Tuesday, December 20, 2005

14 Candidate Questions

How many times has your heart been broken by a candidate that looked good at first and then fizzled as the interview process got rolling? This article provides a template for you or your staff to examine and review when evaluating people. It’s a tool for reducing the amount of time that you waste in pursuing candidates that will ultimately not get hired. These 14 items are things to look for with everyone that you evaluate.

Does the candidate have the skills necessary for the job you are recruiting for? If she does have the skills, are they current or were they used several years ago?

Has the candidate stayed at companies for a reasonable amount of time (2-4 years) or has she jumped around every year? If she has jumped around, does she have valid reasons for doing so?

Has she been at her current company for too long (6+ years)? If so, she may be very resistant to actually leaving (even if she says otherwise).

Has the candidate been a contractor much of the time? If you’re looking for a contractor this is fine but if you’re looking for a permanent employee this could be a snag.

Is the candidate local? Local is always better. Some companies may pay for relocation but more things can fall through with an out of state candidate.

What about his personality and communication skills? Does he have a weak presentation style? Does he sound confident or like a mouse? Do you trust what he is saying or does something sound fishy? Does he speak with pride or does he put you to sleep? Does he sound arrogant? For some highly technical positions it may not matter as much but generally this is a very important area.

Is this a position that will be a step up for her? If not, you need to understand why she would go to a company for a step down or sideways.

Has the candidate worked for quality companies? You can guess that she has some quality skills if she has worked for Oracle, Microsoft, Xerox etc.

Does he have a valid reason for leaving (more responsibilities, not able to expand his skills, unstable company) or is it a questionable reason (“I’m always looking”, “more money”)? Without a valid “wound”, he will be easily swayed when it comes time to walk into his boss’s office and say, “I quit”.

How much total industry experience does she have? If the person has the title of “Director” but graduated from college 3 years ago, that’s a flag.

Has the person worked in a similar industry and company size compared with the position you are recruiting for? This is not so important with some technical positions because the skills often transfer between industries. But if you are looking for a Controller for a large law firm, someone who has been a Controller with a small manufacturing company may not be a fit.

Does the person have relevant certifications (CPA, MCSE etc.) for the position?
Are her salary expectations reasonable?

Is the candidate willing to make a decision on an offer with in 24 hours of receiving it? Having the right answers to any single question above does not necessarily mean the person is a fit and the wrong answer does not necessarily mean the person is not a fit. These questions, when combined, will give you valuable information about a candidate’s marketability. You will save yourself from an acid stomach at the end of a search by soberly assessing a candidate’s skills and interests at the front end of the process. Continue reading...>>>

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reducing Cycle Time

Use efficient telephone screens
The general rule in processing candidates is to keep cycle time to an absolute minimum. This keeps costs down and contributes to a higher success rate. Good candidates are hard to find, and even harder to keep. Assessing skills and screening a candidate quickly puts them in front of your client or hiring manager before the competition, and before the candidate gets another offer. Make yourself available for a candidate screen at their first convenience.

If you are surfing the web and find an excellent candidate, especially if you have reason to believe they have only recently put their resume online, call them immediately if the hour is appropriate! If you get voicemail, leave them a message stating that you're sending them an e-mail about a great opportunity. When they receive your follow-up call the next day, they may have read the job description, and if possible, you should be prepared to phone screen them at that time.

Many firms use a scheduler to book large quantities of phone screens. However, if a candidate expresses a willingness to conduct the phone screen on the spot, the scheduler should transfer the call to a recruiter who can conduct the screen immediately. This is particularly important for hard-to- find, highly technical candidates as it can reduce a candidate's resume cycle time by a day or more.

Maintain control of the phone interview.
Even excellent candidates can sometimes be challenging to get detailed information from (e.g., scientists and other highly technical people.) These candidates can be reluctant to "talk technical" with a recruiter. Learning a few key technical terms relevant to the project, and asking open-ended questions will usually reverse the problem. "Tell me about an experience writing Perl or Bourne shell scripts..." will get a better response than a vague query about their programming experience.

Other types of candidates can to be too wordy (for example sales, marketing, and project management candidates.)
These candidates should ideally be very forthcoming with information, but articulate and able to "sell themselves" to the interviewer. In all situations, maintain control over the interview. If necessary, politely interrupt a long-winded response, indicating you need a little time to get all of the information down clearly. The implication that something of quality might be missed will accomplish this task. Keep the conversation moving, and digress into light conversation only long enough to establish rapport and trust.

Phone screens are not just a verbal re-hashing of the candidate's resume.
The phone screen, like the face to face interview, allows you to assess qualities in a candidate that are not fully apparent on paper. Even before the screen occurs, this process is in play. Did the candidate miss a scheduled appointment? If so, did they reschedule promptly and courteously? A phone screen gives you an excellent opportunity to assess a candidate's communication skills.

This is especially important for public relations, sales people, project managers and those expected to have contact with clients or the public.
These candidates should be able to present themselves especially well in a phone screen. If done well, the phone screen can help you quickly identify the key reasons why a candidate is considering a job change. Make note of these and periodically match the benefits, opportunities, and culture that your company offers that might specifically address those motivations.

Think of your job as a professional recruiter in terms of being a private investigator. You are constantly listening closely, gathering new information, asking inquisitive and open-ended questions, and assessing information to draw your conclusions.

When you've developed a sense of the attributes you are seeking in a candidate, create a screening template that lists the key skills, years of experience, certifications, etc. that are required for the position. Create fields for important information like full contact information, salary requirements, availability, relocation requirements and motivation for job change. Also be prepared to assess skills that are not obvious from the resume that may be useful in matching the candidate with more than one opening. For example, sales experience plus a technical background could add up to a good candidate for a presales engineering position.

When screening candidates, having a template of your most important questions provides a standardized form to evaluate candidates and make notes. Whether you take notes directly into the template on your computer or by hand on a print out of the template, all the information you need will be presented in an organized fashion. While taking notes directly into the computer may be more efficient, unless you are prone to saving your work regularly (every 5 minutes) a single computer crash or freeze up could wipe out all your data.

The best finished document will summarize only what is necessary to convey the quality and distinction of your candidate. Bullet point summaries are a good way to do this. Focus on a few major skills, supplying some detail below each. Highlight relevant recent experience, positions and projects in a concise manner. If you discover a secondary skill set in the candidate not relevant to the current position, include that in your personal notes. Your ultimate goal for the screen is that it be well organized, thorough yet concise, and easy to follow, so that the hiring manager feels he or she can make a next step decision without having to thoroughly comb the resume. Continue reading...>>>

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Technical Pre-Screen

The initial candidate prescreen is essential to determining fit for the positions you are filling. Whether in person or over the phone, this assessment is a crucial step in gathering as much information about the candidate as possible. When screening technical and other scientifically-oriented candidates this is especially critical. While some technical recruiters originally come from a technical background, some of the best technical recruiters learned along the way. Many of the best technical recruiters have never taken a single class on technology. Instead they have an open mind, listen closely to what the candidates tell them, learn from their candidates, utilize all available resources and employ good interview techniques.

The first, and one of the most general techniques is to "let down your guard" with the candidate. Let them know that you are not a technical expert but thoroughly understand what it takes to be successful in this company. State that you have a strong conceptual understanding of technology but no specific experience. While you still retain control of the interview process, you allow the candidate to educate you on their technical skills and the technology in general. Make it understood that you need to clearly transcribe their skills and experience with technology. The benefits to this technique are that you become better educated on the subject as you perform each pre-screen and you encourage the candidate to be clear, complete and concise in their explanations to you.
Educate Yourself Access sources of information on the technology for which you are planning to screen. Talk to your client and have them explain exactly what the position's role in the organization is going to be and the key skill sets and experiences for which you should be looking. Take this information and access some resources to educate yourself on the technology. You need to know enough to ask intelligent, open ended questions relevant to the position you are filling. Start by prompting the candidate with questions like, "tell me about your experience in programming Informix databases". If you are asking "yes or no" questions, you will have to be very knowledgeable yourself to get all of the information you need. As you get better acquainted with a technology, you will find that you can hone in more quickly on a given point and use specific, direct questions such as "have you programmed 4GLs for Informix databases?" Take the terminology you hear from your best candidates back to your reference materials to use as a starting point for further investigation. We recommend that you use a simple 4 step interview methodology --- Identify, Quantify, Qualify and Verify. Identify the candidate's key skill sets, quantify the number of years they have with the technology, qualify whether they feel their skill with the technology is heavy, medium or light, and finally verify their experience with specific examples.

