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So you’re single. (Again.) Maybe someone recently exited or was dismissed and you’re looking for a replacement. Or perhaps there have been some recent developments and you find yourself searching for the right person to add to your team. Either way, you know you’re ready to mingle, with the end goal of finding a longtime teammate.

So, according to Full Life Cycle Recruitment strategies, what should come first?

1. Understanding Your Goals

Dating is a disaster if you don’t have a good understanding of who you are, what your needs are, and what is non-negotiable in a partner. Evaluate your situation and having a clear and appealing description of what you’re looking for is vital to positively represent your brand (in this case, yourself) and attract the best candidates. Similarly, a strategic recruiter will research everything they can about the open position to get the best possible idea of the model candidate.

2. Determining and Carrying Out Your Strategy

After you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to devise a plan on where and how to find it. Ideally, this will be one that saves both time and money. You need to identify your talent pools and figure out a way to reach them. When trying to get a date, people typically do all the things a recruiter might. They’ll post a personal ad in the local paper (advertisement for the job opening), ask their friends to set them up (ask for referrals), connect on social media (networking), scour the dating websites (job boards!), visit new places (attend interest groups), and maybe even flip through their little black book (database scrapping, anyone?). It’s also important to differentiate yourself during this stage to reduce competition, since we all know top talent isn’t on the market for long.

3. Interviewing/Candidate Assessment

How isn’t a first date like a job interview? This is the “getting to know you” stage where you might be talking to multiple candidates at the same time, with the goal of narrowing it down to one. If the candidates are impressive in the first interview, they get to go on a second. Just like dating there are different kinds of interviews and assessment techniques: phone calls, background checks (Facebook stalking?), soft skills evaluation, meeting the co-workers/friends, and possibly even technical evaluation, if you want your future boyfriend to be able to fix your computer when it crashes.

4. The Offer and Placement

Okay, here’s where it begins to get a little dicey. In this stage of recruitment, the protocol is pretty clear: make an offer, negotiate, and manage the hiring process and orientation if the candidate accepts. Ideally, dating would be this clear-cut. You have the “talk”, negotiate the terms of your relationship, and then adapt this person into your life. Perhaps if steps 1-3 are followed perfectly you can increase your chances of a harmonious transition.

5. Following Up

After the new role is established, it’s important to maintain that relationship to avoid turnover, which is depressing and expensive, not to mention a major waste of time. Open communication will reduce conflicts or issues down the road. Now comes the part where dating is almost 100% not like recruiting, or at least shouldn’t be. Even in the case that a candidate turns down the interview or offer, a recruiter might try to keep that connection positive and viable. If something changes in the future to draw that candidate back in, or if that candidate could refer someone just as qualified, it’s not a bridge you should be burning.

But if someone rejects you and your offer while dating, you’d be better off lighting that fire and never looking back.

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한국어: 대한민국의 나라문장 English: The coat of arms of S...

한국어: 대한민국의 나라문장 English: The coat of arms of South Korea Español: escudo de Corea del Sur 日本語: 大韓民国の国章 中文: 大韩民国国徽 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog is mainly for transitioning into HR, but today I’d like to write more about cultural transition. I’m a huge advocate for working abroad and I truly believe that without global knowledge you are limiting your professional and personal opportunities.

I’ve been back in the States for just over a month now, so between job hunting and trying to stay on top of all things HR-related, I’ve had some time to think about the transition from Asia back to the USA. While the big move has been smoother than I thought it would be, there have been a few unexpected challenges along the way.

In the beginning, the hardest part was getting over the jet lag. They say it takes one day per every hour in the time difference – and they were right. (South Korea is 14-15 hours ahead of Chicago, by the way.) Despite being awake at odd hours it felt almost too easy to get back into a few old routines. Some were nice, like driving to the mall while listening to the radio or spending a weekend with my family. Other habits needed to be restricted, like eating CHEESE for every meal and watching reality TV. I wouldn’t want to further enforce the typical “American” stereotype I’ve fought against for the past 3.5 years.

Everyone had warned me about the reverse culture shock, which I had experienced during previous visits back to the US: the momentary surprise when hearing little kids speaking English, seeing non-Asian employees at the airport, and even the terrible customer service at shops in the mall. Coming back this time around will be even worse, I thought. But the culture “shock” hasn’t been so shocking at all. Maybe I knew what to expect, so this time it’s more like small realizations that pop up now and then that remind me how every day life is very much influenced by our country and culture.

I’ll give you a couple of examples.

