Category Archives: recruitment

Interview Pitfalls (Reasons Why People Don’t Get Hired)

Interview Pitfalls (Reasons Why People Don’t Get Hired)

When interviewing for a killer job that you know can propel your career forward it can be nerve-racking unless you’ve done your homework. Either way if you’re unprepared and don’t stick to the basics you could f@#% up the opportunity. There are no second chances so make each interview count. Here are some of the most common pitfalls that may keep job seekers from getting an offer and untimely getting hired in the job they want.

  • Being late for the interview
  • Untidy personal appearance
  • Not doing your homework on the company or person you’re meeting
  • Inability to express information clearly
  • Not answering direct questions
  • Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm
  • Overconfidence
  • Unwillingness to start at the bottom
  • Negative attitude
  • Smelling of smoke or heavy perfume
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Incomplete or sloppy application
  • Speaking negatively about an ex-employer
  • Making money a priority over the job opportunity
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in recruitment


Client wants to pay an unrealistic salary – now what?

Each client has an idea of what a position should pay or the value they place on the role. When a stellar candidate comes along who is earning more and valued at a greater rate than the client has in mind, it’s my job as a consultant to guide them through the process to bridge the gap between what they want to pay and what they need to pay to hire someone into the job that will meet and exceed the expectations of the role.

Over the past week, one of my clients not only decided a stellar candidate would be better suited for a lesser role but on top of that offered a salary that was below the candidates current earnings. Although the offer made sense in how the company is structured to test performance, it absolutely did nothing to help them achieve their number one goal: hiring THE right candidate for the job who will outperform the expectations of the role. The client, candidate and myself are all on the same page here. So why not offer them the salary they deserve which will communicate to the candidate: “You are worth the investment” and “We believe you can and will exceed expectations” and “We trust that our willingness to pay you your TRUE value, will come back to us in higher performance and greater profits.”

As recruiters consulting our clients one may find him/herself in the same situation when a client quotes a salary that seems low to you, or you are in salary negotiations for an offer and your client wants to offer a salary that you know will be unacceptable to your candidate.

A poor to average consultant will accept the amount quoted, offer it to the candidate, and then when the offer is refused, or no one is interested in the job, shrug and blame the client for offering such a low amount.

A good Consultant will try to educate the client about the market rate, and make it clear to the client that the salary is going to be off putting for most candidates. Ultimately it’s our job as recruiters who have a consultative approach to educate, guide, reason and advise to clients and job seekers the truth about the value and marketplace. It’s only possible if you take the time to REALLY know your client and candidate.

Let me leave you with three (3) examples  (generalized to protect the name of MY client in this week’s scenario),

Client: “I’d like to make John Doe an offer of 60K base & 120K OTE (knowing this offer is 15K less in base and 60K less in total package than what the candidate is currently earning), and a chance to manage a team of 5-10 employees in 3 months if they outperform.”

Consultant: “Since you’ve hired me to guide you through this process, I’d like to ask you to think about the offer and the big picture. I fear that by offering $60/120K you risk insulting the candidate whom has communicated a past history of being promised the moon only to be let down, even after exceeding quota in each case.” “As your consultant I would hope you consider offering this candidate an equivalent package to their current earnings OR offer them a management position, which will motivate them to leave their current job.”


Client: “I’d like someone with 10 years experience, and we’ll pay around $60k.”

Consultant: “I have to advise you that $60k is well below the market rate for someone at that level. Were you aware of this? If you are looking at that sort of salary level then that would usually be for people with around 5 years experience. Would you consider people at that level? My concern is that someone with 10 years experience would in all likelihood be on a salary of $100k+ and will therefore not be likely to move for such a big salary drop.


Client: “We’d like to offer to Jane Smith. The offer is $50k + super.”

Consultant: “Jane is very keen on your company and the role that you discussed at interview. However, $50k is a lot lower than the figure she was aiming for. In our initial discussions I think we talked about $60k – what’s changed? I’m happy to pass along the $50k offer to her, but I think there is a strong chance that she may not proceed on that basis. Is there any flexibility with that figure? Will she be eligible for a salary review in the near future?”

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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in recruitment


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Top 10 Ways to Be Happy at Work

Working at Google sounds very cool. Having interviewed there myself, I’d be the first to tout Google as a motivating employer: Fat paychecks, sweet perks, engineers who are enabled to spend 20 percent of their time on their own projects, intelligent colleagues, and a work environment that fosters play and creative thinking. At Google, Genentech, Intuit, SAS, Adobe, Boston Consulting Group, NetApp, Mercedes-Benz USA, Container Store, REI, Accenture, DreamWorks, Kimpton Hotels and other Fortune magazine top 100 companies, employers offer dream workplaces.

Read more: 125 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area recognized | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal 

At the same time, perks that enable employees to spend all of their time at work exploit people and destroy work-life balance. Thanks to a candidate I interviewed this week, I was reminded just how important this is. So, even the best employer may not be best for everyone. These are the factors that will help you find happiness at work.

