Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel prize for Economics in 2002, notes that humans are notoriously imperfect at judging their own performance. And he is more than qualified to give interview advice! One of the first research projects he worked on involved a military organization that had only a 5% success rate when it came to finding the right candidates. (He improved their results dramatically with a simple technique which I will tell you about later.)
My stat, based on twenty years of recruiting, is that 95% of candidates when asked about how they did in an interview, will answer that they did exceptionally well. While only about 20% actually get hired.
Even stranger, candidates who are generally unsure or more self-critical about their performance in interviews, almost always seem to do better. What’s that all about?
All I can tell you is that many interviews I have sat in on over the years have something in common. Candidates aren’t typically reading even the most basic of human cues. And the biggest reason for that? They’re not really listening.
(Maybe it works the same way on a blind date. People are so busy nervously talking about themselves that they miss what the other person is really asking. This can lead to very awkward moments - or very funny rom-com movie plots.)
So here comes the sports analogy the title hinted at.
A good interview isn’t like playing tennis match where you stand back and wait for the questions to come at you like a served ball. And then smash it back as hard as you can.
Interviews that really work are more like football plays where you’re the quarterback. Where you are actively involved in running the ball, calling the play and keeping an eye on the defense. So, here's some very important interview advice: Look around. See what the other team is up to. Then be strategic and when you finally understand the play, take a deep breath, and throw as accurately as you can.
We tell candidates to listen very carefully to questions and never answer until they fully understand. Interviews are not timed events. And interviewers don’t mind if you give pause and careful consideration to their questions. Or ask follow ups before diving in.
You can even try a technique used by the pros. While you are mustering your response, fill the space with a comment like “That’s a great question” or “I was hoping someone would ask me that.” Give the interviewer some credit too. Their job isn’t easy either.
And Mr. Kahneman from the intro? His client was the Israeli army and they were interviewing new recruits to determine who was officer material. Interviewers who were using their gut instincts to decide weren’t very successful. So Kahneman had them ask specific questions based on skills they were hiring for and scoring each candidate while they were being interviewed. He turned a popularity contest into a more scientific process. And it tripled the success of the project.
Companies are lot smarter today about hiring. Make sure you are telling them what they need to know to hire you. In the end, that great new job may be more about listening than just selling yourself.
By Russ Smith, Randstad Technologies, Winnipeg
A national Randstad Canada survey, Women in Leadership, of 500 female managers and executives reveals that while female leaders feel progress has been made, there remains much to be done. Their perceptions of obstacles – including outdated stereotypes about female managers, lack of mentoring and lack of workplace accommodation for family – are reinforced by other research.
We have come a long way – in 1980, women earned 60.2% of men’s wages and accounted for 35% of the workforce. Now, women earn 81% of men’s wages and women make up 46.4 % of the US labour force. When all factors are held constant – education, years of experience and so on, women still earn less than men. A report released recently by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute called DiversityLeads also shows that women are significantly under-represented in the senior most positions in virtually every sector. Similar to the perceptions noted in Randstad Canada’s survery, it also confirms that notions of leadership are highly gendered and stereotypes persist. Women are less likely to promote themselves and their achievements. When they are successful, they are more likely to credit the team or circumstance and when they fail, they are more likely to blame themselves. Ironically, when women exhibit characteristics which are associated with leadership – confidence, self-reliance, dominance, self-promotion – they may face a backlash and criticism. They are held to a higher standard of “likeability” than men.
In spite of these challenges, however, we see women rising to the top in greater numbers than ever before. The Diversity Institute’s profiles of successful women reveal strategies that can help advance other women. Some of the tips include:
- Focus on results. There is no substitute for performance.
- Take a hard cold and objective look at your strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on the strengths, address the gaps.
- Develop and nurture networks. Be sure you are known and have access to the “unspoken rules”
- Find a mentor, be a mentor. Both are great ways to learn.
- “Display your excellence.” Many women do not promote their accomplishments. You cannot assume because you work hard that people know what you do.
- Make demands and learn to negotiate. Lots of research indicates that men are more likely to ask for what they think they deserve.
- Be an ally not a bystander. The challenges experienced by women are shared by others – visible minorities, aboriginal people, people with disabilities and different sexual orientations – standup for others and they will stand up for you.
- Take risks but judge how far to “push the envelope” and pick your battles.
