the best impression on you. Which are the mistakes you can commit as an interviewer? You know already that mixing up name or past employers of your candidate, not listening, checking your emails during the interview, talking 90% of the time or taking phone calls will turn your opposite down. If you behave like this in the first interview where you are ought to sell yourself as a boss and an employer, how will you be in “real life”? (I turned down a job many years ago because my opposite talked 99% of time) Yet this is not the worst thing you can do to a candidate in the interview: Whatever you do during the interview will be over after 60 minutes. The pain you can cause after the interview, however, can hurt for weeks: It is the 7 words “Thank, Ann. We will let you know”. Why is that, isn’t that how 90% of the interviews end? Yes, but so what? This does not mean it is right. In my experience, you know after 15 minutes at the latest if this is the right candidate or not. Often, “we will let you know” is a way to avoid a negative response and negative things is what we try to avoid. I recommend a clear feedback and there are only three possible answers to me (cultural must also be taken into consideration and the wording will vary in different locations): “Thanks Ann. I think you are a great candidate for this job and I have the feeling we would get along together very well. I confirm there will be a second interview from my side. What is your feedback?” “Thanks Ann. I really think you are a very interesting candidate but I do not think I have the right job for you: I am looking for someone with more experience in the topics A, B and C (or: I am not sure you would be at ease in this company, it is just a feeling but my guts always tell me the truth). As a conclusion, it would not be fair towards you to go any further, potentially hire you but put you in risk as of the beginning. I am sorry but I think this is not the right job/ company for you. I appreciate you came here and if you wish, I can give you some tips what to do better in my opinion” “Thanks Ann. I think you are a very interesting candidate. However, I am insecure about the place you could occupy here. It is hard to say, I cannot put it into words. I have a doubt. It is just a feeling but my guts always tell me the truth. The times I went against my guts, it did not work. I am sorry but I think this is not the right job/ company for you. If you wish, I can give you some tips what to do better in my opinion” Conclusion: Sounds very direct, maybe a little too direct? Point 1 is important as you want to secure this top candidate for you too, right? And if she says now “Actually there is one thing I do not understand/ that is missing to me”, now is the time to clarify and sell the job (but not oversell). For answer 2 and 3, be fair towards the candidate, don’t let them hope in vain and let that hope die because you don’t come back to them (80% don’t…), send a standard email or, at the best, give them a call in a few days. Yes, this is a different approach and many candidates will not be used to it. But in the end they will appreciate it and say “XY did not hire and I did/ did not understand the reasons. However, she was fair and respectful and even gave me tips nobody else did.”

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TheWorstThingYouCanDoToCandidate_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlogJob interviews are stress, for both the candidate and the hiring manager. After all, both sides want to show themselves from the best angle, make a good impression and ideally confirm a second meeting, right?

There are many dos and don’ts (here are all from this blog). But what is the number one worst thing you can do to a candidate in the interview? Read on, the answer might be different than what you think of.

You are the interviewer and have prepared yourself more or less well for this interview. Maybe you read the resume in detail and checked the LinkedIn profile of the candidate thoroughly; maybe you rush in 5 minutes late and barely prepared anything. Yet even if you prepared yourself well, chances are high your candidate prepared much better than you did: If s/he (“she” as of now) did it right, she googled you, learned the key figures and the history of your company by heart and printed financial statements (at least, if she read my recommendations – or is one of the candidates I presented in my function as a headhunter). This is an important meeting for her, one of the most critical ones in this company, even if she will work here for the next 10 years. There are high expectations and she wants to make the best impression on you.

Which are the mistakes you can commit as an interviewer? You know already that mixing up name or past employers of your candidate, not listening, checking your emails during the interview, talking 90% of the time or taking phone calls will turn your opposite down. If you behave like this in the first interview where you are ought to sell yourself as a boss and an employer, how will you be in “real life”? (I turned down a job many years ago because my opposite talked 99% of time)

Yet this is not the worst thing you can do to a candidate in the interview: Whatever you do during the interview will be over after 60 minutes. The pain you can cause after the interview, however, can hurt for weeks:

It is the 7 words “Thank, Ann. We will let you know”.

Why is that, isn’t that how 90% of the interviews end? Yes, but so what? This does not mean it is right. In my experience, you know after 15 minutes at the latest if this is the right candidate or not. Often, “we will let you know” is a way to avoid a negative response and negative things is what we try to avoid.

I recommend a clear feedback and there are only three possible answers to me (cultural must also be taken into consideration and the wording will vary in different locations):

  1. “Thanks Ann. I think you are a great candidate for this job and I have the feeling we would get along together very well. I confirm there will be a second interview from my side. What is your feedback?”
  2. “Thanks Ann. I really think you are a very interesting candidate but I do not think I have the right job for you: I am looking for someone with more experience in the topics A, B and C (or: I am not sure you would be at ease in this company, it is just a feeling but my guts always tell me the truth). As a conclusion, it would not be fair towards you to go any further, potentially hire you but put you in risk as of the beginning. I am sorry but I think this is not the right job/ company for you. I appreciate you came here and if you wish, I can give you some tips what to do better in my opinion”
  3. “Thanks Ann. I think you are a very interesting candidate. However, I am insecure about the place you could occupy here. It is hard to say, I cannot put it into words. I have a doubt. It is just a feeling but my guts always tell me the truth. The times I went against my guts, it did not work. I am sorry but I think this is not the right job/ company for you. If you wish, I can give you some tips what to do better in my opinion”


Conclusion:

Sounds very direct, maybe a little too direct?

Point 1 is important as you want to secure this top candidate for you too, right? And if she says now “Actually there is one thing I do not understand/ that is missing to me”, now is the time to clarify and sell the job (but not oversell).

For answer 2 and 3, be fair towards the candidate, don’t let them hope in vain and let that hope die because you don’t come back to them (80% don’t…), send a standard email or, at the best, give them a call in a few days.

Yes, this is a different approach and many candidates will not be used to it. But in the end they will appreciate it and say “XY did not hire and I did/ did not understand the reasons. However, she was fair and respectful and even gave me tips nobody else did.”

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Three Questions That Might Cost Your Head In The Job Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/three-questions-that-might-cost-your-head-in-the-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/three-questions-that-might-cost-your-head-in-the-job-interview/#respond Mon, 23 Sep 2013 00:01:23 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3934 The job interview is the beginning of any career, may it be a stellar one or one that stops during the trial period. Not your skills, your expertise or competency alone will get you the working contract on the table but your ability to bring all these across in the first, second and third interview (and maybe more. I heard of up to 14…). There is much on the internet on what to do in the interview (including my number 1 key learning from twelve years in recruitment in this posting) but which are the pitfalls, the traps to avoid? Which are the questions that might cost your head in the job interview? Here below comes my personal “Worst Of” list: “Is there a canteen?/ How much vacation do I get?/ Does your company have a pension plan?/ Do you offer education?/ Can I bring my pet alligator to the office?” All these questions may be OK at one stage of the interview process but they will definitely kill you at the beginning. The first interviews should have the aim of giving both sides all the information they need to decide if there will be a next step. All questions should be therefore structured around the aim of understanding the job itself and the context, the company. The only purpose of the first interview is therefore getting into the second one. And of the second one? Getting the invitation to the third one and so on. Only the last interview (may it be the third or tenth) is the job contract. And NOW, when all important things are discussed and when both sides agree to work together, these ones may follow or exceptions (the alligator) may be discussed. After all, the above criteria are no show-stoppers, are they? Or will you only accept the job if there is a canteen? “What’s the career plan here?/ When can I get your job?/ What about the potential of this job?” Again, this is not absolutely stupid as such but the simple answer is: it depends on you (and maybe a little bit on the economy…). If you do an excellent job, touch the ceiling after three years or so and your management wants to keep you on board, they will try to find new responsibilities which can be either a promotion or new responsibilities, projects or similar. If you do lousy job, on the other hand, you might get fired or will leave the organization anyway because there is no potential (for you). Turn it differently: when asking for instance what it takes to make career here and asking to get examples, you kill two birds with a stone: you learn about the potential the company offers and about its values, rules and functioning. Yet even if the potential is the most promising one, you should sign for the job title that is written on the work-contract. The rest may come true – or not “Who are your ompetitors?/ What is your strategy?/ What does your company do anyway?” Everything that is available on the internet should be clear to you. Indeed, one of the first questions can be “What do you know about us?” and you might look silly if you don’t have products/ services, figures, the positioning and some highlights of the history handy. Not being able to answer this question will be interpreted by the interviewer with “candidate does not care” which is a bad start. The job interview is an important professional meeting between professionals. Do you go into an important meeting with your board or a key client unprepared? As I wrote here, I recommend printing all this information out and bringing it to the interview, along with the questions you have prepared. Thus, you will leave a neat and professional impression   Conclusion: Basically, there are only two things you want to find out in the job interview: “what’s the job?” (=get an understanding of the function, its challenges and opportunities) and “What is it like to work here?” (=understand the manager’s and company’s values, the rules of conduct and how the first months but also next years would look like if you joined them). The aim of your interview questions is twofold: a) getting you this information (this is what you take) and b) positioning you as someone who is worthwhile being seen again/ being made an offer (this is what you give). Keep both objectives in mind when preparing your questions and you will enhance your chances to get that job.

The post Three Questions That Might Cost Your Head In The Job Interview appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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ThreeQuestionsThatMightCostYourHeadInTheInterview_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

The job interview is the beginning of any career, may it be a stellar one or one that stops during the trial period. Not your skills, your expertise or competency alone will get you the working contract on the table but your ability to bring all these across in the first, second and third interview (and maybe more. I heard of up to 14…).

There is much on the internet on what to do in the interview (including my number 1 key learning from twelve years in recruitment in this posting) but which are the pitfalls, the traps to avoid? Which are the questions that might cost your head in the job interview?

Here below comes my personal “Worst Of” list:

  1. “Is there a canteen?/ How much vacation do I get?/ Does your company have a pension plan?/ Do you offer education?/ Can I bring my pet alligator to the office?” All these questions may be OK at one stage of the interview process but they will definitely kill you at the beginning. The first interviews should have the aim of giving both sides all the information they need to decide if there will be a next step. All questions should be therefore structured around the aim of understanding the job itself and the context, the company. The only purpose of the first interview is therefore getting into the second one. And of the second one? Getting the invitation to the third one and so on. Only the last interview (may it be the third or tenth) is the job contract. And NOW, when all important things are discussed and when both sides agree to work together, these ones may follow or exceptions (the alligator) may be discussed. After all, the above criteria are no show-stoppers, are they? Or will you only accept the job if there is a canteen?
  2. “What’s the career plan here?/ When can I get your job?/ What about the potential of this job?” Again, this is not absolutely stupid as such but the simple answer is: it depends on you (and maybe a little bit on the economy…). If you do an excellent job, touch the ceiling after three years or so and your management wants to keep you on board, they will try to find new responsibilities which can be either a promotion or new responsibilities, projects or similar. If you do lousy job, on the other hand, you might get fired or will leave the organization anyway because there is no potential (for you). Turn it differently: when asking for instance what it takes to make career here and asking to get examples, you kill two birds with a stone: you learn about the potential the company offers and about its values, rules and functioning. Yet even if the potential is the most promising one, you should sign for the job title that is written on the work-contract. The rest may come true – or not
  3. “Who are your ompetitors?/ What is your strategy?/ What does your company do anyway?” Everything that is available on the internet should be clear to you. Indeed, one of the first questions can be “What do you know about us?” and you might look silly if you don’t have products/ services, figures, the positioning and some highlights of the history handy. Not being able to answer this question will be interpreted by the interviewer with “candidate does not care” which is a bad start. The job interview is an important professional meeting between professionals. Do you go into an important meeting with your board or a key client unprepared? As I wrote here, I recommend printing all this information out and bringing it to the interview, along with the questions you have prepared. Thus, you will leave a neat and professional impression

 

Conclusion:

Basically, there are only two things you want to find out in the job interview: “what’s the job?” (=get an understanding of the function, its challenges and opportunities) and “What is it like to work here?” (=understand the manager’s and company’s values, the rules of conduct and how the first months but also next years would look like if you joined them).

The aim of your interview questions is twofold: a) getting you this information (this is what you take) and b) positioning you as someone who is worthwhile being seen again/ being made an offer (this is what you give).

Keep both objectives in mind when preparing your questions and you will enhance your chances to get that job.

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The Most Important Rule For The Job Interview http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-most-important-rule-for-the-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/the-most-important-rule-for-the-job-interview/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 00:01:23 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3899 Having been working in professional recruitment for more than a decade, I have been preparing all my candidates thoroughly for their job interviews. Over the years, this briefing became more and more sophisticated but I was still looking for the “holy grail”, the number 1 key learning that won’t get forgotten and enables candidates running for jobs but also for professionals managing their career to get it all right. What is the red thread of both, the Leitmotif or the most important rule for the job interview in one short, crisp and memorable sentence? Did you see the movie “Zelig”? Woody Allen aka Leonard Zelig takes on the characteristics of the personalities around him, out of his desire to be liked. Depending on the given context, the “chameleon man” turns into a Rabbi, a jazz musician or an obese man. What is the connection between Zelig and your next job interview? The Leitmotif of any successful application, interview and career management is focus on things you have in common. In my profession, we call this “matching”. If there are similarities between the job and you, this is a good sign (e.g. you have been working in marketing for the last 10 years and apply for a job as Marketing Director). If there are no such common points, it will not go any further for you (e.g. they only have a job in finance…). Your value proposition must be meaningful for the person opposite you. It is not only about you, it is also about her. And it only goes any further for you if there is a fit between you and your opposite. How can you establish this fit? You need to talk about things or values you share or in short: about things that bring you closer. Like Leonard Zelig. Of course, Zelig pushes this idea too far. My recommendation is not to be opportunistic: it is to focus on things that bring you closer, that you have in common. “Things in common” can be as obvious as working in the same industry, having studied at the same university or being in the same business club, charity but it can also be less tangible such as having the same hobbies, supporting the same baseball team or your commitment in charity. It will, however, always be ‘sharing the same values’. Zelig’s goal (“being liked”) is synonym to “wishing to see each other again/ more often”. And this underlying principle is identical to “making career”: “Your boss wants to see you again” means “you will be invited for a second interview” whereas “Your boss wants to see more often” can stand for “you will get a promotion and work closer with her”. Key take aways: When applying or preparing for an interview, make a list of five common points between you and your contact or company you interview at. Adapt your entire presentation around these five points. Be creative: it is not always what you think. You may for instance say “you work in the industry X, I have been working in Y. Though you might think that these are very different industries, we managed a similar industry change 5 years ago than the one you are facing today. Here is what I did: (describe the situation you found, your input and the results).” Don’t forget that this principle also works vice versa: if you don’t like what you see and hear and don’t feel the fit yourself (may this occur in the first interview or during strategic meetings after 7 years with the same company), you should be the one who stops the partnership as it won’t go any further for you from this point onwards anyway. Most importantly: be authentic and be true to yourself. And if it is time to disagree, do so. Leonard Zelig pushed a good approach too far – and he did not make career, neither as a dentist, psychiatrist or mafia boss though he tried all these professions…  

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TheMostImportantRuleForTheInterview_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

Having been working in professional recruitment for more than a decade, I have been preparing all my candidates thoroughly for their job interviews. Over the years, this briefing became more and more sophisticated but I was still looking for the “holy grail”, the number 1 key learning that won’t get forgotten and enables candidates running for jobs but also for professionals managing their career to get it all right.

What is the red thread of both, the Leitmotif or the most important rule for the job interview in one short, crisp and memorable sentence?

Did you see the movie “Zelig”? Woody Allen aka Leonard Zelig takes on the characteristics of the personalities around him, out of his desire to be liked. Depending on the given context, the “chameleon man” turns into a Rabbi, a jazz musician or an obese man.

What is the connection between Zelig and your next job interview?

The Leitmotif of any successful application, interview and career management is focus on things you have in common. In my profession, we call this “matching”. If there are similarities between the job and you, this is a good sign (e.g. you have been working in marketing for the last 10 years and apply for a job as Marketing Director). If there are no such common points, it will not go any further for you (e.g. they only have a job in finance…).

Your value proposition must be meaningful for the person opposite you. It is not only about you, it is also about her. And it only goes any further for you if there is a fit between you and your opposite. How can you establish this fit? You need to talk about things or values you share or in short: about things that bring you closer. Like Leonard Zelig.

Of course, Zelig pushes this idea too far. My recommendation is not to be opportunistic: it is to focus on things that bring you closer, that you have in common. “Things in common” can be as obvious as working in the same industry, having studied at the same university or being in the same business club, charity but it can also be less tangible such as having the same hobbies, supporting the same baseball team or your commitment in charity. It will, however, always be ‘sharing the same values’.

Zelig’s goal (“being liked”) is synonym to “wishing to see each other again/ more often”. And this underlying principle is identical to “making career”: “Your boss wants to see you again” means “you will be invited for a second interview” whereas “Your boss wants to see more often” can stand for “you will get a promotion and work closer with her”.

Key take aways:

  1. When applying or preparing for an interview, make a list of five common points between you and your contact or company you interview at. Adapt your entire presentation around these five points. Be creative: it is not always what you think. You may for instance say “you work in the industry X, I have been working in Y. Though you might think that these are very different industries, we managed a similar industry change 5 years ago than the one you are facing today. Here is what I did: (describe the situation you found, your input and the results).”
  2. Don’t forget that this principle also works vice versa: if you don’t like what you see and hear and don’t feel the fit yourself (may this occur in the first interview or during strategic meetings after 7 years with the same company), you should be the one who stops the partnership as it won’t go any further for you from this point onwards anyway.
  3. Most importantly: be authentic and be true to yourself. And if it is time to disagree, do so. Leonard Zelig pushed a good approach too far – and he did not make career, neither as a dentist, psychiatrist or mafia boss though he tried all these professions…

 

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Career Advice From A To Z: “X” For “How To Use Your X-Factor In The Job Interview” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-use-your-x-factor-in-the-job-interview/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-use-your-x-factor-in-the-job-interview/#respond Mon, 29 Jul 2013 00:01:09 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3860 X-factor is that elusive quality that sets one person apart from the crowd. It’s something to do with charisma, a little bit about the way that person makes you aspire to be like them, and a lot about them making you feel like you’ve known them forever. Whatever the exact ingredients, if we could bottle it and sell it we’d all be millionaires. As you will have guessed, this article isn’t about the TV phenomenon of the same name. It’s about how you can use the X-factor to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. But the TV show is relevant here, because the format is very similar to the typical recruitment process. So how can you use your X-factor in the job interview to help you win recruiter’s votes? Here are three ways to get that job. Short listing: This sifts out the people who are just applying indiscriminately without the right qualifications and experience. In the TV show, it’s here we see the wannabes, the people who can’t sing but just want to meet some VIP in the jury. Interview: Like the TV series auditions, we first see the person perform here. We get a fleeting sense of their personality and the opportunity to spot the talented ones. Final selection: The boot camp and live show stages of the TV show are akin to recruitment’s second interview or appraisal centre stage. The stakes are raised, the pressure is on. By now the candidates have all shown they have what it takes to do the job, but this additional selection process allows the winner’s X-factor to set them apart. 1.Let your talent shine through Everyone from sports psychologists to neuroscientists seem to be wading into the debate about whether natural talent exists. On one side of the argument is the idea that you are born with a natural ability to do certain things – hit a tennis ball, come up with a new law of physics etc. The other side says that you acquire talents through shear hard work and hours of practice. The truth is probably, as ever, somewhere in the middle. Our genetics and family history probably set us up with certain physical traits and engender the love for specific activities. And let’s not forget the importance of a support system that provides lifts home from swimming club, piano lessons, clean football kit and all the many other factors that nurture talent and allow it to thrive. On top of those foundations some of us then develop a passion, practise like crazy and eventually start to reap results. Recruiters for top level jobs want to hire talent. They are never going to pick the person who is mediocre. And yet many of us are uncomfortable allowing our talent to shine. We are embarrassed to talk about personal success and the results we’ve achieved. But in the recruitment game, being humble won’t get you a job. There is a big difference between being thrilled by your successes and bragging about them. We can easily limit ourselves by worrying we will appear big headed. But the exuberance of someone who has just won an award is charming. The trick is to let this energy and emotion sparkle in an interview. Be delighted with your national sales award, tell your interview panel how honoured you were to be recognised for your hard work, let your enthusiasm show. Be able to explain your role in the success. If you are talking about your team increasing turnover by 150%, say what you did that helped them achieve that. Again, your energy here is key – you need to show you are an inspirational leader. 2.It’s all about the performance Love it or hate it, interviews are all about your performance on the day. There are no retakes, no excuses. In my old PR days I got an interview for what I thought was my dream job. The Head of Global Media for an international campaign organisation I had always admired. I sailed through the first interview and got called to HQ for the second round. Then I got flu. Proper flu. Not a bit of a sniffle man-flu type flu, but full-on achey, brain numbing, can finally understand why so many people die of it, flu. My husband had to pack my bag and pretty much carry me to the airport. Over ten years later, I can still remember the question that threw me – “how would you plan a media campaign?” Planning media campaigns was something I had been doing everyday for years. It was second nature. I stumbled around trying to work out what they meant by what seemed a trick question. With my flu riddled thinking, I was lost. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get the job. I hadn’t given them any evidence that I knew how to do what would be needed of me. Many recruiters work on a points system in interviews. Questions are developed to see if you fulfil what would be required of you and then you are scored to see if the answers you give meet or exceed those requirements. As Head of Global Media, being able to plan a media campaign was essential, and yet I didn’t show in the interview that I knew how to do it. It doesn’t matter what I had written on my application form. The scores at interview were what counted. Combat your nerves: A bit of adrenaline is useful, too much gets in the way. If you know interviews make you freeze it’s worth taking action, consider hypnotherapy to calm you down or talk to your doctor about anxiety. Most interviews will have set questions, take a while to think what you would ask if you were interviewing for the job. Practise your responses including for the obvious ones like why you want the job, where you see your career developing etc. 3.Connection: Audience appeal wins votes In order to have the X-factor you will need to give […]

