February 22nd, 2017 Comments off

Welcome to Parallel HR weekly video where our Sr. Talent Acquisition Consultant, Sara Ryndfleisz gives some tips about the new LinkedIn layout and why it is important to keep it updated.

Volunteering is Good for Your Office Moral

February 15th, 2016 Comments off

While it has been known that volunteering is good for your soul, it seems as though it has other beneficial effects as well. Studies have previously shown that volunteering is also good for your physical and mental health and now it seems as though volunteering is also good for your company health. The physical and mental benefits are just some of the reasons businesses have begun to place an emphasis on volunteering and outreach. Along with helping employees be happier and healthier, it’s also a great way to to build team unity and bring a company together through altruism.volunteering

According to a recent survey, volunteering not only enhances employee effectiveness and efficiency, but it is also a great form of advertising and a good way to get publicity. This makes sense, especially if the volunteering is organized by the company — this means that people taking part will mostly likely be given shirts with the company name on it so that they can show off where they work. Understandably, this means that people working alongside the volunteers will see the company name and make the connection between the volunteers and the company they work for.

If this day and age of advertising, any leg up on the competition is useful. People are more likely to do business with a company they see advertisements for and there is no greater advertising than a group of happy employees throwing themselves into a charitable endeavor with smiles on their faces and the company logo on their chests. If you’re looking to make your employees happier and bring them close, as well as getting some free publicity along the way, think about organizing a company volunteer day and give out shirts with the company logo to wear on that day. If nothing else, you’ll be making the lives of others (including your employees) better and that in and of itself is something to be happy about.

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How Often Does a Background Check Include Social Media?

July 13th, 2015 Comments off

After a brief break to refocus the direction of our monthly blog, we are happy to be back and have a contributing writer Lisa Green who wrote a very relevant piece on companies using social media as a source in their background check process.  Lisa is an aspiring blogger who you should keep your eyes out for as she builds her online presence. Be sure to check back monthly as we will be returning to our monthly schedule.

Michael Dash


Parallel HR Solutions

How Often Does a Background Check Include Social Media? 

The world of social media grows by the second and with every growing second, there are more and more comments, pictures and videos posted that could potentially hinder an applicant’s chances of landing their dream job.

Finding a job was once a simple process but now, companies all over are screening their applicants on everything from their criminal history to their driving records, and even their social media presence.

Different types of career fields choose different types of screening that apply specifically to their job requirements and many are now using social media as a way of seeing if an applicant’s personality will mesh well with their current staff.

Jobs That Require Social Media Checks

In 2015, more than 80 percent of companies use social media checks as part of their screening process. For those companies, it’s a great way to see what an applicant’s personality type is without directly asking them during an interview process.

Media and entertainment companies use social media screening the most because of their influences on society. Careers in politics, education, and hospitality use social media screening heavily because of applicant’s interactions with the public. Technology companies use social media to see how involved applicants are in the tech community.

In essence,  more and more organizations are using social media as a crucial part of their hiring whether they are a public or private company.

What Social Media Checks Uncover

During an interview process, an applicant may present themselves professionally and politely to their potential employer. Many interviewers understand it’s a part of the interview process to act professionally and put your best foot forward, but an employer still doesn’t get a true sense of an applicant’s personality so they turn to social media screening.

The information on an applicant’s Facebook or Twitter page can reveal a lot about their personality:

Lack of networking – Employers look at who an applicant connects with and what groups they are a part of. It shows an employer that the applicant is outgoing and willing to interact with people they might not necessarily have had connections with otherwise.

A challenging part of most people’s career is making connections with those in the workplace and with a weak sense of networking, many employers will determine an applicant can’t handle the pressure of meeting new people.

Typos and incomplete profiles — Continuous typos or incomplete profiles can show an employer that an applicant is inattentive to detail. In careers that require an applicant to write or type, this can be a huge turn off to employers.

A bland profile – Employers want energetic and passionate employees to work for their company. It makes the overall atmosphere a more enjoyable one so when employers see a Facebook or Twitter profile with un-energetic posts or uninteresting pictures, they assume the applicant will only be a stale addition to their team.

Inappropriate pictures and videos – It’s the quickest way for an employer to exit out of an applicant’s profile and never think about them again for any future position. Those crazy nights at a bar may come back to haunt an applicant because an employer could see them as immature or lacking control in their lives.

In addition, photos or videos that are inappropriate for everyone to see, could potentially come back to haunt not only the employee themselves but their company. Employers think about what a potential applicant’s Facebook presence could do to their company’s reputation. No employer wants their employees posting media that could potentially come back and affect their company.

The Right Social Media Screening Partner

Social media can be detrimental to an applicant’s chances at landing the perfect job, which is why being proactive can reduce those chances of not getting hired.

Many times, applicants who know their social media pages are subject to screening by potential employers will take it upon themselves to clean up their social media accounts. They’ll also search for social media screening partners who specialize in analyzing social media pages, so they can ensure nothing will affect their chances of getting a job.

Thing to Keep in Mind

It is advised to check your settings on various social sites, assure that you are reaching the right audience, and be proactive all the time. Some pictures, for instance, may be fine for friends but not appropriate for the public and by simply adjusting your settings this can be controlled. Furthermore, it is important to assume that your potential employer will look at your social media presence whether they tell you about it or not.


By: Lisa Green

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The Candidate Screen

February 21st, 2014 4 comments

If you want to reduce your recruiting team’s time-to-hire or time-to-fill, beat out the competition to the best talent and create a trusted advisor relationship with your candidates, the most important part of the talent acquisition life cycle is the candidate screen. Deciding what information to capture on the very first candidate engaging phone call is the most critical part of the life cycle. Setting expectations in terms of compensation, relocation, pre-planned vacations, gathering other candidate needs and finding out why they’re looking are just as important as matching professional skills to a client’s job requirement. If one side feels they are not being represented thoroughly or if all the information wasn’t presented from the beginning, then a fragile trust can easily be broken.

To even out expectations and help market a candidate’s skills to match an open position, screening questions should be designed to pull situational experiences from the candidate that relate to the open position’s responsibilities and requirements. People love to talk about themselves. This strategy works well when a recruiter asks a candidate to talk about (for example) what their role was on a recent project and how that project turned out, how they successfully implemented a new technology or business process or how they led a team through to the ‘other side’ to solve a complex finance issue that saved a company.  When a client receives this information as part of a screen, they’re more inclined to feel a connection with the candidate vs. reading “another resume” and a brief summary from “another recruiter”.

Combine a professional “situational questioning strategy” with personal information giving the client a very clear picture of what they can expect from a candidate professionally and an understanding of what it will take – personally and financially – to get them on-board quickly.  All the information is present and accounted for at the introduction of the candidate to the client.

The goal of a good recruiter is to bring both sides (candidate and the client) together without a lot of selling or managing of either party. When the most important information is shared – and documented – from the beginning of the process a lot of time is saved, there are no surprises at the offer stage and both sides feel great extending and accepting an offer.



Scott Berkson

SVP, People and Business Operations

ParallelHR Solutions, Inc.


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Accountability in Recruiting (a DIY Guide for Candidates)

December 12th, 2013 1 comment

Recruiting can be an ugly process. It can be rife with dishonesty, passive/aggressive behavior, and self-absorbed attitudes from all parties. Not that it’s always this way, but I think most IT professionals and technical recruiters have plenty of stories they can and do tell about individuals acting in unprofessional ways. Sometimes candidates attempt to mislead recruiters and/or prospective employers, and sometimes it is the other way around. Recruiters will overstate an opportunity and candidates will exaggerate a skill set. Salary ranges are fudged, individuals fail to respond to requests in a timely fashion, and so on. And of course, there is the ubiquitous problem of “going dark”, ending the process by simply not responding to the other party’s attempts at communication.


It’s easy to preach about this kind of thing in a blog, but trying to change behavior on a large scale isn’t really the most practical tactic. Instead, I think that the best way for individuals to handle these problems, whether recruiters or candidates, is to employ techniques that incorporate accountability into the recruiting process.


When I say accountability, what I really mean is doing what you say that you are going to do, and holding the other party accountable for their promises as well. This means different things for candidates than recruiters, but the core idea is pretty much the same.


If you are an IT professional working with a recruiter, incorporating accountability into the process can take several forms. I have some suggestions below, but keep in mind that this sort of thing usually boils down to using your best judgment in particular situations.


  • Give the recruiter tasks, such as:
    • Ask for more information about a job, and see if they follow through. Here you would want to ask them to dig deeper than what was covered in the initial conversation. Force them to go back to the client/hiring manager and answer a legitimate question (don’t just make this busy work). A good conversation with a recruiter often leads to more questions about a job. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing if a recruiter doesn’t know every detail, but it is often a bad sign if they do not follow through and answer questions you have.
    • Ask them to follow up by a particular time, regardless of whether they have feedback or what the feedback is. Good recruiters have solid organizational skills, and usually have an applicant tracking system that allows them to set follow up reminders, just like a CRM. Be specific in your request. Tell them that you have a goal/timeline for your job search, and that you need to have some kind of update by a certain time. Understand that recruiters cannot control when their clients or hiring managers provide feedback, but they should at least make an attempt to maintain regular communication.
    • Make a mental note of how quickly the recruiter gets back to you. This has to be put in context of course since many recruiters are genuinely busy people, but generally you shouldn’t have to wait more than a day or so for an initial response to an emailed question or a voicemail.
  • Information about the job shouldn’t change too much. There should be some allowance here since things can be fluid in recruiting; but a major change in a role’s responsibilities or salary range should be a red flag.
  • Does the recruiter set expectations for the interviewing process, without being solicited to do so? A good recruiter should give you some kind of heads up on how quickly feedback will be provided, how the interview process is structured, and what to expect in interviews. They will not always have precise information because client processes tend to vary, but he or she should at least make an effort to give you a sense of what to expect. If a recruiter does not, ask for the information. Of course if they don’t deliver, this can be another red flag.
  • Remember that accountability works both ways. A good recruiter will routinely make attempts at incorporating accountability from their end as well. He or she will more than likely ask and/or expect you to be timely in your communication, and complete any tasks/paper work in a timely fashion as well. If you fail to maintain accountability on your end, you may notice a change in the recruiter’s behavior.


The takeaway is that we should get into the habit of incorporating accountability into the process, and go with our guts. There are no hard and fast rules about what is typical in recruiting and what a genuinely good or bad sign is. Requirements change, budgets disappear, and so on. But if you learn to think and interact in terms of accountability and your gut is telling you something is wrong, then you should seriously consider removing yourself from consideration.

That last point may seem a little harsh, but everyone’s time is important, and so is finding a good match between personnel and jobs. If the initial part of that process isn’t executed professionally, then that does not bode well for the rest of it.

Controlling Your Success No Matter What the Circumstance

November 30th, 2013 1 comment

I’ve had a hell of a year-professionally and personally but if there is one thing I’m learning it’s to keep my eye on the prize.  Life will always throw us a fast ball when we least expect it but if we manage our time and emotions properly there isn’t anything we can’t overcome.  As I reassess and get back on track…I realize that we can all benefit from the “Back to the Basics” facts in a sales driven organization.

1.       Prioritize and focus on the things that give you the biggest bang for your buck. As a producing manager that’s setting my team up for success by making sure they are working closest to the money-and doing the same for myself.  For a sales person it may be calling your warm leads you’ve been sitting on.  All things being equal-do the thing you hate the most first-it’s likely to be the one thing that makes you money.  Make those cold calls etc.,

2.       Stop trying to plan for the day. I don’t know about you but when I plan for my day-everything goes the exact opposite of what I planned.  As recruiters/sales people in a client services business, we have little control in human capital management-everything goes and things change in a heartbeat.  I’ve learned that a general “action item list” is much better than a plan that I can’t control. It feels good to cross things off the list-no matter what time of the day those things are accomplished.

3.       Learn to say NO. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Control your day and your work load. Learn the difference between what is urgent and what is important. Schedule your day with more proactive money making activities and less reactive busy work. Busy doesn’t always mean you’re making money.

We are fortunate to be in an industry where we literally control our ability to make money.

4.       Check your personal baggage at the door-There will always be personal situations to deal with. Allowing life’s rollercoaster to tap into our ability to make money can only lead to more personal problems. Be diligent and protect your financial goals because no one else will do it for you.

5.       Finally-Have a vision! We become what we focus the most on. So focus on positivity, create your roadmap to success and see it unfold-one productive day at a time.


Brenda Williamson

Director-Technology Staffing

Parallel HR Solutions, Inc.


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The Power of Hygiene in an Interview!

October 18th, 2013 1 comment

Have you ever been on a date that was going amazingly well and when you go in for a kiss get a whiff of a mind boggling stench, and in that instant realize, that is her breath? You have to think quickly of how to get out of this kiss or risk a gingivitis infestation of your own. So, at the last second you think of the exit plan, and start coughing…

Hygiene has a very powerful influence. It can take something super amazing, like dating Jennifer Aniston and turn it into the equivalent of a licking a dirty diaper (sorry, I have two young kids and that was the first gross thing to come to mind). I can tell you right now if Jennifer’s breath turned me away like a dirty diaper, I would be pulling a Jerry Seinfeld, on the toilet tooth brush episode, and be running for that door and doing everything I could to get away.

This very same thing can happen to hiring managers/employers when interviewing you as a candidate for a job opportunity. You will want to make sure you take good care of these types of hygiene when going in for an interview. I would like to add that even if you don’t think these items are an issue, DO THEM ANYWAY! It is very easy to become accustomed to your own body odor and not realize that others may not enjoy it as much as you do.

Below I have a few more deal killers when it comes to hygiene. Take notice to these things when going in for an interview and you won’t ruin what could be a great thing. (There are always exceptions to every rule, based on your profession, but just be aware of what you are telling others with your hygiene)

Dirty fingernails-Make sure you have clean and well trimmed fingernails. When someone else sees dirty fingernails they think you are probably not a clean person in general and your value in all other areas drops.

Body Odor– Shower, and Brush your Teeth. Put on deodorant and if you like some cologne/perfume, but don’t go crazy with it. It can be just as bad to have too much cologne/perfume, it can give others headaches. Use breath mints before going into the interview instead of chewing gum. If you are chomping gum the interviewer won’t be able to concentrate on your good qualities, instead they will be hearing nothing but the smacking of lips and seeing the opening and closing of your mouth.

Hair– Cut, Wash and Style your hair. Men, shave or trim facial hair (no Grizzly Adams style). 

Now, I don’t have a phobia or pet peeve with hygiene, but in the 7 years I have been recruiting and working on helping others obtain jobs,  I have seen many individuals fail to get their dream jobs, or any job for that matter, because they failed to check their hygiene before going for the interview.

So do yourself a favor and keep your hygiene in check. It would be terrible to lose Jennifer Aniston as a girlfriend, or have someone else pull a last second kiss evasion move on you.

Go into that job interview with confidence that you look and feel great, and you will do better than you would expect. Good Luck!


David Derby

Technical Recruiting Manager





Parallel HR would like to keep you updated with all the latest industry trends, demands in the marketplace, hot technologies and of course all of our clients exciting new job opportunities.  Please click on the following link and like us on Facebook ( Facebook | Parallel HR Solutions ) to be kept updated on all of this exciting news.

 Watch our newly released animated commercial that is certainly likely to put a smile on your face (Parallel HR Commercial)!  You can also join us on LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/company/parallel-hr-solutions and to follow us on Twitter go to www.twitter.com/Parallelhr.  

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How a Candidate Can More Effectively Use a Recruiter

April 30th, 2013 2 comments

When you receive a phone call from a recruiter, how do you react? Most technical professionals in the Tri-State region (NY/NJ/CT) have had some sort of interaction with a staffing agency or recruiter so unlike other areas in the country, the New York area workforce may be more aware or experienced with staffing agencies.  However, that may not necessarily be a good thing. In a market that is super saturated with staffing agencies as well as corporate recruiters, I have witnessed a trend that is morphing towards an impersonal; email based “What do you have” type of a relationship. With that said, in the IT consulting arena, there are a few variables that are usually the strongest influencers on someone’s decision making process (length of contract, hourly rate, and client/scope of project).  In this manner a transactional relationship may be more appropriate.  However, let’s discuss why it is a waste of both the candidate and recruiters time to work in this manner when it comes to permanent employment.

What I have found is that most candidates are using compensation, title, location, work/life balance and many other similar variables to initially screen out or screen in opportunities that they will want to investigate. Although this practice makes sense, what I have seen is that a candidate must slow down and understand that an opportunity for employment should be analyzed for the opportunity first, followed by a prioritized list of decision making variables. This “priority list” may differ from one candidate to the next but the point is, candidates are judging potential opportunities using the wrong variables.

Recently, I ran an exclusive search for a client and recruited a very strong candidate for the position. The candidate went through the process and was good enough to get an offer from the company. When it came time to discuss compensation, the candidate’s demands were unrealistic. The original reason that the candidate decided to look for a new opportunity stemmed from his opinion that he was underpaid and undervalued in his current role.  However, his current employer has a very attractive benefits package which includes free food and 100% paid medical benefits.  He lived just a few miles from the office and he had made a lot of friends at the company.  So, in the candidates mind, he was relatively happy with his current employer, but he was seeking more. The client began to discuss an offer and the numbers are as follows: The offer would equal a 15% increase on the candidate’s current base salary and represent a 28.5% increase in total compensation (base + bonus). The candidate stuck to his guns even after numerous hours of trying to turn him/close him. He wanted an increase on his base of 31.2% which would result in an increase of 42.8% on total compensation.  The point is not to get tangled up in the numbers here but that the numbers stood in the way of his ability to analyze the opportunity. What I mean by the opportunity in this context can be defined simply as: a chance for progress or advancement. This is general and the argument can be made that an increase in compensation will satisfy this definition for advancement. But let’s look at the overall opportunity. The compensation is a peripheral variable, a mere component of the opportunity, although an important one. The candidate was all about compensation and although we spoke for hours trying to explain that the opportunity would provide him with a path to increase his expert power in his particular field of technology, he did not have the ability to think beyond the numbers. The practice of organic talent development by the client (which he was in agreement) would expose him to much more then he was being provided at his current employer and allow him to build the experience and credentials to command the type of compensation he requires in a matter of a year or two.

So to summarize, this candidate made a mistake by taking a short sighted view and not evaluating the opportunity correctly: big picture thinking of what this position could do for his career and as a result his compensation. The client is one of the best in their industry and the owner of the company is a savvy experienced professional.  He knows when a candidate like this one is a rising super star and he understands how to put a valuation on talent in terms of compensation. He and I were both perplexed as to the candidate’s inability to think about the opportunity and not get handcuffed by supporting variables.

To conclude, about two weeks after I told the candidate that the offer was not going to be what he wanted and advised the client to pursue a different candidate, this candidate called back asking what he could do to potentially re-engage. Unfortunately for him, the position had been filled.

The takeaway is this: Yes, supporting variables are important and should carry weight in the decision making process, but I have witnessed candidates make incorrect assessments of a potential opportunity because of supporting variables. This ties in with how to more effectively use a recruiter because the majority of the time, the candidate makes a decision based on supporting variables on the initial call from a recruiter.

My advice is simple: Screen out opportunities that do not match what it is you are seeking (i.e.: if you make a base of 200K, you most likely will not want to interview for a role paying 100K). Eliminate variables that you can determine will not help you advance. With that said, I cannot stress how many times I had to convince a candidate to just investigate an opportunity that they may not have been jumping up and down for, and after the candidate left the interview, they were totally excited and interested in the role. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule which holds true for the staffing industry as well: 20% of recruiters are good at what they do and account for 80% of the successful results. Candidates should ascertain how good a recruiter is and then keep that in mind when investigating the information to determine their interest level in interviewing for a position. Most recruiters will not have the proper information but maybe they do have a great opportunity to present. However, you may never have a chance at interviewing because you didn’t give the recruiter a chance (you only respond via email and asked for things like job descriptions, salary, etc.). Likewise, when good recruiters call, listen to the opportunity that they present and analyze the entire opportunity and not just the supporting variables, they may mean very little in advancing your career.



