Thursday, 23 February 2017

😱 The Scary Truth About Why Companies Won’t Hire You Back

Thinking of getting rehired after quitting? You had better have a good reason for leaving in the first place.

The Scary Truth About Why Companies Won’t Hire You Back

Photo Credit: JD Hancock

In August 2001, I left my job at in France as a web development team manager to move back to Israel. Almost a year later, I was struggling to find a job after the dotCom bust and my former team was moving to Seattle, so I applied to rejoin them there too.

It didn’t work.

At the end of the interview process, I was told that it came down to me and an internal candidate, and they decided to promote the internal candidate instead.

In this guest post, G.L. Hoffman explains that I shouldn’t have bothered trying.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

New job not up to par?

Most companies will NOT hire you back if, say, you give the new job a try and find out it is not exactly what you were promised. You should know that because I have heard people say “well, if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to my old job.”

This might be the case. Young, inexperienced managers will often say this during the exit interview, even. It is them being nice… I would not expect them to hire me back if I were you.

Most companies will not hire you back.

And they shouldn’t.

Forget about asking for job back after resigning

Here’s why.

Most companies understand that once an employee leaves, they have left. In effect, they have said that something at the work environment is so bad or so limiting (insert your own reason here), that they need to move on to another job. Once the employee ‘gets there in his or her own mind,’ it is very tough to go back and be satisfied in the old job.

Too often I have seen companies hire someone back only to see them leave again in a few months. I bet the average is over 75%; once they leave, they will leave again.

Plus, if the company does hire you back, what kind of message does that send to current, more loyal employees? An attitude of we-will-hire-back provides a safety net for everyone. I don’t want any of my employees thinking they can just go try a new job for a few months and get this one back.

There are rare exceptions

There are only a few instances where we have hired someone back—one girl went into the Peace Corps and the other went into the military. In both cases, we were thrilled to have them back.

We formed a small committee to evaluate whether our small company would hire someone back who did have extenuating circumstances. In effect, we allowed them to make the decision.

I was actually surprised at the intensity of the debate. Their attitude initially was “once gone, always gone,” but they did arrive at some conditions for the hire back.

Recommended conditions for a rehire?

What do you think? They agreed to recommend that we hire him back because:

  1. He found out his wife was pregnant and he needed the safety of our job vs. a commission only one or,
  2. His new startup could not get funded or,
  3. He agreed to sign a contract for three years and promised not to leave during that period, or
  4. None of the above.

The answer was #4.

We are very clear in the company about not hiring back. We talk about this because often younger, first job employees think that a company will hire them back. After all, they reason, it is the ‘nice’ thing to do.

So, when upper managers felt someone had a volunteering Peace Corps-type excuse reason, we knew we could not simply welcome him back with open arms. That would have destroyed that part of our culture. This is why we gave them the power over the decision. Somewhat risky, but the culture is that important to us.

What matters most

The departed employee had left us to go work for his family’s business, which was experiencing some issues. They needed his help, in other words.

Our ‘committee’ was very clear on their reason for allowing him to return–he had not taken another job. If he had left us for another company, there was no way they would hire him back. A family business emergency was different.

They feel good about their decision and so do we.

More on trying to get rehired

Bonus: can you really go back to your old job?

About the author

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. He is the former CEO of JobDig which owns and operates and G.L. has also been featured in US News and World Report, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

Too hasty? Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for for calming advice on good decision-making for your future.

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Thursday, 9 February 2017

🕓 25 Reasons Job Fairs Are Not a Ridiculous Waste of Time

Are career fairs a waste of time or are you wasting time at career fairs?

25 Reasons Job Fairs Are Not a Ridiculous Waste of Time

A waste of time?

In 2002, I was on the job search in Israel a few months after leaving my job at in France.

I had just started looking for a programming-related job in e-commerce when I heard about a large upcoming tech career fair in the Tel Aviv area. I was a bit skeptical about going but I put it on my calendar.

Living in Jerusalem at the time, I later had to commute for over 90 minutes just to get to the fair.

Once registered and inside, I was handed a large bag of industry magazines and a map of the convention space, which I used to see if there were any interesting companies to apply to.

Armed with my resume, I spent the next 30-40 minutes walking around. I specifically remember giving out less than 10 copies of my resume in all and only having real conversations with two companies’ HR rep.s.

I then had a return commute of over 90 minutes to get home, meaning that I spent much more time on the bus that day that actually progressing my job search at the fair.

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Free bonus: Download JobMob's Job Fair Success Guide with over 60 job fair tips.

I felt like the fair had been a waste of time, but the truth was that I had wasted my time at the fair.

If I had known what I could accomplish at the fair, I would have had a more fruitful event.

Career fairs can be effective.

Here’s why.

25 Reasons to Go To Job Fairs, Regardless of Age

1) Get out of the house

It’s become too easy to just job search from your computer and it’s easy to forget that there really are many effective ways to progress in your job search outside.

2) Kickstart a dormant job search

Sometimes habit and routine are not the best thing. Going to a job fair should be a welcome change of pace.

3) Meet company representatives who are normally hard to reach

Some companies will send people who actually do have an impact on hiring decisions, access to whom would normally be blocked at their corporate reception desk.

4) Meet company representatives in a less-formal setting

There’s a big difference between the atmosphere of a career fair and sitting across someone in an office. Company reps come with that in mind, and you need to take advantage.

5) Practice your elevator pitch

Students review job fair

Just like the 30 seconds you might have to impress someone in an elevator ride, your chance to talk with a company rep. might be very short if there are a lot of people in line behind you at the fair, so you need to impress quickly.

6) Build your self-confidence with company representatives

By meeting with company reps in the informal setting of the job fair, even for only a minute or two, you’ll break the ice and become more comfortable sitting across them in an office.

7) Make a better first impression

As you become more comfortable and your self-confidence grows, you’ll make a better first impression as the fair goes on.

8) Research companies

Learn which companies you might want to work at, which open positions are relevant, etc., anything that can help you adapt your resume to align better with company needs.

9) Submit resumes and apply

If you think your resume will impress, submit it.

10) Get resume feedback

If you don’t think your resume will impress, perhaps because it hasn’t impressed others at the fair, ask for feedback from company reps. If you’re lucky, the fair may also have local resume writers to help you.

11) Get contact information from company representatives

This could be to send them an improved version of your resume – based on feedback/better understanding of company needs – instead of the ones you brought to the fair, to schedule a job interview, or perhaps even to help a friend’s job search with a referral.

Google Yoyos

12) Get free stuff from company representatives

In hopes of attracting the best job seekers, Google is famous for giving out free stuff or schwag at their recruiting booths: pads, pins, pens, magnets, yoyos, you name it. And people love taking it home too, and not just as a sign that the going to the fair was worth it.

13) Learn how industry players present themselves

Critical for students and first-time job seekers. This might be your first introduction to certain terms, expressions, techniques and more.

In the case of university job fairs, company recruiters want exposure to a new generation of potential candidates who many have never heard of them before.

14) Learn how your industry has changed

Critical for people who have been out of the job market for 5 years or more. Which companies have fallen out of favor? Which companies are hot? Who’s getting hired there?

15) Learn about the demand for your current skillset

By browsing the open positions and talking to recruiters, judge where your current skillset would most be appreciated and if there are there skills in high demand that you don’t have but could learn quickly enough to apply.

Bonus: Are Job Fairs a waste of time?

16) Learn about other industries where your current skillset is in demand

If you’re considering a career change or just if you’re open to one, recruiters and other company rep.s at the fair can make suggestions for positions they’re trying to fill.

17) Learn about new kinds of opportunities you would have never imagined otherwise

Regardless of whether company reps make suggestions, keep your eyes and ears open for anything new and interesting, especially if there’s demand for it i.e. more than one company has a related opening.

18) Learn about latest job market trends

Besides which skills are currently in demand (and which aren’t), which techniques are working? Which techniques no longer work?

Ask company reps what kinds of candidates are impressing them most, ask them how the market has changed in the past year and how they think it will change in the coming year.

19) Compare companies and go deeper

Company representatives are supposed to represent everything the company is about. The first impression they make on you should have an impact on you deciding whether to spend your precious time chasing them for a job. After meeting the different companies at the fair, choose to go back for a second impression at the companies that deserve more of your time.

20) Network and make contacts

One of the most under-used job fair tactics is to talk to other job seekers at the fair! Share tips, job seeker business cards and feedback, and look for ways to help each other out.

Most under-used job fair tactic: talk to other job seekers thereClick To Tweet

21) Meet your competition

Depending on what kind of fair you attend and the kind of position you’re aiming for, the people in line with you may actually be the ones applying for the same openings. No need to be sneaky or manipulative, but if you have a great idea to stand out and impress a certain employer, you might want to keep it to yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them, though.

22) Prepare questions and get answers

Take advantage of the quantity and different kinds of people at the event. Prepare some questions in advance that could affect the direction of your job search, then go out and ask people. Take a survey if that will help. Be bold.

23) Take in seminars and classes

In recent years, more and more fairs have begun offering free talks by job search experts and coaches, giving advice on how to get results now.

24) Save time in one location

While not all job fairs are created equal in what they offer job seekers, they do all offer job seekers many of the above possibilities in one single location, saving you a lot of time and effort.

25) Get inspired

If you try to do even half the things on this list at your next job fair, I guarantee that you’ll get new ideas that will help move you forward to your next job, making it all worth it.

job fairs reasons to go tweet

Are career fairs worth going to? Absolutely, if you know what to look for.

Question of the article

What was your most memorable job fair and why? Tell us in the comments.

More reading, for and against

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  • 35+ Job Fair Success Do’s and Don’ts
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Thursday, 2 February 2017

💪 7 Things Recruiters Reproach Older Job Seekers And How To Respond

Job search is hard enough without these extra obstacles in your way.

7 Things Recruiters Reproach Older Job Seekers And How To Respond
Photo Credit: JD Hancock

The biggest hurdle older job seekers usually face is that many recruiters tend to be put off by their age.

