This is going to be hard hitting on some people, but we need to stop relying on the words Diversity and Inclusion. Why? Because the modern institution of diversity and inclusion allows companies to pat themselves on the back for doing a few things, while allowing them to fall short on the promise they made to minority employees. Simply relying on D&I is limiting us on how we look at recruiting and retaining diverse talent. Although I firmly stand behind the values and meaning surrounding D&I, the institutions companies have created around D&I need to be redefined and expanded to the point where current definitions of diversity and inclusion are considered obsolete.
As an executive recruiter, I specialize in the area of diversity recruiting. However, my goal is for the candidates and clients we match to grow together through their career and business practices. What we've realized is that diversity initiatives alone may not be enough to ensure success. Companies may be able to attract multicultural talent, but when there is no real effort in transforming culture, D&I policies and initiatives that exist to make diverse voices feel valued and respected are bound to fail. Diverse employees will not be able to thrive within the company and will leave the company within a year or two at most. Whereas clients that actively promote, celebrate, and empower diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are where we see our clients and candidates thrive and grow together for years to come.
If the culture isn’t already inclusive, you’re not ready for diversity
When companies start seriously thinking about diversity and inclusion, it is typically an afterthought based on complaints by unhappy employees, or an exodus of minority employees. Even the name “Diversity and Inclusion” seems to imply that the order is diversity THEN inclusion. However, a design set up on securing vast amounts of diversity talent before establishing a culture of inclusivity is already designed to fail. Before companies seek to expand in hiring diverse mindsets, they should observe the diversity that already exists within the office and ensure that inclusive practices already exist within the workplace for current employees (ex: parents, age groups, gender). When the company then seeks to attract new forms of diversity, they can simply expand on those practice already in place and create new policies as needed rather than scrambling to create something from scratch.
‘Diversity first’ puts the burden on minorities to create inclusion
For many companies the reality of ‘diversity first’ has already hit and they are scrambling to create inclusion programs. Unfortunately, this is putting an undue burden on minority employees who have been tasked with either learning to adapt to a non-inclusive environment or with designing inclusion for themselves and others like them in the company. Both of these tasks require minority employees to take on responsibility above and beyond what their job calls for. This can have long lasting effects on their performance, efficiency, and longevity within the company.
D&I means nothing if the corporate system isn’t equitable
Equity within the workplace starts with understanding that there are underlying, and often unacknowledged, biases built within organizations that favor some groups of people over others. Furthermore, equity is acknowledging the role of systematic privilege in the success of some employees over other employees due to underlying biases. Therefore, equitable policies are those that help to bridge the gap between marginalized groups of employees while addressing and eliminating corporate bias by recognizing what was/is needed to be successful based on previous skills, tasks, or abilities. Equitable policies should seek to provide supplemental training for all employees who need to refresh their skills, diversify performance matrix by recognizing multiple forms of success, establish clear promotion tracks to eliminate bias in management, and establish pay brackets across management levels to eliminate wage gaps for similar work.
D&I shouldn’t be limited to a department in Human Resources
When many people think of diversity and inclusion they think it’s admirable, but it’s also not their problem. D&I has been reduced to a department out of HR rather than a movement within the company. In reality, DEI should be an ideology held by all members of the company that affects every business decision from hiring, to expanding a product line, to finalizing a marketing campaign. When D&I is siloed within HR, employees and hiring managers are able to brush it off as a responsibility that only exists for HR when they should be the ones at the forefront to create an inclusive and equitable environment for employees and colleagues.
Diversity is a movement, not a mandate
A movement serves as a force that revolutionizes the values and decision making process of a company, leaving no process untouched. Although hiring multicultural talent is beneficial toward improving diversity of thought, if companies do not take active steps to foster a multicultural movement then diverse thinkers will feel marginalized and excluded, stifling your employee’s ability to fully participate in the culture of the company. Therefore if companies want multicultural talent, they need to take the time and resources to ensure that multiculturalism is fully implemented into the vision and culture of the company to ensure the promise of diversity, inclusion, and equity is fulfilled.