Certifications

Acquainting yourself with certifications appropriate to the skills you are screening for is a great way to determine a candidate's proficiency. Start by reviewing the resume for certifications, confirm this information during the pre-screen and inquire about any other certifications the candidate has that may be relevant. In many rapidly changing technologies, you'll also need to determine how recently the candidate was certified. If the certification was not recent, it is critical that the candidate has been working in this skill area in recent positions to insure that they are up to speed in a given technology. Increasingly, candidates and recruiters are using the resume as a "string" of searchable words, easily retrievable on the Internet. The tactical placement of technology buzzwords and certification acronyms will assure that resumes are matched and retrieved by automated agents or an ordinary search engine. This is a great starting point in finding the right resume, but only with intelligent questions can the recruiter ascertain if these terms are relevant, up to date, and truly representative of the right candidate. An added benefit to being familiar with appropriate certifications is that you'll have an extra "clue" in finding candidates on job boards and the Web because you can search for the certification name or acronym.

Group Think

If you are continually recruiting in the same technology area, "hang out" in a user or discussion group or subscribe to a mailing list relevant to the technology. This will provide you with information on some of the important buzzwords associated with that technology and may even clue you in to recent developments. Single out those regular contributors to the discussion, and if they seem to be helpful and open in their comments, you can contact them directly outside of the discussion to ask about a technical issue. If you do not interrupt the discussion list, and are frank yet courteous in your inquiry, many technical people will be more than happy to help you. Defer to their expertise and let them know that you are a recruiter seeking some information about a specific technological subject. Stay focused on information gathering and don't be tempted to directly solicit them for a job opening. However, you may find that a good relationship with one of these resident "experts" on a discussion list will yield an added benefit in the long term: referrals and requests for information from you about your current job openings.

Make Your Point

As in any pre-screen, the written document you send to your client or hiring manager is the critical step to moving the candidate forward in the interview process. Summarize the information you've gathered on the candidate in a form that conveys very clearly the exact level of competency in critical areas. If you've used the four-step interview method: identify, quantify, qualify and verify, your write up should be very simple and straightforward to complete. This presentation has three aspects: technical skills, actual experience, and certifications. It is not enough to say that the candidate "has experience with" a given technology; details about the number of years, and a simple, consistent scale (i.e., "light", "medium" or "heavy" experience) provides a great deal of information in a few words. Also include a few sentences on past projects the candidate has completed in relevant skill sets, including the scope of the project, the candidate's role, the length and technical parameters of the project, and details of the quality and success of the effort. Continue reading...>>>

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

For Technical Recruiter - 1 (Interview Questions -ADO.NET and Database Questions

1. What is the role of the DataReader class in ADO.NET connections?
It returns a read-only, forward-only rowset from the data source. A DataReader provides fast access when a forward-only sequential read is needed.

2. What are advantages and disadvantages of Microsoft-provided data provider classes in ADO.NET?
SQLServer.NET data provider is high-speed and robust, but requires SQL Server license purchased from Microsoft. OLE-DB.NET is universal for accessing other sources, like Oracle, DB2, Microsoft Access and Informix. OLE-DB.NET is a .NET layer on top of the OLE layer, so it’s not as fastest and efficient as SqlServer.NET.

3. What is the wildcard character in SQL?
Let’s say you want to query database with LIKE for all employees whose name starts with La. The wildcard character is %, the proper query with LIKE would involve ‘La%’.

4. Explain ACID rule of thumb for transactions.
A transaction must be:
1. Atomic - it is one unit of work and does not dependent on previous and following transactions.
2. Consistent - data is either committed or roll back, no “in-between” case where something has been updated and something hasn’t.
3. Isolated - no transaction sees the intermediate results of the current transaction).
4. Durable - the values persist if the data had been committed even if the system crashes right after.

5. What connections does Microsoft SQL Server support?
Windows Authentication (via Active Directory) and SQL Server authentication (via Microsoft SQL Server username and password).

6. Between Windows Authentication and SQL Server Authentication, which one is trusted and which one is untrusted?
Windows Authentication is trusted because the username and password are checked with the Active Directory, the SQL Server authentication is untrusted, since SQL Server is the only verifier participating in the transaction.

7. What does the Initial Catalog parameter define in the connection string?
The database name to connect to.

8. What does the Dispose method do with the connection object?
Deletes it from the memory.
To Do: answer better. The current answer is not entirely correct.

9. What is a pre-requisite for connection pooling?
Multiple processes must agree that they will share the same connection, where every parameter is the same, including the security settings. The connection string must be identical.

AFTAB KHAN Continue reading...>>>

For Technical Recruiter - 2 Interview Questions-Testing

Debugging and Testing Questions

1. What debugging tools come with the .NET SDK?
1. CorDBG – command-line debugger. To use CorDbg, you must compile the original C# file using the /debug switch.
2. DbgCLR – graphic debugger. Visual Studio .NET uses the DbgCLR.

2. What does assert() method do?
In debug compilation, assert takes in a Boolean condition as a parameter, and shows the error dialog if the condition is false. The program proceeds without any interruption if the condition is true.

3. What’s the difference between the Debug class and Trace class?
Documentation looks the same. Use Debug class for debug builds, use Trace class for both debug and release builds.

4. Why are there five tracing levels in System.Diagnostics.TraceSwitcher?
The tracing dumps can be quite verbose. For applications that are constantly running you run the risk of overloading the machine and the hard drive. Five levels range from None to Verbose, allowing you to fine-tune the tracing activities.

5. Where is the output of TextWriterTraceListener redirected?
To the Console or a text file depending on the parameter passed to the constructor.

6. How do you debug an ASP.NET Web application?
Attach the aspnet_wp.exe process to the DbgClr debugger.

7. What are three test cases you should go through in unit testing?
1. Positive test cases (correct data, correct output).
2. Negative test cases (broken or missing data, proper handling).
3. Exception test cases (exceptions are thrown and caught properly).

8. Can you change the value of a variable while debugging a C# application?
Yes. If you are debugging via Visual Studio.NET, just go to Immediate window. Continue reading...>>>

For Technical Recruiter - 2 Interview Questions- Event & XML

Events and Delegates

What’s a delegate?
A delegate object encapsulates a reference to a method.

What’s a multicast delegate?
A delegate that has multiple handlers assigned to it. Each assigned handler (method) is called.

XML Documentation Questions

Is XML case-sensitive?
Yes.

What’s the difference between // comments, /* */ comments and /// comments?
Single-line comments, multi-line comments, and XML documentation comments.

How do you generate documentation from the C# file commented properly with a command-line compiler? Compile it with the /doc switch. Continue reading...>>>

For Technical Recruiter - 1 (Interview Questions -Method and Property Questions

What’s the implicit name of the parameter that gets passed into the set method/property of a class?
Value. The data type of the value parameter is defined by whatever data type the property is declared as.

What does the keyword “virtual” declare for a method or property?
The method or property can be overridden.

How is method overriding different from method overloading?
When overriding a method, you change the behavior of the method for the derived class. Overloading a method simply involves having another method with the same name within the class.

Can you declare an override method to be static if the original method is not static?
No. The signature of the virtual method must remain the same. (Note: Only the keyword virtual is changed to keyword override)

What are the different ways a method can be overloaded?
Different parameter data types, different number of parameters, different order of parameters. If a base class has a number of overloaded constructors, and an inheriting class has a number of overloaded constructors;

can you enforce a call from an inherited constructor to a specific base constructor?
Yes, just place a colon, and then keyword base (parameter list to invoke the appropriate constructor) in the overloaded constructor definition inside the inherited class.

