Monthly Archives: September 2015

Is A University The Best Way To Get Employment

It’s the time of year where thousands of young people are feverishly making plans for the next step of their academic careers. For some, results day is spent frantically reassessing their options as the grades they have been awarded may not have been quite what they were expecting. The temptation is to take the first course offered in clearing. This is understandable as for a lot of school leavers, going to University has been the goal for much of their school life. The possibility of not getting in may not have registered, and so taking what they can get seems to be a natural reaction. We’ll be looking this week at whether having a degree is a necessity and looking at other routes into employment.

Conflicting Reports
In tough times for employment, there have been reports to suggest that there are currently more jobs available for those with degrees than for those that have chosen not to study at University. The Skills and Employment survey found that in 2012 approximately 25% of available positions required a degree level education. This is the first time in history that this number has surpassed the number of vacancies that require no qualifications whatsoever. This may be an indication that those who choose to leave school after GCSEs or A-levels could find it tough when it comes to starting a career.

Young Academic, however, says that a degree isn’t necessarily the only way into a career. They say:

“Employers today place huge importance on solid work experience so the ability to work and learn simultaneously can put candidates at an advantage in the jobs market. At a time when youth unemployment levels remain high, having this level of work experience under your belt can be invaluable”.

Taking a vocational route into employment may actually be more beneficial as individuals have the opportunity to learn about specific businesses and practices, rather than studying a wide range of topics over a long period of time. What’s more, the opportunity to earn money during this time and bypass high amounts of student debt can only be a positive!

Preparing for Employment
Although figures support the idea that the job market may currently favour those with qualifications, the relevance of the degree to the position obviously dictates which candidates are suitable for the role. It seems that students are wising up to current employment trends as more young people are choosing to take “jobs based degrees”.

Applications for English and linguistic subjects fell by 11% over the last 5 years while courses in Medicine, Engineering and Sciences all significantly increased. As student fees have risen dramatically over the last decade it is perhaps seen as a gamble for people to rack up so much debt without a good chance of entering employment when they complete their courses. University fees are now seen as an investment, especially by parents. A separate study also found that parents believed that a vocational degree was more likely to result in a job post-graduation.

Other Options

There is a lot of contradictory advice being thrown at school leavers by the media, teachers and parents, but the reality is that every employer will look for different things in a candidate. Young journalist Martin Dunne writing for the Guardian tells of his experience. He knew what he wanted to do, and researched the best way for him to achieve his dream job. He says:

“To those out there wondering if university really is their only option, please take my advice: investigate. Do your research and see if there’s another way”.

A record 401,000 applications were submitted to UCAS this year, which suggests that the increase in Uni-goers shows no sign of slowing down. This may place greater value on solid work experience due to the sheer amount of students opting to carry on their education.
Does your organisation value degrees, or do you prefer an individual with experience? Let us know on Twitter @myhrtoolkit



John Assunto
Originally Posted On: By: Bob Teasdale


My Best Mistake: I Quit My Dream Job

Everyone thought it was a huge mistake when I quit my first post-college job after only two weeks.

The reason was that from high school forward, I’d had a single career goal: I wanted to be a psychologist who worked with children. My family didn’t have a lot of money, which meant that I had to work my way through school and take on a lot of debt. So it was a big deal when I graduated and was lucky enough to find a job in that field. I could slowly pay off my loans, while doing what I’d always wanted.

But it was also 1995, and suddenly there was this new thing called the Internet. I had seen it and fallen completely in love with it. The technology was so exciting that I knew I had to try working in the field.

This kind of thing happens to a lot of people. Your life gets momentum in one direction, and everyone starts thinking of you as someone who does X. Your dad sold cars; so you’re going to sell cars. You got an MFA in creative writing, so you have to be a poet. You got a law degree, so you have to join a law firm. It can be extremely difficult to step out of that path and do something different.

But sometimes you have to take that risk and endure the criticism you’re going to hear—especially if you’re young and something really grabs your attention. I’d wanted to be a psychologist like some kids want to be firemen or baseball players. So it shocked everyone when I suddenly decided to shift gears and work in technology. I still remember my boss telling me it was the biggest mistake I’d ever make.

As it happens, I did ok with the new direction. I quickly got a job in the field and founded my first company not long after.

