10/29/13

I Need to Fire Some People in My Team. How to Do It?

All managers have to go through tough moments throughout their career. Being a manager comes with rewarding moments when it's all about you, all about your great achievements, your amazing team, but also with tough times when you have to be strong and think of the team. There may be times when the client tells you that they no longer have money to pay all members of your team and some of them need to go. Your job is to decide which ones. Tough one, huh? Being a manager no longer seems so appealing, right? Well, you have to do it and here is how to:

1. Take time to think things through - don't decide on the spot. You will need to explain your decision to the team and you need to have strong arguments;

2. Discuss with some fellow managers or some people you trust if you feel like doing so. You may need support with your decision. Being guilty is inevitable, so at least they will help you accept the situation easier; they will confirm your decision or help you decide and feel better;

3. Make a list of the criteria to use in selecting the people that have to go. Include professional criteria ONLY related to performance on the job. No social reasons like: this one has a family, this one has an old mother to support, this one has a loan, you have a better relationship with this one, this one brings food on Fridays for the team, this one gave you a great Christmas gift, this one is your brother or you date this one's sister - all these criteria can't exist on your list. No way! By using non-professional criteria you risk losing the respect of the remaining team;

4. Rate all team members according to the criteria on your list. Make a top of all team members according to rating;

5. Now that you have the names of the people that have to go, meet each one in particular and tell them; explain that it was your decision and that they were selected according to the criteria you used; give them all the details and take responsibility for the decision - tell them about the situation created by the client, but don't blame everything on the client - admit it was you who selected them and tell them why in a firm and clear manner; offer them alternatives if they exist - show them you care and that you have tried to help them somehow - if no alternatives exist, at least offer them support in finding another job - offer them recommendations, ideas, contact fellow managers from other teams/companies for help if this is an option;

6. After telling each team member, organize a team meeting and tell everyone - tell them about the criteria, about those that have to go and again take responsibility for your selection.

This is it. Not nice at all, but think that it will make you stronger as a person and as manager. Not everything is pink and wonderful in your job and dealing with such critical situations is your chance to prove that you as team manager was a good choice for your managers.

Take care and I wish you as little situations as the one above as possible,
Geo

10/5/13

Where Can I Find a New Job?

For those of you that are currently seeking for a new job, either actively or just browsing the web for a potential new opportunity I have put together a list of places where jobs can be found. Some ideas like online job portals you know for sure, but not everybody knows how recruitment agencies work or the unemployment office. Since finding a job is taking enough of your time already, I will not waste any more and start the list. Here’s where you can start searching for a new job:

1.       Online job portals – the most famous international ones are: www.careerbuilder.com, www.simplyhired.com, www.indeed.com, or www.monster.com; there are also thousands of local ones – just start searching for the keyword “jobs” and search engines will return local results first; to apply on a job portal most of the times you need an account, then you need to create or upload your CV, search for jobs and then apply and wait to be contacted by companies that you applied for. If they don’t contact you, it means that you probably weren’t accepted. Don’t expect a reply for each CV you send. Companies normally contact suitable candidates only because sometimes they have hundreds or even thousands of CVs for a single position;

2.       Companies’ websites – make a list of companies you would like to work for, search for their websites and then open the “Career” section. Most websites have such a section – if it’s not visible right away, try on the bottom of the page or in the “About us” menu. Search for jobs in your area or in your field and then follow the instructions to apply. If no job is available or you don’t fit any of the available profiles, try to see if you can apply anyway for their database. Sometimes companies don’t even post a job online before searching their database first – which means that being already in the database can be a big plus;

3.       Social networks – create an account on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) or Facebook – these two really work. On LinkedIn there is a dedicated section for jobs or you may register for various groups where local jobs can be available. The Jobs section is not free for companies while posting jobs on the board of a group is, so companies will prefer the latter. On Facebook, try searching for groups related to jobs and hiring. I can suggest a few I am member of: “Now Hiring!!!” or “Facebook Jobs”;

4.       Universities and Student organizations – since most of them are willing to help companies for free in order to get their students or graduates a job and increase the University’s rating, there will be a lot of jobs for students and graduates available there – where can you search? University portals, Facebook groups for students, student forums, student presentations organized by companies, student events;

5.       Recruitment agencies – a lot of people don’t know how these companies work (you can find a full article about them here: What Does a Recruitment Agency Do?). Recruitment agencies can help you for free. They receive jobs from companies (which also pay them to help them find good candidates), search the CVs they already have in their database, post jobs, interview people and try to place the best candidates on all open positions they have. For candidates, being in the database and being interviewed and recommended is free. Just contact them, send them your CV and tell them about your availability. Some recruitment agencies are: Lugera & Makler, Trenkwalder, Manpower or Adecco. Search for recruitment agencies in your area to find more. You will be surprised to see how many they are;

6.       Unemployment agency in your area – in some areas companies have to send all job openings to the unemployment agency; the role of this agency is to send unemployed people in their database to be hired on those jobs (after interviews and a proper selection process of course – companies don’t just have to hire these people if they are not suitable); the point is that the unemployment agency in your area may have job openings available, openings that are not published yet elsewhere;

7.       Public organizations in your area – local town hall, local agencies like the retirement office, the unemployment office, labor office, you know what’s available in your city; contact them and check if they have anything available – sometimes they don’t publish the jobs online, just in newspapers, on their website or just displayed at their headquarters;

8.       Friends, family – ask everybody in your family or among your friends – you may never know who knows useful details about some job openings in their company or a friend’s; some companies offer bonuses for their employees if they recommend good candidates that can successfully fill open positions. Talk to your friends – you may be surprised to see that the company they work for does that and that you can become a great recommendation;

9.       Your personal network -  create a personal network on Facebook, LinkedIn or any other network you use – ask everybody to check maybe someone can help; I personally recommend LinkedIn here – you can see your connections’ CVs and see who has which position and where – you may never know who can recommend you somewhere or tell you about some openings; 

10.   Newspapers and magazines in your area or the area you are interested in – online channels are used more than printed ones, but try the latter as well; you may never know;

11.   Job fairs – local or virtual – get informed about these; their role is to gather companies together and present job openings – you also have the opportunity to discuss with their representatives and ask for more details or make connections;

12.   Conferences, seminars – you won’t see any jobs available there most of the times, but these are a great opportunity to make useful connections in the field you are interested in; sometimes seminars and conferences can be a hidden recruitment event; I can tell you about such an event in my city – a certain company was actually searching for SAP specialists. They organized such a free seminar where SAP specialists were invited to learn about what’s new in the SAP field. The company managed to gather in one room the best SAP specialists in the city. At the end they gave flyers away and asked the participants to send CVs if they were interested in new SAP opportunities. The company I worked for lost if I remember correctly 2 SAP specialists then;

13.   Company or online magazine newsletters – some companies or magazines offer the possibility to register for their newsletter containing company news and job openings – don’t miss these;

14.   Shop windows – if you are interested in working in sales, in a bakery, in a fashion shop or anything similar, sometimes these positions appear on the windows of the shops or offices location. Just take a walk and look around. Windows may surprise you with interesting ads;

15.   Online portals for various ads – they are not designed for jobs only but include jobs as well – Craigslists is a great example;

This is all that I can think of right now. Should you have any additional ideas (maybe unconventional places where you saw job ads), please write them here as comments to the article. Please help me make this article as useful as possible for the job seekers out there.

Thanks a lot and take care,
Geo