header blog

Point of View

.

Six Ways to Ace a Phone Interview

Last week we wrote about six ways to bomb a phone interview , so, as promised, this week we’re going to provide some tips for acing a phone interview!  Phone interviews are becoming more and more common as companies and recruiters try to weed out poor applicants before spending the time and resources to bring in candidates for an in-person interview.  They have become an inescapable part of the modern job application process, so all candidates need to be familiar with the do’s and don’ts of a successful call. One: Use an Appropriate Greeting As we mentioned in last week’s article, answering the phone in an inappropriate manner can set the interview off on the wrong foot before it’s even officially begun.  When you answer the phone, make sure to use your own name so that the interviewer knows they have reached the right person, and, if possible, reference the...
Continue reading

Six Ways to Bomb a Phone Interview

Congratulations: you applied for a position, your résumé and cover letter were well put together, and you have been asked to do a phone interview!  This phone interview is the crucial first test you will have to pass before you are taken seriously as an applicant, and, as such, requires a lot of preparation and forethought.  Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that many otherwise excellent candidates often do not take phone interviews very seriously, or don’t think they carry the same weight as an in-person interview.  In the hope of inspiring these job seekers, we asked our experts to put together a list of six common ways potential candidates can bomb a phone interview.  Next week, we’ll take a look at some ways to avoid these errors and ace a phone interview! One: Answering the Phone at an Inappropriate Place If you’re dealing with a recruiter or busy hiring manager, they may...
Continue reading

Using Social Media to Source Candidates

Social media has become a recruiting buzzword; these days, it seems everyone is sourcing candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There’s just one problem: there are millions of people on these social networks, and finding the right candidate among the crowd can be difficult – if not impossible – leaving many recruiters and hiring managers wondering how, exactly, they are supposed to leverage this technology to improve their candidate searches.  We’ve put together some tips designed to help you get started and effectively utilize social media sites to identify and reach out to qualified candidates. Tip 1: Take Advantage of Niche Groups So you’re on Facebook and LinkedIn and you want to find a specific kind of person to fill an open position – say a Java developer.  Where do you start?  By searching for relevant groups!  LinkedIn, for example, has hundreds of thousands of Groups professionals can join to...
Continue reading

Networking over the Holidays

Last time we wrote an article confirming that the holidays are not a death sentence for job hunting , and outlining a few ways to use the festive season to your advantage when searching for a new position.  This week, we decided to take a deeper look at one area in particular: networking.  As we mentioned last week, the holidays can be an excellent time for networking, as there are a seemingly endless stream of parties and events to attend along with countless old friends, family members, and former colleagues.  These events are the perfect forum for you to announce that you are in the job market.  Networking over the holidays is a delicate balance, though: people want to have fun, catch up, and chat about their holiday plans, not spend the entire evening talking about career opportunities.  So, this week we’ve put together some tips for savvy holiday networking,...
Continue reading

Job Hunting during the Holidays

The holiday season is officially upon us, and for many job seekers that means their focus tends to wane as they shift to gift-buying, decorating, and attending holiday parties and events.  Plus, we’ve noticed that job seekers often think that the holidays are a bad time to be in the market, since they assume everyone is equally distracted by the festivities and is not interested in setting up interviews or filling out paperwork.  While it may be true that you are less likely to get a formal interview or be hired during this time, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to keep yourself in the market and use the holiday season to your advantage. Tip 1: Use the Holidays to Reconnect with your Network The holidays are a time for merrymaking and reconnecting with friends and family, therefore they provide the perfect excuse to contact old...
Continue reading

Coping With Office Politics

Unless you’re self-employed (and maybe even then!), chances are high that you will have to deal with at least some form of office politics.  Some people thrive on office politics and seem to be easily able to navigate the in-groups and out-groups, informal networks of influence, and dynamics of power that characterize office relations.  Others prefer to remain on the outskirts and focus on keeping their heads down and getting their work done without drama.  Whether you love or hate office politics, though, escaping is nearly impossible if you hope to move up within the company.  It isn’t enough simply to do good work – you have to make sure that the right people know about how good your work is, demonstrate that you can build team cohesion, and ensure that you are the one receiving credit for your ideas.  So, this week our experts have looked into some steps...
Continue reading

Improving the Candidate Experience

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when in the midst of a candidate search, especially if you work at a small company that may not have a dedicated recruiter who’s been well trained and can manage every aspect of the search.  You may find yourself sending out brusque form e-mails to candidates who didn’t make the cut, or calling people in for interviews without really having a plan in place for what to do with them when they get to the office.  Spending some time thinking about the process of applying for a position at your company from the candidate’s perspective, though, can be very beneficial in the long run – applicants who had an overall positive experience, even if they didn’t get the job, will be more likely to keep in touch with the company and apply for future opportunities, and to recommend your company to their friends.  So, here...
Continue reading

