Author Archives: Priscilla Stricker

About Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

What You Should Know About Negotiating Salaries

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Through working in the recruiting industry, we’ve learned quite a bit about negotiating pay. While pay might be the number one thing that job candidates are concerned about, pay is the last thing recruiters are concerned about. When we consider sending a candidate to our client, we look at a few things: skill-set, ability to execute and do the work, and company fit.

Several factors influence pay ranges, and budgets for positions vary depending on both the client and the candidate. While a candidate might be looking for a certain salary at a company that expects a 50-hour workweek, the pay will be much different for a company that has a 35-hour workweek. Each company has its own budget for salaries, expectations, and benefits. These are components that both the recruiter and the candidate should take into consideration.

Recruiters should be prepared for candidates to come into this process with some knowledge about salary negotiations. It’s the recruiter’s job to work with the client to make a counter offer if a proposed salary is unrealistic. The salary might be too low or too high depending on the market rate for the position. Recruiters can and should work with candidates to negotiate salaries according to market rates. It’s important to note that clients that don’t pay their employees according to market rates inevitably lose employees to companies with more competitive salaries. This reflects poorly on both the recruiter and their clients.

Job seekers, here’s what you should keep in mind when negotiating pay with recruiters:

Never underestimate the value of honesty. If you show you are someone with ethics and integrity—and allow the recruiter to get to know you for your skills, experience, and professional reputation—recruiters will be more likely to place you. It’s all about company fit.

Know the market and competition. Your role in this process is significant. There is often limited flexibility for negotiation, so knowing your value and being able to assert that value is crucial. There are several salary surveys online that can help ensure you’re knowledgeable about salaries in your field. Use this to your advantage, but keep budget restrictions in mind. The way you ask is most important, so reference your employer’s needs, not your own, in justifying more pay.

Don’t draw out the recruitment process. Prompt responses are crucial in developing a professional reputation. The art of negotiation can be very sensitive, so remember that it is the recruiter’s aim is to find the best candidate for the job in a timely manner.

At Financial Professionals, we handle the negotiating. The recruiter acts as a messenger and will hear honest feedback from both the client and the candidate. When a company hires us to find candidates and fill positions, we know what the budget is. It’s our job to determine whether or not someone is the best candidate for the role, and if we don’t get the sense that it’s a good fit we won’t send that person to the company. We take care of your hiring needs on both ends. Visit our Employers page to learn how we can meet your staffing needs and, if you’re looking for a job, our Job Seekers page. We look forward to helping you find the right match.

Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

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9 Interview Tips for Recent College Graduates

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-business-hand-shake-closeup-two-colleagues-image40707292Right now it’s job search season for college graduates, which can be both exciting and stressful. Interviewing for jobs is critical and you don’t want to blow it because you might not get a second chance. We’ve rounded up nine interview tips that are tried and true. Graduates, best of luck!

1. Do your homework.

Dedicate time to research the job, company and industry you’re interested in by arranging informal interviews with alumni who work in your field. Discover what trends you should know about to be successful. Analyze the job you’re applying for by looking at the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required for the role and use that to dictate your interview responses. Also, visit the company’s website, LinkedIn page and social media accounts to learn about its brand, objectives and its history. The more you know about a business the more you can market yourself as a great candidate.

2. Write your questions in advance.

You should show up as prepared as possible to show that you’re good at planning, and show your interest for the job and the company.

The Huffington Post puts it perfectly:

There’s a difference between “Tell me about the culture” and “Tell me about how major decisions are made here and provide an example of a recent decision and the process used.” Or, “I read that the organization is changing its strategic direction. How will that affect this business unit?” Avoid questions where answers are on the website.

3. Show your employer more than just a resume.

Create an online portfolio that showcases your skills. Your portfolio should have samples of your past work from internships, classes and volunteer projects. When candidates show us a link that directs them to samples of their work, not only are we impressed but also we get a sense of the candidate’s creativity and fluency in modern technology. Pro tip: print out a copy of your portfolio and use it as a presentation prop during your interview.

4. Be prepared to tell stories.

Anecdotes that highlight your skills and your ability to apply them are more memorable with recruiters more than just listing your accolades. Anyone can make claims in a job interview, but few can back them up. Make a list of about five to ten key assets you possess that are relevant to the job — such as skills, experience, knowledge, etc. — and connect them with examples or anecdotes that show you used that strength to successfully carry out a work role. When describing the context and the problem, explain what you did to improve the situation and elaborate in quantifiable terms. Recruiters definitely want to see what impact on an organization you have made in the past.

5. Practice, practice, practice.

Anticipate some of the typical questions recruiters ask and have your answers and examples rehearsed so you sound natural. Practice out loud in front of the mirror! Here’s a list of some common questions:

–       Tell me about yourself.

–       What are your strengths and weaknesses.

–       Tell me about your greatest accomplishments.

–       Share a time you failed and how you responded to the situation.

–       Why do you want this job?

–       Why this organization?

You should be able to answer these questions clearly and directly without hesitation. If you happen to still be in school, take advantage of your campus career center and sign up to do a mock interview with a career counselor.

6. Be passionate.

One of the top reasons people do not get job offers is they don’t communicate their excitement about the opportunity. Smile and be enthusiastic or your interviewer will question if you really want the job or will be committed to the company. Remember that it’s okay to show your personality and to be yourself. Employers often opt for the candidate they want to work with on a day-to-day basis.

7. Show your confidence with your body language.

Many candidates worry so much about what they need to say that they forget about body language. Remember to sit up straight, shake hands firmly, make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and listen carefully.