The problem with modern D&I is that companies will stop at creating a D&I department thinking that is enough without changing company culture, practices, and values. The movement toward valuing diversity has to extend further than the work that has already been done in modern day D&I departments and needs to extend far past diversity and inclusion to ensure an equitable work place as well. Companies need to step away from the siloed D&I model in HR and begin transitioning a DEI corporate culture that transforms the values held within the company, within management, and within employees. It isn’t until we embrace the movement that is diversity and ensure the success of all voices that we can really begin to say that the American corporation has succeeded in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
You might be wondering why an Executive Recruiter is so hung up on the DEI issue, it is because we want our clients to thrive and they will thrive when they set themselves up for it by incorporating a successful DEI process in which the STAR Diverse Talent we recruit for them will shine and be able to bring all they have to the company including their diverse thought process, ideologies and new product ideas to serve other markets. This is only part of a 30 page guide which will be made available to prospective clients within the month on how to ensure DEI. If you would like to receive this guide the second it comes out, please sign up at www.dcaprosearch.com/diversity-guide-signup.html
Finally! The open position you’ve had on your team for the last few weeks has been filled. You feel like you found the perfect candidate after countless interviews and resumes and your new employee is in their office setting up their desk. Little did you know, this employee is about to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and endanger your teams productivity and morale and maybe cause you to lose a major client. Why? Because you hired a lemon.
According to leadershipIQ a staggering 46% of new hires are considered mis-hires within the first 18 months. These mis-hires can have far reaching effects on your business that you couldn't prepare for.
What can you do to try and fix the problem? Although firing them seems like a good option, it means you have to give them a severance package and invest more money into a new search. Unless you make some changes in the way you screen and train new hires you are bound to hire another mis-hire at some point. Instead of engaging in the go nowhere cycle of hire and fire, take these steps to rehabilitating your mis-hires and review your hiring practices to make sure you avoid hiring another lemon later on.
Make them a follower
Every leader needs followers and who better to be a follower than an employee who has no ability to be a leader within your company. Followers keep the leaders within your company from engaging in a power struggle by allowing each leader to have the workforce that will allow ideas to come to fruition.
Let them do the busy work you were avoiding
People hate sitting around doing nothing. The same goes for your mis-hires. They’d rather sit at their desk doing busy work than sit around and spin in their chair. That makes them the employee of choice to do those time consuming tasks that take up the time of your best performing employees.
Train them with incentives
Have you ever thought about implementing incentives to encourage your worst employees? These incentives are nowhere near the rewards you give your best employees, but they can consist of letting your employee go home thirty minutes early once they completed their tasks, or letting them sit out of the mind-numbing financial meeting as long as they complete their sales graphs without extensive help.
Give them a Mentor
Although you and your employees may not have hit it off with your mis-hire, another leader in the company who doesn’t know their lack of work ethic may hit it off better. A mentor can encourage the mis-hire to better themselves and inspire them to change how they engage with your team
Identify their Strengths
Maybe your mis-hire really isn’t a bad employee, but they are just bad at their job. Their strengths simply don’t align with what they were hired to do. Therefore, find them a job within the company that does align with their strengths. Introduce them to other people within the company and reinforce them that it is okay to leave your team to join another team.
Review Your Hiring Techniques
Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you continue to use the same hiring techniques you are going to continue to hire the same bad lemons. That’s why companies are increasingly beginning to hire outside recruiters: to add another layer of screening to filter out bad candidates. Not only do recruiters allow another layer of screening, but they are able to get you passive candidates that are already high achievers. Recruiters get you invested candidates who turn into invested employees.
There is a Solution
Don’t lose hope if you hired a lemon. Bad employees can often be rehabilitated to become your best achievers and future leaders within the organization. However, this comes with a warning. Too many lemons will come at a cost.
That is why companies invest so much in getting their hiring practices right. DCAProsearch has proven time and time again with our hires that the right employee can increase profits, productivity, and morale of the entire office. Companies have recognized that our recruiters get it right. That is why we boast a 92.8% repeat business and referral rate for the quality of our work. Stop hiring lemons and start hiring a recruiter to lower your chances of ending up with a lemon.
After a career spanning 20 years it can be difficult to summarize all your experience on one sheet of paper and, actually, we don’t recommend you do this. This can be especially challenging for top level executives with a diverse skill set and multiple responsibilities. However, breathe a sigh of relief because you do not have to put every single thing you have done on your resume nor is there a rule that it must be on a single page. Saying that, we don’t recommend you go over 3 pages. The most important thing to remember when crafting your application materials is that quality beats quantity. Take a hard look at your current resume and identify what is missing and what can be removed. It may even be useful to completely start your resume from scratch to allow you to rethink your brand and expertise.
