Archives for March 2016

5 Habits That Can Turn Interviewers Against You

Having spent the last decade recruiting, I’ve had many a conversation with hiring managers after a candidate exits the interview. And, while I always hope for exceptional feedback, sometimes the news is not so glowing.

Sometimes, the candidate has done something so annoying to the interviewer that, at best, she is now questioning her interest in keeping this person in the running.

What are the things that drive interviewers the most crazy? Listen and learn.

1. You arrive super early

Everybody knows that you’re an idiot if you show up late for an interview. It’s completely disrespectful of the interviewer’s time.

But showing up insanely early is also going to make you look like a jerk. Why? Because, when you arrive more than five or 10 minutes before your meeting, you’re putting immediate pressure on the interviewer to drop whatever she may be wrapping up and deal with you. Or, she’s going to start the interview feeling guilty because she knows she just left you sitting in the lobby for 20 minutes.

A secondary problem with showing up early is that it says, “Hi, I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life, so I’ll just park it here in your company lobby.” You don’t want that. If you arrive super early, hang in the parking lot or a nearby coffee shop until just a few minutes before your scheduled time.

2. You’re so over-rehearsed that you act like a robot

Once again, we all know not to show up to an interview completely unprepared.

Fewer of us, however, realize that it’s entirely possible to arrive over-prepared. Are you someone who thinks through every possible question that you suspect might be asked, writes out verbatim “best answers,” and then practices them in the mirror (or with a friend) until you’re beyond exhausted?

You might think you’re doing yourself a solid, but what you’re actually doing is putting yourself at risk for coming across as robotic or, worse, disinterested.

When you’re hyper-prepared and hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for certain questions for which you’ve prepared to be asked, you will likely have a very hard time engaging in genuine conversation with the interviewer.

And interviewers don’t tend to hire detached people who can’t seem to have a genuine conversation. Certainly walk in prepared, but force yourself to not memorize or over-rehearse the practice questions.

3. You head into the TMI zone

Is your underwear riding up your rear end as you sit in that interview? Did you totally run a red light (and nearly sideswipe a school bus) so that you could be on time? Did your husband lose $15,000 at a craps table in Vegas last weekend? How interesting — yet all completely off-limits conversation topics while you’re in the interview.

Even if you’re interviewing for a role within the most free-wheeling, fun-loving organization, the fact remains that you are in an interview. Never, ever get wooed into believing that the casual nature of the environment frees you to enter the TMI zone.

Be friendly and conversational, for sure. You want this crew to feel that you’ll fit in around the joint. Just never, and I mean do not ever, cross the line into TMI. When in doubt, leave it out.

4. You’re a clear and obvious WIIFM

Guess what interviewers want to know when they meet with you? First and foremost, they want to know what you can do for them. What can you do to make that company money, improve businesses processes, grow the organization and, importantly, make their lives easier?

That said, when you bust out with an immediate litany of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) questions, you look both arrogant and, frankly, unappealing.

Of course you want to know what the benefits are, how much vacation you get, and if you get a cell phone, company car, and corner office. But in the early interview stages, all the hiring managers and HR people really care about is what you can do for them. This is a business they are running, not a club.

Making you happy will be important if they want you, but you’re not even going to get to that stage if you make your list of demands clear too early.

5. You don’t say “thank you”

I’m not just talking about the after-interview thank you note here. Surely, sending an immediate thank you out to each person with whom you’ve met is critical. But it’s also super important to thank the interviewer enthusiastically before you even part ways.

Certainly, it can be stressful and exhausting to shuttle through hours of interviewing at a company, to the point it all starts feeling like a bit of a blur. But if you really want this job, you need to stay focused and energized, and you absolutely must end strong. A strong, genuine, “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way. “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me — it was great to meet you” will go a long way.

Interviewing can be among the most stressful things we do as adults, especially when we need the job badly. It’s definitely never a breeze. But keeping a cool head, arriving prepared to engage in conversation, and staying focused on the value you can bring to that organization is going to help you make it through with flying colors. People hire people, not robots, not jerks, and not people who don’t value their time.

Keep this top of mind as you march forth and conquer.

Source: Mashable

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Ten Questions Your Resume Must Answer In Ten Seconds

There are only so many ways a hiring manager can come face-to-face with your resume. Here are the possibilities:

• They can view your resume on a screen, the way you’re reading this column right now. Imagine reading your resume on a phone.

• They can print your resume and read it on paper.