Aftab Khan Continue reading...>>>

For Technical Recruiter - 2 Interview Questions-Class Questions

What is the syntax to inherit from a class in C#?
Place a colon and then the name of the base class.Example: class MyNewClass : MyBaseClass

Can you prevent your class from being inherited by another class?
Yes. The keyword “sealed” will prevent the class from being inherited.

Can you allow a class to be inherited, but prevent the method from being over-ridden?
Yes. Just leave the class public and make the method sealed.

What’s an abstract class?
A class that cannot be instantiated. An abstract class is a class that must be inherited and have the methods overridden. An abstract class is essentially a blueprint for a class without any implementation.

When do you absolutely have to declare a class as abstract?
1. When the class itself is inherited from an abstract class, but not all base abstract methods have been overridden.
2. When at least one of the methods in the class is abstract.

What is an interface class?
Interfaces, like classes, define a set of properties, methods, and events. But unlike classes, interfaces do not provide implementation. They are implemented by classes, and defined as separate entities from classes.

Why can’t you specify the accessibility modifier for methods inside the interface?
They all must be public, and are therefore public by default.

Can you inherit multiple interfaces?
Yes. .NET does support multiple interfaces.

What happens if you inherit multiple interfaces and they have conflicting method names?
It’s up to you to implement the method inside your own class, so implementation is left entirely up to you. This might cause a problem on a higher-level scale if similarly named methods from different interfaces expect different data, but as far as compiler cares you’re okay. To Do: Investigate

What’s the difference between an interface and abstract class?
In an interface class, all methods are abstract - there is no implementation. In an abstract class some methods can be concrete. In an interface class, no accessibility modifiers are allowed. An abstract class may have accessibility modifiers.

What is the difference between a Struct and a Class?
Structs are value-type variables and are thus saved on the stack, additional overhead but faster retrieval. Another difference is that structs cannot inherit.

AFTAB KHAN Continue reading...>>>

For Technical Recruiter - 1 (C# General Interview Questions)

Does C# support multiple-inheritance?
No.

Who is a protected class-level variable available to?
It is available to any sub-class (a class inheriting this class).

Are private class-level variables inherited?
Yes, but they are not accessible. Although they are not visible or accessible via the class interface, they are inherited.

Describe the accessibility modifier “protected internal”.
It is available to classes that are within the same assembly and derived from the specified base class.

What’s the top .NET class that everything is derived from?
System.Object.

What does the term immutable mean?
The data value may not be changed. Note: The variable value may be changed, but the original immutable data value was discarded and a new data value was created in memory.

What’s the difference between System.String and System.Text.StringBuilder classes?
System.String is immutable. System.StringBuilder was designed with the purpose of having a mutable string where a variety of operations can be performed.

What’s the advantage of using System.Text.StringBuilder over System.String?
StringBuilder is more efficient in cases where there is a large amount of string manipulation. Strings are immutable, so each time a string is changed, a new instance in memory is created.

Can you store multiple data types in System.Array?
No.

What’s the difference between the System.Array.CopyTo() and System.Array.Clone()?
The Clone() method returns a new array (a shallow copy) object containing all the elements in the original array. The CopyTo() method copies the elements into another existing array. Both perform a shallow copy. A shallow copy means the contents (each array element) contains references to the same object as the elements in the original array. A deep copy (which neither of these methods performs) would create a new instance of each element's object, resulting in a different, yet identacle object.

How can you sort the elements of the array in descending order?
By calling Sort() and then Reverse() methods.

What’s the .NET collection class that allows an element to be accessed using a unique key?
HashTable.

What class is underneath the SortedList class?
A sorted HashTable.

Will the finally block get executed if an exception has not occurred?­
Yes.

What’s the C# syntax to catch any possible exception?
A catch block that catches the exception of type System.Exception. You can also omit the parameter data type in this case and just write catch {}.

Can multiple catch blocks be executed for a single try statement?
No. Once the proper catch block processed, control is transferred to the finally block (if there are any). Explain the three services model commonly know as a three-tier application.Presentation (UI), Business (logic and underlying code) and Data (from storage or other sources). Continue reading...>>>

Monday, October 24, 2005

Training Games -2

4. How sharp are you?
Objectives:
To encourage partipants to read carefully, and to search for "hidden
wrinkles" that distinguish simplistic answers; to simulate participants to be
alert to tiny details and assumptions that hold the key to success.
Procedure:
Present the "How sharp are you" quiz to them, allowing a very tight
time limit (3 minutes). Before you present the correct answers to them, ask
them how many had the incorrect answer for each question. Then present
the answers to them and lead the discussion.
Discussion Questions:
• What factors caused you to err?
• How might those factors affect your work performance?
• What can you do to control such factors?
Materials: Handouts of questions.
Time: 10-15 minutes

How sharp are you?
1. Being very tired, a child went to bed at 7:00 o'clock at night. The child
had a morning piano lesson, and therefore set the morning alarm clock to ring
at 8:45. How many hours and minutes of sleep could the child get?
2. Some months like October have 31 days. Only February has precisely 28
(except in a leap year). How many months have 30 days?
3. A farmer had 18 pigs and all but 7 died. How many were left?
4. Divide 50 by 1/3 and add 7. What is the answer?
5. What four words appear on every denomination of US currency?
6. If a physician gave you 5 pills and told you to take 1 every half hour, how
long would your supply last?
7. If you had only one match and entered a cold, dimly lit room where there
was a kerosene lamp, an oil heater and a wood burning stove, which would you
light first?
8. Two women play checkers. They play 5 games without a draw game and
each woman wins the same number of games. How can this be?
9. What word is mispelled in this test?
Answers:
1. 1 hour and 45 minutes
2. 11 months (all except February)
3. 7 pigs
4. 157
5. United States of America or IN God we trust
6. 2 hours
7. The match
8. They are not playing each other
9. Mispelled is misspelled

5. Know Your Customer
Objectives:

To stimulate participants to use their brains; to serve as an icebreaker
exercise or warm-up; to accent the 'wealth' that exists in
customers if participants will just look for it.
Procedure:
Identify a key word that is relevant to your training program or
central theme of the workshop or presentation. An example could be the
usage of word "Customer" for illustration. Indicate to the group that their
task, working alone, is to identify as many legitimate words as they can from
the letters available to them, using each only once. Ask them to make two
predictions - the number of words they can individually identify, and the
word score of the highest producer. Then give them a tight time limit (E.G. 5
minutes) and set them loose on the task.
Discussion Questions:
• How many words did you predict you'd find? How does your own
performance expectation compare to the expectations others held
for themselves?
• Did you exceed your expectations, or fall short? Why?
• How many words did you predict could be found? How does this
compare to the actual total?
• How do you explain the actual results?
• What does this exercise illustrate to you? (Are "Customers" a rich
source of information?
Materials: An appropriate word
Time: 5-10 minutes
8
“Customer”
us ore or
ort use user
rest rut rot
rote rose cot
cost cote come
comer comes course
cut cur core
corset court sum
some sore sot
sour set tomes
tome tore more
to me must
mouse met tour
most toes costumercustom costume

6. Give me a hand!
Objectives:

To project participants' future successes by applying concepts
learned at real world jobs.
Procedure:
Towards the end of the session, tell participants they are about to
take an imaginary journey one year hence. Ask them to close their eyes and
visualize that they are all right back in this very room for a VIP Awards
Banquet. The winners are being recognized for skills and concepts learned
and successfully applied over the past year (since attending this programme).
Each participant will receive grand prize, and their acceptance speech will
detail the things they did this last year to win the award. Ask them to open
their eyes and write out 2-3 paragraphs of important elements that they will
use in that acceptance speech. Call on several volunteers - as time permits -
to hear their speeches. Ask the groups to applaud wildly after each of the
presentations. If you wish, you may also go to a speciality paper products
store and pick up a supply of inexpensive "Grand Prize" ribbons to distribute
to the "Winners".
Discussion Questions:
• What are the central themes (topics) that received multiple
mention in the acceptance speeches?
• What is the significance of the variety of items that were
mentioned?
• How many of you will commit, right now, to write a letter one year
form today indicating your actual use of items from this workshop?
Materials:Time: 10-15 minutes Continue reading...>>>

Training Games -1

1. The I's Have It !
Objectives:
To illustrate how we tend to be more self-centered than we may have
thought, and to demonstrate the importance of focusing on the other
person.
Procedure:
After a discussion on inter-personal skills or any aspect of
communication, casually mention that many of us forget about focusing on
others and instead become somewhat self-centered, albeit not in a conscious
way. With this in mind, ask the participants to find a partner and for the
next 2 minutes, they will be allowed to talk about anything in the world they
want to discuss. There is, however, one rule - THEY CANNOT USE THE
WORD 'I'. They can do anything else they want; they just can't say I. After
2 minutes, call time out & lead the discussion.