Josh Sofer

Director of Business Development

Parallel HR Solutions, Inc.




Parallel HR would like to keep you updated with all the latest industry trends, demands in the marketplace, hot technologies and of course all of our clients exciting new job opportunities.  Please click on the following link and like us on Facebook ( Facebook | Parallel HR Solutions ) to be kept updated on all of this exciting news.

Watch our newly released animated commercial that is certainly likely to put a smile on your face (Parallel HR Commercial)!  You can also join us on LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/company/parallel-hr-solutions and to follow us on Twitter go to www.twitter.com/Parallelhr.

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March 30th, 2013 1 comment

How often do we see the term “excellent verbal and written communication skills” listed on a resume? I don’t have the exact numbers but I would bet it is on at least 75% of the ones I see. If all of these people are experts in communicating, why do so many problems occur in the workplace because of miscommunication? Perhaps the real meaning of the word has been lost in this age of texts, tweets, posts, etc. I think many people confuse the word communication for the word information.

While doing some research for this blog, I came across one specific definition multiple times that really fits the message I am trying to express here: communication is a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This led me to question how much of what we think we are communicating has “shared understanding.” I know I am guilty of sending a message and assuming the recipient understood my meaning when, in fact, their interpretation was not even close to what I intended.

The following story illustrates, in a very funny way, the problem of miscommunication. *Please note that I did not write this story and I was unable to find the direct source to give credit to*

Email from CEO to Manager:

Today at 11 o’clock there will be a total eclipse of the sun. This is when the sun disappears behind the moon for two minutes. As this is something that cannot be seen every day, time will be allowed for employees to view the eclipse in the parking lot. Staff should meet in the lot at ten to eleven, when I will deliver a short speech introducing the eclipse, and giving some background information. Safety goggles will be made available at a small cost.

Email from Manager to Department Head:

Today at ten to eleven, all staff should meet in the parking lot. This will be followed by a total eclipse of the sun, which will appear for two minutes. For a moderate cost, this will be made safe with goggles. The CEO will deliver a short speech beforehand to give us all some information. This not something that can be seen every day.

Email from Dept. Head to Floor Manager:

The CEO will today deliver a short speech to make the sun disappear for two minutes in the form of an eclipse. This is something that cannot be seen every day, so staff will meet in the parking lot at ten or eleven. This will be safe, if you pay a moderate cost.

Email from Floor Manager to Supervisor:

Ten or eleven staff are to go to the parking lot, where the CEO will eclipse the sun for two minutes. This doesn’t happen every day. It will be safe, and as usual it will cost you.

Email from Supervisor to Staff:

Some staff will go to the parking lot today to see the CEO disappear. It is a pity, this doesn’t happen every day.


I am not going to attempt to teach anyone how to be effective at communicating; there is a plethora of information out there regarding the subject. So what’s the point of my ramblings? Only to say that you may write well and speak eloquently but that doesn’t mean you have excellent communication skills.

 “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw



Kristi Page

Director of Operations



Parallel HR  would like to keep you updated with all the latest industry trends, demands in the marketplace, hot technologies and of course all of our clients exciting new job opportunities.  Please click on the following link and like us on Facebook ( Facebook | Parallel HR Solutions ) to be kept updated on all of this exciting news.

Watch our newly released animated commercial that is certainly likely to put a smile on your face (Parallel HR Commercial)!  You can also join us on LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/company/parallel-hr-solutions and to follow us on Twitter go to www.twitter.com/Parallelhr.


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We are proud to announce the first blog to be published by our India office!

February 22nd, 2013 4 comments

Job Hunting is an Art! Leopard Strategy……..

The word hunting is frequently used by most people while searching for jobs. This made me think, why the word hunting?

When I was watching The Discovery Channel there was a program named Wild Hunters.  On that show I saw a leopard hunting and I was quite amazed.  Unlike other animals the hunting strategy of the leopard (or you can call it a cheetah) is quite unique.

