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Interviewing During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

March 6th, 2020

Planning for modified hiring processes, handshakes, and video conferences

Businesses and people across the country are preparing for a potential pandemic of COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus.  But today, like any other day, millions of people woke up, got themselves ready, and made the commute to work. For the vast majority of employees who don’t work 100% remotely, physically coming into work is a reality, pandemic or not.

Employers are making business continuity plans, and major companies like Twitter and Ford are banning all non-essential travel.  Google and Facebook both canceled their developer conferences in the wake of the outbreak. Some have even restricted their own employees from offices until they complete a mandatory quarantine after traveling to high-risk areas for business or pleasure. 

But businesses must continue to operate. And part of operating means hiring new employees as business needs arise.  The use of phone interviews or video calls is widespread for early stages of the hiring process, but most companies require an in-person meeting at least once before extending an offer.

If you are working with a staffing agency like Talener, your representative is your advocate – especially if you have concerns or questions regarding on-site interviews. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get answers prior to going on-site. If companies have enacted work-from-home policies, ask how it affects your ability to interview as well as your potential start with the organization.

If you are working on your own, most hiring managers or HR will appreciate the heads up about any concerns you may have.

Travel

If you have traveled to a high-risk area recently, please be courteous to your interviewers and give them a heads up to confirm if they would like to re-schedule, conduct a video conference, or have you come into the office.  

Likewise, if you know that the company at which you are applying has international offices in high-risk areas and employees who travel frequently, you should ask the hiring manager or your staffing representative if they are taking any precautions with their own staff.

Sickness

Experiencing sever cold or flu-like symptoms before your interview?  It is in your best interest and the interviewers to give them as much notice as possible if you are feeling under the weather.  While canceling an interview is never ideal, providing as much notice as you can is always the right decision. 

This is particularly true if you have traveled to risk-areas or if you live in a densely populated area where you are in constant contact with people at shops, restaurants, or on public transportation.

Shaking Hands

It is OK to let your interviewer know that you are trying to follow universal precautions during the outbreak. If you’ve been on public transportation, take this approach, “I was just on the subway, could you point me to the restroom to wash my hands before we get started?”

If you are uncomfortable skipping the handshake, keep hand sanitizer with you or ask to use the restroom to wash your hands before you begin your interview.

Continuity Plans

Many companies have business continuity and disaster plans in place, particularly in densely populated areas or if they have employees that travel regularly.  During the interview, ask about work-from-home policies, policies on personal and work-sponsored travel, and expectations.

During this time, your Talener representatives are in constant contact with clients. They are learning about continuity plans as they emerge as well as making alternative arrangements if in-person interviews are not a viable option. If you have questions about a company with whom you are interviewing, use Talener as a resource.

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For more information about the Novel Coronvirus (COVID-19), the WHO, CDC, and National Institute of Health provide universal precautionary measures as well as information about the spread of the virus.

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Posted in FAQ, Talener Blog

Setting up for Success: Josh shares his goals upon starting at Talener NY

February 27th, 2020

Setting goals and expectations for yourself at a new job can help set you up for success from day one. Josh Nigro, Talener New York’s newest team member, sat down with us to talk about how he visualizes his goals and how he intends to be successful in a Relationship Manager seat.

Coming into your new role at Talener, what are some goals you’ve set for yourself?

I want to hit the ground running in order to help as many candidates as I can. It’s important to me to sharpen my tech knowledge so I can fully contribute to conversations with candidates about their experience and future career goals.  I am committed to building my career in a Relationship Manager seat in order to move into a Senior Relationship Manager role and then run my own team as a Group Manager.

What skills are you looking to sharpen, learn, and expand upon?

I’m looking to sharpen my entry points on phone calls and emails. By doing this, I can build relationships and trust with my candidates – helping to set them up for success in the best possible job for them.  It’s important for me to learn how to screen candidates for their ideal job and approach interviews prepared with the right questions. Learning these skills sets me up for expanding upon finding my own clients and focusing on business development.

What will be challenging for you?

I think that learning how to deal with uncomfortable situations will be a big challenge for me. Nobody likes to be uncomfortable, but I think that diving into these difficult situations prepares me for the good and the bad.  It’s hard to tell someone that an interview didn’t go well or that they didn’t’ get the job; but being upfront means I am being honest about their career – something that is a vital part of their life.  Additionally, these situations prepare me to have similar conversations down the line – both personally and professionally.

What are you looking forward to in your new role?

I’m really looking forward to connecting with the candidates. I want them to land the role that they’ve been looking for and I want to build a relationship with them at the same time. I strive to be their source of knowledge as well as a source for their friends and co-workers who are looking to make a change in their careers.  I am looking forward to building trust.

