Archives for August 2016

Annual Summer Social

The STRIVE team spent their afternoon celebrating their annual summer social on Joe’s BBQ Boat grilling burgers and hot dogs, enjoying drinks in the sunshine, and blasting out music while soaking in Vancouver’s beautiful landscape.  Many thanks to Joe’s BBQ Boat and the STRIVE team for another fun and unforgettable time on the boat!

Read more

KPMG is shortening its recruitment process because millennials are getting frustrated

Accountancy firm KPMG has decided to make its recruitment process much shorter because millennial applicants — people born between 1980 and 2000 — are getting frustrated by the old system, according to the BBC.

KPMG’s previous arrangement required three separate assessments, which took place over many weeks. But the new one will be carried out in a single day — and candidates will find out in just two working days if they have landed the job.

The decision follows a survey by KPMG in which more than a third of the 400 respondents said they were annoyed by the length of the application process. Even worse, more than half said they hated not getting any feedback if they did not get the job.

KPMG chairman Simon Collins said the move was necessary to stay ahead of smaller startup firms which recruited people far more quickly: “we are competing with the full gamut for the best brains and talent leaving university: getting our graduate recruitment right is crucial to the long-term success of our business.”

This is not the first time a big company has streamlined its recruitment process. A month ago, Goldman Sachs announced that it would scrap face-to-face interviews with undergraduates in favour of video interviews. The bank hires around 2,500 students each summer to be part-time and full-time analysts.

Last year accountancy firm Deloitte also said that it would hide where applicants went to university from recruiters to prevent an “unconscious bias.”

As well as improving social mobility, Deloitte senior partner David Sproul told the BBC that it was also self-serving, as companies needed “to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives.”

Source: Business Insider

Read more

Massachusetts Becomes First State Ever To Ban Employers From Asking For Salary Histories

Massachusetts has leapfrogged over all other states to pass the most robust equal pay law in the country.

The law takes a step that is completely unique: it prohibits employers from asking prospective hires about their salary histories until after they make a job offer that includes compensation, unless the applicants voluntarily disclose the information. No other state has such a ban in place.

Many employers require applicants to give them a salary history at the outset or during the initial steps of the hiring process, usually to determine how much they should be paid and whether the employer can afford their salary. But this disadvantages women, who, thanks to a variety of factors that can include outright discrimination, make less than men on average. Women make less than men in their first jobs even when education and field are taken into consideration, and they are also penalized in salary negotiations, while men get an advantage. If the next employer bases a salary on the previous one a woman was earning, that discrimination will only be furthered.

Massachusetts’s new law also mandates that employers pay men and women the same not just when they do the exact same work, but when their work is “comparable.” Most laws only require men and women in the exact same job to be paid equally. The state defines comparable work as being “substantially similar” in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions — not just based on job titles or descriptions. It does, however, allow for differing pay scales based on seniority — so long as a lack of seniority for a female employee isn’t related to pregnancy or family leave — merit, production, geography, education, experience, or training.

Women’s work has long been undervalued even when it’s substantially similar to what men do. Housekeepers make less than janitors, for instance. And when women move into higher-paying, male-dominated jobs, the pay drops.
There was a movement in the 1970s and 80s among state governments to ensure comparable pay equity in their own workforces. They ended up spending $527 million to adjust women’s pay to make it equal with men who had essentially the same job duties, eliminating about 20 percent of women’s wage gap.

A paper at the time found that a national pay equity law, one that looks like Massachusetts’s, would eliminate more than a quarter of the overall gender wage gap.

The new law also bans salary secrecy, blocking employers from keeping their employees from talking about pay with each other. About half of all employees say they are either prohibited or discouraged from discussing compensation, even though they have a legal right to do so. That makes it incredibly difficult for women or other marginalized groups to discover whether they’re being unfairly paid less than their colleagues.

A handful of other states have passed their own equal pay laws aimed at closing the gender wage gap. California passed one at the end of last year mandating pay equity for comparable work and banning salary secrecy, andNew York passed a package of bills that included prohibiting salary secrecy. But none of them have gone as far as Massachusetts in including a ban on employers asking for salary histories.

