It was interesting to read a post this morning in the Safety professional FORUM of 3500 members (I assume 99% from Indians /India) to which I have subscribed in 2005. A fellow Safety professional, has posted few days back position requirements ( multiple Sr. ESH leadership positions) that need filling in the ESH function of his organisation. 48 Hours later he has given a feedback /update (This morning) in which he has indicated that Professionals who applied for those ( Again 80% I assume) have 1) not asked for job description, 2)just attached the Resume without even indicating the position to which they applied 3) Not even a body text in email, a blind attachment etc etc etc. He wondered should such applications be even considered??
I am not particularly surprised with this kind of response, both recruiters looking for Staff function, as well as candidates take the selection process rather casually like going to casino for a jackpot. In my survey “State of ESH Nation -INDIA “, 50% of ESH folks have responded that they have been approached by Recruiters about 1-3 times a year for job opening and in 55% of times, they never heard back post their career documents being sent! I would think a stage comes people lose confidence in the system and they just go through motion of applying for job like a ritual,protocol, or necessary evil that need to be tried out to make them at peace.
Recruitment process over the last 10 years or so also has undergone significant change! As a person who has seen old times, where Recruiters with whom I had associated and who helped me to change jobs and shape my career in 80s,90s and early 2000s, ( Yasmin of Lobo Management Consultants, Madras-who was instrumental in me moving back to South India 1996 ( I wonder where she is now?) ABC twice, (#BASF, #Monsanto) Ganesh Bhatt-Balkan HR, who helped me with #Honeywell) I am still in touch as personal contact/network. These days recruitment/hiring is more a “HOOKER Transaction/ exchange with both sides going through the fly by night mode! Also scandalous is huge Fee Recruiting agencies plunder to take the applications forward in stages! This was a personal shocker!!! ( I have never fell for it fortunately in the last decade or so, but even I was conned once by a smooth talking a Gupta guy from Delhi,who managed to leak out 6000 Bucks (100$) few months back!! Only consolation was I could have been swindled Rs 25,000 in a 3 stage scam,but I was alert and never believed from day 1 that this would go anywhere. So Rs 6000 loss, was the price (to that persistent manipulator,) I paid to prove myself right. So with the kind of situation that exist, professional in their frustration, helplessness, may just respond in a robotic way like trying to hit a Dart in a dark room, so you can’t blame them!
But whatever be the horrible situation of state of nation economy,like behavioural approach to driving we practice,(Every other driver on the road is mad, insane, brainless, you need to protect yourself through your behavioural actions to reach your destination safely More on that in coming days) ESH professionals need to work the following basic aspects if they are serious about job change.I would call them the 1o Golden Rules.
- Rule #1 No job in manufacturing is so great, so enticing that you need to pay Fee to get it. So avoid paying fee, commission. However desperate you are with current job or unemployed, never give in and waste money in drain.
- Rule #2 Never leave /resign job in anger, frustration, (Unless asked to do unethical stuff). Bird in hand is worth two in bush! Remember Every manager is Dr Jackal and Mr Hyde. So there will be dark sides, wherever you go. People join the company, leave the manager! (ofcourse true 99% time, odd exceptions exist-in my case it was just once)
- #Rule 3 Work a Career Document covering all your responsibilities, Achievements, key metrics! update them say once in 3 months. This will form the backbone of resume. Tailor your resume to the job requirements from this career document. You may need to alter the resume many times, but if you are serious about job change then this is must. Align your resume to job description/profile given as much as possible. Always ask for Job description if you are contacted before responding. I was called for Job interview last JULY from top-notch INDIAN company in a hurry like no tomorrow. When I asked Job description to the HR Lady (Evil HR LADY!!!) for that position,they were evasive. So I was clear they were not serious,still flew for that discussions, as my sister lives in that city,so good chance to meet her. No wonder it fizzled out! The joke was they informed me few weeks later (very rare feedback in Indian culture) my profile didn’t suit, I didnt apply at all, the phone call came from them finding me somewhere ? What the hell?? hahahhah!!!!
- Rule #4 Cover letters are essential, they make you get noticed to get the possible interview. Work in to explain, how you fit the job, what skills, behaviours you bring in to the position. Hiring manager wont get more than 30 seconds to decide, so a good covering letter can swing that your way to make him/her go next page which is the Resume. I used 1 page Resume, (despite 30 years of work, I would leave to folks)
- #Rule #5 Interview is an artificial reality that is created to Keep people “OUT; OUT” Not IN!! So work towards making until last stage and do your best. Until you have offer on hand, YOU HAVE NOTHING.
- Rule #6, Interviews are all about Behaviours linked to Results you achieved. This is more so as you climb the career ladder, prepare for situations of how you handled them by action, what you did as task, what was task, what was result and how it aligns with companies values etc. (STAR)
- Rule #7, “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” prepare a 10 min overview of your quick personal side, significant achievements in your career span, Challenges turned in to opportunity, Behaviour traits that set you apart. Most people miss this question and derail from there on.
- Rule #8 In an interview you are allowed one Strike! (One gaffe, Error, mistake) but folks miss the plot by thinking about it on and on and lose track/ plot of their performance. If you missed something, forget and move on. Hiring manager knows you are human.
- Rule #9 Prepare Questions and ask when it is your turn. Never ask about benefits and compensation. More like what are successful skills needed to succeed in job, What are career growth, 90 day challenges in the job etc could be good indicator of your committment, passion to your future role.
- Rule #10, never negotiate in final stages of interview You have no power to do that!, Companies knows what you are worth. Also indicate your range of compensation that would interest you. Do research, network with folks to know the range the position is worth. (Yes people wont tell true number, assume it is always inflated high!)
I have listed some of these aspects which have worked for me. I hope this post gives some clarity to folks to work a way forward. Remember it is all about “SOFT SKILLS” the ability to communicate, motivate, engage, inspire, show empathy is all that matters! Technical Skills,??? Robot would do! Human not needed!
I would be more than happy to share 1) my cover letter, 2)1 page resume of 27 yr career then, 3) Career Document, 4) Tell Me about yourself! please email me or post request in the blog! Happy to do so! If you need anything, just ask.
Good luck and God Bless
23/3/17 1330 Hrs.
PS: Of course, I would not have learned any of this If I had not listened to Manager Tools since 2006 besides working with great collegues in top notch organisations.