1. Choose to be happy at work

Happiness is largely a choice. I can hear many of you arguing with me, but it’s true. So, dwell on the aspects of your work you like. Avoid negative people and gossip. Find coworkers you like and enjoy and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your experience. You can choose to be happy at work just as I have done.

2. Do Something You Love Every Single Day

You may or may not love your current job and you may or may not believe that you can find something in your current job to love, but you can. Trust me. Take a look at yourself, your skills and interests, and find something that you can enjoy doing every day and your current job won’t seem so bad.

3. Take Charge of Your Own Professional and Personal Development

A young employee complained to me recently that she wanted to change jobs because her boss was not doing enough to help her develop professionally. I asked her who she thought was the person most interested in her development. The answer, of course, was her. You are the person with the most to gain from continuing to develop professionally. Take charge of your own growth; ask for specific and meaningful help from your boss, but march to the music of your personally developed plan and goals. You have the most to gain from growing – and the most to lose, if you stand still.

4. Take Responsibility for Knowing What Is Happening at Work

People complain to me daily that they don’t receive enough communication and information about what is happening with their company, their department’s projects, or their coworkers. Passively, they wait for the boss to fill them up with knowledge. And, the knowledge rarely comes. Why? Because the boss is busy doing his/her job and doesn’t know what you don’t know. Seek out the information you need to work effectively. Develop an information network and use it. Assertively request a weekly meeting with your boss and ask questions to learn. You are in charge of the information you receive.

5. Ask for Feedback Frequently

Have you made statements such as, “My boss never gives me any feedback, so I never know how I’m doing.” Face it you really know exactly how you’re doing. Especially if you feel positively about your performance, you still like the acknowledgment. If you’re not positive about your work, think about improving and making a sincere contribution. Then, ask your boss for feedback. Tell him/her that you’d really like to hear their assessment of your work. Talk to your customers too, if you’re serving them well, their reaction is affirming. You are responsible for your own development. Everything else you get is gravy.

6. Make Only Commitments You Can Keep

One of the most serious causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. Many employees spend more time making excuses for failing to keep a commitment, and worrying about the consequences of not keeping a commitment, than they do performing the tasks promised. Create a system of organization and planning that enables you to assess your ability to complete a requested commitment. Don’t volunteer if you don’t have time. If your workload is exceeding your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask the boss for help and resources. Don’t wallow in the swamp of unkept promises.

7. Avoid Negativity

Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, gossip, and unhappy people as much as possible. No matter how positively you feel, negative people have a profound impact on your psyche. Don’t let the negative Neds and Nellies bring you down. And, keep on singing in the car on your way to work – or start.

8. Practice Professional Courage

If you are like most people (myself included), you don’t like conflict. And the reason is simple. You’ve never been trained for meaningful conflict, so you likely think of conflict as scary, harmful, and hurtful. Conflict can be all three; done well, conflict can also help you carry out your work mission and your personal vision. Conflict can help you serve customers and create successful products. Happy people accomplish their purpose for working. Why let a little professional courage keep you from achieving your goals and dreams? Make conflict your friend.

9. Make Friends

Answer this questions, “Do you have a best friend at work?” Liking and enjoying your coworkers are hallmarks of a positive, happy work experience. Take time to get to know them. You might actually like and enjoy them. Your network provides support, resources, sharing, and caring. Sounds cheesy but its true.

10. If All Else Fails, Job Searching Will Make You Smile

If all of these ideas aren’t making you happy at work, you can always decide to quit. Before you make a harsh decision spend time evaluating your employer, your personal goals, your job, or your entire career. You don’t want to spend your life doing work you hate in an unfriendly work environment. Most work environments don’t change all that much. But unhappy employees tend to grow even more disgruntled. You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time job searching. It will only be a matter of time until you can quit your job – with a big smile.


Posted by on May 29, 2011 in recruitment, Uncategorized


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Your clients want you to be a better consultant

A Recruitment Consultant is not simply an agent, or a person in the middle who co-ordinates things. While this is part of your role, the bit to focus on is that you are a Consultant – clients will use you and pay for your services because you are acting in a consultative capacity to them.

You have access to information that your clients need, including:

  • Market rates for salaries;
  • Which jobs are most in demand;
  • What the competition is doing to attract and retain staff;
  • What it will take for them to secure the candidate they want;
  • How they can improve their interview techniques;
  • What candidates think of their staff and offices.

When it comes to what candidates are earning in your industry, and what clients are willing to pay, you are the expert in this field – not your client. You may not feel like an expert at this stage, but the more you get to know your market sector the more your knowledge in this area will grow.

The most important thing is to trust your intuition and not be afraid to disagree with your client. This is not to say that you should be argumentative, but as a Consultant you will sometimes need to explain to your client that they have made a mistake. This should always be done diplomatically, sensitively, and backed up by facts. This can be a great tool for building a trusting relationship with your client too. The balance of power in your relationship is even – you are a Consultant to your client on an equal footing.

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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in recruitment


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