Massachusetts’s new law unanimously passed the state legislature, and Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has said he will sign it into law.

Meanwhile, progress toward passing national legislation to address the gender wage gap has been blocked in Congress. Republicans have repeatedly blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ban salary secrecy, and the Fair Pay Act, which would mandate equal pay for comparable work, never even gets a vote.

Source: ThinkProgress

Read more

7 Secrets of Master Modern Networkers

In the days before the world of the Internet and online marketing, the only real, reliable way to meet new sales prospects and build meaningful connections in the professional world was to go out and network with others. Today, this type of in-person networking seems old-fashioned, even though social media networking on sites like LinkedIn has served as a soft replacement for this approach to meeting new people–for those who pursue the strategy at all.

But even in today’s world of instant information and global connectivity, networking is an important–and effective–way to meet new people in the professional world, and the modern masters of the art have a few secrets to getting it done right:

  1. They use both in-person and social networks. Some people will argue that in-person networking is inherently superior to social media networking, but the reality is that social media networking has some serious advantages too. In-person networking gives you more opportunities to meet people in your community, make a better first impression, forge deeper connections, and engage in a group environment, while social media networking gives you a less formal setting, accessibility anywhere, and access to a wider net of people. True networking masters don’t prefer one over the other–they use both to maximize their potential results.
  2. They don’t repeat themselves much. There are dozens of regular networking events in practically every major city in the country. It’s not hard to find a weekly or monthly meeting where professionals gather for drinks or conversation. The problem is, these regular events tend to attract regular people; while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you’re trying to build your network, you can’t just keep talking to the same people over and over. Networkers who excel go out of their way to find new events, trying to avoid repeating the same event or venue too many times.
  3. They have a fantastic opening line for everything. Your opening line in networking is one of the most important parts of your exchange; not only does it usually form a person’s first impression of you, it also sets the stage for the conversation to come. Simple openers, like “hi, my name is _____,” or small-talk openers, like, “this is a great event, isn’t it?” are effective at opening the door to a conversation, but they don’t stand out, and they aren’t particularly strong. Successful networkers dig a little deeper with their opening lines, customizing them for the specific individual they’re talking to, and keeping them both unique and natural at all times. Opening lines should also naturally lead into a thread of conversation.
  4. They meet everyone, everywhere. Master networkers don’t limit themselves to specific “networking” events or social media “networks.” To them, networking is something that happens all the time–and it’s so ingrained in their lives that they don’t have to think about it as a separate designated strategy anymore. They’re open to meeting people everywhere–at different events, for sure, and online, but also as strangers on the street, or random passersby. They don’t pinpoint people to meet, either; they’re up for a conversation with just about anyone. Certainly,some personality types will find this easier than others, but it can be conquered with a “fake it ’til you make it” strategy.
  5. They make themselves memorable. It’s not enough to engage in a conversation for a few minutes if you want to make a lasting impression; after all, you’re usually networking with people who network on a regular basis. You have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and exceptional networkers know how to do this well. They have something unique to offer, like a unique value proposition for their own personal brands, and they go beyond the basic small talk to cement their reputation.
  6. They keep in touch. Networking doesn’t end at the networking event. You don’t need to follow up with everyone–as not everyone will be a lasting value to you in any capacity–but for the select few you hit it off with for any reason, make it a point to stay in touch. Send them an email, or call them a few days after the event and try to get coffee or lunch together within the next few weeks.
  7. They genuinely listen. This is a crucial point, and one that can’t be overlooked. When networking with others, too many people fixate on the idea of talking–whether that’s giving a pitch, making small talk, or leading a discussion. Instead,it’s better to fixate on listening. Stop talking so much, and let other people do the talking. You stand to learn a lot more about whatever subject you’re discussing, and you’ll make a better impression with the people you talk to, as well; they’ll feel like you’re a better conversationalist, and they’ll think of you in a more positive light afterward. Everyone in the world knows something better than you do–but you can’t learn anything if you’re always talking.

Whether you’re in it to find new prospects, recruit new employees, expand your professional network, or just get to know some people a little better, I highly recommend integrating these strategies into your networking approach. You’ll meet more people, establish more meaningful connections, and ultimately get closer to your goals–no matter what those goals are.

