Interviews

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How Big Data and Technology has changed the face of HR

Do you remember typing your resume up on an electric typewriter (lol even I don’t go back as far as the manual typewriters).  One for each company you were applying for.  Back in the 1980’s jobs were in short supply.  It was normal for someone to send out 200 resumes before they received an interview.  Each resume had to be typed individually.  Stuffed into an envelope, stamped and posted or dropped off manually hoping this might give you a leg up on the competition.  Every morning a mini forest landed in the mailroom, sorted into a cart and delivered to the Hiring Manager by the “mail girl” (that was how I started at Ontario Hydro).  Reams of resumes had to be sorted into job categories and then sorted into:  trash, contact, keep on file.  And yes you are right, all these people were then contacted by mail or phone depending on the decision.  Answering machines were in short supply in homes in the 70s and 80s, so it was OK to phone the company to see what the status was on your application.  The next step was storage.  The resumes that weren’t put in the trash were stored in big grey filing cabinets.  After their “shelf live expired” they were archived – which meant put in a box and stored in another location.  There was no recycling back then and we hated throwing anything away.   If you didn’t have a good filing system good luck finding anything in this paper filled “big data” system.

One of the companies I worked for in the early 90’s used to scan 1000’s of paper resumes into their databases every day.  It was a very basic database, name, contact info and a dump of the resume.    

 

Along came the Recruiter

Large companies like IBM, Ontario Hydro, General Electric, etc soon figured out that they couldn’t keep up with the piles of paper resumes coming in.  What to do?  Here’s a great idea let’s outsource it to a “Headhunting/Recruiter” company.  They can deal with all the paper, the follow up with the people we aren’t interested in and do the screening of the applicants we are seriously interested in.  

 

Next step was the Applicant Tracking System “ATS”

The monster job board was created in 1994.  Companies jumped onboard paying the fees to use their online database.  The late 1990s found companies running their own ATS systems.  If you go onto the TD site today there are 21 pages of jobs with the keyword “Developer” in it.  If you are interested in one of these positions, be prepared for 15 minutes of ticking boxes and entering data before you even attach your resume.  Don’t forget anything or – boom – rejected.  Your resume then goes into a MASSIVE database of potential employees.  

The ATS morphed into individual databases for SMBs.  Recruiting companies’s can easily have 100,000 entries in their databases.  Now comes the problem, how do you deal with all this information?  

  • Let’s look up keywords.  Oops that can be an issue because anyone who has written a resume in the last 15 years knows to make sure they put the keywords all over their resume. 
  • Keep it clean, don’t let your DB become a MONSTER.  
  • Keep your candidates active.

Big Data and HR is a 2-way Street

This is where H2H (human 2 human) is still an important part of the HR and Big Data Analytics system.  They have to work together.  What is the most important thing you both can do to keep the system working properly?

  • Databases can easily get overrun with duplicate records.  Don’t send in your resume multiple times with different names or different email addresses.  It just clogs up the search process.  You might be the one who gets lost.
  • Use standard titles, a Java Developer is easy to search on.  A fancy title isn’t
  • Keep in touch – Keep your contact information and resume up to date.  When you change jobs send a new copy of the resume in to your recruiter, or update the companies online DB.  
  • If you are a recruiter send out newsletters and email blasts.  If you are a candidate subscribe to these.  
  • Don’t forget the direct approach – a direct email or a phone call is always the best way to keep your relationship growing.

HR – means Human Resources, hiring a person can’t be done strictly from a database. Resumes are your history, databases are a means of contact.  To land the job you have to bring the H2H into the process.  

informationinterviewwordsearch

WHAT IS AN INFORMATION INTERVIEW  

Boring, you can’t bear another day going into your job.  You thought you were a salesman but hate cold calls.  Graduation day is approaching and you don’t know what to do.  Now is the time to set up some Information Interviews.

An Information Interview is just what its name implies.  It is a way for you to find out information about different types of jobs and companies.

Your first step is to:

  1. Make a list of companies and jobs you think you might like.
  2. Research these companies and job types, both through their webpages and through job search engines like Workopolis and Monster.
  3. Make a list of questions about the companies and the different positions they have

 

Networking is your next step:

  1. Ask people you know who work for these companies if they could recommend someone you could go and talk to about the company and types of jobs
  2. Look around your community.  If you are thinking about banking then the bank manager is a great person to talk to or he/she may be able to recommend someone in head office that would be helpful
  3. Sports teams and gyms are great places to network.  Right away you have something in common so ask them who they work for and how they got started.
  4. Coffee shops, if there is a specific company you are interested in, yes go and hang around the closest coffee shop to their office.  Strike up a conversation
  5. LinkedIn is a great place to find people who work for specific companies. Ask to connect with them and then follow their updates.  LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to find out about different things that are going on in your field and to connect with people with the same interests.
It is important to remember that this is an Information Interview not a Job Interview.  So you are the one asking the questions, you are in control.  Break your interview into 4 parts:
  1. A brief introduction of yourself:  your education, your achievements and your interests.  This gives the person you are interviewing an idea of your skills and how they will relate to different positions in their company.  Explain to them you are trying to get into a new field or have just graduated.  Tell him “I really don’t like doing cold calls”, “I love working with numbers”, “I have a real interest in people”, etc.
  2. Next would come questions about the company:  trends, challenges, organization, etc.
  3. Specifics about particular jobs will be the most detailed part of the interview:
    1. what training is required
    2. what type of things would be done in a typical day
    3. what do you enjoy most/least about your job

4.  Finally a thank you for their time and ask if they can recommend/refer anyone that may be able to help you in your job search/analysis

 

This person is doing you a favour so remember:
  1. Be punctual
  2. Be prepared
  3. Be polite
  4. Bring a resume but DO NOT give it to them unless they ask you for one.
  5. Dress professionally
  6. Don’t waste their time

Finally as with anything in life, this person has done you a service and set aside some of their time to help you so remember to send a Thank You Note as soon as possible after the interview.  And don’t forget to add them to your network on your social media sites.

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

JobTips 293

Job Tips

#JobTips: Please don’t use grey for the font colour of your #resume, it is very hard to read.  Stick with black

 

JobTips 293