Written by Nanette Hebdige
Along with the usual suspects – a well-crafted resume, copiloted by a solid presence on social media – there are other components that need attention in landing your next position.
ARE YOU GHOSTING?
Ghosting is an ill-advised trait adopted by many in the staffing field and in the candidate world. And let’s face it – it’s just plain rude and damn disrespectful.
Scenario: You’ve had an engaging convo with a couple of recruiters, you feel they now know you better than your BFF – calls went amazeballs. The magic words were uttered “you’re a great candidate for the position and we’re sending your credentials to the client”. You did an air-fist pump and booty shake then… crickets.
When a recruiter is presenting a candidate for a position, the common professional courtesy is to keep the applicant in the loop through the process. Even if there’s no word from the client or worse yet, their candidacy has been passed. A good staffing consultant will maintain in contact and even inform applicants of other positions they’re a good fit for.
For recruiters, ghosting creates a myriad of problems. Candidates will tell others not to engage with these firms because customer service is non-existent; if an offer falls through, the recruiter may have to circle back to a candidate they’ve ghosted and further, it could limit their talent pool for future positions.
The same can be said for ill-mannered candidates that are leaving recruiters equally as frustrated with MIA applicants. Why did you bother to apply if you’re going to ditch the interview and are now ghosting the recruiter? Did you even read the job description before applying? Don’t want to accept the offer because you have a better one? Then say so and don’t burn your bridges.
Feedback is crucial, so everyone isn’t floating around aimlessly in the black hole of the recruiting world!
How can we change this? One word: R.E.S.P.E.C.T – it needs to be caried across the board. Didn’t your mama teach you some manners?!
You’ll soon realize it’s pretty common for more than one agency to have the same listing to a job you’ve already applied for, as the job description and location are the same. A lot of employers employ this tactic, as they believe they can get more for bank for their buck and generate a larger candidate pool, which is not the case, as the same candidates are applying for the role.
The agency is probably unaware other firms have been retained to fill the same position and it’s a disservice to the candidates. When an agency realizes that the job has multiple listings, they don’t really go the extra mile because there’s too much competition. Kind of like employing two realtors to sell your house, which is pretty much unethical.
HYBRID ROLES AND A 24/7 MENTALITY
Hybrid roles are becoming exceedingly ubiquitous. Hybrid is when a household marries 2 or 3 roles together, all handled by one individual. Estate manager/chef/personal assistant; chauffeur/nanny/housekeeper, just to name a few combos. When an employer adds so much into the mix, the juggling act becomes almost unmanageable and performance is compromised because the employee is stretched to the limit.
Additionally, the 24/7 mentality requested by the UHNW needs to change, as people have lives too. So stop wearing your overworked badge with pride. There’s nothing glamorous as having to work yourself to the ground, you will not only do yourself and your health a disservice, but there’s only so much anyone can do effectively – so realize that and ask for assistance, so you don’t get burned out.
By law (FLSA – Fair Labor Standards Act in the US), employees aren’t required to work more than a 40-hour week without getting additional compensation.
Considering applicants undergo more rigorous screening than travelers going through airport security, it’s astounding and disturbing that some agencies aren’t scrutinizing and doing their due diligence on new clients.
A while back I had a rather shocking experience about a position I was offered through a renowned firm known for their tenure and professionalism.
After getting the 411 on the client, I Googled the employer, and I came up with major red flags. There was no household to speak of, the “principal” in question had zero financial stability and had been evicted from numerous homes. The agency in question was also duped in the process, but it could have been avoided with a thorough background check.
It’s hard enough to land a job, only to find out the validity of the employer is at question. No doubt, recruiters have to observe NDA’s, but just like we are scrutinized under a microscope, ask the about the solidity of the principal, so everyone can do their own Sherlock Holmes.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
Shocking that with everything that’s been going on this year – Covid, massive furloughs, unemployment, loss of businesses – candidates have the additional hazard of job scams to deal with. It’s preposterous to think that someone would be scamming you with regards to a job – but it’s real folks. The cons are everywhere – so don’t give out your information, pay anyone to find you a job, or provide you with a paid service (such as resume writing for example) unless they come highly recommended and you have done your due diligence on the validity of their services. Wait to send your letters of recommendation for a position, which contain the information on your previous employers, until you have complete certainty of the source where the offer or posting is coming from.