Source: Inc

Read more

How To Develop Relationships With Recruiters And Recruiting Agencies

Working with outside recruiters is inevitable at some point in your career. The senior-most searches are often handled by executive recruiters to preserve the confidentiality of the search and to access the broadest pool of candidates. Even mid-level searches or entry-level searches with very specific requirements may be farmed out to recruiting agencies to take advantage of a recruiter’s expertise and network in an area or simply because internal HR handles more of the existing employees, rather than the recruiting. So even though relationships with direct hiring managers (e.g., the Head of Marketing if you’re looking for a marketing job) are ideal. You want to have recruiter relationships. Keeping track of unsolicited outreach by recruiters is also a good gauge of your career marketability. Here are four strategies for developing relationships with recruiters and recruiting agencies:

If You’re Never Worked With Outside Recruiters

Get to know how recruiting works. There are two kinds of firms: contingent and retained. Contingent recruiters are only paid if a candidate they present is hired. Retained recruiters are paid to handle the search, regardless of where the final hire actually is sourced. Retained recruiters generally handle the more senior searches and tend to have exclusive oversight of the search (i.e., no other firms are working on that opening. However, there are contingent firms that work on senior searches and have exclusives. Some firms also do both retained and contingent work.

In addition to the retained v. contingent distinction, recruiting firms tend to specialize by industry or function (e.g., non-profit sector, marketing roles). Having this general understanding can help you figure out what types of relationships to prioritize. You want to know recruiters who specialize in what you do, and if you’re vying for an executive role you want to know retained recruiters.

If You Get An Unsolicited Call From A Recruiter You Don’t Know

Don’t just let the recruiter launch into an interview with you right there. If you’re not prepared, then you won’t position yourself in the best light. But more importantly, you need to interview the recruiter and make sure whatever the recruiter is working on is the right match for you. Interview the recruiter – are they retained or contingent? What position are they calling about, or is this an exploratory call? What do they specialize in? Take down the recruiter’s name and firm’s name, and check out their LinkedIn profiles and website – look at clients they have worked for, placements made, history of the firm. Ask friends in HR or who have been placed by recruiters if they know this person or the firm. You want to vet recruiters, as much as they are going to vet you.

If You’re Actively Looking And Want To Start A Relationship

Too many job seekers start their search by trying to find recruiters to represent them. Recruiters don’t work for the candidate; recruiters represent the employer (which is why you don’t want a recruiter handling your job offer). You do want to focus your efforts on networking directly with people at your target companies. However, it’s helpful to be on recruiter radars in case they happen to be working on a search that fits your profile, and recruiters are an excellent source of market information. The best way to get connected to a recruiter is when they reach out to you. So if you get unsolicited calls from recruiters, take those calls. Yes, you want to vet the recruiters (see point above) and if they are legitimate players, help them with their search – recommend people you know who are a fit. Recruiters remember candidates who are helpful.

Other than waiting for a recruiter to contact you, the next best way to connect with a recruiter is to have one of their clients or a candidate that they placed recommend you. Ask your friends in HR which agencies they use, and get an introduction from them. Ask your friends who have found jobs through recruiters who placed them, and have that placement forward your resume. Recruiters get a lot of unsolicited resumes – a recommendation by someone they know (and have made money from) will definitely stand out.

If You’re Passively Looking And Want To Be Found

What if you’re not actively looking but would like to hear about the latest opportunities? You need to be where recruiters look for candidates – word-of-mouth, LinkedIn, conferences, professional associations, publications. Word-of-mouth means those direct introductions I mentioned from your friends in HR or the recently hired. It also means that your name surfaces when a recruiter calls someone in your industry or function and asks, “Who do you know who fits this profile?” Make sure your network knows what you do and what you’re interested in so when those inquiries arise, they know to refer you. Just yesterday, I got two separate inquiries from two companies hiring for their HR teams. I get inquiries like this almost daily because people know I know a lot of people. Are you top of mind for the people in your network who are well-connected and probably get lots of recruiter calls?

