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New Year, New Goals, New Job
Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Lucas Professional Search Group

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Whether you are thinking about finding a new job or contemplating a career shift to another field, the start of a new year is actually a good time to begin your job search.  Getting a job or making a career change ranks high on many people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions.  So, the good news for job seekers is that many people are looking and planning to leave their current positions, which in turn creates turnover and a spike in the number of job openings.

Since the conditions are positive for your job search, how do you make it happen?  Here are some tips that should help you land a great job in 2018:

Grow your network.  Go over the list of contacts in your professional network.  Is it up to date?  Do you need to delete old contacts and add new ones?  A new year is a great time to find ways to grow your network.  Consider attending networking events, creating accounts for networking sites like LinkedIn and using them to discover new contacts and influencers in your profession.

Work with numbers.  Set numerical goals.  These could involve the number of resumes you plan to send out within a given time frame, the number of informational interviews you set up in your targeted career field, or even the number of times you meet with people.

Refresh your skills.  There’s nothing like learning something new to open up your mind to new ways of thinking and to open your career to new pathways.  Consider courses that offer an opportunity to learn a completely new skill that you’re interested in, or try building on a skill set that you already possess.

Work with a recruitment agency.  Partnering up with a recruitment agency is a great way to find a job that suits your needs.  Whether you’re looking for a contract or temporary assignment, or something permanent with more stability, you can find an agency that will find jobs that match your career goals, needs for work/life balance and employment preferences.  Recruitment agencies have access to hidden job markets, opening up your opportunities considerably.

Remain open to unexpected opportunities.  Leave some space to stay open to unanticipated opportunities and unexpected twists and turns that could take your career into a completely new direction.  Have a plan, work it, but be ready for changes in the year ahead!

The Importance of Being Upfront with Your Recruiter
Posted on: November 24th, 2017 by Lucas Professional Search Group

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In the recruiting business, it is important to not only provide top talent to our clients, but also to build strong relationships with clients and candidates.  When we have build those solid relationships, we have a greater chance of understanding what both our clients and candidates need throughout the interviewing and hiring process.

During this process, many job seekers fail to see the benefits in building a strong relationship with a recruiter.  However, a recruiter can be an integral piece in the hiring process when it comes to the hiring manager’s final decision.

Below are three reasons why you should be upfront with your recruiter throughout the interview process.

1. You will get free coaching.

Let’s face it, recruiters are experts when it comes to interviewing and hiring.  If you’ve found a good recruiter, you will have access to a plethora of interviewing advice.  Guidance on interview attire, behavior, as well as follow up advice are important tips that can help you land the job.

Knowing when it’s appropriate to ask certain questions throughout the interview process is something that many job seekers struggle with.  Your recruiter should know and advise you on the appropriate questions to ask throughout the interview process.

In addition, if the hiring manager has a sweet spot when it comes to a certain skill-set, the recruiter will know and will be able to inform you of this prior to your interview.

2. The recruiter often has access to the hidden job market.

Maybe your recruiter doesn’t have an immediate job that fits all your requirements right now.  However, that doesn’t mean that you should push the recruiter off and not explain your key job desires.

Recruiters quite often have access to job opportunities before they ever hit the job boards.  Having a shot at a job that hasn’t even been posted yet is a huge benefit and can put you miles ahead of other talent in your field.

 3. Your recruiter can influence the hiring decision.

When it comes down to it, the recruiter actually works for the hiring manager.  However, don’t misunderstand what this means for you.  If you are a good fit for the position, you definitely want the recruiter on your side.

Hiring managers partner with recruiters because they rely on the recruiter’s assessment when it comes to the right candidate.  Your recruiter can influence the hiring manager in making a final decision as well as an appropriate offer that can guarantee a signed agreement between you and the hiring manager.

By being upfront with your recruiter in the beginning, she will know how to position your interest and requirements to the hiring manager in order to provide a win-win situation for both you and the hiring manager.

Giving Thanks To Your Superstar Employees
Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Lucas Professional Search Group

Every Thanksgiving, you’re undoubtedly bombarded with advice on what you should be thankful for.  Friends, family, health, happiness, success, etc.  But allow us to suggest another faction likely to improve your quality of life on a daily basis: Superstar Coworkers.  You know who we’re talking about!  They make the lives of everyone around them – staff, peers, managers – easier on virtually every front.  But do you qualify as a Superstar Coworker?  It’s not just as simple as being really good at your job.  Do you also:
  • Take the time to build genuine relationships with the people you work with and for?
  • Anticipate the needs of your manager, seeking out guidance only after conceiving of and suggesting viable courses of action?
  • Seek out opportunities to support  peers by taking on overflow work without needing to be asked?
  • Find ways to improve processes, making yourself and those around your more efficient and effective?
  • Attract other prospective Superstar Coworkers to come work on your team?

