3 Tips for Becoming a Stand Out Candidate

By Corey Hastings

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It’s no secret that the job search process can be complex and trying at times. It’s also no secret that your application will face a lot of tough competition.

So how do you stand out from the crowd? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you differentiate yourself and get your resume to the top of the stack. 

1. Quantifiable Achievements

While you may possess the top skills needed to fill the position, so may everyone else who is applying. Differentiate yourself by letting numbers do the talking. Quantifying your achievements will allow hiring managers to form a clear image of what your skills can do for their company. Numbers provide an impact.

Do you work in sales? Provide a summary of how much you sell by month. Do you manage a team? List how many people work under you. If you don’t manage, maybe you’ve helped train 10 incoming employees. Have you ever managed a large budget? Disclose how much.

Providing hard data and metrics on your resume is not only impressive, but crucial for making your resume stand out. 

2. Beyond the Resume

A resume is a great starting point to show off your skills, but have you thought beyond the resume? If you catch a hiring manager’s eye with quantifiable achievements and experience, we suggest offering additional resources where they can learn more about you and your work.

An online portfolio can act as a one-stop-shop to communicate your expertise. Use this platform to go into detail about projects or talents that you didn’t have room for elaboration on your resume. You can also use it as a place to list references, find a downloadable version of your resume, share your contact information and link to your Linkedin profile.

Additional resources like an online portfolio also display your dedication and drive, and show that you’re not afraid to go the extra mile.

3. Following Up

To some it may seem obvious, but following up after a job interview is not something to let slip through the cracks. But what is the best way to follow up?

After any type of interview, be it phone or in person, following up with a thank you note or email is a great idea. We suggest taking your follow up one step further by providing a brief summary of key topics of discussion and reiterating why you’re fit for the job.

There’s no need to recount every little detail of your conversation. Instead, focus on recapping the most poignant topics and why you’re the best fit to succeed. This summary will allow the interviewee to recall your interview with ease, and share details they may have forgotten with others involved in the hiring process.

To recall what was discussed and the names of the people you interviewed, make it a habit to write down notes immediately post-interview. This will ensure that you have all the proper information you need to craft the perfect follow up.

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SS&C Recruiter Feature: Ryan Gonyo Helps Place Great People with Great Companies

For our first Recruiter Feature, we’d love to introduce SS&C Regional Recruiter Ryan Gonyo!

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Gonyo, an outdoorsman who spends his time outside the office camping, fishing, boating and hiking with his family, has been with SS&C for three years. Gonyo is focused on constantly improving his skills and tactics in order to find the right candidate for the job.

What is your favorite part of being a recruiter?

I like the idea of helping people and building companies. When you can prove the quality of a candidate and the quality of the process of on-boarding, whether it’s after the first or fifth hire, your clients start to respect your opinion and suggestions. Seeing companies make changes and seeing those changes work out – this is my favorite part, I love being a part of that process.

What makes working at SS&C unique?

The feel that you have your own business within the company is a huge asset. SS&C teaches you the fundamentals to support individual situations with advice and guidance, and then allows you to work the best way that you see fit.

Can you tell us about an awesome job match you’ve made lately?

I had worked with a certain candidate for three years who had a goal of working in consulting. Over those three years, I continued to stay in contact with him and he with me, helping him focus on expanding his experience, tools, and certifications. He is now a consultant in his field with a six-figure income, reaching his dreams and goals.

What tips would you share with aspiring recruiters?

Figure out who is doing well in the organization you’re looking to join or have just joined and learn from them. Be self aware and realize what your strengths and weaknesses are and put your ego aside. Try to embody and implement what those people who are successful are doing, and really commit to doing it.

Also, always be improving. Focus more on incorporating all the little things so they don’t weigh so heavily on you, and so you can get to where you want to be faster.

What motivates you to succeed?

My family. Being able to set them up to have what they want and to have a great life.

And constantly improving, that motivates me to succeed.

How to Establish a Thriving Company Culture

By Corey Hastings

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Company culture is vital to an organization’s success – you’ve probably heard it before, maybe you’ve even said it yourself. But as an employer, are you actively focusing on establishing a thriving company culture?

