Four Questions You Should Ask During Job Interviews

posted by NextGen'rs |

Sometimes, you’re so grateful for an interview that you might overlook a company’s shortcomings. If your job search has been long, you might jump at the chance to attend any interview. Asking the right kinds of questions during your interview, however, will help ensure that you find a job that’s a better fit for you, preventing you from ending up right back on the hunt in a matter of weeks or months.

What kind of turnover does the office see?

You want to know how often other employees are moving out of the business and on to something else. Is this a company where people tend to stay for the long haul? Is it a stepping stone to a better position a year or two down the road? Understanding more about their employee retention will give you clues about the nature of the company and your potential coworkers’ attitude towards it.

Why is this position open?

This will help you understand more about the type of turnover that occurs in the office and the office culture. If a new position has been created, you’ll know that the business is growing. Knowing that a previous employee has moved on to a better job will let you know that the company might not make the best offers in your field.

What are the responsibilities associated with this position?

This question is your opportunity to learn what the job is really about. An entry-level position might still require a higher-level understanding of the company and your field. In other cases, you might find that, in spite of hiring on for a higher-level position, you’ll be expected to handle some basic tasks for a while. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you get started!

Who are the team members I’ll be working with?

In some interviews, you might get the chance to interact with the team. In others, you’ll at least be able to get a feel for the personalities that you’ll be working with. Keep in mind that working with similar personalities is often a better way to find a job you enjoy.

Asking the right questions during a job interview will help you get a feel for the company and choose a job that you’ll enjoy. Even better, it will let the interviewer know that you’re serious about the position.

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.

Better Hiring Practices: Should You Hire Skills or Personalities?

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Every time you have an open position in your company, the struggle begins. You want to hire someone who is a great fit with your existing staff, who will understand your company culture, and who will stay with the company and fulfill their role for a long time. When you’re hiring, there are plenty of factors that go into every interview. Deciding which factors are the most important can help you make better decisions every time you select a new employee.

Training Matters

When you have an open position, you want a candidate who has all the skills necessary to fill it. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to hire someone who already understands the exact techniques, software, or processes used by your company. In many cases, you expect to provide some degree of training before your new employee is ready to fully tackle the job that they’ve been hired to do. If a potential employee has the basic skills necessary to learn the more in-depth skills for the job, you can train them in the specific tools and processes they need to take the position.

Personality Can’t Be Taught

You can teach employees new skills. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the same way with personality. A good personality fit can make all the difference in many office settings. When you have a team that meshes well together, you’ll have a happier, more productive office environment. In many cases, a great combination of personalities throughout your office will be the difference between employees who are eager to report to work and give their all and a negative office environment. When hiring new employees, therefore, it’s critical to choose personalities that will fit with your existing staff to ensure a better environment for all involved.

Remember, employees can be taught new skills, so don’t write them off if their resume doesn’t read exactly like the job description requirements. Their personality, however, is something you’ll have to get a sense for in interviews and other exchanges. If they don’t feel like a good fit, regardless of their skills, they might not be the candidate for you.

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.

Three Tips to Refine Your Personal Brand Before Beginning Your Job Search

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Before beginning your job search, you are probably already aware of the basics you need to get started. A resume, cover letter, and the answers to basic interview questions. Good to go, right? Definitely not. If you’re looking for your next dream job, you will need to stand out from the others. Knowing and being able to communicate your personal “brand” to potential employers is essential to make this happen.

Your brand is unique to you and communicates your skillset and personality to potential employers.You have your own personal brand when communicating what you are all about to potential employers. Your application, resume, social media profiles, and interviews help employers to get a sense of your “brand” to see if you are a right fit for the company. Here are three tips to help refine your personal brand.

Update Your Social Media Pages

Most potential employers will review at least one of your social media pages to get a more comprehensive picture of who you are. If your LinkedIn page hasn’t been updated since your last college internship, or your Facebook page contains less-than-professional pictures that can be viewed by anyone, you have a little bit of work to do. Polish your social media pages so that they reflect your personal brand. Remember, you have the ability to control the image you want employers to see.

Assess and Update Your Resume

Is your resume missing important details from a recent project you worked on? Does the design of your resume look average at best? Take an honest look at your current resume and edit where necessary. As with everything else, your resume will reflect who you are to potential employers. Everything from the spelling, grammar, and overall appearance communicates something about you.

Know Your “Elevator Pitch”

If you haven’t heard of the term before, an “elevator pitch” (as it relates to job interviews) is a succinct statement of who you are and what you are looking for in your next position. You may even be asked to fill something like this out on a job application prior to an interview. If you haven’t already, create your personal elevator pitch. Once created, recite it and know it well. When asked to provide this sort of pitch in an interview, providing a defined, clear answer will set your brand apart from the others.

