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7 Tips For a Successful Video Interview

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Interview, Job Search

7 Tips For a Successful Video Interview

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development

Redfish Technology

 

We’re seeing more of our clients utilize video interviews (both live & recorded) and while they can be an efficient tool in the interview process, they also present some unique challenges. There are plenty of articles out there that give good basic advice; dress as you would for a professional email, have an appropriate setting/backdrop, speak clearly. Here’s some additional advice that comes straight from challenges our candidates & clients have experienced.

 

Test, Prepare & Practice: Live video or recorded interviews can be awkward. Record yourself & playback to see where you might improve your “on air” performance…are you mumbling or fidgeting, could the lighting be better, is the camera angle off (it should be at eye level, showing your upper torso with some space above your head). You can also practice “live” with a friend & ask them to critique you. Look into the camera: Don’t forget to smile and make eye contact when appropriate.

 

Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk…just as you would for an in person interview.

 

When scheduling your interview, ask the interviewer for their cell or direct office phone number. In the event you have technical difficulties or the audio/video cuts out, you can call then at that number to troubleshoot, finish via phone, or pick a time to reschedule.

 

Remove all potential distractions: Put your phone on silent & unplug your landline. Put a sign on your door stating that you’re conducting a video interview & to not ring the doorbell or knock. If there is an interruption (someone enters the room, your dog starts barking, etc), apologize to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone & disable your camera. Deal with the source of the interruption and make sure the room is secure before proceeding with the interview.

 

Create cue cards or a “cheat sheet”: This is one way to turn the odds in you favor in a way you can’t during an in-person interview. Write down questions, key points you’d like to hit, information about the company or hiring manager and post them behind the camera so that you can reference them during the interview.

 

Turn off all programs and applications on your computer that could interrupt the interview. Pop-ups, sounds & IM’s have caused embarrassing distractions during interviews.

 

As with any interview, make sure to follow up with a thank you. Pairing an email & handwritten note is best, but even a thoughtful thank you email goes a long way. For more advice on interviewing, or any of your career search needs, feel free to contact us!

We Are Thrilled to Introduce The Newest Member of the Redfish Team – Zoey Kathleen Scarnegi

Filed under: News

We Are Thrilled to Introduce The Newest Member of the Redfish Team – Zoey Kathleen Scarnegi (all 8 lbs-2oz & 20.5 inches of her!)

Our CRO Leah O’Flynn and her husband Tommy welcomed their 2nd daughter Zoey into the world in the early morning hours of July 3rd. Mom, baby, Tommy & new big sister Lily are all doing well.

*and in classic Leah style, she placed a candidate with one of our Ed-Tech clients while she was in labor…talk about dedication!

WEEKLY CAREER RECRUITING SPOTLIGHT – WEST COAST ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES, MARKETING MANAGER IN THE BAY AREA, ENGINEERS IN LOS ANGELES, DIRECTOR OF SALES OPERATIONS IN TX, AND MORE!

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Recruiting, Staffing & Employment News

WEEKLY CAREER RECRUITING SPOTLIGHT

WEST COAST ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES, MARKETING MANAGER IN THE BAY AREA, ENGINEERS IN LOS ANGELES, DIRECTOR OF SALES OPERATIONS IN TX, AND MORE!

This week, we’re recruiting for featured positions across the U.S including: Account Executives on the West Coast for a Bay Area based Enterprise Machine Learning client, a Marketing Manager role with an “adaptive learning” client, Multiple Engineering positions (QA, Release Engineer, & Frontend) for a B2C eCommerce firm with offices in Downtown LA and a senior level Sales Operations Director for a Global Logistics company in TX.

 

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES, WEST COAST
Our client’s secure machine learning platform is deployed with some of the largest enterprises in the world across finance, healthcare, and technology. They empower their customers to securely unlock value from previously untouchable data, while ensuring that no data can be exposed or exploited. We are looking for enterprise account executives with a deep background in solutions selling (based in any major West Coast city).

 

MARKETING MANAGER
Our client is building a leading technology company and changing the way people learn. They make software that enables institutions and organizations to create personalized learning and training experiences that help people learn more efficiently and quantify what they know. They have a wide range of clients, from leading publishers (including Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill) to online course providers (such as edX) to innovative academic institutions (like ASU and NYU. The Marketing Manager role represents a fantastic, ground-up opportunity to help change how the world learns.

