Thursday, June 28, 2018

Top Three Recruiter Secrets Everyone Should Know

Earlier this month I had a lovely conversation with a friend of a friend of a friend who wanted to pick my brain about getting a job in higher education. We had a great chat about her goals and what she could do to land her dream job and as she got off the phone she emphasized how helpful my advice was. She shared that even though she knew that she should be doing all these things in her job search, she felt like she needed permission from someone who was on the receiving end of email inquiries, LinkedIn messages, and informational interview requests...someone like me.

I love calls like these and despite the fact that my schedule is filled with them, they never really get old to me. I think this is, in part, because I am an accidental recruiter.  In my mind, I’m not a real fancy recruiter...I’m simply someone who was on the receiving end of several broken hiring and people management systems who got fed up and decided to give it a shot and see if I could do better. I can’t really believe I have the privilege and opportunity to demystify the hiring process for candidates every day.

I don’t lump myself in with other recruiters because I’m actually something better...I’m just like you! I remember how daunting it is to start a job search, how confusing it is to stare at a blank word document and feel the pressure of writing a cover letter that will make a hiring manager weak in the knees. In many ways, I arrived to the recruiting world as an undercover job searcher and quickly figured out that there are so many secrets to landing a job that really don’t need to be kept secret.

I’m excited to have this space to share more of my musings and will absolutely be sharing some of my secrets with all of you. I’ll also be compiling all my best advice, tips and tricks for a brand new DRG course called Opportunity Knocks: How to Tell Your Story, Leverage Your Network, and Land the Job You Want, which you can register for starting today!

As I work to prepare my curriculum and jam-pack it with all the advice I wish someone had told me...I just couldn’t wait until August to drop some knowledge. So, please enjoy my top three tips for job hunters (aka things I wish I knew as a candidate aka things I wish my candidates knew aka tips from a recruiter who’s actually just like you)
  1. Remember the goal of recruiters and hiring managers is to find amazing candidates. I’ve noticed a lot of hesitation and trepidation around reaching out to hiring managers and recruiters. Some may disagree with this, but it’s my belief that it’s my job to find awesome people to put in front of hiring managers. And it’s hiring manager’s responsibility to hire top talent. If you truly believe you’d be a great fit for a position, find a common connection to make an introduction or reach out directly to the hiring manager or recruiter to introduce yourself. Be sure to be respectful of their time and come with actual concrete questions to determine whether or not you’d be a fit (Hint: do NOT ask them to simply tell you more about the job). In doing so, you are helping them do their job by identifying a potentially great candidate. My day is seriously made when I am struggling with a search and a great candidate slides into my LinkedIn Inbox only to self-identify. 
  2. Keep technology in mind.  A lot has changed in the hiring world in the past few years, let alone decade, and recruiters rely heavily on technology to do their jobs. Take this into consideration as you pursue your search – be sure to view your resume on your phone and computer screen to see how they look (you wouldn’t believe how many times I look at resumes on my phone). Make sure key terms in the job posting are also in your resume and LinkedIn profile. And, please, please…please! Put your last name in the title of your resume. Make it easy for me to find you!
  3. If at first you don’t succeed - stay in touch!  If you really hit it off with an employer but they make the final offer to someone else, it doesn’t have to be over. If you receive generally positive feedback but someone else was simply more qualified or a better fit, be sure to express your ongoing interest, ask for them to keep you in mind, and stay in touch! Previous finalists are a great source of candidates for many organizations and one of my favorite places from which to source because they already made it past the rigors of a previous hiring process.

Are you in the middle of a job search? What are your biggest questions? I’d love to know what you guys want to know. Tell me in the comments below and be sure to sign up for the DRG Professional Development Course where I’ll dive deeper into these tips and many more. You’ll learn how to best reach out to recruiters, how to incorporate those keywords into your resume and LinkedIn profile and how to stay connected with employers throughout your search. Register before July 31 using the code PRESALE and you'll save $50 and get a free (!!!) 15 minutes to pick my brain. 

Stay tuned for more exciting news from the DRG Group - there is much more to come! 

