J Patrick + Associates Blog

Traditional Recruiting Methods vs. A Recruiting Firm

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Feb 21, 2020 @ 12:51 PM

Traditional Recruiting vs hiring a recruiting firm

Whenever a business has to hire that new employee, they have to decide whether they should search for candidates on their own, or elicit the help of an outside agency.  Traditional recruiting methods versus a recruiting firm is the typical conundrum, so why is using a firm the better option? 

Finding an employee has always consisted of the traditional methods.  Examples of these methods include online recruitment job boards, online ads, classifieds, and career resource sites.  Online recruitment has become a HUGE influencer in the job market, websites such as monster.com, jobs.com, careerbuilder.com, and other sites have dominated the online job scene.  Another traditional method is an employee referral program.  This entails finding job candidates from referrals that may come from other employees, family members, friends, or anyone that can get in touch with you and influence your decision.  So the question still remains, what benefit does a recruiter have over the traditional methods, and do I want to pay someone to find an employee for me?

When you decide to work with a recruiting firm to help fill your job posts you enter into a relationship with a recruiter who has a wealth of knowledge in a specific field that you are trying to hire for.  Placement after placement, these recruiters have learned the industry from front to back, side to side; they know their stuff to say the least.  When you choose a recruiting firm, cost effectiveness goes hand in hand.  When you mention cost effective around the “head honcho” of a business their eyes light up, and visions of improved margins can quickly become a reality.  Nothing triggers the “let’s do it” side of the brain like saving money.  Recruiters can save you money, in fact LOTS OF MONEY because they provide the right person to fit your employment needs.  In other words, you don’t go out and hire some person who you thought was great, who turns out to be unskilled or unstable, etc.  Imagine wasting an entire first years’ salary on the wrong person?…ouch.  Saving time is also a benefit of choosing a recruiting firm over the traditional methods.  Recruiters look through hundreds of resumes every month, this saves companies plenty of time in searching for that needle in a haystack.  Once these recruiters have searched through these resumes they present only the most qualified candidates to potential employers.

Going with the traditional methods could work, but if you want that perfect fit for your position and organization, it’s worth the time, effort and energy to work with a specialized recruiting firm Guaranteed it will save you time, money and unnecessary headaches.


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

8 Tips For Acing A Phone Interview

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Fri, Feb 07, 2020 @ 02:06 PM

8 Tips for Acing a Phone Interview

When J. Patrick & Associates first opened 25 years ago, the vast majority of interviews we set up for our clients were face-to-face meetings, based on a resume and our recommendation. Phone interviews were rare and arranged primarily for remote candidates. Well, times have changed, and today more and more of our clients require a phone interview regardless of the candidates’ apparent qualifications.

Make no mistake about it, a strong resume is still of prime importance, but hiring managers have taken to the phone interview as the first point of contact. Certainly, there are obvious considerations of time and money saved, but phone interviews lower the threshold for the hiring manager. Fifteen minutes on the phone with a candidate is a far more expeditious way to answer some basic questions about a candidate’s suitability and appeal than having to sit through a longer meeting.

And while you might think an interview is an interview, knowing that there are some key differences between a phone interview and one held face-to-face can mean the difference between failing to get to the next step and landing an offer.

The phone interview is your first and best opportunity to make a good impression. Follow these 8 pro-tips to ensure it’s not your last.


8 Tips for Acing a Phone Interview

Just as you do your homework in advance of an in-person interview, you must do your due diligence for a phone call. Be careful of falling into the mindset that a phone interview is somehow less important or just a necessary hurdle you have to get past to get to the real thing.

1. Do Your Homework

Research the company and the interviewer. Understanding what their strengths are and what challenges they might be facing are key to presenting yourself as a necessary addition to their company.

2. Make Notes Ahead of time

One great advantage of a phone interview is that you can use a “cheat-sheet” to refer to. Always have the necessary and vital statistics on the company close at hand so that you are prepared when asked what you know about the company.

Also be certain to print your resume, cover letter and any other supporting material you want to present and keep them close at hand. You don’t want to have to go digging for anything while on the phone, nor hem and haw as you try to remember why you left a previous position. Don’t make your interviewer feel that your attention is not 100% focused on the conversation.

Write out your questions ahead of time so that you can be sure to get the answers you need. Remember too that interviews are as much an opportunity for you to find out if the company is a good fit for you as it is for the hiring manager.