 

MOBILE QA, RELEASE ENGINEERS & FRONTEND DEVELOPERS
This cross-platform digital technology company is focused on bringing people together to celebrate the most important life moments, from kids’ birthdays to happy hours. The company has already assembled a core team of veteran technologists, developers and product folks but they need even more people who are passionate about what it takes to make, operate and publish great consumer focused products.

 

DIRECTOR OF SALES OPERATIONS
Our client is leveraging AI & Machine Learning to revolutionize end to end global logistics & supply chain management. Their technology brings together data from customers, channels, suppliers, contract manufacturers and partners, allowing companies to use that data in real time, with cognitive artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive smarter decisions. They have a need for a polished Senior level Sales Operations Director for their rapidly expanding team.

 

 

SEARCH ALL JOBS
Above are some of the key opportunities that are priority hires for us this week. You can find details on these jobs and other fabulous tech career opportunities on our website.

 

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Tips for Building Rapport & Making Connections in an Interview

Filed under: Best Practices, Interview, Redfish Speaks

CONNECTING IN YOUR INTERVIEW
IDEAS FOR MEETING PEOPLE AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

By: Walker Cross, Senior Recruiter at Redfish Technology

 

Making connections in an interview

 

Business is made up of people working together on an activity for the benefit of all involved: boss, employee, customer, the society at large hopefully! And the interview is an interactive opportunity for both employer and prospective employee to evaluate fit and decide if they want to collaborate on the company’s goals.

 

While hard skills may need to be verified, such as a software developer being able to code efficiently, and while references should always be checked, the interview has other objectives beyond these.

 

People spend a lot of time together at work. All parties hope for a great cultural fit and personal flow with their colleagues. So how to you determine this in a single meeting? Here are some recommendations that might help.

 

PASSION:
What about the job excites you and spoke to you? Again this can be from either side, in the form or a question or simply offered up in the conversation. Ask/tell about the upcoming campaigns or projects that this role entails.

 

PROACTIVITY:
Ask/tell about the expectations for performance on the job, for example in the first 3 months on the job, and on a yearly basis. Setting clear expectations makes to easier to assess and fulfill goals, and introduces the opportunity to discuss accountability.

 

GRATITUDE:
Showing your appreciation says a lot about what kind of person you are. This is highly personal and contextual, but one might share their appreciation for their team or a project they’ve worked on; you could express thanks for the opportunity to meet, or gratitude for a mentor who helped further one’s career. There’s no shortage of things for us to be grateful for in this life.

 

HUMOR:
Laughter is the best medicine; a smile and a chuckle can go a long way to breaking tension, revealing personality, and fostering ease. Humor is a great way to warm people up and kick start an easy dialogue. Putting people at ease is a great way to show your likeability, and facilitate connection.

 

PERSONALITY:

All of the above should be clue you into the personality of the person you are interviewing with.

If they are a Power (Choleric) person, it’s better to focus on what you can do for the organization or what you expect of the candidate. The Power person is future-oriented, and wants to hit the high points and move on.

The Party (Sanguine) person is focused on the present and is very enthusiastic but not always constant. Passion and attention resonate with Party people.

The Peace (Phlegmatic) person is not an extrovert but is concerned with everyone getting along, they are not big risk takers. Like Power and Party people, Peace people like examples from the past to reassure them about the present; references, especially from people in their network go a long way.

The Perfectionist (Melancholy) is data-driven and organized, may be fairly reserved, and you may not notice the intensity at first glance. These people want to hear your quantifiable achievements but they also want to hear the ins and outs of the problem-solving you employed along the way.

 

Once you get an idea of the personality type you are interacting with, try to adapt to their energy and relational style in your dialogue and expression. Meeting people in their own style helps you to communicate with them and facilitate a meaningful connection.

A Beginner’s Guide to Startup Options & Equity

Filed under: Industry Info, Jobs/Employment, Offers / CounterOffers, Redfish Speaks

A Beginner’s Guide to Startup Options & Equity

By: Jon Piggins, VP Business Development 

Redfish Technology

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Startup Options & Equity

In the startup world, most offers of employment include stock “options”, essentially granting you the right to buy shares of the company’s stock in the future at a predetermined price. For example (in a best case, simplified scenario), you accept an offer to work at “XYZ Company”, stay there more than 4 years (to fully “vest” 100% of your options). The “strike price” for your options is $2/share. In year 5, XYZ Company decides to issue an “Initial Public Offering” to begin selling shares of their company to investment banks & the general public. They price their stock at $20/share and it begins trading on the open market (e. “NASDAQ”, where the price will fluctuate based on demand). You now have the right to “exercise” your options, buying them at the predetermined $2/share and then sell them at the market price of $20/share, giving you a gross profit of $18/share.