• They can receive a physical copy of your resume when someone hands it to them, or receive it in an envelope in the mail.

However your reader gets your resume, it’s only going to get a quick glance. The first phrase or sentence that grabs the reader will pull them in its direction, like a magnet.

Something in your resume will grab them, or nothing will grab them and they’ll put your resume down or turn the page on the screen.

That will be it. How many seconds elapsed while the manager scanned your resume? Maybe ten seconds!

Grab is the key verb. You have to grab their attention. You have to give them a reason to keep reading. Your resume has ten seconds to answer these critical questions that will be in a hiring manager’s mind.

You can answer all of them in your Human-Voiced Resume but you have to have the answers in your mind, first.

What kind of work do you do?

We have to know what kind of work you plan to do. You have to go to the costume party with some kind of costume. The hiring manager has specific pain if s/he has pain at all. “I can do all kinds of things” is not a brand. The Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume will tell us exactly what you do professionally.

Keep in mind that you can have as many versions of your resume as you want, branding yourself for as many career directions or ‘prongs’ as you can manage.

Here is Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing Summary. (She has four resumes, thus four slightly differently Summaries. Each one emphasizes a different aspect of Petra’s background.)

Not-For-Profit Marketer

I’m a Not-for-Profit Marketing person who loves to grow awareness and participation in sustainability and environmental efforts. I conceived and grew the Frog and Toad Society’s “Adopt a Tadpole” program to include 75 elementary schools, tremendous corporate sponsors and hundreds of individual donors.

I thrive in a fast-paced, make-it-work environment and love to design marketing programs from the ground up. I’m comfortable in traditional and social marketing, PR and trade show planning. I’m a budding public speaker who has spoken at two Not-for-Profit Marketing conferences so far and I’m looking for a new challenge.

How are you qualified to do this kind of work?

Petra did not wait to get into the body of her resume to give the reader (possibly her next manager) a sense of what she’s done. She knows that the manager doesn’t have any extra time. Petra is going to get into more detail about the Frog and Toad Society and her other jobs down in the body of her resume, but she gives the reader a taste of her awesomeness with a quick Dragon-Slaying Story in the Summary at the top.

Now the reader has gotten hooked by Petra’s story-magnet. The reader is intrigued. What’s the story with this Frog and Toad Adopt-a-Tadpole thing, anyway? The reader keeps reading and gets to the Frog and Toad section of Petra’s resume a little farther down the page. Now s/he can read all about what Petra did at the Society.

Do you have a sense of yourself professionally beyond “Here are the jobs I’ve held?”

Petra says in Summary that she knows who she is. There’s no hiding behind robot boilerplate language like “Results-oriented professional” for Petra—no way! She wants you to know who she is. She has no desire to cower behind her degree (which shows up on Page Two of her resume) or her certifications.

You can get your personality across on the page in your resume if you try. If you don’t try to do that, your personality will not get through the sludgy corporate zombie language. Once you’ve met 10 million “results-oriented professionals,” you don’t meet to meet any more.

Are you proficient in English?

For better or worse, your resume conveys your language skills. That’s a question many managers will have in their minds: “How’s your written English?”

Your resume will answer that question fast (or quickly, since “quickly” is an adverb and should be used to modify a verb like “answer” versus the adjective “fast” which should be used to modify a noun). I am not a fan of the language I call “taught English” with its fussiness.

I think it takes away from the human voice that will make your resume powerful and allow it to cut through the information overload in the reader’s brain. Still, you have to show the reader in your resume that you can write in the language you intend to do business in.

Do you know what kind of business I’m in (or we’re in)?

Petra customizes her resume before she sends it out. The Summary we saw above comes from Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing resume. She has four or five different versions that emphasize different aspects of her background.

You have to customize your resume to make it clear that you understand the organization you’re reaching out to. Don’t send a resume that says “I am an Administrative Professional in the legal industry” to a soft-drink bottling company! You’re telling them you’re in the legal industry but that’s not their industry. That’s not a good strategy.

Make sure that in your resume there is a connection to the organization you’re approaching, and to the job you are interested in—whether that job is posted anywhere, or not.

Does your career history make sense?

Your career history has to make sense on the page. That’s why I don’t like ‘functional’-type resumes. Mother Nature is in charge. Any hiring manager with any interest in you is going to wonder “What is this person’s story?” A story is chronological. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. Give us the story in your resume!

If there are gaps, fill them in “Sabbatical” or “Private Projects” or “Independent Consulting.” If you helped your brother build his new house, that’s a consulting project.