8. Act like a salesperson.

Successful salespeople know how to close meetings with clients by ending with a strong closing statement that reflects their enthusiasm for the position. A closing statement should essentially be a summary of the interview. Make it clear that you are excited and interested in the opportunity, reinforce why you’re a great hire for the job and clarify the next steps. Should you follow up via phone or email? When will you hear back?

9. Follow up with a ‘thank you.’

This may be one of the most critical pieces of advice you should remember; it’s expected. Follow up with a brief and professional thank you email a few hours after the interview, and use it as an opportunity to reiterate your excitement about the company and the position. If you really want to stand out, send a hand-written thank you note the day of the interview!

Looking for more job-seeking advice? Take a look at these blogs!

Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

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How to Attract Recruiters on LinkedIn

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Being in the recruiting business, we’re on LinkedIn… a lot. And like many recruiters, we spend several hours a week growing our own network and viewing potential candidates profile. Surveys show that 90% of recruiters, within companies and external headhunting agencies, use LinkedIn to find talent. In fact, if you’re not on LinkedIn you probably don’t exist to us—which isn’t a good thing if you’re looking for a job or open to new opportunities. Job postings are old news, and sometimes it’s better to search than to rely on resumes from desperate job hunters.

If you’re thinking, that’s never happened to me! A recruiter has never friend-ed me or sent me a message, then you probably need to do more with your profile. Make the most out of LinkedIn by establishing a strong presence. Follow these eight steps:

1. Create a detailed Profile Summary

We like it when people include their email at the top of their summary because when they come up as a masked connection, we know how to reach them.

Also, tell what you do and us who you are! We’re always looking for people who are passionate about their jobs.

2. Choose your photo wisely

LinkedIn is not the place to be cute. Make sure to present your best face on this platform by posting a high quality photo of you smiling and looking professional.

3. Complete all of the sections in your profile

This is very important. Your LinkedIn profile should reveal more about you than your resume. Be sure to quantify your results whenever possible, too, and highlight the ways you helped grow the company. Also, SEO is especially important when recruiters do searches, so think about including key words in your descriptions. The more detailed descriptions, the higher you’ll come up on a search!

4. Include samples of your work

Although this step isn’t necessarily relevant for everyone, one of the nice things about LinkedIn is it’s a one-stop portfolio site. You can upload several files, including photos, PDFs, presentations and even Word or Excel documents. If you have it, show it off!

5. Skills and endorsements

You can include up to 50 skills, and you should! We find several candidates by looking through the Skills section. Look at keywords for the job descriptions you’re eyeing and add some of them to your skills, and then ask your friends for endorsements!

6. Get recommendations

A recommendation is like a testimonial. The more recommendations you have from people you’ve worked with, the better. Be sure to communicate with the person you’re requesting a recommendation from first. LinkedIn makes it possible for you to send reminders to people with pending requests, too.

7. Join Groups

Fact: recruiters spend a lot of time lurking in groups because members in groups can see your profile and contact you, unless you change that option on your profile. If you haven’t already, join your alumni group and as many groups as possible that make sense to your geography, industry, interest and skills.  Once you’re in groups, participate in discussions. What you post is very searchable!

8. Be connected!

LinkedIn only works for you if you make the most of it by engaging with other people, and making strategic connections. The more connections you have, the more chances you have for someone to discover you. But that doesn’t mean you should just add anyone. Add people who you meet at networking events and trade cards with, and include a message saying where you met, so they don’t think you’re spamming them.

Learn how to further optimize your LinkedIn presence by reading  this cheat sheet.  Want to learn how to be more searchable on Google? Read this blog!  And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn!

Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

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What Employers Don’t Want to See on Your Facebook Profile

Photo by Mashable.

Photo by Mashable.

In today’s day and age, social media is a major way job applicants learn more about employers – but it’s a two-way street. Many employers, including our staff at Financial Professionals, screen job seekers by looking at their Facebook profiles. The practice is becoming more common. Based on a survey conducted lasts year, CareerBuilder.com found that 37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. Many employers use social media to learn a little bit more about his or her qualifications. Of course, candidates’ resumes, cover letters and interpersonal skills weigh heavily on whether or not employers think a job applicant is the right person for the job — but companies and agencies will review candidates’ digital presence to learn if the person behind the resume presents his or herself in a professional manner online, as well as in real life. 

Sometime we find discover things that aren’t always pretty. Those embarrassing photos you posted on Facebook of yourself the other night – we see those. Those cuss words you used to describe your former boss in your last update – we read that, too. The last thing employers want to see if someone’s provocative or inappropriate party photos, chronicling a night of getting drunk and acting like they’re a rock star. Those are not the quality applicants we like present to our employers. When you’re competing against several applicants who all have an equally strong skill set, the content on your Facebook profile could be the thing that sets you apart.

Take a lesson from us and make sure that if you’re searchable online, you’re not sharing too much. Here’s how to keep things professional on Facebook.

Make your profile photo a picture of you

No matter how tight you’ve set your privacy settings, your profile photo is the one thing everybody sees. A photo of your dog or of a cartoon character isn’t the best representation of you.

Think twice before posting offensive status updates

Take a deep breath the next time you think about posting something obscene, obnoxious or even controversial. Employers are looking for people they can respect – so only show your best side by posting things you don’t have to explain later.

Have someone you trust scan your profile for red flags 

Sometimes it’s easy to miss those little details that reflect your checkered past. For example, you might’ve thought it was cool to post those photos of you partying when you were in college – but they’re not so funny if you and your friends were drinking underage. Keep anything incriminating off of Facebook, even if it isn’t recent.

Have questions about our recruiting, screening or testing? Feel free to email us today.

Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

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