HCI Blog

Archive from May 2014

How to choose the best career for yourself

The choice of a career path is typically a big question mark in the professional lives of many people. Doubts may surface as to whether continue on a current job or seek a new path. It is important to certify that the job that you do is truly something for which you have passion for.


Once entering college, you typically may have a slight idea of what you may want to follow in the future, but you cannot most certainly pinpoint exactly where your true passion is directed. It is actually common for the opposite to happen; you choose an area of study and work which you later on find out you dislike.

In all true fairness, how are you expected to know what you like if you never actually done anything related to the job previously? So if you can’t rely on an actual concrete experience to know what you like, where can you find guidance?

So if passion can’t guide you, what can? Well, begin by choosing a career that fits well with your skills and values. Since you actually have some sense of what those are (hopefully), this is a good starting place.

A second way to choose a job is basing yourself on your ambitions. You can opt for a promotion focus, where you advance as quick as possible, seeking rewards, recognition and achievements. Instead, you could select a prevention focus, where you seek to hold on to what you already achieved and work slowly, securing your personal space.

To better understand each of these focuses, here are some characteristics of each different profile:

Promotion- focused people excel at:

  • Creativity & innovation
  • Seizing opportunities to get ahead
  • Embracing risk
  • Working quickly
  • Generating lots of options and alternatives
  • Abstract thinking

(Unfortunately, they are also more error-prone, overly-optimistic, and more likely to take risks that land them in hot water)

Prevention-focused people excel at:

  • Thoroughness and being detail-oriented
  • Analytical thinking and reasoning
  • Planning
  • Accuracy (working flawlessly)
  • Reliability
  • Anticipating problems

(Unfortunately, they are also wary of change or taking chances, rigid, and work more slowly. Diligence takes time.)

In other words, Promotion-focused individuals seek risks, fast growth and ever-changing work environments and markets. Typically, you enjoy spearheading projects and lead teams. And the Prevention-focused individuals prefer to carefully plan their next move based on a complex analysis of all factors involved, as well as having an eye for detail.

The job market has space for both types. All in all, it is important for you to know yourself! Don’t be in a hurry to jump into the first job offer you get. Instead, reflect about what you want for yourself and where you want to reach!

Based on: Forbes

Four tips on how to recruit candidates using social media

The internet offers a wide variety of possibilities once it comes to the usage of social networking as a means to communicating and exposing your company’s brand.

A subject which is being actively discussed among recruiters today is the usage of social media for finding the best possible fit for a placement opportunity. Yet, at the same time, some confusion might arise once it comes to finding the appropriate tool for homing in on the candidates you want to attract to your company.

Here are four tips on how to effectively use social media for recruiting the right candidates:

1. Select a social network which best suits your needs

As mentioned before, the internet has a wide variety of social networks available. It is important to have in mind the industry and line of business your company is inserted into. For example, Facebook has extremely broad criteria for finding potential candidates while on the other hand, LinkedIn focuses specifically on an individual’s professional life rather than their personal life or hobbies.

2. Announce available placement opportunities on your profiles

Never forget that it is important to let the online world know that you are looking for someone to fill a specific position. Even though this might not directly target your specific candidate, someone might know that person you are seeking!

3. Your current employees are a good thermometer for the outside world

Your current employees are the perfect “showcase” to attract other potential candidates. Happy, motivated and well integrated workers will typically display a positive image of how your company works internally. Eventually, someone might see how well your employees speak of your company and ask them about a possible placement opportunity.

4. Always give a helping hand

If you see other companies or recruiters looking for a specific profile, help them by announcing their placement opportunity on your social network profile. This generates rapport and in the future an exchange of candidates among recruiters!

Based on: Volt

Social media and recruitment go hand in hand

Over 92% of companies use Social Media networks for recruiting candidates.

Have a look at this graph by staff.com for some more interesting facts related to recruitment and social networks online.


Successful Organizations Need Leaders At All Levels

Anybody who has ever watched interviews with managers or coaches of professional sports teams will have heard plenty of discussion of the need for leaders throughout the team. The same thinking is also increasingly a preoccupation of business people. Indeed, the need for “leaders at all levels” is one of the 12 critical issues identified in the Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey published earlier this month by Deloitte University Press, the publishing arm of the professional services firm’s leadership center.

In a paper examining the findings, Adam Canwell, Vishalli Dongrie, Neil Neveras and Heather Stockton – who work for Deloitte in a range of locations  – point out that leadership “remains the No. 1 talent issue facing organizations around the world,” with 86% of respondents to the survey rating it “urgent” or “important.” However, the fact that only 13% say they do an excellent job of developing leaders at all levels means that this area has the largest “readiness gap” in the survey.

Finding good leaders has, of course, always been a crucial issue for all sorts of organizations. This is why the armed forces, for instance, put so much effort into training their officers and why business schools and other providers of executive development have thrived. But the Deloitte team argues that “21st-century leadership is different”. Canwell and his colleagues write: “Companies face new leadership challenges, including developing Millenials and multiple generations of leaders, meeting the demand for leaders with global fluency and flexibility, building the ability to innovate and inspire others to perform, and acquiring new levels of understanding of rapidly changing technologies and new disciplines and fields.” No wonder organizations are coming up short.

Almost inevitably, the problem is felt to be especially acute today. This is a result of the strengthening of the global recovery, the desire on the part of the companies to expand in new markets and the growing numbers of older leaders choosing to retire.

A key part of the solution identified by the Deloitte team is for organizations to develop leadership pipelines at every level. At present, it says, companies are not only not developing enough leaders, they are also not equipping those they are creating with the critical capabilities and skills they need to succeed. “Today’s market environment places a premium on speed, flexibility and the ability to lead in uncertain situations. At the same time, the flattening of organizations has created an explosion in demand for leadership skills at every level.”

It appears that there is no avoiding spending money when it comes to dealing with this situation. The best performing companies already spend thousands of dollars each year developing each would-be leader on their staff, with the figure for senior leaders in the tens of thousands of dollars. Creating strong leadership programs for leaders at all levels – as advocated – requires sustained and substantial investment. At the early stages in the leadership pipeline, potential leaders need to acquire core skills in supervision and management, with frequent assignments to build on this base. Later on, they need to understand all the business functions before becoming executives, when business and product strategy will be central, along with experience of driving change within large teams. Companies need to understand that there are no shortcuts to building broad and deep leadership teams. New leaders typically need 18 months before feeling fully comfortable in a new role, while for those in the mid-level the period is more likely to be two to three years.

The paper also calls for companies to be more flexible in terms of leadership paths. Some leaders will move into senior roles relatively quickly because of a particular situation, while others will develop more slowly.

Above all, though, organizations need to realize that developing leaders amounts to more than having a selection of training programs. “Senior executives should create a culture that broadens the opportunity for leaders to develop in new ways,” writes the Deloitte team. “This means putting potential leaders in positions that stretch them beyond their current skill sets, and continuously coaching and supporting leaders so they can build their capabilities as rapidly as possible.” This is increasingly well recognised, say the authors, but it is “simply not widely adopted and practiced”.

Where should companies begin? A few starting points include:

Engaging top executives to develop leadership strategy and actively govern leadership development.

Aligning leadership strategies and development with evolving business goals

Focusing on three aspects of developing leaders – developing leaders at all levels, developing global leaders locally and developing a succession mindset

Implementing an effective – and unique – leadership program.

But there is no time to delay. The best-performing organizations are already on their way.


SOURCE: Forbes

10 Tips for Job Interview Success

Job search techniques change, the labour market changes and job descriptions change. But what more or less stays the same is the job interview. It’s your chance to sell yourself. The first 30 seconds of a job interview are the most important – so if you want to be a cut above the rest you need to be on the ball. Rob Yeung, a business psychologist, maintains that an interview is all about the three Ps. “You need to prepare, you need to practise, and then, on the day, you need to perform.”


Here are 10 tips for interview success.


1. First impressions count

Greet your interviewer with a smile and firm handshake. Give eye contact. Try to make small talk during the walk from the reception area to the interview room. Liz Anderson, a human resources manager says, “You have to sell yourself before you can sell anything else and the first 30 seconds are when the interviewer subconsciously makes decisions about whether they like you or not and whether you will fit into the team.”


2. Be prepared

Re-read your CV and the job advert just before the interview. Do your research thoroughly: Look at the company web site or obtain literature. You may be asked about the salary you are after so make sure you research that as well.


3. Don’t waffle

Answer questions properly – even if you need a few moments’ silence to collect your thoughts. Anderson advises, “It’s better to say you need a minute to think about your answer rather than speak instantly and regret it afterwards.”


4. Why should they hire you?

Most job adverts will list qualities they’re looking for – a team worker, a good communicator – so it’s up to you to think of examples of how you can demonstrate these skills. Be ready to talk about your knowledge, experience, abilities and skills. Have at least three strong points about yourself that you can relate to the company and job on offer.


5. Be positive

Your interviewer will be thinking about what it would be like to work with you, so the last thing they’ll want to hear is you talking about your boss or current colleagues behind their back. Interviewers like to see someone who enjoys a challenge and is enthusiastic.


6. Remember your body language

It is not what you say, but how you say it. During the interview, do not fold your arms and lean back or look to the floor! Sit upright and try to maintain good eye contact. Use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Many people cannot think and control their body language at the same time, which is why you need to prepare.


7. Expect the unexpected

Your interviewer may try to catch you off guard: A survey by OfficeAngels has revealed that 90 per cent of employers ask ‘killer’ questions in interviews. It is impossible to plan for every difficult question, such as “How would your colleagues describe you?” but try to appear relaxed and in control. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if necessary but do not evade it. Hopefully you will not befall the fate of those job candidates at B&Q who were asked to dance to “Blame it on the Boogie”!


8. Develop rapport

Show energy, a sense of humour and smile. Jean Smith, a social anthropologist says: “It’s infectious, being positive and enthusiastic.” Ask your interviewer questions about themselves and any issues the business is facing.


9. Clarify anything you are unsure of

If you are not certain what are meant by a particular question, ask for clarification. At the end, ask the interviewer if there is anything else he or she needs to know about. Do not be afraid to ask when you are likely to hear if you have been successful or not.


10. Remember your manners

It is better to choose than to be chosen. Tell the interviewer why you are interested in the company and job opportunity. Ask them for a business card and follow it up by sending a “thank-you” e-mail or letter, saying how much you enjoyed meeting them and how interested you are. Take the opportunity to detail the key advantages you bring.


SOURCE: Career Builder