Do you have the educational background I’m looking for?

Some managers care more about educational credentials than other ones do, but either way, you’ve got to tell your educational story in your resume. Most people include their school credentials at the end of the resume, at the bottom of page two.

Are the stories or accomplishments you highlight in your resume significant to me?

Tell stories in your resume, the way Petra did. You can tell Dragon-Slaying Stories in the Summary at the top of your resume or down in the body of it in your descriptions of each job you’ve held.

Are you smart?

Let’s be honest—the quality of your thinking is going to come through in your resume the same way your personality and your sense of direction are going to come through. Take the time to think about the words on your resume. They represent you, just like a song you would sing in a concert or any other expression of who you are.

You have no one to impress, but why not let your resume sing your song as faithfully as possible?

The world is changing. Your resume doesn’t have to be stiff and formal any more. I don’t want you to write a jaunty, bro-type resume either (I have seen a few of those!) but simply a thoughtful, human story about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

Are you running your career?

The reader can tell whether or not you believe you’re in charge of your career—just by reading your resume! You can have gaps and skips and changes in altitude in your history—lots of brilliant and creative people do. You only have to feel like the master and commander of the ship, not a galley slave tossed about by the high waves, powerless.

You have to convey in your resume that you’re on an amazing roller coaster ride and learning new things every day. Get that across in your resume. You are not a leaf blown about by the wind. You’re an eagle!

Source: Forbes

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This Year’s Best Employers Have Focused on Fairness

Gender and income equality are a top priority for this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Like to work for a company that gives every employee a bonus of $100,000? Or one that takes all employees and their guests for a weeklong trip to a Mexican resort, complete with performances by LL Cool J and Sublime? Or one that caps its top executive salary at 19 times that of the average annual wage—when CEOs at the largest U.S. firms average more than 300 times the pay of their workers?

Welcome to the 19th annual installment of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. As you read through this list, you’ll find companies with remarkable perks. But eye-popping perks are only the tip of the iceberg. What really makes a workplace a great place to work are the people practices that forge trust across the enterprise. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t show up on company benefits lists. We select the firms on our list primarily based on the results of what employees tell us anonymously about their workplace culture.

This year we were struck by the prevalence of egalitarian practices at all 100 companies. Take Hilcorp, the Houston-based oil and gas company that doled out $100,000 bonus checks after it met some daunting five-year financial goals. In December the company’s president, Greg Lalicker, defended spreading the wealth as crucial to the company’s success: “In order to create better alignment across all employees, our bonus structure treats everyone equally. We have a culture that we are all in this together.”

The big bonus checks at Hilcorp stand out because of the dollar amount, but the inclusive attitude expressed is what we see at many, if not most, companies on this list. Nationwide, the $36 billion mutual insurance and financial services giant, raised the minimum wage of its call-center workers to $15 an hour from $10.50. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made good on his commitment to gender equity by reviewing the salaries of every Salesforce CRM -0.10% employee and earmarking $3 million to shore up the paychecks of underpaid women. And according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, employees of six of the 100 Best Companies own all or a majority of the shares of their firms: Burns & McDonnell, PCL Construction, Publix Super Markets, Robert W. Baird, W.L. Gore, and TDIndustries.

As we compared the results from this year’s Great Place to Work Trust Index employee survey with those of our 1998 list, we saw that measures related to fairness showed the biggest improvements: The number of employees who said yes when asked if they felt they were “paid fairly for the work they do” jumped 13%; there was a 17% increase, likewise, in employees who believe they are “treated as a full member here regardless of my position”; and a 26% bump in those feeling that they have an equal “opportunity to get special recognition.”

Perhaps the 100 Best Companies have something to add to the national debate about fairness and economic equity that has become such a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail. After all, corporate America’s leadership has been ahead of much of the rest of society before on such issues as recycling and diversity. Many corporations also offered domestic-partner benefits years before courts and legislatures took action.

In fact, many leaders at the 100 Best Companies see promoting fairness as part of a social mission. Salesforce executive vice president Cindy Robbins explained its gender equity initiative in these terms: “At Salesforce we believe that businesses can be great platforms for change. Making the world a better place for everyone and being financially successful are not mutually exclusive endeavors.”

Or consider John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods WFM 1.52% , who capped his own salary at 19 times that of the average company worker. He insists that many companies today embrace a more egalitarian attitude toward workers as part of an expansive vision of business aims. These companies, Mackey says, “are keenly aware that they have a higher purpose that goes beyond making money, and they take proactive measures to respect all their stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.”

