Blog

A new hire is a big deal. A piece of an unfinished puzzle. A chance to add valuable skills and great energy to your team. Meeting a candidate in an interview is a great first impression, but let's be real: you're meeting their Best Self, not necessarily their Real Self. A potential hire will tell you everything you want to hear, but trying to cut through the fluff can be a challenge.

Enter: the reference.

A reference, usually a former boss or coworker, is your key to getting the real story on your potential candidate. They have shared workspace, email correspondence, and project managements with them, and probably know a thing or two about what makes them tick. With such a valuable resource at your fingertips, make sure you use your time wisely – asking them these questions will offer a glimpse into this new hire.


1) What motivates them?

Are they driven by deadlines? Pushed by penalties? Encouraged by esteem-boosts? Find out what gets them going from someone who knows, and ensure you're pushing your new employee to their full potential in a way that works.

2) What was their role on the team?

In this case, we aren't talking about their technical role, but more or their social role. Every workplace has its own dynamic, and employees naturally find their place from the start. Are they the idea initiator or more likely to let the brainstorm session sit and simmer? Maybe they keep the mood light in meetings. Maybe they're a bit of a morale drag. Who knows? You'll have to ask.

3) In what area would they need support during their first few months?

This is a crucial question for planning your next quarter. Get a sense of your potential hire's problem areas and you won't be caught off-guard when some subpar skills show up later.

4) Can you name a situation when this candidate has gone above and beyond?

The answer to this question won't be as revealing as the speed at which it is answered. If an instance is recalled quickly, you can assume the candidate goes beyond their expected duties fairly often.

5) Would you hire them again?

Perhaps the most important question to ask, the answer to this sums up the reference's overall impression of the candidate and indicates whether this person is worth hiring or not. Whether the answer is yes or no, be sure to press for an explanation.

6) What conflicts did they have? How were they resolved?

As they say, "beautiful sunsets don't exist without cloudy skies." There's a chance even the most attractive candidate has had some clouds in their professional past. Learn more about how your candidate responds to pressure and conflict with a question that's bound to get an interesting response.

When dealing with a potential new hire, don't make any assumptions. Put some effort into your discussions with references, and get the valuable information for making your decision!

Posted: 9/24/2019 12:29:26 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


When you're deep in a job search, it's not always easy to find exactly what you're looking for. You've probably considered altering your ever-changing checklist of "wants" to accommodate a less-than-perfect position at a great company (or vice versa), but would you be willing to change the job type you seek?

contract_jobs

2018 was the first year that contract workers at Google outnumbered direct, full-time employees. If Silicon Valley continues to set the trend, it seems that contract work is the future. The flexibility and easy connections to top talent is appealing to companies and candidates alike.

If a new full-time position is on the horizon, it can be very beneficial to your career to consider contract work. We'll tell you why!

1. Get hired full-time

More and more employers are treating a contract term as a trial period rather than utilizing it as a temporary position. Given the chance to prove yourself, you could easily secure your future role as full-time employee in a matter of months. A company may also need more staff but lack the established budget for a new full-timer, instead filling a contract role to prove the payback to the business.

2. Try out a company

This period is as much a trial period for an employer as it is for you. Avoid that usual nagging question during the interview – "Will I like it here?" – the pressure is off! See how you're feeling about the management, workplace, and position. If you aren't sold after the contract ends, you're able to move on to something different.

3. Add big names to your resume

Spice up your resume – let's put something impressive on there! A big name company will attract the eyes of a hiring manager, but full-time employment is tough to come by. A rigorous interview and hiring process (not to mention a huge applicant pool) leaves many worthy candidates in the dust, but contract positions can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

4. Receive full-time benefits

If a lack of time off or health insurance is plaguing your brain, you don't have to worry. Many employers are realizing their contract workers play a vital role in the success of the company, and they've begun to offer benefits comparable to a full-time employee. Also, contract positions available through a staffing agency are sometimes provided with benefits like paid time off, or medical, vision, and dental care.

5. Add new skills, or revamp old ones

Use the opportunity of a new job to bulk up your creative tool belt. Add some new skills, get comfortable with different programs, and familiarize yourself with a different department than usual. Temporary employment is a great time to get some experience (on paper) in a territory previously uncharted.

6. Make new connections

You know what they say: network, network, network! This is an  easy in for a new group in your web of contacts. Even a quick project can get you added the contacts list of a handful of new people. With estimates that over 85% of open positions are filled through networking, it's one of the most important facets of your professional career.

Posted: 5/31/2019 4:29:32 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments