Blog http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/ Blog Wed, 17 Dec 2008 23:01:58 +0000 http://conquent.com/ en hourly 1 On Being A Recruiter http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=8c529ccc8ee411de9e73b24bd12d4be8 http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=8c529ccc8ee411de9e73b24bd12d4be8#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2009 23:25:12 -0800 Conquent http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=8c529ccc8ee411de9e73b24bd12d4be8 ===========================================================
OK, last night one of my coworkers and I went to the Seattle Job Social. And by coworker I mean someone on my team. We work recruiting for the UW *Medical Centers*. I spent about 3 hours yesterday afternoon finding, formatting and printing as many IT, marketing, and training-related jobs as I could from our database that I could find, as I know that these seem to be the populations most represented at the SJS. We went as the face of UW, because we certainly didn't expect to find any nurses, phlebotomists, or surgery technicians at a primarily IT-industry population event.

As of last May, I was unemployed. I worked my network to try and drum up some freelance business, and some of my colleagues that were still employed sent me some work, but I never made a dime off of that work. I met with a lot of unemployed friends, acquaintances, referrals, etc. Last night on my way to the job social I made a call to someone looking for some career transition advice. I've met with or spoken to many of you on this list to try and help out, and I am happy to do so. And I know for a fact that I'm not alone. *Every* employed recruiter is spending time above and beyond their "work hours" trying to help people both singularly and in general. I know that I am one of the more accessible recruiters in Seattle, and I made that choice consciously.

I empathize and feel for those of you that are having trouble getting calls back from recruiters, both internally and in the agencies. Due to my extensive contracting history, I'm much more cognizant of the candidate experience than a lot of recruiters, and I have *withdrawn* my candidacy from companies that have treated me badly as a recruiting job candidate.

But please, do *NOT* generalize that recruiters don't care, are lazy, only hire their friends/family, ignore qualified candidates, don't give you the things you need to make your job hunt more successful etc ad nauseam. Unless you've *been* a recruiter, you have no idea of the intricate legal restrictions we have to follow in everything from how we post jobs, to consider candidates, to communicate with the disabled, to counsel and mentor our hiring managers. Each job (requisition in our parlance) is a *separate* repeated process with a wide variety of variance. Often, yes, a good recruiter will cross-market candidates to hiring managers, but when you have 25+ *different* skill sets you are recruiting for, that doesn't always work real well.

But the bottom line is that the final decision on who to interview and who to hire resides with the *hiring manager*. You want to know what is the *most* frustrating part of our job? Forming a relationship with a candidate, working to get them in front of a hiring manager and then having that manager *not get back to us* for days, weeks or even months on end. Or tell us after we have vetted candidates and presented them that "I need to revise the job description. I'm not seeing the right kind of candidate." Or put the job "on hold" because of budget issues, or a reorg, or any of another half dozen relatively common reasons. On top of that, just like every other profession in America, we are doing extra work to keep our organizations afloat. I'm writing training materials, working with our internal marketing team on employment branding strategies, helping my Director on getting our processes documented and best practices in place, and recruiting on
positions I was not *hired* to do but that my team needs help on. A 40-hour work week in corporate America right now? Dream on. When I was at Microsoft my workload and "extra" project load was even crazier.

Judge recruiters you have *spoken to* on an individual basis. But I'm telling you, from where I am sitting, every single negative comment that is made about recruiting and recruiters frustrates me, because you do *not* know what we, as a profession, are going through on a daily basis. ]]>
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Career Suggestions for New Nursing Grads (Acute Care) http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=0a80a060e2e811deaff103afd12d4be8 http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=0a80a060e2e811deaff103afd12d4be8#comments Sun, 6 Dec 2009 20:21:50 -0800 Conquent http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=0a80a060e2e811deaff103afd12d4be8
-ANY direct patient care is valuable on your resumes. Volunteer work, clinicals, internships. All of it is helpful.

-The question of alternate career titles has been bandied around like CNA, Nurse Technician, Technologist, LPN as paying jobs. Is this a viable career move? The short answer is "yes", considering a position that is less money and responsibility but gets you direct patient care experience is an option. It depends on how badly you need to work and where you are looking.

-Traveling nurse positions are picking up and this can give you very valuable experience and a nice nest egg.

-You seriously need to consider relocation, and maybe on your own dime. If you live an area with extremely high unemployment, like MI, you are competing for entry level salaries against seasoned nurses with years of experience. Look at areas where there are large medical centers/teaching hospitals or, alternatively, rural settings where there is less interest in moving as a young professional.

-This isn't for everyone, but seriously consider doing something like the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders, or the military. Not only will you gain extremely valuable experience, but you will open doors you never thought of.

-One thing to keep in mind. If you have your heart set on a hospital career, taking a "short term" stint in a private practice, school or long-term care facility will greatly lessen your chances for attaining that hospital position. These are different skill sets and the further you get from acute care, the more difficult it is to convince a potential hospital/employer that you can transfer those skills.

Remember your resume is your sales tool. The more experience you can put on it that maps to direct patient care, the better your chances of landing an acute care position. ]]>
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Career Suggestions for New Nursing Grads (Acute Care) http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=4d30b092e2ea11deaa8e40c0d12d4be8 http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=4d30b092e2ea11deaa8e40c0d12d4be8#comments Sun, 6 Dec 2009 20:38:01 -0800 Conquent http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=4d30b092e2ea11deaa8e40c0d12d4be8
-ANY direct patient care is valuable on your resumes. Volunteer work, clinicals, internships. All of it is helpful.