Discussion Questions:
• How many of you were able to talk for those 2 minutes without
using the pronoun 'I'?
• Why do so many of us have difficulty avoiding the use of 'I' in
conversation?
• How do you feel when talking to (listening to) someone who starts
every sentence with I?
• How can we phrase our communications to better focus on the
other person?
• If you did not use the word 'I', what strategies did you use to
avoid it? Could you do those things more often in your work (or
social) environment?
Materials: -
Time: 3-5 minutes

2. Does a Straight beat a Flush?
Objectives:
To stimulate a higher level of member participation in whole group
discussions.
Procedure:
Some groups are reluctant to get involved in open discussions,
specially if they are first time trainees, face a complex or threatening issue,
or don't feel comfortable with the trainer yet. You can break the ice quickly,
and stimulate broader (even competitive) group participation in response to
your questions by simply following this method. Inform the group that they
will have the opportunity to play one hand of poker at the end of each
instruction module (or the end of the day). The person with the best overall
poker hand will win some prize. One card will be given to each person every
time they make a meaningful contribution to the discussion. Liberally reward
participants with randomly drawn cards as they engage in discussion. Clarify
the winning order of poker hands, and identify the best 5 card hand in the
group.
Discussion Questions:
• What Impact did this technique have on your participation?
• Did this aid or interfere with your learning of the course material?
Materials: 2 or more decks of cards (depending on total number of
participants & length of discussion)
Time: 5 minutes (to assess the best hands)

3. Who am I? Who is he/she?
Objectives:
To provide the trainer with a wide variety of information about group
members/ participants, to provide a format for information sharing among
members of an extended seminar, course or work group.
Procedure:
Identify the group members who will spending significant time
together. Send a copy of the form to all prospective participants in advance,
explaining that the information maybe shared with their colleagues. Request
its return by a specified date prior to the begining of the training. If
possible, reproduce complete sets of the completed forms and distribute to
participants prior to their arrival. encourage participants, at the begining of
their time together, to seek out different partners during coffee breaks,
lunches, dinners, etc. to explore common interests and probe interesting
perspectives.
Discussion Questions:
• What did others say that you admired? What comments/ items
attracted your curiosity?
• How did others' answers make you reflect on your own? Have you
subsequently changed any of your perspectives?
Materials: Copies of blank forms; sets of completed forms for each
participant.
Time: -
3
Who am I?
Name: Job Title:
Best thing about my job:
Worst job I ever had:
Most important lesson I've learned:
How my friends describe me:
How I would describe myself:
How I spend my leisure time:
My favorite heroes/ heroines:
If money were no limitation, I'd probably:
The achievement I feel proudest of:Favorite advice I give to others: Continue reading...>>>

Friday, October 21, 2005

One Day I Decided to QuitOne

day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my Spirituality... I wanted to quit my life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. "God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
His answer surprised me..."Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?""Yes",
I replied."When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor.
Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo."
He said."In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit."
He said."Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."
He said to me."Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots?""I would not quit on the bamboo.
I will never quit on you.""Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful.""Your time will come",
God said to me. "You will rise high""How high should I rise?" I asked."How high will the bamboo rise?"
He asked in return."As high as it can?" I questioned"Yes."
He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.He will never give up on you! Continue reading...>>>

Interview Questions

As an employer, did you ever face the difficulty of selecting the right candidate?
By preparing a relevant list of interview questions based on the job requirements, you can find out more specific and relevant information about your candidates to help you make your selection decision.
A list of interview questions below to help you in your interview preparation.




Behavioural
This section helps you to assess a candidate’s behavioural traits by posing questions that test the candidate’s ability to interact with superiors, peers and subordinates. You should be looking at traits such as:
· Critical thinking
· Adaptability
· Willingness to learn
· Self-confidence
· Time management
· Professionalism
· Risk taking
· Courteous

- What has given you the greatest sense of achievement at work? Why?
- How will you handle a situation that requires you to do a number of things at the same time?
- Can you describe some examples of work which frustrate you?
- Would you clearly voice your opinion if you disagreed with the views of your boss or supervisor?
- How do you handle conflict?
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- What is the greatest risk that you've taken?
- Describe the biggest challenge you've had in your last job and how did you handle it.
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
- Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
- Tell me about a difficult decision that you've made in the last year.
- Tell me about a time when you worked effectively under pressure.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in getting a job done.
- Tell me about a team project when you had to take the lead or take charge of the project? What did you do?
- How did you do it? What was the result?


Career Goals
When you set out to employ a person, you would want to know whether the candidate’s goals are in sync with that of the company. These traits should be important:
· Dedication
· Ambition
· Involvement
· Loyalty
· Planning & Strategy
· Interest in self development

- What are the good and worst things you have heard about our company?
- What do you wish to gain from our company?
- Why do you think you would be good at this profession?
- What is your long-term employment or career objective?
- What career options do you have at the moment?
- What would you most like to accomplish if you had this job?
- If you could start your career again, what would you do differently?
- How would you describe the essence of success? How successful have you been so far?
- What kind of books & publications do you read?

Education
A candidate’s present level of education may or may not have a bearing on his/her employability or ability to perform in the assigned position. However, it is important to know how committed is the candidate in developing himself/herself further. You should also get an insight into how well-informed is the candidate on current affairs and development in his/her field of study.
· Capability
· Strengths
· Interest in self development

- Why did you choose your major?
- Describe your academic strengths and weaknesses.
- What classes did you like the most in school? Why?
- What activities did you engage in at school?
- What special aspects of your education or training have prepared you for this job?
- What have you read recently in your field?
- What have you done outside of formal education to improve yourself?


Skills & Abilities
There are various types of skills that you consider in a candidate. The popular ones are listed here, and your knowing how well the candidate possesses them will help you decide his/her fit in your organisation.
· Independence
· Creativity
· Organisational skills
· Decision making and problem solving skills
· Leadership and interpersonal skills
· Oral presentation & written communication skills

- What are your major strengths and weaknesses?
- In which area do you need to make the improvement in?
- What steps have you taken to improve your job skills?
- What is your biggest accomplishment?
- What skills and abilities do you possess that will help make you successful in today's job market?
- What can you contribute to our organisation?
- What steps can be taken to insure quality in any operation?
- What steps do you take when analysing complex problems?
- To perform your duties more efficiently and reduce interruptions, what steps should be taken when given a new assignment?
- Please tell me about your communication skills (or, problem solving skills, leadership style).
- Have you made any individual presentations recently?
- Describe a specific situation that illustrates how you set objectives to reach a goal.
- What approach do you take in getting your people to accept your ideas or department goals?
- How do you deal with difficult people?
- What does "customer service" mean to you?
- How can you keep your existing customers and win back the ones you've lost?

