The Structured Interview

posted by NextGen'rs |

Very few hiring managers will brag about how perfect their interview process is. In fact many we talk to seem to think that you need a lot of luck to have everyone getting what they want out of a hiring process. Part of the problem might be the lack of consistency in the process, and that’s what the structured interview can help eliminate.

It’s not about the questions, it’s about the answers

The questions in a structured interview can seem pretty boring. They have to be the same for every candidate so you can create a baseline, this way you’re not just going off of how you feel about one candidate but creating an even comparison so you can really tell which candidate is best suited to forward your company’s strategy.

Being prepared

The tough part of a structured interview is designing the questions and testing them. Then you have to make sure everyone sticks to the script. It’s a good deal of work, but it really beats hiring someone who went to the same college as you or lives in a town near you, and as silly as it sounds, that’s often what lands people jobs when interviewers don’t have the right tools to make sound, unbiased judgments.

Get Everyone Involved

It’s probably not typical to be interviewed by someone who will eventually report to you, but it’s something companies like Google are doing. It’s a smart thing to do if you care about fit, and of course you do. Fit’s everything. Because a structured interview is more about the answers to questions, you can play around with who the interviewer is.

The Hiring Strategy Your Managers Will Love

Give your managers a platform in which they can input the attributes they are looking for and they’ll be issued a list of questions that have been tested to be effective in identifying those attributes. Viola! The managers don’t need to use the exact wording provided but will have guidance to create their own interviews that have a basis in data. Setting up this sort of system gives you a better chance of hiring the right people the first time and is worth the investment.

Structuring your interviews lets you make better decisions and compare your candidates with greater confidence and precision. It’s a great way to protect and preserve the culture of your office, and if it’s expanding you must be doing something right. Take care of it with a structured interview process.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Small Things that Can Win You the Job

posted by NextGen'rs |

Hiring managers can be swayed by the small things. Obviously you have to check the big boxes, but we always hear hiring managers saying things like “and you know I loved that he showed up ten minutes early — early enough to seem prepared but not so early that I had to figure out where to put him.” Maybe it wasn’t the reason they got the job, but it was a nice final touch that sealed the deal.

Showing up on time.

Ok, so we already talked about this. Try to show up ten minutes early. It makes a good impression. You don’t want to be too early but you want to show enough precaution over being late.

Being First Up to Bat

If you can score an early morning interview and are the first one of the day, your chances go up. You’re getting your interviewers at their freshest state. If you can influence times, try to be the first up to bat.

Honesty

If there’s something on your resume that stretches your achievements and the interviewers get a sense of that then you’ve just raised a red flag. Most hiring managers report that people stretch the truth about competencies that wouldn’t even have been a factor in them getting the job, so they took really pointless risks.

Research!

Know the clients of the prospective company, and know things like where the clients’ offices are. On social media try to get a sense of who the thought leaders are. If you can demonstrate a good understanding of their business, you will have a leg up on the competition.

Follow Directions

It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and not read the instructions or follow the protocols during the interview process (e.g., if they tell you in an email to ask for Allison when you arrive, be sure you do that). It’s easy to forget the simple instructions, it’s also more costly than you’d think.

Talking About Your Experiences Positively

You might be asked during an interview why you want to leave your current position. This is not a license to talk bad about your current company. In fact you’ll look a lot better if you say nice things about the company but point to how your goals have shifted and you want to grow in new ways.

It’s important to get the small stuff just right. If you don’t then they’ll think about that bad small stuff when they think of you rather than the good big stuff.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Should You Hire a Millennial or Someone Mid-Career

posted by NextGen'rs |

The Millennial is starting to seem like an overly studied new humanoid, earning the title “digital native” which again seems slightly paleontological. Is this hyper-studied generation really all that different from previous ones? Probably not. Different? Yes, but the changes probably aren’t as drastic as they seem. Sure they want craft beers and nice coffee, but beyond that proclivity for overpriced beverages, they’re really not all that different from other generations, and as a separate note to marketers: they don’t have a ton of money (except for [and perhaps because of] the aforementioned beverage proclivity).

But choosing to hire a seasoned veteran vs. a rookie is something hiring managers need to consider. The truest answer is that your company needs both. It needs young fire ready rookies to challenge the status quo and it needs its seasoned vets who know how to hunker down and get stuff done under pressure abiding with office culture.

Every generation likes to think it’s less lazy than the new one coming up (threatening their jobs) but it’s probably more about access to different ways of doing things. So what if you walked through 3 feet of snow and the younger set dialed up an Uber. If anything that makes them more resourceful right?

The Stronger Skill Set Likely Goes to the Mid-Career Pros

If you want to hire someone who is stable and will be able to fit in more quickly, you probably should hire the mid-career professional. However, it’s important to remember that in as soon as 2020, millennials will have the largest representation in the workforce, so you want your office to be ready, and you’re gonna need more than just good beverages to make it work.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

A Job-seeker’s Market for IT in 2016

posted by NextGen'rs |

Businesses no longer see IT as an expense but as an investment that will increase efficiency and keep their company ahead of the curve, and overall there is a shortage of talent. For 2016, IT workers will enjoy a job-seekers market. The skills gap and talent shortage will likely put upward pressure on wages.

