Role of HRMS in Any Organization

Delineating human resource department functions are very crucial for an organization that runs HRMS. In olden days managing large scale human resources was a very toughest task. Even it becomes difficult for sharing the information about employee records, banking and payroll records for International business agencies that do not have central HR administration. Even some U.S. business concerns having multiple offices at various places were running individual HR departments to meet their requirements. The additional expenditure incurred for establishing and running HR departments are being met by balanced company expenditures. Now HRMS has overcome all these problems.

Over many years, of course nearly 20 years HRMS are satisfying the needs of corporate landscape. In early days to implement and operate HRMS an advanced degree in computer science was a mandatory requirement. Also there was a need to hire administrators for getting HRMS data for their company. There were lots of constraints in adopting HRMS. Many companies felt that empowering HR departments would be more beneficial than implementation of HRMS. But over a period of years the revolution in technology has given life to the HRMS and improved to such an extent that without HRMS no corporate office is existing now. The growing needs of HR necessitated for the development of highly specialized tools. A parallel evaluation of HRMS incorporating these tools made ease of HR tasks. The various HR aspects like time, attendance to payroll and labor distribution are valuable commodity in the business world.

The modular packaging is the one of the most beneficial developments in HRMS. Few years back software was the only usable entity in HRMS and there was no scope for a series of applications. There was no dedicated HRMS for small businesses. They used to adopt the same HRMS that large business used. Now trend has changed and HRMS are modulated to suit for all types of businesses. Any business whether it is small or big can purchase HRMS applications meeting to their requirements and can be implemented in their organizations. Scalable modules facilitated in reduction of cost of HRMS. Also scalable modules created the scope to implement for localized applications without disturbing the resources that deal with larger applications.

Now the business community realized HRMS as standard application by virtue of software’s integral value. Also in the present business world either small or large business organizations felt HRMS as indispensable tool in their organizations. Though HRMS has become part of most functional and practical of all business software solutions, still there is vide scope for its continual development.

Why Pre-Employment Screening is So Critical

It is the ultimate nightmare for every human resources, security, or risk-management professional: Your phone rings late Friday afternoon as you wind up loose ends from yet another challenging week and are looking forward to a quiet weekend. A panic-stricken voice informs you that Pat in accounting has assaulted another co-worker and threatened to harm a supervisor. It turns out Pat was not only stealing money, but did not really have the experience claimed.

As the mess is being sorted out, everyone will be asking you the same question over and over. From the company CEO, CFO, and corporate attorney to managers, supervisors, and co-workers, there is one thing everyone wants to know: How did that person get hired in the first place?

If the matter turns into litigation, the legal fees for just one incident of workplace misconduct can easily soar into the six figures, and jury awards can be astounding. Your firm can be sued by injured co-workers, members of the public who were damaged, or even the bad employee who may claim wrongful termination. Once litigation starts, you will also find that in addition to your normal duties you now have a second and nearly full-time job–dealing with the discovery process in litigation and the organizational fallout.

The statistics on the consequences of even one bad hire are chilling. The financial cost to businesses from theft, violence, and false credentials can be enormous. There are other costs that are hard to measure, such as the harm to employee morale or the firm’s reputation. Industry statistics suggest the cost of even one bad hiring decision can exceed $100,000, taking into account the time spent recruiting, hiring, and training and the amount of time the job is left undone or done badly by an unqualified applicant.

Given the enormous price tag of a bad hiring decision, it is no surprise that employers of all sizes are turning to various tools to boost the effectiveness of their hiring process. The tools run from honesty and skills testing to behavior-based and group interview techniques.

Ultimately, none of these tools has proved effective in weeding out bad candidates, unless used in conjunction with a program of pre-employment background screening to obtain hard facts about a candidate.

Pre-employment background screening works in four critical ways:

o Just having background screening can discourage applicants with something to hide. A person with a criminal record or false resume will simply apply to a company that does not pre-screen.

o It limits uncertainty in the hiring process. Although using instinct in the hiring process can be important, basing a decision on hard information is even better.

o A screening program demonstrates that an employer has exercised due diligence, providing a great deal of legal protection in the event of a lawsuit.

o Having a screening program encourages applicants to be especially forthcoming in their interviews.

Pre-Screening Tools

Checking criminal records is a good example of a pre-screening process that helps promote safe hiring. It is estimated that 10 percent of job applicants have criminal conviction records relevant to the hiring process; without a screening program, it is statistically almost certain that a company will hire someone with a criminal record. Contrary to popular perception, there is no national database available to private employers. Criminal records are normally checked by having qualified researchers visit courthouses in counties where an applicant has lived or worked. Because there are more than 10,000 courthouses in America where records are kept, most employers outsource this task to qualified firms that specialize in pre-employment screening.