Management/Supervisory
Questions such as these will help you determine whether a candidate possesses the supervisory ability to lead his/her colleagues in achieving a given task. You will want to gauge whether the candidate has the ambition to advance to a higher position within the organisation too. These traits will come into play:
· Leadership
· Stability & maturity
· Decisiveness
· Planning & strategy
· Flexibility
· Work standards
· Confidence

- Would you consider yourself a born leader?
- Do you consider yourself to be thoughtful, analytical or do you usually make up your mind fast?
- What was the most significant change made in your company in the last six months which directly affected you?
- Would you rather write a report or give a verbal report? Why?
- What approach do you take in getting your people to accept your ideas or department goals?
- How can you involve staff in changing and implementing the revised policy and procedure?
- What steps can be taken to insure quality in any operation and to increase employee productivity?
- How can a supervisor establish effective communications with staff?
- What can a supervisor do to enhance an employee’s job and the employee’s motivation?
- Have you hired staff? What qualities did you look for?
- What factors or characteristics are most important to you when judging the performance of your subordinate?
- How can a supervisor establish effective communications with staff?
- What can a supervisor do to enhance an employee’s job and the employee’s motivation?
- What type of problem did you encounter with your staff and how did you handle it?
- How do you deal with an unhappy or frustrated employee?
- What are the guidelines to follow in constructively criticising an employee?
- What are the steps involved in disciplining an employee?
- Have you ever terminated or suspended an employee?
- What will you do if an employee is not performing the assigned tasks correctly?
- What will you do if an employee continues to make careless mistakes?
- What will you do if an employee consistently turns in incomplete assignments?
- What will you do if an employee is continually on the telephone for personal telephone calls?
- What will you do to insure that the service levels are not affected during holiday seasons?

Motivation
Motivation is a powerful force that accomplishes task. Has the candidate the hunger for the job? You will want a person who is motivated beyond his/her normal call. Traits such as these will be useful:
· Finding a fit between the individual and the job
· Initiative
· Tolerance for stress
· Achievement of personal satisfaction
· Ability to learn
· Range of interests

- What motivates you?
- What is your career goal?
- How do you motivate yourself to complete unpleasant assignments?
- What can a supervisor do to enhance an employee’s job and the employee’s motivation?
- Describe a time when you motivated an unmotivated person to do something you wanted them to do.
- Can you give some examples of job experience that you felt were satisfying?
- How do you keep up with what's going on in your company, your industry and your profession??

Salary & Benefits
Probing questions such as this will reveal how a candidate expects to be compensated for investing his/her time and future in your company.
· Expectations
- What kind of salary do you think you are worth?
- When comparing one company offer to another, what factors will be important to you besides salary?
- If you were offered this job, what factors will dictate whether you accept it or not?
- When would you expect your next promotion?
- What do you think it takes to be successful in an organisation like this?
- What challenges do you think you'll face in this job?

Self Assessment
Critical self assessment is difficult. Questions such as these will help you reveal more about the candidate and how the candidate works to solve problems within and without.
· Range of interests
· Motivation
· Decisiveness
· Team style
· Intelligence
· Stress tolerance
· Learning style
· Work standards
· Flexibility

- What do you like to do best and least?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Do you feel pressure in your job?
- How do you handle stress?
- What kind of things do you feel most confident in doing?
- What are your standards of success in your job? How successful have you been so far?
- What was the most significant change made in your company in the last six months which directly affected you?
- Give me an example of how you have effectively solved an unexpected problem in a previous job.
- How did you handle situation when mistake was made and what was the resolution?
- What did your supervisor suggest that you needed improvement in your last review? And what have you done about it?
- How do you keep up with what's going on in your company, your industry and your profession?

Team Work
No man is an island. You will need to work with people around you. What better way is there to gauge whether a candidate is a team worker or not than to ask how he/she deals with team work.
· Delegation
· Confidence
· Integrity
· Problem solving
· Leadership
· Motivation
· Interpersonal skills

- What things make a good team member?
- Do you work better by yourself or as part of a team?
- How do you maintain an effective working relationship with your coworkers?
- What actions can a supervisor take to establish teamwork in the organization?
- Describe a situation in which your work was criticized and how did you respond to the criticism.
- What would you do if one of your team members was affecting the performance of the team and would you work overtime to complete a team project?
- How do you handle disagreement with coworker?


Work History & Experience
Don’t get caught out by unknown skeletons in a candidate’s cupboard. Knowing his/her work history and experience can reveal the candidate’s habits, bad and good, and enable you to decide whether he/she has the ability to fit into your organisation.
· Knowledgeable
· Accomplishments
· Responsibilities
· Job performance
· Decision-making

- Why do you want to change jobs?
- How are you qualified for this job?
- What makes you more qualified than the other candidates?
- What type of decisions do you make in your current position?
- What were your greatest accomplishments on your last job?
- What is the most difficult assignment you have had?
- What are some things you particularly liked about your last job?
- What are the areas that you need improvement on?
- What steps have you taken to improve your job skills?
- Describe a challenging work issue you had to face, and how you dealt with it?
- What kind of people do you find it most difficult to work with? Why?

Reference Check
QuestionsReference checks enable supervisors to verify the truthfulness of the information provided on a Resume or during a job interview and to collect first-hand information about the past performance of candidates.
- How long and well have you known the candidate?
- How would you describe him/her as a person?
- Why did the individual leave your company?
- Why might the candidate be considering a career move now?
- How would you describe the candidate's overall performance?
- What are the candidate’s major strength and weakness?
- Does the candidate communicate well orally and in writing?
- Did the candidate get along well with management, subordinates and peers?
- What is your assessment for the candidate’s suitability for the position?
- If given the opportunity, would you rehire the candidate again? Why and why not?
- Are there any additional comments you can share with me? Continue reading...>>>

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Here are 5 tips to help you hire a great employee:

1. When you review a resume, look for length of time on the job: a candidate with several short- term employers (less than a year) could mean a lack of commitment on their part. Of course, with all the recent lay-offs, it could just mean they got caught in the fallout.
It isn't necessarily a given that they were laid off because the company was cutting back. Star performers are not laid off if the company can avoid it. Be sure to check those references carefully, especially if the company is still in business. You don't want someone else's "deadwood".

2. Look for gaps in employment and ask for an explanation. Long periods out of work could signal a time out to update their education - or it may indicate some criminal background.

3. Watch the employment dates for "overlaps". This could be a simple error, but also might indicate that the candidate is not being truthful about previous employers. Ask the person to explain it, and be sure to call those employers and verify dates of employment with them.

4. Have a copy of the job description at hand when you review the resumes. The more skills that match your job description, the more likely you will be to have a great match. Focus on what they have done in the past that matches what you want them to do. If you need cold calls to develop new business, watch for that on their resume. Write a list of things you want them to do and then ask questions that will get those answers (or the lack thereof).

5. Sort your likely resumes into two "stacks" - one for those that look perfect to you, the other for those that look good. Call the perfect ones on the phone and ask them why they want to work for your company. Pay attention to your instincts - if you need a Receptionist, it is important that the person has a pleasant phone voice, that they are enthusiastic and articulate. If they don't make you feel good when you're speaking to them on the phone, they won't make a very good first impression on the customers who call your company.

While these tips aren't the whole picture in hiring a great employee,using them increases your chances that you will hire the perfect match for your company. With the present restrictions on information that a previous employer is allowed to give you, it is important to pay attention to all the details you get from the candidate. It will make the difference between having a GREAT employee working for you, or just having a GOOD one. Continue reading...>>>

Things That Set Great Recruiters Apart From the Average

Anyone can call themselves a recruiter. There are no university degrees in recruiting, no laws that require you to pass a test or be certified like those required to become an accountant or lawyer. All it takes is a job title and a business card.

To compound the problem, most people who enter recruiting do so in order to use the job as a stepping stone to some other future HR job. Some even view recruiting as a "necessary evil" they must endure in order to be promoted to the real job they want as an HR generalists or OD consultant. Unfortunately, because many recruiters merely view their current job as a temporary assignment, they don't strive to become experts in recruiting.

Recruiting Managers Are Part of the Problem
Recruiting managers often compound the problem by hiring "junior," inexperienced people as recruiters and then putting them into recruiting positions with little or no classroom training. In fact, it's quite common to hire a rookie and tell them just to shadow another recruiter in order to learn the tricks of the trade. All this means is that they may take on many of the bad habits of mediocre recruiters, thus eliminating any chance of eventually becoming a great recruiter themselves.