The post Career Advice From A To Z: “X” For “How To Use Your X-Factor In The Job Interview” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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HowToUseYourXfactorInTheInterview_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

X-factor is that elusive quality that sets one person apart from the crowd. It’s something to do with charisma, a little bit about the way that person makes you aspire to be like them, and a lot about them making you feel like you’ve known them forever. Whatever the exact ingredients, if we could bottle it and sell it we’d all be millionaires.

As you will have guessed, this article isn’t about the TV phenomenon of the same name. It’s about how you can use the X-factor to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. But the TV show is relevant here, because the format is very similar to the typical recruitment process.

So how can you use your X-factor in the job interview to help you win recruiter’s votes? Here are three ways to get that job.

  • Short listing: This sifts out the people who are just applying indiscriminately without the right qualifications and experience. In the TV show, it’s here we see the wannabes, the people who can’t sing but just want to meet some VIP in the jury.
  • Interview: Like the TV series auditions, we first see the person perform here. We get a fleeting sense of their personality and the opportunity to spot the talented ones.
  • Final selection: The boot camp and live show stages of the TV show are akin to recruitment’s second interview or appraisal centre stage. The stakes are raised, the pressure is on. By now the candidates have all shown they have what it takes to do the job, but this additional selection process allows the winner’s X-factor to set them apart.


1.Let your talent shine through

Everyone from sports psychologists to neuroscientists seem to be wading into the debate about whether natural talent exists. On one side of the argument is the idea that you are born with a natural ability to do certain things – hit a tennis ball, come up with a new law of physics etc. The other side says that you acquire talents through shear hard work and hours of practice.

The truth is probably, as ever, somewhere in the middle. Our genetics and family history probably set us up with certain physical traits and engender the love for specific activities. And let’s not forget the importance of a support system that provides lifts home from swimming club, piano lessons, clean football kit and all the many other factors that nurture talent and allow it to thrive. On top of those foundations some of us then develop a passion, practise like crazy and eventually start to reap results.

Recruiters for top level jobs want to hire talent. They are never going to pick the person who is mediocre. And yet many of us are uncomfortable allowing our talent to shine. We are embarrassed to talk about personal success and the results we’ve achieved. But in the recruitment game, being humble won’t get you a job.

  • There is a big difference between being thrilled by your successes and bragging about them. We can easily limit ourselves by worrying we will appear big headed. But the exuberance of someone who has just won an award is charming. The trick is to let this energy and emotion sparkle in an interview. Be delighted with your national sales award, tell your interview panel how honoured you were to be recognised for your hard work, let your enthusiasm show.
  • Be able to explain your role in the success. If you are talking about your team increasing turnover by 150%, say what you did that helped them achieve that. Again, your energy here is key – you need to show you are an inspirational leader.


2.
It’s all about the performance

Love it or hate it, interviews are all about your performance on the day. There are no retakes, no excuses. In my old PR days I got an interview for what I thought was my dream job. The Head of Global Media for an international campaign organisation I had always admired.

I sailed through the first interview and got called to HQ for the second round. Then I got flu. Proper flu. Not a bit of a sniffle man-flu type flu, but full-on achey, brain numbing, can finally understand why so many people die of it, flu. My husband had to pack my bag and pretty much carry me to the airport. Over ten years later, I can still remember the question that threw me – “how would you plan a media campaign?”

Planning media campaigns was something I had been doing everyday for years. It was second nature. I stumbled around trying to work out what they meant by what seemed a trick question. With my flu riddled thinking, I was lost. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get the job. I hadn’t given them any evidence that I knew how to do what would be needed of me.

Many recruiters work on a points system in interviews. Questions are developed to see if you fulfil what would be required of you and then you are scored to see if the answers you give meet or exceed those requirements. As Head of Global Media, being able to plan a media campaign was essential, and yet I didn’t show in the interview that I knew how to do it. It doesn’t matter what I had written on my application form. The scores at interview were what counted.

  • Combat your nerves: A bit of adrenaline is useful, too much gets in the way. If you know interviews make you freeze it’s worth taking action, consider hypnotherapy to calm you down or talk to your doctor about anxiety.
  • Most interviews will have set questions, take a while to think what you would ask if you were interviewing for the job. Practise your responses including for the obvious ones like why you want the job, where you see your career developing etc.


3.
Connection: Audience appeal wins votes

In order to have the X-factor you will need to give a little bit of yourself. This sometimes seen as a risky strategy, but without the human side some candidates can appear like a perfect answer automaton.

Getting the balance right is key here. I’m not saying go on gushingly about your boyfriend and that holiday you had in Ibiza. But as the TV show producers recognised, a bit of back story is good. Tell your career narrative, your aspirations, be honest about your mistakes, but say how you learnt from them, show you are resilient and resourceful and most importantly try to give something that connects with the recruitment panel.

Whatever the application process, make sure you connect from the start. Your CV, application form, covering letter or resume should all reflect the language that the recruiter is using. This helps you connect with the recruiter and lets them know you will fit in. So, if the company refers to ‘clients’ on their website, you talk about clients in your application (not customers, service users or other similar terms). This is all about tailoring what you say to fit the audience.

In an interview,

  • Speak the same language – make sure you connect with your written application
  • Speak adult to adult. This is a job interview, you haven’t been sent to the headmaster’s office. Don’t be cowered by some perceived hierarchy, talk as if you are talking to your peers.

 

The overall thing to remember about X-factor is that everyone has a different view of what it means to them. That means you really can’t fake it. So when someone hears you are going for a job and offers the platitude ‘just be yourself’, that really is the best advice in the world. Just be yourself, offer some of your personality, let your talent shine through and you can’t go wrong.

