Posts in Candidate Tips
5 SIGNS DURING THE INTERVIEW THAT YOUR BOSS WILL BE A NIGHTMARE
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So you finally landed your dream job. The listing looked perfect, you’re making more than your last position and your co-workers couldn’t be kinder.

There just one problem; your boss is a complete jerk.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Based on a recent survey reported by LinkedIn, nearly two-thirds of Americans dislike their bosses so much, they’d rather see him or her fired than receive a higher paycheck.

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Like anyone else, bosses can have their bad days, when nothing seems to be going right and can ultimately take out their frustration on the people they oversee. But these types of manifestations can get old real quick when there’s seemingly no off switch to your boss’ discontentment button.

No one wants to work for a jerk, but you may be able to get a read on your supervisor’s penchant for churlishness during the interview by dropping certain clues. Here are five red flags to be on the lookout for to determine if your boss could be a nightmare come true:

1. Lots of talking, little listening

Give and take is what it’s all about when you’re interviewing for a position, but if the person you’re talking to is hogging the conversation, it can be an indication of what they’ll be like when you’re actually on the job. Aside from doing all the talking, other classic signs of not listening can include failure to make eye contact, easily distracted – whether by people or technology – or asking you about something that you already mentioned.

2. It’s all about ‘me’ 

The saying, “there’s no I in team” couldn’t be more true, so be on alert if your soon-to-be boss is almost entirely self-referential during the interview, when discussing the successes of the company, or explaining only his or her background and accomplishments. Taking all the credit – or laying claim to it when it isn’t due – is a major pet peeve of many employees today, according to several polls – and it ought to be, as good bosses always put their people first and foremost.

3. Badmouths their employees

Bosses have their opinions about the people they oversee, but they should keep those feeling to themselves – and certainly not discuss them with you during the interview. If they speak poorly of others – or previous candidates they interviewed – it can be insight into the type of person they are, the kind that you’re better off avoiding.

4. Seems in a rush

Everyone is busy, and bosses more often than not fall into the pressed for time category. Yet if the managers interviewing you seem like they’re giving you the bum rush – such as by constantly fidgeting, looking at their watches or not letting you finish your sentence – they may not have the time for you on those days when you could really use their guidance.

5. Nice to the nth-degree

Good bosses will want to make a good first impression, but if their niceties come across as inauthentic, be wary, warned workplace psychologist and career coach Janet Scarborough Civelli.

“If you feel like you are walking on air after an interview because a prospective boss made you feel like the most special person on the planet, that’s could be a bad sign,” Civelli told Business News Daily. “Authentic people are more likely to connect with you without the hardcore wooing.”

Remember, the job interview is a two-way street: You’re getting a read on them every bit as much as they are towards you. Trust your instincts and you can avoid those managers that make workdays a living nightmare.

6. Last but not the least in terms of importance

If you do not hear a coherent and clear vision or blueprint for the company from the leader, this is not a great sign. Just like you as a candidate should have a great elevator pitch, likewise you should hear the same coming from across the desk.

SERVANT, LEADER OR BOSS?
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Have you ever worked for someone that made you ask yourself…just how in the world did this person get to that level? You know the kind of person that I’m talking about, the unapproachable, all about getting the results at any cost type of boss.  They sit behind their desk and try to manage by their authority and power and typically don’t have a pulse or clue as to what is happening on their floor, in their showroom or in the distribution center.

Typically, you’ll find this profile leader managing more by the Dashboard and they’ve forgotten that there is a team or a collective group responsible for attaining those all-important numbers.

As a recruiter another profile I hear about all the time is the MICRO-MANAGER. This manager means well but causes disruption and stifles creativity by being over involved.  They constantly worry about everything and have no clear vision or belief system. They don’t understand the value of collaboration and teamwork in the workplace and do not share connectivity resulting in having no true influence with their team.

Great Leadership defined:

Tony Robbins, the award winning motivational speaker is a subject matter expert in teaching about Leadership Traits.  Here is one of his definitions of Leadership from his writings.

 “Leadership isn’t a position — it’s a skill and a tool you can continually cultivate and use to create lasting change and provide certainty to others in times of uncertainty. And it’s founded on the idea of influence.

Can you influence yourself? Can you influence the thoughts, feelings and emotions of another human being? How about a group of human beings? That’s what leadership is. An idea is only an idea, one that will ultimately die, unless you can become a person of influence — a person who can influence and lead your team toward that idea’s fruition.  https://www.tonyrobbins.com/what-is-leadership/

Unfortunately, there are many bosses out there that do not inspire their teams and therefore they are vulnerable to talent drain and turnover. From my seat as an Executive Recruiter I’ve seen how great bosses can literally insulate their companies from turnover.  In fact, I’ve found that when I call into a company with a great inspirational leader there is virtually no presentation or pitch that I can use that will dislodge someone away from a great servant leader.