Looking beyond Mackey, we were curious whether other CEOs of the 100 Best Companies were more restrained than their peers in terms of compensation. So we asked Equilar, a firm that specializes in executive compensation research, to run the numbers. It compared CEO pay at the 37 publicly traded companies on this year’s list with CEO pay among the S&P 500. Equilar found that the median CEO pay at publicly traded 100 Best Companies was about 19% less than at the S&P 500 ($8.3 million vs. $10.3 million).

Obviously, reducing CEO pay by 19% will not solve income inequality. But you may find it worthwhile to look at all the ways these exemplary companies create more equitable workplace cultures within an increasingly unequal society. Maybe some of the practices you read about here can be part of the solution.

Source: Fortune

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4 Things You Need to Talk About With Candidates During the Interview

 

The reality is we’re in a war for top talent. After years of employers having control over the job market, candidates now know they are in control. In order to hire your next great employee, you’re going to have to adapt your candidate experience.

One thing that often goes overlooked in the candidate experience is the communication between hiring managers and candidates during the interview. What kinds of things should you be communicating in an interview in order to interest the best candidates?

Hiring managers are used to quizzing candidates about their employment history, skills, and background. But today’s top candidates want to be a part of a deeper conversation, one that centers on the company, the work environment, and more.

Here are a few vital communications to include in your next interview:

1. A Realistic Employer Brand

Today’s candidates are concerned with employer brands. According to CareerBuilder, approximately 91 percent of candidates make decisions on whether to accept a position based on the organization’s employer brand.

If your hiring managers aren’t aware of the employer brand or can’t articulate it clearly, this could lose you candidates. It’s critical to realistically communicate your organization’s employer brand in an interview – otherwise, you could find that new hire exits a lot sooner than the company had hoped. Train hiring managers to paint a picture in the interview of the company’s mission and vision, including how the prospective employee’s team relates to both.

2. Insight Into the Working Conditions

Many job postings refer to the company culture very vaguely, promising little more than “a great work environment.” These ads often stop short of providing an explanation of what that environment might actually be like. As a result, many candidates come to an interview with one idea about the culture, only to be confronted with a completely different picture once they begin a new job.

RoadIf the company is fast-paced, it behooves a hiring manager to mention this in the interview instead of describing a laid-back environment. An accurate portrayal of the company culture ahead of time can set a new hire up for success and ensure that the people joining the organization are truly the right people.

3. Advancement Opportunities

Today’s candidates are concerned with opportunities in the workplace for career advancement, more pay, professional development, and so on.

According to Deloitte, millennials – the fastest-growing segment of the talent market – are extremely concerned with opportunities for advancement and learning. Sixty-three percent of them feel their leadership skills are simply not being developed, which drives them to search for new employment opportunities.

In the interview, it is a hiring manager’s job to attract top candidates by setting expectations regarding potential advancement opportunities that may exist.

4. How the Employee Will Benefit From Working for the Organization

Too many hiring managers still approach the interview as a way to evaluate the candidate, rather than as an opportunity to sell the position.

Many of the best candidates know they’re in demand. They want to know what’s in it for them if they join your organization. In the interview, be prepared to discuss the things that set your organization apart, like advancement opportunities, team events, company culture, perks and benefits, and more. This information can help sell the candidate on working for your team instead of a competitor’s.

As the war for top talent heats up, it will become increasingly important that hiring managers learn how to position themselves in the marketplace to attract and hire the best candidates. This must involve detailed communications during the interview process.

Remember: It’s not just about what the candidate can do for you – it’s also about what you can do for the candidate.

Source: Recruiter

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This Is How You Identify A-Players (In About 10 Minutes) During An Interview

This post was first shared with my private email list for founders. If you want to learn how to grow from small startup to thriving company (from someone that’s built 5 companies with $200M in total revenue), you should subscribe.

Over the last 15 years I’ve probably interviewed close to 1,000 people for all sorts of roles. From sales to marketing to engineering to customer service to management and even CEOs and board members.

When I started interviewing, I’d estimate my hit rate was right around 50%, which means only 1 in 2 candidates would be a good fit for the role. Over the years and as I continued to interview and hire, I started to see the “real life” impact of hiring A-players.