One last point. Just because you take up a new dream doesn’t mean you have to shelve the other completely. In fact, if you really love something, it may come back to you. Recently, I was in a room with an official from the Special Olympics, and I told him this story. He invited me to volunteer with the organization, and I jumped at the chance.

So perhaps the most important thing to remember about giving up your big dream is that you may not be giving it up at all.

John Assunto
Originally Posted On: LinkedIn By: Shane Atchison

Your Guide To Answering Any Interview Question

You finally did it; they called you for an interview for your dream job. The moment of truth has arrived; you need to fully prepare, and to help you with that we brought you the most common questions asked during an employment interview. This article will help you get ready for a winning interview.

1. Tell me about yourself?
Keep your answer short and focused on your professional life. This is not the time to bring up relationships, childhood experiences, family etc. A brief history of education, career and special interests is what is called for here. End it with why you are interested in this particular job.

2. Why are you applying for this particular job?
Show interest and demonstrate that you have researched the job and know what you are getting into. Bring up evidence from past work/ studies that supports your interest in this role and any skills you have acquired in preparation for the role. You can say something like ‘I would like to work for a leader in innovative network and telecommunications solutions and my college degree in computational mathematics has given me a solid background for this role. Mention the value-added you can bring to the job.

3. What do you know about our company?
Indicate what you have learnt from your research activities – from their annual reports, newspapers, word of mouth, other employees etc. Use this to flatter them and show that you have done your homework.

4. What makes you qualified for this particular job?
Again, explain that you are very interested in the job and demonstrate what it is about your past experiences, education and qualifications that makes you ideal for the job. Show enthusiasm and support your answers with evidence wherever you can (eg. my summer internship at Citibank gave me broad exposure to the area of equity analysis and I think I can apply many of the tools I learnt there in this job). Elaborate on all the past experiences and skill sets that make you suitable for the job.

In cases where your past experience is not directly relevant, you can still find elements of it that can be useful. Play up team skills, computer skills, leadership roles, specific courses and independent research activities that can be useful to the job at hand to show your initiative even where you don’t have directly relevant job experience.

5. What can you do for us that someone else can’t?
Demonstrate key strengths, skills and personal characteristics.

6. Why should we hire you?
See 3. Because you have all the experience/ traits/ credentials demonstrated in 3 and in addition to being qualified, you are enthusiastic, intelligent, hardworking, flexible and willing to learn. Also mention any key relationships you may have that may assist you in the job.

7. What do you look for in a job?
Be honest. Also mention keywords such as challenging, steep learning curve, good work culture, demanding, rewarding, opportunities for advancement and growth, team environment, opportunity to build and maintain client relationships etc.

8. Why are you looking to make a career change?
It is quite common in this day and age to make a career switch. You need however to show that you have very carefully thought about the change, have a strong interest in the new career and can use some of your previous skills/ education/ relationships to make that move.  9. Why did you leave your last job?

Do NOT use this as an opportunity to badmouth past employers or peers or talk about a failure of any sort. Any of these answers are acceptable: you were looking for a new challenge, your learning curve had flattened out in the previous job and you were looking for a new learning opportunity, the company or department were restructuring, you were ready to start something new after achieving your career goals at the previous company etc.

10. Why do you want to work for us (as opposed to the competitor companies)?
Demonstrate that you know something about the company, that you believe they are leaders/ innovators in what they do, or you think their work culture is exactly what you are looking for, or you like their product(s) or you have friends who work there and have always been attracted to the company etc. Flatter the company and show you know something about it.

11. How long will it take you to start making a meaningful contribution?
Show that you are enthusiastic and willing to learn and will put in all the hours and effort necessary to learn the ropes and start making an immediate contribution. Indicate that your past experiences/ skills/ credentials will enable you to make an immediate contribution at some level while you quickly learn all new aspects of the job. An Interviewer wants someone who is willing and able to learn and will make a return on his investment sooner rather than later.

12. What are your strengths?
See 14 below. In addition, keywords such as good team player, work very well under pressure, very creative, very strong quantitative or computer skills, and very strong client relationship skills may be appropriate depending on your chosen field.

13. What are your weaknesses?
Do NOT mention key weaknesses here. This is not the place to say you are bad at meeting deadlines or you never mastered high school mathematics etc. Turn this question around to your benefit. For example, you are ‘overambitious’ or ‘extremely attentive to detail’ or ‘like to take on too many projects’. Make it sound positive.

