Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to get a job in HR with experience in operations?

Some people enter Human Resource management by design others, including myself, by luck.

If luck is not on your side yet, the management did not entrust you with the new role in in-house HR, you need to do something to impact your ability to work in HR field.

With solid experience in operations, but little to no formal education in HR and no experience in HR, this is what you can do:

* Try to take on additional tasks in your current job that take you in the HR direction. Make your workplace (boss and HR person) aware that you are interested in an HR role. Maybe there are ways the departments can share you. You can support HR Manager in a component of Human Resource management, like training, e.g. orienting new hires, preparing their training plan, conducting training sessions; or recruiting, e.g. scouting talent in social media, engage with users to recruit talent, conducting screening interviews.

* Consider taking a sabbatical to do a HR internship abroad, there are companies out there who paid will surely find you a placement.

* Consider taking up a voluntary HR assistant job with a local nonprofit organization in your neighborhood.

* Make your current skills and tasks relevant to HR. Don't expect your prospective employer to connect the dots in your CV. Get the support of a decent CV writer to take your current experience and make it sound useful in an HR department. There are many skills needed in HR department - project management skills, analytical and problem solving skills, (internal) customer orientation, excellent verbal and written communication skills, with an emphasis on tact and diplomacy.

* Look at niche job boards to find specific openings for HR professionals. Read the job ads carefully. Some companies look specifically for HR staff with experience in operations.

* Apply for term jobs (fill in for a person on sabbatical or maternity leave). These are usually not attractive to HR professionals with linear CV, so the competition might be not so strong.

* Inform your network on Xing, LinkedIn and even Facebook about your desired career direction.

* Network in HR groups on social media networks and engage in discussions.

* Get a twitter account and start twitting on you insight and link your experience to HR.

* Once invited for an interview, prepare well. Be enthusiastic and turn every HR need into an opportunity you could fulfill.

* Read books, blogs, and magazines on Human Resource Management and Talent Management.

* Get a formal qualification in HR – however, do not overestimate its value.

* Do not give up hope and use every chance to put a foot in the door in HR.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Capturing Attention and Definition of Passive Candidates

Companies searching for staff via job ads try to capture candidates’ attention with inducements in the summary teaser or first paragraph, luring position titles or addressing them informally to create familiarity and closeness.

Common wisdom suggests that messages sent to passive candidates in case of direct approach must have even greater power to capture people’s attention.

Then who are passive candidates? Ad definitionem, passive candidates are people, who are not actively looking to move, i.e. are not applying for jobs. If they do not search for a new job, they’re most likely happy in their current one and thus, unlikely to embark on a new one. Hence, a more accurate definition would describe passive candidates as those who do not actively look for jobs, but are keen to move. Consequently, people who do not consider any career move, are not candidates period.

And what about those who indicate that they look for new opportunity irrespectively of their status - employee or jobseeker in their LinkedIn or Xing profile. By being approached by the employer they too qualify as passive candidates.

The full definition of passive candidates could then be: people who are keen to move and are approached by a company instead of applying for jobs by themselves.

From the perspective of this belief, I doubt whether one can motivate a person not intending to leave his current employer to join the recruitment process of a next-employer-wannabe in hopes to land a new job. Neither a particular message will do nor the medium.

Take for example, an electronic greeting card. Cartoony or not, with animation, with music and what not, if the person is not ready for the next career move, s/he passes on the opportunity.

What about a visualization of a prospective title like the example below. A mixture of personalized job ad and a direct approach method.

How LinkedIn and Google figured out that I might be interested in B2C Marketing position, is still a mystery to me.

What will then help one to reach out to people initially uninterested in a job change possible?
I believe repetition makes poaching them possible. Sending multiple messages by various persons from the company instills the idea of moving and makes one more sensible for and critical of the conditions and career prospects at their current employer.