Hire smart people

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

Hiring over 50

Lately I’ve heard a lot, both in the news and from clients, that people just don’t want to hire a candidate that is over 50. This is short sighted and wrong, and here’s why:

In our culture no one stays in a job for their entire career. If you can get an employee to stay for 3 – 5 years, you’re laughing! The Millennial generation is even encouraged to switch jobs every 3 years or so to build up their skill set. Penelope Trunk even said that staying at a job for too long is career suicide! So why are employers afraid to hire someone who is older when they will get no guarantee that a younger candidate will stay any longer?

Knowing that employee tenure is about 3 years, why wouldn’t employers be scrambling to hire older workers? If you know that you can hire someone who is only looking to work for another 5 – 10 years, shouldn’t they be at the top of the candidate pile?

One may argue that a younger employee costs less. In some cases this can be true. Health benefits aside, a less skilled employee would definitely be at the lower end of the pay scale than a higher skilled employee. However, if you’ve been upfront with what your salary range is, and you’re paying market value for the role, and the candidate is interested, then what’s the problem?

There are 2 types of older workers: Those who are working because they enjoy it and those who are working because they have to. That’s not to say that they can’t be both. But there are those who have savings and a retirement plan, and who will work until the age of 65 and that’s it. Then there are those who, for many reasons, have no savings and no retirement plan, and need to keep working in order to survive. Both types can be great employees. Both can be loyal employees.

Plus, think of the maturity that an older person can bring into your office. Oh sure, you have a “young culture” and you worry that they won’t “fit in”. But maybe this is exactly what your office needs. There’s nothing wrong with a little variety. Many Managers are managing with 4 generations in their workplace.

Ideally we all want to retire – at least I know that I want to retire. Unfortunately I think that there will not be much “Freedom 55″ happening anymore. So toss out your misconceptions about older workers and give one a chance. Please, I’m going to be one of them one day!

Three Different Approaches To CEO Succession At Walmart, Kroger And Microsoft… Which Is Best?

CEO succession is a big deal. The best-run companies and boards invest a lot of time and energy to think it through in advance, and do everything they can to smooth the new CEO’s onboarding into the role. We’re in the midst of three very different CEO successions at Walmart, Kroger and Microsoft. The lesson to be learned here is clear: one size does not fit all when it comes to succession.

Kroger is a classic example of an organization with less need for change right now, but ready to change. In cases such as this, promoting from within makes a lot of sense. Giving the new CEO a long time to ramp up seems like exactly the right approach.

Compare this to Walmart – its same-store sales are declining and they need to make some changes… quickly. Promoting from within suggests that they think at least some in the organization are ready to lead this change. Thus, their new CEO will need to converge into the new role quickly and start evolving things.

Microsoft is facing a completely different situation, which worsens every day it waits to name a new CEO. Uncertainty is stressful. The longer it takes to start the changes, the greater the urgency of the changes will be. If Microsoft waits any longer, it will get to the point where its new CEO is going to have to shock the system.

Checklist To Determine If Your Resume Is Boring

Does your resume resemble a checklist, to-do list, a laundry list?

Have you desperately tried to convince your prospective employers of your qualifications by including everything but the kitchen sink on your resume?

Don’t. Believe me, hiring managers know what a job description is… they have seen thousands of resumes.

While the HR/hiring authority’s goal is to screen resumes and identify qualified candidates, the person doing the screening, well, is a person—and no one enjoys being “bored to death,” especially not by sifting through long-winded resumes that regurgitate all-too-familiar job descriptions.

Here is a little secret: Many hiring managers actually write job descriptions. So, you are not doing them (or yourself) any favors by including a sea of bullets with your daily job accountabilities.

Understand your resume’s job is not to give away every little detail of what your job entailed. No siree, Bob.

Instead, your resume’s job is…

To list your employment, so they know you have experience; include job titles, so they know you have done the job before; include dates, so they gauge your loyalty and employable record; and, include education, certifications, and professional development, so they verify your credentials.

The rest of the resume is marketing, so you outdistance other job seekers. How do you outdistance other job seekers? With differentiating, interesting, and attention capturing copy that gets into the mind of the hiring authority and motivates them to “buy” what you are selling.

So, before you decide to use your resume to tell HR what an Operations Manager does, what a Creative Director is suppose to do, what Sales Managers are in charge of… opt to instead capture attention by telling them (concisely) how well you did it. Tell a story of what challenges you faced, how you creatively overcame them, and paint a picture of the bottom-line your efforts produced.

Now, that, will ensure you are memorable, entertaining, and worth an invitation into the office for a personal interview.

Resume Checklist For Any Job Seeker

Here is a resume checklist to help determine if you have said way too much and if the “HR Lady” is snoring on the other end.

1. Is your summary longer than five to six sentences?

Keep things concise and employer-focused. It helps to write this section last.

2. Have you included more than say two to three soft skills (personal traits) in your Professional Summary?

Soft skills are usually adjectives and while they add pizzazz and energize your writing, too many of these also weaken your candidacy. On the flip side, substantiated and concrete skills (hard skills), strengthen your candidacy.

3. Is it difficult to identify your hard skills?

Technical skills, experience listed through the use of industry jargon, and proficiencies such as staff management, operations improvement, and sales cycle. These should be clearly identified.

4. Does your employment history resemble a job ad?

Have you just defined what your job title means by recounting the reason you were hired? Don’t do this. Instead, focus on how you performed in this role, how you owned the role, and tell a story of the magnitude of obstacles you faced and how you better positioned the department or company.

5. Do you have more than say six bullets under each job description?

Remember accomplishments are to be bulleted. While you may have more than a few accomplishments under each role, a skilled copywriter can combine similar triumphs, identify which are worth mentioning, and “umbrella” some. There are a myriad of ways to convey your milestones without having to list 20 bullets under each job title. Try using some of these resume power words.

6. Have you left them with questions?

You must, but be very careful. You must say enough on your resume not to sound vague but conceal enough to ignite interest and plant a need for them to know more about you.