3. Clear Your Calendar

Assuming you have a scheduled interview be certain to allow yourself 10-15 minutes in advance of the call to prepare and clear your head of other business.

If you don’t have the advantage of scheduled time and the call comes in when you are not prepared to focus on it, you can always allow the call to go to voice mail - it’s unlikely it would be held against you. The better option, however, would be to say something like, “I’m not at my desk at the moment, when would be a good time for me to call you back?”

4. Dress the Part

It might sound counter-intuitive, but doing a phone interview from home in your sweats does not give you the best advantage. While no one might be able to see you except your cat, dog or pet fish, how you dress has a direct influence on how you feel. 

While you want to be comfortable and not on edge, watch your posture and body language. Your interviewer may not be able to see you but they will be able to pick up on subtle hints when you’re not fully engaged or energized.

5. Clear the Distractions

Thirty minutes or more before your call check that your cell signal is strong and even and/or that your Skype connection is stable. You might also want to disable call waiting and other features that might break up the flow of your conversation.

Put the dog somewhere else, send the kids out of the house and close the windows. There’s nothing more frustrating than loud, extraneous noises on the other end of the phone. It’s best to find as quiet and contained an environment as possible for the phone call. If your home is not a viable option, see if you can’t borrow some office space from a friend or perhaps book time a short session in a co-working space.

6. Listen First/Talk Second

Once the call comes in, answer with your name - it’s a small thing but can go a long way to showing the interviewer you are professional.

Be certain to listen attentively - even though they can’t see you, we’ve all experienced that sensation that the person on the other end of the phone is not quite with us. Let them know you are actively engaged in listening - a few well placed “I see’s,”’ go a long way to create a bond during a phone conversation.

Unlike a face-to-face interview where you have the benefit of body language and other non-verbal communication, it’s wise to wait a beat (a count of 2 or 3) before answering a question just in case your interviewer has not finished with their question. There’s nothing worse than interrupting or speaking on top of someone, especially in an interview.

The one advantage of not having physical cues during a phone interview is that it keeps the distractions down, you can make your pitch free from the very human instinct to constantly interpret visual clues.

7. Speak with Distinction 

Speaking on the phone requires slightly different inflections and an alteration in tempo. Slow down and articulate.

If you have a very low voice, you may want to try speaking at a slightly higher pitch - it will help with relay a better sense of engagement and avoid miscommunication.

Pro-Tip Not all HR and hiring managers do well on the phone. Some might ramble or be distracted themselves. If this is the case, use the opportunity to show them that you’ve done your homework and can keep the conversation focused on what you can offer the company.

8. End On A Positive Note

Thank your interviewer for their time and the information they’ve provided. If you’re interested in the position make certain to let them know that. Saying something like, “I’m very interested in all that I’ve heard and am confident I could add value to your company,” is a clear, professional message of your intent.

Send a thank-you note via email within the same business day to once again thank them for their time, reiterating your interest in the position and reaffirming the value you bring to the position.

As in any interview once it is over the next thing you have to do is let it go. As long as you were prepared, thorough, professional and personable, then you’ve done everything you can within your control. The rest is out of your hands, so change out of those work clothes, put your sweats on and let the dog back into the house.

 


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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

7 Clues the Interview Didn’t Go as Planned

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Jan 24, 2020 @ 04:43 PM
7 CluesThe most difficult part of the job search for many is the dreaded interview. Interviews are designed to test applicants to see if they will be a good fit for the company. After an interview, it is normal to spend time waiting for a phone call as you hope to land that next job. However, if you pay attention to a few details, you can probably already tell if you have shot at the job or not. Knowing when an interview didn’t go as planned is just as important as feeling good when you know it went great. This allows you to stop the waiting game and keep going with your search so you can land a job that will be a great fit for you much more quickly.
 

7 Clues the Interview Didn't Go As Planned

1. The interview is cut short.

Many companies will give you at least an estimate of how long to expect your interview to last. Based on how it goes during the interview, it could go longer or much shorter. If it seems to run much shorter than you expected, chances are they decided at the beginning that you are not a right fit for the position and chose to end it early to not waste both their time and yours.

2. The interviewer seems distracted.

If during the course of the interview the conversation doesn’t seem to go well or if the interviewer appears distracted or uninterested in what you have to say, this could mean that you haven’t made a good impression or at least they have quickly decided that you do not fit well with their company or position.