Another important tool is resume verification. Job applicants often use their resumes as a marketing tool, but the hiring company can find itself in trouble when resumes exceed the bounds of honesty. It is estimated that up to 30 percent of resumes contain material falsehoods that pertain to previous employment, education, and professional licenses. A professional screening firm can verify whether an applicant has the degrees or licenses claimed. Even if a past employer will not give details about job performance, just verifying the job dates and job title is crucially important. One of the most critical parts of the hiring process is to look for unexplained gaps in employment. That is important in order to help a screening firm check the appropriate courthouses while searching criminal records.

Other tools can include credit reports (when relevant to the job), Social Security number traces, driving records, national wants and warrants, as well as civil and federal court records.

Common Employer Concerns

Even with all of the advantages of a screening program, many employers still have questions and concerns about implementing background checks. These are the seven most commons concerns that employers express:

Is it legal?

Employers have an absolute right to conduct lawful pre-employment screening in order to hire the best-qualified candidates. A federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) balances the right of employers to know whom they hire with an applicant’s right of disclosure and privacy. Under that law, the employer first obtains the applicant’s written consent to be screened. In the event negative information is found, the applicant must be given the opportunity to correct the record. Employers should set up a consistent policy so similarly situated applicants are treated the same. A qualified screening company will assist an employer with legal compliance issues.

Does it invade privacy?

No. Employers can find out about only those things that an applicant has done in his “public” life. For example, checking court records for criminal convictions or calling past employers or schools does not invade a zone of personal privacy. Employers are looking only at information that is a valid and non-discriminatory predictor of future job performance. To maintain privacy, most background firms have Internet systems with secured Web sites. Employers should also take steps to maintain confidentially within their organization, such has keeping reports in a separate file from the personnel files.

Is it cost-effective?

A pre-employment screening will typically cost less than the cost of a new employee on his or her first day on the job. That’s pocket change compared to the damage one bad hire can cause. In addition, employers typically only screen an applicant if a decision has been made to extend an offer, and not all applicants. It is ironic that some firms will spend hours shopping for a computer bargain and at the same time try to save money by not adequately checking out a job applicant, which represents an enormous investment. The bottom line is that problem employees usually cause employee problems, and money is well spent to avoid problems in the first place.

Does it discourage good applicants?

Employers who engage in screening do not find that good applicants are deterred. Job applicants have a desire to work with qualified and safe co-workers in a profitable environment. A good candidate understands that background screening is a sound business practice that helps a firm’s bottom line and is not an invasion of privacy or an intrusion.

Does it delay hiring?

No. Background screening is normally done in just 48 to 72 hours. Most of the information needed is not stored in databases but must be obtained by going to courthouses or calling up past employers or schools. Occasionally there can be delays that are out of anyone’s control, such as previous employers who will not return calls, schools that are closed for vacation, or a court clerk who needs to retrieve a record from storage.

Furthermore, an organization that is careful in its hiring practices should find a lower rate of “hits” during background checks. There are a number of steps a firm should take to ensure safe hiring well before a name is submitted to a background company. These techniques include making it clear your firm does background checks in order to weed out bad applicants, knowing the “red flags” to look for in an application, and asking questions in interviews that will filter out problem candidates.

Is it difficult to implement?

For an overburdened HR, security, or risk-management department already handling numerous tasks, outsourcing background screening can be done very quickly and effectively. A qualified pre-employment screening firm can set up the entire program and provide all the necessary forms in a short period of time. Many firms have Internet-based systems that speed up the flow of information and allow an employer to track the progress of each applicant in real time.

How do we select a service provider?

An employer should look for a professional partner, not just an information vendor selling data at the lowest price. An employer should apply the same criteria that it would use in selecting any other provider of critical professional services. For example, if a employer were choosing a law firm for legal representation, it would not select the cheapest–it would clearly want to know it is selecting a firm that is competent, experienced, and knowledgeable, as well as reputable and reasonably priced. The same criteria should also apply to critical HR services. A screening firm should have an understanding of the legal implications of background checks, particularly the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Both employers and applicants have learned that pre-employment screening is an absolute necessity in today’s business world. More importantly, they’ve learned due diligence in hiring is a way to keep firms safe and profitable in these difficult times.

Lester S. Rosen is an attorney at law and President of Employment Screening Resources, a national background checking company located in California offering employment screening services such as employee background screening, job verification, and credential verification.

He is the author of, “The Safe Hiring Manual–Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Imposters and Terrorists Out of Your Workplace.” (512 pages-Facts on Demand Press), the first comprehensive book on employment screening.

He is also a consultant, writer and frequent presenter nationwide on pre-employment screening and safe hiring issues. He has qualified and testified in the California, Florida and Arkansas Superior Courts as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. His speaking appearances have included numerous national and statewide conferences.

Termination of Employment

Day in day out, issues crop up on employers’ terminating the employment of workers at anytime and any day. This issue has really become a talk of the town in recent times. Whilst evidence and studies prove that this happens most at times because workers are partially or absolutely ignorant about their right at the workplace, many employers also fail to recognize or do not know the limit of their authority at the workplace.

