31 July 2015
Every now and then, proactive job seeking methods and effective networking can result in an “informational interview”—an interview that’s not for a specific job, but rather, for the purpose of learning more about the company, the person interviewing you, and the industry as a whole. While some may be hesitant to spend time on an interview that offers no possibility of employment, it’s important to take every interviewing opportunity possible, for the sake of both making new connections and practicing for important interviews in the future. In fact, the opportunities present in an informational interview can be endless if the interview is approached correctly. Candidates can learn a great deal about the job market in their industry, get general career guidance and advice for their job search, and forge new connections for future opportunities, amongst other things. The success of your informational interview relies on preparation, however—so if you find one on your calendar in the near future, consider these 5 steps before setting off for the meeting: Don’t cut corners. There may not be a job on the table, but that’s no reason to let your professionalism slip. It’s still an interview, so be sure to dress professionally, arrive early, and treat everyone with respect. You never know if an opportunity with this company might open up in the future, and if you don’t make a good first impression, you won’t come to mind as a potential candidate. Know your boundaries. If it’s established up front that your interview is purely informational—which, in many cases, it is—don’t ask for a job when you meet. This is a waste of both your time and the interviewer’s, and the interviewer will likely feel as if you haven’t paid attention to your correspondence. The time you spend on this dead end can be better spent, so focus instead on what you are likely to gain from the meeting, such as a meaningful and helpful professional connection. Bring your documents. If the interviewer is feeling generous, they may be willing to give your resume a critique from the perspective of a hiring manager in the field. Furthermore, they may not have a specific job to offer you, but could know someone who’s in the market for a new hire. Always be sure to bring your resume and any relevant portfolio pieces in a neat and orderly fashion, and bring extra copies to leave with the interviewer if asked to. Come prepared with questions. Unlike traditional interviews, informational ones don’t always have a clear objective. Your interviewer may or may not have conducted one before, and they certainly don’t always know what you’re looking to get out of it, so have a goal and develop questions that can help you work toward it. For example, are you looking to get critique and improve upon yourself as a job seeker? Are you looking to better understand your industry’s needs, or maybe hoping to make new connections? Even if all of these options apply to you, the only way to make your time with the interviewer useful is to give it direction. Follow up. Like any other interview, it’s good practice to follow up an informational meeting with a thank-you note. Write clearly and professionally, and thank the interviewer for their time—this part is especially important since they have invited you to this meeting strictly for your benefit. If you discussed further potential connections or opportunities, be sure to attach your resume in a versatile document format (like .doc) so it can easily be passed on. Ultimately, informational interviews are networking at its finest. By following these few simple steps and knowing what makes an informational interview similar to and different from a traditional one, you’ll be better positioned for success—whatever your ultimate goal is.
30 July 2015
On August 1st, The Execu|Search Group is celebrating a big birthday – 30! In honor of our upcoming anniversary, we will be sharing throwback memories every Thursday on Twitter and Facebook through July and August. We brought you a snapshot of the header we used for our very first newsletter, Execu|Notes, last Thursday. This week, we’re featuring an ad we placed at various public transportation stops throughout the New York City Tri-State Area: this one, specifically, was featured in Westchester County. The ad focused on a belief that The Execu|Search Group still holds: that talented professionals should always be working with a recruiter, even if they are currently employed, to ensure they are always aware of opportunities to push their career forward and stay up-to-date on industry-related trends. The specific placement of this ad was a part of Execu|Search’s continuous effort to reach beyond our headquarters in the heart of New York City and provide opportunities to candidates along the East Coast. Today, we’ve expanded past the Tri-State Area and are in the process of opening up new offices in Boston and Florida.