According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job survey sites, “company culture matters more than pay as a driver of long-term employee satisfaction and engagement”.

At our firm we also like this quote from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “Dissatisfied workers don’t leave their jobs – they leave their bosses”.

Just for fun…here is a cartoon that really nails it:

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After seeing this cartoon, I just had to gain permission and include it since I recognized so many of the management styles that I’ve seen over the course of my own experiences and work lives. I have to say, for the most part I’ve had some amazing bosses and mentors especially early career. They really made the difference in my career tracks.  I really love the “The Seagull” and “Pitchfork” these two are my favorites. Over the years I’ve really seen them wreak havoc in the workplace.

So how can you determine whether your Company has Strong Leaders, Not Bosses?Here are some traits on how to determine if you have Leaders who inspire vs just being a boss from our Center for Recruiting Excellence at the MRINETWORK. Are leaders born or made? It’s an interesting question that produces a plethora of answers. But here’s something that isn’t up for debate: People are naturally attracted to leaders.

Leaders possess capabilities that can inspire others to become their best, something that business owners eagerly seek in the people they hire and the individuals they currently employ. When you recognize leadership qualities in your workforce, you can’t afford to let them get away. As a result, companies are always looking to identify leadership skills within potential hires to ensure they have a strong base of leaders that can drive the organization forward. These skills include the ability to motivate staff and drive innovation, while doing so with a sense of integrity, transparency and diplomacy.

A great way to gain insight on whether someone is more of a boss or a leader is to do your homework during the hiring process. For example, if you’re interviewing an applicant for a management opening, asking them a few questions about how they led various projects or initiatives will tell you a lot about their leadership style.

Additionally, calling one or two of the candidate’s references can give you an idea of whether the person was highly regarded for their leadership capabilities in their previous position. The length of their relationship can also provide insight.

How do you ensure you have leaders who inspire instead of bosses who discourage? Here are a few suggestions:

Leaders avoid micromanaging and consider others their equals

As discussed in The Muse, even though managers may be authority figures, they shouldn’t see themselves as “better than” the workers who are in their charge. The best managers view their relationship as more of a partnership, rather than a one-way street where the manager directs, and workers perform. Additionally, leaders give their staff autonomy, adopting a more “hands-off” approach to management. In the 2016 CareerBuilder survey, respondents who gave their managers a high letter grade were more likely to work for leaders who they didn’t consider to be a micro-manager.

Leaders take a genuine interest in their team members

Employees have lives beyond the office, spending their time with family members, friends, projects at home or activities within their community. Leaders aim to get to know their team on an individual basis, forming a more personal relationship while at the same time learning about qualities that can contribute to the growth of the business, like expertise that isn’t currently be utilized, or traits such as patience or perseverance that would lend themselves well on a special project. Knowing someone at an individual fosters trust and encourages people to give it their all.

Leaders prioritize relationships and results

Managers in leadership positions are responsible for ensuring work is completed effectively so growth never ceases. Overbearing bosses may still be able to achieve solid results, but it may produce diminishing returns if employees are at their wits’ end and ultimately decide to quit in search of greener pastures. Leaders recognize the value of relationships. They prioritize finding solutions to issues that may be troubling workers and ultimately impeding their work output. Leaders also put greater emphasis on results that are achieved through demanding yet, reasonable processes rather than processes that are tedious and unnecessarily taxing.

“Whether it comes naturally or develops over time, leadership is an indispensable asset that can help your business reach its goals, “Fostering strong leadership and leveraging it to drive the organization forward can be the difference between a run-of-the-mill operation and a truly extraordinary one.”

In today’s competitive workplace you can inoculate yourself from most turnover by influencing and leading others.  One of the questions I often ask executives when conducting a screening interview is this; tell me what your peers and direct reports say about you in the lunchroom or at the water cooler?  Their answer to this question tells me a lot about their style and whether or not they’ve ever given any thought to influencing others.

I believe we never can stop learning and growing. If you have a favorite type of manager you’ve encountered in the past please send me a note.  bill@connectorteamrecruiting.com

Blog Post by: Bill O’Malley, Chief Recruiting Officer at Connector Team Recruiting.  Connector Team is recognized by leaders and leading consultants as the premier search firm in the Furniture | Appliance and Sleep vertical space. Connector Team is an affiliate office of MRINETWORK recently ranked in the Top 10 in Recruitment Firms by Forbes Magazine.

