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My job search: the ups and downs of my experience as a candidate

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My Search Begins

Before starting at Mighty Talent Group, I spent about a year looking for a new position. I was in a job that didn’t challenge me, and left me feeling very unfulfilled at the end of my days. I decided I needed to move on and find a job that inspired me and helped me grow both professionally and personally.

The job I had paid well, I had co-workers that I genuinely enjoyed working with, and was at a company that offered amazing benefits to their employees. Because of this I spent my time searching only for the perfect jobs that would be worth leaving my current position for. I was picky about the jobs I applied for, only applying to about three or four jobs a month. These jobs I applied to were perfect. They were everything I wanted in regards to job responsibilities, company size, benefits, commute, and management style. I passed over positions that were unclear about day to day responsibilities and generally moved on if there was no information regarding the company itself and its core values and beliefs regarding management and employee appreciation.

My #1 Candidate frustration

Much of my frustration in the application process came from extremely lengthy applications that just asked me to repeat information that was available on my resume. I am all for highlighting important information from a resume, but if I’m going to spend over an hour applying for a position, I feel there are better questions and details to be obtained than simply copy pasting information. There are so many questions that could have been asked in these applications that would have helped the recruiter or hiring manager ascertain which candidate would be a better fit, and it felt like a waste of my time and theirs. Below are a few questions that I feel could be a game changer on any application –

  • What specific skills or experience make you believe you would be the best fit for this position?
  • What are your long term goals, and how does this position fit into those plans?

My #2 Candidate Frustration

The second frustrating thing about applying to these jobs was the shocking lack of response. As someone who has helped in the hiring process in the past, I understand the amount of applications that filter in after posting a position. It is unrealistic to hope that you hear from every job you apply for, but with today’s technology there are ways to automate some of the communication. Even a generic email stating your application went through correctly can go a long way in boosting a candidates morale.

Communication and Closure

Once a recruiter or hiring manager reaches out to a candidate, there should be an expectation of closure. If there is a moment when the manager or recruiter decides the candidate is not a fit for this role, they should make it clear that the person is no longer being considered for the job. Communication with candidates, even when it’s a “no”, is the most important piece of the hiring process. You never know who the person will speak to or what they can post online that may damage your company’s reputation, or what other roles you may be hiring for in the future that would be a great fit for this candidate.

While looking for a new job, I had some great experiences, as well as some frustrating ones. I met some really honest hiring managers, and great recruiters that actually cared about what I wanted, and were very clear when I was looking into roles that would not fit my needs. The honesty and genuine desire to help me find a role that fulfilled me from almost everyone I encountered shocked me. With time and much patience I was able to find a new role that suits me perfectly. I am completing tasks that I have been comfortable with for years, as well as learning new things every single day. I learned so much in my journey to find the right position, and so much of that is attributed to the kindness and understanding of others.

If we can all take a step back and look at every aspect of the hiring process through an applicant’s eyes, the process will be more enjoyable, lead to better, more qualified hires, and happier employees in the long run. The main component to focus on is communication and feedback. Each candidate brings you possibilities or referrals and word of mouth promotions, so recruiters, hiring managers, and hiring companies have a responsibility to be honest and respectful with each possible candidate.

Work Tips

Preparing your company for your vacation

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There is nothing better than planning a big vacation for yourself or your family. While we all spend hours doing research on booking the cheapest flights and hotels, buying travel sized toiletries, and packing our bags, there is much more that should go into planning any big vacation away from work. We focus on the things we need to make our vacations great, and often times forget to consider the things we need to do to ensure everything runs smoothly at home and work while we are gone.

I recently took a two and half week vacation with my family, and while I had the most amazing time, 13 days is a lot of time to be away from any job. If you have an “office” job like mine, taking that much time off often means someone else is doing your job for you, on top of their own. In order to set your co-workers up for success there are steps you must take before leaving on holiday.

  1. Communication, communication, communication. Before you leave, set up a group of people who can support each other in case someone you rely on ends up sick. Be sure anyone you work with on a regular basis is aware of your vacation before hand, discuss any and all ongoing projects, and delegate appropriately and clearly.
  2. Training. Share any resources you use to complete your daily tasks, create work instructions, and even walk your co-workers through your tasks step by step if needed. The more prepared you leave your team, the less you will need to worry about things being completed.
  3. Set a system of Checks and Balances. All the training and prep in the world can only prevent so many issues. Cross training multiple co-workers on your tasks will ensure a system that allows others to double check any work or ask for help if needed. You can also set parameters to each task in a checklist, ensuring each step is properly followed. 

 

 

Setting up your co-workers for success while you are gone may seem like a daunting task, but it will save you and your employer grief in the long run. Imagine spending time while on vacation answering phone calls or emails to solve an issue that could have been handled without you. Making sure everyone is trained is your responsibility if you want to truly “unplug” while on vacation.

If you do everything you can to ensure things run smoothly with you gone, it truly is possible to take a vacation and never think about work. While on vacation with my family we ended up in a remote area with no WiFi for almost two weeks. Complications like this can arise on any vacation, and being prepared will ensure you have no need to worry about lack of communication. Being able to truly unplug while not worrying about business is possible if you set yourself up for success before you even step foot in the airport.