Both the employer and the employee should know that if their rights are seen as protecting an individual’s interests from the actions of others, responsibilities can be seen as establishing limits on one’s actions. Most employees who are ignorant of this, see themselves fired every now and then from work. Employers who also ignore them find themselves from one court room to another, wasting valuable resources.

The time has now come for both the employer and the employee to know the grounds on which the termination of employment is considered fair and unfair. It was only some years past that workers who enter “employment at will” (EAW) see themselves fired now and then. However, due to the recent modifications to even the employment at will doctrine, no employer can just terminate the employment of a worker and go scout free. The following are the modifications to the employment at will doctrine.

Public policy exceptions: This exception states that no employees’ employment should be terminated if his action which leads to the termination is to protect public policy. This was because the courts have found out that the dismissal of an at will employee, while not a violation of any explicit statute, nonetheless undermines the states’ ability to pursue public policies and for that reason will not be accepted.

Judicial exceptions: This is where the termination will not be accepted in cases where the courts have found explicit contracts on the basis of representations that were made to employees either in their employees’ handbook or through a statement made during the hiring process (i.e. express and implied contracts).

Implied covenant of good faith exceptions: This also highlights that the termination of an employee’s employment will not be accepted few days before they were due to receive annual bonuses for yearly sales performance.

In addition, all employers should know that any employer who terminates the employment of an employee based on the following grounds have violated the laws of the land and should therefore guard against them except otherwise stated in the contract note.

A worker’s employment is terminated unfairly if the termination is due to his joining or intention to join or ceasing to join or taking part in the activities of a trade union. It is also unfair if the termination is on the grounds of a worker seeking office as or is acting or has acted as a workers’ representative. If the ground is that the employee has filed a complaint or participated in proceedings against the employer for alleged violations. Also, if the termination is based on pregnancy, the worker’s disability, that the worker has taken part in a lawful strike or the level of qualification required now is different from the one he/she has when employed. To sum up, any termination on the grounds of the worker’s gender, race, color, ethnic background, origin, religion, and creed, social, political or economic status is also unfair.

Any worker, who claims that his /her employment has been unfairly terminated by the worker’s employer, may present a complaint to the National Labor Commission for redress. Such an employee’s employment when found to be unfairly terminated, the employee would either be re-instated or re-employed.

Despite the above, there are grounds on which an employer can fairly terminate the employment of an employee. Termination is fair on the grounds that the worker is incompetent in the field in which he/she has been employed or because of proven misconduct. Death or incapacitation can also be a fair ground for terminating the employment of an employee. Redundancy is also a fair ground for terminating the employment of an employee just that the employer has to pay a redundancy pay to the employee. Termination is also fair if it is due to legal restrictions imposed on the worker prohibiting him/her from performing the work.

In conclusion, ignorance is no excuse before the law. As such, both the employer and the employee should know their rights and limitations in order to prevent the long arms of the law from catching them.

6 Tips for Choosing a Career

The selection of a career is one of the decisions that may have a long term effect on your life. This decision should be taken after a lot of consideration. With self-examination and ample information, you can choose a career that you will enjoy throughout your life. Given below are 6 tips for choosing a career.

Your Work Style
Your career should suit your style of work. What type of work will suit you? Are you a self-starter? Or do you like a work environment that is well structured? Based on the answer to this question, you can find out which career will work the best for you. For instance if you are a procrastinator or daydreamer, you may want to choose a career where you will be able to give your best under the supervision of a supervisor.

Your Hobbies
If you have a hobby, you can transform it into a career. For instance, if you are good at playing an instrument or working with wood, you can turn this art into your career. Doing what you really love can make you a lot of money in the long run.

Your Financial Goals
Your goal must be to choose a career that can earn you enough bucks so that you could satisfy your needs and wants. For instance, if you want to tour the whole world and buy flats in the most expensive countries of the world, choosing to work as a clerk may not be a good idea. The thing is that you should choose a career based on your financial goals.

Back To School
Before borrowing money to get back to school, just make sure It’s worth it. The cost of studying at a college has gone up by 37% in 2010. You may think of going back to school in order to qualify for the job you want. For this purpose, you should consider programs that will be able to help you repay your loans.

Get Real Life Experience
You may want to think about ways companies use temps and interns for evaluating candidates before offering jobs. The real-life experience in a certain work environment may help you choose the best career that will suit you. In other words, internships, job shadows and temporary assignments can give you a good idea of whether a professional will be best for you.

Be Patient
Choosing the right career is not an event. Instead, it’s a process that you will go through. In any field, an entry level post will help you get a good idea of the ladder you are going to climb up. Developing a career takes a good deal of time, but setting solid goals and trying to achieve them will help you achieve your financial goals down the road.

So, with these tips in mind, you can easily choose the right career. This will also help you choose the right study program at the right university of college. Hopefully, this will be of great help to you.

Are you worried about your future? If so, you should do your homework to choose the best career. For a bright career, you may want to get help from Education Directory. The School Directory has a lot of helpful information that can help you with your career selection.

