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10 Questions Job Seekers Should Ask Before Accepting Remote Work

April 16th, 2018

Partial or full-time remote work ranks as one of the top benefits that job applicants seek in a new role.  Employees are seeking to take back their time – either through flexible working hours, reducing their commute, or work from anywhere options.

There is a debate about productivity, retention, and the overall benefit of allowing employees to work from home. Last year, IBM recalled many of its employees back to the office – ending a benefit that was once touted for increasing productivity.  On the other side, Dell aspires to have 50% of its workforce in remote situations by 2020.

So how do organizations that offer remote opportunities make this perk mutually beneficial? They set expectations.  Regional Director Austin Douglas says that setting expectations ahead of time will eliminate a lot of headaches in the long run.

And it isn’t just employers who need to set expectations, Douglas says.  Employees also need to be proactive in asking about and conveying expectations.

  1. How am I expected to communicate with the office or others on my team?
  2. What apps, communication systems, or software am I expected to know or learn?
  3. Am I able to work when I want or are there specific hours that I need to be available?
  4. Do I need to log hours or keep track of projects?
  5. Is there reimbursement / stipend for my internet, phone, or mobile bills that are associated with working remotely?
  6. Who covers the cost of travel if I am required to come into the office?
  7. Do I have the option to work from the office if I do not want to work from home?
  8. Is there anything in the foreseeable future that would cause circumstances to change as it applies to remote work?
  9. Who is expected to install or provide the equipment that I will use to work remotely? What if there is an issue?
  10. Are there any location restrictions to my remote work? I.e. Can I be out of the country?

Based in Los Angeles, Douglas estimates that about half of all job seekers that he works with are looking for some type of remote work. The dreaded Los Angeles traffic means that the commute is one of the top reasons for which an applicant will accept or reject a job offer.  Some type of remote work, even partial, is highly desired.

“It is important to know exactly what you want,” says Douglas. “And it is also important to treat remote work as if you are at the office in order to be successful.  Create a work-only space, structure your day, log your hours, and get dressed as if you are going to work.”

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Posted in Talener Blog

The Candidate Experience

March 1st, 2018

Talener is committed to providing every candidate with an experience unlike any other technical recruiting agency. In 2017, Talener celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. This milestone gave us the opportunity to reflect on the business. We look back on those years; trying to improve every aspect of Talener. This starts internally as we continue to build our culture and develop our staff.

Taking care of our candidates and providing the best for them means that we must create an internal environment where we provide our people with opportunity, growth & purpose. This team is engaged and inspired by the work they do. This dedication and engagement means that they can provide better service to you and our clients.

As a company, and as individuals, we are committed to your experience.   We strive to provide you with:

A Strong Relationship

A resume doesn’t tell the whole story. Building a relationship by meeting you in-person is standard practice. We are representing you, as a person, not just a piece of paper.  Resume algorithms and keyword percentage matches remove the human aspect.  Finding a job is much more than technical skills. It is about building a relationship that allows us to find the right fit for both you and the client.

Local Jobs

Our teams operate locally. We focus on local talent with local companies. Our desire to build relationships in-person cannot be achieved if we are not operating locally. Our teams know the market, the types of roles available, have relationships with local companies, and live where you do.

Specialization

We work in local teams that focus on specialized technical verticals.  It is important that every team member understand how their technology stack applies to you. And, it is imperative that we can relay back our client’s needs and ask the right questions when we are speaking with the direct hiring managers.  These conversations with the person with whom you will directly report are paramount to understanding who the company wants to hire vs. the skills in which they are interested.

Communication & Feedback

The interviewing and application process can be daunting. Our goal is to take some of the stress out of the process by ensuring clear communication at every step of the way.  We provide interview feedback (good or bad), explain how the interview process is progressing, communicate timelines, and let you know where you stand as it pertains to other applicants.  We want to help you to improve and be successful.

Preparation

We will prepare you beyond the job description.  From company information to team intricacies, we are committed to prepare you for every challenge you may face.  Preparing you for technical interviews or quirks of a particular hiring manager, means giving you a leg up against fellow applicants.

