12/21/13

No Feedback Yet for an Interview I Had. Am I Rejected?


A lot of candidates ask themselves when should a proper feedback come from their potential employer. "Am I rejected?" they ask. Well, here's how it all goes:

1. Most companies won't reply to just receiving your application. In most cases, if you receive anything at all, it's an auto-responder email. So, don't get too excited - it means only that they received your application and that from then on you need to wait.

2. From receiving your application, they may contact you immediately (and I mean immediately - we were searching at some point for a Reporting specialist and I was scanning the applications every 60 minutes - the position was critical, so the guy that we hired in the end was called to be scheduled for interview about 30 minutes after he applied) OR it may take even months. My personal advice, don't send just one application and then just wait. Send applications to all positions you are interested in and take it from there. You have better chances this way. Just for you to have an idea about when you may be contacted - check to see when is the deadline for applications. Normally companies contact candidates shortly after that.

3. If they contact you for a first test or interview, then feedback from their side is mandatory. If they don't offer it, then this company is not worth taking into consideration. All reliable companies who respect their candidates should offer feedback, no matter if it's negative or positive. Negative feedback normally comes via email (sometimes via phone - we used to call all candidates who we thought had some potential chances in the future to tell them what to improve and when to apply again). Positive feedback comes as an invitation to another interview or as a job offering (via phone, email or as an invitation at the headquarters where the offer is discussed face to face).

So, when should you start worrying about not receiving the feedback? First of all, remember to ask at the interview about feedback. It's not wrong to ask details concerning the potential date of receiving feedback. If the tell you two weeks, give them 2-3 weeks (maybe they have some additional candidates they need to see before the final decision and it takes slightly a bit longer, the hiring manager is busy and can't have final interviews as initially planned or even the client comes with some changes in recruitment plans) and then start worrying. If it's been 4 weeks already and nobody has bothered to tell you anything (sometimes recruiters call candidates to tell them when feedback has been delayed), then forget about this company and start searching again.

Good luck with all your job plans and Happy Holidays,
Geo

12/15/13

My Future Employer Asks for My Criminal Record. Is This Common Practice?



A standard employment pack includes the following: personal ID, birth certificate, marriage certificate, birth certificates of your children, diplomas of your studies and courses,  bank account details (if they pay your salary via bank account), medical checks (just final OK from company doctor, not details of your illnesses which are confidential), records of previous jobs and recommendations, various statements that are filled in right before or right after you start.

Not all companies include the criminal record in the standard employment pack, but don't be surprised if they do. It can be for two reasons:

1. Internal procedures ask for it - your company may be part of a larger group or a large multinational, the owners may ask for it or past experience may have convinced them it's necessary. You may never know what issues they may have had in the past with their employees. I will tell you about a situation I had myself in the past with one of my previous companies - one of the employees we were about to hire (on the position of storage room manager) had been previously convicted for stealing. We found that out by asking for the criminal record. Would you trust your storage room with such an employee?

2. Client asks for it - we had a situation when a new client conditioned the signing of the contract on the new hires' criminal record - they would work with us only if the employees in their team had all clean criminal records. We had to accept the condition in order not to lose the business.

Besides criminal record, some companies ask even for drug tests. Don't consider it a discrimination factor. It's all normal. They are protecting themselves. 

Lastly, what you need  to know additionally in order to protect yourselves, the following are reasons for discrimination, are illegal and companies can't ask for any details connected to these: gender, sexual orientation, personal genetic features, age, nationality, ethnic group, religion, political orientation, social origin, disabilities, marital status or marital responsibilities (including pregnancy tests), Union affiliation.

Take care,
Geo

12/12/13

My Colleague Isn't Doing His Job. What Do I Do?

Unpleasant as it may be, this has happened for sure to a lot of you. You have a colleague not doing his job and sometimes your work depends on his. Not nice, right? What to do then? Go to the manager? Eventually yes, but you don't want to. You don't want them to see you complaining or you want to go there with some solutions, not only the problem...Here are a few more things you can do in the meantime...



-Organize informal team buildings (evenings or week-ends out in the city, out of the city somewhere or even during a break at the office)- invite everybody in the team, including the colleague we are talking about and try to talk about the job and personal life if they are willing to share; see what he tells the rest - if he didn't perform well at all, maybe he lacks training and he needs help from the rest of you (some people are shy or a bit vain and refuse to admit that they need help); if his performance changed in time, maybe he has a personal problem, maybe he has motivation issues, maybe he no longer likes the job or no longer feels professional satisfaction doing it; just talk to each other and find out what's wrong; there may be something that can be fixed without the help of the manager;

Here's what you can find out as a result:
  • A personal problem is involved, try to help if possible; if not, try to understand for a while longer;
  • A job problem is involved - see if you, your colleagues or your manager can help - if yes, propose to your colleagues or your manager trainings, help, meetings or whatever necessary;
  • Your colleague is just lazy...then...

- Talk to him directly in a private meeting; tell him how this is affecting your work and this is not fair; your results and the team results depend on his performance; keep a professional approach; if this doesn't work...

- Talk to him directly in a public environment; involve some of your other colleagues and remind him how his job is connected to the team's and how his performance can affect all of you; give him examples of work not done; keep a professional approach; if this still doesn't work...

- Display his lack of performance publicly; see if there's a project both of you can split; do your part, present it publicly and let him embarrasse himself in front of the others; instead or after this you can...

- Go to the manager; this should work in the end or if you prefer this as your first and only step, go ahead; your manager should know what to do - training, meetings, assisning a mentor or simply disciplinary action.

Thanks and I hope you have as little colleagues of this kind as possible.
Take care,
Geo