So where is the best place to find these scarce qualified candidates? The most popular source in recent years has typically been, and continues to be, the more traditional route of search and recruitment firms. And for IT workers, referrals and word of mouth are another highly popular way to land the right talent, with, according to CIO, 20 percent saying they hired the bulk of workers through these channels in Q4 of 2015.

In Q3, 17 percent of companies cited online job boards as their main source of hiring, but that increased to 19 percent in Q4. Interestingly, in Q3, 13 percent of companies said they hired the bulk of workers through social media, but that has since dropped down to 6 percent in Q4. Meanwhile, companies citing resumes submitted via the company’s website as the source for new hires increased from 7 percent in Q3 to 11 percent in Q4 for the IT sector.

The demand for IT professionals means higher compensation and wages, increased investments by companies to pay more for qualified professionals, and more reasons to hire temporary or contract professionals to fill those IT roles.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Hiring Better in Five Steps

posted by NextGen'rs |

Good hiring practices aren’t all that difficult but they do require a lot of follow-through. Using your instincts or “gut” to make the final call is an approach that works well for a lot of organizations, even if it’s harder for, say a staffing agency (ahem) to deal with an approach that has less rigor. Whether you’re hiring your first or 500th person, here are five things to focus on to make the winning choice.

1. Define the Role.

The first step of the scientific method, if you can think back to 7th grade, is to define the problem. Same sort of logic here, you want to keep the focus on the results you want to see from hiring someone and not get lost in the myriad nuances that engulf you once the hiring process starts.

2. Skype or Telephone Interview.

This will let you know if it’s worth the time and effort for a face-to-face interview with the person. It’s an easy way to separate the metaphorical wheat from the metaphorical yeah yeah you get it.

3. Check References.

Don’t skip this step. You can gain enormous insight especially from previous managers. Their enthusiasm, or lack thereof, speaks volumes.

4. Consider Training.

Even if you hire from the gut and have the utmost faith in your instincts, there’s probably training available that can make you even better. If you’ve had no training in interviewing and hiring then there’s a great chance that you’ll learn something that will pay off in a big way.

5. OnBoard Like a Champ.

How does this detail get looked over at so many companies, big and small? One CEO told us he didn’t mind a new-hire going through an awkward phase, he saw it as a rite of passage. This is not a good rite of passage. If you want to see a return on your investment for hiring, this is not a good strategy.

While it’s fun telling someone they’re hired (most of the time). The hiring process isn’t easy and it usually takes time. Sometimes you get lucky, but most of the time it’s tenacity that gets rewarded. Hiring right the first time sets your team up for success, and that’s the overarching goal. Follow these five steps and get there more quickly.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

The Perks Workers Want

posted by NextGen'rs |

Perks that bring your employees together and reward their hard work are key. You really have to hold firm against your accountant or anyone who suggests that they’re eating at your bottom line. What separates the good companies from the bad are the ones that can channel that ineffable quality, let’s go ahead and call it the human spirit, into great work.

Extra Time Off

After an important project, reward the late nights and the extra miles with extra time off. Make it easy for managers to cut through red tape and reward workers with time away.

Recognizing Hard Work

This can be extra time off but it can also be something like a snazzy pair of headphones or some tickets to the game. It’s a big deal for your employees, more than monetary value, it shows you’re paying attention and that they’re on the right track.

Strong Work Connections

Strategically placed coffee machines or nooks with free donuts help give workers an excuse to mingle and create bonds. Stock your kitchen and have good coffee. People want to feel a part of something. Don’t forget: good coffee.

Flex Time

This has almost become baseline for competitive companies. Talented people have family lives that you have to allow flexibility for.

Incentivize Stress Relief

When word got out that Google was putting its managers through mindfulness and meditation training, even Wall Street began to emulate what might have been considered “hippy-dippy” only five years ago. But the reality is clear, people who are stressed make bad decisions.

These are the steps to creating a winning culture. Give the people what they want. It’s a principle that hasn’t changed. It hasn’t gotten simpler, but as the saying goes, if you want something good you have to work for it.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Stop Using these Phrases on Your Resume

posted by NextGen'rs |

Forbes recently reported on the top ten terms that are making hiring managers wretch in agony. The big problem is you’re taking up some prime real estate on your resume to say nothing. Remember, you’re selling yourself on your resume, do you want to sound like the guy at the state fair hawking sham-wows? Here are the top ten. Drumroll please.

1. Results-oriented professional

2. Bottom-line orientation

3. Works well with all levels of staff

4. Cross-functional teams

5. More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience

6. Superior (or excellent) communication skills

7. Strong work ethic

8. Met or exceeded expectations

9. Proven track record of success

10. Team player

And there are the nails on the hiring manager’s collective chalkboard. If you spot these on your resume, eradicate them with extreme prejudice. And take some time to craft a better turn of phrase or just keep it simple. Actually, just keep it simple. Hiring managers dig that.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Retention Strategy Primer for Startups and Nonprofits

posted by NextGen'rs |

Losing employees is expensive and a blow to morale. For startups and nonprofits, often these losses are amplified because your operation gets a lot of drive from the emotional commitment and sweat equity of all involved. And let’s face it you probably aren’t a big fan of bureaucracy if you’re at a smaller operation, and things like a “retention strategy” or studying your “attrition rate” probably don’t seem all that fun. But they are necessary and hopefully this simple plan will make it easier.

1. Define it.

Simply write down your employee retention goals, strategies, and activities for the year. Putting in on paper lets you see what you got (it’s OK if you cringe a little).

2. Calculate Your Retention Rate.

Here’s a handy calculator.

3. Find out Why Employees Are Leaving Exit interviews are important.

Find out if there’s a pattern.

4. Hire for Fit.

Once you know the skills and experience are in line it’s time to take a very close look at fit. Does this person solve problems in a way that your office would respect?

5. What Makes Your Office Appealing.

Find out what people like about their jobs. This could be very revealing. Sometimes you can improve your office greatly with something as simple as a survey.

6. Set Clear Goals and Expectations.

You have to be the bridge for your employees work and your company’s vision. If you connect these two well you have an engaged employee, if you don’t you have a confused employee whose just filling a seat.

7. Clear Career Path.

Ensure your employees know what they can do to get ahead. If you don’t, your employees will perceive your office as cliquey and won’t know why they should do great work.

8. Evaluate Benefits.

Some startups and nonprofits think their employees are too young to worry about retirement. This is a huge mistake. Make sure you’re getting the best return from the benefits you offer.

9. Incentivize Training.

Pay for your employees to attend conferences and training. It lets them know you really care about them and their growth.

10. Good Vibes at the Office.

People spend a lot of time at work. It should be a place they look forward to coming to. Do everything you can to promote a fun/rewarding environment.

Once you have a plan in place it gets a lot easier to be an office your employees look forward to being at. Once you make this a priority your employees will know and they’ll feel more valued.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Hiring Has Gone Social

posted by NextGen'rs |

The divide between hiring managers and qualified applicants has never been wider. Social media is no longer a “unique” path for finding a job, it is now the most viable path. This means you need a social strategy to find your next job, and if this has you cringing take a deep breath and read some of the tips below. It’s not that difficult and the principles are the same. You want to make meaningful relationships and you want to appear valuable at every opportunity. Be careful but be proud of what you’ve done and try to have some fun with it.
The Huffington Post recently gathered 15 HR experts to see what advice they have for crafting their social strategies. Below we’ve listed the 5 that we really like.

“Never apply before first searching for employees on social media that either previously worked in a company you worked for or graduated from the same school you did. Then call them and get them to be your employee referral. This will increase your chances by 14 times.”
Gerry Crispin, Co-Founder of CareerXroads

“Keyword tag your LinkedIn profile. Many people don’t know that if they use keywords and key phrases throughout their LI profile, especially those that recruiters will search for, they increase their likelihood of being found.”
Lida Citroen, Principal at Lida360 and International Personal Branding Expert

“The most memorable candidates for me are those who are just nice. Nice in what way? Well, they reach out and respond politely. They say thanks for the offer, even if they are not interested in the role I reached out to them for.”
Kristin Rogers, ExtendMyStaff

“Build relationships with recruiters through social by discovering and sharing relevant info that we find interesting.”
Michael Goldberg, Head of Talent Acquisition at American Heart Society

“Social Media is just the gym, you still have to do the heavy lifting and close the deal in real time”
Andres Traslavina, Global Recruiting Manager at Whole Foods Markets

The good thing about social media is that it’s free. You get to publicize yourself at no cost. Of course that means everyone is doing it and you have to work harder to stand out. But a day’s investment with weekly management is all that it’ll cost you, and the benefits are huge.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Resume Writing: It’s Not About You, It’s About the Hiring Manager

posted by NextGen'rs |

Here are three quick tips that can add great impact to your resume and make yourself more appealing. Keep your value proposition in mind, this means you’re expected to make things simpler and better for everyone you work with. It all starts with your resume. Does it get them quickly to what they’re looking for? Here are three quick ways to guide it there.

• Tailored to the Job.

Make it easy for the people who read your resume to see specifically what they want to see. You can give them what they want by paying very close attention to what they’ve posted they’re looking for,

• Use Keywords and Terms.

For some companies, you’ve got to survive the bots to get to an actual human. That means you need to make sure you’re speaking the bots language. It could be something simple like “Customer Service” vs. “Client Service”. Use the language they want to see.

• Quantitative over Qualitative.

When detailing accomplishments, use exact numbers, dollars or percentages whenever possible. If your vague, people are going to assume you were vague because attaching real numbers would diminish the claim greatly. Use numbers and be ready to back them up with qualifying information in an interview.

If you do version your resume to different employers (recommended), it’s important you keep track of the versions and correlate them accurately. You can do this easily with Google Docs and a Google Sheet. Just link the resume to the contact. This way you’ll be better prepared for the interview.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.