29 July 2015
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Matthew Cowan; you can find our past testimonials here. Matthew Cowan is an experienced legal professional who came to The Execu|Search Group for help with attaining his career goal of working as in-house counsel. There were specific obstacles in his way that he identified before working with Director of Legal Services Melissa Haber, who helped him overcome these hurdles to land a temporary-to-full-time position. He is now a Senior Corporate Counsel at a leading professional services company in New York City. Matthew had a successful partnership with our firm and was more than happy to speak with us about his experience: On his background… Since starting law school, I’ve always known that I ultimately wanted to serve as in-house counsel. I knew that landing this type of opportunity would require me to have a solid legal foundation, and as a means of building that foundation, I worked as an associate at a litigation defense firm in New York City that specialized in maritime law. From there, I then joined a commercial litigation firm where I could not only hone my skills as a litigator, but also develop a business acumen. With a combined eight years of legal practice under my belt, I believed that I had gained the necessary experience to become a valuable asset to a corporation as its in-house counsel. On what he was looking for… Despite my experience, I still faced challenges when searching for opportunities. I knew such positions were highly coveted and more often than not require prior in-house, or alternatively big law firm, experience. I had neither. When I partnered with Execu|Search, I was looking for an in-house position that would utilize my strengths—namely, my litigation background—but would also provide me with the opportunity to expand into transactional work. On how TESG worked to meet his needs… TESG looked at my past work experience in order to find a position that I would be well-suited for. On a daily basis, Melissa provided me with updates on positions that might be of interest. I was fortunate that shorty after partnering with the firm, I was submitted as a candidate for the corporation that I currently work for. On preparing for the interview… Melissa worked with me to ensure that I understood the position and her client’s expectations of a prospective new hire. She walked me through my resume and advised me on what I should focus on during my interviews. Moreover, she provided me with talking points to utilize during my interviews, feedback after the first round, and further advice for my follow-up interview—all of which helped me land my current role as a Senior Corporate Counsel. “Matthew was an absolute pleasure to work with and we had a great professional rapport from the beginning,” says Melissa. “He was great in the interview process and his follow-up skills were fantastic. He’s been professional and attentive throughout the process; he even went the extra mile to write me a thank-you card once he landed the position.”
29 July 2015
On Tuesday, July 28th, The Execu|Search Group’s Melville office participated in the annual 3.5 mile Marcum Workplace Challenge at Jones Beach State Park. The challenge is Long Island’s largest corporate run-walk for charity, as well as the region’s largest office picnic, with 12,000 attendees and over 200 local companies in attendance. This year’s run marks the 10th anniversary of the first Marcum Workplace Challenge event. The Execu|Search Group was proud to attend and help raise further fundraising proceeds which, to date, have cumulatively added up to nearly $500,000. The event’s beneficiaries include the Long Island Children’s Museum, Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin Food Bank, and the Children’s Medical Fund of New York.
28 July 2015
When interviewing for a job, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to prove to the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the role. However, what many professionals don’t realize is that they should be putting as much effort into evaluating whether the company is the right fit for them. Making sure both the company and specific job are the right fit is a crucial, yet often overlooked, step in the job hunting process. Since it’s almost impossible to be fulfilled in a job that you’re not interested in, or feel as though you can’t be yourself, it’s important to keep these three main points in mind when making a decision to move forward. How big is the company? Much like how some students thrive on large university campuses while others prefer small private colleges, different people flourish in different work environments. You want to choose the environment that is the best fit for you, so think back on your past experiences with different sized teams and companies. Is there a specific organizational structure that you feel most comfortable with? Does the company align with your goals? You may be with this company for the long-run, so it’s important to make sure that both the business and the position at hand will enable you to work towards your goals. Perhaps this position seems perfect for now, but will it allow you to gain responsibilities and enhance your skill-set? Think about where you want to be in 2-5 years and ensure the company will allow you to grow professionally during that time. What is the company culture like? A company culture reflects itself in the shared practices, attitudes, and ideals of their staff, and when considering an opportunity, you want to make sure you can be happy in that organization’s environment. To get a better feel for the company’s culture, consider asking your interviewer some of these questions: What is the average age of your employees? Do you hold company events? If so, how often? What are the dynamics of the team I would be joining? What is it like to work for this company? How does my position contribute to the company’s values and overall purpose? Many companies also have pages on their website dedicated to what it’s like to work for them and their mission statement. Make sure you take this information into account when interviewing with the hiring manager because there shouldn’t be any large discrepancies about the way the business is represented online and in person. It’s always ideal to work for an organization that shares your values. How is the hiring manager interacting with you? The way the interviewer interacts with you may be indicative of the corporate culture. During the interview, note a few points such as: Are they respectful of your time? How do they represent the business? Are they communicating well with you? Focusing on these points can help you figure out if you would feel comfortable and fulfilled in this work environment. If you get a bad feeling from the hiring manager or the office, take a step back and evaluate what exactly is making you feel this way, and if it would affect your job performance or happiness.