Do’s and Don’ts of Making a Good Impression at Networking Events

Does anything strike terror into the heart of a potential job seeker more than the idea of a networking event?  If you live in (or near) a city, chances are you could attend a networking event every single night, but there seems to be a tendency to build these events up in our heads until the idea of actually going to one of them and doing something other than standing in the corner drinking free wine and eating free hors d’oeuvres seems nearly impossible.  Unfortunately, networking is probably the best way to meet your career objectives, whether those are to get a new job, to build relationships within your field, or to attract new clientele.  Fortunately, however, there are some easy things you can do to make a good impression and achieve your goals.  Our experts have put together some do’s and don’t’s for networking events that will help you...
Continue reading

Items Not to Include on your Résumé

In  previous   blog posts we have helped you figure out how to put your best face forward and make your résumé truly shine, so this week we’ve asked our experts to think about the biggest résumé gaffes they’ve seen over the years and put together a list of items you should avoid if you want to be taken as a serious candidate.  Of course there’s no “one size fits all” résumé, so having one or two of these items isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker – especially if you’re applying for a non-traditional position.  However, if you’ve been struggling to land even an introductory phone interview, we hope this post will help you shape up your résumé and land that dream job! One: Social Media Links Including a link to your LinkedIn or Facebook account is becoming “trendy” among job seekers, but unless you’re applying for a creative position where your...
Continue reading

How to tell if a Job is Not the Right Fit

Making sure they’re hiring the perfect candidate for the job is paramount for hiring managers, but job seekers also need to make sure that they're accepting the perfect position.  When you’ve been searching for months on end and are starting to feel a bit desperate it can be tempting to take the first job offer you receive, but you should always reflect on whether or not you actually  want that job before accepting the position.  Otherwise you’ll end up right back where you started, and everyone’s time will have been wasted.  Frictional unemployment – when individuals are unemployed because they are searching for a job that is the right fit – can actually be beneficial for everyone: job seekers, employers, and the economy as a whole.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some questions to consider before accepting a job offer. Question One: Do your career goals align with...
Continue reading

Building an Effective Team Part Two: What to Do

Last week we took a look at some common missteps managers make when trying to encourage their teams to work together and perform well, and outlined why these issues can be detrimental to a team environment.  As promised, this week we’re flipping things around and offering a guide on things to do to build an effective team that is cohesive, high-performing, and communicative. One: Evaluate Yourself A strong team needs a strong leader, so step one in building an effective team is evaluating your own leadership skills.  It’s important to be honest with yourself at this stage: what are your strengths and weaknesses?  How does your team perceive these strengths and weaknesses?  What can you do to improve and be a more effective leader?  These are all important questions.  And remember, everyone (and every team) functions differently!  If you successfully managed a strong team at one organization and now are...
Continue reading

Building an Effective Team Part One: What Not to Do

Much of a manager’s time is spent making sure their team or department is performing well and functioning as smoothly as possible, so we’ve decided to devote the next couple of weeks to our two-part series on how to build an effective team.  In Part One we’ll take a look at some common mistakes managers make – usually with the best intentions – in an effort to show you what not to do when trying to foster team development.  Then next week we’ll turn around and look at things to do, and provide some advice on techniques you can implement to help build trust and create a high-performing team. One: Don’t Provide Empty Praise As we’ve mentioned numerous times, recognizing achievement and publically praising employees who have gone above and beyond in their efforts or successfully completed a major project is an excellent way to boost morale and create a...
Continue reading

Creative Ways to Build a Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline is a crucial way to ensure your company doesn’t get caught in a lurch by a sudden departure or a new project that requires additional manpower, as an effective talent pipeline will contain highly qualified individuals who are ready to quickly assume a position.  Creating a solid pipeline requires a lot of effort, though, as candidates are not available indefinitely – they will find new jobs, move across the country (or globe), or do something to demonstrate that they would not be a good employee after all – and therefore you will need to constantly review and update your pipeline.  Doing so doesn’t have to be tedious, though!  We’ve put together a list of some unique, creative ways to make sure there is a steady stream of candidates expressing interest in jobs with your firm, and who you can add to your talent pipeline. Tip 1:...
Continue reading

Common Mistakes Companies Make when Hiring

Hiring the right talent is not an exact science: it takes finesse, experience, and a little bit of luck, and at some point everyone is going to make a mistake and hire the wrong person.  Company culture and the type of position being filled also play a role in hiring practices, which adds to the difficulty of creating a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring the perfect candidate every time.  Our hiring experts have, however, noticed a couple of common mistakes companies make during the hiring process, so this week they’ve put together a list of some of the more prominent errors and some simple fixes. Mistake 1: Not knowing what you want It’s impossible to fill an open position with a talented individual who will succeed and help the organization if you don’t know what specific skills, experience, and attributes a qualified candidate will need.  Developing a list of job responsibilities,...
Continue reading