HOW IMPORTANT IS SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE HIRING PROCESS?
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From my desk in Recruiting for the Furniture, Appliance and Sleep verticals, here is a really big sea change that I’ve seen in hiring. When I introduce a candidate profile and resume to a client, inevitably 7 out of 10 (my estimate) will immediately go out on their own and review the candidate’s LINKEDIN profile. The younger the hiring authority, the higher that number goes.  Contrast that to even 5 years ago – I would say that most of my clients were aware of social media, but rarely check it as part of their process.

How fast is Linked In growing – According to LinkedIn stats from 2003 to 2016, LinkedIn grew from 500,000 users to over 500 million members.  In the US the estimate is that there are now 130 million users.  LinkedIn is just one platform but clearly, it’s the leading business platform.  In addition to LINKED IN here are just some of the other top sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Reddit…and on and on from there.

As you can see from the information below from our affiliate home office the MRINETWORK, this has created a whole new added dimension in the hiring process including some legal pitfalls.

What that means for the recruitment desk is knowing your candidate, consistently checking social media sites as part of your regular practice to ensure that you really do have all the information about the candidate. Social Media has created another window into the image that an executive projects outside of the workplace.

Remember when screening a candidate past the interview stage was limited to references and a credit, background or drug test? The growth of social media has introduced another dimension to the hiring process – that while on the surface appears positive, can present challenges in gaining a clear picture of a candidate – both socially and professionally. As social media is increasingly being leveraged to evaluate candidates, employers will need to determine what policies they will put in place to ensure consistency in the hiring process.

According to the 2018 Reputation Management Study conducted by MRINetwork, nearly half (48 percent) of candidates believe their social media presence is important or very important to potential employers. “They are aware that employers can now learn a lot about them prior to meeting with them, or even before contacting them, as they seek out candidates who have the skills and personalities that will be beneficial to their organizations,” says Patrick Convery, marketing manager for MRINetwork. “Consequently, many job seekers are putting more of their social media profiles on private, or even setting up separate professional profiles, so their information can’t be shared with the public.”

While many employers casually review candidate social media profiles, the survey reveals that 18 percent are formalizing the process, and another 17 percent say they’re considering doing so in the future. But what are they looking for? Although they want to learn something about the candidate’s social life or the choices they make – 39 percent of hiring managers say questionable content or behavior is the No. 1 thing they look for – they are also looking to see if the job resume is consistent with the information posted on social media by the candidate. “LinkedIn and Facebook users typically add their place of work, the college they graduated from, their hometown, and where they’re currently living,” observes Convery. “Prospective employers can check this information to be sure that the candidate’s resume is lining up correctly with their profile information.”

The Pitfalls of Overreliance on Social Media in Hiring Decisions

Not everyone updates their social media to their current situation and there are still some candidates who do not yet have a social media presence. As employers check out candidates, they may inadvertently ignore someone who is a perfect fit simply due to their lack of a social media presence or inconsistent updating of their information. “If social network users have their profiles set to private, as is becoming more common after recent breaches in security, this means they don’t want the world seeing what they post, which results in an absence of the kind of data employers are looking for to screen job applicants,” says Convery.

Another risk that employers face when using social media information in the hiring process is a legal one. Employers have to be aware of the types of information they are selecting to use in the hiring process; it can be problematic to assess candidates based on their race or gender since this information is protected legally and cannot be taken into account when hiring, according to the Chicago Tribune.

CAUTION – If you learn of a candidate’s protected characteristic(s) (including age, sex, race, color, religion, and national origin) by reviewing the candidate’s social media sites, you may not allow that to influence your willingness to recruit that candidate. Likewise, you should not share that information with your team.

Creating a Consistent Policy on the Use of Social Media in Hiring

If your company reviews social media profiles, it’s best to establish a policy around the use of candidates’ online information in the hiring process that clearly outlines when online searches should and should not be used. “By identifying positions for which searches are an important element of the process, you can develop a standard approach for how these searches will be conducted and how the information will be used,” says Anne Hayden, vice president of human resources for MRINetwork.

Hayden advises that you consider how to incorporate the following components into your policy:

  • Clarity on the rationale for the use of searches

  • Transparency for those using the policy and for candidates who are the subject of searches

  • Consistency in terms of how searches are conducted and who conducts them

  • Openness about what impact the findings will have on candidates

“When done correctly – and legally – looking at a candidate’s personal profile can be a great hiring tool, but you will still gather the best insights from the personal interview,” concludes Hayden. “Asking the right questions and encouraging an honest dialogue can help you get to know a candidate better than their latest post on Instagram and prevent you from passing up a great new employee.”