Top 5 Myths About the Recruiting Industry

We have all had the call, “Hey Joe, my name is Bob Smith. I am a recruiter for Acme Widgets. We found your profile on LinkedIn and I was wonder if you could take a few minutes out of your work day to discuss the prospect of working for the leading manufacturer of widgets in the US.” As with most timing in life, these calls will ring you before the first cup of coffee hits your lips or during a busy meeting. Needless to say, most recruiting targets are not prepared for a cold call. Other candidates have posted their resumes online and are just hoping the fish will bite. Given the mysterious nature of these strangers that we call head hunters, there are many misconceptions about the recruiting industry. Here is an inside look at the top 5 myths concerning the art of recruiting.

Not all recruiters jump out the window during a recession

Given the current economic backdrop it seems pertinent to discuss how the recession affects recruiters. When most people consider an economic downturn the last thing they think about is hiring. Following this logic most outsiders would assume recruiters go into a complete panic when the economy hits the fritz. The reality of the situation is much more complex. Internal recruiters that work within organizations which normally have ongoing hiring needs are put in a precarious position. Most companies looking to trim cost will single out recruiters for the first cutbacks. External, third party recruiters can actually benefit from these cutbacks. As companies reduce their internal hiring expertise certain critical positions can crop up that require talent acquisition skills. Companies forced to make limited hires after trimming their recruiting department will turn to third party recruiting companies to fill the void. This shift to outsourcing provides some measure of job security to a large portion of the industry.

The industry actually has many pros

No doubt about it, recruiting is a sales job. Recruiters are constantly pitching. If the recruiter is working on a recruitment outsourcing contract they are pitching the company they represent to a potential candidate. If a recruiter is working on a strictly commission basis, they may be selling a rock star candidate to multiple companies. This unique nature of recruiting can force recruiters to fall back into cliché sales tactics during the hiring process. As a candidate, if you get that used car salesman feeling in the pit of your stomach during a recruiting call, you are not alone. Despite the aggressive nature of the industry, many recruiters are seasoned professional. Contract recruiters can make upwards of 20% of a candidates first year salary for any successful placements. These high commissions mean that an effective recruiter can pull down a yearly income higher than most VP level positions they place. Given the financial implications, there is a significant amount of incentive for recruiters to be as polished as possible.

Recruiters just add extra pork to the hiring process

If you ask most internal HR people about the difficulties of hiring you will probably get the same answer. Recruiters are a critical part of the hiring process for many companies. This rule of thumb is particularly true for tech recruiters. Hiring for technical positions requires an understanding of very specific skill sets. A technical recruiter needs to understand coding expertise, be able to dissect pertinent background experience and also find a candidate that is a good cultural fit for a company. Most HR people are required to focus on managing benefits and boosting employee retention. These job requirements leave little time to develop a deep understanding of the myriad of technology expertise available on the market. Recruiters can significantly improve a hiring program by pushing process and hunting down the best match for any open positions.

It’s all about the commission

Believe it or not, recruiters have priorities beyond their commission checks. Compensation is about catches and balances. Over the years, companies have learned that it is important to hedge the large commissions paid out for new placements with specific securities concerning the candidate. Standard recruiting contracts require that a candidate must stay with a company for at least 90 days before the commission payment are guaranteed to the recruiter who has placed the candidate. These contractual agreements force recruiters to explicitly target candidates that they believe will be a long-term fit for the company. These guarantees also provide recruiter with incentive to develop an understanding of a company’s corporate culture to help find the best candidate match for the organization.

Recruiters are not living in the Stone Age

Recruiting is a juggling act. Each position will see multiple candidates interview for the role and each candidate is at a different stage in the process. This logistical nightmare is multiplied with each open position. Historically, recruiters have attempted to wrestle control and organize their process with giant trails of paper, graffiti covered calendars, waist deep email inboxes and spreadsheets so complex they make the Moon Landing look a bit easier. While the industry was once notorious for organizational flaws, these issues are expected when managing multiple candidates, hiring managers and interviews schedules. Fortunately, most of the recruiting industry has crawled out of the primordial ooze of spreadsheets and emails. Many professional recruiters now rely on industry specific, web-based recruiting software to help manage applicant flow and streamline collaboration between all of the decision makers. When properly used, these organizational tools can seriously increase hiring efficiencies across the board, allowing recruiters to spend more time looking for the perfect candidates.

Most people only have fleeting experiences with the recruiting industry. These short interactions lead to a variety of misconceptions and negative feelings associates with the recruiting process. Many misconceptions about recruiting are a direct result of the necessary sales oriented nature of the process. Ultimately, if outsiders were able to peak under the hood they would likely see a different story. On the whole, today’s recruiters represent talented professionals with a unique skill set to help companies fill mission critical roles and provides candidates with a good match for their careers needs. Recruiter provide the most cost effective solution for many companies hiring needs and with modern technology they can also provide a much needed organizational boost to the hiring process. So next time you get that call, think twice. It may be the best opportunity you’ve had in a long time.