Making the Most of a Reference Check

Checking references is a step that, unfortunately, many recruiters and hiring managers decide to skip when bringing in a new employee.  It often seems tedious and time-consuming – the candidate has already passed through the pre-screening process, they’ve gone through phone and in-person interviews (perhaps even multiple rounds of face-to-face interviews), and they’ve managed to shine through it all.  What’s the point of going through their list and calling everyone just to get standard, canned responses about what a great employee they were?  Reference checks should never be ignored, though.  People can be trained on how to interview well and come across as competent, personable, and eager, so checking their references to make sure that they are actually a good employee , not just a good interviewee, is crucial.  Additionally, you need to verify that everything they’ve said on their résumé is accurate – you’d be surprised how many people...
Continue reading

How to Simplify your Hiring Process

Hiring new employees is never going to be an easy process: identifying, interviewing, vetting, and on-boarding the right candidate takes time and effort, which pays off in the end, when you are rewarded with a competent and loyal employee.  There’s no need to struggle with an arduous hiring process if it’s leading to difficulties in attracting qualified candidates, though.   Take a look at these tips for simplifying your talent acquisition process, and see how many you can apply to your business! Tip 1: Shorten your application As an employer, you naturally want to have as much information about each candidate as possible before deciding whether or not to spend the time and effort to bring them in for an interview.  If your job application is too long and requires too many steps, though, it can negatively impact your hiring process.  Highly qualified candidates are turned off by lengthy applications that...
Continue reading

Leadership Myths Debunked

Few of us have been properly trained for leadership.  Most people who rise to leadership positions do so because they have been performing well enough to merit a promotion (or several promotions), not because they have studied leadership techniques in school or successfully completed a management training course.  As a result, we’ve seen that many people who find themselves promoted to a management-level position operate under several common myths about what makes a good leader.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common myths, along with our thoughts on why they are misapprehensions and what you can do to become a better leader. Myth 1: Great leaders are born, not made The most common misconception we hear is that some people are born with innate qualities that make them suited for leadership positions, and if you don’t have those qualities you will never...
Continue reading

Reducing Employee Turnover

It’s no industry secret that employee turnover and “job hopping” are on the rise, with fewer people choosing to stay with the same company for the entire length of their careers, as was once common.  This does have some benefits, as employees are gaining a wider variety of experiences and skills which they can apply to each new workplace, but can hinder company growth – especially for small companies.  With that in mind, we asked our HR experts to come up with some tips for reducing employee turnover and improving long-term retention rates.  Tip 1: Review compensation and benefit packages regularly Higher salaries and more attractive benefit packages are regularly cited by job hoppers as some of the top reasons they accepted a new position, so employers can cut down on this motivation by regularly reviewing compensation packages.  Review industry trends to make sure that your employees are being paid...
Continue reading

How to Recover from a Bad Job Interview

There are a myriad of reasons why even the most well prepared job seeker can crash and burn during an interview: maybe your personality clashed with that of the interviewer, maybe you were running late and got flustered, maybe the job description changed, or maybe you just had an off day.  No matter the cause, though, there are a few things you can do to help recover from a poor interview.  Our experts have put together a list of five key steps you can take to improve the interviewer’s perception and make sure your hat stays in the ring! Step 1: Stay calm The first thing to do following a bad job interview is to stay calm.  Panicking is a natural response, but it won’t get you anywhere.  When your adrenaline is up and your mind is racing, you will be more likely to blow things out of proportion and...
Continue reading

Tips for Effective Coaching

Coaching or mentoring employees is an important skill for a manager – or anyone responsible for supervising a team – and a large industry has popped up around the process of teaching people how to become good coaches.  Training seminars, workbooks, and online courses are all available for those seeking to hone their abilities, often at a substantial cost, but becoming an effective coach does not have to be difficult!  We’ve put together some simple tips that anyone looking to brush up on their coaching skills can follow. Tip 1: Delegate Tasks Meaningfully It’s hard to coach someone without first giving them something on which to be coached, so the best place to start is by delegating work.  It isn’t enough to just randomly assign tasks, though.  When delegating work with the goal of coaching an employee, pick a task that fits well with their interests, has concrete milestones, and...
Continue reading

About Us

Potomac Recruiting consultants are specialists in talent. Our experienced consultants are passionate about finding the right people for your business—that’s the Potomac Recruiting advantage. We specialize in finding the people who will help your business exceed its goals, and our success is measurable: in today’s fast-moving world Potomac Recruiting is proud that our retention rate is 93%.  

Copyright © 2017 Potomac Recruiting LLC.   All Rights Reserved.   Designed by Pinix Design Studio