This post was written by DRG Group Member Kathleen Casanova. Kathleen is the Executive Recruiter and Director of Talent Development in the University Development Office at the University of Texas at Austin. In her roles, she has helped hire hundreds of people into their dream jobs and launched formal recruitment, metrics and performance management, diversity and inclusion, internal communications, employee engagement, training and development, and onboarding programs. She will be hosting the DRG professional development course Opportunity Knocks: How to Tell Your Story, Leverage Your Network, and Land the Job You Want starting August 28, 2018. Register before July 31 using the code PRESALE and save $50!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Why Every Nonprofit Needs to Create Video Content Right Now

When’s the last time you took a break from your work, grabbed your phone and scrolled through social media, stopping on the latest video of adorable puppies, kids, or something your eyes just can’t believe? It probably happens to you at least daily. But when’s the last time in your communications meetings at your organization you proposed doing a video instead of another form of communication? Probably not daily.

Here are just some of the facts behind the amazing explosion of video content in our world:
  • YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.
  • More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.
  • One-third of online activity is spent watching video.
  • An initial email with a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%.
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.
  • By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.

Have I made my case yet? We need to start thinking in mobile, video and storytelling first, print brochures last. Do you remember a particular video that moved you to act or touched your heart? Even look at the news, when we see things on video it has triple the impact of just reading about the story. Video makes it real. Video connects us to human emotion. Even video without sound can be powerful!

But when I say video immediately nonprofits cringe and think about budget, branding, and will it be perfect? We’re so obsessed with protecting our images and brand we forget that sometimes the best video content can be raw and unpolished and that donors aren’t judging us on our camera angles! And video is not age specific! It works across all generations! 

Join me for my video engagement webinar in a few weeks where I'll share my best tips and tricks of video engagement. You'll learn from great examples and tragic examples of what to do and what not to do with video. Open your mind, bring your puppies and babies and engage! Until then, I’ll be distracted on Facebook and Instagram watching videos of puppies at work!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Work/Life Balance – the Endless Game of Whac-A-Mole

Remember the awesome arcade game Whac-A-Mole? Where the gophers pop up out of their holes and you have to pound them back down with your hammer? I love this game, and not just because I am enormously competitive and it’s one of the few games I can win against my kids. There’s a sense of excitement in anticipating the next mole and accomplishment when I can clear the board. It’s an endless cycle of surprise, anxiety, and rush to conquer. In the end, I either clear the slate and win, or the crazy mole beats me and lives another day.
As an adult, I feel like my average week is one giant roaring game of Whac-A-Mole.
Back to back meetings. Dinners to cook. Deadlines. Kids’ activities. Bills to be paid. Budgets and business plans to draft. Aging parents. A gazillion emails. Car repairs. Date night. Conference calls. The list goes on and on and we get tired and overwhelmed just thinking about it. The modern American family is faced with more time commitments than ever before, but yet there is the pressure to meet this unrealistic state of “work/life balance”.  The phrase work/life balance is an oxymoron. Even typing it makes me chuckle and shake my head. An urban legend. There are just too many moles and not enough time or hammers.
You can find endless advice on how to accomplish work-life balance…everything from scheduling your days to exercise to self-care to limiting distractions to turning off email. There’s no end to the quick fixes or habits to develop. All of these are very valid components and do play a role in a happy, healthy, well-balanced life.
But, it is bigger than that. At the end of the day, it is all about perspective.
I once received the greatest compliment from my boss in a brand new position. She told me a couple weeks into the job that one of the reasons she hired me was because I seemed to have good work-life balance and she admired that. I will never forget that conversation and the way it made me feel. I was so surprised because I sure didn’t feel that I had it all figured out. But, then, long after that conversation, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. That balance came from a deep-seated perspective I had on life and family. See, my husband and I lost our third daughter. She passed away at birth. My family, my principals, my priorities, my life was rocked to the very core. The things that once mattered, no longer mattered. The things I needed in my life were no longer the same.
It was long after her death that I made this connection and fully realized how that event shaped my perspective on both my personal and professional life. The balance that others were seeing in my life was actually just a reordering of what I considered most important. A happy healthy family was number one and a fulfilling and meaningful career was second. And there was time for both. It was born out of a mindset and necessity.
Of course we don’t all need to go through a major life trauma to get this place! And everyone’s order of priorities may be different. But have you ever stopped and thought about how your life would change if the things you love most were no longer there? Are you so caught up in the whacking all the moles that you forget that you are playing a game and whether you win or lose, you still have the things you love most in life? Do you have a healthy, high-level perspective on your life and priorities?
Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for grace and perspective. This will naturally bring balance and you will ultimately conquer all the moles.
This blog post was written by DRG Group member, Sarah Sims. Sarah is a nonprofit consultant and Executive Director, Donor Relations at the University of Florida.