When choosing what to include, make sure you first understand where you have been in your career, where you are, and where you want to go.
1) Identify the experiences relevant to where you want to go
The majority of Americans in the work force will begin their career in one area of business, and find themselves working in a completely separate area ten years later. One of our executives, Anita, for example began her career in advertising at a mid-sized agency and now is the Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion at a large company. Even though she was a successful advertiser, not all her experience was relevant when she began to focus on recruiting multicultural talent. The first thing Anita did was create a “You Need, I Have” form. In this form she researched all the skills her prospective employer was looking for in a Diverse Talent Manager and identified the skills she currently had that met those needs. She then used this insight to highlight those relevant skills on her resume, while removing skills that were not as valued in her new role.
2) Include your most recent positions
This may go without saying. However, many executives forget to include the positions they held before their promotion to the C-Suite when the promotion came from within the company. Before Anita became the Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion at her company, she was a director and manager. Employers want to know about that experience too, and trace your journey to the top. Your resume should tell recruiters the story of how you came to where you are today. Our suggestion is to include your most recent THREE positions, and an earlier position only if it is different from the other positions and relevant to where you want to go. Don’t include too much information on the positions that have nothing to do with the job you are interviewing for. Do include more detail, especially measurable results, on jobs that are in line with the position you are interviewing for.
3) Assign consultant positions under one Job Heading
When you have worked more than 20 years, there are times that you probably consulted between jobs or opted to have that flexibility for personal reasons. It’s best to include them all under one job heading so they appear as one job versus 2-5 different jobs. Include them all within the one time period starting with the starting month/year of the first freelance position to the ending month/year of the last one. You can include month/year (in light gray) per freelance period within the section for each consulting job but don’t include too much detail on those jobs as it will make the resume too lengthy. Just include main points that would be suitable for the position you are now looking for.
4) Highlight special skills and projects
Although most people summarize their resume to include 4-8 bullet points per job, we know that you do so much more than that. You have worked on countless projects and tasks that may fall out of what you do on the day to day. If any of these projects or experiences are extremely noteworthy to the position you are applying for, put it on your resume. As recruiters we like to see that you did more than what you were responsible for on the day-to-day. We are going to use Anita as our example again. While she was at the advertising agency, a client tasked her to create a campaign to attract Hispanic and African American markets. The campaign was so successful that it launched her passion for diversity and inclusion and caught the eyes of her new employer when they read it on her resume.
5) Make yourself more than an employee
Most executives will often find themselves doing more than just one job. They will sit on the boards of non-profits, engage in philanthropy, or hold advising positions at other companies. As recruiters we want to know about these positions too. Your resume is your story, and we know you are a lot more than just your job. Not only does it help you exhibit your qualifications for the position but it also builds your brand. Expressing these interests and positions on your resume personalizes your application, and makes you stand out above others who only put their job on their resume.
When choosing what experience to include on your resume, remember that your resume is your story. Include only what will be relevant to where you want to go and where you have been. However, do not let your resume reduce your story to simply your job. More than anything else, your resume is the biggest tool you have to build your brand. Your resume is one of the best tools you have to help you stand out. Not sure if your resume experience matches where you want to go? Contact Us, and we will be happy to help you advance your career in new ways.
Congratulations! You have accepted a job offer at another company and are ready to make the transition. You’ve turned in your two weeks and started packing up your desk. All of a sudden, your current boss calls you into his office and out of his files pulls out a counter offer for you to stay. What do you do? Do you take it or do you politely decline and finish your packing? This is the decision the majority of employees face when choosing to leave to another company. Counter offers are all too common, and over 60% of employees will receive a company offer before switching companies. Even though the counter may seem persuasive, it’s still probably not the best option for you or your career for a number of reasons.
1)The company may not be keeping you for the right reasons
It may be flattering that the company wants to keep you, but the question you should be asking is “why they want to keep you.” The hard truth is that the reason they want to keep you so bad is because training someone new takes a lot of time and money. Although they may have given you a nice raise, or even a promotion, the amount they would have spent training someone else would have cost a lot more. It may still be true that they want to keep you for your irreplaceable work ethic, but hiring costs were also a factor.
2)Your salary increase has to be coming from somewhere
For most companies, budgets are approved at the beginning of the fiscal quarter or year. What that means for you is that pay raises and bonuses do not come out of thin air. The monetary increase included in your counter offer had to come from another pot, and in most cases that pot was yours. The bonus or raise you may have gotten later that year is gone the second you accept the counter offer. Therefore, you actually are not getting anything extra that you wouldn’t have already gotten before.