3. You only get asked the easy questions.

So many people dread interviews because of those tough questions that require you really to think and think quickly. If over the course of the interview you only get asked about your work history or easy questions about yourself, this could actually be a bad sign. If an interviewer is truly interested in you they will pitch the hard questions to try to learn even more about you and how you would handle some of the most difficult situations on the job.

4. They don’t try to sell you on the company or position.

If a company likes what you have to offer and is truly interested in adding you to their roster, they will spend time during the interview trying to sell the company to you. As much as you might want a job offer, they want to be sure you will say yes to the offer. If during your interview there is very little mentioned about all the great things going on in the business, chances are they aren’t considering you for a position so they feel no need to sell the company to you.

5. You aren’t asked when you are available to start.

If a company really wants to add you to their roster, they will want to know when you can start. When hiring a new employee there are many things that need to happen in order for the company to prepare for your arrival. If they don’t care when you can begin working for them there is a good chance they don’t intend on hiring you at all.

6. Salary isn’t brought up during the interview process.

If a company is truly interested in you and they believe you will be a good fit for their business, one of the first things they will want to find out is if they can afford you. If salary is not brought up or if the interviewer seems to have an issue with salary expectations, it could be a sign that ultimately it doesn’t matter to them because you are not being considered for the position.

7. The interview ends without talking about the next steps in the process.

Most companies require much more than just one single interview before you are hired. After that initial interview, most companies will want to schedule a follow-up interview or at the very least check your references. If after your first interview there is no mention of what the next steps are, there is a good chance you aren’t getting the job.

All of the signs we have discussed can help you determine how well you did in your interview. If all signs point to a bad interview, do not despair. Bad interviews do not mean you are a bad candidate, just a bad fit for that company. Remember, interviews are designed to help both the company and you determine if the job is a good fit for both parties. If it’s not and you believe the interview did not go well, brush yourself off and be thankful for the opportunity and keep searching until you find that perfect job.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

 


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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

How To Know If A Company Is The Right Fit For You

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Jan 06, 2020 @ 08:45 AM

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The savvy candidate knows that the interview is an opportunity to not only be vetted by a hiring manager, but also to vet the company. Think of the interview as a fact-finding mission not only about the position, but also about the company culture. The job you're interviewing for may be everything you want, but is the company? 

Here are some important clues to look for when interviewing, and can help you decide if a company is a right fit for you

 

How to know if the company is the right fit

Lobby Life

Arriving early for an interview is always good advice - it prevents rushing into a meeting flushed or frazzled - but it also allows you some time to watch the company at work. Consider the lobby as a window into a company’s soul - take this moment to look around and listen.

Are employees friendly toward strangers and each other, or are they rushing about with sour expressions? Is the receptionist rude and dismissive or do they greet you with a smile? You’re not looking for a Stepford Wives experience here, but you will get an idea of what daily life is like just by sitting in the lobby and watching the flow of people in and out.

 

Your Network Knows

Just as you might research a potential employer on Crunchbase to better understand their growth, funding and growth trajectory, you need to mine your social connections to find out what it’s really like on the ground. Contact 1st or 2nd degree LinkedIn connections who have worked for, or do work at the company. Write them a polite note explaining that you have an interview set up and would love to ask them a few questions.

Keep your inquiry specific to their experience. You’re looking to hear what kind of person thrives there, what the feel in the office is like, how do they perceive the work culture, and do they find it a good place to work.

A word of caution: this is not an expedition to weed out office dirt -  what you’re looking for is a peek into the culture.

 

Separate The Wheat From The Chaff

Company policy is one thing, how it’s actually implemented a whole other. It’s all fine and well for an employer to state that they support employees working from home, or that they always try to promote from within. But whether or not they actually operate in accordance with these policies is what you need to be looking for. Ask for specific examples of people who have moved up the ranks, as well as attrition rates.

Who leaves and after how long can tell you a whole lot about the tenor of the company.

Be watchful also for aspirational policies - perhaps they are programs a young start-up might hope to one day implement, but are not in the position to follow through on at this time. If this is the case, you’ll have to weigh the company they are, against the company they hope to be, and decide if it’s worthwhile.

