Friday, 13 October 2017

7 Employee Qualities You Must Prioritize When Hiring

You want to hire someone who will work well in an individual context, but also as a member of a broader team. You want to find someone who knows what they're doing, but whose salary is within the company's budget. You want to take the time to get to know someone, but you may be facing pressure to fill your vacant position quickly.
With all these considerations, making a hire is a multifaceted balancing act, and it can be hard to whittle down which factors are most important for your decision. In my experience, I've found that the following seven qualities are absolute must-haves--if your candidate doesn't have them, you can rule him/her out as a possibility. If your candidate does have them, any other benefits he/she brings to the table are icing on the cake:

1. Communicative. Your interview is the perfect time to determine how effective your candidate is at communicating. While some jobs, like being an account executive or a writer, demand communication skills as a primary responsibility, all jobs require effective communication to some degree. Your candidate will be reporting to a supervisor or instructing subordinates, writing reports and emails, and participating in meetings. Use your interview to gauge how articulate your candidate is and how easy it is to understand him/her. If you find that your candidate cannot accurately express his/her thoughts and ideas throughout the interview, it's best to move on to other options.

2. Disciplined. Discipline is what drives people to achieve their goals. It makes people more productive, keeping them moving even while unmotivated, and makes them more focused, eliminating distractions to focus on what's important. You can generally tell how disciplined your candidates are based on how they arrive and interact in the context of the interview. Are they sharply dressed or sloppy? Were they five minutes early, or late to the interview? What type of hobbies and interests do they have--do they live a disciplined lifestyle even outside of work?

3. Passionate. Employees who are passionate about what they do are far more likely to be productive and successful during the course of their stay, and they're going to be happier doing it. That means they'll stick with you for the long haul as long as you enable their passions, and they'll be more likely to find creative alternative solutions to problems when they arise, rather than ignoring them or finding temporary workarounds. "Finding passionate employees can be difficult, but its important that whoever you hire is excited about what they do. Passionate employees often take on more responsibilities and roles outside of their normal job description which is crucial too early start ups" says Jay Hostetter, CTO of Infographics. Space. You can identify passionate candidates based on how they act when they talk about their previous positions and what they like to do. Do their eyes seem to light up when they talk about it or do they sit back with an effortless monotone voice?

4. Ambitious. There's a sharp difference between average candidates, who are merely looking to fill a role and receive a paycheck, and ambitious candidates, who are self-driven to accomplish something greater. Sometimes that means wanting to work their way up the corporate ladder. Sometimes that means wanting to push the industry forward with newer, better ideas. How that ambition manifests itself is not nearly as important as the simple fact that the ambition is there. Ambition leads to self-motivation, and without that, eventually your candidate will find him/herself frustrated or tired of work.

5. Positive. A little positivity goes a long way, even in a large firm. Attitudes are contagious, meaning the overall positivity or negativity of the individual candidates you introduce will bear an impact on the health and mental attitude of the entire group. By gradually introducing more and more positive, optimistic candidates, you'll shape the atmosphere of your company for the better. Optimistic workers work harder, happier, and together more productively. Look for positivity in how your candidate responds to questions about his/her past--does he/she bring up lots of challenges, problems, and complaints, or more successes, insights, and opportunities?

6. Culturally Fit. This quality is entirely subjective, because each office's company culture is unique. What may be a cultural fit for the giant financial firm downtown may not be a cultural fit for the mom-and-pop caf in the hip neighborhood. This is a question of personality and of team dynamics, as you'll want a person who feels at home in the culture you've established, and someone who can work easily with your other employees. Peter Kim says, "Finding a candidate who has a personality and passion that's in line with your company is important, especially in the beginning. Having someone who gets along with the team while being able to satisfy the company's objective keeps the energy positive and momentum going." Make sure you ask some personality-focused questions during the interview to uncover these qualities.

7. Honest. Honesty is hard to come by, but it's critical if you want a candidate to become a successful employee. Honest evaluations allow subordinates to improve their performance. Honest feedback allows processes to improve and productivity to increase. Honest conversations prevent some problems and allow others to be resolved faster. There's no way to directly ask your candidate if he/she is an honest person--as the answer is always yes--but if you find out that your candidate has deliberately lied on his/her resume or in the interview, you should probably find a different candidate.
Be sure to prioritize these seven qualities when making a new hire. No matter how hard you try, you'll never find a "perfect" candidate, but if you fill your team with people who exhibit these qualities, it's hard to go too wrong.