-The question of alternate career titles has been bandied around like CNA, Nurse Technician, Technologist, LPN as paying jobs. Is this a viable career move? The short answer is "yes", considering a position that is less money and responsibility but gets you direct patient care experience is an option. It depends on how badly you need to work and where you are looking.

-Traveling nurse positions are picking up and this can give you very valuable experience and a nice nest egg.

-You seriously need to consider relocation, and maybe on your own dime. If you live an area with extremely high unemployment, like MI, you are competing for entry level salaries against seasoned nurses with years of experience. Look at areas where there are large medical centers/teaching hospitals or, alternatively, rural settings where there is less interest in moving as a young professional.

-This isn't for everyone, but seriously consider doing something like the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders, or the military. Not only will you gain extremely valuable experience, but you will open doors you never thought of.

-One thing to keep in mind. If you have your heart set on a hospital career, taking a "short term" stint in a private practice, school or long-term care facility will greatly lessen your chances for attaining that hospital position. These are different skill sets and the further you get from acute care, the more difficult it is to convince a potential hospital/employer that you can transfer those skills.

Remember your resume is your sales tool. The more experience you can put on it that maps to direct patient care, the better your chances of landing an acute care position. ]]>
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Are You Titling Yourself Out Of A Job? http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=54a0fe824cb111dfb5982e8ff4dc4335 http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=54a0fe824cb111dfb5982e8ff4dc4335#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 12:17:15 -0800 Conquent http://humanres.conquent.com/blog/index.cqs?blogid=54a0fe824cb111dfb5982e8ff4dc4335
Now, by having that title, as a recruiter I will do one of two things: pass the resume on by, or (depending on the role I am trying to fill) read it and then pass it over. Why do both of these scenarios end with me passing by?

A "Director" is the lowest rung on the executive ladder for most organizations. Most Directors have P & L responsibility combined with an organization that reports into them in a managerial heirachy. It denotes significant organizational responsibility and a pretty hefty compensation package.

If I was looking at my friend's resume for an individual contributor role (IC), even if it was doing exactly what she has been doing, I would pass over her experience because as a Director, I won't have managerial responsibilities, staff, and the commensurate compensation to accompany the title. If I *was* looking at her resume for a Director Role and saw she was actually an IC in a small organization, I would not see the depth of experience and responsibility I am searching for. In short, she was titling herself out of a job.

When I was working at Microsoft and looking for Senior Management candidates, it was understood that a Director at MSFT would often be a VP or General Manager at a smaller company. At a smaller company, titles are often "inflated" by virtue of the size of the organization. If you are the CFO or Controller at a 10 person company, that may mean that you are responsible for all the financial functions; AP/AR, collections, general ledger as well as managing the operations budget for the organization. But that doesn't mean you, as a candidate, are a good fit for a Senior Financial Manager at a larger company.

The same is also true in reverse. One of the most prevalent questions I hear these days is from senior candidates that are "overqualified" for IC roles. A VP of HR at a 300 person company in a depressed area like, say, Cleveland or Detroit, has a hard time finding a job with the other 500 HR generalists on the market. They *have* the functional skill set to do a generalist job, but because of their experience they are being overlooked for those roles. It is frustrating for the candidate because they need to work. But there are several reasons from a recruiting standpoint that makes these candidates less attractive. The first is quite simply economic; senior candidates make a lot more money than an IC. Although these candidates are willing to take the "going rate" for an IC, it's a major gamble for any organization that is tight on money. Then there is the fear that bringing in a senior candidate will just be a stop-gap measure for them until the market turns around. In other words, they'll leave as soon as the going gets better and they can find another job. It is also a more subtle concern that a senior candidate will come in and try to change the established "order" or structure of things.

Let's face it; it is a buyer's market, and companies are the buyers. So what can you do, as a senior candidate, to make yourself more "sellable"? First, take your experience to the lowest common denominator. This does, admittedly, border on dumbing down your resume, but you *must* make yourself attractive to a potential employer. Carefully look at the job description and then pull out the requirements. Go through your employment history of the last 7-10 years, and tailor your resume to match *those requirements*. Period. Write your summary to address exactly the requirements for the organization, and get rid of extraneous accomplishments. If you were a manager, become an XYZ professional. For our CFO and VP of HR, they would become Staff Accountant and Sr. HR Generalist, respectively. Or a member of the Accounting team or the Human Resources Staff.

Make sure that your title isn't putting you out of the running for positions that you are either over- or under- qualified for. These days, for every job opening I have, I am getting a very high number of applicants, and of those, a very high percentage are going to be *exactly* what I am looking for, so I don't need to stretch to find a "relative" fit. On top of that, many organizations are required to be compliant with certain federal guidelines that state that an organization must consider *every qualified applicant.* And *only* qualified candidates. The qualifications have set parameters, and to even be considered you need to fall into those parameters (which is often defined by a set keyword search).

Remember, your resume is a tool to get you in the door. You may need several versions of it to get your foot over the threshhold.
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