 

The Proper Care & Feeding of Recruiters

Establishing a good working relationship with one recruiter or multiple recruiters is an important tool in furthering your career and even in establishing yourself on the road to employment success. Whether you’re on the market now, employed and “testing the water”, or you receive the proverbial call out of the blue, a recruiter can hold the key to your career development. Having been a recruiter for over 30 years, let me give you some tips that will pay off for you and the recruiter with whom you interface.

Let me first bust a myth and clear up a misconception. A recruiter is not there to “find you a position”. I know that may sound harsh and blunt, and it may even bruise your ego a bit, but it’s true. Recruiters have a primary objective and that is to fill the positions entrusted to them by their client, the company which pays their fee. Most recruiters work straight commission (hence, on contingency) so if they don’t get a candidate hired by their client, they don’t get paid. The client has a need, you are potentially the solution, and the recruiter is the middleman who brings the two together.

Like a matchmaker he is evaluating how good a “marriage” you and his client have the potential of being. Personally, I think a good recruiter will take into account the needs of both the company and the candidate to insure long-term success for both parties rather than focus on the immediate hire alone, but it is always best to remember that the primary allegiance of any recruiter is to his client, the hiring company.

I want to include a word to the wise. If a recruiter calls you, take the call or return it quickly. I can assure you that if a recruiter calls you, it’s because he has a reason. Even if you aren’t looking currently (besides, how do you know until you see what he has on his plate?) you’ll establish a contact that will be of value, if not today then at sometime in the future when you need it.

Here are 7 ways to ensure a mutually beneficial working relationship with a recruiter.

1) LOOK FOR A SPECIALIST. Years ago, when I entered the recruiting industry, being a generalist wasn’t uncommon. Today, with the market and competition, recruiters generally specialize. Some work a local market and some work nationally. A specialist in your industry or discipline will have a benefit for you and in turn, your background will be of interest to the recruiter. How a recruiter specializes may vary. Some are industry specific (i.e. insurance, accounting, hospitality, industrial, etc.) and others are position specific (i.e. sales/sales management, marketing, mechanical engineers, chemists, etc.) Many specialize in an industry and functions within that industry. As an example, my recruiting company specializes in sales and sales management within the broad healthcare industry. Don’t be afraid to ask a recruiter what he specializes in.

2) PRACTICE FULL DISCLOSURE. Be up front and honest in regard to your current and past employment situation, even if unemployed. Saying you’re “currently employed” only to have the recruiter find out you’re not will quite possibly end or severely damage your relationship. He is vouching for you to the client and his credibility is impacted by yours. The same applies for your job history, earnings, and where you are in the search process in terms of making a position change. Recruiters like factual information. Even if it may be negative, they need to know. Eating the frog on the front end can keep you from losing the ideal job later in the process. You see, a recruiter represents you to his client. He takes your criteria and theirs and creates the environment for an interview to take place. He can deal effectively with a negative if he knows what it is. If you allow him to be “blindsided”, you look bad and so does he. If the negative you fear prevents you from interviewing with that particular client, it would have kept you from getting the offer in the long run.

3) BE ENTHUSIASTIC. Even though the recruiter is an independent entity, he is an extension of the company for which he is recruiting. He is evaluating you for the client, so that first impression is important whether it is in a face to face interview or a phone interview. If you have enthusiasm and excitement in regard to your career, his interest in you, the company he is representing, and the position, it will help him have a positive view of you as a candidate. If he is excited about you, he will look forward to presenting you to his client as a potential solution to their problem. Here is another thing to consider: a recruiter works many assignments at one time, with numerous companies. Not only is he evaluating you for the specific position and company he called you about, but also potentially for other assignments active on his desk.

4) DON’T LEAD, FOLLOW. I know, I know, always better to be a leader than a follower. I agree, but when a recruiter calls, understand this: they have the opportunity and also the discretion of whether they tell you what it is or not. If you understand that they make many, many calls a day (and being commission types, time is money), this pointer will help you. Now, I’m not saying play a game of 20 questions. Do not give yes and no answers unless the question requires one, either. What I am saying is, like when dancing, someone leads and someone follows. Let him lead the discussion and take it where he needs to go as he generates the information needed to ascertain your candidacy for his client. Through the course of the conversation you will have the opportunity to ask questions and often be prompted by the recruiter to do so. It’s a two-way street, but he’ll take the lead.

5) DO NOT BE A DISTRACTION. All recruiters work differently and knowing the rules of the game will make your life easier. Do not call the recruiter to “check in”, believing the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Doing so may quickly divert your intent of being a good candidate to an annoyance and you’ll be frustrated that your calls aren’t being returned. In your own business, I’d bet you get buried in emails and phone calls, right? A recruiter is not any different and I’d venture to say, has it even worse. With hundreds or thousands of active candidates in the database, many clients and new candidates daily, if he took “check in” calls he’d never get anything done. I reiterate an earlier statement, the recruiter wants to place people, fill his client’s needs and make money, so if he needs you, he will call. Trust me.