If we relate the hunting of leopards to the hunting of jobs, candidates are like hunters (Leopards) hunting for jobs (Prey).

Now, how is this related to one’s job search?

It is compared and explained as follows:

1)      The leopard has very good observation skills. First it observes its Prey’s moment and location, its size, and whether it will be able to take it down.

(There are many jobs around. You need to know which job is the right fit for you. For that you need to observe, research or partner with staffing agencies to get help in finding the right fit.)

2)      Then slowly and steadily the Leopard moves towards the Prey without making any noise using its camouflage skin to hide itself in bush. The Prey is not aware that a deadly beast is marching toward it.

(First study about the company you are willing to work for, it’s background, tenure in market, turnover, attrition rate, how is the atmosphere in company, package they are offering etc. with the help of staffing agencies and the company website.)

3)      The Leopard makes calculations in his mind to be close enough to get hold of the Prey.

(Make your calculation whether it will fit your profile/culture/skills/salary.)

4)      The Leopard makes sure that he has only 10 seconds to catch the Prey. It has to run as fast as it can and grab hold of the Prey. The Leopard also observes the location and analyzes the chances that the Prey might escape and makes sure he reaches it before that occurs.  Because it knows if the 10 second run is over he will not have enough stamina to run behind it.

(Make sure your resume is updated with correct information and proper format, submitted to staffing agencies or clients on time. The faster the response to staffing agencies/clients enables faster chances to get an interview. Delays in submitting or providing the wrong information can end in lost opportunities)

Keeping in mind the time, the pace, the distance and the strength of the Leopard (Cheetah), build a strategy to catch the Prey on the spot.

5)      Once the Prey is in its range, without making noise the Leopard with lightning speed attacks the Prey & grabs hold of his neck to make sure the prey do not move ahead and chokes him up as he has less energy to run back if he loses the grip.

(Keeping in mind the skill sets if you are selected for an interview, prepare a strategy to face the interview. Make sure you are well prepared technically, brush up your skills as well as personality, be available for the interview on time (whether a phone or an onsite), give answers confidently with accurate information so that you don’t lose focus during the interview.)

6)      Once the Prey is choked the Leopard then grabs the Prey and takes it away to a safe place where no other predators can rob his hunt.

(Once you get offer make sure you make a wise decision to join on time and make sure you are with a stable company, do not switch immediately as it will spoil your profile.)

Quite an amazing art isn’t it?

So Hunt like a Leopard & happy job hunting!!!!



Mahesh Gunjal

Director HR & Operations

Parallel HR Solutions

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How Not to Get a Job, The Art of Epically Flopping a Job Interview

November 30th, 2012 1 comment

“This is cruel and unusual punishment!” I said to my mother as a solitary tear streamed down my face. The year was 2004 and I was exactly 16 years and 8 hours old. My mother was enthusiastically taking me to pick up job applications early one Saturday morning.

“Can we go home? I am 90% sure I am suffering from a severe case of dehydration and 4th degree car sickness.  If I don’t go home and lie down, my condition could become critical” I had played every card in the deck at this point and the “my condition is becoming critical” card was my last hope to escape what was quickly becoming the worst Saturday ever.  I leaned my head against the window and uttered a loud Oscar worthy sigh. My mother’s face, cold and expressionless, made me question her ability to feel empathy. I was clearly suffering and it meant nothing to her.

A few days later as I was heading to school, I noticed a bright hand-written yellow sticky note attached to my lunch box. Somebody from the local smoothie joint had reviewed my resume and wanted to interview me. If I was being forced into employment, it better be somewhere classy and as far as I was concerned, there was nothing classier than the Smoothie Shack. The establishment was the epicenter of the who’s-who from the local high schools and working there would put me smack dab in the middle of the social scene.

That evening, I dialed up to the internet and typed “sample interview questions” into Ask Jeeves. I prepared for a solid 8 minutes before the lure of Myspace overtook me.  Later that night, after realizing my preparation was probably not adequate, I pondered my strengths.  Could I leverage my wrist flexibility as a skill-set for blender operation? I mentally noted examples of how my extreme attention to detail and process could avoid another food processing accident that claimed the pinky finger of an 11th grader the year prior. Later that night, I optimistically drifted into sleep imagining what I would do with all the extra money I would be making.