What drew you to Talener?

The interview process was direct and detailed. I knew the expectations coming into the job.  The environment and the people were open with me – explaining how I can create success for myself, the team, and the company.  Everyone took time to learn about me and show me how I can apply my knowledge to the position.  I also appreciated the openness in the workspace. Everyone sits in an open work environment where we can collaborate as a team.

Tell us about yourself

Since childhood, my passion has been baseball. Competing at a high level was a great way for me to learn leadership skills, work with a team, and appreciate the sacrifice for the betterment of the team.

I always wanted to be a successful baseball player, but my dream shifted as I got older and I set my sights on wanting to be a General Manager for a club.

Rapid Fire Favorites: Book, Song & Movie

  • Lord of the Flies – it’s a roller coaster of emotions. Children are creating an entire society, testing their moral values.  It’s a good theme to discuss and even apply in the workplace.
  • Your Love, by the Outfield
  • Wedding Crashers

The Talener NY Team is looking forward to the enthusiasm that Josh brings to the team. His experience and his desire to set and meet goals is infectious!  We can’t wait to see the great things that Josh will do for the Open Source community in New York.

Posted in Talener Blog

Bethany shares her insight on her growth at Talener Boston

January 22nd, 2020

Bethany Arnold smiling at the Boston Seaport.

Looking back at the past few years, I can see that I’ve grown a lot personally and professionally. My time at Talener has been an experience that has allowed me to become more confident, make decisions, create my own path, and build relationships with peers, candidates, and some of the world’s leading companies.

My promotion to Group Manager lets me reflect on the skills I’ve learned, the confidence I’ve built, and how I want to drive my team into the future of Talener Boston.

Relationships

Committing to building long-term relationships has helped me on both the candidate side and the client side of the staffing business. These relationships are critical for me to differentiate myself from other recruiters in the Boston Metro.  Strong relationships build solid foundations, and this is something that I have continued to learn about during my time at Talener.

Every interaction in creating business relationships is important. It’s rewarding in so many ways to build strong enough relationships that foster referrals from past candidates and clients.  This is a huge mark of success for me personally. It affirms that I’ve put in the time and effort to build enough trust with someone that they are happy to refer me to their colleagues & friends.

Critical Thinking

The idea of staffing is straightforward – matchmaking companies to candidates.  But the reality of staffing is that it is a human business where there are complex situations and emotions that must be navigated daily.  I’ve taken the opportunity to learn how to be creative in my problem solving and breakdown situations to analyze about how every step affects the outcome.

I’ve become more confident in how I make decisions. I know I can remain calm in high-pressure situations both inside and outside of the office. Tackling these situations early on in my career at Talener has been critical to my success.

Management

In my new position as Group Manager, I’m looking forward to developing my team’s individual skillsets as much as possible.  It’s important, and I look forward to promoting members of the team.  I want to manage in a way that leverages everyone’s strengths to provide the best service; efficiently delivering results for clients and candidates.

Personally, I am looking forward to building upon my problem solving and decision-making skills. Being in a managerial position allows me to take ownership and accountability of a variety of situations which will only help me grow professionally and develop these skills further.

I have been working towards a management position since my first day at Talener. Experiencing organic career growth first-hand has been extremely rewarding and I couldn’t be more excited to take on more responsibilities.

-Bethany Arnold

Posted in Talener Blog, Uncategorized

Talener NY’s William Ware Promoted to Lead Relationship Manager

January 7th, 2020

The Talener New York team recently promoted William Ware to Lead Relationship Manager. William has worked hard to build his personal brand at Talener, and his promotion is a reflection of his hard work, strong character, and desire to grow.

We sat down with William to get his take on his development and what he’s learned about himself over the past few years. 

Looking back on your first day here, how do you think that you have grown personally and professionally?

Professionally, I have grown immensely – both in staffing and as a businessperson in general.  It is an amazing opportunity to work with clients; learning how to provide the best service possible to them.  I’ve truly learned to take myself seriously as their business partner.

Personally, my confidence has grown, and I know that I can talk to anyone about anything.  It makes it so much easier to keep conversations flowing.

What keeps you going when you’re having a rough week or month?

I tell myself that there are ups and downs that come naturally in a ‘people’ industry. I remind myself to try and stay on course. There are also so many ways to contribute to my team positively; so, in a down month, it’s important to see how else I can be useful to the overall success of my team.

What is one thing that you have learned along your career path thus far that you wish that you had learned at university or from someone in the professional world before you started working?

I wish I had learned to handle ups and downs and to not to be emotional or frantic when something doesn’t go right or when I didn’t get the result I wanted. I think I’ve learned that if my process, habits and hard work are constant, the end results will come as well. This took me a long time to properly learn.