By Wendy Cukier, Vice President Research and Innovation, Ryerson University and Founder, Ryerson's Diversity Institute
A recent Randstad survey, with a sample of more than 500 Canadian women in management positions, highlights perceptions that may be surprising to many of us, or spark pride, but may also give precious hints on the challenges women are facing. The main source of motivation for women is personal: they want to progress because they are passionate and want to accomplish themselves, and they want to communicate that passion around them, in their daily lives. They perceive that having a family has a bigger impact on their career than their spouses’ career. More than half of the respondents feel that it is as difficult (or even more difficult) now, than it was in the past , to meet the demands of both their work and family obligations. The majority also believe that their male colleagues have easier access to the best and most interesting projects or positions, and that they are not as well paid as men! Are Canadian women neglecting this aspect in their own negotiations, considering that compensation is a less important factor motivating their efforts to progress in their careers? Are these results reflective of the tendency for women, as it was documented by the Catalyst Group, to undermine their own accomplishments? Do women need more coaching and mentoring in order to bridge that gap? Maybe they already have all the tools they need to make it happen?
In Quebec, we observe slight differences in terms of perception: Quebec is the only province where women don’t have, in majority, the feeling of having to take on all of the burden of the tasks related to their family life, on top of their professional obligations. Women in Quebec are the ones who seem to have the least obstacles to overcome. Do they perceive they receive more collaboration from their spouse than elsewhere in Canada? Are male executives in Quebec more familiar with their spouses’ situation, and therefore more flexible ? Has the government influenced that perception because of some of the measures taken? Lots of questions that can generate lots of discussion!!
More than anywhere else in the country, Quebec women feel they can influence and make important decisions at work. They perceive a smaller gap in terms of compensation or career opportunities between man and women, and don’t rely on mentoring programs to move forward. Female leaders in Quebec perceive themselves as autonomous, in charge of their own destiny, but maybe they need to promote themselves even more, and put more emphasis on developing key relationships to help them advance in their careers. Current studies show that these factors are at play and influence the progression of women to higher positions.
Do women have all the tools they need to reach management positions more quickly? Do they need to continue to work as change agents, by promoting their skills and accomplishments, by negotiating their salaries with more firmness, by getting coaching from experienced mentors and key people? Do we have all the cards to bridge the gap between men and women when it comes to promotions and compensation? Tell us what you think in the comments below!!
By Chantal Tardif, Director, Organizational development and Talent acquisition, Industrielle Alliance
Think about it, interviewing for your dream job isn’t so different from auditioning for and competing in a TV talent show. Navigating a tough panel of interviewers and stiff competition is akin to wooing entertainment heavyweights and the voting public. So, when The Voice, The X Factor and Dancing With the Stars hit your TV screens this September, let the contestants help you in preparing for a job interview.
Notice how they do the following:
1. Distinguish yourself from the crowd: To stand out and be chosen, performers cannot rely on talent alone, after all in showbiz, like in the corporate world, personal branding, passion and the right temperament are amply rewarded. One of the most successful strategies tends to be a combination of talent, confidence and dressing sharp.
This strategy comes handy while preparing for a job interview as well. Don't be afraid to give the interviewers a glimpse of you – your aspirations, your work ethic and what you stand for. Remember, subject knowledge can only take you so far!
2. Make the right pitch: Contestants who understand the pulse of the voters and judges do phenomenally well. This applies to your job search too. Over the span of your career, you’ve accumulated a range of knowledge, experiences and accomplishments. Tailoring your pitch and your answers to fit the job and company is one of the best ways to show interviewers your keen interest in the position. Also, don’t forget to ask questions that demonstrate your understanding and research.
3. Stomach criticism and stay positive: We all know that reality show judges can be a tad too dramatic! That said, even real-life interviewers can be intimidating. As they test you to see how you perform under stress and pressure, remember to remain calm, regroup yourself and maintain eye contact. Put your best foot forward and stay positive no matter the question or situation.
4. Show your willingness to learn: Some contestants that make the cut are not as technically sound as the others. What keeps them in the game is their enthusiasm and desire to improve. The same can be said for many job interviews as well.
5. Work with your peers and coaches: As many contestants have learned through the course of the show,there are many things you can do to demonstrate that you are a team player during your interview. Be respectful of your former bosses – Employers tend to be wary of candidates that blame their previous employers for their shortcomings. Also, give examples of teams you have been a part of and teams you have led.
While preparing for a job interview, remember that almost all candidates called for the interview are likely to have the minimum qualifications. Show the right attitude and you might just give yourself the edge you need to tip the scales in your favour!
