The Haunting No Recruiter Likes

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Imagine someone agreed to come visit your house. You prepare delicious food for them, change your routine for the day, tell your family members about them, and even they tweak their routines a bit. The guest does not show up. You try to call them up, leave messages but there is no reply of any sort. You get worried, anxious, frustrated and somewhat angry at the same time. This, in a nutshell, is ‘ghosting’ in a domestic terminology.

 Now imagine something like this happening in a professional setting. Whether a recruiter believes in ghosts or not, chances are he or she would definitely encounter the phenomenon of ghosting. A ‘ghost’ is any candidate who commits and then disappears often cutting off all contact abruptly.

 Ghosting could occur at any stage. A candidate may agree to show up for interview but when the day of the interview comes, there is no sign.

 A candidate may show up for the interview, ace it, cheerfully agree to all the conditions, and then doesn’t show up on the day of joining the company. Some candidates even clear the formalities and paperwork. Even health check-ups are cleared wherever there’s a requirement. And still there are chances that the candidate just won’t show up at the job. There have been instances when flight tickets were booked by candidates but even those weren’t used!

 Recruiters all over the world would have stories to tell when they received calls from various companies just ‘ghosted’ by the candidates the recruiters had roped in. Or when they got worried about a candidate’s health and safety.

Companies often have to resort to guesswork when ‘ghosting’ takes place. Calls, messages go unreturned. Sometimes even contact numbers are changed, or phones are switched off. Emails go unanswered. Instead of formally quitting, the candidate just stops showing up at the job.

Trends:

Trends are changing in job applying processes. At one point in time, people often used to covet a particular job. At other times, there was also a trend to scan the ‘Classified’ sections of newspapers and apply for a couple of jobs which interested the candidate. Chances are, not all of them would lead to interview call-ups.

Moreover, at one point, companies used to ‘ghost’ candidates after interviews. Only those who progressed to the next round were communicated about the later processes. But now, things have reversed.

Many people apply at multiple places just for the sake of applying. Each new offer is seen as a potential step up, a better opportunity. The scanning process never stops, it seems.

Ghosting is a phenomenon which most of us engage in various aspects of our lives. Things have to be “understood.” People in general would like to avoid confrontations, awkwardness and conflict, and saying ‘no’ or formally quitting could very well lead to all of that. But what makes ghosting at a professional level a hot button topic is the signing of a contract, which entails a commitment. Ghosting after committing is the issue. When a candidate leaves without a formal notice the recruitment process has to then be started all over again, with the company and the recruiters bearing all the costs.

 ‘No’ Problem:

It’s not wrong to apply at multiple places. Multiple job offers are not a bad thing. And it’s only logical that candidates cannot accept all the job offers they get.

(Emergencies and crises come unannounced, and those are exceptions to the case. )

 How to go about with the need to reply in the negative is a huge task for some, especially those who are more on the socially awkward side.

And chances are, candidates have to put up their best behaviour in all circumstances. How to say ‘no’ then, without appearing rude or unprofessional is the question. And someone has to be told ‘No.’

That precisely is the problem: candidates don’t even say no.

An absence of response has come to be equated with saying ‘No.’ An absence of response has come to be considered a response in itself.

 What is the answer here then? How to go about as not to ‘ghost’ recruiters?

 As basic as it can get: communicate.  Whatever is the scenario, say so. If you are probably going to say no, make it clear. If you need to drop out for some reason midway through the process, talk about it, no matter how awkward the conversation might be.

A moment of awkwardness on an interpersonal level can often save hours of anxiety and frustration on an official level.

Success Story: Shifting Times, Mottoes To Live By

Life could be like a rollercoaster ride. It is full of ascents and descents,with a great deal of unpredictability. Careers could be like a car-ride. They change lanes. We shift gears. Breaks and stops may come abruptly, only for the engine to reignite with a greater fervour. We drive our careers in the direction we feel is the best for us. That “drive” is an important requirement to move onward and upwards in life.

Our former employee Mrs. Hetal Tripathi’s  journey is a remarkable one in many respects. Not only is her drive, but her dedication also is commendable.

“God helps those who help themselves” is a phrase which could be applied to Mrs. Tripathi’s trajectory. Her eagerness to learn new things, improve at what she already knew and the amount of hard work she put in to hone her various skills is something that propelled her to success.

“It is a different industry, but accurate process is very important”, she tells us about her work ethic. She is currently the Assistant Manager in training at Tim Hortons, in Canada. The shift from recruitment to hospitality couldn’t have been easy, that too after working in the former sector for around seven years.

