Dear Experts, I had a phone interview last week and am being flown in for an interview. They sent me my flight plan, I haven't heard any further details. What's protocol for receiving itinerary/hotel/etc. and for contact in between the two? Here is how our T.A.P. experts answered this question:Q#212 Each co does differently; call 2 ask their protocol on hotel etc; I bet u knew ansr, wanted validation. (@juliaerickson) Q#212 I'd definitely be in communication w/them. Too many opportunities for probs otherwise. Good luck! (@beneubanks) Q#212 Sigh. How are you going to survive in the job if something this small throws you for a loop? Just call and ask. (@askamanager) Q#212 Agree with the other experts. Phone your contact and confirm the plans. (@gradversity) Q#212 Call and follow up 2 understand what next steps r and timeline. This will clear up confusion. (@kgrantcareers) Q#212 Phone ur contact. U might need to book hotel and submit a receipt to be reimbursed. (@DebraWheatman) Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.
Are you struggling to get noticed by employers? Is it difficult for you to establish a connection with certain companies? If so, this live event is for you!
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In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Identify the importance behind 'connection stories' and how these will help you get hired
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Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, September 14th at 12 pm ET.
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Are you thinking of using contingency recruiting to find your next hire? Let's look at 10 reasons why you might want to avoid doing so...
A new client of mine, a VP of accounting, came to us after a terrible experience with a contingency firm. His company was in desperate need of hiring a corporate financial analyst. The recruiter from the contingency firm contacted the VP claiming they had the perfect candidate who was immediately available. The VP agreed to interview the candidate, only to waste everyone's time. The candidate did poorly in the interview, and the VP was shocked that they sent him someone so ill-prepared and ill-fitted for the role. As a result, he and his firm decided to start over to find a new recruiting company—and that's how he found me!
As a former and recovering contingency recruiter, I knew exactly what happened to him and offered to explain the behind-the-scenes process contingency teams use. Here are the 10 things you should know before using a contingency agency:
What To Know About Contingency Recruiting
- It’s a great job market. Most of us veterans have never seen such a rich, robust market with so much demand and high salaries. Accounting and finance professionals have never been in so much demand and not for this long before.
- Contingency recruiters are commission based and don’t earn a commission until their candidate is hired.
- Contingency recruiters negotiate their fees which are based on salaries. The higher the fee is, and the higher the salary is, makes a very healthy commission!
- The contingency recruiter represents the candidate first. Yes, that is right. They will present the candidate to many clients to get them hired to make their commission, and the ideal is a high fee with a high salary.
- A contingency recruiter generally interviews the candidates, but the depth varies because they don’t want to spend too much time working for free.
- Contingency recruiters work alongside a team and compete against their team.
- With so many positions to fill quickly, contingency recruiters don’t want to spend time on a challenging role and a low fee and salary.
- A contingency recruiter usually does not spend a lot of time asking the client questions about the position. They don’t often understand the position and may not send the right candidates, if any at all. Remember they are working for free.
- If you don’t want to receive many resumes, then agree to a low fee.
- If you only want candidates that are actively looking, then work with a contingency recruiter. Don’t expect they will cold-call recruit passive candidates because they don’t want to do much work for free.
After explaining all this to the VP, he seemed happy to have an approach that involved sourcing passive, qualified candidates. He also understood the financial benefits of investing in recruiting based on billable time instead of the outdated and expensive percentage of salary fee structure. In short, he realized we were set up to be an extension of his team and focused on his best interest—which is just one of the multiple benefits of my company being an agnostic partner in the hiring process.
I should also mention that we provided him with a talent pipeline so that in the event he needed to hire another person in the same role, he could do so without being billed again, unlike a contingency recruiter who would require another large lump sum for an additional placement.
The VP now understood what many come to realize about contingency recruiting: it's a broken model that is overpriced and ineffective.
If you'd like to learn more about the cost-effective way we can help you find the right senior-level talent, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I may not like it; however, I respect being a PM. PM actions are necessary and difficult. These activities can be rewarding if executed well. PMs must be able to respond quickly, and these ideas are some of the lessons I learned the hard way.
What Is Being A PM Anyway?
Being a project manager, you are the coordination between many factions all working together to accomplish a larger task. You are the glue to hold projects together, and you are the central node to the spider web network among the team members.
Project managers absorb information from all the stakeholders and consolidate these inputs into a unified plan of action. This plan defines the course for completing the project. Schedules, action item lists, documentation, and meetings originate with the PM for dissemination. PMs should be the first to know about problems, and they often work to mitigate risks to the overall project.