Looking for a career change? Out of work? Want more work flexibility throughout the year? Find out why Canada temp jobs may be the right option for you.
Temp (or temporary) jobs sometimes have a negative stigma associated with them. It is often thought that employers are taking advantage of temporary workers by denying them the rights that permanent workers are entitled to. However, many amendments to labour laws have been made in recent years that bring the rights of temporary workers closer to those of permanent employees. For example, in Ontario, the Employment Standards Act was updated in 2009 to better protect temporary workers. Under this act, temporary workers have rights to public holidays, holiday pay, minimum wage, overtime pay, limits on hours of work, certain unpaid leaves, and many more*. Temporary work agencies also cannot prevent employers from giving references for temp workers, or hiring temp workers for permanent positions. This puts employees in a better position to find a long-term job.
In today’s crowded job market, there are many benefits to temporary positions:
1. Looking for temp jobs can increase your chances of employment
Some companies may not be able to afford hiring workers for long periods of time. Others only need employees for a short duration to fill seasonal demand or complete a project. By putting yourself in the temp job market, you open yourself up to more job opportunities. Because companies often hire temp workers in large volumes and the job market for temporary work is less crowded, it can be easier to secure temp employment versus permanent employment.
2. You get access to training to build your job skills and improve your resume
Often, job seekers are stuck in a cycle where they can’t get jobs without experience, but can’t gain experience without a job. A temp job will allow you to gain practical experience, while making professional connections within the company to improve your future job prospects.
3. Temp positions can be used as a “try-out”
If you are trying to decide on a career path, temp positions can allow you to dip your toes into a position or industry without making a full commitment. It can also allow you to explore companies you are interested in by getting a first-hand feel for the company’s culture.
4. Temp jobs offer more flexibility
Temp workers have greater control over their time. Because many positions are part-time, those seeking permanent jobs have time to both job hunt and earn an income while they are in between permanent positions. Temp workers also have more freedom to switch from company to company or role to role if they are unsatisfied. In addition, they have the freedom to take vacations or spend time with family between short-term jobs, unlike permanent positions where leave may be limited to two weeks per year.
A 2007 survey by Vox indicates that temp workers have a greater chance of finding employment and are more likely to receive higher wages when they do find a permanent position.
Click to find vacancies for Canada temp jobs.
*Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour
Randstad Canada’s Engineering division has started the third quarter of 2012 off very strong. The month of July saw a 44% increase in demand, compared to the previous month—gains came from mainly permanent demand, especially engineering jobs in Toronto.
Mike Winterfield, President of Randstad Professionals, says, “What we are seeing in our Engineering business is a continued upward trend in permanent hiring over the last 6 months”.
The month of July actually saw the highest demand in permanent job roles year-to-date—engineering jobs in Toronto saw the highest increase. Permanent Engineering jobs in Toronto saw a 57% increase in July; where is made up 32% of the demand in July. Calgary, which made up of 20% of the total permanent demand in July, experienced a 47% increase in permanent demand when compared to the previous month.
Project managers are, in fact, a lot like superheroes. Called upon when there’s a dire need, they manage resources and achieve specific goals within a tight deadline.
Project managers are valued for their versatility, ability to prioritize, and ability to coordinate in order to achieve a strategic vision. So how does that translate into a resume? Well if Batman was applying for a position, this is what his Project Manager resume sample would look like.
Here are several key tips to take away from Batman’s Project Manager resume sample.
Highlight key projects
A project manager’s resume differs from a typical resume because you cannot just go over broad general duties and accomplishments, since what you’re doing varies from project to project. Have specific bullet points for each key project and briefly highlight the scale and accomplishments from each. This will showcase your range and versatility, while making it easier for the hiring manager to understand exactly what you did.
Emphasize Impact Using Numbers
As you can see in the Dark Knight’s project manager resume sample, he emphasizes the contributions he made to each project quantitatively. This means one thing; use numbers!
To emphasize project scale, it’s usually easiest to use financial numbers to illustrate the scale of your project. Use numbers such as the budget you dealt with, but also the number of people/employees it’s targeted to effect.
Impact of Measures
The impact of your efforts must also be quantified for the hiring manager to fully grasp how successful you were in achieving your goals. Use figures such as, cost-savings (real and projected), resulting time-cost savings, and if you succeeded under-budget to make your project manager resume.
List Professional Designations
If you have PMP, Six Sigma, an MBA, or any other relevant designation, list them immediately after your name. Batman did this in his project manager resume sample so that the hiring manager will immediately see something that sets him apart from the rest of the applicants and will be more inclined to further examine his project manager resume sample.