Ask what he expects in regard to follow up from you and proceed accordingly. If asked to call on a certain day or at a certain time, do so. Once again, if he calls you, he has a reason. Possibly he needs more information for the client, he has an interview scheduled, or another opportunity surfaced. Make the recruiter a priority. It will help you, of course, but also enhance your image in his eyes. The one time you NEED to call the recruiter immediately is after an interview, every interview. To represent you effectively it is a must to debrief you and get your feedback, good, bad, or indifferent. In that way, going to bat for you is easier. It sends a positive impression to the client as well of you as a candidate, demonstrating good follow-up skills and interest in the position and company.

6) BE HONEST. Like point #2, full disclosure, honest communication is essential. When discussing opportunities with a recruiter honesty is appreciated. Subterfuge is not. It’s easy to extol the virtues in regard to a company or position but the negatives are important, too. If you have concerns, voice them to the recruiter. He may have the information to alleviate your concern and answer your doubts. If not, he can easily get it. It may be a deal breaker and if so, that’s life.

Not every position is ideal for a candidate nor is every candidate ideal for a client. The worst thing you can do in many ways is keep a recruiter “in the dark”, attempting to “keep your options open”. It is a major waste of time for all parties concerned and you will alienate the recruiter. Recruiters work hard to create a great marriage between their client and the candidate. The last thing they need is for the client to “fall in love” with you and “propose marriage” to hear a “no” or “let me think about it”. Any of you who are married and proposed at some point, or have been proposed too, can relate to this. Either one of those answers ruins the moment. Let the recruiter know where you stand at all times and he’ll help you get the job or if it isn’t the position for you, you can move on and go get the next one.

7) GIVE REFERRALS. Recruiters appreciate referrals of good candidates you know or people of whom you are aware who stand out in the industry. Whether you directly refer someone or pass on a name and company, rest assured that confidentiality is the lifeblood of the recruiting industry. Any information you pass along will be confidential and kept between you and the recruiter if that is your wish. If you know of positions open that don’t interest you specifically, pass that information on as well.

Business is relationships. I have candidates I have placed numerous times. Others I have placed only once. Many I knew for a long time before that “perfect” position meant the right situation for them. Some I have never placed but we have enjoyed a great exchange of information over the years. I value them all and always endeavor to assist when I can.

Here is just one more “peek inside the tent”. Like a small town where everyone knows everyone and secrets are few, the recruiting industry is very much a society unto its own. If you have been in the recruiting industry awhile, you know other recruiters who know recruiters who know candidates and so on. Often, we co-op with each other to benefit our businesses. Though competitors, we become friends too. Many chat often with each other. By developing a great relationship with one recruiter you may find yourself in demand by others as a result of your on-going relationship. I have even referred a candidate with whom I was impressed but couldn’t place to another recruiter on a gratis basis hoping to assist both the recruiter and the candidate. So, being aware of a recruiter you trust and value can be a great networking tool.

The proper care and feeding of “headhunters” can bear fruit in your career garden for many years. Tend them well.

Job Application – Why Yours Was Rejected

It is only once their job application has been rejected, that most job seekers get an insight in why their job application failed.

Unfortunately this tells them that with some fore thought, they could have figured this out for themselves. Let me help you avoid these common mistakes, and give you some insider advice on how to maximise your job application success

Job Application: it’s a personnel thing

All job applications do not start with the job seeker, but with the employer. A job is approved inside an organisation through the combination of two forces:

Business need
The manager of the team in which the job will be fulfilled
This is an important insight, as it should tell you that the final decision on who is employed is made by that manager, and that the successful job applicant will be considered the most able to deliver the defined business requirements.

The result of these two forces is the creation of a job description, from which the job advert is derived. Only after the job is approved to this stage, does job application become a personnel process. But not recognising the human beings wholly in the personal exchange – the manager and the successful jobholder – is a key mistake of many job applicants

You and Your Job Search

A job application starts long before you start reading newspapers, crawling job boards, trudging to the Job Centre or chatting to friends. Your job search starts with you, and a clear definition of:

Who and what you are
What you hence offer
What you want to do/see yourself doing long term
If you don’t know what you want to do, then any job will do, and hence multiple job application rejection will follow

Job Market testing

Although you now know what you want to do, the jobs market may at that point in time not want those exact skills, in that search geography, for the pay level which makes economic sense to you. You need to test that the job market is offering that job at the right pay level, and this is where the real advantage of the jobs board driven job search becomes apparent.

Go to your favourite jobs board, keeping the title/skills consistent and setting the pay level to zero. Then open the geographic search criteria until the result shows at least 20 jobs. If you can’t find at least 20 suitable jobs, then your ideal job presently doesn’t exist in the jobs market. Either: go back to stage1 and think of another interim step to your ideal long term job; wait three months; or accept constant job application upset.

The second problem at this stage is having too many jobs to apply for. Again, go to your favourite jobs board, and if after filling in your desired criteria there are more than 100 job results returned, then go back and more closely define what you offer an employer/seek next and long term. Falling into any job will do syndrome means that you are not focusing sufficiently in the eyes of the employer on what you can do well/offer, and hence will be rejected.