14. What are your career goals?
Show you have thought forward and are committed to your career.

15. How would you describe yourself?
Any of these are good examples of attributes employers are looking for: intelligent, hardworking, quick to learn, enthusiastic, honest, efficient, productive, ambitious, successful, compassionate.

16. How would your colleagues describe you?
Do not bring up anything negative here  17. How would your boss describe you?
They will check references anyways so bring up the most positive attribute you can think of about yourself e.g hardworking, honest etc. and leave it to your Boss to say anything to the contrary.

18. What did you most like/ dislike about your past job?
Do not use this to badmouth past jobs/ employers. Keep it light and in your favor (e.g., I outgrew the job, there wasn’t a clear career progression, I wasn’t learning anything new etc). Ideally, you will have loved your last job and would like to achieve the same kind of success and job satisfaction in a more challenging area as you have now ‘outgrown’ that job and are ready for ‘new challenges’.

19. Describe a situation in your past where you showed initiative?
You could describe any new methods you came up with to do your job or to save money for the company or to turn around a bad situation. It can be something as simple as changing a filing system, or establishing a relationship with a vendor that saved your department a lot of money. If you are in sales, you may want to talk about how you brought in that big account. Creative people may talk about how they came up with that cutthroat image or design that brought in the business.

20. What were your main responsibilities in your last job?
Have these ready and list them all. Dwell on the ones that are most relevant to the new job. This answer should be smooth and practiced.

21. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?
Many of us have one or two milestones in our career that we are very proud of eg. that early promotion, that ‘huge’ deal we brought in, the design we came up with, the costs we saved, the revenues we increased, the people we trained, a new invention or process we came up with etc. Examples of accomplishments may be: ‘Reduced costs by X%; or renamed and re-positioned a product at the end of its life cycle, or organized and led a team to do XYZ, or achieved sales increase of X% etc. If you are a fresh college graduate, talk about extracurricular activities, leadership roles and grades.

22. Describe your management style (if relevant)?
Focus on result generating tributes.

23. Do you work better in teams or independently?
Show that you are a proactive team player and like to bounce ideas off others and get input; however you are very capable of working independently (give examples).

24. How do you work under pressure?
Well. Give evidence.

25. What other jobs have you applied for?
Don’t mention jobs in different career directions (e.g advertising and investment banking). Do however bring up any other offers or Interviews from competing firms.

26. What are the weakness / negative points in your personality?
I like to learn more of thing at the same time and that makes me lose focus on learning one thing or more carefully.

27. What kind of hours would you like to work?
Employers want to see flexibility. Indicate you are willing to put in whatever hours are necessary to finish the job. Do however mention any constraints you have eg. you would like to be home to pick your kids up from school at 3:30. Most employers are willing to work around your constraints if you show flexibility on your side as well.

28. Do you have any questions for me?
YES you do. Questions engage the Interviewer and show your interest. Ask questions that show you know something about the company or the job, that you are planning ahead, that you are anxious and willing to learn the ropes and that you are committed to the position. See Questions to Ask the Interviewer for examples

29. What is your biggest achievement?
Most challenge you have faced professionally.

30. What are the strength / positive points in your personality?
I’m an organized person, dependable person, hard worker, calm, have the ability to work under stress and have the ability to solve problems.

John Assunto
Originally Posted on:

3 Secrets to Hiring Stars for Your High Performing Team

If you recruit and hire well, the odds of your team performing well go up dramatically. There are three key considerations for making sure you’re hiring well.  If you follow these principles, you should end up with a highly-talented team much faster than you would building it from scratch.

One of the most exciting aspects of building a high performing team is recruiting people to be members of that team. There’s nothing better than finding that really talented person who wants to come work with you.

As you think about doing this recruiting and finding the right people, first you need to understand how to create role descriptions based on the team skill needs. Next, you need to think about hiring from non-traditional sources, based on skill sets rather than experience. Last, when you’re hiring somebody, don’t just think about the role you’re hiring them into, but think one role ahead so those people have headroom to grow when they join your team.

Experience-Based Versus Skill-Based Job Descriptions

Experience-based role descriptions might sound like “The individual must have five years of experience on a small business credit union underwriting team working at a small, mid-Atlantic community bank with multiple branches.” That’s a really specific description and there are very few people who probably meet those requirements. By writing a description that way, you’ve shrunk the recruiting base that you can find somebody in, and, by the way, those experiences might not be relevant to the skills the team needs.