She was asked at her interview what did she consider as the best quality of a leader. “Unity…we  care  together, we  grow  together”  was her answer. She got 95% for that answer. Mottoes can give so much meaning to one’s life if one wants to.

The manager at that company once asked her, “You are a person who  never skips process…how?” She said, “I learned that from my earlier organisation.” She imbibed the value we at United HR Solutions encourage. Experience is, after all, important. Good work ethics are contagious.

She recently became Employee of the Month.

Countries change, jobs change, employers change. What you learned, how you learned, from whom you learned, all of that stays.

We are proud to say Mrs. Hetal Tripathi worked with us at one point, and that our organisation (and our motto) could contribute to her future. She says  “I want my other United friends understand the value of our organisation. Proud to be a part of United.”

We are proud to be part of your journey too.

Here are some photos she shared with us.

The Badge of Success
The Badge of Success
Hetal Tripathi, Assistant Manager in Training
Hetal Tripathi, Assistant Manager in Training

 

Degrees Of Knowledge

 

That is the question.
That is the question.

 

There was a time when a degree was the most important thing in the world. The image was common: a newly graduated student, dressed up in freshly-ironed formals, sitting in a line of similar-looking youngsters outside the cabin of the boss, as the receptionist called them out, telling them it was their turn for the interview. Hundreds of Hindi movies must have these kind of scenes.

However, voices in the present environment point to something else. Increasingly, the narrative that is most widely heard is that a degree is not important anymore. Your skills matter. Your knowledge matters. Your experience matters.

One website goes on to take a look at the mindsets of people in India, and how much importance they give to a degree. Accordingly, in the 1980s, “Bachelor’s degree felt like a God-like paper.” Cue the interview scenes mentioned in the opening of this article. Then came the 90s, and apparently, “the Bachelor’s degree lost its charm and you needed a Master’s degree to be recognised.” The 2000s saw the importance of degree sharing its space with “experience and pay-scale.” 2016 onwards, in the current scenario, “college degrees are barely considered when it comes to job and career opportunities.”

This is true in a way. All of us have heard about famous people who dropped out of prestigious institutions, and went on to become extremely successful. In fact, these people and their lives are often used as testimonials to the narrative: you don’t need a degree to be successful.
Forget about these famous examples, many of us know people, within our close circles who have made their lives well, and they don’t happen to possess a degree.

There is another scenario that is getting increasingly common: people who do jobs which are completely different from the subject they hold their degrees in. Engineers becoming film-makers, businessmen and -women, writers is not a shocking story. Or perhaps not pursuing a Master’s in the subject you did your Bachelor’s in is no big deal. So many people around us have done it.

All this leads us to a question which might actually be called a FAQ- a frequently asked question- is a degree important now?
And the answer, contrary to the popular narrative is not a simple YES or NO. In fact, the dreaded two words could be considered an answer: it depends.

Let us think about it.
Why are we starting to believe there will always be a disconnection between one’s degree and one’s skills and knowledge?
Can a person who has a Commerce degree suddenly get a job as an Architect?
Even if the person has a deep interest in the subject, and has studied a lot about Architecture in his free time, would he be able to match the level of an A-grade student of Architecture who has put in time and efforts in the degree? Many colleges and universities have made internships mandatory or at least they are encouraged so that one doesn’t fall behind in the experience aspect.

A person with a BSc in Microbiology might be very well-read and interested in Theoretical Physics. But does that mean she can simply become a Professor of Theoretical Physics based just on her interest as opposed to a person who possesses multiple degrees on the subject?

A graduate in English might be able to teach basic level Computers in primary schools. Should he teach at a college level, is the question.

The debate about the importance of a degree should not be reduced to simplistic answers.

Some ‘shifts’ or choices of professions are relatively easy. This might come across as a little unfair but it is something to think about. Avenues of writing, marketing, the fine arts, entrepreneurship require innate skills, or at the very least some sort of training. But you could train for them on your own. There are online and offline courses offered, books available. And you just need a portfolio in some cases to prove that you are indeed good at it, even though you might not hold an official degree in the subject.
Sometimes, the candidates are provided training by the company they will be working at.

There are countless scenarios in accordance to the profession one decides to go for.

One thing clear from all of this is that you need skills and education. Degree or no degree is a complex issue. Famous college dropouts like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the late Steve Jobs did have a very deep understanding of what they excelled at. They were “educated” in a way a degree could not do it. How many of us have that vision and courage? More importantly, how many of us have that drive and self-motivation or the resources to be educated, with or without the pressure of a degree?

