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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

Top Quick and Easy Tips on interviewing well in today’s competitive market

Filed under: Interview, Redfish Speaks

Top Quick and Easy Tips on interviewing well in today’s competitive market

By Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development

 

Smile: a smile is magic, it improves your mood & the mood of those around you. If you’re not a naturally “smiley” person, consciously practice doing it more & in front of a mirror so that it becomes more natural. In general be mindful of your facial expression while you are listening – smiling is a good default but some people tend to look away and it becomes obvious when they aren’t actively listening. Even if you’re nervous, or feel like the interview isn’t going well, think of something that makes you happy & brings a smile to your face…it makes a big (and positive) impression!

Err on the side of being more formal than not: It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your recruiter or HR what type of attire you should wear for your interview. Even if the office is a board shorts & tank tops kind of place, business casual (on the conservative side) will never get you in trouble.

Do your research: Know enough about the job description and company that you could explain both clearly to someone at a dinner party. Look up the Linkedin profiles of the people you’ll be interviewing with and note any shared connections or commonalities, perhaps you & the hiring manager went to the same college or grew up in the same state. Doing your homework will make you feel more comfortable and will showcase your level of interest & preparation.

Have questions prepared: See above…when researching a company & it’s people, prepare 3-5 relevant questions. It will reinforce your level of interest and it also helps you to maintain some control in the process…and it’s an easy way to buy yourself some time if you get flustered or feel like you’re doing all the talking. Ask a thoughtful, open ended question, and relax (and listen!). Wrap up the interview by asking how you compare to other candidates in the mix? Also, ask if they have any concerns about them as a candidate? Also, ask for the job if you want it!

Get the names & email addresses for EVERYONE you meet, connect with them on Linkedin & send them each a “Thank You” email. It’s also fine to send one thank you to the group of people you met with, just make sure to include everyone…even the person who greeted you at the front desk. You never know who might be involved in the hiring process & it shows proper respect to everyone who might be your future co-workers.

 

 

Will Brewer

Filed under: Redfish Team

Business Development Manager

 

Born in Ft Meyers, FL, raised in Atlanta, and a proud graduate of The University of Georgia (Go Bulldogs!) Will made the move to the Sun Valley, ID area on the advice of his Dad who spent time here as a ski bum in the 80’s. Will has spent the past 4 years working @ the Sun Valley Resort’s Terrain Park and one of the reasons he’s so excited about joining Redfish is our dedication to work/life balance and long lunches that allow enough time to get in some turns on the ski hill.

 

Fun Facts

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Sushi!

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime? Start & raise a family.

What’s your favorite cartoon character? Eric Cartman.

Who is your hero? LeBron James.

What are your greatest fears? Spiders!

Meet Will Brewer, the newest addition to the Redfish team!

Filed under: News

Meet Will Brewer, the newest addition to the Redfish team!

 

Redfish Technology is excited to introduce Will Brewer as our newest Business Development Manager. Born in Ft Meyers, FL,  raised in Atlanta, and a proud graduate of The University of Georgia (Go Bulldogs!) Will made the move to the Sun Valley, ID area on the advice of his Dad who spent time here as a ski bum in the 80’s. Will has spent the past 4 years working @ the Sun Valley Resort’s Terrain Park and one of the reasons he’s so excited about joining Redfish is our dedication to work/life balance and long lunches that allow enough time to get in some turns on the ski hill.

2 Steps to Hack your Career Search (in 10 minutes or less)

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker

2 Steps to Hack your Career Search (in 10 minutes or less)

 

Actively looking for a new job…or just want to test the water to see what’s out there, but the thought of overhauling your old resume or creating a new one makes you cringe? 5-10 minutes spent on making a few changes & updates to your LinkedIn profile is a great way to increase your visibility to hiring companies & recruiters.

 

Companies & recruiters utilize Linkedin’s platform to run granular searches for candidates based on keywords in their profiles and their account settings. You can help control if and how you’ll be included in the results of these searches. Follow the simple steps below to increase your profile’s visibility and your odds for being contacted about relevant, new opportunities.