The post Career Advice From A To Z: “X” For “How To Use Your X-Factor In The Job Interview” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Career Advice From A To Z: “V” For “Las Vegas: 7 Career Lessons From Its’ History” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/career-tips-from-las-vegas/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/career-tips-from-las-vegas/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 00:01:57 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=407 Some love it, some hate it yet guess what, I learned many things from Las Vegas that can help you for your career. What are these 7 things? Do what needs to be done: Las Vegas has no natural resources. It lies in the middle of the desert and 100 years ago, the population was 800 people (today, 2 million people live here). The Las Vegas approach was always more pragmatic than sentimental (I guess this is how you survive in the desert) and the city seized opportunities at the right moment. Make this strategy yours. Peter Drucker says: “Successful leaders (this goes for other knowledge workers) don’t ask ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’ Then they ask, ‘Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?’ They don’t tackle things they aren’t good at.” Focus on things that bring you forward and to not lose time on those you cannot change or that jeopardize your success. Put yourself in question and reinvent yourself if needed: Las Vegas’ fame was built in the 1940s by Bugsy Siegel, a mobster who was sent here to make money. 10 years later, almost all casinos were run by the mob and this continued until the end of the 1970s. Since the 1950s, Las Vegas was home to the fanciest shows and biggest entertainers of it’s time. Beginning in the 1980s, the city saw a downturn until the theme hotels came in the 1990s with the aim to change it’s reputation from “sin city” to “entertainment city”. Also, Las Vegas has become the biggest convention city in the USA. The focus of this city changed many times in its’ history. Do the same and regularly ask yourself if a decision or direction you took one year ago is still good for you. Correct if needed. Don’t lose the contact to the bottom-line: Las Vegas lost speed in the 1980s. It no longer had the monopoly of legal gambling and cities like Atlanta, much more accessible, took its rang. With its’ downturn, world stars could not longer be attracted and the shows became second class. Make sure you remain first class, watch your competitiveness and keep a sexy profile. Most candidates I meet that start further education do so because they want to change job. 10 years nothing and all of sudden a big chunk – this is not very credible and does not qualify you as someone who is in the driving seat of his/ her career. Always ask yourself if you would hire yourself tomorrow. Read your own CV as you would read the one from a candidate. Look for benchmarks. Seek advice if you need on how to upgrade your profile. “If you do not cannibalize yourself, your competitors will do” (Peter Drucker): What brought you where you stand today might not be good enough to bring you where you want to be tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to let go successful strategies. In Las Vegas, all the big hotels that represented it’s original glitz and glamour are gone. The Sands, The Dunes, the Stardust no longer exist and made place to the new theme hotels. What seemed a bold decision at the time (blow up the hallmarks of the city!!), proved to be the right one and founded Las Vegas’ revival since the 1990s until today. Always present yourself in the best possible way: Yes, Las Vegas has the highest criminality and unemployed rate in the states and is hit harder by a crisis than other economies. However, as a tourist, you will probably only see the strip and maybe downtown (my tip if you want to see the original Vegas). If the rest of the city vanished, 95% of the tourists would not notice and on the strip, you do not see the ugly parts of this city. In your career, focus on the things that set you apart positively and do not talk too much about what you are not good at. Learn to sell yourself. Many candidates (mainly from Finance or IT) tell me that the have problems with that. Learn it as you will need it for both getting a new job and having a promotion. Being good is not good enough, you must have the skills to show that you are good in a humble yet convincing and clear way. Be close to the power: I am currently staying in a non-casino hotel that belongs to a major luxury hotel group. One of their casinos has an average spend of half a million USD (right, this is the average) and the respective hotel is sold out all week-ends of the year. Some of the wealthiest people in the world come here to gamble. What does this mean to you? Be close to powerful people and find a mentor who is highly ranked in your organization. Have successful people around you: Las Vegas was able to attract talent for most of the time. The Rat Pack, Howard Hughes, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones or David Copperfield – they were all here. When they went away, Las Vegas’ stumbled into a downturn. Make sure you work in winning teams and are surrounded by people you can learn from. When key players leave the company and when many do so, find out the reasons and ask yourself if this is the right place for you and your career. Conclusion: Do what has to be done, always be good and stay sharp, don’t bother too much what people think about you, remain competitive, look at the quality of the people around you, see the easy side of life and the next years of your career look bright.

The post Career Advice From A To Z: “V” For “Las Vegas: 7 Career Lessons From Its’ History” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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CareerTipsFromLasVegas_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Some love it, some hate it yet guess what, I learned many things from Las Vegas that can help you for your career.

What are these 7 things?

  1. Do what needs to be done: Las Vegas has no natural resources. It lies in the middle of the desert and 100 years ago, the population was 800 people (today, 2 million people live here). The Las Vegas approach was always more pragmatic than sentimental (I guess this is how you survive in the desert) and the city seized opportunities at the right moment. Make this strategy yours. Peter Drucker says: “Successful leaders (this goes for other knowledge workers) don’t ask ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’ Then they ask, ‘Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?’ They don’t tackle things they aren’t good at.” Focus on things that bring you forward and to not lose time on those you cannot change or that jeopardize your success.
  2. Put yourself in question and reinvent yourself if needed: Las Vegas’ fame was built in the 1940s by Bugsy Siegel, a mobster who was sent here to make money. 10 years later, almost all casinos were run by the mob and this continued until the end of the 1970s. Since the 1950s, Las Vegas was home to the fanciest shows and biggest entertainers of it’s time. Beginning in the 1980s, the city saw a downturn until the theme hotels came in the 1990s with the aim to change it’s reputation from “sin city” to “entertainment city”. Also, Las Vegas has become the biggest convention city in the USA. The focus of this city changed many times in its’ history. Do the same and regularly ask yourself if a decision or direction you took one year ago is still good for you. Correct if needed.
  3. Don’t lose the contact to the bottom-line: Las Vegas lost speed in the 1980s. It no longer had the monopoly of legal gambling and cities like Atlanta, much more accessible, took its rang. With its’ downturn, world stars could not longer be attracted and the shows became second class. Make sure you remain first class, watch your competitiveness and keep a sexy profile. Most candidates I meet that start further education do so because they want to change job. 10 years nothing and all of sudden a big chunk – this is not very credible and does not qualify you as someone who is in the driving seat of his/ her career. Always ask yourself if you would hire yourself tomorrow. Read your own CV as you would read the one from a candidate. Look for benchmarks. Seek advice if you need on how to upgrade your profile.
  4. “If you do not cannibalize yourself, your competitors will do” (Peter Drucker): What brought you where you stand today might not be good enough to bring you where you want to be tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to let go successful strategies. In Las Vegas, all the big hotels that represented it’s original glitz and glamour are gone. The Sands, The Dunes, the Stardust no longer exist and made place to the new theme hotels. What seemed a bold decision at the time (blow up the hallmarks of the city!!), proved to be the right one and founded Las Vegas’ revival since the 1990s until today.
  5. Always present yourself in the best possible way: Yes, Las Vegas has the highest criminality and unemployed rate in the states and is hit harder by a crisis than other economies. However, as a tourist, you will probably only see the strip and maybe downtown (my tip if you want to see the original Vegas). If the rest of the city vanished, 95% of the tourists would not notice and on the strip, you do not see the ugly parts of this city. In your career, focus on the things that set you apart positively and do not talk too much about what you are not good at. Learn to sell yourself. Many candidates (mainly from Finance or IT) tell me that the have problems with that. Learn it as you will need it for both getting a new job and having a promotion. Being good is not good enough, you must have the skills to show that you are good in a humble yet convincing and clear way.
  6. Be close to the power: I am currently staying in a non-casino hotel that belongs to a major luxury hotel group. One of their casinos has an average spend of half a million USD (right, this is the average) and the respective hotel is sold out all week-ends of the year. Some of the wealthiest people in the world come here to gamble. What does this mean to you? Be close to powerful people and find a mentor who is highly ranked in your organization.
  7. Have successful people around you: Las Vegas was able to attract talent for most of the time. The Rat Pack, Howard Hughes, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones or David Copperfield – they were all here. When they went away, Las Vegas’ stumbled into a downturn. Make sure you work in winning teams and are surrounded by people you can learn from. When key players leave the company and when many do so, find out the reasons and ask yourself if this is the right place for you and your career.