Additionally, don’t provide any copies of your Driver’s License, Social Security Number SSN, passport copies or employment verification (green card, etc) until everything has been verified and you are 100% sure that your info is going to the right person/firm. These are turbulent times and extremely unscrupulous cons are preying on unsuspecting and vulnerable people and they’re real good at their game. And yes, they’re even on LinkedIn looking at your profile and may even be contacting with unsolicited positions. By all means get excited about a new job opportunity – but still BE CAUTIOUS and alert.
SO HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU GET PAID?
“What are your salary requirements”? That’s the proverbial question asked by almost every recruiter. It’s understandable, since asking enables them not to proceed with someone requiring more than a job pays. Still, that enquiry has no bearing whatsoever on the position at hand, because candidates don’t know the full scope of responsibilities. Try not to volunteer a number, because you’re not educated enough about the role.
Nor should anyone provide salaries from previous engagements, which is equally as irrelevant, as positions differ in salary according to the geographical location.
Familiarize yourself with the pay range for roles specific to the areas you’re applying in. Silicon Valley (California as a whole), NYC, Hamptons and Florida will warrant for a much higher salary cap to meet COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment.
Recruiters need to divulge the salary range offered and it’s up to the individual to consider if the compensation package meets their financial needs and expectations. They should present you according to your qualifications, tenure and fit for the role. After all, the stronger the salary negotiated on your behalf, the higher their commission is for the placement.
NEGOTIATION IS KEY
Most offers typically come with an acceptance date, which grants the candidate time to consider, so communicate with your recruiter and don’t leave them hanging (*ghosting*). Additionally, try not to accept what’s presented without some kind of counter. A counteroffer works for your benefit in many ways and sets you apart from other contenders. It demonstrates to your future employer your mental agility in negotiating strongly for yourself and establishes your honed, business acumen when dealing with household contracts, outside services, as well as for hiring additional staff. Besides you don’t want to appear desperate (even if you are) by taking the first thing that’s offered, so don’t settle.
Other than the usual salary, an offer letter should delineate the following:
Work hours/PTO – Many positions outline a 10-14-hour day. Labor Laws (FLSA) drive for a 40-hour week and anything over that constitutes as overtime (OT) – even if you are salaried
Medical benefits – Can include full medical, dental and vision. Even if a stipend is offered, ensure you are aware of the monthly cost, so your out of pocket is kept to a minimum
Sign on bonus – Many times a sign on bonus is be provided
Relocation Allowance – If the position is out of state, a relocation package needs to be provided for travel as well as moving expenses
Lodging – Since you’re relocating, the employer needs to offer lodging for a designated amount of time, until you find your own accommodations, unless the position is live-in. You’re going to be hitting the ground running and have little time to find a place in a new city
Vacation time – The typical is 2 weeks a year, but negotiate additional vacation (accrued) after a certain time at your job
Sick days – Paid by the employer – usually 10 days a year
Statutory holidays – If you are asked to work during holidays, your time needs to be additionally compensated and its typically time and a half
Performance Reviews, Bonuses and Raises – These are at the discretion of the employer and performance reviews are normally conducted at the end of every work year. Increases typically reflect a minimum of 5% of current salary, or existing COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment)
Retirement plans – Sometimes, the employer will offer a 401K
Severance Pay – If your job ends unexpectedly without you leaving voluntarily request for at least a 2 months’ severance package along with your medical benefits to be extended for those 2 months
Other incentives may constitute a company car, gas and mileage reimbursement, uniform allowance, electronics (computer, phone) and meals to be provided while at work.
Be firm and tenacious, as no-one is going to do your homework other than you. These are some typical components to successfully engage in the subtle and delicate dance of securing a position and negotiating one. Offer letters aren’t esoteric and just like you would negotiate the purchase agreement of a house or a car, a work contract is business. Remember, once you’ve accepted an offer, you can’t go back and change the chess pieces on the board.
The obstacle course candidates navigate locating and landing a job are numerous and everyone needs to be mindful of the pitfalls. Working for the UHNW sector is very demanding but worthwhile. Before you lock in the package, ensure you’ve been as thorough as possible with the next step in your career, so don’t be afraid to ask for what is rightfully yours.