 

So now that we have a basic understanding of what an option is, we’ll look at a few more important considerations when evaluating your offer (or current position).

 

Valuation

While a company is private, it’s valuation is managed by the board of directors (via a “409A Appraisal”) usually one a year (or if there’s a significant change, like a new VC round of funding). The valuation is based on a number of factors, but is intended to be an independent/objective Fair Market Value, or “FMV” (think of a house appraisal). Each round of valuation, in principal, represents an increase in the value of each share in the company. So, each increase in value also means that the cost per share in that company goes up. Meaning, if you started employment at XYZ Company when they were valued at $5 Million and your “strike price” was $2/share and now the company is valued at $10 Million and new hire would now have to pay $4/share for the same option. Hence, the benefit of “early equity”…getting in while the cost to exercise (“purchase”) your options is low (as it allows for more potential profit margin).

 

Calculations
In simple terms, you can come up with a rough value for your shares by using the following equations (and a company should be able to provide you with this information once you get to the offer stage).

 

% of “ownership”, how much your potential shares represent of all the company’s outstanding shares:
# of shares/options, divided by “total number of shares outstanding” = % of equity you’d have in the company. (eg. your # of shares/options of 50,000, divided by the total number of outstanding shares for the company of 10,000,000 = 0.005 or .5% equity in the company).

 

Value (on paper) of your shares/options:
# of shares/options x current FMV strike price – # of shares/options x your strike price = your current spread or profit margin. (eg. 10,000 shares at the last Board of Director’s FMV of $10/share – your 10,000 shares/options x your strike price of $5/share = $50,000 in a “paper” gross profit).

 

 

Vesting Schedule

This is simply the rate at which you gain the ability to purchase your options/shares. Industry standard is 4 years, the 1st year vesting (25%) after one year of employment and the remaining 75% vesting each month at a rate of 1/48 over the remaining 3yrs. After 4 years, you now own the right to exercise (“buy”) all of your options.

 

 

Liquidity Preference

Venture Capitalists & other investors get paid 1st. So, if a company has taken $40 million in funding and it decides to go public, no one else but the investors get paid until the proceeds exceed the $40M+ mark. Important to note (from an equity standpoint) when looking at a company that’s taken on a lot of funding & doesn’t have good traction, as there’s a good chance you’ll probably never realize any benefit from your options.

 

 

Summary

This is meant to be a very high level “Options 101” review of the topic. There are a multitude of factors that can come into play; dilution of shares/equity, different classes of stock, company acquisition, Restricted Stock Units (“RSU’s) vs. Options…but our hope is that a basic understanding of what options are & how you can calculate a rough valuation of a company and what your options represent in “ownership” of that company, you’ll be able to better evaluate your next (or current) opportunity. We’d be happy to answer any questions or do a deeper dive on these (or other) topics, so contact us if we can be of service!

Redfish Taps into the Ancient Traditions & Power of the Gong

Filed under: Stimulating Ideas

Redfish Taps into the Ancient Traditions & Power of the Gong

 

 

Since the depths of time, the gong has been known as an instrument of transformational power. Redfish taps into the powerful multi-dimensional ripples of sound generated by the gong to send positive energy out to our clients & candidates each time we make a new placement. Here, Walker Cross gongs for a Bay Area based FinTech client who just hired one of our candidates for a Channel Sales role. Good vibes going out to all! #goodvibes, #positivity, #recruiting

5 Tips for a Successful Lunch Interview

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Job Search, News, Redfish Speaks

5 Tips for a Successful Lunch Interview

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development @ Redfish Technology

 

In today’s busy world where time is at a premium, we’re seeing more of our clients scheduling lunch interviews with our candidates (everyone has to eat, right?). In addition to convenience, holding an interview out in public offers a unique opportunity to gain insight you just don’t get in a conference room or office setting. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for the next time you’re invited to meet with a prospective employer over lunch.

 

1. Be courteous to everyone (hearing “please” & “thank you” never gets old)

This is where the value of a public setting for your interview comes into play. Your potential employer will be evaluating the answers you provide to their questions just as they would in the office, but they’ll also be looking for cues to indicate how you might be a personality & cultural fit for their team. They’ll be watching for manners, not the “finishing school” type, but to see if you are self-aware & polite in a general sense. A lunch interview provides a less controlled environment, so they’ll be looking to see how you deal with mistakes (eg. you’re delivered something different from what you ordered) and if you show a level of common kindness & respect. Formal interviews & technical exercises do a good job of vetting skill and ability, but human interaction provides insight into a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence).