Conclusion:

Do what has to be done, always be good and stay sharp, don’t bother too much what people think about you, remain competitive, look at the quality of the people around you, see the easy side of life and the next years of your career look bright.

The post Career Advice From A To Z: “V” For “Las Vegas: 7 Career Lessons From Its’ History” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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4 Reasons Hiring Is No Jigsaw Puzzle http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/4-reasons-hiring-is-no-jigsaw-puzzle/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/4-reasons-hiring-is-no-jigsaw-puzzle/#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 00:09:30 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3713 Jigsaw puzzles are fascinating generations since their invention around 1766. There is only one solution – the perfect one. Every open position is made for only one piece that fits. For every piece, there is only one position it fits in. No imponderables, no surprises. Hiring is a question of perfect candidates for open positions, and of perfect positions for talented candidates. Isn’t that just another jigsaw puzzle? A somewhat complicated one, since it has many open positions, and even more candidates. It feels good, fitting in another piece, completing the picture. Is this the way it works? Here are 4 reasons why the contrary is the case: No. The picture the candidate shows you is an illusion. The candidate wants the job, so he will do everything to make you think he is the one for this position. Maybe he is a good guy and really wants to fit in. Anyway, you end up hiring the candidate who fooled you best. No. The picture of your team which you have in your mind is an illusion. You see what your team wants you to see. When I was 16, I made my first internship in a chemistry lab of a large company. The laboratory supervisor, an experienced man, told me: “The first thing you should learn is to look busy. You always have to look busy, then you’ll make it.”. This was a serious advice (and the hidden warning that I could not fool him). Every team looks busy when the boss is in sight. No. A picture is static, a team is not. Humans are not static. Once the picture is finished, it only works as decoration. It shows the past. Even the perfect moment when you found a candidate who really fits in the open position is only a snapshot. Things move, work changes and people grow. When you don’t leave any scope for development of your people, they cannot grow. They can’t even move. But tensions can, as well as demotivation, when they try. As tensions grow, the picture cracks. So does the team. No. Those who don’t move are the ones NOT to hire. They will not do anything by their own decision and look for the rules, even if their desk is on fire. From the former service regulations of the German army, some quotes are legendary, e.g. “When reaching the top of a tree, the soldier has to stop climbing”. Do you really want to hire people that need rules as detailed as this? Then you have your jigsaw pieces. A familiar quotation of people working for the German post some decades ago was: “Service by the book is almost striking.” You cannot cut people to the right size. Trying it only cuts the motivation of your employee – to a smaller size. Hire outstanding candidates who show their edges and do not look like the “perfect fit”. They will solve unforeseen problems. Place your people in the team, but do not fix them. Just choose a “starting position”. Put the rough gemstones loosely together, leave scope for development, challenge the team, and your people will move into the right position and grow together as one team. They fill the gaps, and cover additional areas of work where necessary. Do not block the development of your team, just keep monitoring it. You have to identify gaps which require additional talents. That’s the heavenly part so far. Unfortunately  there are so many people lazy as hell, there’s always one left for your team. He works by the book. He is the reef where the other’s motivation is shattered. Give him hell and remove him. His gap will close automatically, and the team’s productivity will rise. Hiring is not a game, and the result is not as predetermined as a jigsaw puzzle. The future is not predetermined. Scope for development enables your team to adapt to future challenges.

The post 4 Reasons Hiring Is No Jigsaw Puzzle appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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HiringIsNoJigsawPuzzle_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

Jigsaw puzzles are fascinating generations since their invention around 1766. There is only one solution – the perfect one. Every open position is made for only one piece that fits. For every piece, there is only one position it fits in. No imponderables, no surprises.

Hiring is a question of perfect candidates for open positions, and of perfect positions for talented candidates. Isn’t that just another jigsaw puzzle? A somewhat complicated one, since it has many open positions, and even more candidates. It feels good, fitting in another piece, completing the picture. Is this the way it works?

Here are 4 reasons why the contrary is the case:

  1. No. The picture the candidate shows you is an illusion. The candidate wants the job, so he will do everything to make you think he is the one for this position. Maybe he is a good guy and really wants to fit in. Anyway, you end up hiring the candidate who fooled you best.
  2. No. The picture of your team which you have in your mind is an illusion. You see what your team wants you to see. When I was 16, I made my first internship in a chemistry lab of a large company. The laboratory supervisor, an experienced man, told me: “The first thing you should learn is to look busy. You always have to look busy, then you’ll make it.”. This was a serious advice (and the hidden warning that I could not fool him). Every team looks busy when the boss is in sight.
  3. No. A picture is static, a team is not. Humans are not static. Once the picture is finished, it only works as decoration. It shows the past. Even the perfect moment when you found a candidate who really fits in the open position is only a snapshot. Things move, work changes and people grow. When you don’t leave any scope for development of your people, they cannot grow. They can’t even move. But tensions can, as well as demotivation, when they try. As tensions grow, the picture cracks. So does the team.
  4. No. Those who don’t move are the ones NOT to hire. They will not do anything by their own decision and look for the rules, even if their desk is on fire. From the former service regulations of the German army, some quotes are legendary, e.g. “When reaching the top of a tree, the soldier has to stop climbing”. Do you really want to hire people that need rules as detailed as this? Then you have your jigsaw pieces. A familiar quotation of people working for the German post some decades ago was: “Service by the book is almost striking.”


You cannot cut people to the right size.
Trying it only cuts the motivation of your employee – to a smaller size. Hire outstanding candidates who show their edges and do not look like the “perfect fit”. They will solve unforeseen problems.

Place your people in the team, but do not fix them. Just choose a “starting position”. Put the rough gemstones loosely together, leave scope for development, challenge the team, and your people will move into the right position and grow together as one team. They fill the gaps, and cover additional areas of work where necessary. Do not block the development of your team, just keep monitoring it. You have to identify gaps which require additional talents.

That’s the heavenly part so far. Unfortunately  there are so many people lazy as hell, there’s always one left for your team. He works by the book. He is the reef where the other’s motivation is shattered. Give him hell and remove him. His gap will close automatically, and the team’s productivity will rise.

Hiring is not a game, and the result is not as predetermined as a jigsaw puzzle. The future is not predetermined. Scope for development enables your team to adapt to future challenges.

