Happy Friday! In case you missed it, here is our weekly round up of the top trending HR / Digital news and content from around the web. Enjoy reading. Comments are welcome.


Three Questions Your LinkedIn Profile Must Answer

By Bruce Kasanoff | Seen on Forbes.com
“There are three things your LinkedIn profile must tell others, but the vast majority of LinkedIn’s 400-plus million members fail to provide clear and concise answers. The result is that LinkedIn does not work very well for them.”

31 things you should remove from your résumé immediately

By Jacquelyn Smith and Rachel Gillett | Seen on Business Insider
“On average, hiring managers get 75 résumés per position they post, according to a study from CareerBuilder.com — so they don't have the time or resources to look at each one closely, and they typically spend about six seconds on their initial "fit/no fit" decision.”

Bypass The Job Application And Get Straight To An Interview

By Erica Breuer, The Muse | Seen on Fast Company
“If you’re tired of sending out resumes and hoping for the best, try one of these approaches on for size.”

Recruiting Is Easy -- Unless You Do It Wrong

By Liz Ryan | Seen on Forbes.com
“Recruiting is easy if you stay grounded in reality. It’s especially easy these days because so few companies are great places to work. When you focus on making a workplace an awesome place to work, your new hires practically recruit themselves.”

Tips on Finding Talent for Startups from a Top VC firm Recruiter  

By Sid Lipsey | Seen on LinkedIn Talent Blog
“Competing with household names presents a challenge for anyone who’s trying to recruit talent for these startups, or “early-stage companies.” So how do you find talent when you're a tiny, unknown company trying to get off the ground?”

When applying for a job opening, candidates typically place a lot of importance on their resume and cover letters, presuming that these 2 are their one-way ticket to getting hired. Relevant industry experience: check; Related academic degree: check; Additional certification which would be considered an asset:  check, check, check. Add to that a well-articulated and convincing cover letter and you’re in for the win.

While all of the above are, indeed, important, and can, in fact, set you a part from applicants who do not take those technical details into consideration; what ultimately makes it or breaks for employers has increasingly less to do with academic credentials and I.Q, and more to do with likability and Emotional Intelligence. In sum, employers don’t only hire people who are qualified on paper anymore, but people who they like in person, and who they think the other members of their team will like as well.

There was a time when recruitment was based mainly on academic credentials.
A time when the right schools, programs, and technical training were sufficient to land you your dream job; regardless of whether or not you were qualified on a more interpersonal level. However, in a world that is becoming increasingly connected, both virtually and globally, the success of certain careers will highly be built upon relationship-building and the ability to interact with others. For those particular careers, academic orientation and industry-experience will have less weight, and the ability to network, connect, and build rapport will become inevitable assets.

While the I.Q (short for Intelligent Quotient) is the score obtained on one of many intelligence tests which include different mathematical, logical, and problem-solving equations; E.Q, on the other hand, is defined as an individual’s Emotional Intelligence. As one’s ability to identify, control, and express their own emotions, those of others, and of groups. At one point in time, I.Q was viewed as the primary determinant for success. People with high I.Qs were known to perform better academically, earn more money, and be generally healthier than people with lower I.Qs. However, much like the shift in recruitment trends (probably initiated by this very change in perception), experts began to realize that the Intelligent Quotient wasn’t any more responsible for one’s success than any particular human skill or ability.

While the notion of Emotional Intelligence initially seems to go completely against that of standardized intelligence tests, it is actually simply a modified, modern, humanistic version. One that recognizes the importance of human relations, and includes an individual’s ability to build interpersonal relationships as part of the standard of excellence, and a very valuable skill to possess in the workplace. Contrarily to the Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Intelligence leaves room for a larger variety of people to fall under the “intelligent” category. People whom, for example, absolutely suck at math or computer programming, but are pretty darn good at making (and keeping!) connections.

Organizations have changed, and have been required to adapt their recruitment practices accordingly. Don't get me wrong - productivity and profitability are still the primary objectives of companies. However, these are increasingly starting to understand that, like any other human system, they are run and maintained by humans. Humans with skill, talent, and drive; but also with emotion, feelings, and an inherent need to socialize. Recruiters are therefore not only tasked to bring on talent and skill, but also to detect personality and sociability.
Because where your c.v will cut you short, your personality will get you the job.

AuthorDanièle-Jocelyne Otou

So you aced the phone screening and have been asked to interview with the hiring manager. Now what? Here are a few things you can do to prepare for that next step and make a winning impression during the interview. Research the company! 

Whether you're entirely familiar with the company or only have basic knowledge of their business prior to being asked to interview, it's important to take some time to familiarize yourself with the company beyond the basics. Going into an interview prepared to provide thoughtful comments about the business and how your own experience relates will undoubtedly impress the hiring manager and leave a lasting impression.

Here are four tips to help you with your pre-interview research.

1.       Go straight to the source - The Company’s official website is the most obvious place to start your search and will likely be the most comprehensive source of information. You should be able to view the company's mission statement, history, news, and press releases as well as executive bios. In some cases, the website will even speak to a company’s employer brand and culture giving you a sneak peak of what it’s actually like to work for this company through employee videos, photos of the office, events they support, as well as a range of benefits and perks.  

2.       Reach out to your network - Look through your contacts on social media and see if you're connected to anyone who has been, or is currently, employed by the company. LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for this kind of research! If you find that you have an existing connection, reach out and see if that person can provide a little insight about the company culture, important business initiatives or even a little information about the person you will be interviewing with. By equipping yourself with some firsthand information, you'll improve your chances of providing the kind of insightful commentary the hiring manager is looking for.

3.       Google the company – By Googling the company you will likely find tons of 3rd party information about your prospective employer such as news articles, events in which they have participated or support and even employee reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. It’s important to keep in mind that you may encounter negative reviews, some may be warranted and others may be left by former employees that have a vendetta with their previous employer. Whatever, the case may be, make sure you consider all sources of information before you form your own opinion on the company.

4.       When information is limited –such as may be the case with privately held companies, you may not be able to get a full snapshot of the company’s business. In all likeliness, there will be enough information online to get you started. From there, be sure to prepare thoughtful questions to show the interviewer that you are legitimately interested in their business and eager to learn more.

It all comes down to preparation. The better prepared you are, the better your chances are to answer questions that will allow you to stand out from the competition. By devoting a few hours of your time to research, you have a great opportunity to demonstrate how your skills could benefit the company's current needs.

How have you researched a company before an interview? We would love to hear about your experience and tips in the comments!


AuthorJonathan Berlinski


Interviews can be tough for a number of reasons but one of the main preoccupations most interviewees have is on how they answer certain questions. Although what you say is important, also how you say it will leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. Here are a few tricky questions that can come up during your next interview, along with some helpful tips on how you might answer them.

Question 1: What is your greatest weakness?

In asking this question, your interviewer’s goal is to find out whether you can truly identify and recognize your faults. This question can definitely be described as a trap question- there really is no perfect answer for it.  However, you can spin your response a certain way to leave your interviewer impressed rather than disappointed.

Your objective is to use this opportunity to demonstrate that not only are you able to recognize your faults, but that you are also willing to work on improving yourself. Therefore, use an example of a weaknesses that you have improved on and describe how you overcame this weakness. Remember that context is always important and you may not want to use an example that could be detrimental to your opportunity at obtaining the job. For instance, if tardiness is an issue that you are working on, this may not be the best example to use in an interview.

Question 2: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Here is a great opportunity to showcase who you are and perhaps even find some common ground with your interviewer. However, it is important to stay on point and within the context of the interview. Try using these 3 attributes:

 1) Any extracurricular activities that you have engaged in

Speaking about extracurricular activities to your interviewer is always a good idea. If you play sports, a musical instrument, or take part in a type of charity work, these are always subjects that are worth mentioning. Not only will it show that you take interest in other activities to keep yourself busy, but it also gives you and your interviewer the chance to find common ground between each other- which will enhance your impression with the interviewer and foreshadow a positive relationship between the both of you.

2) Your passion for the industry/job you will be a part of

Employers appreciate working with people that enjoy their job because they are much more likely to work hard and be interested on improving their skills. Describe how passionate you are about the industry and this will most likely spark their interest in you. You can do this by talking about any communities or organizations that you are a part of that relate to the industry you work in- this will increase your credibility as a candidate, and also help to find common ground if he or she knows a thing or two about the organization.

3) End your response by passing the discussion back to the interviewer

After you’ve been talking for a bit it is important to prevent yourself from rambling on and on about yourself. At the end of your response say something similar to, “And that being said, I think this would make me a great fit for your team!” By relating the response to the interviewer, you are now ending your response positively and giving them the chance to continue on with the interviewing process.

Question 3: Why did you leave your last job?

Whatever you do, do not bad mouth your last employer. This may make you come across as someone who is not loyal to his or her peers or coworkers. You never know- maybe your interviewer actually knows and shares very close ties with your last employer. Whatever the situation may be, saying bad things about any of your past coworkers is never a good idea.