Instead, write skill-based job descriptions. Think about what initiatives you’re pursuing and what skills the person has to have to work on those projects. For example, “the individual must have the ability to perform complex financial analysis and combine those results with judgment to make effective decisions.” I just opened up the pool of applicants I can pursue, dramatically, versus that very narrow experience-based job description.

Those skill-based job descriptions open the applicant pool. This approach will enable you to hire new people more quickly. You’re going to hopefully get some new perspectives from those folks on the work that you do versus getting somebody with deep experience who is going to come in and say, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it, so we should keep doing it that way.”

Hiring From Non-Traditional Sources

Next, in terms of hiring, once you have that skill-based job description, think differently in terms of where you go to find people. Different perspectives and different experiences are going to bring new ideas into your organization. They may also bring new skills to the team that you might not have or that you might not realize you don’t have. The team may value those new experiences and new skills more than you ever thought.

Additionally, by looking at non-traditional sources, you’ll probably have less competition for that great talent. Instead of recruiting from Harvard Business School where every organization in the world is trying to hire those graduates, perhaps you look at different schools where you have less competition.

Maybe try and pick off the top two people at Podunk University’s Business School. By looking at non-traditional sources, you have less competition and those candidates might be much more eager to work for you.

Hiring for Their Next Role

Last, when you hire this person, don’t just hire for the role that you want them to do. You have to give them head room to grow into. People want to be excited and challenged. They want the opportunity to build their skills which builds their personal marketability.

People enjoy the challenge of overcoming obstacles. When you hire them, make sure they can do 70 percent of the role you’re hiring them for and they’re going to need to learn 30 percent. When you hire somebody who has 100 percent of the skills required for the role you’re bringing them into, that’s a very safe bet for you as a recruiter and as a leader.

But think about it from that individual’s perspective. If they can come in and do all elements of that job on day one, it’s going to get pretty boring pretty quickly. You create flight risk for them. They come into that role and they say, “I’ve got it all figured out.” Well, after about six months, when they start asking what’s next and you tell them, “just keep doing what you’re doing” they’re going to become disenfranchised and frustrated. They’ll likely start looking for more challenging opportunities.

When you’re thinking about role progression for people when you bring them in, you need to ensure there’s a path of future role possibilities for them. Most people, especially ones that are going to gravitate toward the high performing team you’re trying to build, are looking at that career path and thinking about how they can grow. That’s a very strong source of personal motivation for them. Make sure you provide them those opportunities.

To get the most out of your recruiting efforts, think about skill-based versus experience-based role descriptions. Look in non-traditional places for people who have those skills. When you hire them, think about their growth path ahead and make sure they’ve got room to grow and develop as individuals.

– Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

John Assunto
Originally Posted on Linked in By: Mike Figliuolo

10 Essential Skills to Make Your Career Soar

In the coming years, the demand for people who can work well with others and organize projects will skyrocket as organizations and the economy become more project-dependent. Develop these 10 key project management skills, highlight them on your resume, and reap the benefits of long-term career security.

1. Be a people personIn a recent survey by St. Louis Community College, 60 per cent of employers said that job applicants lacked communication and interpersonal relationship skills – an increase of 10 percentage points in only 2 years. What are people skills? It comes down to how you interact with others – showing empathy when called for, establishing a tone of co-operation (and not confrontation) and listening (not just hearing). While technical skills are needed, the so-called soft skills are needed just as much, if not more so, to ensure workplace harmony and productivity.

2. Be a strong writerI still get applications filled with typos and bad grammar. Employers tend to toss these aside, even if the applicant is a genius. Despite the popularity of texting, where the word “your” is often spelled “ur” to save time – good writing is still essential for business communication, demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and credibility.

3. Become a technology evaluatorYou don’t need to be an advanced programmer, but you do need to be familiar with user interfaces and decide which technology is best suited for the needs of your team. It’s not rocket science. Spend the time to learn how various programs and hardware function and which are the most user friendly. Organizations cannot afford to waste time and money on inappropriate technology.

4. Be a quality assurance fanaticOur fast-paced work environment is leading to many costly mistakes, damaging company-wide reputations. The project manager who can guarantee quality and accuracy is highly valued. Pay attention to detail. Have high standards. Develop checklists.