To this day, that interview haunts me. Here is a play by play of what went down:

I arrived 15 minute early, 4 copies of a freshly printed resume in hand. I walked up to the first employee I saw, told her why I was there, and was then directed to stand in line with about 6 other interviewees.

I sized myself up to all the other candidates, an exercise that proved futile. Finally it was my turn and a veteran smoothie associate led me down a dark, long, and twisty corridor into what can only be described as a labyrinth.  The door creaked steadily as I slowly turned the knob.

There in front of my eyes, sat the same guy my aunt had hired to be the clown at my 5 year old nephew’s birthday party just two weeks prior. Part time clown, full time general smoothie shack manager. What is my number two all-time fear you ask? Clowns.  That fear is only eclipsed by being alone in a room with a clown. Had I not watched 4 other people emerge from his office unharmed, I would have deemed it unsafe to be alone in a dark dingy back room with the man I only knew as Bam Bam.

My heart raced, my palms became sweaty, and I felt my blood pressure dropping dangerously low. Deep breaths Kari, deep breaths! I repeated the mantra and introduced myself as calmly as I could. The fact he wasn’t in full clown garb didn’t matter; he had that unmistakable clown energy that sent chills down my spine.

“Thanks for coming in, have a seat.” Bam Bam was obviously unaware we had met before.  “Let’s begin; if you could be any household tool, what you would be and why?”

Bam Bam’s question propelled me back into reality. My mind went into Window’s screen saver mode, a galaxy of starts steadily racing into a void as I came to the realization that I had never used a tool before. I wracked my brain.

“I would be a staple gun so that I can staple my future together with this great job” I stammered after a long pause. The minute the words emerged from my lips, I regretted them immediately. The horridness of the answer hit me like a ton of bricks.

Bam Bam looked up at me for a long moment, lowered an expressionless face towards his notebook and scribbled the word STAPLE GUN in all caps, clearly in shock over that answer.

“High school can be a difficult place, Kari. What is your biggest regret so far?” These were not the questions I had expected. Where were the “where do you see yourself in 5 years” questions. The ones I had been prepared to answer were nowhere in sight. I froze.

“Could you repeat the question?” I whispered trying to conceal my panic. He obliged.

I quickly debated the merits of telling him about the time I almost ran over our school’s gym teacher during driver’s education, but decided it could paint a picture of recklessness. Hiring a reckless person whose primary job is to use a commercial grade blender isn’t a wise choice.  Instead, I launched into a well crafted story about how I fell down two flights of stairs carrying my friend’s golf clubs in front of what felt like everybody. The story ended with “so, I completely regret helping her!”

Oh no, strike two. I regretted helping a fellow student. At that point, I might as well have said “ There is no reason to hire me, I’ll probably go crazy with the blender, cut off a few fingers and run the place into the ground”.

Bam Bam asked me a few more questions, which were clearly pity questions designed to keep my pride intact. Ending an interview after 2 questions can only wreak havoc on the psyche of a 16 year old.

While it would have given me great pleasure to say I banked that job, was promoted in three weeks, and now Bam Bam reported to me. In reality, I didn’t get a call back, not even a “we decided to go in another direction” e-mail. The only thing I received was the painful memory of my first disastrous job interview.

A few weeks later, while staring into the abyss of my bedroom, loathing in self pity over my unemployment, I realized that Bam Bam taught me a valuable lesson. I hadn’t given him a reason to hire me. In fact, I had given him a lot of reasons not to. Bam Bam’s interview style wasn’t conventional; but neither was he. He had designed an interview to gauge my ability to think quickly and communicate clearly. Both tasks were essential to the job and I quite miserably demonstrated my inability to perform these basic questions.

Interviews aren’t always going to be predicable and preparation is key; knowing your strengths, accomplishments and what you bring to the table is incredibly important. That being said, a great resume will only get you an interview. Separating yourself from the pack is what the interviews are for. So take my advice as a former interview-bomber-turned-professional-recruiter; prepare yourself, practice interviewing and expect the unexpected.





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