27 July 2015
Whether you are a new grad starting out your career, or a seasoned healthcare professional looking to strengthen your area of expertise, the sheer number of employment opportunities available to you this year is one of the major benefits of working in the industry. While going back to school or changing jobs is always an option to enhance your skills, per diem assignments can provide you with hands-on work experience that can greatly contribute to your overall professional growth. Daniela D’Alessandro, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Bridge Travel Healthcare division, stresses that any healthcare professional, regardless of specialization, should consider including more per diem work into their schedule. “Many healthcare professionals make the mistake of viewing per diem work as only a means for supplemental income,” says Daniela. “However, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how invaluable these opportunities can actually be in attaining your short- and long-term career goals.” As you navigate the healthcare industry, keep the following benefits of per diem work in mind: 1. Build your professional network Whether you prefer working in a hospital, nursing home, or skilled nursing facility, per diem work quickly exposes you to a variety of company cultures and patient populations. This, in turn, opens the door to new experiences, which allow you to form unique professional relationships and collaborate with a wide-range of healthcare professionals. For example, if you are a Pediatric Physical Therapist that’s interested in working in an adult setting, you can utilize per diem assignments as a way to interact with and build connections with therapists who work with an adult population. “Per diem assignments give you the flexibility you need in order to proactively expand your network with the right professionals,” says Daniela. 2. Learn new skills and stay up-to-date on industry trends Since per diem assignments give healthcare professionals the ability to work in a variety of practice settings, they enable you to build new skills and learn new procedures along the way. For instance, as the demand for tech-savvy health professionals continues to increase, per diem assignments present the opportunity to learn a new electronic medical records system—just one way you can keep your skills fresh, while enhancing your marketability to remain competitive in today’s market. “You should take advantage of every per diem opportunity that will introduce you to new and emerging skills within your specialty area,” says Daniela. 3. Use them as a stepping stone in your career While some healthcare professionals can use per diem work to pursue a new skill set, others can use per diem work as a way to sharpen their current strengths. “If you’re interested in moving into a managerial role, for instance, you may want to use per diem assignments to ensure you are prepared take the next step,” highlights Daniela. Regardless of what your goal is, per diem assignments are a great way to try something new without committing to a longer-term position. 4. Get your foot in the door and eventually transition to full-time As a new grad trying to get your foot in the door, or a more experienced professional interested in making a transition, it comes down to possessing the right type of experience to get the job. “Per diem work gives you the chance to not only get your foot in the door with a prospective new employer, but it also gives you the chance to evaluate whether or not it could be a good long-term fit for you,” suggests Daniela. In addition, per diem coverage will give you a leg up on your competition as it will make your resume more well-rounded, allowing you to pursue other positions you are interested in.