5. Know how to engage partners and create buy-inDwindling resources means more and more organizations, including government, are engaged in projects that require other partners – not just for financial reasons, but to acquire expertise. Become a partnership-builder. The best way to do that is to emphasize benefits, not only to your organization, but for each stakeholder and potential participant. The effective project manager is good at showing others how their input will be to their advantage, not just yours.

6. Know how to filter informationInformation overload is killing productivity as employees move through mounds of irrelevant information. Project managers who can direct people to the right “packages” of content and steer teams into the right key word searches will be invaluable.

7. Be a great reporterDevelop the habit of updating your superiors on activities and results, achieved by yourself and your team. This helps to instill trust and confidence on the part of upper management, knowing things are progressing.

8. Become a good financial stewardYou don’t need to be an accountant or financial genius, but you do need to create and manage budgets. Most people have zero interest in this. But all organizations run on budgets. Learn about financial forecasting, expense tracking and balance sheets. If you understand numbers, you may be able to demand a bigger number for yourself (on your paycheck).

9. Operate with a heightened sense of urgencyWe need to understand that time is money. That is especially true today in a climate of extreme competition. The project manager who is an expert at time management will forever be in demand. While you never want to rush or skip vital steps, you also do not want to needlessly delay project milestones. As Larry the Cable Guy says: “Get ‘er done.” If something can be done today, then do it today.

10. Welcome problemsWhat is heard in coffee shops the world over? Mainly complaints and gossip. Become the person who sees issues, problems and challenges as good things. Welcome them. They are opportunities for you to showcase your persistence and ideas. Problem solving is not so much a skill as it is an attitude. Adopt this viewpoint and you’ll be sought after.

These are the skills and traits every organization needs, now more than ever, as every penny is being counted and every minute is being watched.Deliver on them and you’ll never be out of work.Cory Galbraith is CEO of Galbraith Communications and a 30-year veteran of business ownership.

John Assunto

Originally Posted on Linked In By:  Cory Galbraith

6 Strategies to Hire the Best Millennials

At our worst, millennial employees are lazy, entitled, praise-craving Instagram addicts.

But at our best, millennial employees are inspired, tech-savvy, creative globe changers.

Instead of complaining about the worst millennial employees, how can you hire and retain the best of this demographic group that by 2020 will form 50% of the world’s workforce?

Here are six strategies for courting and keeping the best millennial talent (along with the firms using these strategies). No idealistic fluff here: just what’s being shown to work.

1. Non-Monetary Perks. Millennials may respond better to another vacation day than another $1K. 73% of millennials would prefer increased work-life balance to a salary rise, according to a recent study by Universum and the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute. The Motley Fool, a Glassdoor #1 Best Place to Work, offers travel prizes and unlimited vacation. And Google, the epitome of a millennial workplace, offers childcare and gourmet cafeterias.

2. Rapid Advancement. Millennials are at once ambitious and impatient: 35% of surveyed millennials say taking on a leadership role is “very important” to them for compensation considerations, and about a quarter of respondents desire rapid and regular promotions. East Coast firms like Red Ventures and APT lure talented millennials with less-than-rigid promotion schedules and opportunities for millennial employees’ speedy leadership as the firms grow.

3. HQ in a Hip Location. 62% of millennials indicate they want to live in mixed-use urban hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area or Austin, Texas (according to a 2014 Nielsen report). For a generation that coined the term “FOMO” (fear of missing out), seeing one’s Facebook friends having a blast every weekend in New York City could suck if you work in Kansas. Firms need to locate in hip cities or build $700 million campuses like Epic in Wisconsin.

4. Remote Work Options. 92% of millennials want the option to work remotely—and why should they have to show up to the office from 9-to-5 with today’s tech-driven workplace? Besides, fighting the traffic for a long daily workplace commute has proven negative side effects on worker morale, health, and productivity. Companies like IBM, where I interned last summer, grant some employees the option to work remotely at least once a week.

5. Diverse Work Teams. For millennials, diversity means more than a glossy page in the company brochure. Not only are millennials the most racially diverse generation in US history—millennials ranked diversity as the second most-important trait in an employer (according to the another 2014 study by Universum). Millennials also overwhelmingly value teamwork and friendliness, so lip service to diverse collaboration just won’t cut it.