It is important to have a plan if you do decide to not go for a degree-based education. Skills and knowledge are important. The question is in what way the degree or the absence of it would or would not contribute.

Do You Need A Resume Or A CV?

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You are done with your education, and you now feel ready to take on the  world of work.

Or you are just planning to get back to working after that much needed  sabbatical.

Your little one now goes to school and you finally feel you have enough time to rejoin the office after years.

BUT… there’s always a BUT, isn’t it?

The companies ask for a CV. You see the menacingly familiar word ‘resume’ all over the place. You have no idea how to go about creating it. You vaguely remember learning to create something like that in school, but that was years ago! Feeling overwhelmed to some extent is natural but that  shouldn’t drag you down, right? Especially right at the supposedly first step.

 

Preparing a resume and/or a CV (yes, the two are a bit different: we will get  to it soon) could be a daunting task for many. After all, to a great extent  “it  gives you away.”

So, here is a little guide as to what all you should look out for and what all you could include while making a CV.

 

First things first, let us get our concepts clear! Earlier there used to be a huge difference between a CV and a resume. But now the only difference is essentially of the length. Both include a summary of your work experience and education; only, the resume is ideally supposed to be just a page long. A  CV, short for  ‘curriculum vitae’  could be a little more detailed, with two or  three pages.

 

‘Resumes’ are used in the United States, Canada and Australia. CVs are  used everywhere in the world including the UK, New Zealand, Asia and the  European Union.

If this is a bit too complicated to understand, the good news is that the two terms are used in an interchangeable manner in India, New Zealand and South Africa.  You could now just focus on creating a CV and tweak it according to the country where you have applied.  (Source)

Now, let us get to creating one!

You need to list down your skills, that is, your key expertise. These are what the recruiters would screen through.

Your work experience needs to be added. You begin with the latest, then the one before, then the one before (you get the drill, right?) and right up  to your first job.

 

You also include your work tenure. You have to be particular here:include not just the duration but the years of joining and quitting. Make sure to include the location. Basically, where on Earth have you been when you were at this job?

Also, if you have had a particularly short stint at a role or you have had to change jobs too frequently, include your reasons. You don’t want to come  off as a job hopper to the recruiters! Make sure to convey your reliability  this way so that there is no fear that you would suddenly quit or stop  showing up at work.

 

You have to include your job responsibility. What all you handle at your  current job/ what did you handle at your previous job. Make sure to write  only your responsibilities and not blindly copy-paste the ones you might  come across from sampled CVs.

Essentially, you subtly sell and market yourself. It is a job “market” after  all.

 

You continue the self selling and the marketing and list down your educational qualifications. You write down your degree, the institution where you did  your degree from, the year you finished your degree.

 

You include your contact details: your name, very very obviously, but it’s always a good idea to check such a seemingly basic thing. Your E-Mail I.D, contact number, address, Skype I.D  have to be there.

Your age, and date of birth are important because certain jobs do have age limits.

 

The subtle self-marketing continues as you list down the languages you know.

 

You tell your prospective employers what a well-rounded personality you have as you list down your other skills, and your interest areas.

It is important that you are honest. Do not copy and paste. Imagine if everyone copied and pasted a few samples. Every other CV would end up looking the same. We certainly don’t want that, do we? A personalised CV is a lot more attractive.

 

Check, double check, triple check your spellings, punctuation and grammar. You may or may not be applying for the job of a proof-reader but you must use that skill for scanning though your own CV. Ask your trusted friends and family to go over the document. An external observer could spot mistakes you might have overlooked.

Check the layout. Make sure it looks professional and tidy. Imagine your reaction if you were the employer and a CV such as yours came to you.

The format should be that of Word and PDF. Provide the necessary links and URLs.

 

Draft and re-draft your CV if needed.

 

Once you have got a hang of it, and if you want to notch it up a bit, you could check out the concept of video-resumes. They directly showcase your communication skills, personality and your overall presentation. Although you must make sure that they are accepted where you are planning to apply.

Video or no video, using a neat photograph of yours accompanying your CV  is a good idea.

 

Lastly, what not to do: if you don’t have some essential job requirements, you shouldn’t apply. You could be under-qualified or over-qualified for the role. Besides this fact, in case some of your experience matched very well to the job role, then you may apply stating this fact , and highlighting it. Here, you do the self marketing and selling a little loudly and clearly.