One of the “challenges” I found myself facing is the ridiculous amount of CHOICES I have here in America. I was so excited to go to the grocery store once I got back, but when I stepped in and looked just at the cereal aisle, I knew I was in over my head. Likewise, my choices at the movie theater have now increased at least x10. I’m not saying I don’t like having all these choices, but now I wonder how much more of my time will be wasted researching what product I’m willing to spend my money on.

Koreans have just as many wants and needs as Americans, but our economy is less dominated by particular companies and organizations, increasing competition. In Korea, the winners are clear.

Another challenge was every time I came back to the States from Korea I would get a little “shock” or sometimes a bit nervous about social situations. It took me a little getting used to, but after a month or so in Korea I had pretty much gotten all the acceptable social behavior down, e.g. bowing when greeting/saying goodbye, handing something to another person with two hands, facing away when drinking in the presence of elders, etc. So after doing all these things for months and months on end, I had to remind myself that it wasn’t necessary in America.

I remember worrying about accidentally shaking someone’s hand using both hands during a job interview in America, since it is a sign of politeness and respect to do so in Korea and I had done it for so long. While I might still hand something over using both hands, I realized practice makes perfect. And honestly, I’d rather be too polite than not polite at all. Thank you for that, Korea.

Overall, like I mentioned before, the transition has been a smooth one with very few bumps. But this is coming back to my home country, where I spent most of my life. The transition to Korea was much more challenging than anything I’ve ever done in my life. But it was also the best decision I’ve ever made. Sometimes the hardest decisions to make turn out to be the ones that are impossible to regret. I can only hope that my decision to move back to the States and pursue a career in HR will be as rewarding as the one I made 3.5 years ago.

So far, so good.

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A few days ago I stumbled upon a link to a great video posted by SHRM titled “How to get HIRED — tips for HR pros looking for jobs.” While it is short (just 1:57), the video is very inspiring and helpful for those looking to advance their HR career. I have found that getting advice and insight from successful HR professionals, whether it be in person or through the media, can make a huge difference in your job search if you use and apply it correctly. While this video contains the contributions of several different HR Professionals, I was able to pick out a few common themes.

The first speaker on the video is Karen Rieck, a VP of HR. Ms. Rieck talks about the importance of continuing your education and developing yourself through certifications (PHR, SPHR, GPHR) and advanced schooling. I couldn’t agree more on the topic. By not furthering your education you will be falling behind those who are. Never let your skills become stagnant, especially those related to your field of interest. Human Resources is such a diverse and ever-changing career field; you must stay on top of your game. Ms. Rieck also mentions she looks for someone with an interest in the whole business and who “takes on challenges outside of HR.” Your knowledge and your experiences will not only give you the chance to develop your skills, but show your character and what you may have to offer the organization. I touched on this in my last post about transferable skills from previous experiences.

Brian Cox, an HR Operations Director, is the second contributor to the video. Like Ms. Rieck, he also acknowledges that he looks for a candidate with interest in continuously advancing their education. Another quality Mr. Cox recognizes as important for HR professionals is global experience, e.g. working for an international company or working abroad. So once again, we realize how important it is for us to keep learning and take on unique challenges. I believe experience is a part of learning, too. To create a diverse workplace, an organization needs diverse employees. If you have a distinguishing experience, such as working on an international scale, you will be more qualified to add to that diversity, as well as adapt to a new environment.

Although Kellie Dunn-Doggeman, HR Manager, had the shortest contribution to the video, her message was quite clear. In the modern business, globalization is very real and happening for more companies every day. Since interaction with foreign countries, people, and businesses is rapidly increasing, an organization will not only look for HR professionals with international experience, but multi-lingual skills as well. Despite the fact that English is the most prevalent language used in business, we cannot (and should not) always expect that other countries to conform to us. By showing respect and knowledge in other cultures, we have a greater chance for success.

The last speaker on the video is Lisa Kluczinsky, HR Manager. I liked her contribution because she mentioned what we all have heard and acknowledge as important, but what very few people actually do: research the job you are applying for and show your passion for the position. There are many ways of educating yourself, and researching companies is one of those ways. Hiring managers want to see not only your interest in HR, but your interest in the organization as well. Be prepared to answer questions, such as why you want to work for that particular company, and even why you want to work in HR. That extra step could be what pushes you ahead of the rest.

Overall, I believe there’s a lot we can take away from this video, but as I mentioned before, there are some common themes we need to take note of. A successful HR Professional continues developing themselves through education, certifications, global experience, and research. They take on challenges and are passionate about what they do. After watching this video, I feel a renewed confidence in my future as a Human Resources Professional and excitement for the experiences and opportunities a career in HR has to offer.

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