Click here to use your new project manager resume sample to apply to project manager jobs!
By Hamel Khakhria
We are excited to announce that Staffing Industry Analysts, the leading global advisor on contingent work, has released the 2012 list of largest Canadian staffing firms, and Randstad Canada has topped the list for the fourth year in a row!
Randstad Canada Ranked #1
As companies and job seekers increasingly look for strategic recruitment solutions, whether for staffing, for professional specialties or for recruitment process outsourcing and managed services, Randstad Canada is creating a powerful growth engine in the staffing industry that offers the best combination of people, resources, experience, recruiting ability, world-class insight, and customer understanding.
We strive to continually meet and exceed the needs of our clients and candidates. By establishing strong relationships, we gain a deeper knowledge of their unique requirements, allowing us to consistently deliver our services to help them achieve their goals. Our personal approach makes us a distinguished provider in this industry.
We are proud of our continued growth while still holding true to the core values that drive how we do business. For 2012, Staffing Industry Analysts project that the Canadian staffing industry will grow 9 percent. As our industry continues to expand, Randstad Canada is excited to grow along with it and we are poised to meet Canada’s growing staffing needs and to continue to shape the world of work.
*The annual list includes 23 staffing firms with C$50 million or more in 2011 staffing revenue, totaling C$4.1 billion. The data included in the report was collected through an online survey conducted March through June of this year.
By Jan Hein Bax
Canada’s Top IT Job Roles can be found when looking back at total demand from the second quarter of this year—specifically for our Technologies division, which is Canada’s largest provider of IT recruitment.
In Q2, Windows Desktop Support roles were in high demand; more than doubling compared to one year ago. With high demand comes pressure on the supply pool—we saw several clients requiring candidates who can provide support under various responsibilities within a single role. One of the added responsibilities can include being the primary point of contact for helpdesk support calls, which then involves timely and accurate resolutions of issues. This role may also include assisting in various tasks such as, application support and installation, security protection for desktops, notebooks and servers, sourcing of hardware and software, and even assistance in account administration. These are only a sample of the variety of tasks involved in Desktop Support roles; depending on the client and their needs, your responsibilities within this role may be different.
To match demand, there are a number of skills areas that Desktop Support candidates should be aware of, or seek to develop, including:
- Cisco knowledge, including routing and switching in a dynamic environment
- Oracle Database
- Microsoft capabilities, including current versions of Exchange deployment, in an Enterprise environment
- Superior customer Service skills
- Excellent communication skills
- ITIL problem management training
Next to Desktop Support, we saw that one of Canada's Top IT Job Roles was a Project Manager for Infrastructures, and was next in demand; up 56% form one year ago. Helpdesk Support Microsoft, Architect and Data Analyst fall next in line with increases of 48%, 16% and 9% from one year ago, respectively. For more roles that were in demand during the second quarter of 2012, please see below.
Click here to search for the latest job opportunities in Canada's top IT job roles.
We all know that one of the most important elements of job satisfaction is a positive relationship between a supervisor and an employee. At Randstad, we refer to this as Boss Fit. As we approach International Boss Day (Tuesday October 16th 2012) I’ve put together a list, in no particular order, of behaviours and qualities I think make a great boss. Here are 12 simple steps on how to be a great boss.
1. Have a vision and knows how to communicate it, paint a picture with words.
2. Have passion and knows how to get you excited and connected to the vision.
3. Acts as a resource. Help employees succeed at their job.
4. Make employees feel valued. Explaining how their work is contributing to the big picture.
5. Provide opportunities for growth and development within the company. Have faith in your employees' abilities and know how to push them to accomplish great things.
6. Foster a positive work atmosphere where their team will work collaboratively towards the company’s goals.
7. Provide positive and constructive feedback to help you grow and develop professionally.
8. Acknowledge your employees’ work. You need to recognize performance in order to maintain motivatation on your team.
9. Be a good decision maker. They are quick but not impulsive and once a decision is made they are committed to it.
10. Trust. Delegate tasks and projects and believe in your employees' abilities while remaining available for guidance. When something goes wrong don’t point your finger,be a part of the solution.
11. keeps promises and follows through on commitments.
12. Show compassion. Treat your employees like people. If there is a death in the family or even if they are having a bad day, be empathetic.
What do you think makes a great boss? Leave your comment below!
By: Jennifer Banks-Halliday