Thursday, September 3, 2015

What to consider before accepting a job offer

If you receive a job offer, then you’ve jumped ALMOST all of the hurdles. You only have one left – knowing what you’re signing up for. It’s probably been a long search and you’re eager for a new opportunity, but you don’t want to regret your decision a few months down the road. To make sure you’re prepared, our Executive Recruiters here at CFS want you to consider these things before accepting a job offer:

Executive Recruiter – Houston
“Company culture is perhaps the most important thing to consider before accepting a job offer. It is hard to have a complete understanding of a company’s culture without actually working there, but there are online resources and questions you can ask throughout the interview process to give you some insight. Check the company’s website and social media platforms. There you will find the mission statement, projects they’ve been involved in, and sometimes biographies on members of the leadership team. Websites like Glassdoor house reviews written by current and former employees complete with their personal lists of pro’s and con’s. 
If the company you’re considering is small, or you can’t find anything online, ask your interviewer to describe the culture to you. Take a look around when you’re on site for an interview; do the people in their cubes look miserable or happy to be there? Do you really see yourself fitting in? Use your gut instinct to decide if this is really the right fit for you.”

Managing Director, Executive Recruiting – South Bend
“It is important before you even get to the offer stage that you know what you want and why you are looking in the first place. Getting an offer and the process of giving notice becomes very emotional. They say changing jobs is one of life’s biggest stresses. 
Before that emotion sets in, you need to rationalize why you are looking. What are you looking to achieve by making a move and what are you going to do prior to the offer if it comes in at different dollar amounts, vacation schedules, etc. Have you evaluated their benefit plan? If you do all of this before the offer comes in, you already have a game plan in place and you know what you are going to do. It relieves you of the potential stresses and you can be confident that you are making the right decision.”

Executive Recruiter – Orlando
“Prior to the job offer, you should be aware of how the compensation is broken down. Is it a base salary? Is there a cap? How is it paid out? You shouldn’t be afraid to ask these types of questions. You deserve to be compensated for the value that you’re bringing to the company. Being financially valued and personally valued are the 2 most important factors about being in a positive workplace.
You also want to make sure that company’s values match yours. Do they host special events like volunteering or team bonding that you would participate in? Do they promote teamwork and are they goal oriented?”

Executive Recruiter – South Bend
“Always trust your gut feeling. If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t! Don’t accept a position based solely off compensation. Did you like the people you met with? Is the commute something you’re actually willing to do each day? Did you mesh well with the people that you met in the interview process? Why is the position open?”

At the end of the day, you need to decide what’s realistic for you. Don’t try to force yourself to fit the job. So, take a deep breath, review the important facts, and make sure you’re 100% confident in your decision.

Have more questions about interviewing? Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Interview Like a Pro Series - Answering the typical interview questions the RIGHT way

"Interview Like a Pro" is an ongoing series written by Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

Typically, an interview begins with the simple Walk me through your background,” so you should prepare a 90 second elevator pitch that highlights your specific accomplishments from each position. You may not be prepared for all the questions that come up, but there are those typical interview questions that you can be prepared for.

“What attracted you to our company?” This answer should be derived from your research of the company, culture, team, and growth of the firm. Be honest when you respond!

“Why should we hire you?” Based on your research, you should have an idea of what you can bring to the table that may currently be lacking at the company. If you are asked this question, it gives you an amazing opportunity to really sell yourself for the job!

“What are your strengths?” Limit this to 3- you’re not a Superman/ Superwoman. Your strengths should be targeted directly to the role you are applying for, and make sure to tie in specific examples.

“What are your weaknesses?” Please do not be one of those people who say, “I’m such a hard worker that I tend to work so hard and so late that I end up missing most dinners with my family.” Answer this question honestly and state, “I have recognized this as an area of improvement and have taken these steps to develop it.”

“What are your goals?” It’s best to specify something short-term, and as far as long-term, it would depend on how much you know about the future goals of the firm.

“Why are you leaving your current job?” Be honest, but do NOT say anything negative about your current or past employers.

“Where else are you interviewing?” It’s best to say something along the lines of “I’m exploring several opportunities within…”

“How would others describe you?” Your answer should be something that your current or former boss would say about you. The Hiring Manager will most likely call your references to verify.

“What are your salary expectations?” I hope this doesn’t come up (especially if you are working with a recruiter), but you should still be prepared. It’s best to reiterate that you are more interested in the role than compensation. However, if the Hiring Manager persists, state what you are currently earning and that although you had not thought about a specific compensation range, you would like to ultimately see an increase from your current compensation. Some studies suggest that at this point, you may want to turn the question around to the Hiring Manager and ask, “In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”

There are some questions that are impossible to prepare for. For example, I recently had a candidate who was asked, “If you had to figure out how many gas stations there are in New Jersey, how would you go about figuring that out?” The Hiring Manager was not concerned about the answer but how the candidate got to that answer. The point was to gauge the thinking process and see if the candidate can think on their feet while under the high pressure of an interview environment.

If you are asked a question that you have not been asked before and did not prepare for, try to remain calm, answer it to your best ability, and move on. The worst thing you can do is not answer it at all!