While recent graduates struggle mainly with their lack of relevant experience, older job seekers unfortunately have a much longer list of prejudices stacked against them.

Lets look at some of the most common ones and how to deal with them.

Free bonus: The Midlife Job Search Report is a handy guide I compiled for older job seekers. Download it now.

1) Expensive

Employers perceive older job seekers to be more expensive to hire.

The prevailing notion in the market is that as an older worker, your salary expectations and use of healthcare benefits are higher. Naturally, you don’t want to undersell yourself. When asked about your preferred salary, give them a range you think they would be comfortable with, based on company research and job market research.

Another way to offset this is to highlight your years of experience and all relevant skills in explaining how you could save the company money by replacing the need for additional hires or retraining of current employees.

2) Outdated knowledge

Another widely held belief is, that as an older person, your skills and knowledge are not up to date anymore. This could be true for some people who’ve been “jobless and hopeless” for a longer time and haven’t been keeping up with the latest developments, or even people who have been employed for a long time but never given the chance to retrain or refresh their skills on the job. However, it doesn’t have to apply to you.

Make it your responsibility to keep your skills current and you won’t be rendered obsolete any time soon:

Find out which skills are currently in demand and are projected to be in demand over the coming year with regards to the job(s) you’d most like to get next. Then set aside some time every day to start learning or improving some of those skills, in part by showing them off publicly. As soon as you’re ready to answer expert questions about them, add them to your resume.

3) Not adaptable

By taking all the courses and training you need to keep your skills updated, you build up an unmistakable track record of adaptability that you can showcase during the application process. Do your homework about your desired position and the company you’re targeting, specifically. This way you’ll be armed with the background information necessary to show that you’re not stuck in old ways. It’s a good idea to describe yourself as a person who enjoys learning new things, whether in your resume or during the interview.

4) Unwilling to learn new things

A very common stereotype about older workers is that they’re unwilling to learn new things. However, all reasonable people understand that there are both tech-savvy and tech-shy people among all age groups.

Having an active brain and a willingness to learn is just a personal choice. If you can show the hiring managers that you’re taking classes, attending workshops and studying for a professional certification, then they won’t hold your age against you. However, if the stereotype does describe you, then now is the right time to adjust to the ever-changing knowledge economy by learning something new.

5) Less productive

Productivity is often associated with high energy and busywork. As we age, we tend to become somewhat less dynamic but this doesn’t mean that your skills are declining.

Over time, your strong points may shift to other areas. While you might be physically less powerful than the younger version of yourself, your semantic memory, pattern recognition, and language-related skills are likely to increase over time. And your biggest asset is arguably your many years of experience.

Research has shown that older people use their brain in a different way, which makes them able to perform just as highly as their younger colleagues. Using your brain more holistically has taught you to see the bigger picture, to distinguish the important from the unimportant. And focusing on the few things that matter the most is what productivity is all about.

6) More likely to have health issues

The reality is that aging is often associated with declining health, and many employers fear you’ll take more sick days than your younger colleagues.

It seems to be a valid concern, but the counter-intuitive truth is actually the opposite: older people actually take LESS sick days because they tend to lead more responsible lives. They have fewer things on their plate and know how to manage stress better. They have experiences with both ill health and good health, which has made them more in tune with their bodies and better able to manage their energy levels.

If you are a healthy and energetic person, make sure to list your hobbies in your resume and bring them up in job interviews. Address the health issue first and put their mind at ease by letting them know they have nothing to worry about.

7) Harder to manage

You can have 20 years of experience and a lengthy list of achievements, yet recruiters are still reluctant to hire you. Why is that?

They might fear that you have a chip on your shoulder when it comes to working with a younger boss, or simply – there it is again – that you’re set in your ways and aren’t open to newer ways.

If you really have the know-how the company needs, this will be less of an issue. The interviewer may still try to gauge your attitude by asking questions like “how do you feel about working with a younger boss?” and if you can tell a story where you successfully did so, or better yet, have references who are younger bosses, you’ll immediately calm their concerns.

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8) Less geographically mobile

Some jobs require travel. There’s a belief that travel is something only more dynamic young people do, but we’re not talking about backpacking here.

Whether you prefer to never leave your hometown or not, depends on you. But as an older job seeker, you actually have an advantage over younger people: your children are most likely older or even grown up and living their own lives, no longer requiring you at home. There are probably less things tying you down.

This makes you a) more flexible about travel or even, relocation, and b) frees up a lot of mental energy you can now solely direct on your work. Depending on the job in mind, use this as one of your selling points, and assuage any worries of unexpected emergencies that people with small children might have.

Question of the article

Which of these hurdles have you come up against most? Tell us in the comments.

More reading

Free bonus

The Midlife Job Search Report is a handy guide I compiled to help older job seekers.

This free download contains:
  • 5 Common Mistakes Older Job Seekers Make
  • How To Defeat Any Form of Job Search Discrimination
  • How Older Job Seekers Beat These Common Stereotypes
  • 9 Real Reasons Overqualified Job Seekers are Rejected
  • 40 Tips for Older Job Seekers That Actually Get Results
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Extra bonus: What does the older worker bring?

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