The correct way to answer this question is to describe your desire for improvement as a result of switching jobs. You could tell your interviewer a number of positive reasons as to why you left your last job. A good example of this would be: “I felt as though I hit a plateau and the only way I could better myself or learn more was to change environments and work with different people.”

Remember, there are no perfect answers to give to an interviewer. However, you can put a positive spin on each answer you give them in order to make a great first impression. And remember- though you are putting a spin on your answers, you should always remain truthful. When you remain truthful, your answers will come out much more naturally and project confidence.

AuthorSarah Mancini

Writing a resume has never been easy. Let’s face it- unless you’re a mind reader, it’s not going to be possible to include every element that every potential hiring manager is going to want to see in a candidate. Part of successfully getting a job interview does involve sending in your application to the right person, for the right job position, at the right time. However, there are a few tips and suggestions you can follow that will surely increase your chances of getting to the interview.

AuthorSarah Mancini

As it is said in Deloitte’s report on Human Capital Trends, the open talent economy is "a collaborative, transparent, technology-driven, rapid cycle way of doing business". But what does this actually mean? How can we manage the human capital of today's world?


Simply put, the workforce is evolving. Gone are the days where individuals clocked into work, and put in a hard day's work of a typical 9 to 5 hours, and then woke up did it all again the following day. The fact is, because of advancements in technology and globalization, to a certain extent, companies are finding innovative ways in which they must hire and retain their staff. Therefore, jobs are no longer just being filled by local staff on full/part-time working schedules.


Companies are now looking at ways in which they can outsource certain job functions, or hire contractors and/or freelancers who do not even need to be in the same geographical location as them to get the job done. This is forcing companies to come up with new and innovative ways to ensure that all their talent (even those with no vested interest at all within the company) is managed in a way that allows for their business objectives to be realized.


Understanding this growing trend for open talent is paramount for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. So what are some of these trends?


  • Employees are now working remotely

The percentage of employees working "from home" or "virtually" varies from 30-40% and this is continuing to grow. More and more businesses are seeing the advantages of employing staff that can complete their work virtually. Not only is it great proponent for work-life balance when recruiting staff, but, it also ensures that work can be done at all times without the need for staff to commute to the office. Therefore opening the talent pool - individuals that may not have been suitable a decade ago to complete these tasks are in a much better position now to prove to employers that they can get the job done.


  • Access to a global talent pool

No matter the skill set - talent can now be sourced on a larger scale than ever before. Those marketplaces that seemed off limits due to barriers such as geography, language, time zones or simply just not having the reach is a thing of the past. Improvements in technology are changing the way that businesses recruit, communicate and engage with perspective candidates as the talent pool for many companies is becoming increasingly global rather than local.     


  • Access to online training

According to the Washington Post, more than 100,000 people around the world signed up to Yale's online Financial Markets course. However, Yale is not the only success story for the online training marketplace. Education is now available to everyone and in some cases grade point averages do not factor into an acceptance into a course. Training schemes and/or companies have started to realize the importance of tapping into the online marketplace whereby individuals can be trained on the go (through apps) or by logging into an online session. Technological advances has essentially said goodbye to the traditional methods of teaching, and you no longer have to be physically in the classroom in order to get a degree/masters/certificate of completion etc. You do not even need to be in the same country. 


  • The rise of freelancing & project based work

Hiring freelancers is on the increase, especially with online marketplaces like Elance and Odesk (now in talks to merge) that helps to match freelancers with clients. This compendium of freelance and project based work is opening up the talent pool as businesses can choose when to expand and contract their workforce at will. Once again, geographical location is not a constraint.   


  • Online collaboration

Collaboration at any levels will likely ensure the success of your business. This extends to the online arena. Collaboration does not need to just be a linear process, whereby you sit and meet with people face-to-face. Nowadays, the common meeting and/or work space can be in a virtual conference or meeting room. Technological advancements is allowing for shared databases, shared screens, shared files, shared data etc. It definitely allows the potential of the virtual employee to still feel like a full-fledged member of the team.


  • Accessible all the time through mobility

The new workforce is definitely mobile. People can be working while they are on the move with little or no impact to their productivity.  


The most important aspect of this new era in Human Capital Management is not necessarily the ownership of talent but that businesses are able to access talent, and are able to do so freely. A business is only able to do this correctly if they are able to leverage their internal and external talent base appropriately and effectively.

About Vanguard HR
Vanguard HR offers an innovative approach to recruiting, leveraging web technologies, social networking, access to global talent networks and employment branding solutions. 