 

What It's Like Interviewing For A Company Is What It's Going To Be Like To Work For Them

The interview process can take a very long time from start to finish In fact, according to a recent article in Fast Company, a software engineer may have to endure 35 days or more during the interview process. So judging a company by how long they take to make a hiring decision may not be the best metric.

What you do need to look at is how they operate during the interview. A company's vetting and hiring processes are highly valuable data sets to consider. Everyone knows first impressions matter, but when considering a new employer, it’s the 2nd, 3rd and 4th impressions that reveal how the company operates on a day to day basis.

Keep your eyes open throughout the hiring process to make certain that the company is a good fit for you. For more on company culture, read here.

 


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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

Is A Cover Letter Important?

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Dec 06, 2019 @ 03:00 PM


Is a Cover Letter Important

When talking about job applications, I always used to say that a cover letter was useless. 

It’s just more stuff to write.  I wasn’t a fan of the cover letter, to say the least.  While they were the norm until about ten years ago, thanks to online applications cover letters have become arguably outdated and certainly less-used.  

Today, the rule of thumb seems to be to not include a cover letter unless an employer specifically asks for one.  In fact, many employers disregard the cover letter when they see it. They just skim through the resume and throw the cover letter out like last week’s leftovers. 

Unfortunately, these employers miss the importance of the cover letter.  

 

The Importance of a Cover Letter

A cover letter actually gives the employer a great opportunity to really see who a candidate is prior to the interview.  

When well written, they can be a powerful communication tool.  Now, crafting this tool can take some serious word-smithing. So don’t just breeze through the writing process. Your cover letter should be a work of art and it can make you or break you in the eyes of a possible employer.  Consider this: your cover letter creates your first impression in the mind of the reader; definitely do not take it lightly.  

That said, a cover letter gives you a great opportunity to showcase your strengths in a longer format.  You can use a cover letter to really focus and elaborate on the specific qualities that make you the right fit for a position. They are the first step to getting that interview and eventually getting that job.

 

Cover Letters Can Help You Stand Out

These days, in the eyes of some, the cover letter is a dying document. Maybe it’s true that employers just don’t have the time to read through both the resume AND the cover letter.  And, yes, even recruiters don’t need a cover letter to place somebody, either. I can’t complain. Like I said before, I despise writing cover letters. But in reality, cover letters count. Without one, you miss the early chance to put yourself above the competition and really showcase what makes you unique.

 


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

To Hire The Right Candidate, You Need To Do This First

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Fri, Nov 15, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

How to Hire the Right Candidate

Hiring managers know that filling vacancies can be time-consuming. Reading through resumes, conducting phone interviews, and vetting potential candidates can end up taking you away from your other responsibilities.

But taking the time to get the job done right from the very beginning, even before you start collecting resumes, can end up saving you time, money, and headaches. Spare yourself the struggle and do it right the first time.

Here are some important aspects to consider before you start seeing candidates for an opening.

Understand The Company

Let your mission statement be your guide to success!

A well-crafted mission statement, one that reveals the character of your company is one of the best ways to attract desirable candidates. Make sure that the key qualities that your company values are easily identifiable in all of your materials. If a company’s main focus is “Going Green” and the potential candidate disregards the practice of taking care of the environment, then maybe they're not the best pick for the position. When interviewing a candidate, ask how their personal goals intersect with the company’s goals. If both are in alignment, you could have a very good match on your hands.

Understand the Role

Before the interview process, it's important that you understand the open position and obligations that are embedded within it. Any vacancies should be thoroughly explored before you hand a job description off to human resources. Discover faults or pain points in the role. Find out why the position requires certain specifications.

A study from the National Business Research Institute has shown the two leading factors that attribute to a failed hire are poor skills match and unclear performance objectives.

This isn't to say that you need your human resources department to become experts on all company roles. However, you do want them to be familiar with the tasks that are performed during an average day, so the filtering process can run at a much more efficient pace. Putting yourself in the shoes of the candidate could further help your search to find the most qualified employee.

Also, take the time to understand why this certain position was left vacant. See if you can look through old employee concerns and reports. If you can assign a problem, then you can apply a solution. 

Now, Take Your Time (But Not Too Much Time)

Hiring managers need to strike a balance between finding qualified candidates and doing so in an efficient and respectable amount of time. Taking too long to close a hire can result in the loss of a worthy applicant, and rushing the process can lead to a bad match. According to the National Business Research Institute,  43% of employers cited that filling vacant positions in a limited amount of time resulted in unfit and unqualified hires.

