You will never find a candidate who is a 100% fit!


Does a 100% fit candidate even exist or are we searching for the purple squirrel? Darn, I hate the analogy of the purple squirrel so much!

My issue with a candidate “fitting” the role is a constant struggle I have with hiring managers. Employers would put in place assessments and tests to gauge candidates’ ability to perform a job, and that’s perfectly fine. At the end of the day, they do need to hire someone that they’re confident of to be able to deliver.

The question is, “Do we really know what we are looking for in a candidate?”

  • Are we measuring the right things?
  • For the things that we are measuring, does it really matter?

We all know that passing the hiring assessment or the interview is not guarantee of performance, and sometimes a rejected candidate could turn out to be a diamond in the rough. And, one of the most famous story in recent time is about Alibaba Founder Jack Ma’s amazing account of how he’s being rejected for the 30 jobs he applied to before starting Alibaba.

What is wrong with the way we do interviews? Is there a fundamental flaw in the system? And, is there such thing as a 100% fit?

There’ll never be a 100% fit!

Let’s face it. Finding a 100% fit is impossible. There’s just no way to tell if a candidate is going to be a perfect fit for the role. Even if this candidate feels like a 100% fit, there’s no guarantee of performance.

Employers not knowing what they’re looking for

This is not in a negative way. Hiring managers usually have an idea of what they’re looking for, but what exactly are they’re looking for?

With most hiring managers, you would find a rather clear picture of what an ideal candidate would look like. However, you will also find that there is a fair bit of flexibility and also a willingness to want to understand what other skill sets the slate of candidates can bring to the team. This is interesting as you would had thought that employers would have pretty much a fix set of requirements for what they’re hiring for, but in actual fact, there is usually a fair amount of tweaking to the roles as the search progresses. This could result in a very different hire from the original requirements.

So, what are we assessing for?

All of us assesses a candidate for a combination of different things with a variety of different techniques. A common approach many us use is to identify a set of “must haves” and assess the candidates against this set of 3 to 5 items. Combined with an idea of of what the role is about, a little bit of gut feel and a lot of assumptions, we derive a hiring decision. As much as we like to feel that there is a lot of consideration and science behind how we hire, a large part of it is very subjective.

And, what is the problem?

The problem with today’s recruitment process is that we try to over complicate it too much. There used to be a model where craftsmen would identify young talents they felt is right for the trade, give them an apprenticeship and eventually they would learn the trade and strike out on their own. While we can argue that all this is impractical in today’s modern age, which I agree by the way. The point in this analogy is that hiring is often based on an assessment of potential, and success comes with the naturing of the talent that’s been brought in to do the job.

The issues we have today in our recruitment process is that we try to assess and measure too many things in a candidate which increases the amount of resources that is required to make a hire. This drives up the rejection rate and increases the time to hire translating to a higher hiring cost and increased opportunity cost of not having the person on the job earlier.

The recommendation?

I would like ask all the recruiters and hiring managers that’s reading this to try a different approach.

Look at the assessment of a candidate from a different angle. Instead of trying to hire for the perfect fit, try to look at it from the angle of assessing for acceptable risk.

What does mean?

All new hires will come with risks. Regardless how successful the candidates had been in their last jobs, that performance came as a result of the conditions and environment at that point in time when they were on that job. With that in mind, consider the following steps:

  • Build a slate of candidates that can do the job based on a clear and concise set of criteria.
  • Instead of assessing the candidates for how well they can do the job (as that was a given – they needed to be able to do the job to get on the list), assess these candidates for the likelihood to fail in the job!
  • Remove the ones that are “high risks”. However, remember that all is are relative to the candidates you have on the slate, so if you find yourself removing everyone from the list, you should re-evaluate the role and how you’ve built the slate.
  • You can use additional rounds of interviews to get this slate to the top 2 or 3 candidates
  • Evaluate this finalist slate of candidates and, and look at what is needed to mitigate the risks of them failing in the job
  • Assess the resources that is needed to be to be put in place and build that into your new hire on-boarding plan

With this, you would have a good hire that can do the job, an idea of what could go wrong, and more importantly a plan on how to mitigate this.