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Friday, 6 October 2017

These skills will help you survive layoffs -

The IT sector in India is currently undergoing a major transition. Technology and business shifts are impacting its growth and that of the employees alike. There is a constant fear of layoffs across the IT sector and the need of the hour is to re-skill employees to cut this risk for them and companies.

The IT industry is based on talent and skills, and both are mobile entities. A lot of work at the bottom of the pyramid is getting delegated what with automation and robotics making way. As per industry insiders, over 56,000 jobs will be lost this year itself in the top 7 IT companies alone.

With campus recruitment's slowing down, those entering the IT workforce in the next 3 years would have to work hard to get themselves employed. This is excluding the fact that they will compete with those who have already lost their jobs. Those who retain their jobs will see lesser salary growth, zero bonuses, and a work environment that requires them to be highly competitive.

There are three fundamental changes happening in the IT landscape: IT Process Automation, Programming languages and frameworks, and Big Data/AI/ML.

● IT Process Automation Lot of IT development and support activities which were done manually earlier have been automated. For example, manual testing has given way to automation testing, manual build and deployment activities have given way to DevOps related tools which automate whole workflow etc.

● Programming languages and frameworks Most of the new development is happening on new frameworks like MEAN (Mongo-Express- AngularJS-Node.js) and ReactJS.

C/C++/Java is making way for Python and JavaScript.

● Data Science/AI/ML Related This is an area which has matured over last decade and is causing total disruption. Thousands of support jobs are being replaced by chat bots and other AI/ML lead automations. Skills like R, Spark, Python, Tableu are seeing increased demand. These are relatively newer skills and that’s where lot of future jobs will be created.

No matter how dismal the picture may be with layoffs, there are new sectors within IT with thousands of job opportunities today. Some such emerging fields with a growing demand for skilled professionals are Analytics, Big data, Internet of things, AI, Robotics, Cloud computing and security, and Blockchain technology.
However, the existing working professionals do not possess these skills. With their knowledge limited to traditional skills which are no longer required, there is an increasing need to re-skill these professionals.

Some popular courses for professionals to re-skill themselves include DevOps, Machine Learning, Big Data Development, Full-Stack (MEAN) Development, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, and Android Development. There are also bundle courses such as Data Science Bundle, Big Data Architect, Web Development, and Mobile Bundle which are very intensive and makes sure you have all the skills needed to get employed in those technologies.

It is imperative for existing professionals to update themselves and read up on upcoming technologies. You can choose where your interest lies and identify the best way in which your previous experience and skills can be leveraged. Once this process is done, take a professional course. You could even do an internship with a startup.

Once you are re-skilled and back in the job market, you will be perceived differently and will also find it easier to get a job suited to your skills. It is important to not look at these layoffs as a discouragement but instead view it as an opportunity to reinvent and transform your skills and place in the professional world.
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Friday, 15 September 2017

How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae)

How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae)

A company you want to apply to has asked you to send in a CV and you're thinking, "wait..what?" Don't worry! Curriculum Vitae (CV) means "course of life" in Latin, and that is just what it i. A CV is a concise document which summarizes your past, existing professional skills, proficiency and experiences. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills (and some complementary ones) to do the job for which you are applying. Literally you are selling your talents, skills, proficiencies etc., Follow these steps to create a great CV.

1. Brainstorming for Your CV

  •  Know what information a CV generally contains. Most CVs include your personal information, your education and qualifications, your work experience, your interests and achievements, your skills, and references. Also experienced people tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Use a modern but professional format. However, there is no set format for a CV, what you include is up to you.
  •  Consider the job you are applying for. Research the company. A good CV is tailored to the specific job and company you are applying for. What does the company do? What is their mission statement? What do you think they are looking for in an employee? What skills does the specific job you are applying for require? These are all things to keep in mind when writing your CV.
  • Check the company’s website for extra information about the CV. See if there is any specific information they want you to list in your CV. There might be specific directions listed on the application page. Always double check this.
  •   Make a list of jobs you have held. These can be both jobs you hold currently and jobs you have held in the past. Include the dates that you began and ended your term at each particular job.
  • Brainstorm your hobbies and interests. Unique interests or hobbies will make you stand out. Be aware of the conclusions that might be drawn from your hobbies. Try to list hobbies that portray you as a team-oriented individual rather than as a solitary, passive person. Companies want someone who works well with others and can take charge if need be.
    • Hobbies and interests that paint a positive image: Being the captain of your soccer (or football) team, organizing a charity event for an orphanage, secretary of your school’s student-run government.
    • Hobbies that imply a passive, solitary personality: watching TV, doing puzzles, reading. If you are going to put any of these things, give a reason why. For instance, if you are applying for a job at a publishing house, put something like: I enjoy reading the great American writers such as Twain and Hemingway because I think their writing gives a unique perspective into American culture at the time they were writing.