Professional CV

Although it disappoints me to say it, as a Professional CV Writer if you approach your job search in a particular manner, you don’t actually need a Professional CV. But, for 95% of job applications, you will at some point in the legal and hence defined HR process need a CV. In the modern world, a one-size fits all CV just won’t get you the required telephone interview: the only output action required when an employer takes when presented with a good CV.

If like many today you heard a friend or someone in a pub used a free template successfully to get employed, make sure you don’t follow the herd: templates mean you don’t stand out from the crowd. Good Professional CV Writers create engaging 2page documents that make employers pick up the telephone, because they communicate that the job applicant has the desired skills to fit the job description, and show social fit with the organisation/manager. If your template doesn’t, how ever pretty it is or however long your list of hobbies and interests, expect to be rejected

Job Application Form

The one thing that job seekers fail continually to understand, and yet employment professional do, is that you can’t beat the odds of where you find and how you apply for jobs.

For instance, as an internal employee offered a promotion, your chances are 90%. For a known person interacting directly with a recruiting organisation, your chances are around 50%. Your best chance of getting employed via a public job advert, be that on a company website or via newspaper, are around 12% on average. Where as a “follow the process” application via a job sourced on a jobs board could easily be as low as 2%

So why do so many job seekers think that they will be successful spending more than 10% o the time on jobs boards? Rejection is bound into and dictated by the where your find jobs and how you apply

Job application confidence

This is the last point of job application rejection, and it is a general issue throughout the current job-seeking world: personal confidence. Job seeking in itself is a job, and it is a tough one. There is research, marketing, paperwork, cold calling, direct costs and worst of the lot: a high level rejection. Even the successful job seekers will be rejected at least once, which means that their success ratio is 50%. I haven’t yet met an unsuccessful job seeker who was in some way lacking in self-confidence. It is one of the reasons that I decided to in part cross the divide and become a CV Writer, because universally in most job searches the CV is a common point. If you read through this article, and are still wondering why you are rejected, then after looking in the mirror get out with friends and family and remember what’s important. After taking a break for a day or two, then go back to applying for jobs with renewed vigour, and seek some help in your job search.

In Part2, we will cover the actual job application process.

A job application is as easy as you make it for yourself, but the one big piece of inside advice you should take to avoid job application disappointment: if you don’t know you, what you offer, and what you want to do, then you will be: REJECTED!

When Does a Job Become a Career

For those who are employed now, along with those who are searching for a job, employment at its basis represents a need. For many people that need is related to a source of income and for those who are unemployed it becomes a necessity that reduces the amount of perceived selectiveness when weighing possible options. In other words, the first job (or any job) that comes along may be accepted whether or not it is the best possible choice. If it wasn’t the best option, the process of searching for a better job begins or continues. That is often the reason why many of the resumes I’ve seen as a resume writer include a list of jobs that are short-term in nature.

This is also directly related to a trend I’ve observed, where many of my resume clients place more of an emphasis on the jobs they’ve held or are searching for now, rather than looking at development of an entire career. There seems to be an uncertainty about when a job becomes a career. I have coached my clients to develop a different viewpoint and look at jobs from the perspective of how those employment opportunities are contributing to a career plan. When someone is able to change how they view their career, along with the jobs they have held, they are able to transform their attitude and self-belief, becoming a much stronger job candidate regardless of the number of available opportunities.

What is a Job?

Because employment is related to a personal need first and foremost, it is easy to focus only on that job and the conditions experienced. A job may be something a person takes out of necessity and hopes will get better over time, which can result in feeling trapped if the conditions are intolerable or the work requires a skill level far below what has already been developed. As a career coach I’ve seen some people develop a sense of helpless and self-resignation when time in a job like that continues and it seems there is no way out of it. Some of my clients have worked in the same job for many years and their self-belief has become so limited that it is conveyed in the tone of their communication and their disposition.

What has to be done first is to change the perception that a current or previous job represents who that person is as a potential candidate. That is also related to the problem with chronologically written resumes, there is an emphasis placed on what the person is doing right now rather than take a long view of his or her career. Everyone is a summary of all of the jobs they’ve had, even if they have only had one long-term job. A job, or series of jobs, is all part of a bigger picture and that is a person’s career plan.

What is a Career?

A person has a career that they are developing with every position held and through those jobs they have acquired knowledge, skills, and abilities. This is why I take a different approach to resume writing and emphasize first the skills that a person has and is transferable to the next job they hope to acquire. It takes the emphasis off of the current job, which helps encourage recruiters and hiring managers to look closer at their resume. With a chronological resume, it requires someone to look at each job and try to ascertain or guess what skills a person has and in a competitive job market that type of extensive review may not be conducted. In order to change the format of a person’s resume I have to help them first see their jobs in relation to their overall career, career goals, and career plan.