24 July 2015
The Execu|Search Group is excited to announce that we are expanding into Boston! The office, which will open in early September, will allow us to better serve our clients’ growing staffing and recruitment needs in this area. After building our reputation as the leading recruitment, temporary staffing, and workforce management solutions firms in the NYC Tri-State area, we made the move to expand to the Greater Boston area in 2011 to better serve our clientele in the Northeast. Now, four years later, we’re taking our next step in serving the Northeast market by expanding with a new office in the heart of Boston. “We’ve been expanding our presence along the Northeast Corridor over the past few years, and recently opened our office in Hartford to help link our business in the state of Connecticut with our activity in the Greater Boston area,” says Edward Fleischman, Chairman and CEO of The Execu|Search Group. “To strengthen this connection, expanding into the heart of Boston is the next, natural step. As we look towards the future, we envision our Boston office becoming a major hub, much like our New York City headquarters, that can serve all of our clients in the region.” To help launch the growth of our Boston office, we’re currently hiring Account Executives, Staffing Managers, and Executive Recruiters, at all levels from entry-level through Managing Director. To learn more about any of these positions, please email Theresa Mok at firstname.lastname@example.org.
23 July 2015
Though there are countless technical skills required of an information technology professional—from coding, to network engineering, to troubleshooting and beyond—there is a certain set of skills that every professional in the field needs: soft skills. Soft skills encompass less-tangible skills such as communication and interpersonal skills, adaptability and flexibility, and critical thinking and listening; one major soft skill getting a lot of attention lately is emotional intelligence, which is quickly being touted as one of the most in-demand characteristics of the year. Without soft skills, many aren’t likely to thrive in today’s workplace, which is becoming a much more interactive and collaborative effort than the cubicle-packed offices of the past. Offices across industries are quickly transitioning to open floor plans, requiring a comfort in open working environments and the ability to co-exist and communicate with different personality types and levels of staff. Many are even implementing “peer programming” which requires colleagues to check each other’s work before anything is approved. As a result, the demand for IT professionals with communication skills to match their technological prowess is rapidly growing. “Employers are looking for IT candidates who can take communication to the next level,” says Erin Donavan, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division. “It’s no longer enough to simply know what you’re doing and execute a task. You need to be able to articulate your thoughts and process, as well as utilize past experience, to back up an answer or result—this helps your team better understand your decisions and can be especially helpful for junior candidates who are still learning the ropes.” This type communication requires self-reflection and analytical thinking, two soft skills that tie into emotional intelligence and are particularly vital in the field—especially in roles that require a great deal of telephonic or face-to-face conversing. In some roles, like those of project managers, IT professionals also need the ability to gauge and adapt to different personalities; however, if you aren’t in a project management role, don’t assume you don’t need these skills, yourself. Other positions still require skills with written correspondence, interacting with others professionally, clearly conveying and articulating thoughts, and listening. Even positions that require limited interaction with others still require these skills, so it’s important to make sure they’re well-developed. Ultimately, as cultural fit becomes more important to organizations, employers are looking for employees who not only possess the skills needed to do well in the role, but also the soft skills necessary for evolving with the organization and moving the business forward. Collaboration is quickly becoming recognized as a means to innovative ideas, and as a result, the soft skills necessary to facilitate it are only going to grow in demand.
23 July 2015
On August 1st, The Execu|Search Group is celebrating a big birthday – 30! In honor of our upcoming anniversary, we will be sharing throwback memories every Thursday on Twitter and Facebook through July and August. Last Thursday we brought you the template for our Irish Setter logo from the 90s; this week, you can see that picture transformed into the actual logo used for our very first newsletter, Execu|Notes! Execu|Notes was a hard-copy newsletter mailed out to job seekers on a quarterly basis. Each issue included content that helped job seekers explore every facet of the employment-seeking process, with articles that covered subjects such as employment trends, interviewing tips, and strategies for evaluating a prospective employer. These topics aren’t a far cry from what our e-newsletters cover today, but just like our current articles, the content in Execu|Notes was tailored to suit the times. For example, Issue 1 (Winter, 1996) gave job seekers a basic crash course in utilizing the internet—specifically, America Online (AOL) and Compu-Serve—as a new tool in their job search. Today, we post extensively on our blog about a variety of job search-related topics, and publish monthly newsletters on general career strategies as well as trends in the Accounting/Finance, Financial Services, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Office Support practice areas. You can sign up for our newsletter programs here.