As recruiters and hiring managers, we all need to accept the fact that every hire comes with risks. When we change the way we look at a hiring decision from trying to “buy the result” to “building the structure”, we would naturally look at ways that the new hire can succeed and flourish in the new environment.

This way, you would had made a quality hire that could last longer. If all fails, remember the probation period was put there for a reason. 🙂

Would love to hear what you think about this topic. Share your thoughts and comments below! Happy hiring!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric is also the Advisor for Workbond and currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

It’s all about the Experience!


Here we go again. Yet another article on company culture and employee experience. Why? Because, it’s important! Really important! I don’t know about you, but for me, the experience I get, the emotions and feelings that comes with that experience is everything.

What are we talking about here? Let’s take a step back and think. Everything we do in life, the experience we get, we feel something about it. Did we like it? Or, did we not? Are we angry? Or, are we sad? From a behavioural perspective, how we channel that emotion and feeling that comes with the experience that you’re having in that moment in time, will have a direct effect on our actions.

While we all can agree that once you take away the “willingness” or “motivation” in anyone, the performance goes down, however trying to decipher the secret behind how an individual experience an organization or even a company’s brand is a complex and multi-dimensional journey.

When you “experience” an organization as an employee, there are many factors at play. Just to name a few:

  • The overall culture, and the department, team culture.
  • The people you work with
  • The physical office space, your work station, the pantry, meeting rooms and maybe even that famous office slide!
  • Technology? Did you get an old cranky laptop or that latest mac or surface pro? Is the network slow? Are there technologies that help enable collaboration?
  • The work itself, too little? Too much? Too easy? Too tough? Does it have meaning? Did you see yourself as the janitor or someone that is helping put a man on the moon?
  • Is everyone treated equal? Or are there certain groups or individuals that are more equal than others?

There are many different things that contributes to how an employee experience an organization. However, that’s not all. There are other dimensions to this. A simple example would be the employment stage in with you are experiencing the organization. Before you became an employee, as a candidate. And even, after you left the organization, and maybe considering rejoining the organization much later in life. At the different stages, you would look and interact with the organization in different ways. As a candidate, you take reference from the interviewers that you’ve met, information from public domains, such as Linkedin, Glassdoor, and social media. After leaving the organization, ex-colleagues and such.

All this contributes to your overall experience of the organization. And it does stop there. Your role at that point in time also influence the way you experience the organization. Were you also a consumer or customer? Were you impressed with the customer service while you were a customer? Did you come to know about the organization during a career fair in school while you were a student. Or were you a vendor that’s providing a service to the organization? What about family and friends? A lot of candidates and employees first experienced the organization hearing about it from family or friends. Don’t underestimate the influence these stories shared over casual dinner conversations. These are usually one of the most powerful impressions you can leave with someone who’s experiencing the organization for the very first time.

I don’t think that there is a magic bullet in solving for experience. Organizations that are committed to creating wonderful experiences all around have something in common. They pay attention to tiny details, listens with an intention to do better. We don’t have to list these organizations out, I’m sure you’ll be able to experience it for yourself as you come by these really wonderful companies.

Here’s one of my recent experience with a team of highly talented and passionate entrepreneurs from WorkbondAmir Palmén and Ryan Cohn. And I thought that they’ve done something really amazing with the platform that they’ve built which might help many organizations create a fun social experience for all their employees.

They’ve approached employee engagement by taking a simple desire in all human beings to want to connect and interact socially and building a platform enabling employees from all over the world to connect with one and other over common interests.

While we can all say, that’s not too hard to do. After all, we all have emails and instant messengers. We know how to talk to one another right? What we often overlook is that these conversations don’t often happen spontaneously in a workplace. Even if it does, it stays as watercooler talks and on the few occasions develop into full blown activities. One of my clients recently wanted to hire someone with part of the job scope to organize employee engagement activates.

What Workbond provided was a platform created with an intention for employees to gather around interest and get together to bond, lowering the barrier to organizing activities. And that’s what many organizations had been doing with the mostly HR led activities created to foster togetherness. I had the privilege to participate and experience the interaction myself, and I have to say, it was fascinating! (I was part of the San Jose Sharks channel – oh boy, it was fun!)

While the focus of a platform like Workbond is around an interest centric platform for employees to bond, and I guess that how many of us would had described it. What we may not had realized is that, with the interaction between employees across departments and regions, comes the benefit of a more tightly knitted organization, allowing an organization to form a strong identity.

An organization’s identity is a direct product of the people that forms that organization, and there is absolutely no way you can “write that identity into a policy”. By creating a social network within an organization might just serve as that large mixing bowl for the different personalities to come together and forge one unique identify.

In my short experience with team from Workbond, I have to say, that I can clearly see a unique organization culture and identity on their internal social network. It felt like being invited to their “virtual workplace online” and feeling the culture real time. If they’re hiring, this would be an organization I would love to be a part of! And that’s the power of creating an amazing experience.

Do you have a story about your experience with your organization? Or an organization that you’ve interacted with that’s left you a deep impression? Do share that via the comments below!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

“HR”! Finding the Human Relevance!


Many of the folks that’s spoken with me recently would know that in the last couple months, my life’s been revolving around the word “Relevance”. Yes, I’m searching high and low for search relevance engineers, and for those of you who knows about this very interesting space, it is darn hard finding good candidates.

So, how did the word “Relevance” become the topic of my blog today?

This is all thanks to a group of very interesting individuals. A table full of thought-provoking HR leaders, coming together for lunch and a rather futuristic topic of what tomorrow’s HR would look like. I must say, it was a hugely entertaining conversation, a little depressing, but mostly forward looking.

As we looked at the role of HR in the organizations of today, there was a rather clear definition of what business partnering versus transaction work looked like. So, I guess the whole idea of a Business Partnering (BP)/ Center of Excellence (COE)/ Operations and Transaction model is pretty much the standard in many organizations today.

We took a deeper dive into what does HR really stand for in today’s context and how does technology such as automation, AI and everything that we have yet to comprehend changes that. While there is a strong agreement that at the most basic level, the personnel administration part of HR would still remain, we all agree that the advancement of automation, and AI will drastically change the way employees engages with HR for such transactions.

“Self-service” is definitely becoming a norm, with some organizations moving to the use of chatbots to automate some of their frontend engagements, providing for faster service turnaround, which also in turn reduces the load and need for human intervention.

One may argue that this would lack the personal touch, but with improving technologies in AI and chatbots, that is soon becoming a thing of the past.

So, if the transactional piece of HR can be replaced by technology, surely as HR practitioners, we would need to find relevance in what we do in at a more strategic level and not compete with the robots for transaction work.

Surely, the human brains would be irreplaceable when it comes to decision making, or is that also now threaten by the rise of robots?

One of my favorite phases that I picked up last Friday was, “There is data and there is human. The result is a permutation of which human sees what data!”.

When we look at the emerging trends around big data, and how we’re able to analyze and present data in a way that enables us to predict and make sensible decisions. It becomes increasingly clear that the role of HR from here on is no longer in crunching that data and advising our business leaders on the multiple different outcomes.

The business leaders have a dashboard and a fancy tool for that these days. So, if as business partners, we are advising, and not making those decisions, how fast do you think that function can be replaced by AI?

If we look at the methodologies that we adopt and bring to our business, these are not complicated principals to grasp. Someone commented that “9 boxes are not that complicated, I’ve worked with a business leader that ran an entire exercise on his own!”.

I know of 2 camps of HR practitioners. On one camp, the forward-looking ones that are trying to work themselves out of a job. On the other, the anxious one that fear the day when there’s no longer any value they can bring to table.

I have to be honest. There was a point where I started to get a little depressed with how HR today’s turning out. For me, HR needs to move beyond finding relevance in everyday transactions and understand what drives the business forward.

It will not be with one lunch conversation, we would change the definition of HR and what it stands for. However, for me, it serves as a reminder that the very world of HR that I’ve built my entire career on is changing, and fast.

I read in an article that with industrial revolution, humans are merely the interim solution to what technology couldn’t achieve decades ago. While that’s a depressing thought, and perhaps it will be some time before “Skynet” takes over, we do live in the present and still have a job to do.

If you ask me what is the role of HR tomorrow? My answer is simple. The fundamental role of HR hasn’t changed. It is to integrate the “human” resources as a part of the organization. The thing that’s changed is the world around us, mindset of the new generation, technology, business environment, etc. It’s like making a cake, the cake is still the cake, we just have fancier tools and new ingredients to work with!

What’s your take on the “Role of HR tomorrow?”, do share them in the comments below and have a wonderful week ahead!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

The future of “Work”


“Work” as we know it has evolved over the years. The organizations of today are a lot more sophisticated than those of yesteryears. I remember not too long ago, where the function of HR (Human Resources) was catering to just personnel administration and management. In fact, in those days, the “HR” function was referred to as the “Personnel Department”. While we can argue that this is merely a choice of words, we all can agree that we’ve come a long way in the evolution of the function. Today, the HR function plays a much more strategic role in the organization.

We’ve all heard about the “Gig Economy”, and the first thing that came to mind are “freelancers” and “contractors” who would engage with an organization for the duration of a project or assignment. While we are not entirely wrong in this assumption, in fact, I would say we are mostly right about this, the fundamental reason why we think this way is due to the traditional role base structure of an organization. We think of an organization as an entity with a predefined structure, and within that structure, there are relatively well-defined roles and we would staff those roles with employees (be it full time, or otherwise) to do the job.

As the organization undergo a slow evolution in its structure, the one thing that we all become very familiar with the increasing engagement of termed employees or contractors in bid of reducing the full-time headcount. Coupled with the increasing trend that tenure in employees are getting shorter, which is due to many different reasons, employees today are evaluating jobs and employment much differently than the previous generations.

This creates challenges on multiple fronts. From the organization to job design perspective and creating meaningful experience to maintain deep engagement with employees throughout their career lifecycle with the company. This also changes the way we define an employer’s value proposition (EVP).

In a recent article by John Boudreau, “Are Freelancers Your Best Performers? Applying Organizational Network Analysis to the Gig Economy” , he talked about looking at the interaction between employees in an organization and that going beyond the traditional org chart. Citing an example from Rob Cross’s work where he applied the ONA on the exploration and production division of a large petroleum organization, we can see the communication map is drastically different to the organization setup.

This got me thinking about the role in which these individuals play and how their job description (JD) would look like. (Ok, I confess. That’s because I was just rewriting the JD for one of the role I’m recruiting for).

Going along with the point that I’m making, if we dissect the “job” that they are doing and compares the individual tasks to the tasks in a project, a “job” is essentially made up of different tasks. Taking that one step further into this “gig economy” discussion, essentially, what needs to be done in an organization would comprise of many tasks. Keeping that in mind, and putting on our radical thinking cap, let’s just say, we put a price tag against each of these tasks, and have a bunch of individuals “build” a “role” by picking/ bidding on these tasks. The amount of money they make will be based on the number of tasks that they can complete and turnaround, and the premium for the “proven quality/ reliability” in completing those tasks.

I’m going to push that idea a step further. Organizations of the future can than look at this group of “Top Performing” individuals and work on a baseline retainer to buy time slots (commitment) so as to guarantee capacity.

In this model, the concept of “work” will become one that is decentralized and itemized. Theoretically, we will break free from the traditional role-based organization and move towards a task-based one. In doing so, we might even mitigate issues such as gender pay parity and workforce efficiency.

Just some crazy thoughts that I needed to get out of my system. (Must be too much JD writing this week). If you’ve made it all the way to this point in my article, thanks for the patience and attention. What’s your thoughts on this? Do share your comments and I would love to hear from you and maybe seek some assurance that I’m not going crazy! Happy Thursday (almost Friday).

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Eric Wong is APAC Head of Talent Acquisition at Equinix. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong

Is “Flexible Work” feasible in a production, manufacturing environment?


I’ve spoken quite a fair bit on the topic of a flexible work arrangement and its benefits. However, as many of us would agree, the concept of a flexible work culture seemed to be more prevalent in specific industries or function. And those industries or functions often don’t include the manufacturing and production folks.

During a recent HR event, this very topic came up as part of a discussion I was engaged in with a fellow HR leader. We had a very spontaneous discussion around the topic, which I felt had some really good takeaways, which could help organizations in the manufacturing, production or even call center space when they are exploring the topic.

One of the first “objections” that came up during the discussion was that “we need someone to press the button on the production floor physically, and until we find a way to do that from home, we cannot have a flexible work arrangement”.

The thing is, there is a serious misconception that flexible work equals to work from home. That is just one of the many features of a flexible work arrangement. There are other factors to consider when offering a flexibility at work. There’s “Time”, “Location”, and even “Scope of work”.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the factor of “Time” and “Scope of work”, and let’s put this discussion into the manufacturing and production environment. We will do this by looking at the needs of the 2 parties, employer and employee.

One of the key constraints we face in the manufacturing/ production environment is the need for physical labor. Thus, as an employer, we will need the employees to be physically around to work!

Now, looking from the employee’s angle, one of the modern day issues that an employee has to deal with is the increasing demand on his/ her “time”. The make up of a modern family in most developed countries is much smaller. Many families also have a dual career track, which changed the dynamics and support infrastructure compared to decades ago.

The demand for family time and care is still there, but the availability of that “time” becomes a scarcity.

What’s more, the concept of a “8 hour work day” as we know it today is over a hundred years old. (You can read all about it on wiki) I guess it’s about time we need to relook at this very concept.

Coming back to the example of the manufacturing/ production environment. There are 2 factors that we need to consider when managing production capacity and planning for manpower demand.

  • Uptime – How long we need the production line to run?
    Will there be a need for shift coverage to maintain a certain level of production time ensuing a certain volume of output?
  • Competency – What skillset is required to operate the equipment/ to function for the specific task? And to what degree of competency?

For the many of us who’s taken a “Uber” car before would be familiar with the multiplier which is applied to the fare. It’s a love-hate relationship we have with this multiplier. During the peak hours, that multiplier could cause your fare to increase exponentially.

However, if we look at this from a supply-demand perspective, it’s an ingenious way to utilize real-time data to solve a capacity issue. (Higher multiplier would generally encourage more drivers to hit the roads, thus increasing the supply)

Let’s take a page out of Uber’s playbook. Employees are assigned a specific shift and station by default. Providing them a self service platform to swap shift and function would allow a great deal of flexibility for them to manage their time.

To compensate for shifts/ functions that are less desired, a multiplier on wage could be applied which will help balance supply-demand ratio.

If we take this one step further, we can move away from a 12 hours or 8 hours shift to having 4 hours blocks. This way there can be a lot more flexibility in time management.

Logic and rules can be built into the selection and scheduling algorithm to help mitigate impact on productivity and mandatory rest time for employees (from a health safety perspective).

There is another factor that we need to address. Depending on the training and qualification process, employees would have different selection made available to them based on their competency level.

By adopting the system, we will be able to create a self-motivation for employees to seek additional training and qualification in order to increase the selection for functions.

Putting the lens back on the employer, this will also allow a much more efficient skills inventory system.

While there are a lot more considerations and work that’s needed to put this into production (pun intended), I hope this article would serve as a starting point to a deeper conversation, in turn creating a real flexible work environment for all.

Cheers and happy weekend!

Eric

Me and my new Job!


It’s been a couple of months since I’ve last blogged. For those who have been following my updates, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve just embarked on an exciting new journey with Johnson & Johnson.

As with every new employee, I’ve developed an insatiable appetite to learn everything about the organization that I’ve just joined.

I am delighted to come across a very interesting article on Business Insider today “The 30 most meaningful companies to work for in America” mentioning Johnson & Johnson as one of the top 30 most meaningful company to work for in 2015, adding on to the long list of positive feedback from the many people who have congratulated me on my new gig.

Looking back on my personal experience over the last couple of months as Johnson & Johnson and I come to a decision that we are suitable for each other, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount emphasis that I’ve placed on aligning my personal values against that of Johnson & Johnson’s. I was trying to make sure that I do find meaning in work.

I’ve always taken a practical approach when advising people on their careers, thus a move to a different industry is something that I tend to be extra careful about. Thus, as soon as I send in my application for the role, I started to do my research on Johnson & Johnson.

The one thing that really impresses me is Johnson & Johnson’s credo. Our Credo challenges us to put the needs and well-being of the people we serve first. I remember feeling a strong sense of purpose and pride as I see myself being part of this amazing organization.