For those who are currently recruiters or who have recently entered the field and wish to make it a career, it is important to identify what differentiates a great recruiter from an average one. Great performers excel in each of eight following areas. In this piece I will discuss those broad areas and reveal the 31 specific things that it takes to become a truly great recruiter.

Great Recruiters Make Fact-Based, Data-Driven Decisions
Most business functions have shifted from experience-based to fact-based or data-driven decision-making. Supply chain management, customer relationship management, and the production functions, for example, have all shifted to fact-based decision-making.

The same needs to be true in recruiting. The very best recruiters don't rely on hunches or opinions but instead base their decisions on facts and data. Data is not only helpful in making more accurate sourcing and recruiting decisions but it also assists in making the business case for recruiting.

Some of the ways the great recruiters use data include:


  1. They don't rely on "old wives' tales" and past practices. They use data and results in order to assess what doesn't work. They then drop all employment practices that don't make a significant business difference.

  2. They track source quality and shift resources to ensure that the most effective sources are used the most frequently.

  3. They actively track quality of hire (where quality of the hire means the on-the-job performance of the new hire). They stop looking at the cost of hire and instead measure any potential business gains (economic impact) that result from hiring a higher percentage of top performers.

Great Recruiters Utilize Market Research
A great recruiter uses the latest market research tools in order to identify what it takes to interest and sell a candidate. This market research might come in the form of interviews, surveys, or focus groups. It's important for top recruiters to realize that, since the demands of candidates often change rapidly, market research must be a continuous process.


The very best recruiters identify the candidate\'s job acceptance criteria at the very start of the recruiting process.

Top recruiters do a survey of all hires and ask them why they accepted the job and what the factors were that "almost" caused them to say no (i.e. what worked and what didn\'t).

Great recruiters do a survey of all rejected offers and find out what the deciding factors were for these candidates. \n\n\nGreat recruiters do internal customer satisfaction surveys to see what managers, applicants, and recent hires want more of and less of..

Because we live in a fast-changing world, it is no longer sufficient to react to events. Most recruiting related crises are a result of failing to anticipate! Great recruiters learn from the past, gather data on trends, and accurately anticipate upcoming recruiting possibilities. They accurately forecast upcoming labor shortages and surpluses. They also tell managers when hiring should be curtailed and when it should be accelerated.

Great Recruiters Get Managers More Involved

Traditionally, most recruiting has been done by recruiters. However, in a rapidly changing world, it is increasingly more difficult for any recruiter to keep abreast of the skills required for most jobs. In addition, new technologies allow managers to have laptop access to most recruiting tools. Because they are closer to the job they frequently can do a better in convincing a candidate to say yes.


Great recruiters build a strong business case and sell hiring managers on the impact that recruiting has on the bottom line. By convincing managers to spend more time and resources on recruiting, a recruiter dramatically increases the chances of getting a successful hire.

Smart recruiters prioritize their key jobs and key managers. The best recruiters realize that all jobs do not have an equal impact on the business. As a result, they prioritize their activities around those with the highest business return on investment. The best also prioritize managers and respond rapidly to the high priority ones. They regularly survey these high priority managers to see what they want more of or less of.

Great recruiters shift the responsibility for most recruiting to managers and employees, because they are the ones who suffer if a bad hire is made. \nGreat Recruiters Complete a Competitive Analysis

Recruiting can\'t be done in isolation. Once a recruiter develops a best practice tool, it is almost certain to be copied by a talent competitor. The very best recruiters track what the competition is doing, forecast what they will do next, and anticipate the possibility a competitor will copy any new recruiting practices they may develop.

Some of the things that great recruiters do in the area of comparative analysis include:

They provide managers with better information about the actual offers made by talent competitors and how their organization\'s offers are superior or inferior to the offers made by others.

Great recruiters do side-by-side competitive analysis between major talent competitors and their own organization. They identify areas of weakness and they develop a continuous improvement plan to ensure that they continually maintain a competitive advantage in everything they do.


Smart recruiters prioritize their key jobs and key managers.

The best recruiters realize that all jobs do not have an equal impact on the business. As a result, they prioritize their activities around those with the highest business return on investment. The best also prioritize managers and respond rapidly to the high priority ones. They regularly survey these high priority managers to see what they want more of or less of. Great recruiters shift the responsibility for most recruiting to managers and employees, because they are the ones who suffer if a bad hire is made.


Great recruiters shift the responsibility for most recruiting to managers and employees, because they are the ones who suffer if a bad hire is made.


Great Recruiters Complete a Competitive Analysis


Recruiting can't be done in isolation. Once a recruiter develops a best practice tool, it is almost certain to be copied by a talent competitor. The very best recruiters track what the competition is doing, forecast what they will do next, and anticipate the possibility a competitor will copy any new recruiting practices they may develop.
Some of the things that great recruiters do in the area of comparative analysis include:


They provide managers with better information about the actual offers made by talent competitors and how their organization's offers are superior or inferior to the offers made by others.


Great recruiters do side-by-side competitive analysis between major talent competitors and their own organization. They identify areas of weakness and they develop a continuous improvement plan to ensure that they continually maintain a competitive advantage in everything they do.


Great Recruiters Use Leading-Edge Sourcing Tactics

You have to find a candidate before you can sell them on the job. Of course, great recruiters do both — but they must start with great sourcing tools and strategies. The very best do the following:

They start with the premise that the hardest people to attract (currently employed people) are, in fact, the most desirable candidates. Great recruiters focus almost exclusively on employed top performers. The very best also realize that top performers are hardly ever unemployed and that it takes an impressive sales pitch before they will even consider leaving their current job for any new job. Great recruiters view their role as primarily a sales job, where they develop effective sales pitches that convince top candidates first to apply and then to accept their job offer.

Great recruiters seek out the best candidates on a global basis. They realize that the best candidates might live in another region or country. They also realize that the tools, strategies, and approaches that work in the \nU.S. are unlikely to be equally as effective in other countries.

Great recruiters develop processes and metrics in order to isolate which sources produce the top candidates and which sources are costly and ineffective.

Great recruiters identify the best sources for diversity candidates. In addition, they also help make the business case for having a diverse workforce.

Great recruiters create "feeder channels" for future hires by identifying which firms can become their "farm teams" (i.e. firms that are lower in prestige but that still attract, train, and develop employees whom they should target).

Great Recruiters Use Leading-Edge Sourcing Tactics
You have to find a candidate before you can sell them on the job. Of course, great recruiters do both — but they must start with great sourcing tools and strategies.

The very best do the following:


They start with the premise that the hardest people to attract (currently employed people) are, in fact, the most desirable candidates. Great recruiters focus almost exclusively on employed top performers. The very best also realize that top performers are hardly ever unemployed and that it takes an impressive sales pitch before they will even consider leaving their current job for any new job. Great recruiters view their role as primarily a sales job, where they develop effective sales pitches that convince top candidates first to apply and then to accept their job offer.


Great recruiters seek out the best candidates on a global basis. They realize that the best candidates might live in another region or country. They also realize that the tools, strategies, and approaches that work in the U.S. are unlikely to be equally as effective in other countries.


Great recruiters develop processes and metrics in order to isolate which sources produce the top candidates and which sources are costly and ineffective.


Great recruiters identify the best sources for diversity candidates. In addition, they also help make the business case for having a diverse workforce.


Great recruiters create "feeder channels" for future hires by identifying which firms can become their "farm teams" (i.e. firms that are lower in prestige but that still attract, train, and develop employees whom they should target).


They develop "personal courting" and relationship-building programs with pre-identified prospects. By pre-identifying and pre-qualifying talent, great recruiters not only decrease their response time when a position does open, but they also increase the time to have available in order to sell the candidate on the company.

They help build their employment brand by speaking (and encouraging others to speak) at conferences and industry events. Great recruiters also coordinate their recruiting efforts with the company\'s PR events in order to increase applicant flow as a result of good press coverage.