6. Open Doors Elsewhere. There’s a reason why firms with twentieth-century prestige like Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company still succeed in capturing the top 1% of millennial talent. These firms do not expect the majority of analysts to stick around. In exchange for two years’ hard work, these firms open prestigious job opportunities in every sector. For millennials who may change jobs every few years, that’s valuable indeed.

How will your firm attract top millennial talent?

John Assunto
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Glenn Singewald

As A Manager How Well Do You Understand And Foster Trust?

When someone is first promoted to being a manager chances are pretty good that their preparation and training for the position is mediocre at best. Of course there are exceptions, but the core skills and deep nuances inherent in being a really good manager are usually learned on the job and by trial and error—or not at all.

So today please focus on how important it is for managers to foster trust. Of course there needs to be trust between the manager and all those s/he manages. But it is also the job of the manager to create an atmosphere in which policies and practices that develop trust among members of the team are also top of the list. Notice I said “policies and practices.” Because too often a company can have stated cultural expectations (the policies) but very little reinforcement (the practices).

Key questions to ask yourself, before you fill out the worksheet I’ve provided below: How well do I keep my word with those I manage? What types of people do I find I can trust at work, and what about them fosters trust? In what ways am I not trustworthy to myself (like saying I want to lose weight and then eating donuts)?

Now take a few minutes to fill our the worksheet I’ve provided (copy, paste, and print out or work in your computer file).

When you take the questions seriously you’ll see that the issues open you to other related issues that can spark new awareness about how to grow your managerial skills to better grow trust!



1 – Besides being true to my word, building trust with my team and my colleagues requires



2 – Along with sincere and expressed curiosity, developing trust involves



3 – Avoiding secrecy and an image of “the lone ranger” benefits everyone involved because



4 – The magic of differences, when two or more people work together to solve a problem and/or plan a project occurs when



5 – Practicing the skills of developing trust raises everyone’s EQ (emotional quotient) because



6 – Career promotion considerations, whether it’s for you or for members of your team, often include perspectives about someone’s ability to foster trust. Why?



7 – On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being strongest, rate your current ability to be conscious of fostering trust within your own team and with horizontal leaders and their teams.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10

Please feel free to use this sentence completion exercise with anyone who can benefit as long as you include:

copyright 2015
Judith Sherven, PhD and Jim Sniechowski, PhD =====================================================================

How did you FEEL completing these sentences? What you thought was important that’s true. But what you felt is far more important in gauging your personal and professional relationship with fostering trust.

I look forward to reading your response.

(Photo: Trust by Terry Johnston/Flickr)

Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD have developed a penetrating perspective on people’s resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabuloustm. Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing—they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn about how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston for example, and how it may be playing out in your own life, check out their 6th book: http://WhatReally

Currently consultants on retainer to LinkedIn providing transformational executive coaching, leadership training and consulting as well as working with other corporate and private clients around the world, they continually prove that when unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface, the barriers to greater success and leadership presence begin to fade away. You can learn about their core program “Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous” by going to

Their 7th book, short and to the point, “25 Power Speaking Tips That Will Leave Your Audiences Wanting More,” is available in kindle at:

And if you are involved in marketing, you may be interested in their 5th book “Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back”

John Assunto

Originally Posted on Linked In by: Judith Sherven, PhD

4 Tips for Effective Millennial Management By A Millennial

According to the bureau of labor statistics, millennials are expected to comprise the majority of the workforce by 2025 at 75% representation. Not only are millennials the largest generation to date (with an 80+ million cohort), but they are also the most educated and diverse.

Time feels like it’s moving at a faster rate as every year goes by and in a blink of an eye, 2025 will be here before we know it. With these fresh perspectives sprinkling into our organizations year over year, it’ll be very important for people managers to identify the different opportunities to flex their style to resonate more effectively with this up and coming demographic.

For the past two years, 90% of my direct reports (18 out of 20) have been millennials. I’ve encountered many interesting situations that yielded learnings, effective approaches, and tons of laughs. The tips I’m about to share are a mix of my own personal lens paired with my  experience in managing a millennial team.