  • Make a list of your relevant skills. These skills often include computing skills (are you a wiz at Wordpress? Excel? In Design? etc.), languages you speak, or specific things the company is looking for, such as targeted skills.

2. Writing Your CV

  • Create the format for your CV. Are you going to break each section up with a line? Are you going to put each section in its own box? Are you going to list all of your information? Play around with different formats to see which looks most professional. Aim for no more than the front and back of a standard sheet of paper.                                                                                                                                                   
  •   List your name, address, telephone number, and email at the top of the page. It is important to make your name a size larger than the rest of the text as it is important for your reviewer to know who he or she is reading about. It is up to you as to how you format this information. Standard format would be to have your name in the centre of the page. Your home address should be listed in a block format on the left side of the paper. Put your telephone number and email below your home address. If you have another address (such as your address while you are at school) list this address on the right hand side of the paper.
  •   Write a personal profile. This is an optional part of the CV that is good for giving your reviewer a more in-depth look at you as a person. This is where you sell your skills, experiences, and personal qualities. It should be original and well-written. Use positive words such as “adaptable”, “confident”, and “determined”.
  •    Create a section for your education and qualifications. This section can be at the beginning of your CV or you can choose to list it after other sections. The order of sections is up to you. List your education in reverse chronological order. Begin with university if you attended or are attending it and work your way backwards. List the name of your university, the dates you went there, your major and minor, and your grade point average or A levels.
  • Create a section for your work experience. This is the section in which you should list all of your relevant work experience. List the name of the company, the location of the company, the years you worked there, and what you did. Start with your most recent job and work backwards. If you have a long list of work experience, only put the experiences relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Create a section for your skills and achievements. This section is where you list the things you accomplished at your previous jobs, and the skills you have developed through your experiences. This is also the section where you list any of your published work, lectures you've given, classes you've taught, etc.
  •  Create a section for your interests. You should list any relevant interests that paint you in the most positive light. Choose several interests from the list you created while brainstorming for your CV (in Part One).
  • Create a section for other information. If there is a noticeable gap in your CV or there is some other information you would like to share, put it in this section. This sort of information can include leaving work to take care of children, join the Peace Corps, etc.
  •  Create a section for references. These are people you have worked with in the past such as professors, previous employers, etc. that have seen your work and can credibly support praises that they give you. The company you are applying to may contact these references to find out more about your previous work. You should talk with the person you would like to list a reference before actually listing them--it is best to double check that they still have the same number, are okay with giving you a reference, or that they remember who you are. Write down their full names and contact information (including their phone numbers and emails).

3. Finalizing Your CV

  •   Check your spelling and grammar. Poor spelling is the quickest way to get rejected. If your CV is sloppy or riddled with errors, potential employers will be unimpressed. Double (and triple) check that you have spelled the name of the company correctly, as well as any companies you have worked for in the past
  • Proofread for any sentences that could be written more concisely. CVs that are concise and well-written tend to do better than long-winded CVs that have repetitive information. Make sure you don’t repeat yourself--it’s better to list many of your traits than the same few traits over and over again. 

  • Read your CV as if you were the company you are applying to. What do you think about the layout and the information written there? Do you come across as a professional? 

  •    Get someone else to read your CV. What do they think could be added or taken out? Would they hire you if they were a company?

  •   Check the company’s application page. Look to see if there are any other materials they would like you to send in along with your CV. Companies may ask for a cover letter or samples of your work (such as articles you may have written).
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7 Employee Qualities You Must Prioritize When Hiring

You want to hire someone who will work well in an individual context, but also as a member of a broader team. You want to find someo...