Did you answer yes to most or all of these questions?  That’s great!  But, is it possible to do the above without becoming a pushover?  Absolutely – Superstar Coworkers also:

  • Hold themselves and others accountable to expectations, deliverables, and deadlines
  • Clearly communicate their expectations, aspirations, and goals
  • Understand their value at their employer and in the marketplace

The bottom line is people fitting the criteria defined above are often the glue holding together dynamic companies, especially during periods of rapid growth and change.  How can you thank them?  A nice bottle of wine, unexpected cup of coffee, or gift card to their favorite store are great options; but sometimes, a simple thank you, recognizing them in front of the team is all it takes.  So take the time to think about who truly makes your job easier, more funless stressful, simply better, overall.  And say thank you!

5 Questions To Ask A Recruiter
Posted on: August 11th, 2017 by Lucas Professional Search Group

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Every once in a while, the phone rings and it’s a recruiter on the other end.  While you might not be interested in what he/she has to offer, you have to admit that it’s at least a little flattering to get the call.

Once you get past the initial compliment though, you have to get down the serious business of determining whether or not you are interested.  The recruiter want to know about you, but before you turn over your resume, there are things you should know about him/her.

Here are 10 questions to ask a recruiter:

  1. What are the main qualifications the recruiter’s client (the employer) is looking for?

The truth is, the client/employer often has only a few key requirements that are deal-breakers.  Get those on the table first to see if you’re even in the ball park.

  1. What is the job description?

Hearing what the client/employer expects you to do is important.  While he job may entail more money or a higher title, you have to show up and do that job every day.  Make sure it’s something you want to do.  Will it stretch your skill set?  Or, will it represent more of the same at the moment in your career when you’re ready to do more?

  1. What is the reason the open position?

You’re going to have to do a little digging here.  People turn over, but it is only meaningful if you can see a pattern.  Do they have high turnover?  Was it a promotion?  What is the longevity of the rest of the team?

  1. What is the compensation package?

Here’s where you ask about starting salary range.  But also ask about bonus structures and any other perks that might be included.  Half-day Fridays always sound good to us, but others may care about child care, health and wellness, stock options, health insurance, etc.

  1. What is the interview process?

How many steps till the decision?  Will you get to meet the senior management in the process?  It’s just good to know what your process will look like and to gauge how well you are doing (are you almost at the finish line?)

 

 

 

5 Ways To Help Keep Your Employees Motivated
Posted on: July 21st, 2017 by Lucas Professional Search Group

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Quite often, the major motivating factor for better performance is higher pay; but almost everyone responds positively to praise and recognition.  Since not all businesses can afford to hand out regular bonuses, here are 5 other ways to help employees stay motivated and productive at work:

1.Provide supportive leadership

Leadership is one of the key factors in employee motivation. Supportive leaders work closely with employees – trust and a sympathetic ear are powerful incentives for keeping employees focused and for developing new talent.  Good leaders act as role models, holding themselves to high standards of accountability that set an example for all.

2.Empower employees

Every employee needs to know that he or she is valued as an individual. No one wants to feel like a faceless, interchangeable pawn in some larger game, so make sure all the members of your workforce are given opportunities to express themselves.

3.Create a positive environment

Since many working professionals spend the majority of their waking hours at the office, the work environment should be a place that puts employees at ease while encouraging productivity. An important step toward creating a happy and productive workspace is to encourage employees to share the information and knowledge, which for a supportive leader usually means more listening than talking. People should be allowed to admit their mistakes without fearing humiliation. Employees can also benefit from being given new and more challenging assignments that take them out of their comfort zones.

4.Encourage teamwork

Nothing is better at keeping an individual focused and responsive than belonging a team. Through teamwork, employees learn to trust each other and to look beyond themselves. And healthy competition in a team setting, both in the office and after hours, can increase creativity as well as productivity.

5.Recognition and rewards

It doesn’t take much–an employee of the month plaque, a coupon for a Starbucks latte–to create real motivation, especially when recognition takes place in front of the group. Recognition and reward on a regular basis remind employees that they are appreciated, and help them to balance short- and long-term goals.