Here’s short video on how a good reference can go bad, and what to do if that happens…
The first time I appeared on the WGN Morning News, I was asked to talk about new careers that most people do not know exist. Here is a summary of the new careers.
Sustainability Expert – Consults with companies to integrate sustainable practices into all parts of their business.
Chief Listening Officer – Analyzes social media posting all over the web to determine what people are talking about and how their employer should design promotions around what their current and future customers want.
Healthcare Liaison – Partnered with a patient by the hospital, or hired by a family, to make sure that healthcare, or eldercare, is optimized for the patient. Families also hire a Healthcare Liaison to make sure their family member is happy, safe, and secure in their assisted living center or in their home.
Talent Management Coordinator – Works for companies in employee retention, mediating between employees and supervisors to make sure employees are performing fulfilling work and do not want to leave the company.
Natural or Green Funeral Planner/Director – Use special training, materials, and procedures to assure that all portions of the funeral process are environmentally friendly.
A big hot button in this election season is the gender-based pay gap. It’s shocking to me that 2017 is right around the corner, and yet this is still a critical topic of conversation. I had the opportunity to discuss this recently with a diverse group of people at a professional conference. I was pleased that everyone (women AND men, various ages and ethnicity) who took part in this discussion group saw eye-to-eye. In general, women shouldn’t have to ‘do’ anything to close a gap that should never exist in the first place. But what about the things that can be controlled? For any position and for every reason, women have to put forth their best job search campaign (a polished, accomplishment-based resume and strong, confident interview skills). When a woman receives a job offer, she must be able to negotiate (strongly and confidently!) on her own behalf for market pay and benefits. Many women start their career at a lower-than-market salary, and then have to spend their most capable years in ‘catch-up’ mode.
Just like her male counterparts, she has to campaign for, earn and be available for management positions and then pass it on by recruiting and mentoring junior-level women. And of course, it’s not just women who have a hand in this. Men must do their part to create a diverse and inclusive environment. When seeking to become a mentor, men should make themselves available to women candidates (which is rare).
The gender-pay gap is not going to be fixed overnight; it requires a systemic overhaul of processes, attitudes and opportunities.
I was recently asked by another career professional if there are any ‘trends’ that candidates should be aware of in this current employment market. After considering the question carefully, two things come to mind:
One trend that won’t be going away anytime soon is that recruiting and interviewing stages have become much more robust – and much more exhausting (for candidates). It’s expensive to bring on a new employee. Employers no longer have unlimited funds to correct a mistake. For this reason, candidates are sitting through more rounds of interviews and employers are taking extra measures to ensure the candidate will be a good fit. Some of these measures are taken before that candidate even comes in for the interview! Candidates can expect their social media accounts will be reviewed, references will be checked and more filters will be put in place. But the good news is that once you’ve been offered a job, you’ve earned bragging rights!
Another trend is that more employers now find their candidates through in-person and social networking. Employers aren’t publicly posting as many jobs like they used to (unless they are required to, by law). For the past few years it was alright if a candidate wasn’t on LinkedIn, or had a ‘skeletal’ LinkedIn profile. That’s no longer acceptable. Having a sub-par LinkedIn profile or a non-existent profile is now just as damaging as having a sub-par resume.
These are the two biggest trends in hiring that I believe are here for the long run.
I recently answered this question on a job seekers’ discussion site:
Job Seeker: “I need to announce my availability on LinkedIn but my boss will see my status. He added me so I had no choice but to accept. What do I do?”
ResuMAYDAY: You don’t need to announce it. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t. If you’re a great candidate, recruiters will find you and talk to you whether you’re employed or not. Recruiters don’t care about your employment status, they care about your qualifications, skills and experience. That means that it’s your responsibility to make sure that your LI profile is up-to-date and uses all the right keywords that makes you visible to the people searching for those keywords.
Recruiters know that the smartest candidates are always open to better opportunities, so seeing that you are currently employed will never be a reason that they don’t reach out to you. There’s no ‘professional courtesy’ among recruiters, employers and candidates and there’s no harm in simply reaching out to you to see if you are open other opportunities.
One other thing – I never recommend that ANYONE puts their unemployment status on LI, even if they are. The unemployed are quickly becoming one of the most discriminated-against demographic. (Some) Employers specifically tell their recruiters NOT to bring anyone into an interview who is not currently employed. If you are unemployed, make yourself available for project work through a consultancy. On LinkedIn, you are ALWAYS employed. And while you’re adding keywords to your LinkedIn profile, now is a good time to go in and update your password, in light of recent LI events.