Friday, April 30, 2010

Hiring Tip: It’s NOT About What The Candidate Lacks

Recruiters and Hiring Managers sometimes fall into the trap of hiring by elimination.

Candidate does not meet the years of experience – into the “Rejected” folder

Candidate does not have a particular skill-set – into the “Rejected” folder

Candidate does not have a Degree – into the “Rejected” folder

“No. We can’t short list this candidate because we need someone with at least 5 years of experience. He only has four.”

Sounds familiar?

By using the elimination method, we may miss out a good candidate.

I sometimes spent a fair amount of time convincing an employer-client of why a candidate is worth a chance by drawing his attention to the candidate’s overall suitability that meets the job needs and not on what he/she lacks. Years of experience and education level seem to be the two most common criteria.

The right method is to hire the candidate for what he or she has. But before you could do that, you need to know what the job needs. Once that’s established, find the candidate that has what you need. Look through the candidate’s resume – check his strengths, skills, knowledge, accomplishments and other hints of abilities (as a whole package) and benchmark that with the specific requirements of your job vacancy.

A good tip to remember:
Focus not on what the candidate lacks but what the job NEEDS.

Friday, April 23, 2010

3 Things I learnt From My Dad and Mom About Work

My dad and mom were involved in a small food business. They were fish-ball makers. Work then is not about doing what you are passionate about. With five mouths to feed at home, work is all about getting food on the table. The business was home-based and hence, everyone in the household was involved in the business one way or another. You can say I started my working life rather early in life.

Due to the amount of time spent with dad and mom, I learned a lot from them. It’s not so much from the advice that they gave but more so, from the way they handled their work and people.

1. There is no short cut to success

Keys to success – two words: Work hard! It means sweat, discipline, self-driven and dedication to the work at hand. I remember when my dad attempted to save cost by using another type of fish to make fish balls, he tried many methods and failed many times before he finally conquered. He would spend many hours deliberating and working with his hands. And my mom by his side would contribute, gave her best ideas and never once ridiculed my dad. She knew what it takes to be successful. It’s hard work and you got to work hard to achieve it!

2. Do not sell your integrity for that extra penny

Food business is cash business. Customers came to our house to collect their fish-balls and they in turn distribute to restaurants, shops, hawkers and etc. It’s a normal sight to see cash changing hands and in the nights, my dad would be busy counting money and balancing his accounts. There were times when he realized somebody had paid more by mistake. The extra were always returned. As children, we were taught never to take what that do not belong to us. Honesty is always the best policy.

3. Sharing is giving

We are not that wealthy but dad and mom had never failed to give to relatives or friends that were in need. My mom believes we can still be generous even when we don’t have much. And it’s not just about money alone. My dad was approached by people that wanted to learn the secret of making fish-balls. He had more than once took in “disciples” and train them without any fee. He had even written his recipe down and sent it to newspapers for publication. He doesn’t believe in keeping what he knew as a secret. To him, good things should always be shared.

They are now happily retired. Their principles on work are the best legacy they had passed on to me and my siblings. Precious gifts indeed, superseding any material wealth.

A big THANK YOU, dad and mom! I love you guys!

Related article:-
A Day's Work For A Day's Pay

Friday, April 16, 2010

Your Handwriting Can Get Or Kick You Out Of A Job

Somebody left a remark in this article: 10 Most Common Reasons You Didn't Get The Job saying his ex-employer analyzed applicants’ handwriting in determining whether the candidate is in or out in the selection exercise.

Now, some of us may be very skeptical about such a tool. But a research on the net will tell you that many people including employers believe hand writing analysis is more objective than a face-to-face interview. Wow!

It was said handwriting analysis cannot determine the person’s age, race, religion, appearance or even gender but it’s completely accurate in measuring the personality of the applicant.

So,the next time you are invited to fill up an application form before a job interview, you may want to pay that slight bit of attention to your hand writing. But seriously, if you have been writing in a certain way, you can't really change it, can you? Hence, to a certain extent, it's true that your handwriting does tell something about your personality.

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Read the whole article here but for the following, I extracted the top 12 items to look for and what it means:

1. Writing slants to the left -- introspective, guarded personality.

2. Slant to the right -- subjective personality.

3. Straight up & down -- objective personality.

4. Large letters -- confidence. If letters seem too large, the person may be seeking attention.

5. Small letters -- introverted. If a person usually writes small, but has a large signature, it means they are truly an introvert, but present themselves as an extrovert.

6. Loopy letters -- caring, thoughtful, kind.

7. Angular letters -- quick, smart.

8. Upswing at the end of a letter or word -- connected to others. This represents reaching out or looking forward. Someone who is very direct will usually simply end the letter, not follow through with an upswing.

9. Combination of printing and cursive - high intelligence. The brain says to go faster and the hand just can't keep up. This is known as "printscript."

10. Heavy, thick strokes -- passion, energy.

11. Strong, high cross on T's -- high goals, strong energy and enthusiasm.

12. Steady, structured baseline on letters -- comprehensive, likes routine.

Interesting, eh?

Now, this is a sample of my hand writing.

Any expert out there can dare to give me an analysis?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Do I Like You?

Based on many recruiters’ experience, 40% of the hiring decision is based on this question, “Do I like you?”


You shouldn’t be. People don’t hire someone they don’t like. It’s just that simple!

The truth is hiring people is like buying things. We simply know how to justify everything when our minds are made up to like something.

Are you saying that skills and qualification, and the ability to do the job is not important?

It is important but statistics tell us that it only account for 20%. In other words, emotions win over logic and common sense most of the time.

Therefore, smart candidates should learn to answer well questions that give impact to:-

1. Will the candidate be able to fit us and our organization’s culture?

2. Can the candidate work well with people?

The sorts of questions to be expected are as follows:-

1. What do people like about you?
2. What are your greatest strengths?

3. What would your boss or colleagues describe you?

4. What makes you angry?

5. What kind of people do you hang out with?

6. What makes you better than other candidates?
7. Have you experience any personal hardships? If yes, can you describe the circumstances?

8. Who is your greatest mentor?
9. How do you deal with people whom you don’t like?
10. Describe a conflict you have recently? How do you resolve it?

11. Describe a time your boss or customer tried your patience.
12. What are some of the hobbies or outside interests you have?

What are some tough job interview questions and how best to handle them? (click and read)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Offering Me A Lower Salary And Expect Me To Say YES?

Recently, I worked on a Business Development Manager position for a new client/employer. I was advised that the post is a full-time/permanent basis.

During the interview, it was a different story altogether.

The position is on a 6-month contract and will only be converted to permanent basis if performance is satisfactory (I wonder what happened to probationary period?). Not only that. Since it’s a contract job, the “employee” will not be entitled to EPF and SOCSO.

So, there is a variation of terms between what was told and what the actual is. Candidate is upset. I’m obviously not very happy with the client for not being honest. In my mind, “blacklist” this employer.

Two weeks passed.

A phone call.

Hey, your candidate got the job!

Oh, really!

But this is the deal. We can’t offer her at what she’s asking. She will be given this $$ and the rest, she just need to work hard to earn the commission to make up for it.

The offer figure was 30% lower than what the candidate is currently earning.

Thank you ...but no thanks.

I wanted to laugh so much…ya know, the kind that is not happy but cynical and disgusted laugh.

Seriously… why employers do such a thing? There are a number of things that employers annoy job seekers and this is definitely one of the worst.

Want to know what else upset job seekers? Click here to read and see whether it rings any truth or not.