Our primary area of expertise is in providing highly skilled technology, engineering and management professionals within the areas of IT (Software development, Mobile, Cloud, Security, Networking, Big Data & Analytics, Internet technology…), Telecom, Energy & Natural Resources, Aerospace and Emerging technologies. 

For many organizations, their growth and survival is dependent on hiring and retaining the right type of staff. This sometimes means expanding their search of high caliber candidates outside of their home country. International assignments have increased by over 25% in the past decade, and it is expected to grow by another 50% by 2020. With such increases, you would expect that companies have invested abundantly in their global mobility programs. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes getting assignees to their host country is the easy part, actually retaining them in this location for a period of two years or more is far and few in-between.

So, exactly how are global mobility programs missing the mark?  

Simply put - not keeping up with the trend. Surprisingly, some companies are still handling their global mobility programs in similar ways they operated over a decade ago. With global mobility on the increase, companies that adopt a one-size-fits-all-approach will undeniably get left behind. International assignments are not cheap, and ultimately they should be viewed as an investment, and like any investment, you expect a return on your asset.

Global mobility programs should be tailored individually to each candidate so that you are able to offer them the best and most meaningful packages. Without being competitive with assignment benefits and after-care, do not expect to retain any assignee longer than their initial contracting period - this equates to less than two years after repatriation! It is expected that 50% of expatriates will leave their employer within this time. In order to minimize this risk, and combat any costs associated with hiring and then failing to keep talented staff employed, is to develop strategies that are geared towards treating your asset like it is an asset. Adopt techniques that will allow your global mobility program to be innovative, staying ahead of the curve and think outside of the typical global mobility box.

One of the three top reasons that international assignments fail are:

  • Not considering any other external reasons that could limit the performance of the candidate  Many organizations are blinded by the functional knowledge of the selected candidate, and do not consider other external factors that may lead to failure. Other factors that are also important relates to cultural aptitude and/or readiness to move and be able to perform at the level they have been hired to do so.
  • Lack of or little ongoing support to assignees
    Your work is not done when you have successfully moved the assignee to their host location. Expect that any type of moving homes is a stressful experience. Increase this tress ten-fold when you consider moving homes abroad and sometimes with a spouse or family. In addition, some assignments need to be filled fairly quickly, and candidates will often have to leave loved ones at the drop of a hat. Therefore, it is important that global mobility support starts in the home country and continues and is easily available once the assignee has moved to their final destination.  
  • Not managing career development
    There should be formal strategies in place that will help with career management once the global assignee has completed or is close to completing their assignment. Like any job, after two to three years, individuals will become antsy and will want to further develop their skills and experiences. Many assignees feel abandoned once they have been hired and are not fully aware how career development may differ in the new host country. So instead of retaining talent, organizations may find that talents leave the company altogether.  

Is there any way in which we can combat these assignment failures? How can we ensure that going forward the global mobility programs in place, will not only hire, but retain top talent that exists past the two year gestation period?

1)      How are you assessing your pool of candidates?

Global mobility calls for additional candidate assessment programs that go over and beyond your typical local pool for criteria purposes. It is not simply hiring an individual because they know that they can succeed at the job advertised. Try to consider if the candidate has relocated for work before. How successful were they with that assignment? What were their reasons for leaving? Is this something that could be an issue going forward?

2)      Assess the needs of the candidate

Where possible employ a global mobility specialist that can assess the needs of the candidate. In the event that your company does not have one, this is the stage within the hiring process that you try to understand what motivates the candidate and how best could offered benefits fill any of their needs. Will schooling for children be a priority or will they just be content with travel and apartment search help etc. You will also take this time to assess if there are any red flags that could interrupt a potential assignment, should you decide to move forward with this particular candidate.

3)      Cultural awareness

No matter the destination of the assignment, cultural awareness assessments or interviews should always be completed. Many would presume that a move from London to New York will have cultural similarities; however, culture shock can happen to anyone at any destination. Irrespective if there are similarities in play between home and host country. This ensures that the candidate is as prepared as they can be.

4)      Visa Services

Getting a visa in place, at sometimes short notice can be stressful, especially; if there are family members involved. It is important that candidate is kept abreast of the visa process and they are prepared to provide you with the correct requirements to ensure that the process can be as hassle-free as possible.

5)      Invest if possible in a pre-decision trip

These are a great way to allow the candidate and/or their family to visit the host location, and get a proper feel for the move and what it may entail. This can help to ease fears, as well as to check-out housing, schooling etc. 

6)      Ongoing support

As mentioned above, ongoing and meaningful repatriation support is important. The assignee should feel that they can come to you at any time should a problem arise. If this is done successfully, all parties (candidate and company) are in a better position to contribute to a effective assignment.