A career is often related to and defined as an occupation, which a person can have one of during their lifetime, more than one of at a time, or change as their interests change. I have multiple occupations that include work as an educator, writer, resume writer, career coach, and the list continues. While I have had different job titles the work itself is all related to my occupations in some form. A career involves developing a long-term focus and viewing each job from a perspective of what has been learned and the skills that have been developed or acquired. Every job contributes to that career in some manner, even if the job offers nothing new or challenging and confirms that a person is ready to find new employment or a new occupation.

As an example, my career occupation has always involved teaching and leading others – regardless of a job title. I went from a corporate environment as a manager of training and development to an academic environment with responsibility for leading and developing faculty, along with teaching students instead of corporate employees. With every job held I have viewed it from a perspective of how it contributes to my career, whether or not each job was perfect, imperfect, beneficial, or short-term. This means that I do not have to ever dwell on a job that was unsatisfying as I am focused on the bigger picture and what I can do to continue to develop my career and occupation(s).

Developing a Career Focus

If you can change how you view your career, even if you plan to change your occupation at some point, you will find immediate benefits. The development of a long-range view will help you to feel in control of you career, even if you are presently working within the least desirable circumstances possible. Instead of seeing a job or series of jobs as having no value or representing a failure of some kind, you begin to focus on the skills and knowledge you possess and are continuing to develop. The following steps can help you to begin to develop a career focus.

Step #1: Define Your Present Occupation.

If you are frequently changing jobs and there isn’t a clear pattern established for the jobs selected, it is helpful to define the bigger picture of what you want to do with your career. If you have been in the same job for some time, or held several related jobs, you may find it easier to describe your occupation. It is also possible that some jobs also define a person’s occupation. For example, teaching can be described as both a job and an occupation; although there are other education-related occupations that a teacher can work towards.

Step #2: Develop a Vision Statement.

Now that you have developed a description of the occupation you are presently working in, it is time to develop a vision statement for your career. This doesn’t mean that you have to describe what you will be doing for the next 20 years or that you have to settle on a particular occupation. However, consider what you want to work towards in the long-term. For example, are there various types or levels of jobs within your occupation that you can work towards as you gain additional knowledge and/or skills?

Step #3: Develop a Short-Term and Long-Term Career Plan.

Once a vision statement has been established you can now develop a career plan and this will immediately help shift your mindset and create a sense of control for your career. As a career coach this helps many of my clients overcome a sense of helplessness in their career, even if they don’t have immediate options to explore. A career plan involves establishing short-term and long-term goals that are related to your vision. While this does not mean it has to be a fixed plan and one that can never be adapted or modified, it does provide a starting point to work from and this creates a proactive mindset.

Step #4: Develop Job-Related Milestones.

With a career plan established I also encourage my clients to develop job-related milestones to maintain a focus on their career plan and vision. For example, if the short-term goal is to develop new skills as a means of advancing in a particular occupation, a milestone could be a 90-day check-in to determine if those skills are being acquired. If those skills have not been acquired then next steps can be decided upon and range from asking for different assignments on the job, looking for other positions within the same organization, or finding a new job if the current job has reached a point where it offers no further long-term value. These milestones are reminders and provide an opportunity to reflect on the career plan to determine if there are any changes to be made.

Step #5: Conduct an Ongoing Skills and Knowledge Self-Assessment.

When I first ask my clients to describe the skills and knowledge they have now I often receive a response that is very similar to a job description for their present employment. When you have a career plan developed and a long-range view of your occupation, you will also have a fairly good idea of the knowledge and skills required to advance within this occupation. You can use this as a form of measurement for your existing skills and knowledge. It also helps you ascertain what you have gained or could possibly acquire from your present job. Every job held throughout your entire career has contributed to what you possess now and that is what you should consider as you evaluate what you have and what is still needed.

Step #6: Conduct a Professional Development Plan.

It is not uncommon for people to sign up for classes, workshops, or seminars without relating it to a career plan. You will find it to be much more beneficial to utilize these types of developmental opportunities as a means of furthering your occupation and being strategic in the decisions made to invest your time. You may have a job that requires professional development and that may mean taking workshops or seminars that do not appear to be relevant or necessary. However, it is still possible you could learn something or at a very minimum, make a professional connection with someone in your occupation. For the development of your occupation and career it is helpful to establish professional opportunities as part of your plan and include it in your list of career or job-related milestones.

When you are able to view your career from the perspective outlined above you will create a mental shift away from your present job to your occupation as a whole and the goals you have established for yourself. You will find that this gives you more of a purpose to your career and eventually you will develop a sense of self-empowerment for your jobs and self-actualization as milestones and goals become fully realized. When you decide to change jobs or careers you will speak to potential employers with a sense of confidence in your talents and abilities as you will be presenting your career from a perspective of capability and transferable skills rather than just a need for a job. A person who has a career plan and goals is a much stronger candidate as they have a clearly defined sense of self. A job doesn’t become a career, rather it is part of an occupation that is developed over time and with a plan