In addition, recruiters look at secondary research – e.g., conference schedules to see who the speakers are (if you’re speaking on a subject, you’ve achieved a level of expertise), membership directories (if you’re active, you’re keeping yourself updated), publications (like speaking, if you’re writing about something or quoted about it, you’ve established a level of expertise). Recruiters also search LinkedIn, so make sure you have a complete profile with clear descriptions of what you do and keywords reflective of your skills and expertise. Make sure you also include contact information or check your LinkedIn activity in case a recruiter contacts you via the platform. I can’t tell you how many candidates I have pinged on LinkedIn who respond weeks after my initial inquiry, interested in speaking further but missing the opportunity – if you want to be found, you have to respond when you’re found!

Sure there are some nuances to how recruiting works (e.g., contingent v. retained), but otherwise developing recruiter relationships is similar to developing any other networking relationship. Give, as well as take – return calls, make recommendations, be helpful. A warm lead is better than a cold contact when trying to expand to new relationships. Timely follow-up will ensure existing relationships are maintained.

Source: Forbes

Read more

How to Determine the Best Job Offer

It might seem that sorting through several solid job offers would be a dream scenario. After all, you spent time perfecting your resume and cover letter and fighting through the interview process to get the offer, right?

Wrong. The job process isn’t necessarily about getting all the offers you can. It’s about getting one good offer from a company that truly suits your complex career goals.

Your needs are more elaborate than a salary and a good title. The best offer will take into account both of these things as well as benefits, how you’ll spend your time daily and your opportunities for building your network and meeting motivated people.

Here’s a checklist you can use to evaluate your job offers and determine whether or not the best offer really is the best for you:

Salary: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Is more money better? Not always. Many studies show that $75,000 is the salary cap at which money no longer significantly impacts your day-to-day happiness. Unless money truly is a personal motivator for you, don’t judge the best offer by salary alone.

Beyond comparing one number to another, salary can also be an opportunity to understand the difference between job offers. For example, if you receive two similarly-titled job offers and one offers $52,000 and the other offers $72,000, you’ll want to understand why the salary is so different. Is it the location? The responsibilities? The company? Each answer can provide a clue as to which offer is truly the best for you.


Much like a salary, a bigger benefits package isn’t always better because it may be full of value that you don’t intend to use. Often a company’s salary package reflects benefits, so if you don’t use them you are essentially missing out on compensation.

Take a minute to decode your lifestyle and your needs for the near future. Do you plan to buy a house or adopt a child? Do you need coverage for your spouse, or are you a single, healthy person in search of a low monthly premium? Understanding how the benefits that come with a job offer will play out in your life (not just their face value) will help you decide which offer will benefit you the most.

What Does Your Daily Job Description Look Like?

The most important factor in assessing the fit of a new job is what your day-to-day function will be. Job titles can vary, with a Project Manager in one company functioning more like an assistant team lead and a Project Manager in another company functioning more like a manager. The best way to understand the reality of the offer in your hand is to talk to someone at the company who has that role. The second best way is to carefully compare the actual job description of each offer side-by-side.

Beyond your time on the job, you should also consider how this position might affect your personal life. Are you going from a passive role to an active one, in which you might be significantly more drained by the end of the day? Or are you swapping out an overwhelming “work-til-you-drop” environment for a more laid back (but lower paying) vibe? How you want to feel in your daily life will be a huge indicator of which job offer is the best for you.

Will You Be Building a Valuable Network?

Working with people you like and care about is a significant source of job satisfaction. You don’t have to be best friends, but camaraderie and a sense of a shared goal (and a few inside jokes) can go a long way to making your workday fly by. Furthermore, part of the value of your job is to create relationships with people with similar goals, interests and views of the world. Where you work will be a powerful source of networking and professional contacts.

When you consider a job offer, try your best to get a feel for the culture of the workplace and the people who work there. Do you have any shared interests or demographic information in common? Will you be interested in helping and receiving help from these people? Differences can have a positive impact on overall company performance, but shared experiences and communication are what help companies achieve those results.

Sometimes the best job offer really is the best… and sometimes an opportunity is hiding behind a lackluster title or brand name. When you’re considering several job offers, make sure you look at all the facts before deciding which is truly the best for you.

Source: SimplyHired

Read more