Posts Tagged: recruitment

The Power of the Phone Interview – Part 1

This is day 11 of total social isolation for our team due to COVID-19.

That means in some of our cases, the kids or pets are home, are significant others are around, and as Recruiters, that means interviewing from home.

At Career Contacts, we have a really robust screening process, and an important piece of that is the phone interview.

Some of the perks of a strong phone interview are:

  1. Reducing unconscious bias
  2. Saving time (and therefore, money)
  3. Improved candidate experience (when done correctly)
  4. Increased quality of the hire by adding a step in the process

Now that our hiring managers are also conducting phone interviews, we’ve received a lot of questions on the do’s and don’t’s of phone interviews and thought we’d share our list!


Talk about salary

When possible, we encourage companies to be transparent with this process. If you are paying fairly, there should never be a worry of “leaving money on the table”. I also personally am a big fan giving candidates a range, and encourage them to share theirs.

Talk about culture fit / add

Instead of expecting them to know what you’re all about, take the time to share a bit about your values and what your company stands for. Tell them about your social events, your training programs, anything that highlights your company as a employer of choice.

PRO TIP: This might not be the right candidate for the role, but they might be for the next role, or be able to introduce you to your next dream candidate – it’s worth giving them a good feeling about the company.


Invite them to ask their questions

Candidates want to feel comfortable asking about what matters to them. It’s a great way to gauge what they value, and also allows them to screen themselves out early in the process if needed be. The more transparent you can be, the better!


Ask what they make now

It’s really none of your business. They are applying for a new position, likely with new roles and responsibilities, and potentially with greater expectations. Ask them what they are expecting to make in the role they are applying for instead.

Be afraid to dig deeper

If they don’t ask, it’s ok to find out what they value from companies – vacation, work from home, benefits. The offer package has a lot of room and if you know what they value, you have more to offer them when it comes time.

This also applies to things like their computer skills, communication skills or previous experience with a specific tool or program. Take the time to ask them the non negotiables up front. If you need someone with SAGE software experience, get that out there in the first round and reduce your work on the back end.

Be Late

Disorganization in the hiring process reflects heavily on the company as a whole. Respect that the candidates time is equally as valuable as your own, and remember that they are interviewing you, as much as you are interviewing them.

If you are going to be late, you’re going to know an hour before hand, maybe even half an hour before – make sure you give them a heads up.

If you are cancelling all together, ensure that you are sincerely apologetic, and work with their availability to reschedule. Don’t normally work past 5 but that’s all they have available? Make it work!

The most important thing during a phone screen is to listen to your candidate, have a genuine interest in what they have to share, and be mindful of their time. Interviews are not easy for most, so walk into any interview with compassion and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you get back in return!


Want some more tips?

Stay tuned for our next blog: Behind the Scenes of a Great Phone Interview

Gen Z – Are You Hiring Them? This is What You Should Consider

Move over Millennials, make way for Generation Z!

Gen Z – Who are they?

They are the generation born after 1995 and they are entering the workforce now.

By the end of 2020, Stats Canada estimates that Gen Z will account for 20% of the workforce.

Wikipedia defines Generation Z as the demographic cohort succeeding the Millennials (GenY).  Demographers use the mid-1990s as birth years to current 1996 to 2015.

They are the children of Gen X, and Millennials.  This up and coming generation are sometimes call the Digital Natives as they were born with technology and are extremely tech savvy.

Generation Z employees are hardworking and loyal.

If you want to attract and hire this generation of employees here are a few things to consider:

  • They like technology and video. They know and appreciate online presence.  They spend their time on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram; they effectively engage with social media.  They know cloud computing.
  • They care about culture, honesty, and diversity. For example, they are inclusive with all groups.  It is all they know as normal.  They are comfortable with diversity – it’s what they experience daily.  A few key examples are gender neutral bathrooms, LGBTQ+, and equal pay.
  • They want work life balance. This includes stability, job safety, long term employment, and flexibility to work hard and advance in their careers.

Here are few things to think about when you are recruiting and hiring this Gen Z group:

  1. Optimize employment postings for mobile applications. Social media is where it is at.
  2. Use videos, skype, and online recruitment strategies. Videos and Instagram stories are great and this group loves them.
  3. Keep the application process simple for employees to send their resumes. Also, keepprospective employees informed throughout the steps of the hiring process.
  4. Financial stability is important for this generation. They will want to know pay and benefits before even applying. Benefits can be very diverse to include things such as transit accessibility or parking, medical, dental, and extended health coverage, RRSP contribution plans and food perks.
  5. Showcase your company’s culture as well as health and wellness spending. Corporate team involvement can include corporate healthy lunches, yoga, fitness challenges as well as company supported volunteer efforts.
  6. Identify corporate growth and advancement opportunities. In job postings, show opportunities for personal and professional advancement for career development.  This can include education courses and programs (re-invest in your employees), as well as advancement opportunities to other departments.  Lastly tell stories about employees who have progressed as well as your development in your career.  Highlight employee’s success.
  7. Allow Gen Z the ability to work independently. They are not afraid to use Google or YouTube to learn. They will want the opportunity to work from home.

Given the right opportunities, Gen Z will remain loyal to your company while having a stable work-life balance.

And when you give them free reign, they’re not just capable of thinking outside the box, but also reinventing it, making them a huge asset to your business.

Make sure you have the right strategies in place and sure enough, you’ll make Gen Z love working for you and with you.



Planning for 2020 – What are your Career Goals?

Welcome to 2020 – this will be the best year ever!  If you are like me, this the time to reflect on yourself – I like to think about my career, family and life in general.  It’s a great time to review things and make goals to improve yourself and life in general.

A Career Goal is a statement of your profession that you intend to pursue through your career.  A career goal may outline timelines, skills, education and experience.  With these things in mind, you can define your career goals and create an action plan.  I have found that reviewing your career goals quarterly or annually allows myself time to reflect upon these and make changes or modifications to my plans to keep me headed in the right direction.

Short term goals as well as long term goals are both part of the plan.  Short term goals can be achieved quickly; zero to five years.  Long term goals are longer, from five to fifteen years.

Here are some tips when creating and setting your goals:

  1. Be specific or measurable
  2. Be able to measure or quantify
  3. Be positive
  4. Write them down
  5. Review quarterly or annually
  6. Reward yourself as goals are achieved
  7. Think big – you will achieve more than you anticipate

Creating goals for yourself will motivate you to start and build the future you want.  It’s like having a to do list or agenda to keep you focused.

Here are few examples of goals that I have had or considered through the years:

  • Upgrading your resume
  • Starting a business
  • Volunteering or working as an intern to learn about a profession
  • Taking a computer course at at a local school like UBC, SFU, or BCIT
  • Creating or upgrading my LinkedIn profile
  • Applying for a new job or asking for a promotion
  • Joining a networking group like the Board of Trade or BNI
  • Landing that big account or client

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down with yourself to reflect and create a few goals for 2020 and your career.



Good luck!

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