3)There was a reason you wanted to leave
Think back to when you were still weighing the pros and cons of the new company and your current company. There was a reason you chose to leave your current company to pursue the new opportunity. These may have involved company culture, people, career growth, benefits, or pay. If you go with the counter offer, nothing will change. The company culture will remain the same, you will be working with the same people, and even if you did get a raise, more benefits, or a promotion these will just postpone the next time you move up in your career. The new company is offering to reboot your career, their recruiters find value in you and the move may even surprise you.
4)Trust between you and your employer is not what it was before.
Once you turned in your letter of resignation to your boss, you told them your intentions to leave for greener pastures. They know that there are certain benefits that another company is offering you that persuaded you to want to leave, and if you could be persuaded once what keeps you from getting persuaded again? Even if you accept the counter offer, your relationship with the company won’t return back to normal for months or even years. This distrust may harm your career the next time it’s time for a promotion, or even keep you from accessing certain parts of the business.
5)You burnt the bridge with the other company
The other company is putting their trust in you. You have already accepted the offer, and you have given them your word that you would work with them. By going against your word you are tarnishing your brand and your image with the company. If you don’t like it, then there is a much higher chance that your current company will hire you back than the other company taking a chance on you again. Your chances of being given another offer with the same company later in your career have dramatically decreased.
We understand that counter offers can be tempting and sometimes even over-whelming. However, by making the switch you will advance your career and gain a new set of skills in a new environment that will help you grow. If you are thinking about leaving your current company but don’t know where to start, contact us and we will get the ball rolling toward new opportunities.
The most common interview question interviewers ask is, “Tell us about yourself?” If you aren’t ready to answer this question then you’re already in a lot of trouble. Your response to this question should be a 2-3 minute introduction highlighting your career, skills and passions. The best way to prepare for this question is to simply ask yourself, “What is my brand?” You have to convey your brand to the interviewers and leave them with something to remember you by. Your reputation is your personal brand, and your brand is what sets you apart from the others.
How do you make your brand stick with recruiters and hiring managers? Here are FIVE tips to ensuring that your brand lingers in their minds weeks after your interview.
1) Your brand doesn’t have to be only “professional”.
You are human and your brand should be too.
Don’t let your corporate skillset distract you from who you are. Companies want to get to know you as much as they want to know if you are capable for the job. Let them know you do more in your free time than developing marketing campaigns. Figure out what your passions are and convey that in your interview when appropriate. This is the area to fill in the blank to “the girl or guy who…” The more unique to you it is, the better.
2. Be more than who your resume says you are.
Leave them with something to remember you by.
Unless you left them with something to remember you by, most interviewers will not remember your name when making their decision on who to hire. However, they will remember what you told them. It’s not enough to be John Smith from Dallas anymore. When you leave the interview room, be John Smith the award winning photographer. John Smith the cliff climber. John Smith the weekend karate teacher. You want them to remember you for something more than just John Smith the Creative Director.
3. Anyone can learn a skill, but strengths are unique to you.
Identify your strengths versus your skills.
Skills are defined as something that you do well, whereas strengths are a good quality or attribute about you. The difference between the two is skills can be learned, while strengths are slower to develop over time. Jennifer down the hall may be just as good at SPSS as you are, but is she as meticulously patient when discovering trends in the data? Both you and Jennifer are skilled in SPSS but your difference is that your strengths lie in your work ethic and attention to detail.
4. Getting the job is as much about how relatable you are than it is about your skillset.
Find commonalities with your interviewers.
If your bosses are going to spend eight hours a day working with you, they want to know if they can relate to you first. Find commonalities with them, and nurture those until you form a connection. This is all part of instilling your brand with the interviewer so they remember you after the interview.
5. Invest in Professional Career Coaching
Utilize a career coach to help shape your brand.
Sometimes it can be hard to look at ourselves objectively. Asking friends and family what your strengths and weaknesses are can be hard because they are biased toward you. At DCAProSearch we offer some of the highest caliber career coaches in the industry. We work with you to develop your brand, and help you build the brand that will land you that dream job. Visit our website, or give us a call to learn how to use a career coach to build your brand.
Want to learn more about how to build your brand? Contact us and let us get to know your personal brand.