You can think of the hiring process as oddly similar to the dating game. In a technical aspect, two parties engage, shape a bond, and establish goals that pursue together. When a company hires someone, they are granting them access to numerous resources and assets. An unsuccessful match can result in loss of time, money, and in some cases, can lead to security vulnerabilities.

Having to refill a position after a failed hire is a time consuming and costly endeavor. Find your balance and place the right candidate the first time.  


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Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring, recruiting

4 Ways to make the most of an Employment Gap

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

How to Make the Most of an Employment Gap

As a job seeker, ready to return to work after a hiatus (either planned or involuntary) accounting for a gap on your resume can be daunting. But whether you’ve been out of the job market for a few months or more long-term, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that prospective employers view your hiatus as time well spent, rather than damaging blank space in your work history.

4 Ways to Make the Most Of an Employment Gap

1. Be Honest About Your Employment History

As much as you may want to try to make an employment gap disappear when getting back into the workforce, you must embrace it and fill the gaps. You are much better off explaining gaps in employment than trying to make believe it never happened. 

If for example, your hiatus was devoted to raising children, include it as such on your resume: 2014-2019 Time off to take care of a sick family member, etc. Be clear and honest, and know that having taken time off doesn’t make you a less valuable employment prospect.

2. Highlight Volunteer Work

It may be tempting to minimize the impact volunteer work may have on your career, but if you step back, you'll see that you gained valuable skills and experience by working with a non-for profit institution or school. 

By highlighting this experience you are showing hiring managers that you are willing to use your skills to be a positive force in your community, that you are passionate about certain causes, and you are engaged in building new skill sets.

 

Volunteering as a pathway to employment

Don’t forget to avail yourself of those connections you made when volunteering when you’re looking for your next position. Even if they are not able to help connect you with prospective employers, they can write recommendations for your LinkedIn profile and provide you with endorsements.

3. Keep Learning 

Employers will be less apt to balk at a gap if you’ve been busy working on your education. And understand this is not a bias that’s limited to University or degree work. Take the time during your hiatus to get current with certifications and training and learn new skills. Employers will see you’ve been dedicated to keeping your skills sharp, and are returning up to date with the latest trends in your sector.

4. Practice Your Story for Job Interviews

When it comes to the job interview, you need to be able to explain your hiatus in a way that allows you to be seen as an exciting prospect. Don't fall to the temptation to apologize for your hiatus. All that's called for is a concise explanation to help remove any doubts about your readiness and appeal to a potential employer. Know what you have to offer and be ready to voice it in just a few sentences. Understanding how to tell your story may take some time and practice, but it will deliver dividends when you are pitching yourself for a job.

Practice telling your story with both friends and people who don't know you so well - it will help strengthen your pitch and work out any hesitation or weakness.

While there may be a pervasive bias against people who have left the workforce for a hiatus, how you handle it can make all the difference in your job search

 


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If you’re ready for to end your hiatus, or are looking for a new job, contact one of our recruiters here at J.Patrick & Associates. We are an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies and Telecommunications.

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

7 interview tips to blow it out of the water

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Are you prepared for your job interview?

Preparing for the interview takes more than a simple Google search of common interview questions. To make a great first impression you should use every tool in your toolbox to make you a remarkable applicant. Preparing for the interview will help to ease your nerves and ensure that you are ready to speak about your skills and accomplishments like the expert that you are! 

Here are 7 tips for interview success.

1. Start with your Resume

You will have to speak about everything in your resume in great detail. Make sure to have key points to talk about your resume. Review your resume to make sure that you have not stretched the truth in certain areas. Also, be sure to bring extra copies of your resume to pass out.

 2. Question Preparation

Spend some time preparing for the actual interview questions, think about ones that may come up and develop answers that will address what the employer is looking for. Also, formulate questions that you'd like to ask the interviewer, such as "what was the most challenging project you have worked on while your time in the company?" or "what is the next step in moving forward?" Rehearse your potential answers, but on the day of the interview make it sound natural and not rehearsed. The job description is also a good place to look for ideas for questions

 3. Company Research

Do in-depth research on the company. Learn about the company's mission, history, news events, conferences, and future development. Don't forget to check out the company's social media accounts to discover what the company is doing on a day-to-day basis and its interaction within their industry. You'd be surprised by how much information you can find on companies' social media accounts! Nicole, a Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup says, "By thoroughly researching the employer you increase your chances of making a positive and memorable first impression. I would recommend digging deeper than just general knowledge about an employer.

