The Lord of the curriculums (Part 3)

Every day the recruitment processes are becoming more and more difficult for the candidates. We can’t be surprised. Due to the huge amount of applications that the organisations receive, these have to apply new filters to ensure that the hired candidate is the most suitable for the role. Unfortunately this becomes a wear and a difficult task for the candidate that might lose their interest. Maybe the process will turn into an adventure at a similar lever than The Lord of the rings.

Third part: The return of the candidate

The day of the interview we are in the middle of enemy field. While we are on the lift, talking to reception or in the waiting room we realise that we are surrendered by orcs unknown people and that any of them could be our interviewer. This is the reason why we will mind our manners and be as polite as a diplomat.

And suddenly it appears. Our nazgul interviewer comes and calls us. He will be kind, polite and respectful, which wil make us feel comfortable and we will thank. He opens the interviewing room and we see the rest of the interviewers we will face. All of them are friendly, but they pursue the same goal: to avoid that we destroy the one ring evaluate whether we are the right person for the job or not.

It is at this point where we must act with serenity and mastery. It is easy to write this on this post, but keeping composure and controlling our nerves will be (additionally to answer the questions) our main goal. After all, the nerves can be our Gollum worst enemy and betray us at any moment.

And this is how the battle starts. We are going to answer the questions aked by the interviewers the most professional and complete manner that we can. If we don’t answer some of the questions we can be sure that we won’t overcome this, hence we must be much focused. It is not a problem if we have to take our time to think the answer, or even at the end of the interview we can go back to some of them if we feel that we can deepen. At the end of the interview we will be given some time to solve any queries we may have. We must always avoid falling into the trap to discuss salary, holidays, timetables, benefits… we won’t ask when will they inform us regarding the outcome of the interview as we assume that they are a professional company that will let us know when they have taken a decision.

Three candidates facing a job interview.

Three candidates facing a job interview.

What do we ask then? We can ask what is the reason of the vacancy (if we don’t know this already), the objectives of the department, the main challenges of the role… there is a lot of questions that will show our interest in the position and the company.

If we were successful at the interview (or interviews) we will be contacted to discuss the conditions of the post. At this point most of our battle is won. However, we must be prudent as if we miss one step we could be out. We will discuss the conditions one to one with Sauron the company and we will discover if we are interested in taking the job or otherwise we tell them that they can keep the ring. We are going take a decision that might change our lives radically.

Finally we got into the company. We have achieved our goal after a long travel that meant the death of Boromir sweat, nerves and even tears. We could think that as the goal is reached our fight agains the orc forces is over. False. We can be sure that our contract has a Gollum probationary period. This is the last stage of the recruitment process and of this long battle. We can’t get distracted. The probationary period will give to us and to the company carte blanche to break any professional relationship that we have. Thus, we must be vigilant: the eyes of the enemy are always watching.

PS: as an HR professional I think that on a recruitment process both the candidate and the company have to collaborate and not fight each other. However, comparing the situation to the fight between Frodo and Sauron seemed a more clarifying picture. If you feel offended or you don’t like the content of this post I will be very happy to discuss it. But you won’t negate that many candidates live recruitment processes as I just described.


The Lord of the curriculums (Part 2)

Every day the recruitment processes are becoming more and more difficult for the candidates. We can’t be surprised. Due to the huge amount of applications that the organisations receive, these have to apply new filters to ensure that the hired candidate is the most suitable for the role. Unfortunately this becomes a wear and a difficult task for the candidate that might lose their interest. Maybe the process will turn into an adventure at a similar lever than The Lord of the rings.

Part two: The two (or more) challenges

Did you think that just because you gathered a group of adventurers you would get easily to your goal? Nothing further from the truth. If we have prepared properly (and with a bit of luck) we will receive a first contact from the company being interested on our application. We must be very careful. Most probably the company will ask us a few questions about our experience, our interest in the job and we won’t be surprised if they ask us about salary expectations. We must be cautious with the information we provide as this first impression will decide whether we are finally doing a personal interview.

It wouldn’t be strange if they don’t call us for interview but the company decides that we must face a Kraken or maybe a Balrog psychological test, or maybe a language one in order to evaluate us. Do not desperate. We might think it is not fair that even before meeting us we are asked to do this sort of tests. We have to understand that our goal is nothing but a long-distance race.

