When the Stats Canada employment figures dropped like a bombshell in November, the media asked Geoff Bagg, CEO of The Bagg Group, for his advice to help job-hunters weather the bad news.
From his experience at the helm of The Bagg Group — which has a long history of placing people in the best companies, even during recessions — Geoff was quick to point out that numbers tell only part of the story. And while it’s disconcerting that Canada’s economy shed 54,000 positions in October, Geoff noted that we are still 226,000 jobs ahead over this time last year.
For the job-seeker, looking for full-time work, contract work, or a part-time placement in the GTA, the advice of The Bagg Group is don’t worry about statistics. Instead, focus on proving yourself in an interview.
Recruiters at The Bagg Group are busy. Companies still have positions to fill. However, as Geoff Bagg told Dan Matheson of CTV News, hiring managers are not willing to take risks right now. They want to know they’re hiring the right person who can step into the position — someone who demonstrates proven ability, rather than someone who demonstrates good potential.
For candidates, this means the key in an interview is to “show, not tell.” For example, a hiring manager won’t be convinced if you simply claim, “I’m a team-player”. Instead, you need to offer proof by giving an example of a situation in which you showed collaborative spirit.
At The Bagg Group, recruiters urge candidates to think SIR when responding to questions.
Situation: Tell the interviewer of a relevant Situation.
Initiative: Say what Initiative you took to deal with that situation.
Results: Conclude with the Results of your initiative.
Remember, don’t waste valuable interview time detailing the situation in-depth. The interviewer is only interested in the actions you took to resolve it. By concluding with the results, you offer additional confirmation of your capabilities and knowledge.
Knowing how to reassure a hiring manager that you aren’t a risky hire, but instead a proven asset will set you apart from the competition. It will require more preparation time to have a SIR at the ready for as many of the skills required as possible, but it’s time well spent.
From the company’s perspective, hiring an employee is an investment. Hiring the wrong person costs significantly in lost money and time, and possibly reputation. The hiring manager is under a great deal of pressure to make sure their choice of a candidate is certain not to be an expensive misstep.
Anyone can make claims about what they can do. But not everyone can or does substantiate their claims. Those who do so give interviewers solid reasons to feel secure about their recommendations.
In this day and age of careful spending, proof sells —and now, more than ever, is the time for job-hunters in the GTA to prove what they can do.
To see Geoff Bagg’s interview on CTV about what it takes to stand out from the crowd, click here: