Archives for October 2017 | Collins McNicholas

How can I tell my sister her son is not a suitable candidate for a position in my office?

How can I tell my sister her son is not a suitable candidate for a position in my office?Question: Our engineering company is hiring and I am in charge of selecting interview candidates. My sister told me her son (my nephew) is applying and that he could do with the confidence boost, as he has been unemployed since finishing college two years ago. The problem is he doesn’t have any experience. How can I tell him he is not suitable without affecting his confidence? Also, what advice can I offer him? Answer: This is a very common dilemma faced by professionals, particularly in management or HR positions. It is important to consider the potential impact on your career, your reputation, your team – and your nephew. While he may receive an immediate confidence boost, gaining a role that is beyond his capability may have a more damaging effect on his esteem in the long term. Evaluate your nephew’s potential ‘fit’ for the role objectively: Encourage your nephew to apply for the role as any other candidate might. Explain that he will not receive any preferential treatment. This will allow you to consider his application objectively. Is he a potential junior option? Are there other roles that may be suitable in future? There may be aspects of your nephew’s ability that you have not witnessed as your relationship with him has been personal only. If you decide not to progress with his application, you can stand over your decision, content that you have given his application due consideration. From your nephew’s perspective, he has gained the experience of applying to a role, preparing his CV and cover letter and considering his ‘fit’ to the organisation. Provide feedback: The real benefit to your nephew is the feedback you can provide. Organise a face-to-face professional meeting where you can focus on the structure, content and tone of his CV and application. Meet at your office or professional environment, not at your home or your sister’s home. Outline the purpose of the meeting and provide your decision without apology. Emphasise that you are meeting him in your capacity as a manager not as his aunt. Adopt a coaching approach. This will allow him space to think about his career and help him generate suggested actions. Avoid negative language, focusing on improvements. Encourage work experience: Securing a first “real job” can be very difficult. Lack of experience impacts a candidate’s confidence, their ability to speak fluently about examples of their competency at interview and renders them less suitable for a role. Simply having experience of a work environment – dealing with co-workers and customers, being accountable for your work, arriving on time each day – boosts a graduate’s employability. If your nephew has worked part-time during school or college or has held a summer job, he should include this in his CV. If this is not the case, perhaps he has volunteered at local festivals. Helping him view this experience as valuable will also build his confidence and improve his likelihood to make more applications. If he has completed research projects as part of his college course, perhaps there are avenues to work experience that he has not yet explored. An organisation that has already been exposed, even in a very small way, to his expertise is more willing to consider taking him onboard on a short-term project based role or in a voluntary capacity. It is important to strike the balance between experience and de-valuing his application. While he should be open to unpaid work, his focus should remain on suitable paid positions. Direct applications: The “hidden job market” continues to be an entry point for many onto the career ladder. While job boards and newspapers will contain some roles, it is more likely that his first role will come from a direct application to an organisation. Read the business section of newspapers with his career in mind. An announcement of an award or a sales boost often indicates that new jobs are following. Develop of list of target companies in his desired location. Many do not advertise roles, relying instead on speculative applications. This approach will require patience and persistence but managed correctly could lead to success.           Caroline Ward HR Services Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article was originally published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on the 29th of October 2017, and the original version can be found...

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Dealing With The Difficult Task of Making a Close Friend Redundant

Question: Last year, a promotion came up at the IT firm where I work. A colleague and close friend pushed me to put myself forward. When I got the job she was the first to celebrate with me. Now, due to budget restraints, the company is downsizing and I have been tasked with letting a number of staff go. I was gutted to see my friend’s name on the list and have no idea how to break the news to her. Can you advise me on how I can approach this situation without losing her friendship? Answer: This is no doubt a very challenging time for you both personally and professionally. Supervising a friend can have its benefits if they are a loyal follower of yours and ensure that at no time they let the side down. But it can have its challenges when tough discussions must take place such as terminations. You have to consider how to have this uncomfortable discussion with the hope of minimal damage to the personal relationship. Planning the conversation and the following pointers will help you to approach it in a more professional light. Be prepared for an emotional response. How you handle this will determine the future status of your friendship. 1. Make the conversation brief: Be brief when having the ‘manager’ conversation and offer yourself for the ‘friend’ conversation after work. Keep the actual conversation brief and isolate your friendship until this is delivered – this is important for both your own state of mind and for the way your friend perceives the action. 2. Don’t procrastinate: Be direct about the...

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Helping a New Team Leader Rise to The Challenge After a Rocky Start

Question: I’m the senior manager in a MedTech firm. I promoted another staff member to team leader after he showed exceptional skill during a successful trial period. Eight weeks into his role, two team members have raised issues about his leadership qualities. I promoted him because of his high standard and think he will be a fantastic role model. I want to see him do well, and inspire confidence. How do I bring this up without causing tension between him and his team? Answer: Leading a team long term requires a specific set of skills. But many who are successful at a senior level struggle to make the transition from management of operations or projects to people management. Often training, mentoring and on-going support are required to assist them. 1 Why is this issue arising now? As the team leader has successfully completed a trial period, consider what is the difference between the environment now and during that period. Is the workload heavier? Are there stresses now that did not exist before? While other team members are citing issues with their direct-line management, perhaps there are other issues. Gather information on the performance of the team, attendance records and project requisitions. Garner informal feedback from other team leaders or managers. An overall barometer of the composition and performance of the team will allow you to ascertain if the issue is with the direct line management of the team or with the more strategic issues of the allocation of workload, stress management or more complex dynamics within the team itself. 2 Initiate a coaching-based conversation Organise a confidential space to...

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My Two Week Work Experience with Collins McNicholas

I walked out of my final college exam with a gleaming smile on my face. No more exams or lectures, I was ready to join the real world. Earn my keep and begin my career path. However, not only was I an excited graduate, but a confused graduate, with an interest in HR and Marketing. Having returned from my J1, I set about sending out my CV. I submitted my CV to Collins McNicholas. The following day I received a call from Director Michelle Murphy, she spoke to me about my CV and offered me the position to cover one week’s holiday leave at reception in the Galway Office. I jumped at the opportunity and started the following week as I knew this would be an invaluable experience. Everyone on the Collins McNicholas team was extremely welcoming and were happy to help when I had any questions for them. Aside from my duties at reception, the Collins McNicholas team invited me to help at a recruitment fair they were holding and also to sit in on the interview process, as they knew I held an interest in HR. As my week at Collins McNicholas came to a close, I was invited to return the following week, spending one day in the Galway office to see how the assessment centres were run, and to spend the rest of the week in the Sligo office with the Marketing Department. On Monday I observed an assessment centre run by HR Manager Caroline Ward and HR Consultant Emma Woods. They spoke with me about the different methods used to test various capabilities that...

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