 

2. Make smart small talk

Lunch interviews are more casual than those held in a traditional office setting, so they will be more conversational by nature. Never lose sight of the fact that you are indeed in a business setting, not a social event. Keep your topics neutral & positive, don’t bring up things like politics or religion and focus on upbeat subject matter, like new construction you noticed in the area or volunteer work you’re involved with.

 

3. Come prepared

Yes, you’re interviewing in a more relaxed setting, but it’s still an important opportunity for you to reinforce your capabilities & value. You should still be prepared to answer the standard interview questions you’d get in a regular interview. Bring copies of your resume & any relevant work samples, as well as a professional notepad binder & a pen to take notes. As with any interview, you’ll want to send the hiring manager a meaningful thank you email, as well as a handwritten letter.

 

4. Plan ahead, do your research, arrive early, order strategically

Interviewing can be stressful enough…do yourself a favor and research the restaurant ahead of time so that you’re not compounding your anxiety by trying to figure things out at the last minute. Know the restaurant’s exact location & plan your transportation/logistics accordingly (arrive 10 minutes ahead of time). Eat a little bit an hour or so before your interview. Look up the restaurant online to see how the restaurant is organized (noisy, busy, dark) and how people are dressed. Check out the menu & pick a few “safe” options to order (avoid messy, spicy, greasy food). Don’t complain about your food, or send it back (you might be eating at the hiring manager’s favorite restaurant). Do refuse (and don’t request) any alcohol with your meal.

 

5. Know who you’ll be meeting with

Get the names & titles of all the people you’ll be meeting with. Google them & take a look at their Linkedin profile & their social media presence (most likely, they’ll be doing the same for you). If you’ve never met before, seeing their profile picture will make it easier to recognize them at the restaurant, plus Linkedin will reveal connections you have in common. Doing some research will also help you to come up with prepared topics of conversation, including shared interests (see #2).

 

At Redfish, our mission is to build long-term productive partnerships with both candidates and companies. We pride ourselves on offering progressive service to our client partners without leaving honesty, integrity, excellence or performance behind. We aim to spark innovation, breed efficiency, and fuel market dominance by providing talent who can help take your company and product to the next level.

Our philosophy is simple: build long-term relationships by providing top-quality service and confidentiality, leveraging our expertise and resources, and having fun!

5 Reasons Why You Should Work with a Recruiter if you don’t have an Internal HR Team

Filed under: News

5 Reasons Why You Should Work with a Recruiter if you don’t have an Internal HR Team

By: Leah O’Flynn, Chief Revenue Officer

Redfish Technology

 

As we know, hiring is typically the highest priority for startup companies. More specifically, VCs can make funding contingent on certain milestones which typically include a hiring goal. This can be quite the challenge because everyone is already at bandwidth. This is where we are most successful because we offer a value. Here are a few specific reasons:

 

1.) An experienced recruiter will implement process to ensure that the hiring process is streamlined. This should include a weekly call to recap on candidate pipeline, provide a framework for the search and create milestones to make sure that hire is done in a timely manner.

 

2.) Scheduling – we all know that this can be a huge pain. A recruiter will coordinate with the team, send out itineraries and be precise in scheduling calls. A recruiter will make sure one or 2 emails will lead to a confirmed call/on-site versus a constant back and forth.

 

3.) Offer stage is a critical time. A solid recruiter will deliver concise messages and offer solutions. For example, we are able to say ‘some of our clients have done this when this has happened in the past’. The conversation can become unclear between hiring manager and candidate. You want to make sure a recruiter can manage expectations and give it to you straight understanding both sides. Essentially act as a translator in what can be an awkward conversation for some. For example, your expertise may not be negotiation because you are an engineer by trade.

 

4.) In order to hire well, you need access to tools. Most of these tools are expensive. A recruiter should have access to AI software, job postings, job boards and a relevant rolodex. At some point, your company will have the budget to on-board some of these tools but not at the beginning.

 

5.) Screening resumes can be a huge time suck. A good recruiter will provide you between 2 or 3 resumes a week. Of those, at least a 1/3 should pass the bar. The goal is to have a recruiter that saves you a ton of time and ultimately acts as an extension of your business by conducting the first round phone interview.