How Do You Be A Good PM?
Being a good PM takes some effort. You cannot passively manage a project and expect positive results. You need to act.
My recommendations have developed over years of experience. I have made mistakes, and I have learned to incorporate strategies to avoid my previous transgressions. Although I am not saying these are the “be all/end all” list of actions, I think these strategies can plant the seeds for your own activities.
Communicate, Communicate, And When You Think You Are Done, Communicate MoreBigstock
Regardless of the size of the team or the complexity of a project, I believe you cannot over-communicate. The team must be aware of the project status and decisions made to ensure success.
Shying away from problems without sharing them with the team is a common mistake. PMs must communicate the good, the bad, and the very ugly. Failure to share these details drives mistrust. Rumors begin, and stories unfold. Communicating the truth builds trust and unity among stakeholders.
Frequency is a balance, and PMs do not want to burden the team (or themselves) with unnecessary details. Too little, people on the team are left to their own devices; too much, the PM may appear to be crying wolf. Experience will be a guide, and a common approach is a minimum of once a week connecting with each stakeholder or group. When in doubt, err on communicating more than necessary ensuring you have delivered your message.
Keep Charts, Reports, Minutes, And Updates Simple… Complexity Breeds Confusion
Everyone talks about MS Project®, Primavera®, or any myriad of tools to manage a project. When required, use them—simply. When not required, use the most effective tool possible, even Excel®.
With the volume of emails everyone receives in a professional setting, the challenge is reading and digesting volumes of information every day. The more complex your message as a PM, the less likely the stakeholders will comprehend it. Simple charts, tables, and bullets summarize ideas and use subsequent details to reinforce the message.
The more complicated PMs make the process, the more unmanageable the project may become. Even the most complex multi-year project can be simplified. Work to make your updates as clear as possible. Your audience will appreciate the brevity.
“RAIL” Lists Can Be Your Best Ally…
I learned to use a very simple “running item action list (RAIL)” for capturing information. Utilizing this tool in meetings keeps things very simple and easy to communicate. I have included a typical format above.
Sequentially add action items to the list by date. Describe the task to complete briefly. Add due date and responsibility. Status percentage updates each time you discuss an item and only 100% when completely closed. Notes is an open field to capture information each time an item is discussed.
By capturing these action items, PMs have a record of questions, concerns, and details discussed throughout the project. Sharing the file with the team during review meetings or as an attachment within messages keeps people informed. Open items are easily searched, and completed items are for reference.
Each time the file is modified, the PM can save a copy by date/revision and maintain a working record of all discussions throughout a project. In the event of a discrepancy, cross-reference older files as an item of record.
Communicating “Bad” News Or Problems
Every project will face issues to address. In our current world, supply chain delays are prevalent in nearly every industry. Design setbacks and failed tests can delay a project unmeasurably. You will have problems—trust me!
So what do you do? Keep it to yourself and deal with it? Limit the discussion to a small team? What and how do you tell the customer?
In my experience, you first identify the problem and discuss it within the internal team. What went wrong? How did this happen? Identify some alternative solutions and measure feasibility.
Before having 100% of the answers, I engage my customer. I explain the situation, and I define some of the alternatives listing potential solutions. I gauge the impact on the project timing. Then, I ask for their suggestions.
Involve your customer in problems. Many customers appreciate the candor and the opportunity to participate in the process. They may not be happy; however, they have a stake in the solution. I have discovered my customers often have ideas we had not considered when presented with the issue.
My biggest takeaway is NEVER hide anything. Yes, you will make people angry. Yes, stakeholders will be disappointed. Yes, you may get in trouble. Deceiving the team that “everything is all right” to find out later you were covering up only creates distrust and fear. Be honest and sincere, and you will see improved results when dealing with problems.
Project management is often a thankless, difficult job. Everyone has managed a project at one time—whether professionally or simply around the house. PM work is challenging.
You can plan now on how to make the project run efficiently. You can prepare your communication methods defining them with the team. You can develop your templates to keep communication simple. You can agree with stakeholders on how problems are presented to the team.
With some planning, PMs can create simple strategies to make the process flow well. Knowing how to manage the project’s intangibles will allow you to focus on where to add value.
Finally… execute! The stakeholder is looking to you to succeed. Show them you can deliver, and make your project a success! Good luck, and know that I appreciate your efforts because I walk in your shoes.