If you haven’t heard the term “A-players” before, don’t feel bad. Here’s a quick rundown — when it comes to people in the context of work, you can generally group them into 3 categories:

  • A-players: the top 5% of people. They work hard, go over and above, are well liked and respected and typically move “up the ranks” fast.
  • B-players: most people. They do the 9–5 thing, do their job well and are generally the “good not great” people.
  • C-players: the bottom 10%. They do just enough to scrape through, don’t volunteer to take on new projects, like (and cause) conflict and have little to no personal accountability or responsibility.

In terms of hiring, your managers are A/B/C players too, which means:

  • A-players love to hire other A-players and build teams of super smart people that love to win. They genuinely want to be the “dumbest” person in the room and love learning from those around them
  • B-players hire C-players because they’re worried about someone coming in and taking their job
  • C-players don’t really hire (too hard/too lazy), but if they do, they’ll pretty much take whoever comes along

So obviously you want to hire A-players, right? Good. I sat down earlier today and thought about all of the A-players I’ve been fortunate enough to hire over the years at my 5 previous companies — most of which are still in those companies today.

I thought about the commonalities between them and what “makes them tick” and I also thought about my actual interviews with them — even the interviews back in the early 2000s. When I asked myself “What do they all have in common that would form the foundation of an A-player?”, I came up with a series of personality traits and past experiences.

I then looked at it from another angle and came up with 7 questions you can use in your interview process to give you a much better chance of finding and hiring them.

Here are those 7 questions:

Q1: Have they been promoted at least once in a previous role?

A-players are great at what they do and good managers will pick up on that fast, offering them more responsibility and eventually a more challenging role. Look at their LinkedIn profile and see if, at any of their previous companies, they’ve been promoted. Once is great, twice is amazing and three times is out of this world.

Q2: Have they had to lead a big project in a previous role? How did they handle it?

A-players like to take on more responsibility over time, not less. Have they had a previous manager that was so confident in their abilities that they were given a large or important project to run on their own?

Q3: Is this the same role as a previous job or is it somewhat/completely different?

A-players love challenges. I found that most A-players don’t change companies so much as they change roles — because they like the challenge of constantly learning new things and being in new situations.

Q4: Can they speak about your company and tell you what they like and what they might change?

A-players do research on a company before an interview. They try to understand your strategy, what’s going well and even what’s not. Can they clearly articulate what they like about your company but also provide some constructive feedback on something you might want to change?

If they don’t know what your company does or they have no opinion (positive or negative) about it, that’s a red flag.

Q5: Are they confident without being cocky?

This is a fine line. A-players have great track records and you want someone who talks a lot about being on great teams and having great managers and mentors, not someone constantly saying “I this, I that”.

Q6: Are they committed to continual learning? Can they prove it?

A-players love learning new skills. Ask them what they learned in their previous role. Ask which book they’re currently reading. Ask what they plan to learn in the next 6–12 months and how they’ll go about doing that.

Q7: How would you rate the quality and quantity of questions they ask YOU during the interview?

A great interview is always a conversation — it’s never one-sided. Look at the quantity and quality of questions they ask YOU. A-players care about the team they’ll be on, their manager and where you want to take your company moving forward.

If you’d like to use these questions in your next interview, I’ve put together a swipe file which includes a 70-point rating system you can use to help you assess whether candidates are A-players or not. Download it here (look for the yellow box). It also includes the specific questions you can ask during the interview, for those of you who aren’t sure.

Remember, hiring A-players isn’t a science. There’s a lot more to it than asking the 7 questions above, but in my experience it’s a great place to start. You also need to trust your gut, check references, assess if they’re a great cultural fit and most importantly ask the people on the team they’ll be a part of whether they’d like to work with them or not.

Want more stuff like this? Join my private email list for founders here.

Source: Medium

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Prominent architects slam Vancouver’s planning and development

Comments coincide with plan to have separate managers of those two civic functions 

The city’s policy of protecting view corridors has had a negative effect on livability downtown and deprived the city of ‘billions’ of dollars in development cost charges that could be used for social good, said architect Richard Henriquez.

VANCOUVER — Vancouver’s planning and architecture have suffered over the long term from a lack of foresight by City Hall and heavy-handed management, three of the city’s prominent architects said Friday.

From a singular focus on protecting view corridors and restricting height limits downtown to the departure of experienced staff unhappy with the consolidation of power in the city manager’s office, Vancouver’s architectural and planning direction has drifted off course, said James Cheng, Richard Henriquez and Joost Bakker at an Urban Development Institute luncheon.