Have more questions about interviewing? Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

CAUTION: Only for those who take their recruiting career seriously

Written by: Diane Delgado LeMaire, Senior Managing Director, CFS Houston

I often wonder why recruiters have a bad reputation. We help people find jobs, and we do this for free until we actually successfully place someone. So, what is it? Are we bad people? Are we not upfront? Do we not communicate enough with our clients and candidates? Well I must admit, our follow up with candidates might not be the best, but when you speak with OVER 30 people a day and get over 500 emails in a week…This can be a bit challenging to say the least!

We also have a lot of people that come in and out of this business very quickly. I’m not sure what the turnover ratio is for recruiters, but I am sure it’s almost as high as collections or customer service employees! It’s very hard to establish relationships with candidates and clients when you don’t put in the time to earn their business. I’m sure it doesn’t sit well with many candidates or clients to get a call from one recruiter today only to find out that they are gone the next.

Turnover and bad communication are definitely issues, but still not the biggest problem. It seems that most Recruiters look at this profession as a “job” and not a career. On one hand you have the people entering and exiting the business at rapid rates. On the other hand you have Recruiters that just go through the motions and make their calls to say they hit their daily quotas. In addition to this, there does not seem to be much thought process behind what it is they are trying to accomplish today, tomorrow and in the future. In a booming economy that may work, but in a recession it takes a little bit more time investment than just working the numbers. Every connection we make has to count for something.

So, what can we have to do as Recruiters to be viewed differently? Well to start, we need to become masters of our domain. That includes taking pride in what we do and who we represent (both candidate and client). It also means sometimes walking away from a deal that “just does not feel right” or is not in the best interest of all parties involved.

Here are some suggestions for those who want to become an expert in this wonderful world called RECRUITING:

  • Look at every contact as a long-term investment. It does not matter if the person you are working with graduated college yesterday or if they only have 5 years left in the workforce. Today’s candidate is tomorrow’s hiring manager. Today’s hiring manager is tomorrow’s candidate.
  • Stay educated about your local business community. If you are not reading your local business journal and newspaper business section, you’re doing yourself and your candidates/clients a disservice. You have to know what is going on in your local economy!
  • Constantly stay on top of new sales techniques. Start by subscribing to various newsletters online. We are all busy, so pick one article per week. It’s worth the 5 minutes of your time!
  • Become involved in your community. Join the local Chamber of Commerce or volunteer for a cause that you are passionate about. Go out and meet the people! People do business with people they like and share commonalities with.
  • Read, read, and read! Everyone should read Business Week, Fortune, The Economist or something else along those lines. There are so many magazines that relate to your local and global economy– just pick one! At the very least, check out daily. You need to know the highlights of what is going on to speak intelligently with clients and candidates.
  • Be courteous, genuine, honest, and ethical. It is very simple: karma! What comes around goes around.

As Recruiters, we need to take our career seriously and not just consider it a job. We want to be known as the experts, and becoming the expert takes a little more effort than just showing up from 8 to 5 and going through the motions.

Have more questions about recruiting? Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

When compliments work against you

It’s always a great feeling when someone (especially upper management) gives you a compliment for a job well done. You earned that praise, so don’t let it backfire on you.

Taking a work compliment graciously can be difficult, and it can be tempting to downplay your hard work. When you respond to a compliment with “it was easy” or “anyone could have done it”, you are not only discrediting yourself but also the person giving you praise- both of which you don’t want.

They gave you a compliment for a reason; don’t make them feel as if their opinion doesn’t matter by dismissing it. You also don’t want others thinking you are easily replaceable at work if “anyone can do it”. That person is genuinely giving you positive feedback, and that passive rejection of what they say (even though it seems innocent) can hurt you in the end.

It’s also a bad to give the spotlight to someone else who doesn’t deserve it. If it’s a team effort, you absolutely need to acknowledge that. Give credit where it’s due, but don’t belittle yourself in the process. You earned that recognition!

Now the hard part- what to say! When in doubt, a simple “thank you” will suffice, but if you need more than that, here are examples to use from some of our expert recruiters at CFS:

Managing Director, Executive Search – Seattle
“Thank you so much, that means a lot to me.”

Managing Director, Business Development – South Bend
“Thank you. I appreciate the uplifting praise (or feedback).”

Managing Director, Executive Search & Branch Manager – Ft. Lauderdale
“Thank you so much! So often people only mention the mistakes you’ve made or what you’ve done wrong that it’s really nice to hear your positive feedback. I’m glad to hear I was able to do a good job and will continue to give my very best.”

Branch Manager – San Francisco
“Thanks, that really meant a lot to hear from you.”
“Thank you for sharing your insights and/or thoughts with me. I really appreciate it.”

Director of Business Development – Minneapolis  
“Thank you for the feedback regarding my presentation, do you have any additional clarifying questions for me regarding the information we covered?” 

Director, Staffing – Oak Brook
“Thank you, always happy to help!”
“Thanks, I really enjoyed collaborating with my team on this.”
Director, Staffing – San Antonio
“It was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to the next opportunity.”

Have questions regarding your job search? We're here to help! Comment below, or visit our website to find the closest office to you. Happy job hunting!

Creative Financial Staffing (CFS) is the nation’s largest, privately-held accounting and financial staffing firm. We provide qualified accounting and finance professionals on a temporary and permanent basis across a broad range of industries.

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