 

1st go to your linkedin profile and click on the “pencil” edit icon on the right hand corner (adjacent to your profile picture). Make sure that your contact info is up to date and that your “Summary” contains key words relevant to not only your current position, but also to the type of position(s) you’re interested in.

 

2nd, modify your settings to drive your relevance in searches being done on Linekedin. You can do this two ways:

 

Straight from Linkedin’s help page:

Sharing your career interests with recruiters from the Settings & Privacy page.

To share your career interests from the Settings & Privacy page:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.
  3. Click the Privacy tab at the top of the page.
  4. Under the Job seeking preferences section, click Change next to Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities.
  5. Switch the toggle to Yes to share that you’re open and appear in recruiter searches matching your career interests. Switch the toggle to No to stop sharing your career interests with recruiters.
  6. Your changes will be saved automatically.

Note:  Visit the Career interests page to edit additional settings such as job titles you’re considering, the types of jobs you’re open to, the industry you prefer, and more. Learn more about updating your career interests

 

Sharing your career interests with recruiters from your profile.

To share your career interests from your profile:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and click View profile under your name.
  2. From Your dashboard, click Career interests to access the Career interests page.
  3. In the Career interests section, toggle right to turn this feature on.
  1. You can write an optional introduction about yourself and anything else you’d like the recruiters to know. The maximum character count is 300.
  2. Follow the prompts on the page to select your career preferences:
    • Where are you in your search?
    • What job titles are you considering?
    • Where would you like your next job to be located?
    • What types of jobs are you open to?
    • What industries do you prefer?
    • What size company would you like to work for? (Number of employees)
  1. Any changes made to your job preferences will be automatically saved.

 

For more recommendations on how to super charge you job hunt, contact Redfish Technology’s teams of experienced recruiters today!

Recruiting – Contingency and Retained Searches: Is there anything in between? YES!

Filed under: Best Practices

Contingency and Retained Searches: Is there anything in between? YES!

See Rob’s Accompanying Video!

You have a need. Maybe a GLARING need at one or more positions within your organization, and you’ve exhausted your network to no avail. You’ve posted on LinkedIN and tried job boards, but no luck. You’ve engaged in some contingent searches but recruiters seem to come and go – sometimes with a flurry of activity initially, but no sustained, steady flow of quality talent, and still the vacant seat remains. More and more often this question comes to us from our clients: “I need help with recruiting, but contingency searches haven’t worked and Retained Searches seem geared solely to Executive Roles – is there anything in between?” Funny you should ask…

The answer is Yes. As with most things, there are vehicles and approaches built for different tasks. While many of these have certain inherent benefits, most come with limitations as well. Contingency arrangements offer a low risk approach to engaging with recruiters as the hiring company is only obligated to pay for services once a hire is made and guarantee is met. This sounds promising until results are mixed, resume flow dwindles, and the recruiter fades. Why would this happen? Contingency incentivizes short, quick searches. Speed. Generally, a challenging position requires a campaign and a methodical, diligent execution of it. Without any commitment from the company, it is difficult to justify/risk this time-intensive approach for the contingent recruiters.

So the alternative is Retained? Possibly, yes, but it depends on your need. Retained is much more involved, mutually committed, and typically, much longer term. They include higher fees with ⅓ paid upfront, ⅓ paid upon completion of agreed upon milestones, and ⅓ upon completion of the search. For Executive Management roles, these are often the way to go since the compensation, the equity, the team fit and the impact of the role are all greater. With greater responsibility comes greater need for getting the hire right AND a greater time investment on both sides.

