THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

February 4, 2010   view past issues

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The Importance of the Ordinary Instant

The world of work has changed profoundly in the last two years. Take a look at my assessment of what it means by clicking here. It’s the Author in Residence blog at HigherEdJobs.com.

Here’s how the site describes the blog: “Imagine a good, old-fashioned book club, combined with the academic staple of a scholar in residence. Now add the cutting-edge technology of a blog with regular blog postings and comments, and you’ve got HigherEdJobs’ newest feature, the Author in Residence! Unlike any book club you may have joined, this one is led by the author and is focused on helping YOU in your career.”

Please stop by and join our conversation.

The Importance of the Ordinary Instant

Half a decade ago, Joan Didion wrote a book called The Year of Magical Thinking. In the very first chapter, she offers this extraordinary passage: “Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.” She was talking about momentous changes-life and death events-but I think the wisdom of her words applies to recruiting, as well.

Our recruiting processes are made up of thousands of ordinary instants. They are so … well, so normal and banal, we don’t even think about them. They are simply a part of the passage of our day, and we shoulder past them with hardly a by your leave.

And I believe that’s wrong. I think Didion is on to something. We know the critical moments in our lives are important and we pay close attention to them. But, it turns out, even the hum-drum instants, those that seem to shrink in the face of our pressures and urgencies-they too-can shape the outcome of our day. Trivial as they may seem, ordinary instants exert an impact far greater than their modest countenance.

How is that so?

First, there are many more ordinary instants than there are momentous ones. Their sheer volume makes it likely that at least some-and often many more than we think-will influence the course of what we do.

Second, ordinary instants can and often do lull us into a kind of carelessness. We are so busy attending to the really BIG stuff in our day that the little moments gets ignored and can fester into their own version of a really BIG problem.

And third, ordinary instants for one person can be earth-shattering moments for another. We each bring our own sensibilities and perspectives to our experience, so what seems like just another point in time to us can be a profound event-a tipping point, to borrow a phrase-for those we are trying to recruit.

What are these ordinary instants?

They are the tiny intersections we have with candidates as they move through our recruiting processes. They include (but are clearly not limited to):

  • The very first thing we show a person when the career area on our Web-site opens;
  • The process we require candidates to follow when applying for a posted job;
  • The way we greet candidates when beginning a telephone interview;
  • The communication we use to schedule a candidate for a face-to-face interview;
  • The kind of reception we give candidates when they arrive for their interview;
  • The follow-up interaction we have with candidates after their interview.
  • These are ordinary instants to us, but to candidates they are moments of magic, monotony or misery. And two of those outcomes undermine our success.

    What should you do to guard against the negative outcomes?

    Audit the ordinary instants in your recruiting process. Put yourself in the shoes of a job seeker-or better yet, talk to those who have actually been through the process-and evaluate the caliber of the ordinary instants you’re giving them. Are they carefully designed to optimize the candidate’s experience or have they been so ignored and taken for granted that they are actually undermining it?

    If a common, everyday moment in time has the power to change life, as Didion suggested, then it can certainly influence the opinions of your candidates. So, transform your ordinary instants into extraordinary passages that create powerfully positive impressions on all those who pass through them. Surprise your candidates by installing magic where everyone else offers the mundane or downright miserable.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    Visit my blog at Weddles.com/WorkStrong

    P.S. Come on-spread the word! Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.


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    Our Featured Books

    Get WEDDLE’s recruiting bestsellers today.

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This widely acclaimed guide to the Web’s 100,000+ job boards and career portals has been completely updated so you can make smart buying decisions for your organization’s online recruitment advertising.
  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Association Web Sites. The best talent are often members of their local, state, regional or national professional associations. This one-of-a-kind Guide enables you to determine which of those associations have the recruiting resources you need to connect with their members.
  • How can you get these amazing resources? Click here to reach our online bookstore or call 203.964.1888 to order your copies of these truly unique recruiting guides.

    Even Super Search Strings Won’t Work With the Wrong Keywords

    How can you tell search engines and computers what kind of candidate you’re looking for? Use Finding Needles in a Haystack. Just released by WEDDLE’s, this 3-volume set is the first comprehensive listing of keywords for successfully searching resume databases online and off. You can select individual volumes or get the entire set.

    Volume I

    Engineering, Executive & Management, Finance & Economics, Healthcare, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing, Technology

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    Accounting & Bookkeeping, Administration, Advertising & Communications, Architecture, Art & Design, Customer Service, Equipment Installation & Maintenance, Hazardous Materials, Manufacturing, Public Relations, Purchasing, Security, Translation, Logistics, Writing, Journalism & Editing

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    To order your copy, please click here or call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888.


    Our Featured Employment Web Site

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.

    There are 50,000 job boards and career portals now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to recruiting top talent online, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for each of your requirements. WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide profiles The Top 100 employment sites on the Web today and provides The Best & the Rest, a listing of over 10,000 such sites worldwide. It’s all of the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the optimum yield for you. For example:

    Dice.com

    http://www.dice.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: National-USA

    Fee to post a job: $400+/posting

    Posting period: 30 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 2,700,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from candidates

    Top occupations among visitors: Engineering, Information Systems

    Other services for employers: Discussion forum for networking, Assessment instruments, Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status Reports

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Get a Free WORK STRONG Wristband

    These are tough times for everyone in the workplace.

    It doesn’t matter whether you have 2 or 32 years of employment experience, today’s world of work is a risk-filled, even threatening place. And it is also the place where you spend one-third or more of your day.

    So what should you do? Give yourself “career security”-security you can count on even in the toughest of times.

    And the best source of career security is Peter Weddle’s book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System.

  • If you’re in transition, it will resuscitate your career even as you hunt for a new job.
  • If you’re currently employed, it will help you strengthen and protect your career for whatever lies ahead.
  • Click here to get a 34% discount on the book at Amazon.com!

    Or, if you’d like A FREE WORK STRONG WRISTBAND, order the book directly from WEDDLE’s by calling 203.964.1888 or clicking here.

    Don’t delay. Give yourself the power and promise of career security. Get Work Strong right away!