1. See you on Facebook!
In the office, my conversations are not restricted to work related topics but span to their personal lives as well (as much as they’d like to share). Managers have varying perspectives around being connected via social media with their direct reports, but I find it favorable. Connecting with them via Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. allows me to be up to date with what goes on in their journey outside of work. In my mind, they aren’t just employees who help me win in the office, but they are also beautiful people that have families, cute pets and passions. Through our online connection, I get to see what they are inspired by and what is meaningful to them. It’s also helpful in building a relationship in real time because I know the person outside of the office, not just the one who sits at the desk and the accuracy of their data reports. I recently taught someone on my team how to use Snapchat and had her download the application – this is how I know she helped her family throw her cousins graduation party over the weekend! This goes both ways as well – my team has continuously communicated how much they appreciate me revealing my whole self to them as well. It humanizes our relationship in the office.

2. Lead Through Transparency.
Our SVP of Talent, Pat Wadors, is a true change agent. Since her arrival at LinkedIn, she has infused the company with transparency around our policies, process, and decision-making. Transparency is highly valued by Gen Y’s as they appreciate being in the know and being involved in as much of the decision making process as possible. Our generation has been raised in an education system where collaboration and the sharing of ideas trump operating in a vacuum. Additionally, they have continually communicated the importance in reserving time during team meetings to understand the big picture and what everyone is doing to drive towards those broader goals. It enhances the connective tissue of the team and makes them feel like a cohesive whole.

3. Do you have any feedback for me? 
There’s a lot of talk about Gen Y and their inclination for instant gratification. They are technology natives who are used to having everything accessible to them within mere seconds (depending on the signal strength of course). In the confines of the office, millennials love to receive feedback; they crave it like wifi and they thrive off of it. I find it particularly effective to give real time feedback the minute I observe something, whether it be positive reinforcement for a job well done or constructive feedback for future improvement. You have to remember that most millennials are early in their career and they don’t know what they don’t know. You’ll engage in the types of interactions which you never thought you’d have – a new hire hugging you every time they see you, a new hire chasing you down to respond to a non-urgent email they sent three seconds ago, a new hire wearing beach shorts to important presentation meetings, etc. It can be really awkward, but just take it by the horns and help set them on the right track. You’re doing them a favor in the long run, and they will embrace the feedback and appreciate it in the end. While you’re at it, be sure to ask them for feedback because millenials love giving feedback even more than they like receiving it. As a manager it’s always great to see where and how one can flex their style for the betterment of their employees.

4. We want ownership!
Gone are the days where we have people filing away in cabinets doing busy work. This new age of workers enjoys having ownership and understanding how they impact the broader company goals. I believe in giving employees a full scope of work and letting them own and drive it. The beauty of millennials is that they are used to fetching their own information and being resourceful. I find it most effective to give general parameters and guidance on a project and let them fill in the rest with their resourcefulness. Empower them to be creative and sometimes even encourage them to color outside of the lines. I believe in giving them room to operate independently, while at the same time being close enough to catch them if they go off track.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Gen Y – what would you love to see more of from your managers?

Managers – what’s worked well for you in managing early in career talent?

John Assunto

Originally posted on Linked In By: Lauren Yee

How Do Great CEOs of Start-ups Recruit?

In my days working as the head of HR for big and small companies, I had the opportunity to observe and reflect on what good and bad CEOs do when recruiting key employees for the companies. In my experience, there are 5 things that great CEOs of startups can do to make sure they recruit the right people and that the new people can be successful. Some of such ideas were well said by Ben Horowitz in his book The Hard Thing about Hard Things.

Firstly, CEOs should have strong conviction that successful executives in big companies might not be right for start ups. Successful executives in big companies usually are good at thinking big and long term. For example, a marketing executive in a big company would have his/her marketing plans ready 6 months ahead of the actual implementations. They are good at reviewing process and defining areas  for improvement. Most of them behave collaboratively and would rely on and  respect the system for decision making and implementation. However, executives in start-ups need to make things happen rather than wait for things to come. To do that,  they need to come up with 8 to10 new ideas per day and roll up their sleeves and test the results. Often they get things done through aggressive communication  and actions. They sometimes neglect the rules and hierarchy. They break rules and take pride in doing that.

In that context, here comes the 2nd rule: CEOs should get very clear of the specific  requirements of the open position, especially the strength points. Like what Ben Horowitz said in his book, the CEO should look for the strength, rather than “no  weakness”, in the candidates. In big companies, the recruiting process could be  long and complicated, with many parties involved and many views to be considered. If you are not clear about the particular “strength points” that the open position needs, you would easily fall into the trap and you might recruit someone everybody likes, but with no obvious strength for the role. Remember, you are always buying the “total package” of the person when you get him/her in. If he or she can add  obvious value to your company with his/her particular strength, you might need  to accept the follies he/she carries with him/her.

