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24 January 2011
Posted by Gary Weilbaker | Topic: Job Tips

Leading by generation

Not too long ago, I did a Powerpoint on cross-generational leadership synergy. I wanted to write about today because I think it's an important topic, especially in the recruiting industry when we want to recruit and retain the BEST from each generation. Let's have a look at the four generations I'm referring to:

Millennials - Born approx 1982-2000 (Today's kids)
Generation Xers - Born approx 1965-1981 (Today's thirty-something)
Baby Boomers - Born approx 1946-1964 (Today's thirty-something's parents)
Traditionalists - Born before 1946 (Grandparents of today's youth)

All of these generations have obviously experienced different 'defining' moments in life. Some major world moments for the millennials would be 911, the Gulf War, Princess Diana's death, Columbine, Internet, child-focused world, etc.

From the perspective of the Millennial, some expectations of the workplace characteristics could include:
• Re-emerging social consciousness
• Life-long learning/intellectual curiosity
• Smart work/problem solving
• Holistic Lifestyle
• Technology dependence
• Optimistic
• Confident
• Achievement oriented
• Respect for diversity

When looking at this list, here are some ways to acquire, retain, and communicate with the Millennial generation:
• Clear goals and expectations
Communicate Frequently on Performance
• No news is bad news (helicopter parents)
• Establish mentoring programs-real vs. false
• Establish friendly and nurturing atmosphere
• Maybe soft, avoid combative situations
• Promote team-building environment
• Validate recognition in groups
• Allow work/life balance

Lets look at Generation X in the same manner:

Key experiences would include the Energy Crisis, PCs, Regan era, Berlin Wall, the Challenger, Sesame Street, and MTV.

Some business perspectives and workplace characteristics of Generations Xers:
• Self-reliance
• Building skill portfolio
• Work relationship negotiation
• “Work to live, don’t live to work”
• Unimpressed with authority
• Skepticism
• Live for adventure

Best way to acquire, retain and lead Generation Xers:
• Establish clear goals and expectations
• Reinforce building capabilities/skills
• Frequent communication on how company is doing - Good, Bad, and ugly
• Direct, candid feedback on job performance
• Allow for work/life balance flexibility
• Foster less formal “boss”-employee relationship to coach

The Baby Boomers had some major key experiences: Vietnam War, Watergate, free- love, Peace Corp., Cold War, TV, Kennedy assassination

Some business perspectives and workplace characteristics of Baby Boomers:
• Live to work (pack & go)
• Personal gratification
• Goal attainment-including status/level
• Promotion of equality
• Redefining everything
• Desire to please
• Optimism
• Involvement, team orientation
• Social consciousness

How to acquire and retain and lead the best:
• Recognize client and company contribution
• Reinforce personal fulfillment and purpose
• Be title/status sensitive to Top performers
• Allow for flexibility of family and work responsibilities

Last but not least, let’s look at a generation recap for the Traditionalists: Some key experiences for this generation were The Great depression, FDR’s New Deal, World War II, D-Day, and the atomic age.

Business perspectives and workplace characteristics for Traditionalists:
• Boundaries
• Duty before pleasure
• Honor
• Security and life long careers
• Loyalty
• Hierarchy
• Respect for authority
• Conformity
• Discipline

How to acquire, retain and lead the best:
• Reinforce the value of their contribution
• Emphasize revenue and profitability contribution
• Enlist as mentors
• One-on-one reinforcement of where the company is going
• Allow for increased work/personal balance

Now that I’ve laid that foundation, we’ll talk about some business cases and making the most out of communicating with each generation.

7 February 2011
Topic: Recruiting

A fresh approach to recruiting

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago on the process of recruiting, or at least on the process Career Solutions takes when it comes to agricultural recruiting. We feel that recruiters in the past have been given a bad rap, and some of them, I'm sure, deserve this reputation. But not all recruiters have the same ethics. We have four major categories in which we base our model on.