The post 4 Reasons Hiring Is No Jigsaw Puzzle appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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Career Advice From A To Z: “U” For “How To Use A Headhunter” http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-use-a-headhunter/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/how-to-use-a-headhunter/#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 00:01:14 +0000 http://www.jobthoughts.net/?p=493 Oldies are goldies: I have written the first version of this post in May 2011 and it is one of the most viral ones, being published in print and online by careerbuilder, msn careers, businessinsider, several print media as well as – without my approval – on many obscure sites. Here is a revised version on how to use a headhunter in the most efficient way for your career: Many job-seekers are reluctant to use a professional recruiter. I consider this a mistake as [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]a good headhunter has inside information and knows of jobs that will never be advertised[/inlinetweet] and inside information you can never achieve from the outside. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Here are 8 tips on how to use a headhunter – written by a headhunter[/inlinetweet]: Prefer a specialist to a generalist: If you work in banking, find a headhunter who deals with banking people all day long as s/he will have a solid understanding of what you are talking about, what the client is looking for and how to councel you best. Be careful: Do not give out confidential information about you or your employer on the phone without having met the headhunter or knowing who their customer is. There are some black sheep out there that are collecting resumes without an assignment. Find furthermore out how your headhunter works: if s/he sends out resumes without asking you or if they send “candidate flashes”, I would personally change the headhunter. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Be rare: Do not work with more than 3 headhunters.[/inlinetweet] We try not to present a candidate who has already been sent by our competitor. You, on the other hand, will make a desperate impression if this happens. Be prepared: I see candidates being late for the interview, badly dressed or with an outdated resume to the interview and then tell me “You know, this is only because you are the recruiter. I would never do that for the real interview”… Prepare your interview well, google us beforehand, meet us on eye-level and you will impress us and motivate us to do all for you. Be honest: Do not lie to us as we will probably discover the truth through questioning or ref checks. I immediately stop the interview and blacklist the candidate when s/he is lying to me (usually when it is about the reasons for leaving or the last salary). We can talk about anything and if there are bumpy parts in your career, we will sort out how to explain them to our customer. But we must know. Like us or leave us: Sympathy is an easy thing: If you do not like us, this will probably be the same vice versa. I rarely placed candidates I did not like. We are networker, sales people and if we like you, we will have a more convincing pitch. If you do not trust or like your recruiter, meet a competitor and ask the first one to delete you from his records. Use us: A good headhunter will give you feedback on your presentation, your resume and will brief you thoroughly on the client including the people you will meet there. We know what the biggest challenges will be, what it takes to succeed in this given company and why the job is vacant. We have met your potential boss long before you do. Maybe we have even met former employees and know the weak parts of this organization. Ask for this information if your headhunter does not give it. Keep in touch: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Even successful headhunters place only 10% of the candidates they meet.[/inlinetweet] Maybe you will not get the job you applied for – but you should do everything to make sure you get the next one that comes along. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The biggest lie headhunters tell every day is “I will call you next Monday”[/inlinetweet]. 9.5 out of 10 times they do not. If we do not call you, be strong and remind us in a gentle yet persistent way every other week of you: call us, send a message via LinkedIn, another time write an email. Conclusion: A good headhunter with good values and business ethics can be far more efficient in your job search than you. His or her job is to find one for you. Do not forget that we have the same goal: if you get the job, we get the money. Use us wisely and we can be a catalyst for your career. ☛ If you liked this posting, please subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter (top of this page), share it on your preferred social media and send it to at least one contact to help the world of labor become a better place!  ☝ Oh yes, right! There was one more: please follow our LinkedIn company page for several career tips per week. 

The post Career Advice From A To Z: “U” For “How To Use A Headhunter” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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HowToUseAHeadhunter_KennedyExecutive_CareerBlog

Oldies are goldies: I have written the first version of this post in May 2011 and it is one of the most viral ones, being published in print and online by careerbuilder, msn careers, businessinsider, several print media as well as – without my approval – on many obscure sites. Here is a revised version on how to use a headhunter in the most efficient way for your career:

Many job-seekers are reluctant to use a professional recruiter. I consider this a mistake as [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]a good headhunter has inside information and knows of jobs that will never be advertised[/inlinetweet] and inside information you can never achieve from the outside.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Here are 8 tips on how to use a headhunter – written by a headhunter[/inlinetweet]:

  • Prefer a specialist to a generalist: If you work in banking, find a headhunter who deals with banking people all day long as s/he will have a solid understanding of what you are talking about, what the client is looking for and how to councel you best.
  • Be careful: Do not give out confidential information about you or your employer on the phone without having met the headhunter or knowing who their customer is. There are some black sheep out there that are collecting resumes without an assignment. Find furthermore out how your headhunter works: if s/he sends out resumes without asking you or if they send “candidate flashes”, I would personally change the headhunter.
  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Be rare: Do not work with more than 3 headhunters.[/inlinetweet] We try not to present a candidate who has already been sent by our competitor. You, on the other hand, will make a desperate impression if this happens.
  • Be prepared: I see candidates being late for the interview, badly dressed or with an outdated resume to the interview and then tell me “You know, this is only because you are the recruiter. I would never do that for the real interview”… Prepare your interview well, google us beforehand, meet us on eye-level and you will impress us and motivate us to do all for you.
  • Be honest: Do not lie to us as we will probably discover the truth through questioning or ref checks. I immediately stop the interview and blacklist the candidate when s/he is lying to me (usually when it is about the reasons for leaving or the last salary). We can talk about anything and if there are bumpy parts in your career, we will sort out how to explain them to our customer. But we must know.
  • Like us or leave us: Sympathy is an easy thing: If you do not like us, this will probably be the same vice versa. I rarely placed candidates I did not like. We are networker, sales people and if we like you, we will have a more convincing pitch. If you do not trust or like your recruiter, meet a competitor and ask the first one to delete you from his records.
  • Use us: A good headhunter will give you feedback on your presentation, your resume and will brief you thoroughly on the client including the people you will meet there. We know what the biggest challenges will be, what it takes to succeed in this given company and why the job is vacant. We have met your potential boss long before you do. Maybe we have even met former employees and know the weak parts of this organization. Ask for this information if your headhunter does not give it.
  • Keep in touch: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Even successful headhunters place only 10% of the candidates they meet.[/inlinetweet] Maybe you will not get the job you applied for – but you should do everything to make sure you get the next one that comes along. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The biggest lie headhunters tell every day is “I will call you next Monday”[/inlinetweet]. 9.5 out of 10 times they do not. If we do not call you, be strong and remind us in a gentle yet persistent way every other week of you: call us, send a message via LinkedIn, another time write an email.


Conclusion:
A good headhunter with good values and business ethics can be far more efficient in your job search than you. His or her job is to find one for you. Do not forget that we have the same goal: if you get the job, we get the money. Use us wisely and we can be a catalyst for your career.

☛ If you liked this posting, please subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter (top of this page), share it on your preferred social media and send it to at least one contact to help the world of labor become a better place! 

☝ Oh yes, right! There was one more: please follow our LinkedIn company page for several career tips per week. 