Being Your Advocate

We are your advocate. We are here to market your experience, understand you job desires, and build your brand on your behalf.

Coaching

Coaching goes hand-in-hand with communication and preparation.  We’ll help you to answer tough questions like why you were fired or what your salary expectations are.

Managing the Interview Process

In addition to communicating how the interview process works, we will also help to manage the timeline and multiple interviews. We know how hard it is to take time from your busy day to interview, so we strive to make this process as seamless as possible.

Every day, we focus on building great, lasting relationships in our market and our community.  While the goal is ultimately to find you a role – the path and the experience getting there can be just as crucial. Ensuring that you are placed at the right company with in the right role means that we have done our job.  Jobs open and close and the technology market changes rapidly.  We want to be on your side, helping you to navigate these changes, be prepared for the unknown, and give you the expertise you need to be successful.

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Posted in Talener Blog

The Entry Level Resume: Making it Count

February 21st, 2018

Snagging your first job out of college or an entry-level role in a new industry can be tough. You research the organizations, look at their networks, and check their reviews.  But after you have applied, is your resume being seen at all?

Software programs search for keywords – meaning there is a chance that your resume may never make it into the hands of a recruiter.  Recruiters and HR sometimes have hundreds of resumes for one position.

Every day, the Talener Talent Acquisition Team strives to give dozens of applications the attention they deserve. They look for key elements that help them decide whether an applicant will receive a call back.

Objective Statement

Sometimes it is a goal, a mission statement, or an objective. But most of the time, it is not a make-or-break on your resume.  If you’re running out of space, nix the objective. It’s a few more lines that may keep a recruiter from going further down your resume.  If you think your objective statement is unique and a key part of your personal brand- don’t leave it out.

Information Overload

Creating narrow margins, minimizing font size and, tightening spacing can be just as detrimental to your resume as misspelled words or poor grammar.  Your resume should provide a flow and easy reading for the recruiter.  Keep sections neat, organized, and in chronological order.

Keywords

Whether we like it our not, we are programmed to pick up keywords and phrases that support the necessary skills for a role.  What qualifications did that job description ask for? Do your keywords compliment or complete these requirements?

Skills

Skills build over time.  As an entry-level applicant, it is important to show how you have used your education, previous jobs, and time to maximize your skills.  Do your skills illustrate your willingness to learn new things?

Quality Over Quantity

Most resumes receive less than 60-seconds of facetime.  Important information should always be first and stand out. The amount of jobs you’ve held or clubs you’ve been a part of are less important than what you did during your time.

Leadership

Taking a leadership role always stands out. It shows your ability to juggle time constraints, oversee projects and interact with people.  Highlight where you made the biggest impact and how you got to your position.

Education

Education can be a sensitive topic. Many people who do not follow traditional education routes may feel boxed out of certain positions.  Use your resume to show your path and how it has made you what you are today.  Never discount your non-traditional background- but be prepared to qualify your experience.

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Posted in Talener Blog

Talener Spotlight: Kate Byrnes

February 1st, 2018

Kate Byrnes, Regional Director of Talener Chicago & DC, sat down with our team to reflect on how her career has taken shape over the last few years.  Byrnes, a 2013 Colgate University graduate has made her mark on Talener, taking on every challenge presented to her as an opportunity.

How did you hear about Talener?

When I graduated from Colgate, I already had a strong relationship with Talener.  Austin Douglas (also a Talener Regional Director and Colgate grad) reached out to me to tell me about his experience.  His enthusiasm for what he was doing as a Relationship Manager was infectious and took me down the path of interviewing for the company.

What attracted you to the position?

 It was more than the position itself that attracted me to Talener.  It was clear that everyone was highly-motivated and worked with such optimism.  Everyone had goals that benefitted themselves, their colleagues, and the organization.

 Talk to us about your first job title – and the evolution of your role

 Four and a half years ago, I started as an entry-level Relationship Manager (like most people at the organization!).  Since then, I have been promoted five times and am currently the Regional Director of the DC Metro & Chicago regions.  My movement through the organization is not unique; Alicia Scully (also a Colgate grad!) started the same day as me and we were both promoted to Regional Directors on the same day.  There is a sense of accomplishment and pride starting at the beginning and now overseeing two regions and more than two dozen team members.