5 Great Benefits & Perks to Attract and Retain Employees

Filed under: Best Practices, Hiring Strategies, Offers / CounterOffers, Redfish Speaks, Talent Acquisition

5 Great Benefits & Perks to Attract and Retain Employees

By: Jon Piggins

Director of Business Development, Redfish Technology

 

In today’s tight labor market, competition for top talent continues to heat up. We’ve seen some of our clients increase their hiring rates by offering benefits & perks beyond what’s now becoming standard, things like; unlimited vacation, “make your own hours”, 100% paid health/dental/vision coverage. Here are some of the best perks we’ve seen recently.

 

Vacation reimbursement: “Unlimited” vacation is great…if you use it. Turns out that many employees are so busy that they never wind up taking advantage of the benefit and the company winds up with stressed out, tired workers. One company we work with decided to solve the problem by creating “vacation reimbursement”, $3,000/yr per employee, can’t take it as cash & have to use it each year or you lose it.

 

Student loan paydowns: With 44.7 million borrowers owing more than $1.5 Trillion in student loans, the U.S. is drowning in school loans. Not just a financial burden, student loan debt can be stressful & limiting. We’ve had a few clients begin to offer monthly contributions to their employee’s loan payments, either by subsidizing the amount they had to pay or by matching payments (up to a limit) therefore helping to pay off the loan(s) sooner (sometime 7-10 years sooner).

 

529 accounts for employee’s children: Think of a 529 account like a “Roth IRA” for college. Contributions are invested & when it’s time to pay for college (tuition, room & board, books…) the money can be withdrawn without penalty or taxation. It’s a nice additional way to help employees beyond the traditional health savings & retirement plans most companies offer.

 

New baby fund: Have a baby, get $4,000. That’s what Bay Area based client of ours decided to start doing (diapers are expensive!). Seriously though, as wonderful as having a child can be, it’s expensive & stressful. Getting a nice chunk of change & a good break for maternity/paternity leave is a great perk for your workers.

 

Housecleaning & Laundry Services: Put in a 60 hour work week & then have to deal with cleaning chores and laundry…no thanks. We have a longtime client in LA who provides weekly laundry and twice monthly house cleaning services for their approx. 100 employees. Simply bring in your clothes in a big nylon bag on Monday, it gets picked up at the office & comes back on Wednesday cleaned and folded.

 

The great thing about these benefits is that they’re done in good spirit…yes they’re self-serving for a company in helping to attract & retain talent and increase productivity, but they’re also considerate towards employees with the goal of reducing their stress & burden and helping to make their lives a little easier.

5 Reasons Why Backdoor References Aren’t Always Helpful

Filed under: Best Practices, Redfish Speaks

5 Reasons Why Backdoor References Aren’t Always Helpful

By Leah O’Flynn, Chief Revenue Officer

Redfish Technology

 

At first glance backdoor references can seem strategic but there are some unintended consequences to consider in today’s marketplace. Our client’s increasingly ask for our opinion on doing them and we usually respond with what we’ve seen in the past. As a rule of thumb, be respectful of the candidate and start the relationship off with trusting that he or she can provide a solid number of folks to speak about his or her ability to do the job. Oftentimes our client’s assume it’s a good way to vet a skillset but there are more effective ways to evaluate a person other than a backdoor reference….

 

1.) In general, candidates are already pretty protective of the references that he or she offers up to a hiring manager. You run the risk of your potential hire getting put off if he or she finds out that their next manager went around their back. It makes for a rocky start to a professional relationship.

 

2.) We’ve had a situation where a manager within the candidate’s current company didn’t want to lose the employee. He gave a negative review and ended up offering the candidate a counter offer as a tactic to get ahead of the new offer & retain the employee.

 

3.) A backdoor reference can jeopardize the candidate’s current employment. Their employer was unaware that he or she was looking and is now privy to that information. A reference that would have been good is now skewed due to the circumstances.

 

4.) You reach out to someone who may have previously managed the candidate but you have no context around their working relationship or environment. It’s not a fair conversation to have with this said person. Also, that person isn’t familiar with the person now. References should represent the past and the present to help paint a more complete portrait.

 

5.) It could be a situation where the candidate left the company on good terms but the company never got over it because it was in the middle of a big project. The review isn’t reflection of the candidate’s working ability but rather disappointment of losing a good employee.

 

For more advice & insight into the world of recruiting, contact us HERE