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.

Employee Retention: Holding on to Talent

posted by NextGen'rs |

Training a new employee is costly and frequent turnover seems like it might break the proverbial bank. When an employee moves on, your company takes a loss. If this is all too familiar to you, it may be time to evaluate your retention strategy.

Onboarding Process, Compliance, and Culture

A successful onboarding process begins with introducing an employee to the corporate culture. According to Forbes, this helps establish comfort and familiarity in regards to the corporate politics. They’ll be able to respectfully make a place for themselves among peers while solidifying loyalty and dedication.

The onboarding process should also include the business’ compliance rules and regulations that pertain to the staff member’s job. There should be no guesswork surrounding the employee’s responsibilities or expected performance. If they feel they’ve been thrown to the wolves, so to speak, they will develop a lack of respect for the organization which could result in short term employment.

Training

Some businesses overlook the importance of training new hires early on. However, in an article by Training, it shows that without a thorough coaching program, a new employee could feel lost and unsure. These feelings can lead to poor job performance, lack of self-confidence in abilities, and a sense that maybe this job isn’t for them. You need to make time for a full training experience so that your new hire’s transition is smooth and they feel good about their career choice.

Career path and Incentive

One of the most important things is to ensure a career path for your employee. The Society for Human Resource Management states the following,“Providing identifiable career paths is an important aspect of retention plans, along with coaching and mentoring employees with high potential and moving proven performers into new roles that fit skills developed over time.”

A dead-end job that doesn’t allow for personal or professional growth will leave employees disengaged. Make sure they can see how the growth of the company aligns with their own. This way, they’ll be motivated to work hard and advance their career internally rather than externally.

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 – It Can Be a Three-Ring Circus

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There are a lot of moving parts and people involved in the hiring process and at times, it can feel like a circus act. Here are a few tips to ensure your next performance is a crowd pleaser.

Be the Perfect Ringmaster

One of the most important (and fun!) jobs at the circus is that of the Ringmaster. He is that eloquent, charismatic gentleman who guides the performers, and who entertains the crowd.
Take a few pages from his book. Go the extra mile to make your potential team member feel appreciated, respected, and like a peer. Put yourself in their shoes and be relaxed, warm, and welcoming. Be open, honest, and have a real conversation with them. Don’t spit out your questions in an impatient, rapid fire manner. Remember, you’re the ringmaster, not the human cannonball.

Bring in the Clowns

Not literally, but do bring humor into your hiring practices. Not only will it lighten your load by bringing a bit of fun into this very necessary process, but this will also provide you the opportunity to see some of a potential coworker’s likeableness.

Clean, light-hearted humor is a sign of intelligence, empathy, and the ability to connect. Forbes advises looking for humor in a prospective employee stating, “You want to look for someone who can read a room and find ways to connect on a personal level. The ability to quickly connect with and reassure others is vital to working with clients, prospects, and fellow team members.”

Find a Great Balancing Act

Of course, you want to find someone who can do the job, but your search should go deeper than that. Look for someone whose personality works well with the staff, and with the position you need them for. Do look at their skills, but don’t stop there. An excellent candidate is someone who is not only qualified but dependable, curious, cooperative, at ease in high-pressure situations, and personable. In other words, you are looking for a great high-wire act who has amazing balance.

The Wow Factor

Every excellent circus has plenty of the WOW factor. Bring a little zing and surprise to the job interview. Ask unexpected, thought-provoking questions. A hiring manager’s guide suggests you ask interviewees how they feel the company could benefit them. Another question could be to ask them if they were to ever quit, what do they think the reason would be. WOW! Bring the unexpected!

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.

How Design Basics Can Help Your Job Search

posted by NextGen'rs |

If after countless applications your résumé is not getting the calls you want, maybe it is time to consider adding some eye-candy. With some simple tweaks you can swiftly persuade employers to take a real look at your education and experience, paving the way to get that dream job. Make your application stand out from the rest and bring your job search to fruition with these résumé design basics.

Font choice matters

Different font combinations deeply affect the way your résumé will be received. See this infographic to learn how some common font types are perceived.

  • Stick to high-legibility fonts, one for the headings and another for the body.
  • A safe bet is a Sans Serif typeface for the body, such as Arial, Calibri, Lucida Sans or Verdana.
  • For headings, you can play it safe with one of the Sans Serif fonts mentioned above or find an elegant combination with Serif such as Garamond, Cambria, Georgia, or Bookman Old Style.

Dress for the job you want

Consider first the nature of the job you are applying to when designing your résumé. For example:

  • Executives might want to take a formal, classic approach with an elegant twist.
  • Graphic designers and other artistic professions can use their résumé to show off their skills.
  • Problem-solving positions can benefit from a simple, elegant layout that displays out-of-the-box thinking.