The next thing I looked at was the role itself. It is important for me to be able to do well in my new role. Thus I was determined to make sure that I not only be able to meet the expectations that comes with the job, but to exceed that expectation!

Last but not least, it is the people that make up the organization. Through the interactions with the different interviews, I got a good sense of the culture and working style. It is important to know if you’ll fit in with the rest of the folks.
Summing up, what’s been really important for me in coming to a decision was:

  1. Do my personal and organization values align?
  2. Can I do the job?
  3. Will I fit in?

I guess every one of us would have gone through or is going through the same thought process as we look to embark on a new journey, and I wish all those who are in midst of considering a new role the best.

For me, it’s been about 7 weeks since I’ve been on the job. It’s been a wonderful start to my new and career with Johnson & Johnson, and I look forward to a long and meaningful relationship with my new employer.

Cheers
Eric

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Eric Wong is ASEAN Talent Acquisition Leader at Johnson & Johnson. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

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Age doesn’t matter… It shouldn’t!


In a recent conversation with a close friend of mine, he commented that with age, everything seem to take more time.

It could be true in many ways. Like I can’t run as fast as I used to, but I was never fast to begin with.

However, he was referring to his job search, and how the many people he spoke with were politely turning him away. As much as he liked to believe that it’s due to his experience, but it is hard to imagine how a veteran like himself can be faulted for having too much or too little experience in something that he’s spent his whole life in.

As much as we tried to look away from conveniently attributing the lack of success to age, the signs were clear, and we ended up talking about the differences in approaching a job search.

I like to think that age’s got nothing to do with it. Thinking back, I’ve hired matured candidates, and one of things I’ve noticed is an immense amount of experience in their CV, which got me excited. It’s somewhat like finding a candidate that can do (or had done) practically everything we asked for in the JD.

As we talked about his job search adventures, we started listing out some very interesting observations and tips. While these are some generic job search tips, but my friend who’s a matured job seeker still found it very useful!

1) Chin up and keep the morale high
The truth is, regardless of age, a proper job search process will definitely take time. Yes, there are cases where the process is short. However, as you are looking to invest your next few years with an organisation, I’m sure you will also be looking to research and pick the best fit.

Thus, be prepared for a long process, and if something comes along sooner, it’s a bonus.

2) Leverage on technology
There are a lot of resources online. Such as Linkedin and Glassdoor just to name a few. A well put together online profile attracts recruiters. Some of the senior executives I know put in effort in making sure that their profile stays current and relevant.

Make use of the job alerts to keep you posted on what job’s available, so you don’t have to track it religiously.

3) Network!
It is an open secret that one of the most effective ways to land a job is through your professional network. Don’t worry if it’s not very big to begin with, work with something that you’re comfortable with.

From time to time, there will be networking sessions and conferences that is relevant to your industry and field of work. These are some of the best places to meet new people professionally.

Personally, I find Linkedin a good way to expand my network. You can start by joining groups and participating in some discussions.

Last buy not least, taking an online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) course and participating in the discussion forums could be an interesting way to meet people of similar interest. You end up learning something new and useful in the process. I did various programs with Coursera and found it very useful.

4) Know where the jobs are
According to a survey by JobVite on Social Recruiting, 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts and 78% of recruiters have made a hire through social media.

Increasingly, recruiters are moving towards recruiting via social media.

This doesn’t mean that more traditional channels such as newspaper, and online job boards doesn’t work anymore. It just means that you probably find more jobs via the social media platforms.

5) What do you really want to do?
A lot of candidates I talk to seemed to be able to do a wide range of jobs. Thinking back, when you’ve been working for so many years, I can see how that could be the case.

While it is good to sound versatile, and able to take on a wide variety of tasks, sometimes, it can work against you. You can either come across as someone who doesn’t know what you want, a jack of all trade or just over qualified for the role.

A savvy candidate would first seek to understand what the role entails and speak specifically to the role and its requirements.

Having said that, being specific doesn’t mean you need to sell yourself short. You can pick up specific segment of your experience to emphasis and elaborate, addressing the specific job requirements.

I wish you all the best in your job search.

Cheers

Eric Wong

Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC”. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.