A candidate facing the psychological test.

A candidate facing the psychological test.

If there is anything that companies don’t have, this is time. They don’t have time to spend with some little hobbits that are not capable of defeating the Kraken. Organisations want to ensure that the time they invest interviewing is not wasted. Therefore, fellow traveller, to face Sauron we must defeat his minions.

Once we have overcome successfully these barriers we will likely get a personal interview. This is the stage where most of our battle will take place. Nazgûl interviewers are hard nut to crack and have a big background in these situations, once again we must prepare with all our resources.

To carry out this preparation we will study again the company, their objectives, services, situation in the market, international expansion, competitors… any information that we acquire will serve us as our arsenal. Many companies recruitment is competency based, therefore it would be interesting (if possible) get a job description of the post with these competencies. From this point, we will get an idea what kind of questions they might ask us and organise our answers (it is recommended to do this by the STAR technique).

And now, we are going to our main battle.

The Lord of the curriculums (Part 1)

Every day recruitment processes are becoming more and more difficult for the candidates. We shouldn’t be surprised. Due to the huge amount of applications that the organisations receive, these have to apply new filters to ensure that the hired candidate is the most suitable for the role. Unfortunately this becomes a difficult task for the candidate that might lose their interest. Maybe the process will turn into an adventure at a similar level than The Lord of the rings.

First part: The fellowship of the curriculum

As Frodo, we as candidates pursue a goal: get the job. Alright, I agree that this is a little bit different and easier than destroying the one ring in the heart of Mordor, although it still is an ambitious challenge.

To achieve this goal we must first prepare; to do so we must acquire as many resources as possible. Our hobbit friends decide to gather with some adventurers, a sorcerer, a dwarf, an elf… in case these are not in your circle of friends we can choose other options.

First of all we must prepare a good curriculum. A lot has been written regarding how a good curriculum must be and therefore I won’t get into details. The only thing that we must be aware of is that the difference between a good curriculum and a bad curriculum is whether we are called for interview or not. As simple as this.

Having a good curriculum is not the only preparation we must do. We must investigate about Sauron the vacancy and the company that advertises it. We must learn about the services they provide, which is their culture and values, their importance in the market, their competitors… Once we have all this information we will be able to write a cover letter and a curriculum adapted to the needs of the vacancy.

So there we go, with all this done we will send our cover letter and curriculum and embark to Mordor.

Ready to achieve our goal.

Ready to achieve our goal.

Nobody is chasing you!

Every organisation has concerns about talent retentions, and this is why the role of human resources and the rest of the teams are crucial to ensure employee’s continuity. Especially with those that bring added value and are hardly replaceable. It is normal to be worried if talent leaves, but many executives, human resources managers and team leaders panic to this.

Which is their reaction to this panic? They might become so obsessive because of this hypothetic talent leak that they might actually resort to spying their staff in order to detect whether any employee is looking for a job. All this panic has only one inception: distrust.

At this stage, the organisation should reassess their recruitment process because if they hire people that they don’t trust there’s something that doesn’t work at all. But what the company doesn’t want to see is that any employee may leave at any moment, and if they feel chased they will leave at any chance. It is much better to give flexibility to the staff members, trust them and make them feel valued by the company. If employees are happy and they have a positive experience, they won’t have many reasons to leave.

This is exactly what happens at “Cath me if you can” when Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) wants to leave his forced job in the FBI. But Carl (Tom Hanks) shows him that he trusts him and that there are no reasons to leave the organisation.

If agent Carl can trust an ex-convict why shouldn’t companies trust their own teams? After all, they chose them.

There’s no nobility in poverty.

If you have seen the last film of Martin Scorsese you probably remember the title of the post. This doesn’t mean that this phrase is the same as I think, but it is a sentence that used in the proper circumstances, with the proper people at the proper moment has a huge impact.

The Wolf of Wall Street explains the story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a broker who became millionare thanks to his glibness, to his persuasion, to his speech and of course thanks to deception.

Let’s see how is the speech of this character and how does he persuade others.