What are your keys to success?

I think that there are several keys to success – all working in parallel. I understand where I need to allocate my time in order to have the most impact on a day.  I have also learned to truly care about my interactions and the impact that I have on my clients, candidates, and colleagues.  This drives me to deliver for each of these people. Likewise, I’ve had great teammates and mentors during my time at Talener, and they have helped me to find my success.

How have your communication skills developed?

I am much more direct now. I believe that people are always looking for clarity above anything else.  I’ve found that I’m much more personable with candidates than I was at the beginning.  I make an effort to get to know the person and strive to have longer and friendlier phone calls. 

How do you deal with potentially uncomfortable situations?

I think the best way to deal with an uncomfortable situation is to dive in head-first. This is an industry in which you are impacting people’s lives in a very significant way. There are often difficult or awkward situations that arise. They cease to be uncomfortable the more that I encounter them.

Tell me about a time that you dealt with an unexpected issue.

Recently, a candidate verbally accepted an offer and we got the go-ahead to send them an offer letter. However, between the time of verbal acceptance and written acceptance, he received a call from his dream company asking him to interview.  We worked with him so that he could interview for the new position, while continuing to manage and maintain our current client’s expectations.

Our ability to remain calm about the situation and give things a chance to work out (when it looked like they wouldn’t), gave us an advantage.  We already had a great relationship with the candidate, and we showed transparency on both sides.  In the end, our candidate accepted our offer over his dream company.

How do you see yourself in your new role as a Lead Relationship Manager?

I’m excited to be a Lead Relationship Manager moving into 2020. It’s going to be a great year of growth for our team and I’m excited to be a part of that. I look forward to training and working with more new hires as well as growing our client list. I’ve been able to build great relationships with those on my team as well as with clients and candidates. I hope to continue doing that this year.

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Posted in Company News, Talener Blog, Talener Culture, Uncategorized

NY’s Malik Gill Promoted to Senior Relationship Manager

December 16th, 2019

Building relationships are a cornerstone to creating long-lasting business partnerships. Talener New York’s Malik Gill has learned that firsthand as he has brought his life experiences and Sociology background into Talener’s staffing business. Malik was recently promoted to a Senior Relationship Manager at Talener and he credits his success, in part, to learning how to cultivate better personal and professional relationships. We sat down with him to get more insight about his time at Talener and what he had to do to get to where he is today.

Congrats on your promotion! What does it mean for you?

The promotion solidifies my growth over the past year.  It means that I have been able to understand my weaknesses and shortcomings in order to refocus my energy and development on turning those flaws into strengths.  In reality, growth and learning never stop. The promotion is just a point in time that recognizes my efforts and success thus far.

What have you learned during your time at Talener that has impacted you the most?

I’ve learned the true importance of the long game. Every phone call, email, handshake and referral are vital to long-term success. No connection, no matter how brief, should ever be taken for granted. All the work that I do now comes into fruition at some point down the line. Every client becomes a candidate and every candidate becomes a client. Individual conversations affect your brand both personally and professionally. Plus, they impact your reputation. 

What new skills are you developing?

Clear and direct communication. Everyone is on the same page when I know how to explain complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Additionally, learning to be honest and transparent during tough conversations is vital.

There is some element of personality management in this position.  I need to be able to understand why different people behave the way they do in the search for employment or in search of new employees. I look forward to growing this skill as I continue my career.

What does your professional and personal growth look like?

Personal and professional growth go hand-in-hand. Over the last year, I have become a better listener. Instead of listening to respond or defend, I’m learning to listen with the intent to understand what is being said.

This has allowed me to learn more about myself, my candidates, and my clients. The skill of listening is vital to developing relationships and building my career.

In a conversation with our CEO Mike Dsupin, you mentioned some things you considered to be your “keys to success.” Can you elaborate?

I think that I can attribute my success during my time here to building good relationships.  I am building different types of strong business relationships with my client, their hiring team, and my candidates. If a candidate is comfortable enough to be honest and transparent with me about their goals, it significantly increases the chance of me being able to successfully place them in a job.

Another key to success has been recognizing when I’m not being successful. There was a period where I just felt off when dealing with candidates and clients. I wasn’t really taking the time that I needed with them and I was missing critical details about their searches and their lives.

I was hindering my own success; I wasn’t meeting my own goals or the ultimate goal: finding a job for my candidate.  Once I understood this, I was able to consciously slow down and take the time I needed. I chose to dig deeper on phone calls and in-person to develop a trusting relationship.  I’ve now seen the results firsthand and my ability to place candidates has increased.  Sometimes the key to success is learning why you haven’t been successful.

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Posted in Uncategorized

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