  • What are the services/products that the company offers?
  • How large is the company? Other locations? How many employees?
  • What is their philosophy or mission statement?
  • What is the company culture like?
  • Do they have other locations?
  • Have they won any awards or received recognition?
  • Do they give back to the community?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • Research the executives and the person you are interviewing with.

The more information you have about a company, the more confident you will feel during the interview, and the better impression you will make.

 4. Leverage Your Network

Make sure to use all of your resources to learn about the internal aspects of the company, especially your LinkedIn connections. Do you know someone who works in the company? Have you attended events of conferences that the company has also attended? Mentioning current employees and events or conferences attended by the company can show how much you know about the company and how quickly you can assimilate to their company. This is also a great way to show off your communication skills!

 5. Talk to Your Recruiter

Make sure to talk to your recruiter! Your recruiter is one of your most valuable resources and should be used to prep and coach you for the interview. Your recruiter will have valuable information on the company that can boost your interview such as specific questions to prepare for, the personality of the hiring manager or the qualities searched for in candidates. Your recruiter can be your potential lifeline and make a difference in the outcome of the interview.

 6. Arrive on Time

Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview, to allow for time to fill out additional paperwork. It will also make a great first impression on the interviewer.

 7. Interview Outfit (Attire)

Make sure to look as professional as possible! While some companies have a more business casual atmosphere, others prefer the traditional button-down and pressed suit image. Make sure that your attire matches the company dress code. For either type of company, make sure your clothes are clean, ironed, and your shoes shined. As the old saying goes "the first impression is the most lasting."


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Interviews, Career Advice

The Pros & Cons of Contract Work

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Apr 15, 2019 @ 12:32 PM

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The word on the street in Silicon Valley is that we are currently in a “gig economy.” What that means is that more and more people are opting to work as independent contractors, as opposed to traditional full-time employment. According to new research, conducted by labor economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger, between 2005 and 2015 the number of Americans seeking alternative work arrangements swelled by 9.4 million. The swing toward contract employment can be explained by several factors, such as the need for a flexible schedule, to the desire for increased autonomy.

But, if you find yourself thinking about joining the growing ranks of contract workers, you need to first understand the pro and cons of this kind of work.


The Pros and Cons of Contract Work

PRO: Potential for Higher Earnings

Companies looking to hire contract staffing because it provides the flexibility they need, it saves time, money and resources. However, they are looking to hire experts, not neophytes. They do not want to invest in training or other onboarding expenses. A contractor who knows what to do and how to get it done in a timely manner is worth top dollar. They come in, do the job and don't put any further drain on company resources.

CON: Increased Uncertainty

The potential for higher earnings is a great benefit of work-for-hire, but there’s no guarantee you will keep working once a contract expires. (no guaranteed job security after contract) And since the nature of the work you’ve been hired to do is finite, you have no guarantee that you’ll make the money you thought you would. Another thing to consider is that the project you were hired to work on can be unexpectedly canceled. All of these factors can add up to increased financial instability --if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid.

And finally, there’s no way of knowing the amount of time you’ll spend between contracts, or during your next job search.  

PRO: Lifestyle Flexibility

According to Randstad’s Workforce360 Study, about 86% of independent contractors reported their level of job satisfaction to be good/excellent. With this kind of work arrangement, comes more freedom. You are able to control your career path without having to wade through office politics for a promotion, pay raise, or time off. You negotiate to get the employment packages that suit you best, and you take as much or as little time off in between contracts. If this type of flexibility is appealing to you, then contracting out may be the best of all worlds.  

CON: Outside Looking In

All that flexibility may be nice, but the price you pay is that you’ll always be the outsider.  Contract work makes it difficult to create connections that might help advance your career further down the road. There’s also the fluid and ever-changing nature of social engagement at work. As we all know, you spend more time at work than at home, so your social life tends to stem from your work life. Relationships are fleeting and long term bonds are rarely formed.

PRO: Increased Technical & Professional Knowledge

You’re an expert in your field and have a certain skill set that companies in your industry want. But, contract work also provides the opportunity to sharpen your expertise and work in different sectors. It allows you to broaden your experience in your field and perhaps gain new skills in other industries. You’re at liberty to choose the skills that you would like to further develop in other industries, allowing you to enhance your CV and marketability for future jobs. It can also be part of your story when explaining an employment gap to a potential employer.