Great recruiters build continuous candidate referral networks. By building a network of contacts both inside and outside the company that continually supply them with the names of top talent, recruiters can develop a "talent pools."

Great Recruiters Learn Quickly

Great recruiters realize that they work in a rapidly changing profession. The knowledge required to do their job and the tools that actually work can go out of date within a matter of months. If you are to excel in recruiting, you need to learn rapidly from the successes and failures of others. This means using the web to access information fast. Join recruiting-related list servers and chat rooms to learn and get answers rapidly. Subscribe to electronic recruiting and business newsletters in order to read about business and recruiting trends. The best develop a small, personal, learning network of business and HR professionals so they can test ideas and share "what works" solutions rapidly.


They develop "personal courting" and relationship-building programs with pre-identified prospects. By pre-identifying and pre-qualifying talent, great recruiters not only decrease their response time when a position does open, but they also increase the time to have available in order to sell the candidate on the company.


They help build their employment brand by speaking (and encouraging others to speak) at conferences and industry events. Great recruiters also coordinate their recruiting efforts with the company's PR events in order to increase applicant flow as a result of good press coverage.


Great recruiters build continuous candidate referral networks. By building a network of contacts both inside and outside the company that continually supply them with the names of top talent, recruiters can develop a "talent pools."
Great Recruiters Learn Quickly
Great recruiters realize that they work in a rapidly changing profession. The knowledge required to do their job and the tools that actually work can go out of date within a matter of months. If you are to excel in recruiting, you need to learn rapidly from the successes and failures of others. This means using the web to access information fast. Join recruiting-related list servers and chat rooms to learn and get answers rapidly. Subscribe to electronic recruiting and business newsletters in order to read about business and recruiting trends. The best develop a small, personal, learning network of business and HR professionals so they can test ideas and share "what works" solutions rapidly.


\nThe very best constantly experiment and try new things. If you are to continually improve, its essential that you experiment with new sources and tools. Great recruiters take calculated risks by trying new variations and then rapidly gathering data in order to identify what works.

Great Recruiters Make Use of Technology \nThe extensive use of technology in recruiting allows us to speed up our hiring and to do it on a global basis. Top recruiters utilize the web and the latest recruiting software to find, assess, and sell candidates in ways that were not possible before the recent advances in recruiting technology. The very best recruiters do as much as 75% of their sourcing through the Internet.

Some of the things the best do include: \n\n\nGreat recruiters frequently visit Internet chat rooms and list servers in order to identify top talent and to develop relationships with any prospects they have identified.

The very best recruiters use the Internet to build long-term relationships with potential candidates long before they are needed. They push jobs to them and use electronic newsletters to educate candidates about the great aspects of their firm and the jobs it has to offer.

In a world where the speed of change increases literally every day, individuals must learn to do everything faster while maintaining the same level of quality. This invariably means the use of technology in everything you do. Great recruiters become experts in using technology to identify candidates and to effectively sort and track resumes.

Traditionally, all hiring was done on a face-to-face basis. Candidates came to the office and interviewed in front of the owner or manager. Great recruiters utilize technology to assess and sell candidates remotely, without the expense (in time and money) of having to bring them into the office.


The very best constantly experiment and try new things. If you are to continually improve, its essential that you experiment with new sources and tools. Great recruiters take calculated risks by trying new variations and then rapidly gathering data in order to identify what works.

Great Recruiters Make Use of Technology
The extensive use of technology in recruiting allows us to speed up our hiring and to do it on a global basis. Top recruiters utilize the web and the latest recruiting software to find, assess, and sell candidates in ways that were not possible before the recent advances in recruiting technology. The very best recruiters do as much as 75% of their sourcing through the Internet.


Some of the things the best do include:


Great recruiters frequently visit Internet chat rooms and list servers in order to identify top talent and to develop relationships with any prospects they have identified.


The very best recruiters use the Internet to build long-term relationships with potential candidates long before they are needed. They push jobs to them and use electronic newsletters to educate candidates about the great aspects of their firm and the jobs it has to offer.


In a world where the speed of change increases literally every day, individuals must learn to do everything faster while maintaining the same level of quality. This invariably means the use of technology in everything you do. Great recruiters become experts in using technology to identify candidates and to effectively sort and track resumes.
Traditionally, all hiring was done on a face-to-face basis. Candidates came to the office and interviewed in front of the owner or manager. Great recruiters utilize technology to assess and sell candidates remotely, without the expense (in time and money) of having to bring them into the office.
\nOther Practices of Great Recruiters

Great recruiters consider retention as part of their job. Instead of dropping all contact after a candidate is hired, the best keep in touch because they realize that their insight into why the candidate accepted a job can be used to keep the new hire satisfied once they\'re in it.

Not all recruiting programs are equally effective, so great recruiters determine which activities, programs, and sources they should spend their limited time and resources on. They prioritize their recruiting programs based on their success rate and ROI. They focus their budgets, time, talent, and money on the highest priority areas, and delegate, drop or outsource the lowest.

Great recruiters are also great business people. They realize that recruiting, if it is to be effective, must vary with the economy. Top recruiters monitor the company\'s sales projections and the unemployment rate in order to develop a workforce plan and a recruiting strategy that best fits the current and forthcoming economic conditions.

Conclusion \nIn my work with over 100 recruiting functions, I have unfortunately found that there are relatively few great recruiters in our profession. Most recruiters focus on the administrative and assessment aspects of recruiting, while the top ones focus on sourcing passive candidates and then selling them on the company and the job. The very best are also data driven and make fact-based decisions.

If you are currently a recruiter who is striving to be among the best in your field, it is essential that you "unlearn" and "relearn" recruiting. Emulating the above 31 ways top recruiters differ from the norm will guarantee you a spot at the top of your profession. And what better time to start than now!\n",1]


Other Practices of Great Recruiters
Great recruiters consider retention as part of their job. Instead of dropping all contact after a candidate is hired, the best keep in touch because they realize that their insight into why the candidate accepted a job can be used to keep the new hire satisfied once they're in it.


Not all recruiting programs are equally effective, so great recruiters determine which activities, programs, and sources they should spend their limited time and resources on. They prioritize their recruiting programs based on their success rate and ROI. They focus their budgets, time, talent, and money on the highest priority areas, and delegate, drop or outsource the lowest.


Great recruiters are also great business people. They realize that recruiting, if it is to be effective, must vary with the economy. Top recruiters monitor the company's sales projections and the unemployment rate in order to develop a workforce plan and a recruiting strategy that best fits the current and forthcoming economic conditions.

Continue reading...>>>

Effective manager

1. CreativityCreativity is what separates competence from excellence. Creativity is the spark that propels projects forward and that captures peoples' attention. Creativity is the ingredient that pulls the different pieces together into a cohesive whole, adding zest and appeal in the process.

2. StructureThe context and structure we work within always have a set of parameters, limitations and guidelines. A stellar manager knows how to work within the structure and not let the structure impinge upon the process or the project. Know the structure intimately, so as to guide others to effectively work within the given parameters. Do this to expand beyond the boundaries.

3. Intuition Intuition is the capacity of knowing without the use of rational processes; it's the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. People with keen insight are often able to sense what others are feeling and thinking; consequently, they're able to respond perfectly to another through their *deeper understanding. * The stronger one's intuition, the stronger manager one will be.

4. Knowledge A thorough knowledge base is essential. The knowledge base must be so ingrained and integrated into their being that they become *transparent, * focusing on the employee and what s/he needs to learn, versus focusing on the knowledge base. The excellent manager lives from a knowledge base, without having to draw attention to it.
5. Commitment A manager is committed to the success of the project and of all team members. S/he holds the vision for the collective team and moves the team closer to the end result. It's the manager's commitment that pulls the team forward during trying times.

6. Being Human Employees value leaders who are human and who don't hide behind their authority. The best leaders are those who aren't afraid to be themselves. Managers who respect and connect with others on a human level inspire great loyalty.

