Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December Hiring Myth

December is often mistaken as a month of “nothing happening” on the hiring front. An idea exists that hiring managers push off the selection process until January either to save money on the old year’s budget or to avoid the time associated with starting a new employee during the busy schedule that accompanies end-of-year deadlines and holiday vacations.

But the December myth is just that, a myth. In fact, many hiring managers actually feel increased pressure to fill open slots before the end of the year.

People who wait or think that those December jobs might be available after the first of the year might miss a golden opportunity. The end of the year often brings “use them or lose them” deadlines at many companies. If hiring managers don't fill open positions before the New Year, they risk losing the open slots.

So what should your company do to be certain the hiring process doesn’t slow down during December?  Here are some things to consider.

1.    1.  Is your website mobile responsive? With the smart phone, many people do not even use a laptop anymore.

2.     2. Once the candidates can find the jobs, how easy is it for them to apply? Too many pages and forms to fill out and candidates will move on to a more user-friendly job opening.

3.    3.  Do you have an employee referral program? Do your employees know what it is? Share this information with your employees on a regular basis.

4.     4. Avoid scheduling challenges for interviews when hiring managers are traveling. Thanks to the accessibility of video conferencing capabilities, many resources are available to conduct the interviews via video conference. Utilize this tool to your advantage during this time of year.

5.    5.  Don’t let a lot of time go by from the first time you interview the candidate to the second interview. If you like the candidate, move quickly in the interview process. Chances are that you are not the only company who is interested in hiring this person.

6.     6. Make certain your hiring managers are educated on the state of the current job market. It should be a priority to interview candidates as soon as possible or risk losing the great candidates to proactive hiring managers.

7.     7. Flexible contract workers help to fill in the gaps during the hiring process. 

Scot Dickerson, CPC 
Capstone Search

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Why Should You Always View a Person's LinkedIn Profile Before Accepting Their Request?

There is no question about it, we depend more and more on technology to do our jobs. The technology we use can be a wonderful tool, naturally, but it also creates more opportunity for thieves to gain access to our financial information or infect us with whatever the flavor of the day virus happens to be.

We have to stay on our toes constantly to avoid any number of scams happening on a daily basis. We are all familiar with the emails asking for help because the person is stranded in a foreign country. Typically when I get these I’ve never heard of the person, but today I received one from someone I actually know. Well, their name anyway.

I can spot these things a mile away. But these people doing these scams are getting better and better and more sophisticated all the time. Much of it simply comes down to common sense. But a good rule of thumb is to never open a link emailed to you unless you can verify the source as credible.

These scam artists have now made their way into LinkedIn. It was just a matter of time. But it again is just about being aware. Keeping your eyes wide open. Don’t open links from any one of your connections unless you can verify that this is a real person.

Yes, fake profiles are being added to LinkedIn every day for the sole purpose of scamming you or infecting your computer. Many people simply accept requests from other LinkedIn users without even looking at their profile. So a good word of advice: always check out the person’s profile before you accept the invitation. But review it closely. You might be surprised what you find out.

This applies to recruiters as well. If you get an invite from a recruiter, please check them out. Make certain they are a real recruiter.

To get deeper into this topic I’d like to share a link to an article, How Hackers are using fake LinkedIn profiles to steal your information.

By the way, this is link is from a trusted source, me!

Scot Dickerson, CPC

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

U.S. Work Visas - How Many Are There?

Did you know there are almost 60 different types of temporary U.S. visas in addition to several routes to permanent residence (known as a “green card”)? Unfortunately, green card applications usually take a long time, so even if this is the ultimate goal, you will probably need to begin by applying for a temporary work visa.

So let's lay this out as this topic is oftentimes a discussion with both our clients and candidates who have questions about the processes. There are three main categories of U.S. work visas for professionals. I hope this information proves helpful, and will serve as a resource to you the next time a situation pertaining to visas arises.

The H1B visa is probably the most well know. This is for Specialty Occupation Workers.

Congress determines how large the H1B quota should be. These quotas can run out rather early in the fiscal year.

The US H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine. Under the visa a US company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years.

Applying for a non-immigrant visa is generally quicker than applying for a US Green Card, therefore the H-1B visa is popular for companies wishing to bring in staff for long-term assignment in the US.

Individuals are not able to apply for an H1B visa to allow them to work in the US. The employer must petition for entry of the employee.

The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  1. Have a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent.
  2. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
  3. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
  4. The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree.

For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Have completed a US bachelor's or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
  2. Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
  3. Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
  4. Have education, training, or experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

Canadians can often gain entry to the US with greater ease than others; this preferential treatment for Canadians is linked to treaty provisions within the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

While there are many NAFTA related visas, the most useful one is the TN1. The TN1 visa was modeled on the H1B; it may only be used where the employer is based in the US, and the candidate is a professional in a specialty occupation.

Where a candidate, by their profession and nationality, qualifies for the TN1 visa, it has the following advantages over the H1B:

  1. It is granted for one year, but can continue to be renewed indefinitely.
  2. It can be applied for at the border with the US, and is usually granted immediately.
  3. The documentary requirements and procedure is far less burdensome than the H1B visa.
  4. The TN1 is granted for a specific employer. If needed for more than one employer, multiple TN1 applications need to be made. Self-employed professionals would not be able to come under this particular visa category, and may consider the E2 Treaty Investor category under NAFTA.

While it is possible to apply under the TN1 visa with minimal documentation, it is prudent for candidates to arm themselves with the following documents at the border with the US:

  1. A description of the position from the US employer. This should also confirm that the candidate will be a direct employee, and state the salary level. Further, some information about the nature of the employer's business should be included.
  2. Proof of the candidate's qualifications, including, where appropriate, confirmation of the US equivalency of any foreign qualifications.
  3. A copy of the candidate's resume (curriculum vitae).
  4. The original Canadian passport (if applicable), and, if relevant, copies of the candidate's previous passports, visa stamps, and I-94s.
  5. A copy of the employment contract.

The F1 visa category is reserved for academic students enrolled in colleges, universities, and other academic institutions. Upon graduation, the F1 student may apply for the OPT (Optional Practical Training)visa program. Students studying with an F1 visa are eligible to work in the USA under the OPT visa program, which affords the student the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in an academic program to a practical work experience. Any employment opportunity that the student encounters must be directly related to his or her major field of study in order to qualify as OPT. OPT may be full or part time, depending on the circumstances and may take place anywhere in the country. F1 students can transfer / change status directly from F1 to H1B by obtaining a suitable H1B sponsorship position with an H1B sponsor company. However, many students choose (or find themselves requiring) to use the OPT visa program as an interim measure in the overall process of getting to H1B visa status. 

Scot Dickerson, CPC 
Capstone Search

One Stop Shop for the Job Seeker: Career Strategies Quickguide

Through the years I’ve written numerous articles and blogs about various points of the interview process. These information writings have included topics such as the following:

And the list goes on...

I was quite pleased to run across this Career Strategies Quick Guide created by Human Resources Services, Inc. There are endless resources available to job seekers, but what I like about this Quickguide is that it pulls it all together into one simplified resource for the job seeker.

Here it is:

You've all heard the saying "knowledge is power". This is especially true when applied to the interview process. You will have the power it takes to win the job if you enter the interview process prepared!

HRS has proudly released for viewing the revised adaptation of a well-received HRS Career Strategies Quickguide. After extensive research and partnership with thousands of world class corporate hiring authorities plus the successful guidance of tens of thousands through the job search process, we know we've answered here the most critical and frequently asked questions...

Scot Dickerson, Capstone Search

Resume Writing Services: Good Value or Bad Deal?

When involved in a career search every detail is equally important. We talk about the interview process and how to prepare and present. We talk about what to say and what not to say. However, what typically gets you the interview? The marketing piece of course. So what is the marketing piece you ask? It is simply your resume.

If you’ve been job searching for some time without success, it may not be what you’re saying, but how you’re coming across on paper. That’s where a resume writer can be a good resource tool for you.  Resume writers are not just professional writers, but they’re experts in making your resume stand out from the rest of the applicant pool.

Here’s why a resume writer could be a good investment for you.

  1. Let’s say you’re not gifted in the art of writing. Let’s face it, not everyone is, just like everyone can’t be an actuary. Everyone has their individual strengths and weaknesses.
  2. So if crunching numbers and manipulating data is your game and not words, and you find yourself struggling to express your previous work experience...well a resume writer can help. He/she can discern what needs to be on your resume (and perhaps more importantly, what doesn't), and express it all professionally.
  3. You might need an expert to help you through the writing process if you have a hard time talking about yourself, much less writing it all down on paper. There's no shame in getting help with this because writing about yourself is one of the toughest assignments, and you're often your own worst critic.
  4. A professional resume writer will know how to spotlight your most worthy accomplishments because they are looking at them with fresh, unbiased eyes. Let them turn your resume into something that’s personable and professional. 

If you want to make a professional resume, take advantage of resume writing services. All people who are either weak in writing or cannot organize their ideas, thoughts, experiences and qualifications, can take assistance of these resume writing services. However, you should take care of the reputation of the service providers. This is an internet world and you will come by hundreds of fraudulent service providers who are after your money.

We have come across a service that we feel comfortable recommending to job seekers. If you need assistance with your resume check out Pinnacle Resumes. You can learn more about Pinnacle Resumes by clicking here.

Scot Dickerson, CPC
Capstone Search