Thursday, November 18, 2010

I can’t leave unless it’s for a Promotion…Really?

Last week toward the end of my blog I was commenting on how the most liked people, not always the most gifted people, receive promotions. I intimated that I was going to expand on that topic this week. That comment was in response to the number of candidates who have told me that they can’t make a move unless they get a promotion. I typically say something like, “OK, but I’m not sure I understand, can you explain what you mean?” They think I’m a bit off at this point though they still go on to tell me that since they’ve been there x number of years they are likely to get a promotion. Further, if they don’t receive that promotion, someone else is going to hire them at the next level because they deserve it.

While it may be true that you are qualified for a higher level position, many companies feel that if you truly deserved be at a higher level, then your own employer would have promoted you. In fact, as I read most resumes, the first time someone becomes a manager it is from a promotion in the vast majority of cases. This explains why companies feel as they do.

The candidate wouldn’t have to change jobs to become a Director if he/she were already believed to be deserving of the role. The reason why they aren’t going to a higher level with another company is that when companies hire an executive, they want someone who is going to hit the proverbial ground running. This person has a better chance of becoming a Director after making a lateral move, because most promotions happen internally. Also, if they aren’t getting promoted due to someone who dislikes him or her, they have a chance to start fresh with everyone.

Wait a minute; is this making business, and management in business, sound like politics? Clearly they have at least one thing in common, they are both popularity contests. Smile, someone’s paying attention!

Friday, November 12, 2010

HR for Better or Worse

Yesterday Yahoo posted a great article on their home page, “10 Things the HR Department won’t tell you.” The article covers everything from getting an interview and passing its initial screening to staying off HR’s radar screen while employed. The author, Kimberly Fusaro, makes a lot of great points. I would like to expand upon a couple of those points but raise an issue with one of her statements.

My argument comes in the opening paragraph where Fusaro, referring to HR, states it’s their responsibility to make sure you’re doing your job well.” I disagree whole heartedly with this statement. I believe HR has a lot of important functions, including and not limited to: making sure people adhere to personal conduct policies, dress codes, finding the best benefit package for the company’s employees, ensuring everyone is legally authorized to work in the US and everyone is doing their job instead of socializing and surfing the web. These are important functions. The responsibility of making sure that you’re doing your job well however falls squarely on the shoulders of you. Further, it’s your direct Manager who is responsible for providing the tools you need to do the best possible job, while guiding and mentoring you to the best of his or her ability. I believe in some respects HR is like High School Principals, you want to stay out of their office but have good rapport with them.

The article also mentions that “Social Media stalking’ has become the norm” when it comes to determining whether or not to call a candidate in for an interview. This I couldn’t agree with more, however what was not mentioned was the back door reference check which is partly enabled by the social media and is becoming more and more prevalent. These days HR and Hiring Managers go well beyond the references that you provide upon request, of course. The norm is becoming, I’m going to call everyone I know that worked everywhere they worked and if I don’t know anyone, then I’ll check with my friends on Facebook and LinkedIn and find people, call them and say I’m doing a reference check. That wouldn’t be lying but what I’m really trying to do is eliminate you as a potential candidate.

I realize that in today’s world our personal and professional lives converge more than ever, though the safest thing to do is to still have some distance between them. And while it’s OK to hate your boss, it’s not ok to say so on Facebook! There are 1,597 people on Facebook that belong to the Group “I Hate my Boss.” . Please don’t follow their lead, Facebook isn’t just for twenty-something’s anymore, your boss is on Facebook and if he isn’t, his HR Director is.

You may have heard about the girl who was fired earlier in the week for what she wrote on Facebook regarding her boss. In case you missed it, have a good laugh by clicking here

Points 2-9 in the article are great and cover when to show up for an interview, physical appearance, hygiene, how to get hired to work from home, weight issues, ageism, dating a coworker, and internet usage. The 10th and final point is related to your behavior and is titled Your good and bad behavior matter—but the bad matters more.” The first line is, “Promotions have favoritism built in,” which was said by Mary Hladio, former HR Executive and now CEO of Ember Carriers. I want to expand on this one. Mary is 100% right, for better or worse. Have you ever worked for someone who had a great personality though wasn’t able to teach you and mentor you? This is because the most important skill in gaining a promotion is being liked, not how good you are at your job. This is also why if you are at the same company for 5 years and haven’t gotten a promotion and know you do great work, maybe you should start fresh somewhere and make friends with everyone. Maybe its time to consider making a lateral move to a different company to eventually get the promotion you deserve. Maybe that’s a whole other conversation, promotions typically happen internally, not when you change jobs. I think I just figured out what I’m writing about next week. In the meantime, here’s the article that was posted on Yahoo .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tis the Season (Almost)

Dear unemployed or frustrated IT Recruiters,

Finally, some good news! Companies are hiring technologists throughout the country. According to two different reports that track monthly job growth, IT job openings are on the rise. Silicon Valley led the way with a 61% increase in IT jobs vs. November of last year. Significant growth was seen in major cities throughout the US including Chicago, Seattle, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Washington D.C. So if you are employed but feeling stuck due to the lack of recruiting jobs or unemployed and frustrated, rejoice! Any day now a new IT Recruiter spot will open with your name on it. Hang in there, but don’t take my word for it. Read the article -


Dave Jacks