Hiring and retaining dedicated, valuable employees depends on a lot more than a stocked fridge and a nice paycheck. Company culture is defined in many ways. But to truly understand how to create a positive culture, you have to understand the 3 core areas of employee dissatisfaction that can plague the workplace. These areas include:

  1. Lack of Communication
  2. Lack of Employee Recognition
  3. Lack of Training and Development

When an employee sees no upward mobility because they lack proper avenues of communication, they are not recognized for their accomplishments, and their company is not investing in their professional development, they leave. And their behavior is contagious.

So how do you promote positivity and growth on all 3 fronts? We’ve outlined a few tips.

Improving Communication

The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Is your workplace communication a victim of this sentiment? If so, it might be time to reexamine.

Improving your communication process can start with a few simple approaches. One suggestion is to hold on-site communication training and workshops. Bring everyone together to discuss what tactics are working, and what areas could improve. Allowing your employees to participate in the discussion not only shows that you value their opinions, but also allows you to develop new employee-backed communication strategies.

Another way to improve the process is to utilize online communication tools. We suggest looking into messaging services like Slack or Google Chat.

Employee Appreciation

Recognizing your employees for their successes is a vital part of a thriving company culture. If an employee feels like they are valued and appreciated, it boosts morale and productivity, and helps retain your strongest talent.

A simple method for recognizing employees is to thank them for their work in a genuine and respectful way. Don’t over-praise if it’s undeserved, instead focus on offering sincere gratitude for a job well done.

Publicly praising employees is also another great tactic. Start meetings by pointing out successes and wins, and allow others to contribute if they want to share something about a fellow team member.

When a strong performer has wowed you yet again, ask them to mentor inexperienced members of the team. Your trust in their ability to pass along their expertise will resonate.

And never underestimate the value of giving thanks with gifts or perks. Has an extremely long project finally come to a successful conclusion? Take your team to the ball game, or out for a celebratory lunch.

Training and Development

There is no better way to show an employee that you want to invest in their future than by offering training and development.

Implementing programs that allow employees to learn will present potential for advancement, and show that you care about their future as much as the future of the company. Start by offerings mentorship programs or investment in certifications or online courses, and allow your training and development strategies to grow.

Why Recruiters Should Work Directly with Hiring Managers

By Corey Hastings

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The two most important people in a proactive search for hiring the perfect candidates are the hiring manager and front line recruiter.

Experience has shown that the more people between the hiring manager and the recruiter, the less likely it is to fill a position. Hiring managers and recruiters have the unique advantage of noticing a variety of different issues that may arise when hiring. A lack of proper communication between the two hiring parties can lead to a misunderstanding in what the true needs of the position are, which can result in a mishire, or no hire at all.

Here are a few items to consider:

  1. The hiring manager’s needs and wants, in terms of a candidate’s skills and experiences are not all equal and can change over time or on a case-by-case basis.
  1. The source of potential candidates might change and/or might yield new options over time (either geographically or vertically) and brainstorming between the two operatives can uncover new targets.
  1. Most importantly, the way in which a hiring manager will sell their open position to someone that is gainfully employed is very unique based on the opportunity and specific situation (which can also change over time).

The hiring manager’s ability to communicate the subtleties and nuances around each of these issues is paramount.  Almost as important, is the information that the recruiter is gathering from the market and the way that is relayed back to the hiring manager.  The flow of information between creates an air of cooperation, mutual commitment and focus.  The partnership that grows in this type of environment has a very good chance of success.

One tactic that will open the door to a successful hiring manager/recruiter relationship is a simple Q&A when both parties first meet about filling a position. This can act as a clarifying exercise for whatever questions arise about the position, and help establish a positive rapport.

Topics to discuss during this Q&A should include:

  1. The basics of the job description (reporting structure, location, why the job is open, what the company culture is like, etc.).
  1. The value of filling the position.
  1. The required skills for the position.
  1. Additional skills or personality traits the hiring company finds significant.
  1. The company’s general hiring process.
  1. The best way to communicate during the hiring process.

Opening the doors of communication and understanding both the hiring manger and the recruiter’s role will allow for a seamless hiring process.

Are you searching for the perfect candidate? Let SS&C help.

7 Critical Factors for Making a Career Decision

By Corey Hastings

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When considering your professional future, do you weigh all critical factors that need to be considered when making a major career decision?

Choosing a company simply because they offer the best salary or have the best perks may lead to unhappiness down the line. When making a critical career decision, it can be challenging to make non-emotional changes without full assessment. But as many happily employed people can attest to, it’s imperative for making the right choice.

So how do successful people employ the best tactics as part of an overall career strategy? The answer is the use of a decision tree. Before you make a major career decision, measure and assess each of the 7 factors below to ensure you’ve made the perfect choice.

1. Brand name of the company

Having a reputable brand name, one that candidates and clients alike can trust, is critical for any company looking to hire. And a brand is more than just a company name – it’s the combination of an established and reliable company with a client or consumer’s experience.

Take a look at the company you are assessing: do they come off as reputable online? Have they been responsive and accommodating? Are their company reviews positive? A query into the tone of a company and how they present themselves will give you a good idea of what it’s like to work there.

2. Breadth of their customer base

 When assessing a company, always be sure to look into their customer base. Do they work with or have partnerships with other reputable companies? Are their customers satisfied with the work they have provided? Testimonials are a great way to understand whom a company’s customers are and if they’re happy, so be sure to research or simply reach out and ask for client feedback.

3. Breadth of their products and/or services

Does this prospective employee offer a full scope of services in industries that not only suit you currently but for your future prospects? When choosing your next company remember that you’re not just making the right decision for now but down the line as well. Finding the employer that offers not only a deluge of services but also ones that innovate means that over the years you will be in the best position to grow professionally and turn your self into an A-Player. Plus, growth within this new company means less job-hunting in the future.

4. How they treat their vendors, clients & employees

In the same way that you can tell the measure of a person by how they treat their friends and pets, you can tell a lot about a future employer by how they manage its workers.

Do the research: online searches, peer recommendations, even cold call their past and current vendors. Every piece of information brings you one step closer to making the right choice. Only after piecing together the puzzle can you ask the important question, “Can I see myself working for a company like this?”

5. Quality of the people

It’s no surprise that a critical career decision factor is the quality of the people you may potentially be working with. It’s vital to reflect on the types of people you’ve already had conversations or interviews with – have they demonstrated professionalism and displayed qualities you find yourself attracted to?

Another way to assess the quality of people working for a company is to check out sites like Linkedin or Glassdoor. Look for positive reviews of employees, and learn as much as you can about the type of people you’ll potentially be collaborating with.

6. Challenge of the role

While you may be extremely qualified for a position, will you be challenged? When interviewing and deciding on a potential new career, ask yourself if the work will keep you stimulated and driven. If you take a position you’re overqualified for, you may find yourself in a monotonous situation that can lead to unhappiness in the workplace.

7. Financial Package

Finally, ask yourself –  can you imagine making a career change strictly for finance reasons without having the first 6 items in place? If you’ve weighed all above factors positively, then it’s time to talk money.

Before weighing the options, dedicate time to sit down and prioritize what kind of benefits not only work now but also down the line as your new career grows. Is the offered salary desirable, and are the benefits right for you and your family? Also remember that you do not have to accept the first offer a company makes. Don’t think of it as a negotiation, but as a conversation. There may be compromises, but there should be compensations as well.

 

Achieving the A-Player Mentality

By Corey Hastings

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Are you on the hunt for a new job, or recently decided to take your career to the next level?

While you may think you are a dependable candidate with a strong track record, having the necessary traits to prove you’re the best one for the job means achieving the ‘A-Player Mentality.’

Employers know the value of hiring an A-Player; they are the top employees in their industry, are innovative self-starters, and help to build a successful and dynamic workplace. By becoming an A-Player, you’ll not only land the perfect job, you’ll mature into a well-respected and sought-after employee.

To achieve the A-Player mentality, become a candidate who possesses the following traits.

Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is one of the most important attributes of an A-Player. Your attitude is a form of expression and identification. A positive employee will quickly be recognized as a leader who can turn a difficult situation into a new opportunity.

Positivity breeds positivity. By displaying a positive attitude, you increase the productivity and mood of your workplace as a whole. A positive atmosphere makes for happy employees who feel less stressed and more empowered to work harder.

Team Player

Having a positive mental attitude is the first step in being a great team player. Companies thrive on teamwork. By tapping into your co-workers creative energy, you can accomplish more in less time. Recognizing and collaborating with the strengths of those around you not only benefits the company, but helps you in your day-to-day tasks.

If someone has a different method for getting things done, understand and allow for those differences. The best teams thrive on appreciating each other’s contributions, and the best employees lead the way for positive collaboration.

Strong References

A major red flag for any hiring manager is the lack of references or positive recommendations from peers and past employees. A key indicator that you’re the best candidate for the job is having a reference who can reaffirm your past accomplishments and successes. Becoming an A-Player means cultivating positive work relationships that you are proud to share in future interviews.

Continues to Educate

A-Players are driven. While the office day may end, their thirst for knowledge and their quest to educate themselves isn’t checked at the door.

A-Players are constantly reading up on new insight into their industry while continuing formal education with industry specific certifications or higher education degrees. This ambition allows A-Players to be visible and admired, often recognized by winning awards, inside their company and amongst their community.

What extra-curricular knowledge are you seeking within your industry? Continuing to educate yourself in as many ways as possible will prove you’re a dedicated and invaluable employee.

Track Record of Quantitative Achievements

Aside from awards, A-Players are often recognized for their proven track record of achievements. Because of their drive, they are always striving to produce reliable and tangible work that doesn’t go unnoticed.

While you may have some successful team accomplishments under your belt, have you ever spearheaded a project? Taking the reigns on an idea not only shows leadership, but allows your name to be highlighted and recognized. Publishing white papers or applying for a patent are also good ways to showcase your skills.

Great Communication Skills

Effective communication is one of the most important skills to master inside the workplace and out. Communication is vital to all relationships including bosses, co-workers, and clients.

Are you able to say what you mean in a clear and concise way? Being able to properly communicate demonstrates an innate confidence in your job. Communication also helps with planning and coordination, allowing your company to function as smoothly as possible.

Mentors and Coaches

Being a great communicator also allows others to develop a trust in your abilities and know-how. When you become a trustworthy source, others start to turn to you for guidance. A-Players are often mentors, and never turn their back on an employee in need.

Hands-on

Do you know your company’s technology inside and out? If you’re in sales, do you understand your customer base and what their needs are?

A hands on employee who knows the mechanics of what makes a company run is better suited to cultivate a dynamic workplace.

Have you achieved the A-Player mentality? Submit your resume to SS&C today.

How to Hire A-Players in 2016

By Corey Hastings

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Hiring an A-Player isn’t as easy as you may think.

A common misconception among hiring managers is the belief that all candidates are begging for a job. But most top candidates are not actively looking to make a change, and are successfully employed. Investing valuable time and effort into courting an A-Player is critical, and their returns more than offset the resources applied.

Often, hiring managers struggle with what to focus on in an interview. If you’re taking the time to hire an A-Player, interview tactics have to be streamlined and focused. While no two candidates will have the same recruitment, there are best practices that make the road to landing an A-player a clear and efficient one.

The benefits of hiring an A-Player are countless, and certainly make your dedication worthwhile. To hire the most sought-after candidates, find success by engaging in the following best practices.

Courting the Candidate    

Going after A-Players takes the same effort that goes into landing a big client. Because these candidates are highly respected in their current positions, extra time and attention paid to onboarding makes all the difference. Efforts should include:

  • Multiple meetings
  • Understanding candidate’s aspirations and goals
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Weeks of work and patience
  • Negotiations
  • Salary

Company Value Proposition

While money talks, it doesn’t speak the loudest. A-Players are looking to make a change for more than just a big paycheck, and the way in which you present your company to potential hires is significant.

Providing a company value proposition, and selling it appropriately, is an important step in hiring an A-Player. Think about how you typically treat your candidates: do you sell them on your organization, or do you assume that they’re already convinced you’re the one they should work for?

Ensure you know your company’s strengths. What kind of a working environment will you provide an A-Player? Present a clear vision that touts your company as the kind of place where A-Players can develop accomplishments, innovate, and contribute in a prosperous environment.

Developing a Scorecard

Helping hiring managers organize and develop focus can be difficult, yet important. Successfully interviewing means objectively assessing a candidate by using tools that focus on the critical success factors of the position.

“Create a standard to measure candidates against a qualified criterion,” advises Joe Vona, Sr, CEO of SS&C. Removing subjectivity allows for a simple and uniform way to measure a candidate. The best way to achieve this? Develop a scorecard.

Developing a scorecard gives each interviewer common focus and positive discussion topics. Post interview, while hiring managers focus on next steps and follow up efforts, a scorecard insures information is not forgotten, and can be used in reference checks.

To develop the right scorecard for your company, gather the hiring team to discuss what critical achievement factors you want to include on a scorecard, as well as what probing questions can be asked during an interview.

Using a scorecard not only creates a streamlined hiring method, but also allows hiring managers to show A-Players how serious they are about bringing them onboard.

For help in recruiting an A-Player, email info@sscnow.com.

5 Benefits of Hiring an A-Player

By Corey Hastings

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Hiring an A-Player can make all the difference.

The success of a company is directly influenced by its hiring practices. If you are not investing the time to hire preferred candidates, your company could pay the consequences. A bad hire making $102,692 per year with 1.6 years on the job could cost you more than a million dollars in mistakes, severance, and missed opportunities.

Aside from saving your company millions, the benefits of hiring A-Players are boundless.A-Players are the finest candidates in their industry, often successfully employed, and have significant accomplishments under their belt. Manufacturing operations managed by A-Players have 94% high profits than other operations, and return to shareholders for companies with top talent practices average 22% above industry means.

For those in sales, the top 3% produce up to 250% more than the average; while the top 20% produce up to 120% more. As well as being successful, A-Players are respected and admired by their peers, contributing to the formation of a happy and successful office environment.

Here are the 5 benefits of hiring an A-Players

1. A-Players are magnets for other A-Players

Recruiting an A-Player proves that your company is worthy of top candidates. It’s easier to convince A-Players to join your team when they know they are surrounded by like-minded and ambitious team members.

CEO of SSC Joe Vona, Sr. says, “Money is not the primary reason why preferred candidates make a change.” A-Players require more than just a high salary to accept an offer. Show an A-Player that you’ve built an environment where top employees make a difference and create a legacy, and they’re likely to join your team.

A-Players can also increase enthusiasm and work ethic in currently employed B-Players who are looking to adopt and learn the A-Player mentality. A current employee who has goals of becoming a leader in their industry can be strongly motivated and taught by an A-Player.

2. A-Players propel your company to think differently

A-Players are innovative and resourceful, constantly keeping up with the latest industry trends and investing time in research.

Possessing this breadth of knowledge allows A-Players to bring fresh and creative ideas to the table, a quality they thrive on. This allows your company to develop productive and successful strategy that leads rather than follows.

3. They take initiative

A-Players are self-starters. They’ll never need to be micro-managed, and possess the initiative to get things done without ever needing to be asked.

Instead of taking time to earn the company’s trust and the trust of their fellow employees, an A-Player has already proven what they can do and will on-board seamlessly. This saves time for managers who can focus on building the core business and increasing productivity.

4. They produce better results

The phrase “more bang for your buck” has never been truer. Because A-Players are self-starters, they get the job done in less time and for less cost. Their experience and proven track record allows them to produce better results on the first try.

A-Players will also never procrastinate, and in-turn encourage others to fight the urge to put things off, helping develop a dynamic workplace. Your company’s results won’t just improve, but so will the process.

5. They demonstrate better teamwork

Because A-Players are confident in their abilities, they are able to work better with others in an approachable and collaborative atmosphere. A happy office environment is a key factor for success, and A-Players contribute to a sense of teamwork and camaraderie that is invaluable in the workplace. Leading by example and nurturing potential in others are some of the many tools an A-Player brings with them.

Are you interested in hiring an A-Player? Let us help.