  • We want long-term partnerships with our clients
  • Our responsibility is to ensure our clients hire the best people
  • Contingency only, as we only want to get paid for what we do
  • Do not recruit personnel currently employed by clients

  • Client centered, we build the process around the client
  • Thorough needs assessment that may include an onsite visit
  • Detailed screening of candidates, we do not blast resumes
  • Our internal sharing of candidates creates a larger selection

  • Each recruiter is specialized by industry sector and/or region
  • We utilize a professional, ethical, hands on approach
  • All information is treated with the highest confidentiality
  • We are flexible and available to meet your schedule

  • We save time and money by freeing up internal resources
  • Our diverse and extensive network of candidates
  • Our industry knowledge can be tapped for data/trends
  • We assist with scheduling interviews and providing feedback

How we work means a great deal to us from working with our clients to working with our candidates. We want to do things the right way here at Career Solutions, and if that's what you're into, then it's time for a deeper conversation.

Have you had any less than great recruiting experiences? We'd like to hear about them.

5 April 2011
Topic: Recruiting

How To Work With Recruiters AND Be Successful With Them

A few weeks ago, I discussed the keys to selecting a good recruiter. Today, I want to follow up on that discussion by reviewing how to effectively utilize a recruiter's services. Before doing that, I think it is critical to note that most recruiters work on contingency searches, meaning they only get paid when one of their candidates is hired by a client. Therefore, the two most important commodities to this type of recruiter are time and reputation. That being said, being respectful of these points will help greatly in understanding how to work your selected recruiter.

1) Don't play games, be honest - trust me, recruiters have seen it all and heard every sugar-coated excuse, so don't try to fool them……this will only get you dropped from their list of candidates (recruiters won't risk their reputation or time on someone who tells half-truths). Just be up front about everything. If you won't relocate, tell them. If there is a certain dollar amount required, tell them. If you have a non-compete, tell them. If you don't like a job they present, tell them. Don't string them along if you aren't serious about taking a new job, because you will be the boy who cried wolf!

2) Ask for their opinion - good recruiters won't judge you, and they have a wealth of knowledge to draw from. Ask them about your situation, your career path…...ask them about the company, the position, the interview…..pick their brain, but don't waste their time. This is also a good gauge on whether they are going to help you - a recruiter who spends the time doing this, probably actually cares about you. One disclaimer on this: Be prepared...some of the answers given may not be what you want to hear!

3) Give the recruiter an opportunity to work for you - things don't always happen overnight, so don't get mad if the results aren't immediate or in your time frame. Sometimes it takes me six months to place a candidate due to various restrictions or objections. Trust me, recruiters are always trying to move the process forward. It's okay to check in with the recruiter weekly (in fact this shows good follow-up skills and proves your interest), however, don't become a pest. Never go around the recruiters back direct to the hiring company. This only makes you look bad in front of the hiring manager and makes the recruiter mad!

4) Give the recruiter as much detail as possible - the more we know, the more we can help. Detailed information helps us sell you to our clients better. It helps us better understand your needs, so we don't present job opportunities that you wouldn't have interest in. Sometimes this may take two or three conversations or a face-to-face meeting. I am always better at helping those I have seen in person!

5) Handle your discussions with the hiring company professionally - recruiters can do some buffering of relationships, but if you torch a bridge, often you can take the recruiter down with you, so be professional. As I have stated before, making the recruiter mad by hurting their reputation is not a good idea, especially if you expect future assistance from them. The common example I see is when a candidate turns down a job offer…..instead of going off on the company as to the reasoning behind declining the position, handle it tactfully, so the door is left open. Things may change in a year (new hiring manager, new ownership) and you may need a job. Recruiters always appreciate and respect those candidates who make them look good if front of the client, even if they don't take the job.

When working with a recruiter, you have to remember that it is just like building any other relationship…..there is give and take. Once the relationship is built it needs to be maintained, as a good recruiter can not only be one of your best assets to a successful career, but a trusted colleague and friend. Please let me know if you have any questions.
14 November 2011
Posted by Vicki Yoder | Topic: Resumes

In Pursuit of the Perfect Resume?

Resume Writing

Some excellent advice on how the words you use in your resume matter.

Final Cut: Words to Strike from Your Resume

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