7. Versatility Flexibility and versatility are valuable qualities in a manager. Beneath the flexibility and versatility is an ability to be both non-reactive and not attached to how things have to be. Versatility implies an openness ­ this openness allows the leader to quickly *change on a dime* when necessary. Flexibility and versatility are the pathways to speedy responsiveness.

8. Lightness A stellar manager doesn't just produce outstanding results; s/he has fun in the process! Lightness doesn't impede results but rather, helps to move the team forward. Lightness complements the seriousness of the task at hand as well as the resolve of the team, therefore contributing to strong team results and retention.

9. Discipline/Focus Discipline is the ability to choose and live from what one pays attention to. Discipline as self-mastery can be exhilarating! Role model the ability to live from your intention consistently and you'll role model an important leadership quality.

10. Big Picture, Small Actions Excellent managers see the big picture concurrent with managing the details. Small actions lead to the big picture; the excellent manager is skillful at doing both: think big while also paying attention to the details. Continue reading...>>>

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cost of recruitment

My favorite formula for cost of attrition is: Cost of recruitment+Cost of knowledge lost bcs ofattrition.

Cost of recruitment: Cost of recruitment instrument(s)/proportional cost ofrecruitment instrument(S). (Proportional) cost of recruiter time, measured byrecruiter salary.
(Proportional) cost of management time, computed bytime spent on selection process * gross salaryapplicable for the time.
(Proportional)Cost of common induction. - company costand recruit's salary cost. Cost of role specific induction. - salary cost of newemployee+salary cost of trainer+ company resourcecosts, if any.
Cost of on the job trng before the employee becomesfully productive. On an average, about 1 month shouldbe enough. i.e., one month's salary.
If the position is a replacement position, this costof recruitment becomes an input into the cost ofattrition, which then becomes: Cost of recruitment+Cost of Knowledge lost +Cost of any unrealised trngs given to the employee. Cost of knowledge lost can be directly computed on thebasis of employee's tenure in the current role.I also like to add a premium for long stayingemployees, bcs they have carried out with them a longstanding knowledge of the company's culture. Of course, all these costs only apply to involuntaryattritions.
People who are asked to leave will get alower figure on the knolwedge lost factor. At the end of this, the figures do appear to be verysubjective, don't they? :-) Puting a number on these figures does bring somestunning results.. but its also equally important toremember that not all the knowledge is in numbers. Continue reading...>>>

Career Mapping

Career Mapping: Don't Get Lost Along the Way

Just as companies who use a business plan as a "road map" find the path easier to negotiate, people who use a "career map" have a much better chance of reaching their destination.
Think about it. If you're in Winnemucca and you want to get to Wichita, a map is a handy thing to have. Without it you might eventually end up Wichita. Might. Eventually. But it could take much longer than it needs to and it most likely will be a forgettable trip. Sound familiar?
Making a career map can be beneficial at any stage of the game for many of us.
If you're just entering/re-entering the workplace, or perhaps been in the fray for decades, career mapping can prove to be an invaluable tool. Particularly if you are thinking of switching fields.More importantly, the "C-Map" is necessary to help you better navigate the rapidly changing workplace rules.
Changes like continuing record layoffs, mergers and acquisitions, the advent of technology and it's impact on many of our jobs

.When I talk about developing a career map, I'm referring to an actual document. Typically, it's a one or two page piece, a summary of your career strategy going forward. It's a road map. A guide. It doesn't mean youabsolutely have to go by that route. If you get to someplace in your travels and the road's under construction, you may have to take a detour. Your company has been sold? Your department has been outsourced? Your position is being eliminated? Not to worry (too much). You have a plan. A strategy.The career mapping plan I've developed, which has worked wonders for the many clients I have worked with, is made up of nine specific steps as follows:An Overview: This first step consists of a ten thousand-bart view of what you want to accomplish in the future. One year, five years -- whatever makes sense for you. There are times when the map will need to be changed suddenly. Perhaps your significant other finds a great job in another city,or you realize that the new boss and you don't jive.

Identifying Your Market: The next step is to identify who your market is. It's the same step a business goes through. Decide which industries or companies are most likely to continue to grow and need you.

The Marketing Plan: If you are working long hours, not making the money you want, and are quite unhappy, it may be a matter of focus. Decide which aspect of your profession is the most appealing for you and develop a plan to market your knowledge, skills and experience to get the position you want.

Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses: The idea is to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. But first you have to know what they are. Ask the people in your life you most respect to help you with this one. Put them down on paper. It may give you a new understanding of you.The Positioning Statement: In order to be good at what we do, we have to know what business we are in. The positioning statement is no more than one paragraph long. It spells out here's who I am, and here's how I'm going to position myself going forward, and here are my capabilities, and here's howI fit into my industry or company.

The Action Plan: Now that you know what you want to do for the next year or two, you need to identify the tactics you use to carry it out. You might include research, talking to experts in your industry, and mirroring people who are already successful doing what you plan to do.

The Financial Plan: The key here is to understand that a change in career direction may have an impact of your finances. I recommend you determine up-front what could happen, good or not so good, and have a plan to deal with it.

The Review: How often should you stop along your journey? Take a look at where you are on your map: check weather patterns and road conditions. If you are new to "mapping," I suggest you do it once a week. Once you are more comfortable with the process, once a month is probably often enough. The key is to set a pattern for regularly looking at your progress.

Today's job market is changing so rapidly that the people who hope to do well are those who have an idea about where they are going and how they are going to get there. I see too many of us making career decisions without a real strategy behind them. It's a little like Ready! ... Fire! ... Aim!Occasionally you'll get lucky and hit the target. Most often you won't. Continue reading...>>>

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Chanakya quotes

Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC-275 BC)

"A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are impacted first."
"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous."
"The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you."
"There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."
"Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful.Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to thesequestions, go ahead."
"As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it."
"The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman."
"Once you start a working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest."
"The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction."
"God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple."
"A man is great by deeds, not by birth."
"Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status.Such friendships will never give you any happiness."
"Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends."
"Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person."
"Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth." Continue reading...>>>

10 Rules for Life

1. Recognize that life is what you get when you're born...Living is what you do with it!
You can sit back and wait for life to happen to you or you can make it happen yourself. As Maya Angelou once said, "Life likes to be taken by the lapel and told, "I'm with you kid. Let's go!"
2. Define life... It leads to the fine life.
Life is not a slogan, no matter what Nike, McDonald's, ABC, NBC, or any other media giant might have you believe. While those "Life is..." t-shirts are often witty, the philosophy they propose, like the shirt itself, are rarely "one size fits all." Define life and living on your own terms and you've a better chance of getting both.
3. Make up your own rules.
Many people believe that "life is a game." Maybe so, but most games have rules and clear cut definitions of winning and losing. We didn't get rule books when we were born and that leaves us free to make up our own rules about life, living, losing, and winning.
4. Take charge of your life.
Once you've made up your rules you can start taking charge of your life. And when you take charge of your life, as Geoffrey Abert said, "...there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life."
5. Little things mean a lot.
No matter how we live, life throws a lot of little negative things in our way that must be dealt with or else they will greatly diminish how we enjoy our days. Stephen Vincent Benet said it best: "Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways."
6. Employ the power of positive quitting.
Most of us view quitting as a NEGATIVE thing to do, but it's not. "Winners NEVER quit," we're told. In reality, winners quit all the time by choosing to STOP doing things that aren't creating the results they desire.
7. Create your personal quit list.
Examine your life closely and you'll find all sorts of things you do and/or tolerate that hold you back, slow you down, or affect you negatively in some other way. Decide which ones you really want to be rid of and write them down.
8. On your mark, get set, QUIT!
Now start quitting the things you listed. Doing so will immediately create a positive "charge" in your life as you rid yourself of these negatives and create the room in your life for new, more positive experiences.
9. Charge into your future!
As you recreate this positive force in your life, take big, massive leaps into your future. Be imaginative, bold, and brave! The results may surprise you.
10. Use everything.
You are blessed with a particular set of skills and talents that NO ONE else has. Use every skill and talent to live your life as joyfully and abundantly as possible. Leave this life as Erma Bombeck wished to: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'" Continue reading...>>>