Friday, March 4, 2011

How to find the right Candidates

Although, the Internet has made recruiting a bit easier. It has also resulted in sloppier advertising. The number of job advertisements I read with incompatible requirements and terrible wording  is quite amazing! Maybe, at the time when the human resources manager had to give the text to a magazine or newspaper editor for inclusion as an advert, more care had to be taken to write texts which actually made sense!

Yet, on the Internet, more than anywhere else, your advertisement will be "buried" amongst thousands of other, similar, job offers. Therefore, it has to stand out for candidates to say "that is the job for me"! It has to do that without exaggerations and without creating unrealistic expectations in the potential candidates! 

Here are a few points that might guide you to write an appropriate jobs advertisement on the Internet.

1. Select the appropriate site to place your advertisement.

Posting  one, or several jobs, on a site has to be done with some strategy. You cannot just post on any site. Recruiters and Professionals will look at sites related to their profession or their skill level. There are some sites that give an overview of professional sites, though we found most of them not very informative. The person posting has to have a real understanding about where in the commercial-industrial hierarchy the offered job is located and then select the appropriate site. Over time, a human resource manager should be able to build up a list  of appropriate sites for his job vacancies.

2. The Job and Company Description

The job description is not only about the job, but should also include some information about the type of organization a candidate is joining. The title of the job should be attractive to the potential candidate, but also descriptive so that the applicant immediately knows what the employer is looking for. That way the applicant knows, whether he/she can fill the offered position. If you are looking for an administrative assistant, you might phrase that as "Require a dynamic talented Administrative Assistant with initiative". Provide specific details of such as the skills requirement, the job location and for lower level jobs, the working hours. If you offer "flexitime" state that clearly, because for many employees it is an attractive feature.

For some applicants it is important whether they work in a "well established family owned business", a "large international corporation". or "a young and fast growing company".

3. Political Correctness

In the U.S.A., and to a lesser extent in the UK, Canada and Australia, "Political Correctness" is paramount. Be careful about the wording of your text to avoid any unintentional racist remarks or denigration of a specific social group. When you hire internationally, make sure that your text reflects the country or geographic area where you intent to hire. The rules there might be different from your home country. In many places you can specify without any problem "Looking for young dynamic, well educated Engineer between the ages of 30 and 45". You will not be able to write that in the USA because it would be seen as age discrimination.   

4. Key Words

Because people will search for advertisements on the Internet with a search engine, selecting key words that give a short description of what you are looking for are essential, if you want your job vacancy to be found. The key words have to be correctly placed and must have a certain density to be recognised  and found by the search engines.

5. Compensation and Fringe Benefits

Financial remuneration is an important aspect of the job search and the hiring process. Only in a few countries are actual amount shown in adverts. Sometimes a range is provided. Spelling out what else comes with the basic salary, the fringe benefits, paid vacation, children's school fees, paid further education and similar non salary items are usually important elements of the overall compensation. Similarly,the future development of the overall compensation package can be alluded to.

The final piece of advice is to structure your Internet advertising campaign for one of several jobs carefully, so that your search will be successful.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Looking for a Job in the Worldwide Job Market - A Simple Guideline

After having looked for jobs at home, first within your area, then nationwide and not found anything, you might consider looking for a job abroad. You cannot lose anything! At worst, you get a few more rejections and what are a few more of those, when you did not get any positive responses at home! You have to think positively and take some chances!

The possibility to learn about new surrounding, new cultures contributing with your expertise, maybe even boost your earnings potential can boost your confidence and do wonders for your own system. Not every job offered abroad is for the high flyer. If you are hard working and willing to adapt, you are in with a realistic chance. Lets face it, you got yourself a reasonably good education for which you still pay through the loans you took as a student So, you better get the best use out of your investment.

While it is true that many jobs abroad will require knowledge of local languages, this does not apply for every job and in every area. Think of all the geographical area once colonized by the British. They are all English speaking and can be an excellent source for jobs. It is true that many of these countries have restrictions about who can get a work permit, and who can't, but there are possibilities where they need your expertise. Let's look at a few points that will help you redirect your job search strategies:

  • Select target countries and activities where the primary business language is English. As a native speaker you will have an advantage. This might include former British possessions, but should not be limited to those. There are jobs to be found in Paris, Geneva, Madrid or Sao Paulo, where knowledge of French, Spanish or Portuguese in the performance of the job offered is of peripheral importance. Think, for instance, of their local export industry. They need native speakers to make the advertising sound and look right, when they export to the USA or Canada. In other areas they need English native speakers to write user manuals, instructions or training manuals for their export products. If it is a technical product English speaking engineers are required to help in their after sales service and manage their technical help desk. In India for instance, they need language instructors and accent trainers, to teach the appropriate use of the language, including technical terminology to people who will later man the call centers. Whether that is for credit cards, airline bookings, searching for lost luggage, or software help is really immaterial. They all need language or accent training. 
  • Once you have decided which country and which business area might be of interest to you, look at their method of hiring. Are they using staffing agents, executive search, temporary agencies or can you approach potential employers directly? Remember, high level Executive Search agencies are not really interested in getting your resume. They like to keep their hiring low risk by searching and poaching amongst the currently gainfully employed in the country. Thus keep your searches at the level where you really have a chance to be listened to and at least can present yourself in an interview!
  • One you have identified the country where you would like to work and the method or methods  through which you would like to apply to employers, you will have to take a close look at your resume or Curriculum Vitae. Most American resumes read like a big sales document for the applicant, basically saying "I am the best, and if you do not consider me, you will be sorry for the lost opportunity". In many places this is seen as unnecessary boosting about your abilities. Write your CV coherent, factual, interesting by not getting into endless repeated statements. Cover the first five years thorough with specific statements, the five years before that a little more general and the five years before that with more global statements. Be specific about where you studied, with the name of the city and University,  what you studied, naming the subject, and what degree you obtained. You might want to go through several iterations in your CV writing. If you need some help, look at JobLines resume page, which might put you on the right track.
  • Now you can start to select specific employers in the desired country. You could make two choices: Approach the major employers in that country, or go for the smaller less well known companies. These last ones are not that easy to find. Unless you have reliable local contacts, you will almost certainly be restricted to companies that have an Internet presence. One of the sources for the smaller employers might be the lists of the American-Country x Chamber of Commerce. Not all of these Chambers have well organized lists. Though, from most of the Chambers, you can buy the booklet with the list for around $30-$50. Another source can be local trade associations. Many of them have now websites. That will at least give you  their contact address and phone numbers. You can also try their embassies here in the USA or wherever you are. Though, if you do that, you can easily end up in endless rounds of "Press seven"....."Now Press four" occupying your phone line for hours on end. Yet, another option is to find their local newspapers, though, that might only be easy if you live in places like New York or Los Angeles. Often you can also try local consulates of countries. These are usually located in major USA and Canadian cities, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco etc. These consulates often have small libraries that keep up to date news papers from their home country. Another good source for companies and knowledge about the various countries are the Financial Times Country Surveys. Although, most of the Financial Times is now on a pay site, you can get the address and details here to order the country survey.
  • When you have identified a possible target company, you should go back to your CV and make it specific to the company you intend to approach. The same applies to writing a good cover letter. We can not over emphasize the need of some details in your CV. Create a Personal Detail Sheet  that will give details such as Date of Birth, Place of Birth, a passport size photo,  Nationality (Passport holder of....) Marital Status, Children (e.g., just state 3 boys (6, 7, 8). If you need some help, you can find inspiration here on our Cover letter page! 
  • Never state your Passport Number or your Social Security Number. Never send original certificates to anyone. Though, in some, especially Asian and European countries it is normal to send photo copies of you university or other diploma with your CV. In some European countries you will also get a Certificate of Employment, every time you leave a job. If you have those, you should also enclose a copy (never the original) of those with your application.
  • Now, read and reread your application and your CV to make sure you do not have any mistakes or typos. Also make sure that if you do not know the name of the Human Resources Manager, you address him/her with Dear Sir/Madam. If you know the name, make sure you spelt it correctly. We have a simple rule here that is followed by many HR managers: If the name is not spelt right, the application ends in the wastepaper basket!
Now, you can send the application off and hope that it will do the trick! We will tell you in the next blog entry, what you have to do at the next stage!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Finding a Job in the present economic Turmoil

Finding a job is always a difficult task. Finding the right job, is even more difficult. Current economic conditions are not a great help and whether new stimuli programs actually have a significant impact is somewhat in the stars.

When I was a young economist, I had always been taught that fiscal (taxes and subsidies) and monetary (printing money or in some other ways increasing the amount of money in circulation) measures need  six to eight quarters to be seen to take effect within the economy. Current politicians, and even worse, the technical people who support them, appear to have forgotten that.
As a result, they implement measure after measure to satisfy populist demands for more jobs without really knowing, what the measures they have already taken, will do. Short of replacing the government through the ballot box, the individual cannot do much about the prevailing economic conditions. Even todays elections, may only lead to another set of opposing populist policies with uncertain outcomes.

Which really leaves the individual job seeker, where he has always been, relying on his own devices to get a decently paid and satisfying job, using the information at his disposal and a set of tools, such as a good and truthful resume and proper preparation for an interview to attain his/her goal.

This is how JobLine International can help you: By providing the right information with the right tools, so that you can present yourself in the best possible light to a new employer.