Did you expect to be where you are today? Very few people stay at their first company out-of-college for this long.

 Yes and no.  At each new level, I experienced new challenges and obstacles that I had never faced before.  But at every turn, I knew that I was supported and that each challenge was presented to me because someone believed in my abilities.  I made the decision to move to Washington DC in 2015 to help launch a new office.  This gave me the opportunity to expand my responsibilities, both at a local and national level.  I was able to see a huge potential for myself to affect individuals on a greater scale.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

I can’t wait to impact individuals beyond our DC market.  I’ll be able to continue to foster client and candidate relationships in a different geography.  It’s a great learning opportunity.  Plus, I can influence internal growth expansion and development.

 What is one thing you enjoy about coming to work every day?

 I get to help individuals navigate through the same learning curves that I once went through.  It’s not only inspiring to see their transformation, but something that I love to be a part of.

 What advice do you have for someone just starting out in an entry-level job?

 In sales, or in any job, I always tell people to take everything day-by-day, step-by-step.  Don’t discredit the small wins.  Most of us who start our professional lives have little to no practical experience doing what we’re hired to do.  It’s imperative to be patient with your own learning curve and not to be afraid of making mistakes.  The only way to grow is by putting yourself into as many situations as possible to succeed.  Success doesn’t happen if you aren’t willing to try.

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Posted in Talener Blog

Learning from Negative Interview Feedback

January 25th, 2018

“Take criticism seriously, not personally,” encourages Talener’s Gabe Klein.  The Chicago Director echoes this sentiment when he delivers negative feedback to his candidates during the interview process.  Whether he is conveying constructive criticism or relaying a ‘no’ after several rounds of interviews, Klein tries to focus on providing honest information.

Hearing negative feedback about yourself is never easy.  “Delivering it is just as tough,” says Klein.  “After making it through three or four rounds of interviews, candidates are often hopeful that they will get the call asking them, ‘when can you start?’”.

Whether you use a recruiting firm, or you are applying to a position on your own, it is important to objectively digest the negative feedback.  Did lack of sleep contribute to a less-than-stellar interview? Were you late? Or simply, was someone else more qualified for the job? Receiving negative feedback without understanding why you’ve gotten it, puts you back at square one in your job search. If you are taking on the job hunt alone and have received negative feedback, it is paramount to ask your HR team / interviewer what went wrong.

“Often, candidates don’t dig beyond surface feedback,” explains Klein.  “I’m trying to help both my candidate and client, so my goal is to listen for understanding rather than for debate. I can dig for detailed feedback that candidates may be uncomfortable asking for or too upset to address.” Klein says that he uses the feedback as a means for prepping the candidate for future opportunities. He has seen some of his best candidate relationships stem from a role in which they had been passed over or had received negative feedback.  Likewise, this feedback is an opportunity to qualify future candidates for that client.

“I often take responsibility for an unsuccessful interview process. It is my job to make sure that candidates are appropriately and effectively prepared. If they aren’t, I know that I have to do better as their recruiter.”

Overall, Klein advocates for open dialogue and transparency.  This includes things like knowing the number of candidates who are being considered, the interview type, and general information about the organization. The more questions you ask and the information you know, the better prepared you will be. Open dialogue and transparency all go hand-in-hand with providing feedback. Klein’s opinion is that any feedback can be good feedback, if you are willing to be open-minded and transparency on all sides shows that expectations are being managed and maintained.

Klein promotes cautious optimism. Being excited about an opportunity is part of the job hunt, but that doesn’t mean that a candidate should put all their time and energy into a single role. By looking into multiple roles, you’re given the chance to further develop your interview skill set as well as understand that each role and process is different.  And who knows? You may receive negative feedback from an interview on Monday and apply it to an interview on Wednesday.

If you are unsure about how to ask HR or an interviewer why you’ve not been offered a role or what you could have done differently, reach out to Gabe at gklein@talener.com for tips and tricks to successful interviewing.

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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

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