In comments at the event and in interviews later, the three said city council’s failure to hire a new director of planning and manager of development services since Brian Jackson retired last year has hurt the city.

“Without a planner and a manager of development services, every junior clerk is inventing a process to his job,” said Cheng, whose projects have included the Shangri-La, the Shaw Tower and adjacent Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

Said Henriquez, the founding partner of Henriquez Partners Architects: “They are also not prepared to exercise any discretion because they don’t have the confidence, they don’t understand the principles on which the project is based. They rely back on the policies that are written.”

And Bakker, a partner in DIALOG, believes the parade of planning directors who have gone through the city since Ray Spaxman and Larry Beasley 20 years ago has not resulted in a consistent vision for the city.

“I don’t think it has helped us at all. You like to have some certainty, some consistency. You’d like to have a good long run so some ideas can manifest themselves,” he said.

The architects’ comments came on the same day the city finally made public a plan to divide in two the traditional role of planning director and manager of development services.

For all of its history Vancouver has relied upon the director of planning to also be responsible for managing development. But the decision to split the roles is an acknowledgment that they are now mutually exclusive and contain an inherent conflict, with daily development pressures impeding long-term city planning.

Bakker said the split also signals that the city has grown up enough to support the sophisticated and conflicting roles.

“I don’t think this city has seen anything yet,” he said. “People have no idea what is yet to come in the next 40 years and I think some of it is in a lot more exuberant, expensive buildings. We’re starting to see that appear. I think we are at the tip of a new iceberg.”

Under the new plan, the director of planning — a legislatively mandated job under the Vancouver Charter — will report to the new manager of development services.

“You need both a dreamer and an implementer,” said Cheng, who believes the lack of direction has also made it more costly for the average citizen. “It affected the cost of doing business in Vancouver, because everything takes longer. There is nobody there to make decisions,” he said, noting that a decade ago a homeowner might pay a few hundred dollars for a building permit. Now the pre-permit fees are nearly $15,000 just to get the mandatory geotechnical, arborist and environmental engineering reports.

“Think of the poor citizen who owns a 33-foot lot and has saved all his life to build his own house. Before he even gets started he is slapped with all these fees, plus all these months just to get a permit,” he said. “This is not helping affordable housing.”

Bakker said former City Manager Penny Ballem’s consolidation of power has left Vancouver with a lack of senior management with long institutional knowledge.

“The thing I find disconcerting is that … we’ve had a really powerful city manager and a lot of traffic has been directed out of that office,” he said. “You need strong departments. I think we’ve lost a lot of people who were disaffected and took off, and to build that back up is going to take time.”

The trio also weighed in on the city’s long-term policy of protecting downtown view corridors from the incursion of tall buildings. Cheng said in theory it may have been a good idea, but needs to be reviewed.

Henriquez was more direct. Such policies have had a negative effect on livability downtown and have deprived the city of “billions” of dollars in development cost charges that could be used for social good, he said.

“When you are increasing density and you are not increasing the height, you are curtailing the possibility of open spaces. It compromises the livability of the downtown by not having open space and having buildings closer together without enough privacy,” he said. “There is tremendous value in the space up top. If you rezone something overheight, you can use the development cost charges for social housing or whatever. There are billions, billions of dollars at issue.”

All three of the architects were born outside of Canada but chose to make the Vancouver area their home.

Cheng, born in Hong Kong and educated at the University of Washington and Harvard, apprenticed under another Canadian architectural icon, Arthur Erickson. Cheng’s penchant for concrete construction and green glass facades became one of his signatures.

Henriquez, born in Jamaica, had a major hand in formulating some of the striking architecture that has changed Vancouver. He took the old Vancouver Post Office downtown and created Sinclair Centre, and designed the first housing for the re-colonized former industrial lands in False Creek. He also designed the Justice Institute in New Westminster, as well as the Environmental Sciences building at Trent University. With his son Gregory, Henriquez’ company has put an indelible stamp on Vancouver architecture, including the redesign of Woodward’s, the Telus Garden complex and the planned redevelopment of Oakridge Centre.

Bakker, who was born in Curaçao, studied economics and architecture at the University of Toronto. His views of urban issues were influenced by Toronto architect George Baird. His architectural influence is seen in his co-authorship with Norm Hotson of the Granville Island redevelopment, the planned new Student Union Building at the University of B.C., and Richmond City Hall, which won a Governor General’s Medal for architecture.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

 

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