CON: Career Development

The freedom provided by contract work to broaden your technical and professional skills means that you are in charge of your own development. Great, right? Maybe not. Although it feels empowering to be in charge of your own career development, it is a heavy burden to bear. You no longer have the human resources department or a talent management team to ensure that you’re properly trained and qualified for the job. It is now up to you to make sure that your skillset is up to par with the current trends of the industry.

Like everything in life, contract employment has its benefits and drawbacks. Although it might not be a career-long plan, if you’re returning back to the workforce or need a flexible work arrangement, contract work very well might be a great option. Although there’s no fixed amount of time you can guarantee being unemployed between contract positions there are definitely a lot of pros to short term positions.

 

Job seekers looking for contract jobs or a full-time job, be sure to click here to check out all our currently available positions!

 

 

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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

Seal The Deal: The Sales Engineer Product Demonstration Interview

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Sales Engineer Interview

 

The road to a job offer for a Sales Engineer can look a bit different from other roles after the initial stages.

After impressing the hiring manager during your call or video interview, you've had a technical screen, interviewed with a senior sales engineer or perhaps some peers SEs. You might have even been screened by 1 or 2 of the sales reps you'd be supporting.

Now it's time for the final hurdle of the interview process -- the product demonstration interview. 

Whether you've been a SE for years, or this is your chance to step up into the role, there are some key factors to keep in mind as you prep for the demo.

 

The Ideal Candidate Marries Aptitude + Attitude

The ideal candidate for any SE role obviously has to have the technical knowledge and facility needed to support the product. But you know if you hadn't passed the technical screen you wouldn't be preparing to give a demo.

So, your job during the presentation goes way beyond being able to explain the back end of the product. The real point of the demonstration interview is demonstrating that you are relatable, passionate and creative.

Hiring managers are looking for SEs who can both make the tech accessible and clear while instilling trust in the clients. Your job is to be an evangelist for the product, to transfer your enthusiasm and to tell the story of why this is the perfect solution for the customer.

Conveying that you have the perfect combination of aptitude and attitude during your presentation will put you within reach of an offer.

 

Confidence is Key

Since you aren't doing a demonstration for customers you don't have the benefit of discovery or a pre-call. And while you will have done your research on the hiring team, you're not pitching the product to fill a real need for them. In fact, you might even be in the position of having to demo the hiring company's product for them.

And puts you at a disadvantage. Whereas you're accustomed to being the expert in the room, suddenly you're in the position of having to sell people who know more about the solution than you do.

But, that doesn't mean you can't knock this demo out of the park.

And the key to that is confidence. 

We're not talking cocky swagger here. This is the confidence born of practice, research, and deep, well-structured preparation. It's the ability to hold your agenda and convey your enthusiasm.

In some ways, a room full of skeptics is the best test of your talents. If you can convincingly sell a panel of Senior Sales Engineers, the VP of Sales and the hiring manager on their own product, then you can face the toughest customer challenges out there.

 

Share Your Passion

If your presentation is on the subject of your choice, choose something you're passionate about. Pick something you've done the deep research on, and that you can speak with perfect authority about.

We had a candidate do a demo on remote-controlled helicopters - a subject that had absolutely nothing to do with the company's product, but it was a topic he could be an evangelist for.

He nailed the demo and got the job.

 

Close the Deal

Whether you're presenting on your current product, the hiring company's product or your favorite hobby, a successful Sales Engineers knows how to make any set of circumstances work.

You might not wind your demo looking for the sale, but you do want to bring the pitch to a clean close. Just as you know how to convert prospects into customers by from a position of knowledge intent on finding a solution, use that power of creative know-how to get the job.

Engaging with the room honestly - one person to another. Stay on target, explain the functionality of the solution and convey your passion for helping them put a solution to work.

 

Related Blogs:

CYBERSECURITY SALES ENGINEERS ARE IN HIGH DEMAND

HIRING SALES ENGINEERS? OPEN YOUR MIND WHEN IT COMES TO REQUIREMENTS 

 

Looking for your next move? Check out our available Sales Engineer Jobs

                                                            

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Tags: Job Interviews, Sales Engineer