There are several aspects that Jordan Belfort knows when motivating his employees:

1) He knows what motivates them: Money, money and more money. It might seem obvious but it isn’t easy to identify what factor motivate people. Jordan is really aware what his employees want and knows how to give it to them (or at least he says so). The richer they can become the more motivated they will be. With such an opulent attitude he shows them what they can become, atacks directly the center of all their motivations which causes an extraordinary response from his employees.

2) Knows and acknowledges the value of the people: He is conscious that the people are the motor of the organisation, the core, the heart that pumps the blood to the rest of the company. “Without you, these phones are just worthless hunks of plastic”. By showing his recognition to them all he presents himself as somebody approachable, like another member of the team. Even though he is a person who would always take you for a ride, he is not arrogant with his staff as he know that without them he wouldn’t be where he is.

3) His directions are simple: “Pick up the phone, and start dialing”. It is such a pretty simple order that anybody can understand it. Hi offers to his employees to become people extremeley rich and the only thing he asks for is to take a phone and call. He know how to simplify so it is easier to assume the duties and reacti quickly. After all, the only thing they need to do is puck up a phone and start dialing…

4) He dominates the non verbal communication: At last but not least, Jordan almost reaches the perfection regarding his non verbal communication. He know when he has to shout, when he has to whisper and when he needs to throw away his $40,000 watch and give it away. But Jordan has something that works for him. He is absolutely aware that the bigger the audience, the more massive response he will get from it. This is why he does his speech in front of such a surrendered crowd.

If you want to read more about this character don’t hesiste to view the article that Forbes has recently published as well as the post of Francisco Alcaide Hernández where he analyzes it deeply as well as Faisal Butt’s one where you will find three business lessons.

Take the red pill!

When we have long been in a comfortable and calm situation, where we are not asked to make great efforts it is easy to adopt a sedentary attitude in which the only goal is to maintain that ease. This is what is called the comfort zone. Why should we bother changing when we are already accommodated?

Staying in that area means being stagnant, we do not look for new goals, new motivations, new ways… It is a highly corrosive attitude that, even though it seems it will help us to keep our ease, the only thing it will make is that both people and organisations get rusty.

Therefore, when we realise that we are entering the comfort zone we have to be brave enough to take the red pill.

Taking the red pill means to change our attitude. Look for new challenges, break with the routines, abandon all the habits that allow us to be cosy inside our bubble. Only when we have done this change we will be able to go ahead with new projects, assume new challenges and achieve new victories.

It is not easy to do the first step though. We might need somebody to boost us and get in the change. Even so, we should be aware that this third party is only useful during the first instants. Once we have swallowed the red pill we will be alone in front of a wide range of new challenges that we had not seen until that moment. ¡Do not hesitate and take the red pill!

Note: Would you like to read more regarding Matrix, the myth of the cave of Plato and the comfort zone don´t hesitate and visit the following post of María-José Dunjó.

I am fired

The act of dismissing somebody is never easy. It is not easy for the person dismissed nor for the person who communicates this dismissal. Even though it is a situation that nobody would like to come across, it is something that happens and it can be done in different ways. It can be done wrong, really wrong, or it can be done correctly as well, accompanying the person affected in the whole process and following up with this. Unfortunately, I would say that we usually do it wrong.

In the film Up in the air George Clooney’s job is to go from company to company dismissing employees because their relevant managers do not dare to do it, and therefore they need his services. Let’s see how the job of this character is…

Can you imagine that one day they call you and you find yourself in front of somebody that you don’t know, he doesn’t know anything about your job, your performance, your relationship with the team… he doesn’t know anything at all as it is the first time you see each other and this person tells you that you are dismissed. Curious, isn’t it? Well this is an example of how not to dismiss somebody.

But this is not the most shocking example. There have been situations where somebody has been dismissed by email or even whatsapp, and we cannot forget the regrettable situation that an automotive company did. They decided to block the ID badges for those employees who were dismissed; therefore they could not enter the working zone. Nobody communicated to these people that they were not employed anymore. Imagine the situation, it is a normal day and you go to your job but you cannot acces the building as your ID badge has been blocked, then the security staff requests you to give your ID badge and a letter is given to you. Certainly, this is not the most human way to dismiss somebody.

When communicating this kind of situation it has to be always done from the empathy, respect and dignity to the person affected. An accompaniment should be done by the company in order to give support as much as possible and control the talent that is leaving them, and who knows if in a near future new collaboration opportunities may arise.