Analyzing the requirements of the position will also help you figure out how to aim your skills to create a bull’s-eye résumé.

Content – Keep it simple

Now fill in the blanks. Clear headings, elegant layout and concise information are key to a great résumé. Submit a single page if possible. Do not forget to include a personalized cover letter!

  • List first your name and profession. If desired, include a short tagline or profile description.
  • Include only necessary contact information in the header.
  • Photo and age only if the job has particular requirements.
  • No hobbies or family information are needed, unless it pertains to the job.

As for your experience and qualifications, keep descriptions short and to the point, mentioning any awards, scholarships, grants and honors. In terms of the format, check out our post on the different resume formats that get job search results.

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.

Use Branding to Hire the Best Employees

posted by NextGen'rs |

When HR professionals begin the hiring process, the focus is often external as they search for talent. Companies who successfully recruit and maintain talent begin with an internal approach. They take stock in their online communications from social media to their company website. By taking a look at how you are presenting your company to potential new hires, you could change not only how you hire, but also improve the quality of the employees you hire.

Benefits of Branding

Employer branding involves promoting company culture as a magnetizing quality to attract top talent. If you are able to position your company as a place people enjoy and want to be, you can take a lot of the legwork out of the hiring process by luring in the best job applicants.

If you haven’t yet turned an eye toward strategies involving employer branding, it’s time to look at the benefits branding can bring. Branding differentiates your company from competitors by sending messages to people that help them understand why you’re the best in your market.

Job Seekers are Looking for Branding

Job seekers are looking for and listening to the messages from employer branding. The Society for Human Resource Management listed focus on employer branding as a top trend for 2016 hiring practices and points out that many job seekers won’t even apply to a company if they can’t find enough information about it online.

Company websites and social channels are often the first line of communication a business will have with potential employees. In a survey of over 200 HR professionals and over 1,300 employed and unemployed professionals, CareerArc discovered that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job. Despite its benefits and today’s trends, only 57% of employers say they have an employer brand strategy.

Where to begin

Start by evaluating the online information about your company to see what kind of reputation is currently cultivated through the messages sent. Assess how closely that reputation aligns with your company’s true values and culture. This will help you discover the areas to focus on branding strategy first.

The most important thing is to be honest. If you want to find the right people, you have to be honest about who you are. If you have enough accurate information out there that conveys your company’s core values and promotes its culture in a positive light, it will attract the right candidates more effectively.

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.

Keeping Your Best Talent

posted by NextGen'rs |

As an employer, you know finding and retaining the most talented people is an expensive, ongoing affair. This has become especially true over the last 10-15 years, as employees are far less likely to exhibit the same amount of loyalty to a company that was common in the past. A generation ago, it was the norm for a person to spend a significant portion, even their entire career, at one company. Now, some employees try to trade-up their job like you trade-up your iPhone. Given the evolving nature of employee behavior, what are some of the best methods of employee retention? Check out these four proven ways that you can use to keep your best people on for the long haul.

Open Communication

Establishing and maintaining open lines of communication throughout the organization is vital. This involves not only allowing team members to express their feedback to management, but also ensuring that employees get consistent, quality face time with higher-ranking members of the firm. Already stretched for time? Embrace digital. Use virtual meetings, email and company chat boards to get the message out. Modern employees are at home with technology (and a lot prefer it), just remember to keep it authentic and avoid the use of stock, robotic “company announcements.” When communicating face to face, keep in mind that the majority of communication is nonverbal, some peg the number as high as 90%. So make sure your body reflects the message you want your employees to receive.

Establish Goals and Ensure Accountability

Every employee needs to have clearly defined metrics for achievement and a time frame for attaining those goals. By establishing quantifiable goals and measuring progress with consistent employee evaluations, the valued employee is aware of their expected performance level and is accountable to the organization. After all, nothing is more satisfying than setting a goal, working toward it, and finally getting there.

Provide Opportunity for Growth

The vast majority of employees at any company have aspirations on moving up based on their job performance. Because of this, it is important to take your current employees into consideration when new positions open up. Try, if at all possible, to choose from someone already on board before considering an outside candidate. This will create an understanding in the organization that “hiring from within” is the accepted way of doing things.

Recognition and Appreciation

People need to feel appreciated and valued. It’s just human nature. Showing gratitude is valuable because of its proven track record, but also a simple “thank you” from a manager doesn’t cost the company anything. Incentive-based bonuses and profit-sharing are two monetary tactics that can certainly improve and maintain employee morale which results in the desired higher level of employee retention. If your company model doesn’t support that, don’t underestimate the value of an emphatic thumbs up or an enthusiastic high-five.