Do not list completely unrelated skills. The skills you talk about on your CV should always be relevant to the role you are applying for. This is where tailoring comes in. For every role you should ensure you are highlighting the skills it requires and remove any completely irrelevant skills or experience.

 

It is always a good idea to research online as you go on creating your CV. Make sure you create something original. Use the samples just as samples.

Again, try to use your imagination and see if you would be pleased as an employer/recruiter if you received a CV such as yours.

 

Good luck!

Shaping Your Career in 2017

The year 2016 was quite eventful across the globe. We saw a lot of socio-economical and political changes last year. From Brexit to the US Presidential elections and from Olympics to Paris attacks; it was a happening year.

At job front, the scenario was average because things like Brexit created a lot of turmoil and confusion which took some time to settle down. As far as the year 2017 is concerned, job market experts feel that the scenario will be mixed. Since the new government in the US will impose new policies in the US, the aftereffects will shatter the whole world.

For those who want to step into the professional world or those who want a career lift would require moving cautiously and consciously. Hasty and haphazard decisions could bring utter disappointment and dismay.

If you are a budding talent or a seasoned professional who expects a great boost in the career this year, then the below-mentioned aspects could be really helpful.

Set expectations realistically in 2017

Did you put extensive efforts in searching a lucrative job last year but couldn’t get a breakthrough last year? If yes, then perhaps you put extraordinary expectations. For your disappointment, the coming time won’t bring an exciting job market either.

Entrepreneurs worldwide are moving ahead slowly and carefully, looking at the changes happening worldwide. Even if we talk about the Indian market, then the demonetization impact hasn’t been over yet. Industries are recovering from the setback, and it will take another six months to get recovered fully, and that too if the budget is encouraging.

Hence, you should look for job opportunities that will enhance your professional skills and job knowledge. Even if the salary hike is not extraordinary, you should accept the offer without a second thought. The new position may not be as satisfactory as you thought, but it would make you prepared for further exciting opportunities tomorrow.

Writing authentic / original CV with real facts about your role and contribution – in your own words and with right keywords

Do you feel you couldn’t impress employers last year because the Resume format you have been using for quite some time has become old-fashioned? Yes, it is the right time to work on it in the year 2017.

career-2017

Remember, people do not have time to read the whole array of information. HR managers look for keywords and shortlist candidate that match the selection criteria. Hence, you will not get interview call if you do not have relevant keywords in the Resume, regardless of the fact that you are the most qualified candidate.

Assess your value in 2017

Have you been sticking to the same job for quite some time? It means you haven’t evaluated your worth. You are in a comfort zone and don’t want to take a risk. Remember, those who are afraid of facing challenges do not get rewarded.

Even if you are not in a mood of changing the job today, it is a high time to look around for opportunities. Get in touch with HR managers of other companies or simply talk to a job consultant and you may find a great opportunity waiting at your door step.

If you are completely frustrated with work, then take a break

Well, it sounds absurd. However, those who can afford to keep themselves off from work must do it. Frustration gives terrific stress, and there are long-lasting implications, believe it. Hence, you should resign and do nothing in the year 2017.

Go to your favorite beach or book the tickets for a pilgrimage tour. Visit destinations that you have always been dreaming about. Enjoy late-night parties, Casino and cruise. Get recharged and start searching for new and exciting job offers. It is guaranteed that you will deliver wonders!

Learn a new skill or ask for job rotation

Rolling stones gather no moss; the proverb has lost the meaning in the modern world of multitasking. When you are really serious about shaping your career, you need to learn something new in the year 2017. It could be a new skill (MS Project) or a new job process (material dispatch) or job rotation (ask transfer to some other function).

Certainly, the initial few months will be a nightmare, but you will get hold of the situation eventually. It will add value to your Resume and personal profile.

Hear the footsteps of emerging technology

You need to be proactive as far as the use of new technology is concerned. The world is changing pretty fast. Something you learn today becomes obsolete tomorrow. In the year 2017, you must keep in touch with what is happening around. Read about what is hotcake in the market and grasp it. You need to be proactive to beat others.

Conclusion

The New Year starts with a new hope and a new agenda. Remember, it is not just a date mentioned in the calendar but the right moment to start something path-breaking. If you haven’t been successful in the past using the age-old job search strategy, then start following some out-of-the-box procedure and get succeeded.

Let the year 2017 bring a phenomenal change in your life. Of course, it needs a lot of efforts from your side. After all, No Lunch is Free!