Here then comes the 3rd rule: watch for the candidates’’ ambition index”. We all  heard that the soldier who does not want to be Napoleon is not a good soldier.  So ambition to a certain degree is very helpful for the person to perform. However,  watch out for where the candidates’ ambition is from. Watch out for languages  when the person described his/her past success or failures. If a lot of times  he/she said “I want to learn more”, and “ I left my previous company because I felt  it could not provide me further chance to learn”, you may be sitting with a person  who is always thinking his/her own interests ahead of the companies’ or others’  interests. Such a person might deliver results in short term but would become a  bad example for his/her team, and might cost you extra time and efforts to  manage, motivate and retain. You will probably lose more in doing that than  gaining value for your business and your people.

The 4th rule is to get the RIGHT person for the job and not the BIGGER person.  For startups people often think that since we will be X times bigger than now, so  let’s get the bigger person who can manage that bigger size so that we can get  there more quickly. In doing so you would look at those who are successful in   bigger companies and believes that they would do excellently in your current  company. This would bring you back to the mistakes that I described in Rule 1.  In fact it is always more effective for your to look for the persons who can manage  your current size, get them in and give them chances to grow with the job, rather  than bringing in the bigger people, shrinking their responsibility and guessing if  they are going to be flexible and mature enough. And you always have a way- out — if the “smaller” person does not grow, you could get him/her off and get  the bigger people once your size gets bigger.

The 5th rule is that CEOs should get personally responsible for the final  recruitment decisions for key positions. In big companies the recruitment decision  would usually be the result of the consensus from the interview panelists. CEO usually rely on and respect the consensus. Sometimes that consensus  could become an excuse for a lazy or irresponsible decision. In start ups, CEOs  should have the sense of responsibility for the recruitment decision and should  have say yes or no if he/she does or does not see the strength.  And, if the recruitment decision is wrong, CEOs should have the courage to admit   it and get the person out of the company at the earlier stage before further  damages are done.

When the new person is on board, the CEO’ new journey of integrating this new  person into the organization begins. This is nothing easier than recruiting. We could discuss it further.

If you interested in talking to me on this topic and topics related to HR and  leadership, you are more than welcome to email me at!

John Assunto

Originally Posted on Linked In By: Clara Wong

Resume/CV Read this before you rush out and send one

From my research in the UK they call it a curriculum vitae or CV. In the States, it’s known as a résumé. In Australia / New Zealand we call them either CV or Resume.

This one page two page three page document summarises all your qualifications, professional experience and work history and is an essential requirement if you want to land that job.

Did you even consider this :

A résumé can also reach out to the employer with everything they need to reject you.

Consider this, once you send of your résumé, I often hear people say, “oh, they’re missing this or they’re missing that,” and yes BOOM, you’re out. I have my own style as a Professional Recruitment Specialist, I still, to this day do not send resumes to my clients to pick one. Yes I get to know my people my potential candidates/job seekers. We get to know the person, pick up the phone and find out all about them, ask the questions. I still do require a document formatted to give me details of career history and qualifications but it is not my decision maker.

Did you know many large recruitment firms run a programme where if you don’t have keywords in your resume the machine declines you. Now in my 14th year of recruitment NO WAY would I want to see any of my candidates knocked back because the machine told them the resume didn’t have the right key words.

So before you rush and get yourself a resume, here are my personal tips for you. Yes have a document with the correct details facts available. When you are going through a recruiter who sees multiple resumes a day and gives each resume maybe 6 seconds, pick up the phone and call them as well, state wide, world-wide we can still call with all the fabulous technology now available. Get in and tell them what you have been doing and why you left your previous roles. If you don’t get hold of the potential employer or recruiter, email them for a time to call them. You need that opportunity to speak to them. Find them on LinkedIn do some research and message them through a social media network. You can do all these without the resume initially. Action does speak louder than a resume. You will still require a resume but don’t just flick and hope someone responds. Tell them about you before they read about you.

Once you land a meeting yes I call them meetings not interviews. This is your best opportunity to sell yourself and tell them WHY you. Don’t take along a Resume to the meeting it will be only a distraction. Have something interesting to talk about that sets you apart from the other candidates. You’ll be a refreshing change for the interviewers.

John Assunto
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Nikki Taylor