So where do we go when we have an important need, we want a partner in recruiting who has a vested interest in completing the search and yet don’t need something quite as involved or expensive as a fully Retained approach? We have an Engaged agreement. Similar to Retained, there is a mutually committed component to the search where ⅓ of the fee is due up front. However, the overall fee is reduced from 33% (Retained) to 25% of the candidate’s first year salary, and the remaining ⅔ of the fee isn’t due until after the search is successfully completed. This insures that both sides are invested, and gives the recruiter the opportunity to craft the recruiting strategy (who, what, where, when and why) correctly and approach the potential candidates with much more tact and professionalism. Success rates are much higher than contingent searches, and generally relationships between the hiring manager and recruiter are much more cohesive and partnered.

There is a bit of risk for taking on any mutually committed search, but between the time saved in not managing multiple vendors, and the quality of results from a search executed properly, the upside should justify the investment.

 

Rob Reeves / Redfish Technology
Founder/CEO
O: 208.788.8260
E: rob[at]redfishtech[dot]com
F: www.facebook.com/RedfishTech
T: twitter.com/RedfishTech
G+ plus.google.com/+Redfishtech
W: www.redfishtech.com

Building Growth-Mode Tech Companies with Hand-Picked Talent Since 1999

The importance of Onboarding – what to do after an offer is accepted and before a new hire’s start date

Filed under: Best Practices

The importance of Onboarding – what to do after an offer is accepted and before a new hire’s start date

Perhaps a sense of relief more than anything, it’s a great feeling to have a candidate accept an offer to join your company, especially in today’s competitive market. It would be understandable to be ready to move on to the next pressing priority once you’ve received a verbal acceptance & signed offer letter…but your job is not done! The importance of a comprehensive onboarding process for new employees can’t be ignored and it needs to begin when an offer is extended (or even sooner).

The time between an acceptance & a start date is a critical one in the hiring process. The mistake we’ve seen some companies make is to assume an accepted offer means the recruiting/hiring process is over and go quiet on their new hire, assuming they’ll just see them on their 1st day in a few weeks. They’ve failed to recognize that other companies & recruiters are continuing to court your employee to be, counter offers are often made by current employers, and human nature may kick in as “buyer’s remorse”. You want to do everything you can to reinforce a candidate’s choice to join your company & make them feel a part of your team…preferably starting with the interview process itself, but definitely once an offer has been extended.

It doesn’t take a huge effort or expense…here are some ways to help secure your new hires:

Have a personal touch: Have some of the people involved in the interview process reach out with a quick congratulations email, take your new hire out to lunch or have them join a company event (happy hour, training session, etc) before they actually start. It helps to reinforce their decision to join your team and solidify in their mind the thought of working for your company.

Make sure HR is involved right away: They should be providing important information about benefits & required paperwork shortly after the acceptance of the offer, so that it’s all completed & any questions have been answered before the start date.

Welcome package: Our clients who send out “welcome packages” to new hires say they get great feedback on the practice. Examples include; company branded gear (shirts, coffee mugs, phone cases), an info kit with articles about the company, stickers, balloons…they all go a long way in making a new hire feel special.

Have the hiring manager & peers reach out: A quick note from the person your new hire will be reporting to as well as from a peer/fellow team member welcoming them & offering to answer any questions or provide assistance (eg. How long does it take to BART in to their stop from the East Bay) goes a long way in making them feel welcome & supported.

Brag: Tell the world about your new hire, let everyone on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc know how excited you are to have brought them on board. It will make your new hire feel proud about their decision, it’s great PR, and its FREE!

Have everything dialed in for day one: Have their preferred laptop ordered & waiting for them, take a picture of their space once it’s all set up so that your new hire can think about how they might personalize it (and subconsciously, continue to think & imagine themselves working for you).

These are just a few ways to make your new hires feel like part of your team before their actual start date…and while they’re still being courted in today’s tight market. If you’d like to know more successful strategies we’ve provided for our clients, contact us today!

Jon Piggins

Jon Piggins / Redfish Technology
Director of Business Development
O: 208.450.9511
www.redfishtech.com
www.linkedin.com/in/jonpiggins/
Building Growth-Mode Tech Companies with Hand-Picked Talent Since 1996