The post Career Advice From A To Z: “U” For “How To Use A Headhunter” appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

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6 Steps To Shake Up Your Career http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/6-steps-to-shake-up-your-career/ http://www.kennedyexecutive.com/6-steps-to-shake-up-your-career/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 00:01:49 +0000 http://www.myjobthoughts.com/?p=3667 Deciding to quit your job may seem easy. Reasons are plenty – from organizational pain points and personal relations, to need of accomplishment or general dissatisfaction. Can it be remedied by changing job? And is it really the right way to shake up your career? Naturally the immediate step is to start browsing job boards, activate friends and contacts, and get in touch with headhunters. But, while it might be easy to identify the reasons for leaving the current job, it is another story altogether to define the next one, or actually find it. By jumping into an intensive job search, with your CV sent at semi-automatic rifle speed all around, you have a lot of chances to miss but few to hit. Not to mention that you burn your ammo – the prospective employers. If you failed to attract an employer’s attention, chances are you are ‘burned’ at this company for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, not only one has to ensure the next job doesn’t have the same ‘issues’ as the current one. But also that these issues are not resulting from an inadequate fit between organization, job description, skill set and expectations. This mixture can actually be explosive: can you imagine a sales engineer doing research in algorithms, or an administration expert working as sales manager? While these examples are extreme, we encounter glaring mismatches in every organization and at any hierarchy level. Did I tell you about the MBA appointed as Research Director, and got lost in translation? The crucial question is therefore: Do you KNOW your next job? Do you know what you really want to do, and the environmental parameters that will make you thrive doing it? Here are 6 steps to revive your career and find the right and satisfying next job: 1. Take a day off: Sit down and write all what you don’t like about your past and current positions. Mark repetitive patterns. It should not degenerate into an exercise in negative energy. Rather, constructively try and define what you could agree to live with, and which are unacceptable transgressions. 2. Take another day off: Define in which environment your next job should be. Do you feel better in an international organization with thousands of employees, or do you prefer a smaller focused company? Would you rather be in the HQ dealing with business strategy, or a local subsidiary doing direct sales? Are you willing to move? To which locations/ countries? Do you thrive in a chaotic environment, or do you prefer clear directions? Are you a lone star who would happily work from home or do you need a collegial open office?… These are the boundary conditions allowing you to focus your future search for organizations and settings most adequate to you. Identify and list the companies that are most prone to fit your ideal. Get to learn about them via internet and friends, get a clear picture before you search for the adequate positions. 3. Correlate your skills, experience, education, and what can you do with them: Not just repeating CV stuff, but a true self-reflection on your abilities and expectations. It helps to browse job boards by keywords, to get a feeling of the market, nomenclature, and to initiate a coarse filtering of available options. Don’t be an account manager if you don’t want to keep the same position for a long period; choose a small start-up team if you want to have strong impact on a product strategy; You are a technical expert, but uncomfortable with customer interaction? Look for an R&D position;… This step is critical to ensure you will only look at options that really FIT you. 4. Put your dream position on paper: You are a sales engineer and want to be an account manager? Or you are a skilled programmer who now wants to lead a team? The path is clear. Make it also clear in your application. But if your dream job is far from where you are today, this is the moment to clarify how to get there. Be realistic: if you are a 40 year old programmer, you won’t become a medical doctor next Monday. In most cases however, far is about just one position away, if this position is well targeted. Rather than wandering in another unsatisfying job, evaluate if an intermediary step is a viable option. Now is the time to start your job search: 5. Apply only to really well fitting positions: In a sense, the process is similar to choosing a new suit: if it is hastily chosen, chances are the colors won’t compliment you, the suit will not sit right. You will look and feel miserable – and you will never wear it again. Take your time, make informed choices, take measures, and you will find the one that is just for you, and in which you will look perfect. Apply only where and when it makes sense, it fits you perfectly and you have from the get-go a good feeling about it. This will also be positively felt by the recruiting side. 6. Make a dedicated, meaningful application: Very often, one tends to use a generic application cover, stating the boring and obsequious obvious. But now you have a chance to actually write stuff that matter: clearly write out why you apply to a specific position, make it stand out. It is not a sin to write your goals, especially if they fit the position. As each application is unique, this is time taking. But quality overcomes quantity any day of the week, and much fewer applications will bring significantly more interviews. Conclusion: In order to efficiently shake up your career, take your time, make informed choices, evaluate carefully potential employers, and treat each job application as if it was the only one. You will find the job that is just for you – fitting perfectly your personality, skills, and ambition. Now that you KNOW your next job, go get it! And when […]

The post 6 Steps To Shake Up Your Career appeared first on Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting.

]]>
6StepsToShakeUpYourCareer_KennedyExecutiveCareerBlog

Deciding to quit your job may seem easy. Reasons are plenty – from organizational pain points and personal relations, to need of accomplishment or general dissatisfaction. Can it be remedied by changing job? And is it really the right way to shake up your career? Naturally the immediate step is to start browsing job boards, activate friends and contacts, and get in touch with headhunters.

But, while it might be easy to identify the reasons for leaving the current job, it is another story altogether to define the next one, or actually find it.

By jumping into an intensive job search, with your CV sent at semi-automatic rifle speed all around, you have a lot of chances to miss but few to hit. Not to mention that you burn your ammo – the prospective employers. If you failed to attract an employer’s attention, chances are you are ‘burned’ at this company for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, not only one has to ensure the next job doesn’t have the same ‘issues’ as the current one. But also that these issues are not resulting from an inadequate fit between organization, job description, skill set and expectations.

This mixture can actually be explosive: can you imagine a sales engineer doing research in algorithms, or an administration expert working as sales manager? While these examples are extreme, we encounter glaring mismatches in every organization and at any hierarchy level. Did I tell you about the MBA appointed as Research Director, and got lost in translation?

The crucial question is therefore: Do you KNOW your next job? Do you know what you really want to do, and the environmental parameters that will make you thrive doing it? Here are 6 steps to revive your career and find the right and satisfying next job:

1. Take a day off: Sit down and write all what you don’t like about your past and current positions. Mark repetitive patterns. It should not degenerate into an exercise in negative energy. Rather, constructively try and define what you could agree to live with, and which are unacceptable transgressions.

2. Take another day off: Define in which environment your next job should be. Do you feel better in an international organization with thousands of employees, or do you prefer a smaller focused company? Would you rather be in the HQ dealing with business strategy, or a local subsidiary doing direct sales? Are you willing to move? To which locations/ countries? Do you thrive in a chaotic environment, or do you prefer clear directions? Are you a lone star who would happily work from home or do you need a collegial open office?… These are the boundary conditions allowing you to focus your future search for organizations and settings most adequate to you. Identify and list the companies that are most prone to fit your ideal. Get to learn about them via internet and friends, get a clear picture before you search for the adequate positions.

3. Correlate your skills, experience, education, and what can you do with them: Not just repeating CV stuff, but a true self-reflection on your abilities and expectations. It helps to browse job boards by keywords, to get a feeling of the market, nomenclature, and to initiate a coarse filtering of available options. Don’t be an account manager if you don’t want to keep the same position for a long period; choose a small start-up team if you want to have strong impact on a product strategy; You are a technical expert, but uncomfortable with customer interaction? Look for an R&D position;… This step is critical to ensure you will only look at options that really FIT you.

4. Put your dream position on paper: You are a sales engineer and want to be an account manager? Or you are a skilled programmer who now wants to lead a team? The path is clear. Make it also clear in your application. But if your dream job is far from where you are today, this is the moment to clarify how to get there. Be realistic: if you are a 40 year old programmer, you won’t become a medical doctor next Monday. In most cases however, far is about just one position away, if this position is well targeted. Rather than wandering in another unsatisfying job, evaluate if an intermediary step is a viable option.

Now is the time to start your job search:

5. Apply only to really we