Finding and retaining the highest quality people is crucial to long-term success. By embracing open lines of communication, creating clear goals and accountability to attaining these metrics, providing opportunity for real growth, and encouraging appreciation and recognition, your organization will be well on its way to keeping the best talent on-deck and happy.

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.

Employee Retention: How to Train Your New Hire the Right Way

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New employees are eager to hit the ground running, but along the way, they will naturally make a few mistakes. Proper training early on is essential to help them get situated and integrated into their new role. If you don’t invest the time now, your new hire can’t grow into a productive member of your organization. Here are 5 crucial ways to properly train your new employee.

1. Make it a team effort

Everyone has unique strengths and experience. Bringing in several managers and peers with valuable, diverse input will provide your new hire with a strong, broad foundation. Existing employees can also effectively communicate your organization’s values, vision and culture.

2. Incorporate different methods

People learn in different ways. By segmenting your training and employing a combination of computer-based and one-on-one approaches, you will give your new employee the best of both worlds. Provide explanations and demonstrations, but give your newbie ample opportunity to learn by doing. Don’t forget to make other resources available such as manuals, handbooks, marketing materials and old files that might help with acclimation.

3. Do a trial run

Go through the training program yourself. It may sound silly, but there is no better way to gauge how well the information comes through. This is the perfect opportunity to identify and fill any gaps, or polish up any points that need clarification.

4. Repeat

Don’t expect your new hire to grasp everything all at once. There is a lot of information to retain, and some is bound to fall through the cracks. Be prepared to re-visit your training sessions again (and again). Repetition creates familiarity, which is the key to absorption.

5. Be patient

Have patience. Be available when your new employee has questions. Frequently communicate both praise and criticism. The learning curve is frustrating, and mistakes will happen. Exhibiting patience and understanding will help your newbie quickly develop the trust and confidence he needs to thrive.

By skimping on onboard training, you’re setting your new hire up for failure. Devote plenty of time and resources early on, then sit back and watch your newbie succeed. Contact us today for more tips on how to select, train, and retain your very best employees.

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.

Two Types of Interview Questions That Reveal Valuable Information

posted by NextGen'rs |

Trying to find the right person to hire can be a Herculean task. Crafting a detailed job description, deciding where to advertise, sifting through all the resumes, contacting candidates, conducting background checks, checking references – all these things take immense time and effort and that’s before even taking the interview into consideration.

Even with all the hard work that goes into the hiring process, things can and often do go awry. A comprehensive study by Leadership IQ found that almost half of new employees lost or left their jobs or received negative reviews or disciplinary actions within their first 18 months.

The interview process is far from perfect. It is often not long enough to penetrate the best-foot-forward mask interviewees put on. Time is usually a stressor. The focus is too often on checking off a list of technical skills when really, personal skills make the difference.

Hire for Personal Skills

In the study by Leadership IQ, most new hires failed for reasons related to personal skills. The top five reasons new hires failed were:

  • Coachability (26%): The ability to accept and implement feedback.
  • Emotional Intelligence (23%): The ability to understand and manage emotions and accurately assess emotions of others.
  • Motivation (17%): Sufficient drive to achieve full potential and excel in the job.
  • Temperament (15%): Attitude and personality suited to the particular job and work environment.
  • Technical Competence (11%): Functional or technical skills required to do the job.

Ask the Right Questions

The interview process can be designed to reveal the candidate’s personal skills to better determine whether they are a right fit for the position. Questions need to dig deeper into an interviewee’s psyche to assess how they will behave in potentially difficult situations. Answers to these two types of questions reveal more about a candidate’s ability to do a job well than any list of job responsibilities could.

1. Behavioral Questions

Often times, the best indicator of future action is past behavior. Asking questions about the actions the candidate took in the past can reveal a lot about their coachability, temperament and motivation. Potential questions include:

  • Tell me about how you managed a crisis in your organization.
  • Describe a project you were involved in that included team work.
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a coworker with whom you didn’t get along and how you handled it.

2. Situational Questions

Questions designed to evaluate how a candidate might perform in situations that might come up on the job can reveal a lot about their emotional intelligence, judgment, temperament and ethics. Tailor the questions to fit the needs of your company. These types of questions include:

  • What would you do if you caught a coworker stealing?
  • What would you do if you could not meet a deadline that you said you could?
  • What would you do if a subordinate was not performing their job well?
  • How would you handle an unhappy customer who complains though you’ve done nothing wrong?

Listening to the answers is as important as asking the right questions. Does the candidate sound confident? Do they take a long time to answer and then waver in their response? Listen to their tone of voice and how they communicate.

Also, listen to your instincts. In Leadership IQ’s study, 82% of managers could see in hindsight that the failed employee revealed clues to potential trouble ahead during the interview. By asking the right questions and listening to the answers and your instincts, you’re well on the way to making the right hiring decision.

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.